Mein Gut Gott im Himmel, is it really May 17th? In two days it is my half birthday. Usually by now it's summer, or close to summer-like. The weather all week has been rainy and cold. Two days ago we needed jackets. What is this world coming to?!
I reminded me of Nova Scotia, when Doug and honeymooned there. I thought, "Hey, It's June. It's Gonna Be Nice And Warm!"
It didn't get above 50. The tourism season doesn't even really start there until the beginning of July. We were a tad chilly, to say the least.
I want to go back there with the kids one of these days, see the same places, see how they've changed. One of my favorite parts of our honeymoon was when we took one of the "trails" less traveled. The island is broken up into trails, the Cabot Trail is the most popular. We took the Fleur de-Lis trail, and it was unpaved. In a little crossroads of a "town" called Framboise, we met an interesting guy named Mike McKinnon. He ran a little roadside store. We stopped for soda, and to pet his dog. He took us for a ride back out behind the shop... he left the store unattended. How's that for faith in human kind. He wanted to show us the inlet called "Mary Joseph Lake," and told us we could camp out there for the night.
Here's Mike McKinnon, in his general store. Lots of pretty woodwork, and tables to sit at. Hurricane Lamps for the evenings... a really nice guy.
Mike took wood that was warped and twisted from the rains... it would rain and rain and this particular tree would absorb and grow in pockets. Sometimes it would look pretty freaky. An he'd make cool sculptures out of them. Here's us with the mosquito. It was the reason we stopped, and how we got to meet Mike.
Mike's dog Tattoo kept watch over the door, and a more ferocious beast none could be found in all of Canada. What a lie. Look at her. Oh my God. My whole life I'd been terrified of dogs, and then I meet this one. She melted my heart an was the sweetest thing on the island, with a tail.
That's me, younger, with a perm. I still had blonde hair. I can't believe this picture... I look so ... young and healthy and fresh. If you don't have kids, I warn you now -- DON'T HAVE ANY!!! They make you crazy and old before your time. Run! Run for the hills. Kidding. I love my kids, and even though I've aged a million years in a short time, I wouldn't trade them. Well, perhaps for some serious money. No. I'm kidding. Hmm. Am I? Yes. I'm joking... cough.
Mike and Tattoo check out the lake, this was such a cool day for us. I mean, this guy could have been a serial killer for all we knew. And he treated us to a day of gorgeous views and hiking all over the backside of Framboise. I wonder if he's still alive, if he still runs the store. I've thought of just picking up the phone and calling information to see if there is any McKinnon in Framboise. Just to say hi, even if it is just a relative of his and he's been gone for years. I look at these pictures from that day, and I laugh. I'll never forget it.
I've been on the lookout for new blogs to read... most of the ones I've got linked off the first page aren't updating frequently or seem to have stopped all together. I check them, long for them... but alas, they do not write. Sniff. So I've gone a-searchin'. "Diaries of a Working Mom," and she follows me in the "blogging mommies" web ring, which I joined but never went through. Her name is Jennifer, and she lives somewhere in this state, and is the mother of one. Her writings around Sept. 11 are poignant, and I like her sense of humor even when she's puked upon.
I followed a link from Shelley's Cynical Life over to a blog called "Little Red Boat." The author lives on the island of Iona, off Scotland, and I've fallen in love with her blog. Great story telling, start at the beginning in July of last year and follow her through.
Watch out for Armageddon Rainbows, folk singers with pornographic tunes, disco dancing and 14 year old boys with comedy breasts. It fondly reminded of Rowan Atkinson's "Black Adder" drinking party when all the guests were to show up wearing comedy breasts. Look at this man's face and you see the face of an early teen boy stuffing socks into his dress for a disco. Too damn funny.
In reading Little Red Boat, I stole this passage from her as she described the night sky over Iona on August 27, 2001...
There were stars in their billions from horizon to horizon. For any city-dwellers, a star is a small twinkling device at night (nb; not a streetlight) which shines above one’s head for little apparent reason but great aesthetic effect, when seen in herds. And there were herds and herds and herds of them last night. Clusters, the great big cloudy cloud of the milky way ran through the sky like a great big … cloud. Of stars. I’m sorry, I don’t seem to be very good at the whole ‘English language’ thing today. Maybe I’ll try again later. Simply, if I can speak simply, it was very, very beautiful and very very humbling to lie on the road and stare at heaven last night. I saw shooting stars, four of them. One with a tail. I couldn’t think of enough wishes to go around. If anyone has a wish they want me to make on their behalf, you just let me know.
I cannot remember if I've talked about this before in this journal. I scanned through the journal, cannot find reference. Perhaps I need a search engine? I don't know... Anyway, even if I've blathered about it before, you're hearing it again. In old age, we repeat ourselves. Repeat ourselves, we do, in old age. If this is new, great. If old hat? Meh. Go find something else to read.
It's funny how someone describing something in their world can take you to a memory of something in your world. Her entry reminded me of the fall of 1988 when Doug and I were students at the Oregon Extension in Ashland, OR. A ton of Christian Colleges have this "cooperative" agreement and you can go to several different programs from urban studies in Washington D.C., to France, to the woods high above the Sierras. One night we were walking from the bunkhouse/library/poolhall back to our cabins, in the middle of Rte 66/Greensprings Highway. Normally one wouldn't do that, running the risk of being plowed over by a logging truck.
It was a moonless night, the sky was pitch, filled with stars right to the horizon. Standing in the middle of the road, with the universe touching right down in front of me, it felt as if I could reach out and place my hand on the cold diamonds embedded in coal before my eyes. I recall laughing, and kind of falling to my knees, disoriented, not sure where the road was... where I was. It was the most surreal experience I've ever had.
I've never seen such a sight in my life, and have yet to. I thought that perhaps I would see a sky like this in the super desert this past summer, but most nights were cloudy, and only when we were at the Grand Canyon did there seem to be enough sky with stars to compete, and there was too much light on the ground to compete with to get the right impact.
I will see a sky like that again, as I've mentioned before I've always wanted to go see the Northern Lights someplace, and I want to relish the experience. I want to fall on my knees again the way I did when I was 21, in the middle of the asphalt on a highway in Oregon. I want the stars to be like my tears. I want to laugh at how dizzy I feel when I suddenly realize how fast they are moving, and we are moving. I want all that, and to share it with my kids. Perhaps they'll feel the same heart-stopping joy.
I'm glad I had the chance to share that with Doug. There are so many incredibly cool things we've shared, from trippy stars to childbirth. I'm amazed sometimes when I realize that 15 years of my life have been spent with him by my side, usually with him grumbling, but he gets over it and enjoys... I think I have more of a reckless abandon towards doing things than I once had. I have taken on what he used to have insofar as adventure, and perhaps taken it from him. He's a lot more solid-footed than he was when I met him.
Anyway. It's another rainy day. The world outside our windows is verdant... green and lush, thick. So thick that light barely penetrates through branches. And it is only May. A rainy day like this in August, with the heat of it all and the thickness... that's what I'm looking forward to. But today, the greys and greens are lovely and wrapping me in, and a maroon fleece sweater completes the color scheme. If someone came over from "Trading Spaces" to work on my house, this is the color scheme I'd want for my livingroom.... dark maroon fleece, grey sky, green early spring leaves.
Geoff is drinking hot cocoa, his new favorite beverage, and I've got a site to work on... so that's it for now.