Friday, September 30, 2005

Picture This

It's not so much that we felt a compelling urge to see another movie, but we have been very keen to visit the town's theatre. It is somewhat unusual for theatres to continue to exist in small places like ours, especially when they are close to large cities, but Mills has one. It resides in the basement of an old church, under the main floor fitness centre. Of course, we have been intrigued enough to want to pay a visit, especially because, indicated by the sign, it plays current, popular movies.

We descended the short flight of steepish stairs to be greeted right at the bottom by the personable proprietor who was manning the till: an ancient relic perched on a small counter (the cash register I mean). We talked amicably as we forked over our twelve bucks — yup, only six bucks each, four-fifty on cheap Tuesday, less for seniors — and he introduced us his old German Shepherd, Misha, who to our great delight contentedly, sprawled his ample bod over about half of the lobby. Because there's nothing to compare him with in the photo, you'll have to take my word (or not, if you are one of the legions who doubt my credibility) that Misha is the biggest German Shepherd in the history of planet Earth. I wonder if he's always been as uptight as he was when Cuppa took this picture? <grin>


We purchased a small bag of popcorn at the tiny concession and proceeded into one of the two the movie rooms (see above photo). Isn't it almost too delightful for words? For whatever reason, concerts I might suppose, there's even an organ. The screen has scratches and electrical wires run visibly along the walls where bare bulbs are interspersed (see light near top left of photo). The seats are not comfy for me, but many aren't compatible with my sorry back, even in the new, plush, and grandiose edifices.

The proprietor walked to the front to introduce the film and to pump the new one, Forty Year Old Virgin, that was playing in the other room. After walking back into the glass-windowed projection room (just like the old days) and starting the film, he walked back out to listen. Not liking what he heard, he advised us that we would stop the film to eliminate the background noise. He did; it worked.

We pronounce the place and the evening delightful. How absolutely wonderful that someone would think to run such an enterprise in such a small town. I imagine that the younger set would think it corny and pine for the glitz of a modern megaplex, but I think, and more importantly, the ever redoubtable Cuppa thinks that, with all apologies to Rocky, this place is the cat's ass.

Oh yes, the movie, Just Like Heaven, was fine too: a light and inoffensive flick that could be seen and appreciated by a gamut of age groups with the possible exception of the pubescent set that would likely prefer more action, violence, and you know what else.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Yesterday's Treats

Three pictures from the road home yesterday on our visit to Alton and Pakenham.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Just the Same

A good, little day, just the same. That's how my dearly departed dad would have described it.

One of the traumas of moving, at least in this part of Canada, is the doctor shortage. There is one, you know — in just about all parts of the province. At least partly, it stems from a conservative government's unfortunate doctrine — skimping on public health capital to give tax breaks to the rich. We now pay the price; it will take years to rectify the damage caused by such short-sightedness.

In this town, as in many, there are no doctors who are open to take new patients, but we gambled that this would work out for us. It's a reasonably big gamble at this stage of life. For me and mine, at least, things start to go wrong in the sixth decade. Not terribly wrong, but wrong enough that we get it; we begin to understand where we're headed. We begin to get it loud and clear as a matter of fact.

If all else were to have failed, the town does have a hospital whose walk-in clinic enjoys a stellar reputation. Of course, everyone would still prefer to have their own, presumably dedicated, doctor. It was in this clinic that Butterfly was recently invited to join a certain doctor's patient roster. Even more recently, Butterfly asked this same doctor if she would take us on too. Yes, she would.

Both Cuppa and I could see this doctor, or I could opt to register with her male partner. The choice was mine. My first preference was for everybody in the family to be attended to by the same doctor. Secondly, in my unusual way of looking at life, I deduced that if all other things were equal, as a male I should consciously choose to be attended by a female practitioner. After all, women have been attended to by men for lo these many years, so what statement would I be making if I were to wimp out over a bit of role reversal. It might seem silly, and doubtless it is, but such are the peculiar workings of what passes for my mind.

Today was the day for our introductory meeting. We were nervous. Would we like this person, or would we now be stuck with someone with whom we we felt uncomfortable or even incompatible? In she walked, very tall, and very fit. Because of the casual nature of this initial consultation, Cuppa and I were both in the two-seat examining room. I jumped up to offer this thirty-something lady my chair. Nothing doing. She shooed me back into the chair and perched herself contentedly on the examining table. I was impressed already.

I kept on being impressed. She was great: calm, thorough, and unhurried. She listened too, without interrupting or cutting us off after five words. What strange behaviour for a doctor! As a result of her gentle thoroughness, Cuppa and I have both walked out with our tetanus shots updated, and I clung to referral slips for both physio and massage therapy. You see, after real improvement last week, my back has regressed and is plaguing me afresh this week.

What a relief! We both feel comfortable with and confident in this lady doctor.

It was a beautiful day, so we when we exited the medical offices, we opted to go for our first leisurely and exploratory drive in this new area. We followed the Mississippi river north to Alton and on to Pakenham. Both are quaint little towns; the drive was wonderfully pleasant and, sometimes, refreshingly scenic.

We stopped at a park by the Mississippi in Alton and took some pictures. This was one of them.

Nice place we've come to. Eh?


Mine is Big

Apparently it is so — mine is big ; a few of you are impressed enough to mention it. I speak of my blogroll, and unfortunately (for my dear one) not that other thing.

I didn't realize that is was getting so large (the blogroll, I mean), but I suppose it is. I think everybody is on it (still speaking of the blogroll), except for a few of the more recent (ahem) connections that I have made. It's my fault; I'm too loyal. If someone comments on my blog, I feel obliged to comment on theirs. If this goes back and forth a few times, a relationship is born, and a new link appears on my blogroll. (Sometimes it takes a long while between template updates, however.) Once someone has made the roll, I find myself loathe to terminate him or her, even Norma whose recent spate of conservative fulminations are driving me to distraction. It's not so much that I begrudge her convictions, but the lady posts many times per day and can only infrequently seem to omit either liberal (always mentioned in a disparaging voice) or conservative (always mentioned in a laudatory tone).

Now, there's a digression. Sorry Norma, but really now.

Dale opines that I must be able to get to all of these blogs because I am retired. Likely, he's right. But I can skim quickly if necessary, and I frequently don't pause to comment. Some posts are very difficult to comment on. How could I possibly add to -epm's post of yesterday? And what about Lynn; I'm not in the same intellectual league and don't know what he's talking about half the time. I don't know when I last commented on Mel's blog. It's not that I don't want to, but I haven't been able to think of much. After all you can only say, "You go girl," so many times before you begin to look like a total twit.

I don't go out looking for new blogs anymore, you know. There was a time when I did that. It wasn't all that long ago that my only visitors were Cuppa and Butterfly, so I would snoop around, hit next blog, or check out people who commented on the one or two blogs that I knew to read. Every now and then, I still do that but not often anymore as I seem to be busy enough tending to my already big thing.

But newcomers drop by from to time to time, and I do the polite Canadian thing, and I return the courtesy, and new relationships are forged; Colleen, Bonita, and Duprée are all newcomers, for example. I'm pretty glad that happens and more than happy embrace you — as it were.

So, yes, it's getting pretty big. But size doesn't matter. Do you hear that ... dear?


Saturday, September 24, 2005

My Links

Okey dokey then. I think that I have my Blog Links straightened out. They should be more or less complete, but I'll apologize now for errors and omissions. There may also be a few newer blogs that I have chosen not include just yet; we'll see if both I and they choose to stay the course.

It's late, so I have probably made some typos. Please advise.


A New Low

I tend to live in a bit of a dream world: have always been absent-minded. Even when I was kid, my parents would get exasperated with my forgetfulness. One teacher went as far as to make me run around the classroom in a vain attempt to try to awaken me from my daydreams. Today, I descended to a new low: went to the grocery store; went through the line; paid the bill; but walked off with an empty cart.


A Little Irony

A few nights ago, I received an urgent email from Kathy at Bamboo Shade; she had lost her blog comments after experimenting with her template. With a little luck, we were able to reclaim them. The very next day, I was fiddling around with my own template. I lost my blog links, and I cannot help myself by reclaiming them, for although I have my template backed up, it is an old backup — quite old. In time, I will generate a new list, and with luck it may even faintly resemble my old one: perhaps with a few additions.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Well-Travelled Pussycat

... or The Cat Came Back

Here's Rocky, on the other computer chair, right behind me.

The other night, while working on the computer, I turned around to see Rocky the Cat sprawled on the chair behind me. We call him many things, but the well-travelled cat is one of them. He has just returned to us after spending a year with Butterfly, his original human. After spending his early years with Butterfly, he had dwelt with us for five years. However, although we love him dearly, we had thought it best to ship him back to Butterfly last year. Let me explain. (Before I do, let me note that the photos are clickable and that in browsers like Firefox and Opera the background colour will change slightly when you hover over them. If you roll over the image text, its colour will change too. It's just a slight little extra provided for our satisfied clients at no additional charge.)

Rocky reclines on the corner of the bed. Cuppa had just been working in the chair that you see to the top right.

In the last few years, we have been known to go away for a month at time or for even longer, and it has always been difficult to know what to do with Rocky. Cats aren't terribly portable after all, and, while The Rocks was a good traveller in his youth, he tends to sick up on long trips now. Rocky is a people cat, loves to be near his family. He isn't so much of a lap cat although he is also that when it suits him, but, most of the time, he likes to be near his people. So, he couldn't be left alone for very long. We'd have cat sitters live in, or find someone who would put him up for a while. Sometimes, we'd find a place in Sarnia; but he's also been the star border both in Hamilton and Brantford. It was always a hassle trying to arrange suitable company and care for him, however.; you simply can't continue to impose on the goodwill of others.

He generally sleeps on the bottom corner of Cuppa's half of the bed and has been quite good about not waking us lately.

That's why last autumn found us driving Mr Cat back across the province to be reunited with Butterfly, his original human. She had purchased him at a pet store in Sarnia and then moved him to Ottawa with her. All went well for a while, but then she found herself in a tiny bachelor apartment with no escape from Rocky, who loved to chew on her hair and pester her mericilessly in the middle of the night. So it was that in 1999, she returned him to Sarnia to live in a bigger place with doors that could shut out antsy cats when necessary. He loved the extra space and being able to get out in the fenced yard for the first time in his life. And we loved having him, but in 2004 we were running out of cat sitters. That's why we returned him to Butterfly who, by then, was living in a house of her own.

The Rocks has a little siesta on the coffee table because Cuppa and I had been sitting in the living room watching tv. Notice the deformity of his extended paw. It's shaped a bit like a lobster's claw; hence the name Rocky — as in rock lobster.

You would think that might be the end of travelling for the well-travelled cat, but he is also the cat who keeps coming back. Now that we have moved very close to Butterfly, The Rocks has moved back in with us, mostly because we are home more than Butterfly and The Boy, and he really prefers to have company around him. In each of these photos, for example, he has been hovering nearby Cuppa and/or me — his people. I find that kind of endearing. On most nights he sleeps with us, and for whatever reason has been behaving himself really well, not even pestering us for a smackerel of tuna in the middle of the night. As a matter of fact, we are all sleeping rather well, all three of us in the same bed.

The Boy took this shot of The Rocks in the shrubbery: doing his best impression of a real cat.

Another good thing for Rocky is to once again have access to a fenced-in yard. Outdoor survival would have been difficult for a lame cat, but sometimes, on a nice day, he likes to amble about his secure garden. He isn't as eager to get out now that he is an elder statescat, but he still enjoys taking the air on occasion.

You might not have noticed, but I quite like Rocky. I like animals and have had birds and cats and even a dog in my lifetime. Pets tend to bring out the tender side of us. We can fuss and coo and talk childish gibberish to them, and they don't mind. In fact, I think they rather like it. Something about the cat touches a part of my spirit. When I look at The Rocks sleeping contentedly, I sometimes gurgle inside as if I share some of the cat's contentment with life. I think we were meant to touch and be touched by nature. That isn't so very easy to do for most of us most of the time, but I think this cat gives me a small sense of communion with the universe. Not all cats or animals necessarily have that effect on me, but this one does. He's rather a great cat actually.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tomorrow is the First Day

... of the rest of our lives

That's what I said to Cuppa on Sunday night. I say it from time to time. Generally, it's akin to saying that tomorrow is a new day, that it's time to move on from today. It's true every day, of course, but it was especially appropriate on Sunday evening because the unpacking and setting up were pretty much done. On Monday morning, we would be more or less free to do (more or less) whatever we wanted.

Of course, you just knew that would involve bicycles. Didn't you? My back finally seemed mended enough to contemplate a slow and gentle ride, for, as strange as it might seem, pedalling is frequently easier on my lumbar than standing or walking or cooking, especially cooking.

After several setbacks (to which, having just deleted four paragraphs, I won't subject you), we headed out late Monday morning. Almost as soon as we got on the path, we passed an older lady walking her two dogs. We greeted Rosie (for we later had opportunity to discover her name) cheerily as we pedalled by, rounded several bends, and came upon a deer who, of course, quickly bolted: so quickly that Cuppa had to rely on my eyewitness account. What a delightful thing to happen on the first day of the rest of our lives! But more was in store.

Around a few more bends, we came upon a couple out walking their poodle, Bo. As things turned out, we soon found ourselves standing beside our bicycles, having a nice, long chat with the couple, Ron and Rollie: so long of a chat that Rosie and her dogs eventually caught up with us. And then another lady and her dog came from the other direction, and we all had a merry confabulation. It was quite a dog day, for we later met and parleyed with a guy named Dave who was strolling with his dog, whom you see emerging from the Unmighty Mississippi River in the photo below.

That seemed like a pretty good beginning to the rest of our lives: seeing the deer and meeting and chatting with several people and their several dogs. But another wonder was about to occur.

Rounding yet another bend, we paused to look around prior to turning around and heading back toward home. Just then, Cuppa looked up and saw some Canada Geese on the horizon, flying in their V formation. Then we saw another V, and another, and ... and they kept on coming ... and flying right over our heads. Wave after wave. Hundreds and hundreds of geese flapping and honking, honking and flapping. We watched in awed stupefaction at this benediction, and the geese honked their amens.

I think that qualifies as rather a fine first day of the rest of our lives. Don't you?

This was but a small portion of the flyover.


Monday, September 19, 2005

A Tickling of the Funny Bone

Peterson, how did your wife take the news that you were gay?

How did she feel when she learened that you lied to her about your eternal promises during the wedding ceremony?

I just had to share that comment with you, for it almost had me ROTFL the other night. I came home from the movies, and there it was: a comment from a post that I made on August the second. The post was called Taking Flight; it was about our sparrows leaving their nest, not remotely related to gay rights, which I am happy to endorse, just in case I have never made that clear.

What is so funny then? Isn't this simply another aggravating spam comment. Uh uh.

Certainly, it is spam in a way, but it's the directed kind, not the automated kind that has been flooding Blogger lately and causing us all to enable Word Verification — which you have all done of course. Sure you have.

Permit me to elucidate on the joke. It's simply that this spammer is so pathetically incompetent. You see; I am neither Peterson nor gay. But I do read a blog entitled A Musing by Peterson Toscano, and I do comment from time to time.

Peterson is gay. The recent thrust of his blog has been to examine and report on Gay Ministries, the kind that try to deprogram gays into miraculously becoming straight, hetero-loving folk. Peterson's experience is that deprogramming doesn't work, for he has tried it. He spent many years and much money trying overcome his gayness. In the end, he realized that the only thing was for him to embrace who he is; fish can't fly after all.

To wrap this up, Anonymous Spammer is so incredibly incompetent that he followed a link from a comment that I made on A Musing back to my blog, thought I was Peterson, thought I was gay, thought that I had lied to my wife, and thought that he would set me straight (so to speak).

Well, that tickled me to no end and caused me to giggle and laugh for several minutes. It was that really good kind of laugh when something just grabs you, when something strikes your funny bone in exactly the right way. As is the case with humour, this might not tickle your funny bone at all, but it sure tickled mine.

Thank you Anonymous Spammer; your ineptitude is very precious. Keep trying though; you have nowhere to go but up (so to speak).


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Approaching Normality

It's beginning to happen. In fits and starts, we are jerking our way either back or forward (take your pick) towards some semblance of normality or normalcy (take your pick there too).

Two days ago, in the midst of our scurrying about to purchase more bins, baskets and shelves in our effort to fabricate more space in this smaller domicile, we made the time to stop by a park for a half hour. We sat by the water, observed the Canadian Geese (naturally), and watched a man putting his border collie through its training paces. For example: he could send the dog into the water where it would turn and wait for him. With a simple voice command, he could tell the dog to go further or to wait, or to fetch the ball, or to drop it and wait some more. It was quite an entertaining performance.

Last night, at almost the last minute, we decided to go and see a movie. March of the Penguins was playing in a theatre about 25 minutes away on the outskirts of Ottawa. Score one for our new location. We had wanted to see this movie, but Sarnia only had one theatre with only nine screens, and many movies which interest us never got there. Here in Mills, we live in a smaller town but closer to a pretty big city: perhaps the best of both worlds. Well, let's hope so anyway; let's hope that I still feel that way once we have truly settled in.

But I was irked too (which may also mark a return to normality). I keep hearing the movie companies bemoan declining movie attendance. Perhaps it would help if it cost less than thirteen dollars to get in? The demographics also hit me squarely between the eyes. Hordes of young teenagers dominated the foyer when we entered the premises: thirteen and fourteen year olds trying to be adult and important and failing miserably. I always feel that, in a way, they aren't totally human when they are out together at that age. They're fine alone, or in adult company, and they'll be fine in every way in another year or two, but, to my perception, they are rudderless entities in circumstances such as those.

Regardless, what irked me was not their presence. It was my realization that it was they who are the target audience for a disproportionate number of films that are made. I realize that the studios still make the occasional adult film, but, on the whole, they seem to cater to this young, juvenile audience. They weren't there at all in our movie. Children and adults made up that audience. Children and adults like to watch movies too and might attend more if the studios made more.

It was a wonderful film. If you haven't seen it, I heartily recommend that you consider amending that situation toute de suite. It shows nature at its unusual and astounding finest. The Emperor Penguins walk (yes, walk) seventy miles to mate and hatch their eggs and tend to the chicks. The males go without food for four months, standing together with their chicks tucked under them but on top of their feet through the perishing Antarctic winter. Both the females and the males make the seventy mile trip more than once. They waddle and slide non-stop for a whole week on each of these trips. It's effing amazing. Go see it!

But as I was saying, it's nice to be doing normal things again. It's good to have our heads out of boxes. It's really good to go for a day without buying more bins, baskets and shelves. It's good to getting back, getting back to composing my simple thoughts every now and then. It's good to have a normal that I enjoy. To me, it's the stuff of life to appreciate the daily normals.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday Morning Miscellany

Thanks so much for the various comments that commiserate and/or offer suggestions wrt my back predicament. However, I am crossing my fingers that the worst is behind me. Now that I have convinced myself to stop trying to do things that I shouldn't, the spasms seem to be lessening. For example: I can now take a deep breath without feeling it too very much in my lower back. That's progress. Maybe I will get out on the bike again in another week or so. Sure hope so because the long, unforgiving winter is approaching quicker than we might like. We are several hundred kilometres north of Sarnia and further away from the moderating influences of the Great Lakes, so winter should come somewhat earlier, be a little more severe, and stay a little longer than what we are used to.

We were able to enjoy some of the US Open (tennis) on the weekend. I used to play (or play at) tennis in yesteryear, so I like to follow it on occasion. About all that I get to watch every year is some of Wimbledon, some of the Canadian Open, and some of the US Open. Early rounds are generally not absorbing because I often don't know the players and/or matches frequently tend to be one-sided. Later rounds, however, can be quite enthralling. The Blake-Aggasi match was a wonderful example. It went to five sets with a tie-break (a very close tie-break) in the fifth. Good stuff that.

I am taking an introductory, online digital photography course at LVS. Primarily, I am taking it because I think that part 2, offered next semester, will be instructive. Part 1 (or 101) should warm me up and not be too heavy. I didn't want to over-commit what with the move and all.

Anyway, yesterday, I decided to put together an index page for the course. It has been quite a while since I have done any web work, and I found that I had all but forgotten how. It started to come back to me after a while, but it amazes me how quickly I lose it at this age.

If you are so inclined, you can view the page here. Note: don't bother clicking the links; they don't lead anywhere yet.

The cat has come back! The well-travelled Rocky, who has been staying with Butterfly and The Boy for the past year, has moved in. At the moment, he is making himself quite at home on the bed. Cuppa is on her computer (so to speak) in her station in the corner of the bedroom, beside the bed, and The Rocks is staying very proximate to her as he is wont to do. He's very much a people cat. I may blog about him in more detail some day soon. In the photo he is at his favourite spot at Butterfly's place — on the back of the couch.

We are now set up with broadband, the cable version as opposed to the telephone version. I can't remember what is DSL and what the various other DSLs refer to, so I can't do better than tell you it's cable.

I was quite put off by it yesterday because it was sooo slow. Then, I had a brainwave! How about resetting the modem. Sure enough, the speed picked up dramatically, and I am now quite pleased with the performance.

I have told Cuppa that it is time for her to stop unpacking boxes for a spell and to take some time to blog. She is in the throws of it now. Well, actually, she's catching up on email, but she'll be getting there: maybe not today but soon.

What with the move, I have let my eating habits return to their old , bad normal over the summer. I put weight on quickly and easily, and the results are poking right out there for all to see. However, as of this morning, we returned to good eating. We more or less follow the Dr Phil plan, and we find it quite livable. We feel better when we're on it, but we had no energy to pay attention to it over the summer. Now, we are back on the rather stringent fourteen day startup. It's not a riot, but it isn't exactly tortuous either.

Finally, I would like to direct you to Untangled Knot's most recent post about milk and how we Canadians obtain it. She has pictures of the bags that it comes in and of the pitcher that we pour it from. I found the comments quite humorous, and you might too. It seems that we Canadians may be the only people who do it this way. One Brit commented that her milk is still delivered in bottles. We haven't had bottles and delivery for decades now. Americans are totally flummoxed by such scandalous goings-on and can't imagine milk not arriving in plastic jugs. Actually, the jug option is still available to us at some convenience stores, but it is no longer a terribly ubiquitous alternative. I have heard or read that, once upon a time, this was piloted to both [some] Americans and Canadians. Apparently, it didn't fly down there, but we quite took to it here.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Fifteen Days

Fourteen days ago, we had been about to go on a ride. We changed and hopped on our bikes, and then I realized that we weren't going anywhere because I had a flat tire. So it was that fifteen days ago, I lifted the bike into the back of our vehicle to take it to the bike shop to get them to fix the thing. I got the bike into the car fine, but when I was lifting it out to wheel it into the shop, I got into a very awkward position, and my back muscles suddenly and alarmingly spasmed.

Once upon a time, I used to have this sort of thing happen fairly frequently, but I hadn't sprained my lower back for many years. About ten years ago, I did have a pretty, darn, major back attack, but that had to do with bulging discs, not (not primarily, at least) muscle spasms. Earlier this summer, I had some spasms in the upper back, but this has been the first lower back spasm episode for a long time.

It used to be that I could rest for a few days, generally three, and then I would be able to ease back into normal activities. Perhaps it is because I am older, but my back is now taking a heckuva long time to get over it. As a result, I have been unable to do much to help in the move. Although the family might differ, I think that I have borne it with reasonably good grace, but yesterday I began to reach the end of my tether.

I simply wanted to sort my den a bit: not do much, but get things ordered or re-ordered in drawers and on shelves. That involves bending forward, and that is the hardest thing for me right about now; donning and removing socks or shoes, for example, is a struggle beyond measure. Back in the den: I tried a dealing with a few items, with much concomitant groaning and consternation. I then sat and looked forlornly around me trying to determine what to do and how I could possibly do it.

Fortunately, Cuppa sprang to the rescue. She quickly took things in hand and had the place sorted in no time flat. Not only is she healthy, but she is very good at organizing. Where I would tend, even when healthy, to hold onto something and look about me in stupefaction and bewilderment before putting it down and repeating the procedure with the next item, in her gifted way, she seems to instantly know what to do with every single item.

It was very wonderful of her, and I am deeply appreciative, but after two weeks of bearing this little affliction with at least a modicum of aplomb, I seemed to have run out of grace. I was not happy with my continued incapacitation. There comes a point when one simply wants to do one's share and get on with it. But, as the old saying goes, if wishes were horses then people would ride. Except in my case I would lift and unpack a box or two before going for a pedal.

Now, I'm no longer sure if I will ride again this year, or even walk much (as defined by going out for some exercise as opposed to ambulating haltingly about the premises) . Yesterday morning, I awoke early and spied an interesting fog when I looked out the window. "Photo op," said I to me. But I realized that I would have trouble walking to a suitable venue for pictures, and I didn't wish to try to drive anywhere in the fog, so I rolled over and grabbed a few more zzz's.

Today, I am once more resigned to my condition with reasonably good grace. For one thing, I can help at least a little by preparing some simple meals. I am able to manage that much at least. For another, I'm reasonable certain that my old back will eventually come round. For a third thing, this is not a horrendous affliction in the grand scheme of things. I could be homeless and destitute in Louisiana, or I could be afflicted with a very serious ailment, but, in reality, I'm safe and relatively comfortable. I could be confined to the floor unable to stand or sit for more than a few minutes without great pain shooting down my leg as was the case ten years ago, but I can sit (especially) or stand (for a while) in reasonable comfort. It's more the changing of positions and bending and stooping that are problematic. Beyond that, I am blessed with an understanding spouse and wonderful children who have truly gone the extra mile.

So, I am am trying to count blessings rather than wallowing in self pity. Being human (barely, some would say), I tend to forget myself by times, but I keep trying hard to remember. Yes, I keep trying. It's the human thing to do: to permit ourselves to get down a bit but then remember to get up and press onward and ever upward.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Whodathunk that I, of all people, could or would go for a week and a half between posts? But time does, indeed, fly when you are having fun ... or moving. Not that the two are absolutely mutually exclusive — close but not absolutely.

A week ago last Monday, the movers arrived just slightly before eight o'clock in the morning. I'm very glad that they did arrive that early because although we had been told that they would probably finish by mid-afternoon, such was not the case. In fact, they were still in the process of loading the truck when Cuppa and I left town many hours later, shortly after 5:00 pm. Of course, we hadn't planned to depart while they were still loading, but they were almost done and had itemized everything and had us sign the forms. So we took a chance that the final items would be safely loaded without our supervision, and we hit the road, for it had already been a long day of sitting, and we still had a long drive ahead of us.

Fortunately, my current back malady, which is still very much present by the way, generally allows me to sit in relative comfort. So it was that I was able to sit through that long day while the movers packed the truck and later during the eight hour drive here to Mills. Somewhat surprisingly, I was able to do most of the driving, which turns out to be about my only contribution to the recent gargantuan effort. (Fortunately, we have kids and even friends of kids who have pitched in above and beyond the call of duty.)

When we finally arrived at Butterfly's at one o'clock in the morning, the following welcome sign was tacked to the front door.

The next day, Tuesday, the lawyer called before 8:00 o'clock, and we were soon up and off to see both him and the bank in order to close the deal on our new place. Later that day, we picked up the keys and made our first tour. At first, it what somewhat disappointing to see it sans furniture with various blemishes looming starkly, but we soon overcame that and decided that all was quite good, and we remain in that frame of mind.

We had several fairly calm days to spend between the closing and the move-in to do some cleaning (although the place didn't need a lot — thank goodness ). The Boy wired the house for broadband (which we don't have yet) and ran some extra telephone wires here and there. Let's just say that we are now the proud possessors of a very well-wired house. And there were and continue to be all sorts of trips to the stores to buy this and that: garbage can, stacking trays, storage units, shower curtains, and many thises and thatses, which add up to a very impressive total cost, let me tell you.

The huge moving van (big enough for three houses) arrived mid-Friday morning. They kept bringing boxes and more boxes for hour after hour. Where to put everything? Although we had divested ourselves of a lot of stuff, there was still rather a plethora to cram into this smaller space. We narrowly missed a catastrophe (of small proportions) when they were unable to get our queen-size box spring up the stairs. Fortunately, they were able to hoist it through the window. Likewise, our basement fridge could not be forced to navigate those stairs and is now now parked in the garage.

We were finally organized enough to sleep here, rather than at Butterfly's place, on Sunday although we have since been back there for a meal or two. Life is beginning to approach some sort or normality. There is a wireless network somewhere in the neighbourhood that I can surreptitiously piggyback onto (shhh) until I get my own set up, and I also have my own dialup access. However, there are still many boxes to be unpacked, things to be sorted and arranged, and furniture to be bought and set up.

Life is good. While major relocations such as this are not without their small difficulties and hurdles, they rather pale next to the plight of New Orleans and area. Although greatly absorbed in my own stuff, I am not totally unmindful of events down there and feel mighty fortunate to be who I am where I am right now. I have more or less caught up with all of your blogs, but, although it was diffiult at times, I have restrained myself from taking the time to make comments. Perhaps soon.