Summer is less than a week old and already the pages of the Sears Fall/Winter catalogue are bent and crinkled as society tugs at us to plan what we are going to wear five and six months from now.
And here I am behind the times again, having just found my jean cut-offs and the three tank tops I didn’t give to Goodwill last October.
What’s the sense in rushing things anyway? As it is, I can barely keep up with mowing the grass every three days to stay ahead of the dandelions.
When I’m not thinking about yard work, working, or cleaning the house, I have my face buried in the endless pages of the Undergraduate Guide and “How-To” tutorial that precedes Daughter #3’s impending stab at university in the big city.
Deadlines for post-secondary fee payments loom like bats in the belfry, swooping down and into my wallet only to find food coupons and Canadian Tire money.
And if that’s not enough to think about, I find myself measuring the week by the amount of days I have left to write this column in time for the following week’s paper.
When I refuelled this mission to write “The View from Here,” I made a pact with myself that I would have a new column lassoed and tied each Friday morning.
The late author Lloyd Alexander once penned, “We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”
All I know for sure is that for six of the last seven days, I’ve been looking for the answer to this question: “What am I going to write about this week?”
I have a million beginnings running around in my head, 16 pages of snippet notes, and a little brown notebook I carry with me everywhere that is full of chicken-scratch and half-cooked ideas.
One of my biggest hobbies is collecting philosophical quotes. I suspect it has something to do with my insatiable longing for another person’s viewpoint.
My husband would beg to differ and he’d be right. When he’s around and it comes to brass tacks, my viewpoint is the only one that counts (I love you, honey).
Column-wise, I had a good thing going for three weeks and then the ’flu bug came a-knocking and relieved me of all grammar and language abilities except for the word “Ralph,” which I repeated several times in the wee hours of a mid-week June morning.
I guess I should have listened to Mrs. S. when I closed in for a friendly hug at the store and she said “Don’t get too close, I’ve been sick and this is the first time I’ve been out and about in three days.”
It was four for me.
Time melted into a big heap and with it, all my energy. My bed never saw so much of me.
The dogs—bless their canine souls—slept at the foot of the bed patiently waiting for my “get up and go” to get up and play fetch.
When I finally did come up for air and went outside to take in the sun, the grass was around my kneecaps and the dandelions had gone to seed. “Dot” and “Cash” bounced around in mid-air clearly overjoyed by the rebirth of the one who has treats.
Then, as dogs do, Cash took a break from the frenzy, lifted his leg, and peed on an evergreen seedling I planted last summer for my dog, “Griffon,” and whose ashes also are buried beneath it.
I took one good, long look and realized that Cash had been making regular stops at the little tree, and had rendered it a stark and dingy former skeleton of itself (no pun intended).
Dogs pee on trees, that’s the truth of it, but I think Cash has hierarchy issues.
He certainly has poetic timing.
About two hours ago, he got up from his spot at my feet near my desk chair and put his big, fat mutton head on the keyboard resting on my knees and, with one flick of his snout, deleted all the work I’d just written for this week’s column.
But that’s another story.
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