Saturday, August 8, 2020

ROBBLOG #851- Sizzle


Hi Kids. Today a short story about Roger and Stan. I dunno why. Just because.

A week ago last Thursday Roger and Stan headed to the local lighting store- Light and Bright,
to buy a new pair of ceiling fixtures. Stan- the half of this pairing with a taste for indoor decor, had wanted new ceiling fixtures for the den for more than a year. Roger on the other hand couldn't care less one way or the other.
This pissed Stan off just a smidge but he dealt with it just as he had always dealt with it- with a modicum of taste and a heavy use of his inside voice.

After seeing an ad in one of the local papers, Stan managed to convince Roger to come along to Light and Brite with him to add his opinion regarding the two fixtures Stan was prepared to purchase.
They jumped into their little maroon-coloured Fiat 500 and tore down the street- as best a Fiat 500 can tear, with Roger behind the wheel.

Arriving at Light and Bright's parking lot, Roger wheeled into a convenient space marked "for small cars ONLY" and shut off the engine.

The boys climbed out of the Fiat 500, strapped masks over their ears, mouths and noses and headed for the entrance. Light and Bright was a huge store. Who knew there were so many lights, bulbs and fixtures in the entire world?

Stan loved this store.
Roger not so much.
Stan also loved "Winners".
Roger not so much.
Stan loved spinach.
Roger not so much- especially boiled and slopped on a plate next to mashed potatoes- bleeck.

Once inside Stan dragged Roger down aisle 23 and stopped at shelf number 22A.
On the shelf were the fixtures in dainty little boxes.

"Not much of a fixture..."- Roger commented.

"Like you should know!"- Stan countered. "Look up there Rodge. That's what they look like."
Roger looked to the wall above where the boxes sat on the shelf and saw the shiny fixtures Stan was obsessed about. Make no mistake, Stan was kind of obsessed- like his obsession with  photographs of Hugh Jackman- shirtless.
A story for another time I'm afraid.

"Well, if that's what you came here to buy, get it." Roger's tone was less than supportive.
Stan didn't care.
It usually was.

Stan grabbed two boxes of the fixtures shown above and spun on his heels and headed for the cash.
"Anything else you wanna look at Rodge?"

"Huh?"- Roger says. "I can't hear you through that damn mask plus you're turned away from me. I can't hear you. Just a mumble."

"Look."- Stan turned to face Roger. He was becoming miffed. "We are a country of mumblers now so get used to it Roger. Covid is the way of the world and wearing masks is part of this world."

Roger grimaced and slid past Stan heading for the check outs. Over his right shoulder he yelled-
"All I said was I can't hear you through that mask. I'm not asking for a lecture!"

"Good Grief. 'The Jesus'- give me strength." He followed Roger to the checkouts like a dutiful hubbie.

In a few minutes they were back in the Fiat 500 and on the road to home with a short stop at Tim's for a large triple milk and an iced tea. 
Roger loved iced tea.

Once inside the house Stan set the boxes holding the fixtures on the kitchen counter and sat on a stool to sip his coffee.

Suddenly, Roger- who had plopped himself on the living room couch to nurse his iced tea, came into the kitchen. He took a deep breath-
"Let's get these lights up so I don't have to listen to you whine all day and all night!"

"I wasn't whining Roger, I was sipping my damned Tim Horton's Coffee. That's all!!"

"Whatever. Let's get at it. Grab the step ladder and I'll get the screwdrivers." 

Roger disappeared into the depths of the basement. A few minutes later he returned with the tools. Stan was already in the den with the step stool in position. "Stan, do and turn off the breaker switch will ya? It should say den or small bedroom or office something like that. You should be able to figure it out. Pick one."

"One what?" Stan almost wished he had called an electrician. Roger always got so short with him when they worked on a project together.

Roger grunted. "Funny Stan. Real funny."

Now Stan was becoming irritated but he held his tongue and slipped into the pantry just off the kitchen.
Once inside he opened the cover plate on the breaker panel.
Speaking loudly he called out to Roger-
"Geeze Rodge, this panel should have been marked better when we had that wiring done last spring.
I can barely read the handwriting. I'm not sure what some of it says!"

"Will you just pick one and forget about last spring!" 
Roger was not happy and Stan could hear it in his voice. He was about to reply but decided to hold his reprisal and just make a choice as Roger had directed.
Flick. The breaker clicked off.

"Have you done it?" yelled Roger from the Den.

"Yes, I think so." Stan closed the pantry door and walked back to the den to find Roger on top of the step stool. He had removed the old fixture from the ceiling and was about to take apart the wires.

Roger look down at Stan- "You have it turned off Stan. The breaker that says Den? Did you do what I asked?"

"For fuck sake Roger. Yes. Yes. Yes!!" Stan was raising his voice at this point. "I turned off the goddamned breaker switch. Just once can't you fucking well trust what I am doing? The switch is not on. It's off. Happy? Check it yourself if you don't trust me!"

Roger shrugged his shoulders, ignoring Stan as usual and reached up to untwist the wires that gave juice to the old fixture."


Roger screamed and fell from the step ladder to the floor below, landing at Stan's feet.

Roger's memorial service is the first Tuesday of next month.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

ROBBLOG #850- In the Limelight

In this apocalyptic world of covid and face masks, I want you to know I have made it safely to my 70th year.

Now as I trudge the days through my 70th year, I have started to think about how short this lifetime of ours can be- after you put decades of living behind you.
I mean, it can make a girl think.

I have added a new photo up above.
The "Official" Birthday Portrait.
I mean if Liz can issue an "official" portrait, why can't I?
It's recent.
By recent I mean 2017.
It was one of the last professional shots I had taken as I continued to perform in theatre. That has hit a brick wall these days. 
First, I should say here that my friend Seanna took that shot and a few others that I had stored away for a rainy day. Seanna is an Ottawa gal these days living in our National Capital with her family.
We talk and text from time to time.
We are both Orillia born and raised until we got out.
Her east.
Me west.

There are lots of theatre companies here on Vancouver Island but I haven't reached out and resumed a time I loved.
Being on stage.
I get a little verklempt when I think about it.
There were some great friendships there and when I think of certain shows they still me me smile and laugh.

Yesterday I was going through files of documents online and I came upon a script I had written a few years ago called "That's My Son".
I had written it for Janet-Lynne and myself.
I loved working with Janet-Lynne. We played husband and wife once in Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Now- there's another stretch, as well as Nuns in All For Nun- The 2nd Coming.
Sister Mary Margaret is one of my all-time favourite characters.
I wrote that show too and it's predecessor All for Nun.

Janet Lynn on the left as "Kate" and me next to her.
Brighton Beach Memoirs. Janet Lynn as "Kate" on the left,
then me and Patti Scott playing Kate's sister.

Anyhoo, Janet-Lynne and I are no way even close to being Mother and Son in real life- me being older. 
Much older.
I thought the script would work a few years ago.
Theatre is make believe after all.
Makeup, lights and distance can work wonders!
These days I am not sure there is enough makeup to make me look like I could be JL's son!

I remember we even read the script aloud one summer afternoon on our veranda back in Orillia, Ontario. I think we laughed out loud.
Anyhoo, I have the script here in front of me and I intend to read it through.
I will either laugh again or cringe at the thought that I had some sort of nerve thinking of performing the piece on stage.
It takes a lot of nerve being in theatre and I have that.

Part of that love I have to blame squarely on being a Leo.
We like the limelight.
We are always picked out in a crowd.
We love to lead.

Maybe once covid is history, I'll think about theatre again.
Maybe I'll have a lead part on stage once again.

As I always say- I'll lead anything. Got a band?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

ROBBLOG #849-Aging Gracefully?

See that "professional" theatre shot of me above?

That was taken about- give or take, eight years ago.
Time flies.
Now, I guess I still look "something" like that.
More chins maybe.
More "chins" than a Chinese phone book!
A Joan Rivers line. Not mine.

Let me be clear about the topic of this current Blog, Dear Reader.
I am about to enter my 70th year.
I wanted to write this Blog this week because next week- where my birthday actually falls, I may be blubbering or I may have locked myself away.
Let me be clear again.
I will be turning 69.
I hear you- "You said 70- liar, liar, pants on fire."
Again, to be clear, I said 70th year.
If I should go to be with "The Jesus" and the Baptists and Catholics the days after turning 69, my announcement in the paper would say:
The death occurred in his 70th year.

One has to actually live that 70th year before receiving well-meaning birthday cards from "friends"  that gaily point out the fact one is 70!
Anyhoo, I have 12 months to prepare myself for that event.

It seems like only a blink of an eye has passed since I had my 50th Birthday Party. It was a Hawaiian Party and thanks to my friend "Vodka" at one point I sat high atop a bar stool with legs crossed belting out a ballad. I have no recollection what the ballad was but from photographs it was a doozie!

These past 19- almost 20, years have gone by in a snap.
Seeing Paris multiple times and London.
Having some terrific parts in theatrical shows.
Doing a one-man show all about me- of course.
There are many more highlight but perhaps the biggest and most written about was our move- The Mister and I, to Vancouver Island almost three years ago.
That move is still in flux.

Me and The Mister these days on the Island
It's not easy getting used to being three time zones away from the province where one spent one's entire life but I'm working on it.
In case you're wondering, I do not miss the snow and -30c temperatures.
I do not miss Mr. Ford or that political family in Simcoe North that is a good example of nepotism
at its very bests.
I miss the people.

What do I miss about the years before coming up to 69 years of age?
I miss not having to touch up the hair and moustache on a regular basis.
Honey, grey has never been my colour and white is definitely a Xmiss colour along with red and green. Pink too, in places where they have Fags!

I miss looking younger and not having back pain.
I miss being able to suntan with my top off. Well I do still- it's just behind a bush.
I miss not falling asleep in front of the television.

I hate losing friends and family in these past 19 years.
It's sad to remember and add up how many have gone before.
Oh Fuck! ~sniff~
Well, at least I'm crying about memories and not my wrinkles or liver spots!

So, Dear Readers and Friends who are about to post Birthday Cards to arrive in time for the "big day" next week, I will try to be strong and look ahead to what the future will bring.

I consider 69 as a training ground for the big seven oh next year.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

ROBBLOG #848-Miss Titsie LaRue

Today Mesdames et Messieurs, a Tale of Miss Titsie LaRue.

Have I spoken of Miss LaRue before?
Miss Titsie LaRue was known for frequenting such famous places as the  Moulin Rouge, Theatre Bleue de Paris and the Wild Horse.
It was at these places where she performed her "act".

You see Miss Titsie LaRue was a Star of the stage in Paris- mostly in run down strip clubs in her later years, where she was a "professional" pole dancer.
A "professional" pole dancer you say?
Oui. Un danse avec un baton. Un grande baton.

Did you know there are even professional teachers of pole dancing?
There are.
One being Esther Jane Tiddlescum- a Brit, who lived in Paris for several decades. After suitable instruction, Miss Tiddlescum would present the "dancer" with a very legitimate looking certificate stating that one had passed a rigorous pole dancing exam. This is why Titsie liked to think of herself as a "professional" and said so at every opportunity.

There were rumours that Miss LaRue also ran a popular "house of ill repute"- une maison de mauvaise reputation. This fact was common knowledge among the locals in the neighbourhood of St. Michel where she lived most of her professional life.

St. Michel is in Paris- if you didn't know.
Of course if you've never been there- why would you know?
St. Michel is not on the wrong side of the tracks especially but how would one know, for in Paris most of the tracks lay underneath the Parisienne soil.
I digress...
Je fais une petite digression.

This house of "mauvaise reputation" as I said, was common knowledge to locals and very much a destination for local Catholic Priests. At least those that slanted towards ladies. A priest preferring lady's bosoms (les tits) being few and far between in Paris. At least that's what the locals said.
"Few and far between."
Only they said it in French, sort of-
 "sont extremement rares"

It was also said that Miss LaRue herself was a favourite of many men within the French Government- although this could be the stuff from which rumours are born. Apparently, Titsie mesmerized the government officials with her prowess on the pole. Both on stage and dare I say "in bed".
Same dance. Different pole.

Miss La Rue did not only rely on her athletic abilities on poles and her satisfaction guaranteed under a duvet, she was also a highly sought after interior designer who's work ethic was built around this mantra-
"If I can't embellish it and it has two legs and is breathing without the aid of a machine of any kind- fuck it!"

It was said that it was a good thing Miss LaRue had her pole- un baton, to fall back on since her taste and talents in the world of decor leaved much to be desired. Many people- both manly and female, used her services. She was loved and adored by one and all who met her- "apparemment", whether they be watching her dance or decorate- usually not at the same time.

She always said- "Life should be lived and those who don't live life are fucking, lifeless (les) cretins!"
Titsie was not one to mince words. She spoke it like it was and the people of Paris expected and believed what she believed.

Although Titsie led an exciting life, not quite everyone was playing in her band for Titsie had an older sister- Miss Edith Jean. Miss Edith was a sad, less-than-colourful kind of girl with an impish smile- un sourire malicieu, who although carried the same genes, was far less popular and sought after than her famous soeur. She would find fault with her younger sister's activities and speak harshly to her whenever she felt that Titsie had crossed a line- which was often. Even so Titsie loved her sister (je t'aime) and they had a standing appointment for tea every Thursday afternoon at three- right after Titsie's afternoon pole dance at the popular Paris theatre known as "Theatre Bleue".

Miss Edith Jean would always make sure Titsie washed her hands well- for twenty seconds, before she picked up even one cucumber sandwich. Miss Edith may have been "less-than-colourful" but she was clean.

Some in Paris say a plaque should be erected- on a pole of course, in Miss LaRue's honour near the Fountaine St. Michel where Miss LaRue could been found feeding pigeons, displaying the latest Parisienne curtain fabric or just working the crowd- a travailler avec le meme group! (loosely translated)

Saturday, July 4, 2020

ROBBLOG #847- From a Distance Someone is Watching

Honestly, how can anyone even look at news, watch news or listen to news these days.

Especially when it's news about an orangutan who one day will pay for being a disgusting human being. Say no more!

That gal "running" Hong Kong- the puppet that she is, is not far being in the "World of Wonders" herself. Look at her dressed in her little 1970's two-piece knitted suits, with a brooch on the left, pretending she has Hong Kong's interests at heart.
So, that's why people from Hong Kong are feeling to Canada and England is it?
This one needs to be in a carnival tent along the midway with her puppeteers Even so, the Chinese people wouldn't get it. She's a menace and she's really just "China" in the flesh throwing those who oppose "the rules" in jail.
I believe things have just begun to get worse for Hong Kong or those in Mainland China who believe better days are ahead.
They aren't...

Then, lucky ole Russia. They could have Putin in power for a couple of decades.
That is, if he wants to run.
It would kind of be like having Scheer, Harper and MacKay all in power at once- only marginally better.
Putin has choices.
His choices.
Must be nice to run a government that way. He could say-
"Look can I let you know in a Russian Morning if I want to run again Comrades? ~he laughs~ Of course it will be all right. I am bigger and better than a Czar. I am practically an Emperor and I sit upon the right hand of the Orthodox God and his Orthodox son- The Jesuz. I only ask to make it seem like I care about the little Russian folk- except for those Gays and Lesbians who can never be Mums and Dads.
Of course I don't care."
If he does run in the decade after this, I sure hope he keeps his shirt on.

A week or two ago I knew it was going to be a problem when I started reading headlines about Justin- our PM, having a charitable organization his family supports dole out 900 million dollars to students. I didn't even know the entire story but the headlines looked bad.
Turns out they were bad and just as The Prime Minister was riding high in the polls with his "covid caring", he had to step back. Why did he think letting that organization handle all that cash would be just jolly okay in the opposition ranks or even in the minds of the most "Liberal" of Canadians.
Did anyone say- "Hey, that's a great idea Justin!"
I don't think so.

Gawd is watching from a distance (If there was a Gawd)
The news is bad these days.
I browse headlines every morning on CTV and CBC.
Most of the stuff I can't read.
I have no interest or no room in my brain to take it all in.

Even CTV a national "Canadian" Network let me down when the top "banner" story on their website was about the biggest, self-sucking, self-indulging holiday of the year in the States.
We all know that it's their "special" day.

It's their special day every day of the Gawd-Damned year and ya wanna know what pisses me off the most?
No, not Texans who slip over the border possibly carrying Covis 19 claiming to be driving to Alaska and ending up in Port Renfrew on the south western tip of Vancouver Island.
No, it's bigger than that.

What pisses me off is the American movies that come here to Canada and turn our small towns- like Ladysmith, into a Fucking Yankee Doodle Playland by placing a flag on every corner, streetlamp, store window and old lady's ass they can find just so we will understand while watching that movie that although it looks like Canada- it is really America.
Good Grief.
You know, that's the first sign of an American movie being filmed here. The profusion of American flags followed closely behind American bullshit which the actors step in throughout the 120 minutes of the film.

That being said I am glad our technicians and movie folk are getting work and our actors after decades and decades still win the "bit" background roles.
Thanks for that at least.

Finally and this is not news, I apologize for using so many " " marks in today's blog.
I dunno why I did...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

ROBBLOG #846- A Tale of Canada

A Parable for CANADA DAY. Sort of...

Inagaddadaviaprezday (Translation In The Garden Of Eden)

Adam tossed off the banana leaf quilt covering his muscular torso and jumping off the Queen size bamboo bed, he stood before the open window, a fist placed in a masculine-type-of-way on each hip.
The morning sun glistened off his tanned chest.

"You know, I think I feel like doing something special this day."

"Like what"- grumbled Steve wiping the sleep from the corner of his eyes, "Make a new country?"

"Hmmm..."- Adam thought. "I just don't know my Darling. It's got to be a big, original idea. I know that!"

"Oh no Adam. Not another one of your hair-brained, creationist schemes. Isn't living the hell of this Garden-like Eden enough for you. I mean there's not a decent coffee shop for miles to say nothing of a shop where a guy can buy a well made, stylish loin cloth!"

"Oh Stevie, you are such a Debbie Downer. Look around for what the Father has provided for us!!"

"You mean traffic jams, hot weather that makes me sweat- and tourists? Well, He can take his providing and shove it where the sun don't shine?"


"No Adam, not Russia but a good guess, it's somewhere just as dark and void of human dignity."

"Oh you mean he should shove it in that little indent here just between my bum cheeks!" Adam guffawed as he tried to peek behind himself.

"You're an idiot Adam. You should have been a blonde and I mean no dis-respect to blondes but really? " Steve shook his head as he swung his big, athletic legs off the bed. His bare feet hit the floor with a thud! Now, sitting on the edge of the mattress he held his head in both hands as he mumbled-
"Coffee, I need coffee..." He stood up from the side of the bed as Adam cried out loudly-
"Me too! Coffee please Sweet Cheeks!"
Adam turned and flicked on the radio and began to dance to the morning tunes on EDEN 104.5.
He shouted as he danced-"Look Steve, you had the beginnings of a good idea Hunnie, I 'll grant you that- but why don't I make a country! You know make one up from scratch like."

"Oh Good Grief Adam. An entire country? I didn't mean to..."
Steve was interrupted by Adam's enthusiasm
"Yes!" Adam jumped up and down on his size eleven's until the earth shook beneath him, "And I think I'll call it CABANA!"

"Cabana? Really? Cabana." The look on Steve's face was incredulous. "Next you'll be wanting the Father to pair boys with girls. What are you talking about Adam?"

"No, No Steve this'll work."

"If you're continuing with this hair-brained idea at least pick a better country name."

"Like what Stevie?"

", say- like 'Canada'. That's it Canada! Now I'm making coffee. You fill in the rest."

Steve grabbed a pair of fraying shorts from a bedside chair and slowly pulled them up over his lovely legs, threading the button at the top of the shorts through the slit in the waistband. "Not sure this 'button' idea will ever catch on down here" he said to himself out loud,"but if the Father says it's a good idea- who am I to suggest something different- like maybe - a dome fastener?"

Once in the kitchen, Steve made cupboard noises...

Standing once again at the window Adam folded his manly biceps across his hirsute chest and thought for a moment while EDEN 104.5 rocked on in the background.
Then, in a short minute, he called in the direction of their recently-renovated kitchen-
"Steve, I've thought about it and that is a great name! Wow and to think I thought about almost, ninety-percent of it all by myself!"

"I know Hunnie! You keep thinking!"- Steve called out as he measured a few cups of coffee into the filter. Steve also knew that behind every great man there was an even greater one- with kick-ass abs and a butt that wouldn't quit.".
...but enough about me he chuckled."

A few minutes later Steve placed bran-banana muffins, a pot of hot coffee and two empty mugs on a tray and carried the tray out to the terrace. Oh, a pitcher of milk for Adam too. He just had to have milk in his morning coffee.
He set the tray on the terrace table and called-
"It's ready Handsome!"- ever mindful he had to support, push and stand back just a little bit to let his man grow and take the credit- usually all of the credit, even for Adam's most silliest ideas.

Shortly after, Adam waltzed onto the terrace in a red mini robe that barely covered his manbits. He had a pen in one hand. A pencil in the other.

"Steve, how about I place all across this country called Canada-a bunch of Palm Trees?"

"Pookey, just where will this country be located?"- questioning Adam as any mortal would.

"Well, I was looking on the map and figured somewhere north of the 49th parallel- for the most part."

Steve poured the coffee and wondered how he could make a suggestion and still have Adam think it was his idea.  Adam picked up a bran-banana muffin and started to chomp away.

Steve sipped his coffee and looked across the table at Adam not really knowing what to say next.
He soon thought of something.
"Look Sweetie, it might be a little too cool to have Palm Trees all across this CANADA of yours, so why not- and this is just a suggestion, why not put Pine Trees in most of the country and save your Palms for say a smaller, more Mediterraneanized part of your CANADA say... on the west side and maybe along a coastal area or islands. They'd look pretty there.
Pride of place so to speak."

Steve waited for Adam's light to go on.
Sooner or later- it always did.
"Hmmm...cooler you say?"
"Hey! What about I use Spruce and Pine Trees and..."
He looked at his banana muffin, paused and then said-
"and throw in some Banana Plants and Yuccas for that strip on the left coast!"

Steve started to applaud.
"absolutely stunningly brilliant Darling. Brill to a tee!"

"I thought you'd think so." Adam's chest heaved with Pride.

"Okay next- the people.
Hmmmm, what colour. Oh! What if I make them all dark yellow to offset the green of the trees and plants and I'll have them speak Canadianese and walk about on two legs..."
Adam scribbled even more notes with his lead pencil on his paper pad.

After a brief quiet Steve spoke again.
"Adam." He paused hoping Adam would understand his 'cause for a pause' first,
but he didn't.
"Adam, we walk on two legs. Remember?"
Adam stopped making notes.
"Oh- right. Well another problem solved."

Steve continued to sip his coffee.
He rolled his eyes and looked skyward.
"This is going to be a long day. A very long day indeed- isn't it Father?

And that's how CANADA was born.



Sunday, June 28, 2020

ROBBLOG #845- An Island Day

It's amazing the things one can accomplish in a single day on this Island in the Pacific.

I walked along our south garden- coffee cup in hand, pausing in the brilliant morning sun to gaze upon the lime-green throat of a burgundy Daylily.
Gorgeous and as the name says just a day- hence a Daylily.

Further along, I had planted a Julia Child Rose the other day with just a couple of full blooms intact. Now a few days later I see it has eight booms- all a golden butter yellow and all scented like spices.
Next to it the Oregon Grape- tall and prickly, another delicious, all yellow Daylily.
Amazing. Look at the ruffles!
A showstopper!

A few minutes later in the lower garden, I plopped myself down in a brilliant yellow Muskoka Chair- not unlike the yellow of the Julia Child Rose, just to ponder life at that moment.
The sky was Island Blue. Not a cloud to be seen.
Hot sunshine filtered through my banana yellow garden umbrella. Straight ahead of me, a Momma bird was feeding her young in front of the white, outward swinging garden gate. The bird-child was impatient and the Mother fed the youngster as fast as she could. A few minutes later she flew to the rocks in the garden over to my left and fed yet another small bird-baby. The chirping set the tone of the Garden Oasis where I sat.
Nature. Sound. Colour. Warmth.

As I daydreamed, the frog fountain behind me bubbled with cool, flowing wate as two artificial water lilies floated round and round upon its surface. In the distance at a far corner of the terrace at the edge of the gazebo, I could hear the lion fountain's three streams flow noisily into the bottom basin where the water was sucked up by the pump returning it to the top tier.
The baby birds still chirped as several swallows dipped close by overhead.
"Not my Mama" the birds seem to say.

There was the enticing scent of the honeysuckle crowding its way to the top of the white, oval trellis with the deep garden red of a climbing rose intertwining freely. The Hummingbirds were at work drawing nectar from every last scented flower as yellow finches crowded at the feeder hanging from the trellis' top. An explosion of garden colour!

A neighbour soon walked by on the gravel path outside the gate, their feet crunching with every step. They didn't know I was sitting there comfortably in my Muskoka Chair hidden unobtrusively behind the Portuguese Laurels along the garden fence.
So much happening on my side of the fence.
Peace. Privacy. Shade. Greenery. Life.

Taking a rest from our garden, after brunch we took a short jaunt to the Ocean at Maple Bay- about fifteen minutes from our front door.
People were scattered here and there, physically distancing along the stony beach. Gulls cawed overhead. Kids splashed in the water. Sailboats slipped past the end of Saltspring Island. A pair of water boarders sprinted across the bay and back again. Beachgoers laughed in the near distance.
A young girl- 20 something, had managed to squeeze into a small, pink bikini that was hardly there at all. A young man jogged by where we sat in our lightweight, aluminum framed chairs, his calf muscles glistening in the June sunshine as his sneaker-clad toes dug into the sand. About this time a young Dad reminded his kiddie threesome that they had been at the beach for nearly three hours and they had to go....soon.

Pinch me.

I am on Vancouver Island. Our garden is one thing but this ocean and the vista in front of us quite another. I look down and there's the ocean right at my feet and as I gaze out over a calm Maple Bay I see in the distance the mountain-topped mainland accessible by air or BC Ferry. The smell of salt water is in the air and still, the clear blue of an island sky hangs overhead.
Soon for us too, it's time to go, so we pack up our chairs and Koko- our mini-schnauzer to head back to our van. Off we drive home to meet friends in the garden for an adult beverage and a chat.

The birds chirped.
A welcome island breeze.
Still a hot sun.
The sky? Still Island Blue reflected from the Pacific, I would presume.

Soon our guests arrive with wine in hand.
We offer a plate of cheeses, pickled asparagus, mini sweet tomatoes and crackers.
We munched and chatted and toasted our good fortunes until evening fell.
A final quick tour of the all the gardens- north, south and west before the evening darkness made it impossible to do so.
My, how the yellow Daylillies glowed in the late day light...

Even'tide. Goodbyes. Thanks. Best wishes.
Dishwasher loaded.
Inside Palm Villa, a final treat of strawberry shortcake leftover from the evening before.
Summer and berries.

The garden had been tidied. Chairs dispersed back to their proper places, pillows straightened and now the evening's question being- is what we have enough already?

The answer comes like the chirping of the baby bird had come beforehand-