Covid days

Nanking cherry blossom

This afternoon I’m imagining myself on safari. I’m sitting out on the breezes at a bench behind a now isolated junior high school. I look for the wonders of my neighbourhood during this pandemic stuff, solitary, but not alone. Lois is excited about her garden and I watch her daily rounds, talking to plants, and share her delight at the fresh shoots of magical growth that follows a few days of heavy rain.

I maintain my two kilometre walk around the perimeter of the park across the road and around the paved track in the $17 million dry pond we have. Naturally there’s no water in it yet, seven after a four-day rainfall that produced as much for this city as we get in the merry month of May.

My imagination is a bit too exotic I think so maybe this day is a “botari” where all I can see is green, green grass and a host of golden dandelions. Beautiful really, though I wonder how Wordsworth would have seen it. 

Today is like this, Will: I wandered lonely as a bee/flitting beneath a cloud-filled sky/when round a corner I saw a field/a crowd of golden dandelions.

Something like that. The little golden heads are everywhere. ‘Tis spring on the prairies for sure.

From this you learn how I get my jollies. In the past two months Lois and I have contributed much to the cause of climate change, rarely venturing out in our auto.

Peas power out of the soil

A mere two hundred kilometres, well, since January at least. That certainly boosted the 2000 kilometres of the past 18 months or so. Even our trusty Jeep dealer came and collected the vehicle, took it back to the shop, changed the tires to summer, gave it a lube, and returned to my driveway, face-masked, gloved and wiping down the steering wheel, gearshift and door handles. 

We are so fortunate to have a couple of daughters living within blocks of us. They see to our weekly grocery shopping, ensure the delivery of fresh garden supplies from curbside pickup, and collect and deliver our water cooler refills.

Waiting for the coral bells (heuchera)

We’re so glad that technology allows us regular face time with rellies in New Zealand, and that we can keep up with events at our church, including the weekly Sunday service, like this week, relaxing in the sun with fresh coffee while the pastor gave his message. Brilliant.

I tell Lois about my discoveries today’s meander such as the snowshoe hares in the parking lot still showing their winter coat under the merging summer fluff. Then there are the little guys speeding their bicycles around the paved path in the dry pond. This pathway is a boon to parents who, under watchful eyes, allow their kidlets the freedom to enjoy the safety it offers. It makes me wonder where else they would cycle with such abandon in this neighbourhood.

Double cherry blossom.

Russian almond

Surprise visitor

BobcatLFWe’re not too sure whether this fellow had much to do with Santa’s visit to our place but boy were we surprised! We’d loaded the Jeep with food and gifts and were heading to the first stop of the day, a family breakfast. It’s our neat tradition on Christmas Day. What used to be around 6 am with small children is now 9 am with teenagers! As we passed the lane behind the house I spotted this critter just staring and watching us. A never-seen-before bobcat (a member of the lynx family) in the neighbourhood. Lois grabbed her camera and got this shot while I scrambled out, gently moved to the rear, opened the hatch door and retrieved my small camera from the pile. Bobcat sat and watched.

Bobcat1 I focused and he moved off towards our fence, leaped up and posed long enough for me to get one picture before bouncing off my white fence into the neighbour’s back yard. I raced into our yard hoping I’d get another chance. But no, he’d gone.

What a great start to the day!


That evening we
enjoyed a smaller family gathering around the dinner table. And that’s where I cajoled family and friends into trying out the Christmas plum pudding. I pulled it steaming from the warm-up pot. It dropped beautifully out of the bowl. Man, did it look and smell good. Underneath each slice I tucked a boiled and cling-wrapped loonie, a 2013 version of the small coins my mother used to mix into the pudding. Homemade ice-cream provided

Plum pudding

the final touch and we all tucked in, some more enthusiastic than others. Their reward for attempting this dessert was the loonie and the laughter we shared.

I think we agreed that my Christmas pudding would be a one off. But the nice thing is we did it.

Health and blessings as we wind out this year and face into 2014.