Archive for June, 2008


June 10, 2008

You may have wondered where I went to. I simply went hermit.

I had a lengthy bout of taxes – not just mine but Mother’s and the Estate’s. I’ve been chasing after bits of paper – an invoice here, an explanation there – digging through files that I thought I had left behind. But no. They continue to chase me and I’ve had little heart to describe my day to day happenings. After all, it’s been raining for forty days and forty nights, or so it seems.

I pride myself on having purchased a home with excellent light that streams in on the east side of the house in the morning and from the west in the evening. I barely have to light up a light bulb during daylight hours. But today the sky was heavily overcast and rain fell in bucket loads. Niagara Falls was dropping from the sky, it seemed. I put lights on all over the house to bring some cheer into the house.

Heather and her husband are staying with me until Thursday. They’ve just returned from a family reunion in the States – his side of the family. Whistler. my nephew, their son, was with them but came home a different route via Los Angeles, San Francisco, the Oregon Coast and Seattle. This wee house is rocking with the extra company.

After his long drive up the coast, Whistler arrived on Sunday and then slept the sleep of the just until late today. We woke him up for meals and then he went right back to the living room couch, covered himself with the duvet and promptly went right back to sleep. With four of us in the house, we’ve run out of beds; he being the youngest gets the couch.

This morning, we other three went down to the gym and all cycled or treadmilled our half hour before tackling the weight/resistance machines. That set us up for the day. After all, if it was going to continue raining full tilt, there were no interesting things to do outside, neither hiking nor walking nor gardening.

It’s the first time I’ve taken Heather and her husband to the gym here. He’s an aficionado so I didn’t need to set him to work, but Heather needed a little guidance. I took the opportunity from time to time to point out some of my favourite denizens of the gym.

There’s an Indo-Canadian fellow who is quite stocky and bull- necked, but he has the flower of youth upon him and he walks with the grace of an acrobat and, at the same time, he has the gait of a seaman. He has a tattoo that gracefully decorates his right arm in a swirly interlacing pattern that incorporates what appears to be a Madonna and child in the midst of it. He wears one of those sleeveless muscle undershirts that scoops around the shoulder muscles giving them admirable prominence.

I don’t dare stare and I haven’t screwed up the courage to ask if I could inspect the tattoo at close quarter. It just doesn’t seem appropriate, somehow. Once, I saw him doing some manoeuvre that had his tensed arms out at right angles to his body and he hung suspended from the machine he was using. I thought of the Crucifixion and how similar the pose was. It was a tempting composition for a painting, but of course, I would have needed some reference photos to work with and that was unlikely. I haven’t given it a try, but I don’t expect that cameras are welcome in a gym.

With all the seriousness of muscle building going on in the gym, he refreshingly has a smile on his face fairly often. The other seem too absorbed in their grimaces of force to be enjoying their travail; and the other young fellows are still gangley and growing. They look as if they had been 90 pound weaklings who had gotten half way through Charles Atlas’ program of exercise but still had a long way to go.

Then, I rather enjoyed the few young ladies that haunt the place. There is one that comes in hip hugging exercise pants that have a four inch gap separating the waist band from the lower edge of her tight fitting exercise top. She too allows her sculpted arms to show. On the elliptical step machine, she walks without holding onto the safety bars. She treads as if walking on air. I envy her agility and balance. But when she finishes her tread-milling and turns around towards us, she has four rings in her nares – two each side. Such a pretty face, such a beautiful figure! What a disfigured look the rings give her.

And then there was Nick. Nick has MS and gets around in a scooter. The exercise, he believes, will stave off the wicked disease. He strives to maintain his muscle mass and keep up what agility he can muster. He must have been six foot four before the disease ravaged his ability to walk. I often watch him surreptitiously as he transfers from his scooter to a machine and admire his quiet persistence, his determination, his independence such as it is.

Later in the afternoon, when we were home, I tackled the ever-present stack of bills and business correspondence. The only way I can face it is to do one piece at a time, finish it, then put it away. If not, I keep on moving the piles of paper and reshuffling them.

I can report, though, that although this day seems lackluster,  no reportable incidents like raccoons burrowing into the roof have occurred. It has been a quiet life.

The only other thing I can report is that my neighbour showed me how to get successful macro lens pictures from my digital camera. Ah, duh! It was so simple. Really I need to read the manual! But of course, I can’t put my hands on it, so……

here’s a photo for your observational pleasure; It turned out rather crisp, don’t you thnk?