Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Summer Report. Besides 'Too Dern Hot"

When I started this post it was a misty moist and muggy day. We had had ¾ inches of rain the previous evening and overnight. And I was loving it. It has been a hot, dry summer, unlike the one a few years ago when the grand kid pressed her nose to a window every morning, heaved a big sigh as she looked at similar weather and said ‘I guess we aren’t going to the beach today either, are we Grama?’. This summer we need all the moisture we can get. The corn is half the height it ought to be and disgruntled farmers have been turning parched soybean fields under. Streams and ponds are dried up. The dust we put up on the gravel roads when we drive by the neighbours’ houses has me on a real guilt trip. But that night it started to correct itself and we had four more wet days forecast, days that produced a bit of rain and a lot of debris.

I also have no little girl wanting to swim and catch snakes and frogs.  Instead I have a teenager whose back to school photo shows a lot of muscular leg and a huge backpack, along with a big smile from which the braces were removed yesterday. She is beautiful, she has, um, attitude and she is very happy at achieving more than five feet in height over the summer. The last time her family visited she spent a lot of time crouched in the back field taking videos of something very small with the fancy iPhone she got for her thirteenth birthday. How fast they grow up and leave you far behind.

That was then. Now it is almost the end of September and we have some gold leaves and a very few red ones and I am putting the garden to bed. Slowly.

The Perth refugee committee had  our second gov’t sponsored refugee family arrive. I spent some time last week putting together a welcome basket to greet them. If anyone wants to know the Arabic for ‘First Aid Kit’, I can inform them. That was a lot of fun, especially the chocolate maple leaves on a stick I found for the kids. 

This arrival ended up a sad mess. There was no one from the Canadian government that told these poor people where they were going and they thought that they were headed for Toronto and a sister and religious community. When they ended up here and were told it was permanent, the Tylenol in the First Aid Kit got some use. Also before they got on the plane they had to sign a contract to repay the plane fare and $1700.00+ fee for their physicals. Although the sponsorship was supposed to be one of the partner-with-government ones, the government has now stopped paying these things. Frustration. Oh well. We were going to do more fundraising anyway and the committee is now working on getting these poor folk moved to be with their family and friends.

Earlier, I spread out all of the financial info for the Hall, sorted and filed it and brought the books up to date. THAT took a while and a lot of skull sweat, made worse by my soggy brain and clumsy fingers. During my confirmation count of the cash to be deposited I found that I was $60.00 (!!!) short and spent quite a bit of time in panic mode rechecking the various envelopes from which I had taken the money. When I finally looked at the floor and found that three $20.00 bills had slipped out of the clip and landed under my chair, I was too relieved to be angry with myself for dropping them. There is something to be said for peace of mind in such circumstances. 

The paragraph above was also part of the original post. Last night was the Hall committee meeting and so I wrote out a whole page of financial stuff  (leaving out the bit about losing the money) for the meeting. I am both secretary and treasurer and am not split-brained enough to take minutes of my own report, so I write it out ahead of time. It even added up. 

Another original paragraph. One not unexpected happening was the death of JG’s mother at the astounding age of 99. Her last year or so was pretty miserable for her and, I am sure, for JG’s brother who was looking after her daily. We will have a service of sorts this weekend, done to the specifics she left in a page of instructions written in 1992.  (I have a file on almost everything you could imagine, including ‘Wills and Funeral Instructions”.) I do not entirely approve of this document as it stipulates a graveside service only and will be a pain to run if it rains. (And it did rain. A real downpour. The minister gave the fastest bidding prayer I have ever heard.) As I think about this, I am determined not to leave a similar document for the daughters to have to implement. They can do what seems suitable to them at the moment, without my interference. Well, they probably would anyway, and more power to them.

I do lead a dull life. It’s fun while I am doing it but pretty deadly when I write it down.

My big project for this summer is almost complete. For many years I have had stacks of books stored in the cabin we used before we moved out here permanently and built the house. Most of them are paperbacks and while I have lots of shelving here in my office, I have filled those shelves with hard cover novels and reference books purchased since we moved in many cases. The paperbacks are old friends that I have not seen for a long time.  This summer JG put a row of new bookcases up downstairs for me and I am sorting the books in batches hauled over from the cabin and lining them up in the new shelves. I now have lots of novels to read that I have almost forgotten. Even if they are a little musty and yellow around the edges from storage in an unheated building, I am hanging out with my battered old friends. One more load to go and they will all be available. After almost 20 years of being packed in boxes, unpacked and flung around as I searched for something, and, not finding it, bought another copy. To my chagrin in some cases I have found two copies of a favourite. One book was there in triplicate. The annual spring book sale is going to love me. And the musty scent is wearing off quite quickly.

The grand kid is selling spring bulbs again this year to raise money for something. Last year I bought some giant allium and they did really well. I love the dry blooms as decoration; they don’t shed, even. So, this year I am buying more and more daffodils and some rock garden allium. This last will involve digging up some of the weeds that I have allowed to take over the rock garden but maybe, just maybe, the deer will leave them alone. (Remember this photo taken this spring of the deer reclining in the rock garden?) We have at least three adult does and one energetic fawn coming regularly this summer. Friends are supplying us with messy fallen apples and the deer love them. Let’s hope the ‘deer proof’ label on the allium is true.

And I just managed to pay JG's car insurance through a telephone robot. I forgot to write a cheque in time and the new company will not accept computer payment. I HATE telephone robots almost as much as I hate people who send you a bill with the pertinent numbers in six point type. I ended up typing numbers with one hand while holding a magnifying glass in the other. 

 The tree that contained these logs got blown over in a storm. JG cut it up and is now splitting it for firewood. Ah, life in the country. Never a dull moment. Um, I guess I will have to take back paragraph five.