Thursday, July 31, 2008

Slow Thursday

I feel like I am in super slow motion today. I think this is how a snake feels on cool mornings as he slithers slowly to the middle of the road to sun himself, only to be hit by a car. It's gray and raining now and everything has slowed down. Summer is on pause until the weekend we hope. We drove around Abbottsford today in search of a cabinet to house 8 car batteries. We found nothing suitable and will have to improvise something. I wanted special vietnamese soup from the old Mehak's but we never quite got there. I had Jays pizza instead even though I had sworn off it because it is made from everything I resist. Mark got 2 slices and I was going to have one little bite so I didn't keel over from low blood sugar and before I know it I am eating a whole small piece that the kid behind the counter gave him for free because the kid had cut it too small to go into the case. We went 2 Re-Store type places, saw some really bad old kitchens, bought some paint and went home. The traffic was hellish everywhere and I kept feeling like I wanted to nod off and wake back up when the sun was shining again.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I slept for too long last night. This morning I woke up around 6am and then went back to sleep for another hour. In that hour or maybe it was just a few minutes I dreamed I was at some far off space camp run by Arnold Schwarzenegger which morphed into one with the Obamas. They seemed to be in the white house although the election was not over yet. Barauck was in bed and I was sitting on the end of the bed drinking in the greatness of this upstart when Michelle came over and sat down. I noticed Baraucks feet were bare and he was being a bit wiggly and silly so I suggested to Michelle that we spill some cold water on his toes. She giggled and we searched around under the covers for his missing foot. Eventually there was a photo op and we all stood together but not until Michelle had adjusted one of her shoes which had developed a tear. As she bent down I noticed how thin all of their ankles were, His almost thinner than hers. The picture was taken and I ambled off into the crowd thinking, wow I am now one of those regular people getting caught up in all this excitement. I went back to the kitchen in search of something to drink.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Safe Passage 04

The Ferry

On the little ferry between Quadra Island and Campbell River we run into the guy who drywalled your basement suite. Your plan was to supplement your income with a modest B & B business. The drywaller is tall and blond with a long pony tail. We saw him 2 days ago outside the little market on Quadra. He said Oh Sally you are not well. I don't remember what your response to him was all I could hear was how lyrical his statement was.

Oh Sally you are not well.
Oh Sally you are not well.

On the ferry I give the drywall guy the remainder of the ferry passes you have in the glove box of your Jetta. I don't try to explain to him that you won't be coming back. He is grateful for 8 free round-trips to town. The short trip is uneventful and I don't think about you telling me of your earlier plans to slip off this ferry under cover of darkness and disappear into the channel.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Better Today

I woke Eddy up yesterday morning and he seemed pretty cheerful initially but by the time Mark went in to say good morning he was in tears. He couldn't say why except to say he felt really sad. Home care arrived and Mark and I left for the day a little heavier with worry for Eddy. He is in this precarious state of awareness and, well dementia. He grasps what he has lost and those are unbearably sad days. We had a terrific sail, in a way in homage to the once strong Eddy. By the time we got home he seemed fine and today when I woke him up he was his normal cheerful slightly confused but lucid self.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I've been meaning to see if Eddy can still play scrabble. Despite his dementia and perceptive inconsistencies he has retained his large vocabulary and his ability to spell in English and French. He is good at crossword puzzles as long as he is only required to answer the questions and not have to read and fill in the tiny squares. His motor skills can be erratic or non existent. Sometimes he just forgets he meant to move. We got the board set up, Pearl determined who would go first and we set up the play order. Me first, then Pearl, then Eddy. Pearl designated me the score keeper. The game went like this; Pearl and I would take our turns then Eddy's turn would come, one of us would ask him if he had a word to play, he would look at the board and start to de-construct what was there, seige became neige, sail became mail. He could see some words in his tiles but could not link them to the board. Pearl and I took turns taking his turn for him, double checking with him the spelling of the word.

A game of scrabble can last a pretty long time. Mark mowed the whole lawn and did some trimming while we soldiered on. I started cooking dinner and Pearl wrote down a few scores. By the end Eddy was listing a bit, his blood sugar was low and he was really struggling to make sense of the game. His eyes looked watery. We had completely pooped him out. I can't remember who won, we all ended up with a few extra tiles, rogue consonants defying placement.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Safe Passage 03

The Bank

Before we leave the island for the last time we make a stop at the bank. It's not open yet and we have a ferry to catch so I ask them to let us in. One of the women in the bank recognizes you and unlocks the door. We conduct your business in chairs at her desk, you are too weak to stand at the counter. When you look at me you seem small in your clothes, you're trying to communicate something to me with your eyes, it feels like you are saying I need you to take the wheel now. The woman from the bank suggest some things regarding your accounts that might make it easier for me to manage your money. She realizes you are sick and not getting better, I am trying not to think about it, staying firmly in each moment. We empty out your safe deposit box and I sit patiently while you sign your Canada Savings Bonds over to cash. Your signature is weak and uncharacteristic of your former self.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

May Contain References to Shit

The creative process can be like taking a massive crap. You eat information and emotional intention, the fiber of your being. Sometimes this happens over months or even years (in my case years). You process it all diligently. Creating a palatable form, observing reasonable parameters, you choose color, cadence, words and images. Time passes. Sometimes quickly, mostly not. And then, often when you least expect it, you get this uncomfortable albeit familiar feeling, an undeniable need to evacuate all of it, out of yourself and into the public domain. Hoping like hell, it looks more like what you intended than a pile of actual shit.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Safe Passage 02

Do you remember the day that you died?

I do. It was late winter and we drove from your place on Quadra Island to Nainamo where we boarded the ferry for Tsawassen. I crawled into bed with you that morning seeing you were suddenly much weaker and more distant. I laid behind you and hugged your whole body with mine. I said, I don't want you to die. It was the only time during those last six weeks that I acknowledged you were slipping away. You said you weren't dying and I helped you get up and go to the bathroom. I gave you yogurt for breakfast, you ate it on the couch and spilled a bit on your cotton turtleneck. I can't remember what happened to that shirt, it went away with you and the yogurt stain never to be seen again.

Safe Passage 01

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oh the humiliation

We celebrated the 4th on the 5th this year. I was totally organized and had picked up some fireworks from the local Lions who sell them in the Everson Market parking lot from a plywood hut. I bought them there last year too and was trying to avoid the same fate. We foolishly bought a "Family Friendly" pack and were really disappointed. Too few explosions, no reports, too many sparklers, too much smoke, not enough bang. This year when I went to buy the arsenal I looked at everything pretty closely and settled on the "Big Value Bag" ($21.98), this maybe where I went wrong. The words Value and Fireworks should not be used in the same sentence. There is no value inherent in Fireworks, you might as well be burning money. That being said we want some bang for our buck, no such luck.

Mark lit the first firework. It was an impressive package, thick column, felt heavy, lots of black powder I thought. As it started to ignite we waited expectantly and watched patiently as the thing spit up showers of sparks. No explosions, no whistles. We felt let down. We moved on and piece after piece shot sparks and little else.

Apparently I did not get the militia pak as I had wanted and instead got the super lame, extremely safe for amputees, shower pak. One of the pieces was actually named "Golden Showers". I believe I experienced the shame and humiliation one might feel during a real golden shower. Ultimately what saved me were the sparklers and Bees. Mark made a good show of them for Pearl and we all agreed that next year we would send Mark to the Res with at least $50 to get the loot. I tried, hopefully the gang will forgive me.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Mark, Pearl and the Whales enjoy a dip in Centennial Pool

It is a tad rainy today but for 6 days previous to today it has been absolutely, top-shelf summer fun. I do hate to go on about the good time I am having, but what else do I have to talk about? I am all out of misery. Can't muster a grumble, a snear, not even a little pout.

It started last Saturday with a little sail in Mark's boat up at Jericho Beach in Vancouver. The wind was consistent and we happily tacked back and forth in the bay. At one point we were out pacing a wind-surfer which pleased Mark tremendously. After retrieving Luna from the dog day care we ended up at Moderne Burger for some restorative protein. This place makes a great burger platter and has been closed due to renovations for the past 18 months. We had a serious jones.

Tuesday found us celebrating Canada Day with a parade that came conveniently close to the townhouse. We were at the end of the parade route and all the floats got backed up in front of us. It was cool at first seeing the displays up close but it soon became awkward, we had to keep waving to the the now stationary patriots.

It was really nice and hot. Pearl ran wild in the complex play area and mid afternoon we hit the local outdoor pool. I think Canada may be a more civilized country because of the easy access to parks and facilities. The Centennial Pool was recently widened and spiffed up. We all took turns on the rope swing. That was a personal reminder that I am a sad, weak-armed softy. I can't really make out the form my body took as it skidded along the surface of the pool before crashing in, hippo comes to mind. I am trying not to think about it. Pearl was graceful going in. Mark made us all laugh by employing some small plastic whales as flotation devices clenched in his freakishly long toes.

Finished the catalog and am now embarking on a web project and new Coupon Book cover. Samuels sign is in the process of going up. I am continuing to feel light and open, ideas around every corner.

Pearl turns the BIG 1-0 shortly. Big pause here as I try to organize my thoughts to say something really profound (feel free to get up and refresh your drink) but ultimately it changes everyday and I am just getting better at how I react to the ebb and flow. She's a really nice human being and I am trying to do her justice.

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