R. Munch/ Aug/2022
Each spring Saskatchewan snow birds feel the call of the north and journey home seemingly under the spell of some Broadway musical … “Saskatchewan. Where the wind comes blowing down the plain. And the waving wheat can sure smell sweet. When the wind comes right behind the rain. We know we belong to the land. And the land we belong to is grand!” And if you believe any of that I have a bridge that I can sell to you for a really good price. Saskatchewan is warm for three months of the year and bitterly cold for six months of the year, with three months of heavy sledding. Summer is the time when the CT scans, MRI’s, and bone scans are scheduled as doctors attempt to determine if they have slowed the progress of the cancers that have attacked my body. There are tee times with friends but one has only to play a few rounds of golf to know how humiliating and frustrating that can be.
There is however a shining light. Back home I get to spend more time with my daughters. Upon retirement that became the most important thing on my bucket list. However through the summer my thoughts are often of winters in Arizona. For some reason a number of occurrences this past summer took my thoughts back to our Joy of Writing Club. Obviously Judy’s zooming keeps me linked but there were other occurrences that sparked memories.
My wife is a most accomplished gardener and each summer she creates a back yard resplendent with multitudes of blooming flowers. One day this summer I watched her lovingly tending to a small plot of sunflowers. I smiled thinking of Doreen ripping those weeds from her corn fields back in Iowa. And of course every time the radio blasted American Pie I thought about how her corn fields are so close to where the music died.
On another occasion I was assisting my granddaughter with her high school on-line English class. She was writing an essay on a particular scene from Hamlet. The scene made me think of one of my fellow writers, who as a young and rebellious girl, would have heard her father, the local sheriff, give his own example of a Shakespearian soliloquy, …. “ Carol! Get thee to a nunnery!”.
On a visit to a family gathering, in Moose Jaw no less, I enjoyed the look on my great granddaughter’s face as the wheels were turning in her little head while her mother read to her of the volcano king and the little Hawaiian girl in Pam’s children book.
A TV documentary that I watched one evening told of a municipal and national park initiative in Durango Colorado. The initiative was a training course for the citizens of Durango on how to live and co-exist with black bears as co-inhabitants of their city. Actually one citizen spoke of how he was sure a mother bear, who was peering in his window, was crying because she had lost her cubs. I thought her sadness was more likely due to missing a meal. But I knew without a doubt that a Durango resident like Dorothy, our Okie from Muskogee, could write a sonnet worthy of note on the thrill of meeting one of her co-inhabitants in front of the courthouse yet emphasizing on how “white lightning’s still the biggest thrill of all”.
A more intriguing documentary investigated the Alaska Triangle. It is an area in Alaska known for unusual activity, including mysterious disappearances, sightings of strange creatures, lights in the sky,and encounters with ghosts. The documentary included interviews with a few heavily bearded local hunters sitting around a campfire with beers in hand. They all swore of the presence of Bigfoot. Each attested to: sightings while hunting, the stench of suspected Bigfoot resting areas, and of hearing its blood curdling screams. My first thought brought to mind strains of dueling banjos. My second thought was should I ask Larry, whose family has lived in Alaska for a few generations, about these ramblings. Or would he think I was some simple minded and gullible not so nice Canadian. My next thought was maybe he does already. The documentary then changed focus to a new group of interviewees who swore the disappearances were due to aliens. They all spoke of sightings and personal abductions while describing the life forms and the horses they road in on. My thoughts quickly switched to Henry. He could find some good grist for his writing mill talking to those folks.
Clearly the writers of our Joy of Writing Club have informed, entertained and made an impression on me.