Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Break for Trees

I spent most of yesterday's holiday on the sofa with my book club's current pick while awaiting the arrival of trees and tree products.

Every year a co-worker shares the trimmings from her bay laurel with our staff.  This year, not only did she have bay leaves, she had a bay tree for me as well.  Exciting!  She was going to bring it to work for me on Sunday, but only the leaves made it.  The tree was too big for her car.  Yikes!  I wondered what I had gotten myself into.  I hadn't realized that bay laurels got that big, but I have wanted my own bay tree for a while, so when she suggested bringing the tree by in her truck on Monday I happily agreed.  

I didn't really know what time my co-worker would be by, so I made a point of getting out of bed at a reasonable hour just in case.  Good thing I was up. When I checked my email there was a note from L at Sleeping Cougar Acres.  She has a friend who mills lumber, and I had ordered some rough cedar from him.  There's a veggie garden in the works folks!  Anyway, her note was to inform me that she'd be by with my lumber later in the day. 

As I really didn't know when to expect my deliveries, I felt that starting any of the projects on my never-ending list would be pointless.  I'd just get going and have to break for trees.  No hardship there.  It was a cloudy, rainy day.  Just the kind of day to sit on the sofa with a good book waiting for generous friends with trucks to bring goodies for my soon-to-be garden. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On Sirens and Saving the Shoes

The sirens started at around 5:30 Monday morning.  It was shortly after Hubby left for work, and I was just getting back to sleep.  Not that sirens are unusual.  We live fairly close to the police station. We often hear sirens in the distance, and given the nature of our neighbourhood we frequently see the police going about their business.  Heck, we've even had them here a few times.  This was different though.  There were a lot of them, and they were close.  And getting closer. 

I got up in time to see police cars racing through the intersection up the road, then two fire trucks blared past our house.  Given the time of day, and the fact that I'm not a morning person, I was a bit miffed that they all had their sirens going.  It is a residential neighbourhood, and there's really no one on the road at that time of day.  Except for hubby of course, but he's on foot and not likely to impede their progress.  (Ironically, the fire trucks did have to slow right in front of our house, as the city installed a speed hump there a few years ago.)

Those incredibly grumpy first thoughts were quickly followed by more compassionate ones.  Who had to call the fire department before dawn?  Was it someone I knew?  Did everyone get out in time?  Did their pets?  What was happening?

I sat with my thoughts for a while, and found myself thinking  about the people waiting for the firefighters.  How relieved must they been relieved to hear those same sirens I had been grumbling about moments before?  
I thought too about the firefighters.  I really don't know anything about our local team, but it's a small town.  I imagine most of them were asleep when the call came in, yet there they were, sirens blaring, racing to who knew what.
By 5:40 my perspective had changed completely.  My thoughts had changed to ones of gratitude.  I was safe at home, and I live in a place where there are people willing and able roar into action and help those in trouble at any hour.  How lucky am I?

It turns out that the fire was pretty bad. The fire chief considers it "non-survivable".  Fortunately there were no injuries, as no one was home when the fire started. The house, though, is beyond repair. 
The incident reminded me of a Ted Talk I saw recently.  Probably because the presenter, volunteer firefighter Mark Bezos, was was in full gear.  I watched his talk again Monday afternoon, and was surprised to find that Bezos also started with less-than-positive emotions.  I had forgotten that.  My memories of the talk were of his humour and his message.  His speaking of his firefighting rival made me feel a little less guilty about my first response to the early morning sirens. The fact that I managed to bring my thoughts from grumpy to gratitude gives me hope.   Maybe I too will find a way to get in the game.  Save the shoes. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Beginnings

There.  I did it.  I hit the "new post" tab.  I'm so proud of myself!

Now, what to say...

I think I'm going to go easy on myself today and let my pictures do the talking for me.  Both are evocative of spring and new beginnings.  Sounds like a good way to start after a lengthy absence, doesn't it?

Tomatoes in the greenhouse at Sleeping Cougar Acres...

...and garlic in the garden.  Dreaming of pasta already!