Saturday, October 30, 2021

To Victoria

Yesterday was not a day of rest. I walked twice, baked and decorated a cake, removed the biggest of the windfall in the yard, did a lot of laundry and went into the village to get gas for my trip and another expensive bag of dog food. But I finished at 4:30 and crashed onto the couch in the warm glow of the fire.

I’ve a ferry to catch this morning and then a long drive to Victoria, but it’ll all be done in glorious sunshine. I love driving in good weather and, by leaving early, I miss a lot of the traffic that can clog the Malahat part of the highway. I’m looking forward to being with Chris and Frani, Todd and Jessica, and Sahara and her cousins.

It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m committed. I am in some kind of slump, vis-à-vis my speech. I could barely speak with my fellow dog walkers yesterday morning, and I’ve always been fluent with them. I’ve been unable to speak to any clerks in the village either, and I can usually do well with them. I’m worried about Victoria, but I can always speak in my Australian accent if all else fails.

 Back on Monday. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Deep Sleep

Pre FND, I slept 4-5 hours a night and I did that for five decades. Last night I slept for 10.5 hours, exhausted from s short night of socializing. I tell people that it’s hard to talk; nothing proves that more than how much sleep I need after a night of talking with friends. This weekend is going to exhaust me, but I’m going to Victoria anyway.

I had a wonderful visit with Merrill, Leo and Issa last night, and the fish curry went down well (although I was disappointed in it; it was rather bland).

Today, I am dog walking with my friends and then baking a cake to take to Victoria for Chris’ birthday, and then I am going to relax on the couch in hopes of banking some energy for tomorrow and Chris’ party. It’s a glorious day today, after days of rain and darkness, so that will help to energize me.

And my foot, although still blue, is much better. Walking is easy now.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Wallace Stegner

The nicest part of yesterday was running into Merrill at the grocery store. She, Issa and Leo came by in the afternoon for a visit, and they’re coming for dinner tonight. Progress has really happened in spades on their house, and I’m thrilled because it means they’ll be back to move in at the end of January.

The worst part of yesterday was discovering that the recent storm caused two enormous branches to fall onto my garden, a garden far out of view of the house, destroying several plants. Each one is far too big and heavy to move. I’ll have to saw them into pieces to get them out of the yard.

I keep thinking about what Phil said on our big Sunday dog walk two weeks ago.

“They’ll never go away,” he said.

It’s been well over five years that I’ve had my symptoms. They’ve changed over time, but they’ve never left since they came on. But each time there’s a long gap between seizures, I believe that I’m ‘cured.’ That makes me think that I’ve not yet completely accepted my symptoms; hearing what Phil said may have helped.

The book I will finish today, by Wallace Stegner, contains a paragraph wherein a grand dame of the American West is talking to her daughter about her daughter’s suitor. Instead of itemizing his strengths, she lists things that aren’t ‘wrong’ about him: He doesn’t drink to excess, he’s not rude, he’s not unattractive, she says, and continues like this through a long list that includes, “not a stammerer.”

It surprises me to say that it hurt, somehow, to read that—especially coming from a writer who, for me, is one of the greatest writers I’ve read. There’s such majesty in his writing, yet in in no way seems forced or pretentious. It doesn’t feel like an author trying to win awards.

Crossing to Safety is a completely unremarkable novel, by subject. It’s the story of a friendship of four people, people living unremarkable lives—lives not unalike gazillions of other normal (white Western) lives. But Mr. Stegner’s skills with character take us deeply into his world, his story. His vocabulary is stupefying. But it doesn’t ring untrue; everything about his writing so impresses me, makes his use of rare and impressive words periodically are, like flowers, enhancing the landscape.

Then, three-quarters of the way through the novel, he includes a character who stutters. Imagine!

I can continue to love him. Now, on to Louise Penny. I have five new stories/mysteries to read. And I’ve ordered another Wallace Stegner book.

This afternoon I’m looking forward to cooking up a fish curry, rich with Mahi Maki, Cod and Scallops, and served on rice made a way I learned in Varanasi, India, in what seems like forever ago. I’m really looking forward to cooking and sharing it tonight with Merrill, Leo and Issa.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021


Tuesday was a gentle day because walking was so painful—even with a cane. I spent the day on the chaise with my sore foot elevated and reading Wallace Stegner. That’s all there is to tell you.

Today will be more active as my foot is slowly healing. I’m going to join my dog walking group, hopefully for the entire walk, but maybe not. And I’ll go into the village to shop for supplies with which to make Merrill and Leo a dinner tomorrow night. And, of course, I’ll read.

The weekend is predicted to be sunny on both days, so I’m going to Victoria to see Jess and Todd, Chris and Frani. It’s Chris’ birthday, so on Friday I’ll make a cake to take down with me.