AUTUMN MEMORIES

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The color of Autumn

FAMILY DUCK HUNTING RITUAL  IN THE FALL.

 I clamored to join the hunt every other weekend.  Mom, Dad, my two brothers and I would drive from our home in Sparwood, B.C and head for my grandparent’s  wee house in Claresholm Alberta. Gravel roads back then in the 50’s, winding through the Mountain Pass and then into the Alberta harvested wheat fields.

Wish granted. Dad let me join the hunt.  When he hauled me out of my makeshift bed at 4:00 AM I thought “What have I done?” The gas heater in my grandparent’s wee house hadn’t kicked in yet. I shivered with the cold.

Dark outside. Gravel pinging on the underside of the car. Then bumping along  tire-rut trails. The headlights shining on the ground frost. Once out of the parked car,  I struggled to keep up, climbing over frozen grain field furrows and stubble. Reaching the slough, we hunkered down between weeds and browned grasses for cover.   My father sat me on a frozen mud clump. “Wait until I tell you to shoot.”

Ha. I didn’t worry about killing anything. I was too cold to move.

But the best part? Feeling like the only folks in the whole world awake at that hour.  Seeing the sunrise. The sound of the ducks flying, their wings flapping in rapid-whispers. Being with my family.

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I  joined the hunt twice. Then finally admitted I wasn’t much of a boy.  From then on, I hung out in the cozy kitchen with Grandma.  No contest.

Wishing you all a great harvest season, and great memories.

Senior Moments

I was sitting in the White Horse Pub in San Francisco, waiting for my daughter to get off her shift as bar tender and wait staff in the dining area.  I had just flown into Oakland Airport, took the shuttle bus to the Pub.  The shuttle driver had allowed me to sit in the front seat.  Getting out, I inadvertently bumped the lock switch and locked the luggage in the Van, motor running etc.  Poor man didn’t have a spare key.  He had to get his boss to come from Daley City with a key. As I waited, I felt a poem coming on. So here it is.

A lovely sunset viewed through the green trees of life.

If my life is but a day,
The afternoon is waning.
The evening’s gulls sail through the mist,
Time’s momentum … gaining.

As the sun dips slowly down
It sends arrays of light
Fills horizon’s clouds with pink
To ward away the night.

How do I feel about this time?
Wanting still to give?
I slowly slip to join the twilight,
Wanting so to live.

Tulip Festival in Mount VernonI reach back but can’t retrieve
The days that have gone by.
I can only reminisce
And breathe nostalgic sigh.

Concurrent things do settle in …
A sort of letting go …
Accepting peacefully “what is”
And there I too can grow.

Is it that beauty comes with age?
The quiet gentle knowing?
Facing weakness with great grace
Is it the best of growing?

Seattle Zoo ... Couldn't find a cougar, but ... smile!

A streak of absent mindedness,
A painful here and there.
Ah, yes! Like birth, this death must come …
We must begin … prepare.

Relax and watch the growth and learn …
Serenity sublime.
For we are not descending here,
But instead we climb.

Towards we know not what, but trust
That Chaos has a plan.
Our lives the blueprint, Birth to Death …
The making of a Man.

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