Pages from My Journal: Last Monday to Thursday

Trips to Town, Trumpeter Swans, Geese, Germs, Grandchildren

Monday I joined the other Christian writers in Saskatoon for our usual monthly meeting.  We went over last minute details for the One-Day Writers Conference on April 28th.  The time is rapidly approaching; I’m supposed to send out reminders about the “Early Bird” special fee to everyone on our mailing list.

Much as I would have loved to spend time writing articles for my sites, Tues & Wed found me at the sewing machine working on a new dress.  My wardrobe has been failing in quality and quantity over the past months so I had to dedicate some time to its replenishment.  I prefer cotton, more comfortable for daily wear, but it wears out fast, so dresses need frequent replacing.

Thursday morning I arranged to meet my cousin in Saskatoon to help her with some business.  You never realize how difficult life can be for a person who can’t read and write until you actually know one and see how they struggle.  I want to enlarge on this subject in a later post, but I will say here that if you teach ONE PERSON to read, you’ve saved them a lifetime of frustration.

I was outside early that morning spreading seed for a stop-over flock of redwing blackbirds when a dozen trumpeter swans flew low over the edge of our property.  They settled on the big slough NW of us (no more than a quarter mile away) joining some others already there.  Later I saw another flock join them, so by noon there were about 40 in all.

To envision our location, think of a right angle triangle with a small cube taken out of the 90° angle.  That’s our few rented acres–hectares, if you’re into metric.  We’re nestled against the small woods that divide our site from our farmer neighbour to the east who owns this land.  The rest of the triangle surrounding us has been pasture; he broke it last fall so maybe it will be crop this summer.

Railroad tracks run along the longest side of this triangle; our neighbours to the west have about ½ section of pasture for their horses, most of this being swampy or slough.  The bottom side of the triangle is a gravel road.  South of their pasture across the road is more pasture, with another slough beside the road.  (With all the spring rains last year the water in these two sloughs rose up to lap at the sides of the gravel road, something no one in these parts had ever seen before.)

On the way to the city Thursday I saw a few other swans on other ponds, plus about ten acres of mixed assorted geese.  Snow geese usually travel together with Brant’s geese so these foraging flocks are ‘salt & pepper’; a bunch of Canada geese were hanging out at one edge as well.  These birds glean their way through various grainfields as they head north and the pickings must be pretty good.  Farmers dread their arrival in fall.

Since I was up early, when I got home Thursday afternoon I had a long nap.  Then the phone rang: our daughter Michelle wondered if I could keep their girls.  Her husband Ken and their baby Evan (16 months) were both ill and needed to see a doctor.  So I had a good time together with my grand-daughters until their parents returned in the evening.  Evan has ear infection; Ken has strep throat.

Betwixt and between them all they’ve had a lot of doctor visits in the past three months.  All the children have had flu and ear infections; Tammy’s ear drum ruptured a few weeks back.  Ken has been battling this sore throat for months; his Dad had ear infection last week.  The grandchildren have even given me a flu (four weeks ago) and a cold that I’ve finally gotten over.☹

I was watering all my African violets when the girls were here and they informed me that I have too many plants.  How well I know!  I’ve a few more violets to divide–that should give me about a dozen more plants.  (My Walmart rescue special keeps giving and giving. :))  One of these days I may “lose it” and dump them all.

To be continued…