Myopic and Astigmatic Observations: political & social commentary

My husband passed away in April and I am wondering how long this period of loneliness and mourning will  last?

Other widowed women tell me “six years” or even as long as  “twenty.” Some carry it around for the rest of their lives. For me it’s been painful. And unpredictable. And a few times overwhelming .

But once in awhile the grief has been mixed in with an emotion akin to joy. I’m not sure whether I was experiencing symptoms of insanity or whether I happened upon something wonderful?

Our early years of togetherness weren’t always easy. But eventually it worked. We made some lifestyle changes and our relationship grew into something special.  In about 1995 I wrote “In Search of Wild Onions”   

The years have passed by

My love

We have experienced pain

Bouts of drought

Freezing rain

Blazing fire

And

Storm drenched desire

Both frigid and torrid

Weather

Although altogether

There were infinitely many

More warm cloudless days

Now we are basking under

Calm comfortable skies

We await the sunset

And enjoy each sunrise

Today we climbed a steep hill

In search of wild onions

Something we do every spring

Before the berries ripen

Before the fish begin to bite

Tomorrow we may go camping

And make love inside a tent

And I can honestly say

That I love you

Today

And I always have

LIFE GOES ON….

Okay, so life goes on…. What’s for breakfast? I suppose one should have protein. What’s in the fridge? Aha eggs! But I hate eggs. I spot the butt end of a loaf of homemade bread purchased at one of the Friday afternoon markets. I carve off two slices and dip them in beaten egg diluted with ½ and ½ cream. Fry them up brown and eat them topped with gobs of butter and rhubarb sauce. (Wished I had some whipped cream.) I wash it down with coffee made in my one-cup coffee maker. Nice healthful breakfast.

Time to check the blood pressure: Doggone good numbers if I do say so myself! My doctor would be proud.

Exercise options: should I strut across the highway to fetch the newspaper or dance aerobically to music in the bedroom? (“Winding up your clock,” as my husband used to call it.)

But first I’ll phone my brother and listen to some guy talk. He tells me about his latest attempt to slim down Rusty his aging, obese dog. It’s called “No Calorie Dog Food.” It’s twice the price of ordinary dog chow but money-back guarantee if dog won’t eat it. And he has a fish story to tell me.

The fish aren’t biting much lately, he tells me. But he did have a big one on the line awhile back. Almost had it to the boat when a loon swam over, dived down after the fish and took it to the bottom of the lake. The line broke and my brother went home fish-less.

That reminds me of a time when we were fishing on Hallett Lake. An eagle swooped down from the sky, scarping up my husband’s catch of the day. The swoosh of its big wings startled me so much I almost fell out of the boat. Husband laughed about that for days!

It’s too nice a day not to be outdoors. Besides, I need to weed and water my garden box. Last summer the deer came and clear-cutted most of the greenery. This year I’ve been spraying with a mix of hot sauce, garlic, egg and cayenne pepper. Seems to be working.

I’ve decided to keep my husband’s scooter. “I’m practicing for my old age,” I tell people when they ask about it. Who am I trying to kid? I’ve already got most of the symptoms. Anyway, today I am bold enough to drive it all the way down to the park to take a stroll along the lakeshore. I manage to avoid the joggers, trains and automobiles and park in full view of a beautifully matched 4-horse team that’s being hitched to a covered buckboard. Amazing how the horses have been trained to back up so nicely in unison! It’s the Fraser Lake Sawmill’s Picnic and I assume the buckboard will soon be loading up passengers to follow the roadway and admire the view.

On my stroll I notice the size and quantity of the saskatoon berries. ‘Tis a good year for the berries. And it’s a good day for me. I am invited to enjoy a hamburger. I don’t have to cook anything for lunch!

Love Don’t get No Better Than That!

“I don’t buy into that Valentines’ hype,”
he growled as he came through the door,
arms laden with groceries
and yesterday’s newspaper.
No flowers,
No chocolates,
Not even a card…

“Besides,” he added
with an ingratiating grin,
“Every day that we’re together
is Valentine’s Day.”

Before I lapsed into a self-righteous pout
I recalled the love song he’d written
‘Specially for me,
And when I’d had that cancer scare
He’d wished that it’d been him.
But the absolute efficacy
The ultimate validity
Of his devotion to me
Was that
He’d always
Bait my hook
And then remove the fish

Love don’t get no better’n that…
THANK YOU FOR BEING MY VALENTINE!

 

I’ve been mulling over what makes a man “special” to a woman (over and above the attributes that make him “sexy”) The longest-lasting drawing card I think is that he needs her – loves her to the nth degree- he needs her so much (really loves her -not just wants her sexually) that he becomes the best person that he can possibly be. His love- and the vulnerability that goes with it- can be irresistible to women (some women anyway)  And it works both ways. She knows that she can trust him whenever she becomes vulnerable; and that he will respect her and his love will not be dampened during the inevitable low points in their relationship.

Women, Yes You Can!

International Women’s Day was first observed in Canada shortly after the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8, 1977 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.

When it was announced, I remember thinking “What’s the big deal, anyway?” I’d always assumed women were as good – or possibly even better – than our bigger, louder, compatriots. Then I recalled applying for a cleaning job back in 1972. It was for a Federal Government position.

The woman who interviewed me confided that there were actually two positions available on the application form – both for the same job. The one was categorized as “Housemaid.” The wages were 3 dollars and something per hour. The other was for the male equivalent: a position labelled “Janitor” for five dollars an hour.

I applied for the janitor job and was accepted.

Canada has come a long way since legislation was first passed in 1918 to allow women the right to vote. But there were a number of obstacles. In 1928 The Supreme Court of Canada- interpreting the British North American Act in light of the times in which it was written, ruled that women were NOT “persons” and therefore could not be appointed to the Senate.

In October 1929 an assembly of five Canadian women sailed overseas to appeal the case to the Judicial Committee of England’s Privy Council. The Council ruled unanimously that “the word ‘persons’ in Section 24 of the Act included both the male and female sex.…” Canadian women were eligible to run for political office, and to be appointed to the Senate.

In some countries where laws are rooted in religious tradition, women’s rights remain stuck in past centuries. Women cannot be seen in public- except when in the company of a man and draped in such a way as to hide their faces.
But to quote Bob Dylan: “Times they are a-changing.”

Last April there was a newspaper photo of a long line-up of Afghan woman waiting to cast their vote in an election. I was so impressed I wrote the following poem:
Women of Afghanistan

Women queued up to vote
Gather in great numbers despite
Threats from Taliban
Yes, they can!
Draped in hooded burqas, black,
Blue and muted colors
Courageous, collective stand
Yes, they can!
Like large birds, getting ready to fly
Voting in their own land
Women of Afghanistan
Yes, you can!!

And this year on March 15 there was a photo on Twitter of a group of Afghan men wearing burqas to support the rights of women.
Hurray, the Afghan guys are getting onboard!.

HORSEBACK RIDING

HORSEBACK RIDING

Depression is:
Falling off your horse
While riding through the barn yard.
You land on a manure pile.
It stinks awfully, but
Try as you might,
You cannot
Get back in the saddle again
To sing-a-long with Roy Rogers

Anxiety is:
Riding a spunky horse
‘Long a lovely mountain trail
Beautiful day, but
You can’t help
Noticing
The big rocks, bush ‘n
Brambles
And the raging river
Far below

 

 

Love Don’t get No Better Than That!

“I don’t buy into that Valentines’ hype,”
he growled as he came through the door,
arms laden with groceries
and yesterday’s newspaper.
No flowers,
No chocolates,
Not even a card…

“Besides,” he added
with an ingratiating grin,
“Every day that we’re together
is Valentine’s Day.”

Before I lapsed into a self-righteous pout
I recalled the love song he’d written
‘Specially for me,

And when I’d had that cancer scare
He’d wished that it’d been him.
But the absolute efficacy
The ultimate validity
Of his devotion to me
Was that
He’d always
Bait my hook
And then remove the fish

Love don’t get no better’n that…
THANK YOU FOR BEING MY VALENTINE!

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