Summer, how I love thee…

17 07 2009

Shall I count the ways?

I love the way the hot sun feels on my skin.

I love how it feels to peel a wet bathing suit off and put on dry clothes after a day on the beach.

I love how the lake smells on a hot July day, swimming out in my beloved Queen’s Bay. It’s a delightful cocktail of warm air, clean fish and that indescribable scent of sun-warmed water… I cannot tell you how much joy I feel when I swim way out, by myself and breathe it in.

I love sitting on the beach with my friends and laughing our asses off.

I love sneaking out at dusk, riding my bike down to the beach and skinny-dipping all by myself.

I love waking at 4 AM and hearing the birds chirping away.

I love sitting on my deck in the morning and sipping my coffee while the sun warms my skin.

I love that first plunge into the icy goodness that is Kootenay Lake, where it takes my breath away in a summer baptismal rite.

I love letting the wee minnows nibble on my toes.

I love watching my kids love summertime.

I love rolling my yoga mat onto the deck and practicing while the evening air kisses my skin.

I love picking treasures from my garden to enjoy for supper.

I love getting a tan, and marveling how white my ass can look.

I love running in the morning of a hot day, rewarding myself with a dip in the lake at the end.

I could go on and on…. My soul would wither away entirely if I could not enjoy my summer. The fulfillment I receive from these summer months makes winter only a time for anticipation.

I love summer, pure and simple.

No woodland creature is safe.

9 07 2009

You know those scenes from all the Disney movies, where the cute little cartoon birds and bunnies flit and fly around the adorable princess, as she sings a pretty song about love? Yeah, that would never be me.

Not because I’m not a cartoon and couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket if I tried…. But because I have a way of inflicting horrific deaths upon cute and fuzzy critters.

Beyond the running over of bunnies and chipmunks with my car, I’ve had a hand in the deaths of other creatures, some of which the gruesome nature of said deaths provide much macabre fodder for late night laughs with friends. I mean, only if you’re a sicko. Or me.

I shall tell you some tales now. Are you ready?

We have a beautiful backyard, filled with fruit trees. Once, about 3 or 4 years back, a darling robin family decided to rear its young in my (small) pear tree. I would take my children and stand a good distance away and try to peek at the process of the teeny blue eggs hatching into featherless freaks and then growing into cute and fuzzy speckled robin chicks. That little nest was packed. Mama had laid five eggs. So five noisy, chirpy little chicks kept the parents extremely busy on the worm detail and poop removal.

This activity did not go unnoticed by my dog.

He took it upon himself to jump up and pull the nest down. I was rightly horrified and ran out yelling at him to get back. As the mama sat in the adjacent plum tree chirping her little heart out at my dog, I picked up the nest and placed it back in the crook of the branches. There, on the ground were four squirmy wide mouthed babies. I knew then and there that they may not make it, but I scooped them up and placed them back in the nest. But, wait. There were five eggs that had hatched. I scanned the grass, looking for the fifth, grimly wondering if the dog had managed to score a yummy snack, and as I took a step back, I felt a warm squish under my foot.

Oh no….. There, on the grass was baby bird number five. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I will tell you this. I have stepped in a lot of gross things in my life, but nothing matched the live, wiggly warmth of a featherless robin chick. Nothing.

One of the other impromptu deaths dealt by my hand came in town one morning, when I was bringing my son to pre-school. I had to use a side street that was half blocked off for some construction. With nowhere to turn, I saw a flock of pigeons in front of me.

Now they all walked away from my car, bobbing their beady eyed heads, but I just knew that one wasn’t that smart. Gosh, what a surprise, a dumb pigeon. As slow as I was going to make sure that stupid bird moved out of my way, it perhaps had a suicidal death wish in it’s pea sized brain that morning. There was no avoiding it. I clenched the steering wheel and announced to my son to hang on tight, Mama’s gonna run down a bird.

I popped that motherfucker like a feather-covered over-blown balloon with my front tire.

It even sounded like a balloon popping.

When I arrived at the school, I saw the tell tale evidence, sprayed along the driver’s door, blood and feathers were stuck everywhere.

My four year old son’s response? His exact word: “Cool!!!”


Oh, the things kids do.

6 07 2009

A couple years ago, we were all saddened to discover the passing of Koi-Boi, our lovely koi in my pond. He floated there, belly up, amongst the lily pads, and with much sadness and tenderness, the kids and I gently removed him from the water to give him a proper burial.

The kids were sad, these two tender-hearted naturalists. Lily even had tears in her eyes, and Nick, well, he grimly took it like a man. I comforted them as much as I could reason, since you know, it was a fucking fish after all. I did the best I could without laughing at their reaction. Death after all, is a nasty life lesson learned by all.

He laid there on the rock for a few minutes while I ran into the house to get the tools required for digging an impromptu grave.

As I came out onto the deck I was witness to a scene that, well, some may consider odd, or sick, or even disgusting. Me? I thought it was hilarious!

There, on the rocks, my two kids were checking the carcass out. Even though, moments before, sadness and grief were in their hearts, now it was all about the grossness of the corpse. They poked and prodded it a few times. Then, Nick must have said something to Lily, which pissed her off. Her reaction? She picked up that fish, the size of a small trout I might add, and smacked her brother upside the head with it.

It made a wet SPLAT sound that made me laugh out loud.

So much for the grief over Koi-Boi.

Moral of the story? Fish make AWESOME garden fertilizer.

My daughter, my heart.

4 07 2009

Eight years ago today, I had a huge belly, and was about to go into labour with my second child.

In the wee hours of the morning of July 5, I awoke to a mild contraction. Too excited to sleep, I laid in bed, thinking about all that was going to happen to me and my body in the next several hours. I had a natural birth with my first, a son. A beautiful labour and delivery, something that remains in my heart as one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I’m one of those sickos that actually enjoyed the process of giving birth. The pain was crazy and intense, yes. But also it awoke an awareness in me of my own ability and strength. I felt a unique kinship with women world wide. I had something to brag about. Look what my body can do!!!

However, with the second baby, I was more nervous. Simply because I knew how painful it was going to get. I still welcomed the experience, reveling in each contraction. Breathing into it, I seriously felt my body opening up to deliver my child. In all truth, it’s the most religious experience I have ever had, and I am not a religious person at all.

During my pregnancy, I had only dared to hope a tiny bit for a girl. I never wanted to feel negative towards another son, as we all know, you still love your baby with all your heart no matter what. But a little part of my spirit ached for a daughter.

During one of my water yoga classes for preggos, I was floating on a couple noodles in the pool. Just imagine. All of us women, bobbing around with big round bellies, it was such a sight. We all closed our eyes, and our instructor simply asked us to listen to our babies. I felt myself drifting along as if in a huge ocean, as if I were all alone. My breathing deepened, and I became aware of a presence, for lack of a better word, surrounding me. I knew it was female. And I could feel her strength. Willful, strong, unwavering. At that point, I knew I was having a girl.

When my daughter came forth from my body, I pulled her up onto me, after four hours of labour and six minutes of pushing (GO ME!!!). I was the one who had the honor of announcing to everyone in the room that she was a girl.

To steal something Katya once said, my daughter is my heart. Not to say anything against my son, because he is my soul and a wonderful human being. But oh, to have a little girl. To have the privilege of raising a strong and healthy woman. To gift womanly kindness and compassion and strength to the world through my daughter. What a mind boggling and daunting task. What a wonderful experience.

My girl is strong and willful. She has a fire to her soul that will take her far. She cares deeply about those she loves. She stands up for what she believes in. She doesn’t back down from a challenge. She nurtures tiny creatures and little babies. She’s extremely smart in school. She has the most wonderful large blue eyes. She is an extreme goofball who makes all of us laugh everyday. And I love her so very, very much.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Lily. I hope your passion and zest for life never fade.

Well, it finally happened.

2 07 2009

I looked pretty good today when I was heading into town. I had on a blue tank top and a sassy white skirt with black flowers on it, a swirly layered number that makes me giddy with joy. (Jesus, I am such a chick sometimes….) Off to town I was, no kids, just me and my list of approximately 42378463785 things to do.

I was hungry though.

So I stopped in at the local bakery for one of their YUMMY Thai wraps. It was really busy down there, the ferry traffic is at it’s height right now. I got out of my car, sauntered over to bakery to wait in line, and lo and behold to my horror, but not only horror, to my self-deprecating amusement too, I saw my rear end reflection in the window.

Yeah. My skirt was all tucked up in my undies.

I did it. I finally did it. I flashed my behind to everyone there.

All I can say is, thank God I wasn’t wearing granny panties.