Sunday, July 31, 2022

Two Lame Souls

 I went into the village yesterday morning, to go to the farmers’ market. It was packed. I’ve never seen so many people on our streets. We’ve been invaded by tourists for the holiday weekend. There are people everywhere. It’s like a plague.

Sheba’s barely walking and so I enjoyed relaxing with Bruno through the heat of the day, and between watering duties. I read and kept my eyes and ears open to ensure that she did not do damage to another paw. It was cool in the house with all the doors and windows open, and all the fans on high helping circulate the fragrances of the forest through the house. I particularly like the sweet earthy scents at night as I fall asleep and again when I wake. It’s although I’m sleeping outdoors, but without any bugs or burning sun.

It seems weird, almost wrong, so be spending the glorious days of Summer alone and indoors. I miss seeing my fellow dog walkers and hearing island gossip, but I know those days will return once we defeat this tendency of Her Highness to self-harm. 

This morning was all about watering and a lovely long play date with Issa. She has really warmed to me. She cries when Merrill wants to take her home. And until the day before yesterday, only her mom and dad could pick her up. But no more. “Up. Up,” she says to me, lifting her arms. I am now trusted and feel very loved. 

Just as I finished the watering, I had a fall. I tried to stop myself from falling by grabbing my wire fence and would up tearing my hand badly. But it was my knee that got the most damage, and as I stuggled to rise, with feet that had cramped up I had a lot of trouble. I’d started trembling and I could not get my arms wo work to help me get up.

I got onto all fours to crawl to the house, but I was able to get myself up at the gate, and now I’m sitting in front of a fan waiting for my knee to stop bleeding. Luckily, Bruno is here and he’ll look after my spirit for the remainder of the day. I’m staying put and chillin’ until bedtime.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Bad: Sheba's Foot, Noisy Drilling and Facebook

Friday, we walked. Sheba was fully recovered and so we had a lovely morning walk with our little group of people and doggies. Then I came home to rest and to water the gardens. When I came in for lunch, Sheba had chewed two pads off her foot, so it’s back to not walking and to wearing socks. 

By mid-afternoon, it was 35° and doing anything made me sweat. I wanted to tidy up and do some indoor cleaning because Shelly and Kevin came over for games and pizza last night. I’d do one chore and then rest before doing another. It was just too warm for work. Soon, however, we’ll be back to normal. It’s going to start cooling down on the weekend and we may even have rain on Wednesday.

Someone who owns a lot that’s half a block away has a pneumatic drill digging out something— perhaps a septic field or a house foundation. It’s driving me and my neighbours crazy. The noise is incessant and highly irritating. It stars sharp at 8:00 every morning. Normally sounds, even sounds as grating as this one, don’t bother me, but the heat has me living with open doors and windows and so the noise shatters my peace of mind all day long. 

One of the best things about life here is the quiet and currently that peacefulness is ruined by the constant rat a tat tat of the giant metal rockpecker. I feel for the guy’s next-door neighbours. Yesterday, I closed my front door and bedroom window as they face the source of the sound, and it worked very, very well. I could barely hear the drilling, but I missed the breeze blowing through the house. God bless this house and its thick logs that keep me nice and warm in Winter and nice and cool in Summer. And in quiet!  

Beth wrote with a link to an article explaining why the seasons needn’t be capitalized, but I’m a rebel like k. d. lang. I make some rules for myself, and I honour the seasons by capitalizing them. I know it’s wrong. I get that. But I like using caps. But thank you Beth.

I joined Facebook a while back so that I could access the Gabriola Community Facebook page. I signed up giving my name and email address and nothing else. I left everything blank. I don’t know how Facebook works and don’t want to, but I started viewing the Gabriola page every day.

Suddenly, a while ago, I got a note from Facebook saying that they were going to remove my membership because I had violated their community guidelines. They sent a link to their guidelines, and it was all about respecting others and not showing nudity, bullying, harassing or spreading misinformation. Things like that.

It shocked me to be considered a violator. I make no posts. Nothing at all. I only put my name and email address into my membership. Facebook said I could appeal and to ‘click here.’ I clicked on it and to continue I had to provide a cell phone number for them to text a code for me to use to continue. Well, I don’t have a cell, so I couldn’t do that.

Now my account is gone, and I’m not allowed to ever Facebook again because I’ve violated their community guidelines. I could not have done so, though, because I posted absolutely nothing. And now I can’t access the Gabe Community page. Sigh.

Today is going to be hot again. I’ll water and read, spending most of my day indoors. But tonight, I’m going to Nancy’s for dinner with Kris and Steve. That’ll be a blast! And then it becomes the best day of the week: Sunday! My day! A day for me and Bruno. 

Friday, July 29, 2022


The heat. The heavy stillness of the air in late afternoon. The golden light of sunset. My mind’s eye is full of Summer scenes formed in my imagination while reading classic writers. How does it come to be that nights like last night make me think of Tennessee Williams? It happens every Summer without fail and it has for decades.

I once danced with my friend, Bruce, in a lesbian bar. I took the ‘woman’s position.’ He led. And when I stopped worrying about my feet, I was overcome. I thought of all the dancing scenes in so, so, so very many novels of Bronté, Austin, Eliot and the lot. In Bruce’s arms, I realized what it must have been like for the women, destined for marriage but rarely able to touch a man, who populated those novels. How they must have reeled to be taken into the arms of a man, held, guided, and breathed upon—all while tightly bound by fashion.

Experience brings deeper understanding to great reads of times past. Favourites that, when remembered, drown the mind with evocative images of scenes read. Summer is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for me. I think of the picnics in so many novels and films, of Tom and Huck, of the corn as high as an elephant’s eye, of Scout, Dill and Jem and, of course Addison. 

Winters were tough. Not the weather, the family. We were on a community cable, all the families in our neighbourhood. Mr. Warwick, one of our neighbours was an engineer. He built a monster antenna and strapped it to his house. All the houses within “our catchment’ got our TV signal from his tower—everyone he could reach without having his wire crossing a municipal street. 

Suddenly we could watch American television networks, and on one of them, Lawrence of Arabia played every Christmas season. All the blue sky of that film, all the heat I felt watching the desert scenes. Summer for two hours in Winter was what that film brought me every year. Winter would disappear. 

I loved Summer. I loved the season of light, from the start of Daylight Savings Time until labour day, when I could be outside at night. Away from home, alone or with friends, the heat of Summer was the feeling of freedom. I felt Summer on my skin every day that I could. There were rainy days, of course, but I don’t remember any of them.

I have images in my memory that I recall every single Summer. I remember the quiet and the dust of a parking lot, raised by cars droving by, that turned the early evening light into clouds of sparkling gold. I remember coming down a dune of beach sand on night a lifetime ago in the magic hour of late afternoon. It was somewhere people would go in Summer to get away from the city. A Summer vacation mecca near Vancouver. I see that image every hot and sensual Summer night like last night. I’ve been remembering that scene all my adult life.

I went to Europe with a list of things to see when I was nineteen. Years later, I was telling a story about that trip, and I realized I’d told it a few times—to other friends. I asked myself: Why is this story the one I always tell, and I decided that it was probably because the previous times I’d told it, I’d had a good reaction. That got me started thinking about other stories I liked to tell, and that led to an insightful realization: none of the stories I liked telling were about the items on the list of things I wanted to see. It wasn’t the monuments that inspired stories, my stories were always about insignificant moments, stored as idyllic images in my memory. Moments like me coming down a sand dune so long, long ago. 

This summer is different. I’ve been hiding from the outdoors for the first time in my life, avoiding the sun, avoiding the heat, being an indoor person. It's okay, but very different. I hear my neighbour’s roosters. They are a prominent part of the soundtrack of my new way of experiencing summer—in the shade. It’s all okay. They call out loudly at night. Gertie, our community bus drives by as I haul the garbage container back to the shed. I wave to the driver and the dust coming up off the street glows like the dust in the parking lot at sunset so long, long ago. Summers were once all about the daytime; now, it’s Summer nights I love, when it’s cool, humid, and quiet and still. When the air is thick but comfortable. I thought often of Tennessee last night.

Atlas Moth.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Sheba Makes Progress

I kept myself indoors yesterday. I am not happy in the heat and yesterday was mighty hot. Sheba hobbled around on three legs when she needed to move but she spent much of the day asleep on the floor in the relative coolness of the house. I watered all the gardens, of course; some in the early morning and the rest in the late afternoon. It’s no wonder I had a heart attack last Summer when it was 42° here. When it hits 30°, I feel completely and utterly enervated.

It was 34° here today and doing anything made me sweat. But if I stay idle and indoors, my fans and the thick walls of my house keep us all cool. The cats spend all their time on the porch. All we all want to do, is stay cool. Sheba avoids the rugs and likes to press her beautiful pink belly onto the coolness of the wooden floors.

Last night I watched part two of Angels in America. It’s an unusual play. It won a Pulitzer Prize and I’m not surprised. It is extremely heady. Most of the dialogue is completely unnatural. To me, the characters are tropes, not people. I felt nothing at all for anyone all through both productions. I stuck with it, and its long; the staging in the production I saw is masterful, but not enough to overcome my feelings of ambivalence for the show. But the acting was spectacular!

Today is going to be just as hot, and so is tomorrow, but then it is predicted to cool down considerably. Tuesday is forecast to be a wonderful 22°. However, the good news concerns Sheba’s feet. We are getting close to being able to walk with our friends again. Today will be crucial. I will watch her all day to ensure that she does no more damage to herself.

I finished a challenging article for STAMMA. I got a specific request from Stephen on what to write and it was truly a hard go. I had too many thoughts about the subject, and it was hard to find a coherent path through it all. But I think I did it. I’m looking forward to hearing from Steven about it.

It looks like I cannot go to my reunion with Lois, Lowan, Sheila and David as I’d hoped to do. The ferries are booked solid. I’m very disappointed. I was very keen to see them again, but I won’t line up for a ferry in Summer without a reservation. However, to be honest, I’m also relieved. I was not looking forward to the travelling there and back. 

Hoyas are a favourite flower. I can't grow one
here. I don't get enough sun in the house.