Life in progress


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Feeling Lucky

They say things come in threes–I hope my near-death experiences are over for the time being.

Okay, maybe that’s a little overdramatic. But I do still feel lucky to be alive.

Y’all will remember my shocking experience with the power lines at the front of my house a couple of weeks ago. (Here’s a link to the blog post.) It seems that drama hasn’t ended yet, but before I get to that, let me tell you about the storm yesterday morning.

It was the rumbling of thunder shaking the house that woke me up at 5am. A few seconds later there was a flash of lightning with a simultaneous boom. It was close. I lay awake for a while longer, until the storm had almost passed, when I heard my son come in the front door. He works nights. So rather than try to go back to sleep, I went downstairs.

First thing out of his mouth: “Did you hear about the house down the street that got hit by lightning?”

It was a stupid question–I’d just woken up–but I was too stunned to point that out.

He’d passed a guy walking up the street who had seen it happen. Somebody’s house was on fire on my street. On my side of the street. Lightning had hit the roof … I sleep in the attic of my house.

Needless to say I didn’t go back to bed.

Fast forward to a chat I had with a guy from the city who was working on replacing the sidewalk outside my house. I approached him to ask about the giant tree in my front yard.  You can see it here, to the right of Alex.

Alex’s first day of school, Sept. 5, 2017.

It’s kinda buried in the hedge, but it’s bigger than it looks. It stands more than twice the height of my house and looms over my bedroom. There’s a huge dead branch at the top, and it’s actually on city property, so I asked the nice man who I needed to talk to to get someone to look at it. Here’s a better photo.

Anyhoo, the nice man got straight on the phone and told me he’d come and knock on the door when he had an answer for me. Which he did a couple of hours later. The city will come and have a look at the tree on Monday. But that’s not the interesting part.

We got to talking about the house that had been hit by lightning. He’d been working on the street all day–they’re fixing the sidewalks on my side from one major intersection to the next. He told me the unfortunate incident had only resulted in the house’s attic being completely burned out, but that the lightning had shot the electrical panel right off the wall, melted every wire in the house, while causing every outlet to fly out of the walls in projectile fashion. Everyone inside got out safely.

After we’d finished commenting on how scary that was, I asked him if he’d heard about the transformer blowing up.

“The one down by that tree?” he asked, pointing down the street.

I confirmed it was and told him what I’d seen. He then told me that he’d been standing under that very same tree yesterday morning when he heard zaps and pops coming from the wires. So yeah, that’s still a thing.

My final far-off brush with death (both in miles and years) came a couple of hours later. A storm was moving into the Ottawa area. My ex (who had been scheduled to take Alex for the weekend but I made the executive decision to keep him home) said there were trees down and fire trucks and ambulances everywhere in the city where our kids were born–Gatineau, Quebec–where we lived together for more than a decade.

I started watching the news that is, to this moment, still distracting me.

The tornado traveled around the area of Boulevard du Mont-Bleu. My two oldest kids went to school at Philemon Wright High School, about a kilometer away, before we moved to Ontario, eight years ago.

Though it’s a bit of a stretch seeing as we’re now so far removed from the area, I still feel like I somehow dodged my third bullet. I hope so, anyway. We still have the live wire out there until the city comes along and trims that tree down the street.

Watch the video of the devastation in Gatineau under the link below. The one account of the woman sitting in the car, recording the tornado on her phone, was taken on a highway I traveled on every day.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1496284

Absolutely terrifying.

So that’s my three, right? Tell me it’s over …

 


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311. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Sunday, July 8th, 11:00am
Drommen and Phillipa

 

Phillipa: Why are we on the bus again?

Drommen: We’re going for a coffee.

Phillipa: I told you, I have coffee at home.

Drommen: Oh right.

Phillipa: You’re obsessing over that girl again, aren’t you?

Drommen: I’m not obsessing. I’m worried about her. I want to keep an eye on her.

Phillipa: (takes his hand) You can’t save the world, Jake.

Drommen: Maybe I can save my little part of it.

Phillipa: And then what? You go back to corrupting them with your little fetish?

Drommen shrugs.

Phillipa: Bring your little fetish home to me. She’s not on the bus today.

Drommen: I’ll come back to your place later.

Phillipa: I won’t be there later.

Drommen: Tomorrow then? Next weekend?

Phillipa: Now. Or you take your chances.

Drommen: I’ll take my chances.

Phillipa gets off the bus.

 

Next stop: Monday, July 9th, 5:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


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Just Jot It Jan 20 – Transcendence

Worry. What good does it do us? And yet we all do it. It’s what keeps us up at night, and makes us walk into rooms with no idea what we are there for. Because it causes us stress – the kind that separates our minds from what we should be focusing on.

From Pinterest

From Pinterest

I believe happiness can be found in the lack of seeking it. So I strive to be content with what I have. But I think true contentedness can only be found through the ability to transcend worry. To worry is to imagine the worst for the future. If this is true, then the answer is to live in the present. Not only to fully appreciate what I have right here and now — relatively clean air to breathe, simply that I am alive — but to fully concentrate on what I am doing at any given moment. In that moment, there can be no worry.

I have to strive to stop looking ahead to what might be. And love what is now.

jjj-2017

Thank you to Deborah of Notes Tied on the Sagebrush for our prompt word today, “Transcendent.” Please give her a visit and read her latest post here: https://notestiedonthesagebrush.com/2017/01/19/transcendent/

And don’t forget to check out the JusJoJan prompt here, to read all the other posts and to join in! https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/20/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-20th17/


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How to Live When You Want to Save the World

I’m at a loss. The constant flood of news stories coming in through my Facebook feed about discrimination, hate, fear, war and people fleeing from it, protests that go nowhere, threats to freedom and civil liberties–the list goes on and on–are keeping me from living my own life. It distracts me from all the things I should be doing for myself and my family. I’m not functioning because I’m worried, both about my own future, my kids’ future, and that of the ones I can’t help.

Yes, I can hear it already. Poor me, sitting on my privileged white heterosexual ass in a nice warm house, wringing my hands but doing nothing. It’s true. I don’t feel as though I do enough, yet what can I do when I’m shut in my house up here in Canada? I want to help. I want that more than anything. It’s why I’m so obsessed with what’s going on. So far I’ve shared, I’ve given my opinions and I’ve tried to make sense of what’s going on. I’ve tried to help others put it in perspective. To encourage them to do what they can. I write because my words are the best weapon I have. I give consolation when I’m able, but to what effect? It all inevitably falls flat because I am not living it.

On the contrary, I’m not looking to be absolved for having a good life and I don’t want anyone to tell me it’s okay, that I can just go on with my life and not think about what’s going on in the world. I know I need to look after myself. I’m just not sure how to go about it.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. I’m sure there are others out there who live with this worry, and this survivor’s guilt and sense of helplessness. How do you cope when there’s nothing you can physically do? How do you separate yourself from it all, to do what you must to live your own life? We don’t help anyone, least of all ourselves, when all we do is sit at home and read the reports and wring our hands.

I fear this is the way it will be for the rest of my life. I can’t save the world, and I certainly can’t shut it off and ignore it. Perhaps I need to take a break from it though. At least long enough to care for my own family.

But I’ll never stop asking why peace is too much to ask for.


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Is it Live? Or is it Internet?

Do you remember the old Memorex commercial? No? If you’re wondering why I’m asking, see the title of this post. Okay, on with my point.

What kind of person are you? Are you like me and wonder what happened to someone if they don’t show up online for, like, twelve hours? Or do you figure they’re just living their life in real life? Because seriously, it’s hard to differentiate between online life and real life sometimes. If someone stays offline for three days it’s not the same as if they don’t come out of their house for three days. But we still wonder, are they laying on the kitchen floor in the puddle of grease they slipped on because it’s been thirty-six hours since they last posted a picture of a cat on Facebook?

You hear stories of how the mailman calls 911 because the old lady in 226 hasn’t emptied her mailbox since last Tuesday, but you do the same thing for your online friends and you end up with the police knocking on YOUR door with a restraining order. Okay, there may be exceptions: like when they don’t show up online for months (yeah, I’m looking at you, Paul Curran). But the fact is, we don’t really (usually) know what goes on in the background of our online friend’s lives. Just like we shouldn’t judge people by the way they look, we shouldn’t necessarily worry or think others are ignoring us when they’re not around the internet at the same time every day.

I do consider my online friends as friends. It’s a totally different friendship we have with our physical neighbours though. Right?

How soon do you start to worry?


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…on this difficult day

It’s been a rough day, both emotionally and financially. I’m having a hard time concentrating; I wonder if writing it out will help.

I was sitting down to breakfast with my best friend, John, when Winston came in from playing in the back yard, huffing like he was choking on something. He ran around a little and then he tried to lay down but every time he did, he whined like it hurt. After watching this go on for a few minutes I decided to take him to the vet. They checked him out as soon as we arrived. Since his gums were pink and he didn’t seem to be in any immediate danger, they left us waiting for about twenty minutes. By the time the vet came to see him he was filling up with air – his stomach was bloated and getting worse by the minute. They tried to vent his tummy with a nasogastric tube but nothing came out. X-rays showed that his stomach was twisted. They’d have to operate.

So we left him there and a couple of hours later they called with good news; they got the air out while he was anesthetized and thought maybe he didn’t need surgery after all. If all went well, I was to pick him up at 4:30. At 4:25 the vet called. He needed surgery after all. The gas had come back.

Almost three painstaking hours later the vet called me. He’d come out of surgery okay and the repair was done, but they still don’t know why he filled up with gas. Anyway, there are no foreign objects in there and all his inner pathways are now clear. The vet said that they’d keep him overnight but of course there’s no one there to watch him, to see if he fills up again. So the vet is going to take him home with her. Wow, right? Probably close to $2,500 worth of wow. All for a free puppy.

Oh, and I lost one of my silver rings today.

They say bad things come in threes. Hopefully losing my “f”‘s will count for the third.

Please send positive thoughts.

Winston

Winston


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Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) Start with a Verb

Kicking and screaming is how they’re going to have to pry my cell phone out of my cold dead hand.

Okay, not really. But seriously, I’m not sure I could live without my cell phone. But it’s not only me, either.

Consider this: When I was young (a teenager) I used to go out with my friends. (Of course.) I’d have a curfew and my mother would be sitting in the kitchen waiting for me to come home. She made sure I had a dime in case I needed to call. I’m sure she must have sat by the phone as well.

Now (these days), when my son went out (he’s moved out now) I’d not have to sit by the phone – it would be in my pocket. He didn’t need a dime – he had a cell. I knew that at any given moment he could call me without needing to look for a payphone.

How did our parents survive back then? I’d be worried poo-less!

I can’t imagine having to go through all that waiting, and wondering, and worrying about my kids. I don’t worry as much about my own safety now either.

I suppose it prepared my mother for when I went to Japan by myself – I didn’t have a cell phone then. But in Japan I felt very safe.

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble. That’s what SoCS is all about though.

What do you think? Could you live without a cell phone? Would you let your kids out of the house at night without one?

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See the rules of Stream of Consciousness Saturday here: https://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/socs-stream-of-consiousness-saturday-the-rules/ and come and join in the fun!! 😀