Monday, August 31, 2015

Buy a Lily



If you have two loaves of bread,


sell one and buy


a lily.


Buy a lily.


Feed your heart


and your eyes.


Feast!



If you have two loaves of bread, 
sell one and buy a lily. 
(An old proverb)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gagetown Ferry NB




long-horn cattle wade
to stay cool


and ignore the ferry 
with its picture
snapping passengers.


The humidity, the heat
hold the river and the land.
Even a sunny day
is hazy.


A red dragonfly rests.


The calm river


is not peaceful.



Engines and shouts of laughter
break the quiet


rock the water meadows.


The photos and words are mine. If you want more information, click on the coloured words to go to another site.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What's Left?



After the petals fall 
from the clematis vine,


what's left?


What's left is changing,


rearranging 


in its quiet, 
spectacular way.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Kayaks on the Bay of Fundy


We spent a day wandering near Fundy Park
While lunching at a picnic table 
near the Molly Kool Centre in Alma, NB
we watched a "how-to" lesson on kayaking, 
across the river from us.


After they got into the kayaks, 
they had to stay close to shore 
and learn left-turn, right-turn.


This is the building where they first learned 
to work life jackets and paddles.


It took some time to get organized, to make sure everyone was comfortable, could paddle, 
could stay in the kayak.


They were supposed to line up single file to exit into the Bay. 
Not everyone understood the concept of single file.


Eventually, they were one behind the other ... nearly.


We left as the cluster of kayaks sat in the foggy 
Bay of Fundy, waiting for the stragglers.

I hope they had fun and made it back safely.


Photos are mine. Words in coloured print will take you to another site for more information, if you click on them.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

To Bike or Not to Bike




To bike or not to bike? That is the question.

Gary has had motorcycles off and on, all his driving life. Fifty years of riding and now, after a shoulder injury, and a decision to downsize, the Harley sells to a new owner ... today.

The decision was and continues to be extremely difficult. 



There's nothing like driving by the fragrance of fields of clover in summer, the breeze, warm as a massage, feeling every nuance of the road. Nothing like the scent of moisture in the wind, the sudden downpour and sitting it out under a highway overpass or beneath a cluster of maples, just talking until the sun dries the road.



Selling the Harley is rough for each of us but particularly for Gary. Driving is Gary's favourite form of meditation. He forgets his worries and the to-do's, the bills and the challenges when he is on the bike.

Gary went out for a ride yesterday. These pictures are of him getting the bike ready and leaving the driveway. He enjoyed the time by himself, one last trip.



But, it's time. "Not to bike" is the answer.

It's been a good run.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Men in the Trees



BEFORE



AFTER

“It gets to me; some days, it feels never-ending.”
 
Gary says this at least once a week, referring to all the “to-dos”, and the repairs needed on the house. This rant is always followed by a discussion with me (or with himself) about the merits of selling over owning our home.

That’s a hard decision. And, is one with which we struggle. But, no matter if we stay or if we go, home maintenance must be done. And this summer, it seems like more and more needs to be done.

THE OFFENDING TREE

Gary has accomplished many repairs himself; he is a capable, efficient man. He needs to focus on what he has completed, instead of cursing and listing all the chores which remain. 

Some of the maintenance has been too overwhelming for us to manage. 


We had our roof re-shingled in late June. Last week, we had an arborist come to remove an enormous maple which had grown too close to the house, and was overhanging the roof and the northwest corner of our home.

For a few hours, we were entertained by men in the tree with chain saws and limbers and tree saws. What an efficient group they were! The men took down the tree with patience and care, and no cussing.


But the work doesn’t end. We have frequent-flyer points at the waste management site from weeks of shrub trimming, damage repair on our hedges and smaller trees, and the subsequent trips to the dump.

There are still more small repair and paint duties waiting for us, outside and inside ... the work that needs to done whether we stay or sell.

THE HOLE WHERE THE TREE ISN'T
Even selling and moving are challenges. The real estate market is tricky, (a buyer’s market, we’re told) and we would need to sell our house before offering on another or renting. So, in the meantime, we work at keeping our house in the best shape possible. 


The discussions continue.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Will We Stay or Go?



I wonder how I will know, when it is time to sell our home and move to another place, someplace smaller, easier to maintain.

Will it depend upon my health, my energy, my finances, my desire to spend time doing things other than house chores and upkeep? Will it depend upon how many other demands there are for my time, my attention, and upon who else needs help in my family?

I am unsure.

Even though I, that is, we are unsure, we have begun to plan and to discuss the possibilities. We have started to weigh pros and cons of home ownership. To look at what selling means, what it takes away.

We do not consider ourselves elderly, but we are aging. One or the other of us has faced health challenges in the past five years: emergency surgery, long term illness, cancer, mobility problems … problems serious enough to make us stop and take a hard look at our living situation.

We have checked the costs of staying here against the costs of renting or buying a much smaller home. With home ownership, we build equity, but that is leveraged against the dollars needed for ongoing maintenance and keeping the house in good repair.

We know we don’t want to deal with the petty politics of condo associations, or of living in a neighbour's armpit that condos require, so that is an option we won’t consider.

We’ve looked at hiring some help with our enormous yard and its upkeep. We’ve talked about the real estate market; it is not conducive to selling and doing well with a house sale right now. Will that market turn around soon? Can we wait?

How much does it cost to stay put? We’ve had to put on a new roof, a necessity.  It had to be done whether we stay or we go.

These questions feel like they contain nothing but words about loss. And there will be losses: letting go of belongings, notions of what a home should be, letting go of relationships with people, with pets. Some losses will be difficult.

We do love where we live, and enjoy the privacy our big yard and mature trees provide. We like our neighbourhood, appreciate the variety of ages and lifestyles around us. We are attached to our home by emotion and memories and dreams.

But, life and reality are all about change. There will always be changes, and yes, some bring a deep sense of loss but there will also be a sense of something new coming, perhaps something better, easier. A pleasant surprise?

For now, the conversation about how and when we will know it is time to let go continues.
I’ll keep you posted.