Tuesday August 22nd, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about things that are: in the water.

Took the boys to the splash park this morning. It's amazing how into Miles is. He'll just go right in there and get soaked and start laughing. Jet of water to the face? Hilarious to him.

Max is getting there. I think Miles' enthusiasm helps.

I've been mixed up on my days my whole weekend. Feels like I should be going back to work tomorrow but I get one more day off. It's nice. Different, but nice.

Mine:

I can do you in
with just the sight of my fin...
what about my grin?

*     *     *

A sunken ship at
the bottom of the sea, home
to rust, gold, and... ME!

Monday August 21st, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: green.

We had local order pickup this afternoon but I didn't have to do too much work, as we're almost finished with berries. Didn't even put them on the list, actually, but we had a customer who wasn't around last weekend who wanted blackberries so we got her some, plus we had a favorite farmers market customer come down from Penticton so we got her some raspberries because we know how much she loves them.

Other than that it was just weighing up peaches, nectarines, and apples and then waiting for customers to arrive.

Or not arrive, as the case may be.

Only one this week. Still one more than I want to deal with. Hopefully she's coming tomorrow to get her stuff though.

Mine:

It's mine.
Don't you think otherwise.
Back off!
Take your eyes off my prize.

It's clear
For everyone to see:
That girl
Is coming home with me.

Sunday August 20th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: wings.

Had a mostly quiet morning to myself to rest and recover from the last four days. Spent the afternoon with the boys so that Kat could do the same.

It's been much cooler the last few days, which has been an appreciated change. As the days grow shorter heading toward fall the length of the hottest portion of the day grow shorter as well.

Generally it's just a whole lot nicer than those days of 40 plus degrees, and I am clearly looking forward to fall already.

Mine:

My muscles ache, unused to the demands that I must now make of them. I know they will grow stronger, adjust to the new movements and additional weight, but it will take time.

Patience as well, but I have precious little of that resource to begin with.

It is an honor; I must keep reminding myself of that. I have earned these wings. Through the sweat of hard work and whatever blood shed was required. Those born with wings on their backs have not paid the same price.

But they were born this way, and as such have had a lifetime to grow accustomed to them. To push their limits. Discover their secrets.

I am well behind them now, but I will make up ground quickly. Through hard work, of course. And blood shed?

Yes, almost certainly.

Saturday August 19th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: a hard life.

Day got off to a bit of a rough start, having to clean up broken (more like shattered) beer bottles at Lions park. Around a car that was illegally parked in a handicapped spot. Surrounded by several more empty cans. Also found two empty 24 can beer boxes in the ladies washroom.

It was still parked there early afternoon (now with a fashionable parking ticket accessory). I'm pretty sure whoever it was got so drunk last night that they forgot where they left their car. I like picturing them still wandering around town right now.

Anyway. Things improved from there and I got most things I needed to do done before lunch. Made for a relatively relaxed afternoon. Good way to head into my weekend.

Mine:

Living on the streets,
How did I end up here?
Ah, what do you care?
Pass me another beer.

Friday August 18th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about something that is: unprecedented.

This morning seemed to be one of transition. The beaches and parks were extremely quiet, while the roads were extremely busy. By the afternoon traffic had settled down and the beaches and parks had filled up again.

It all worked out fine in the end, was just a bit of a different sort of day.

Day four arrives tomorrow, followed by my weekend. Looking forward to it.

Mine:

I arrived this morning at the washrooms at our main beach to find something completely unexpected: I could have left without doing any cleaning. The floors and toilets in both the men's and women's sides were okay (that happens occasionally), all four paper towel dispensers didn't need replacements (happens more often than not), and not a single new roll of toilet paper was required (that's 24 rolls between the two sides - that has never happened for me before, not even back in April). I was stunned - delighted, but stunned.

I cleaned both sides anyway, as first thing in the morning is the only time I get to do a proper, full clean without being interrupted, but it was much quicker than usual... and I will gladly take a break like that in mid-August.

Thursday August 17th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: late breaking news.

Work was pretty good. The day passed very quickly at any rate. No major adventures, just trying to stay on top of things.

Also trying to keep the comment backlog here reasonable but that's proving to be a challenge.

Mine:

Good evening all.
Just a quick heads up:
The world is ending...
So you best get spending.

Buy all that you want:
The cars, the bling, the toys.
The price don't matter now,
So forget the why and the how.

Unaffordable? Who cares?
Soon there will be no one left
To knock on your door to collect
Your massive, out of control debt.

Anyway. Farewell to you
Watching at home -
It's been a wild and crazy ride,
But now it's time to say goodbye...

Wednesday August 16th, 2017

The exercise:

Almost back in the first half of the month, we're returning to The Dream Kingdom today.

Work went fairly well today. Blue skies returned for another visit, which helped a lot. Kind of forgot how hot the sun is when it's not being filtered through a nice, dense layer of smoke though.

Better get this done before sleep wins yet again.

Mine:

Dylan woke to the sound of his heartbeat pounding in his ears. He opened his eyes slowly, feeling dirt and tree debris falling away from his eyelashes, and found himself flat on his back looking up at misshapen trees.

No, not misshapen, he realized. Broken. By me. By my fall.

He sat up carefully, groaning as pain shot up his arms when he pushed himself away from the ground. He looked down at his hands and saw that his fingers were still bleeding from where the flying carpet had punctured them.

Stop it, he thought firmly. Stop bleeding.

To his surprise, they did just that.

"Huh," he said. Or tried to. Mostly he just mumbled out bits of the terrain he had landed on. He spent a few moments spitting and wiping his mouth clean. "Bleh. What's that noise?"

The hammering of his heart was still loud in his head but he had finally noticed that there were other sounds nearby. A grinding cacophony was coming from his right, along with what sounded like a waterfall. As he got up to investigate a surge went through his body and he wondered if he was going to faint.

He remained conscious, though he swayed unsteadily for several seconds. Once he felt mostly confident that he could walk, he began to do so. The pounding in his head was unrelenting, and now it felt as though wild electricity was shooting through his veins.

When he reached the crest of the hill he looked down to see an escalator, of sorts. He shook his head to clear his vision but the severely out of place contraption remained. Shortly after that he realized that Olivia, Josh, and Nystor were riding up toward him. He raised his arm to wave to them but then one of the armed statues behind them came to life and began climbing after them. And then another. And another.

"Watch out behind you!"

The three turned and he could hear his friends scream. Maybe Nystor did too. Dylan knew he had to do something to help them, and fast. He looked down at his empty hands.

"Sword." He said it with a confidence that felt out of place in that strange landscape and he felt a tingling like electric shock in his fingertips. Nearly instantaneously a long, heavy sword flickered into existence in his right hand. "Lighter," he grunted and it became easier to hold. He looked toward his friends again to see there were now six armed statues pursuing them. "Another sword."

Armed with blades in both hands he took a deep breath. Just before he began to descend he remembered to imagine one more item into place.

"Armor."

Tuesday August 15th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: sleep.

As hinted at in Monday's post, the smoke returned to the valley this morning. It's not as bad as it was before it left for a couple days, but it was still rather depressing to look out the window this morning and see the gray again.

Hopefully this visit will be short lived and the next departure will be lengthier. Much, much lengthier.

Back to work tomorrow. Those four days went quick.

As usual.

Mine:

She says I'll sleep when
I'm dead. Well, good news my dear:
that shouldn't take long...

*     *     *

Just need to keep my
eyes open... a little long..
I wake to neck pain.

Monday August 14th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the babysitter.

Took the boys to the park for the first time in a long time this morning. So nice to have fresh air to breathe again.

It was quite busy, which wasn't at all surprising, but not overly so. Miles had fun walking around and going on the swing and Max was climbing here, there, and everywhere.

I wish I wasn't writing this Tuesday night so that I could be more enthusiastic about the lack of smoke. You'll understand when I get Tuesday's post published.

Oh, before I forget - aiming for Wednesday for the yearlong prompt. Might be a bit ambitious for my first day back at work, but I'm going to try.

Mine:

"Um... is your brother allowed to play with that?"

"With what? Oh, yeah, that's fine."

"Really?"

"Yeah, Mommy says he can have it as long as it keeps him out of the kitchen when she's trying to make dinner."

"Oh. I see."

"You can call her if you don't believe me."

"No! It's not that. I trust you."

"What's the problem then?"

"I'm just... I don't know... I'm not super comfortable with the way he's swinging that mace around the house..."

Sunday August 13th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the meteor shower.

Happy to say everybody came to pick up their local orders this afternoon - even if two customers arrived late. But late will always be better than not at all in this case - I was especially relieved when the lady who had ordered forty pounds of fruit (twenty pounds of peaches and twenty pounds of nectarines) showed up, as I was not keen on putting them away and then having to get them back out again for whenever we would arrange for her to come by.

Had a bit of wind last night and some rain early this morning and... suddenly we can see clouds and blue sky again. It's honestly pretty amazing.

Hopefully the smoke stays away for good.

Mine:

Max wanted to stay up late tonight to watch the Perseid meteor shower - he was even willing to have a nap this afternoon in order to do so. He napped for almost two hours and was ready to go.

We had clear skies, which was nice. Lots of stars and satellites... but not a whole lot of meteors, unfortunately. But that was okay, because Max was just excited to be up late and watching the night sky.

Plus we had many entertaining exchanges. I can't remember all of them, but by far my favorite was this one:

Max: Where are all the meteors?

Me: I'm not sure. We just have to keep watching for them.

Max: Let's make music and sing for them so that the meteors will come down and dance on our table.

I'm not entirely convinced he fully understands what a meteor is.. but I'm good with that for now.

Saturday August 12th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: what happens next.

Inspired by Greg's comment last Saturday, mine is a continuation of my previous four line poem. Feel free to do something similar or take this prompt as its own thing.

Picked blackberries this evening with the family for tomorrow's local order pickup. Got all 19 pints we needed, so all that's left to do is weigh out fruit orders and get everything together in time for people to come get their produce.

Managed to get a new phone this morning. Still working on getting it setup, but so far I'm generally pleased with my iPhone 6.

Mine:

The highway is cracked and littered
With broke down cars and shattered glass,
But the driver is undeterred -
He's got the school bus moving fast...

Friday August 11th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the bat.

Sigh. I do not like bats.

Or, as I like to call them whenever Kat insists on tyring to tell me they're flying around, night birds. Because there are no bats around here. Nope, nope, nope.

I am not certain I'm going to be able to do this in just four lines, but I shall do my best.

Happy to have gotten through this week intact. Hoping for a more restful, less interesting weekend than the last one.

Mine:

Earlier this year there was a bat hanging around the washrooms on Pioneer Walkway but it disappeared over the summer. It has, as you may have already guessed, reappeared.

Wednesday morning it was hanging off the wall in the upper corner of the men's stall, and that's where it still was Thursday morning. We agreed to ignore each other but when I unlocked the men's side this morning it was on the wall directly in front of the door... so it had to go... through the urging of a broom (held very much at arm's length) and a whole lot of swearing.

Thursday August 10th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the globetrotter.

Definitely starting to feel the lack of sleep lately today. My third day on tends to be the hardest day to get through in general though.

Back to cleaning the fire hall tomorrow. I think I will appreciate the air conditioning and being out of the smoke.

And! Looks like we might finally be getting some rain and cooler temperatures this weekend. Not something I would have expected to be happy about in August, but here we are.

Mine:

My alarm drags me kicking and screaming away from a dreamless sleep. It's a ringtone I don't recognize, which means it's my first morning in a new city. Anything to bring a touch of order to my chaotic life.

So, where am I? Madrid? Montreal? Milan? It's one of the M cities, I'm fairly certain. Looking around my hotel room doesn't help jog any memories so I stumble to the window and throw back the curtain.

Ah, Mexico City. Right. Well, at least it's not Moscow again. Not that I'm convinced they would let me back there after that last mix up.

Okay, I know where I am now. So... what am I doing here? Meeting someone, obviously. That's what I do everywhere I go. Who is it? Man or woman? Age? Business they're representing? Come on, brain. Give me something to work with.

I close my eyes and an endless stream of faces appears. Friends, colleagues, taxi drivers, strangers. They all intermingle and jumble together and...

I open my eyes before they merge into one, hideous monstrosity of a human being that never has and never will exist. I've seen that horror too many times in my sleep recently. I don't need it to haunt my waking hours as well.

Right. Who is waiting for me in Mexico City? Better check my phone. Where did I put it before I collapsed into bed last night? It's not on the bedside table. Not in my jacket. Not in my duffel bag. Not... anywhere.

And my wallet seems to be equally absent.

Great. I've been robbed.

Again.

Wednesday August 9th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: pity.

Had a slightly more competent day of work today. Maybe if I get another decent sleep tonight I can be basically capable of doing my job tomorrow?

Maybe.

Smoke continues to be miserable. Getting far more used to not being able to see across the lake than I care to.

Mine:

I ain't got time
To pity no fools -
I'm too busy
Stealing their jewels.

Go on, judge me,
Act like you'd never.
Til times get hard,
Then who's more clever?

Oh, we'll see then,
Of that I'm quite sure,
That I'm the one
Who's built to endure.

Tuesday August 8th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the evacuation.

Got through work on about 2 hours of sleep.

Going to aim big and try to get more sleep than that tonight.

Oh, pictures. Here's one of the fire, taken from our deck:


Here's how things looked this morning when I left for work, from around the same spot as the first picture:


Good times.

Mine:

Quick! What's important?
What can we not leave behind?
We were not prepared.

*     *     *

Get out! Get out now!
But wait - where are we going?
It doesn't matter.

Monday August 7th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something which takes place in: an occupied city.

Spent most of the day with Max and Miles so that Kat could get some work done. Hard being stuck inside for most of it due to the smoke, but Max and I did make it out to the garden to pick some veggies for the house late afternoon.

Met up with bakery folks for a couple drinks and some dinner tonight. Was good fun and I hope to do that again soon'ish.

Back to town work tomorrow. Not excited about the smoke.

Edit: well. That was interesting.

Had some people yelling and shaking our gate to get my attention somewhere around 12:30. Was pretty sure they were drunk... right up until they told me there was a fire in the hills behind my house.

I'll share a picture or two tomorrow, but long story short: woke up Kat, we packed up some things, the fire was getting closer, we woke up the boys and drove up to Kat's parents house to wait it out there. Were up there for maybe fifteen minutes before it became apparent that the firefighters had things under control, so came back home.

Just finished getting the boys back to sleep. It's now 3 am and I need to be up in about three hours for work. So... good night.

Mine:

It is a delicate balance, living in the sort of conditions I find myself in these days. Be polite to the soldiers, but not friendly. Don't want the neighbors thinking I'm working with the enemy. But certainly not hostile, either. My city, my home, my life is in their hands. No need to antagonize them.

I try to go about my daily business as usual, though every fibre of my being screams for me to stay inside and hide. Keep out of sight, keep out of their way. They would not see it that way though, would they? I would rouse their suspicions, perhaps they would think that I am working against them.

It's a fine line. I am still learning to walk it nearly two months after these men took over my city. I hate the line, and I hate them. I hate how powerless I feel in the face of it all.

I know others are trying to do something about it, but I am too frightened. The price for getting caught is... well, it's too horrific to contemplate. Better to keep myself to myself and wait for this nightmare to pass.

It will pass, right? We will be liberated. Even now our soldiers and our allies must be working to regain our freedom.

It is only a matter of time.

So I shall wa-

Who could be knocking on my door at this hour?

Sunday August 6th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the treasure hunt.

Pretty fun family day. Definitely got off to a good start...

Mine:

When we were tying to get Max out of diapers we struggled for a long time with getting him on the potty. At first he wasn't interested, then he was scared, then... I don't know. He just didn't want to?

Anyway, we tried a lot of different things. At one point I created a 'potty path', which was basically a hand drawn path that we put on the bathroom wall with squares to represent each time he used the potty. Every time he did he got to put a sticker on the next square of the path, and every fifth square there was a reward of some sort.

I designed it at a time when my expectation was that he'd be putting a sticker up once a day, maybe twice a day as he got more comfortable.

It sat on the wall for a very long time with only one sticker on it. I was getting ready to throw it out. Then, rather suddenly, he took to it.

And he was off to the races.

I think he finished the path in just over a week. Two weeks tops. That meant a lot of rewards had to be arranged in a much shorter period of time than I was expecting. Which meant some rewards had to wait a long time. Like, months.

This morning I finally got to the last reward I hadn't taken care of yet: a treasure hunt around the farm.

It started with a map and a note. The map lead him to treasure number one (a bubble wand), a second map, and a second note. This lead to treasure number two (buckets, shovels, and other beach toys), a third map, and a third note. This lead to a final treasure (a map of our solar system to put up in his room) and a final note.

I apologized afterward for it taking so long to get to it, while also telling him how happy I was that he enjoyed it so much.

At bedtime tonight he told me 'Maybe tomorrow we can do another treasure hunt with different toys.'

Which left me feeling grateful that he liked it so much... and thinking that maybe he enjoyed it a little too much...

Saturday August 5th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about something that has been: compromised.

Kat and I picked blackberries for local orders this morning while the boys were with her parents. Got the 22 pints we needed, plus another 10 pounds for the bakery, plus an extra 5 pints to have at the table when people came to pick up their orders.

Sold two of those, plus an extra twenty pounds of peaches. Almost made waiting around in the heat and smoke worth it.

I should probably stop complaining about the smoke, seeing as I've heard nothing to indicate that it will be going away any time soon...

Mine:

The perimeter has been breached
By persons we do not know.
Quick! Pack everything up, children -
It is time to hit the road.

Friday August 4th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the grey.

Tried to get a new phone this morning. Lineup was too long for me to deal with, as I had a chiropractor appointment just before lunch. Was hoping to get there right when the phone store opened but apparently getting there ten minutes after opening is much, much too late.

I can't even blame the long weekend, as I'm pretty sure everybody in front of me was local.

Guess I'll try again... hmm. Maybe next Saturday?

Smoke was bad again today. Feeling pretty much done with it.

It, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be at all done with us.

Mine:

They move in the twilight, features obscured by the encroaching darkness and their grey, hooded robes. Silent as death, they go about their grim business with delicate fingers and practiced ease. They are not bothered by the forest fire smoke that envelops the valley - they have made their peace with it.

And soon, so shall you and I... whether we wish to or not.

Thursday August 3rd, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the long weekend.

Monday is a holiday here in BC and the tourist hordes started arriving after lunch. Traffic was backed up on Main Street as I drove back into town, I almost got into an accident before my first stop, and I saw at least five more incidents of seriously questionable driver/pedestrian decision making in the following two hours.

So, so glad I'm not working this weekend.

Mine:

"Bobby, could you come see me at my desk please?"

"Sure, be right there."

"Now, Bobby."

"Coming, coming..."

"Put down the glue and glitter, Bobby. We need to talk."

"Yes, Mr. Jimmy. Coming."

"For the last time, it's Mr. Lee. Jimmy is my first name."

"... okay?"

"Anyway. We need to go over the proposed schedule you submitted for next term."

"Is something wrong with it?"

"Yes, I should think so. Especially your expectations for February."

"More like Fe-boo-ary, right?"

"... yes. In particular, you have apparently planned for a long weekend..."

"That's right!"

"... that lasts twenty seven days."

Wednesday August 2nd, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: to catch a thief.

Work went pretty smoothly today, even with the heat and smoke. Just one more day to go until my weekend begins once again.

Mine:

"What are you... wh... what. Just... what."

"You know what they say."

"... about what, exactly?"

"Thieves."

"Thieves."

"Yes, that's right."

"That's right... what?"

"You know what they say about thieves!"

"Um... remind me?"

"To catch a thief, you have to think like a thief! I can't believe I have to spell that out for you!"

"Ah. So that's what's going on here."

"Indeed!"

"I'm afraid you may have taken that saying a little too far, dear."

"How so?"

"Well, for starters, the police are at the door wanting to speak with you..."

"What, again?"

"Ag... yes. And, secondly, our basement appears to be full up with things that do not belong to us."

Tuesday August 1st, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the White House.

Another smoky day. Hard on the eyes and nose, but at least it kept it a few degrees cooler than what the forecast had called for.

Going to try to get this posted before the sleepiness wins yet again.

Mine:

Chaos swirls and whirls
through the halls. What should we do?
Just fire them all...

*     *     *

Men of dignity
and intelligence once ruled
here. Not anymore.

Monday July 31st, 2017

The exercise:

Write something that takes place in: the flower shop.

Pretty good first day back at work. Other than the smoke that arrived around 9 this morning and hung around for the rest of the day. More wildfire smoke from south of the border, apparently.

Today is my seventh wedding anniversary, so I grabbed some flowers for my lovely wife on the way home from work. Going to try to have a proper date with Kat during my next set of days off.

It's going to be a hot week. Not thrilled about that, but at least I'll have air conditioned offices to clean every day. I walked into Town Hall this afternoon and was like... yeah, I'm just going to stand here for a minute and enjoy this.

Mine:

"I need a bouquet of flowers, fast."

"What's the occasion?"

"What? What does it matter?"

"Well, we carry different arrangements for different circumstances. You know, birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, funerals. That sort of thing."

"Don't care. Just pick one and I'll take it. Quickly, please."

"I'm... I can't... I'm not really comfortable with that! What if it's completely inappropriate?"

"That's not your concern! Come on, man! Flowers! Pronto!"

"Fine, fine. I just don't understand why you can't tell me what they're for..."

"You really want to know?"

"... have I not made that clear?"

"Fine. Just remember that you asked for it."

"I'd say I very nearly demanded it!"

"They're for my girlfriend..."

"Aw, that's sweet!"

"... to apologize for getting her mother pregnant."

Sunday July 30th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: a break from technology.

Camping was generally good. Did a beautiful hike to a waterfall, swam in the lake, ate good food, and... had a horrible night's sleep.

So, you know, camping.

Plus...

Mine:

After dinner last night Papa took Max and Natalie (who ended up staying the night, sharing a tent with Max and Papa) down to the lake to do some fishing. He said they'd go for about 45 minutes (which I knew wasn't going to be accurate with those two).

When it started getting dark I took out my phone to check the time and... hmm. Blank grey and black screen. Couldn't get past it. Couldn't turn it off. Ended up setting it aside overnight and by the time I got up this morning the battery was dead.

Great. It's been showing signs that it's nearing the end of its life but this was definitely the most dramatic yet.

This morning Max and Natalie were riding their bikes around the road that goes through the campsites and Miles was chasing after them. I thought I'd get a couple pictures with my camera. Took one. Took another. Wanted to have a look at the second, so I hit the display button and... nothing. Well, not nothing. It said busy. For a very long time.

So I shut it off. Tried turning it back on again. Couldn't view the picture, couldn't take any more pictures.

Great.

The good news is that after we got home I got both of them working again. Charged my phone and got it mostly working (had to power it off and then on again in order to get the timer/alarm/ringer sounds to work again... which is not at all worrying for tomorrow morning). I don't trust it anymore though so I'll be going to purchase a new phone on my next day off.

I also charged the battery on my camera (which wasn't dead but I didn't know what else to do). When I put it back in the photo I was trying to look at this morning showed up as a corrupted file. Deleted it and everything seems to be fine now. Kinda forced to trust it as I'm not going to be buying another camera again anytime soon.

Anyway. If someone had asked me if I was looking forward to taking a break from technology this weekend I would have said yes.

... and this would not have been what I meant at all.

Saturday July 29th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the camping trip.

Writing this after we got back makes this a bit odd to write. But let us pretend for a few moments that I wrote this before I left, okay?

Spent last night packing up most of the things we'll need for our one night stay. I don't think it would take much more stuff to stay for a week, but here we are.

Kat and I will be driving up with Miles while Max is catching a ride with Papa. Becky, Adam, Natalie, and Emerysn will be meeting us there.

Here's hoping for a good day (and a bit).

Okay, done pretending now. Will get Sunday's post written and posted as soon as I can.

Mine:

We went out to the woods today,
To see what we could see.
We found dragonflies, clear blue skies,
And a clear thought or three...

Friday July 28th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: ready, set, go.

All right, finally caught up with posting again. And I can say with complete confidence that... tomorrow's post will be going up a day late.

Because tomorrow night we'll be camping at Conkle Lake.

Adam, Becky, and their girls will be joining us for the day before heading home for the night, and Kat's dad will be camping overnight with us.

Should be fun. Fingers crossed, anyway.

Mine:

We're at the starting line now, all lined up nice and neat. Everyone is ready to race, but they all know I'm the one to beat. The audience is out of their seats and are in for a treat.

Hey, Charlie's running already... that sneaky little cheat!

Thursday July 27th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the no-show.

Picked blackberries for local orders this morning. We managed to get 41 pints, which is pretty good. We had orders for 43 though, so not quite good enough. Kat did get a pint of raspberry to make up for one customer being shorted, and the other customer ended up getting extra peaches to make up for it anyway.

Not exactly a restful day, but part of me appreciated getting to be out on the farm doing a different sort of work.

And the rest of me just wanted to nap.

Mine:

No-shows are my least favorite part of doing local orders. By. Far.

On our first one this year, the last customer to show up arrived at 5pm. I waited until 6pm for the final customer to arrive and... he never did.

On our second one the last customer came at 5:30, which left me waiting for another half hour for... someone who never came.

Today, on my insistence, we shortened the pickup window from 4-6 to 4-5:30. If I'd fully had my way, it would've been 4:30-5:30, but whatever.

I didn't notice when the last customer arrived, but it doesn't really matter. Because this time there were *two* different customers who never came to collect the produce they had ordered.

Produce that we had taken the time to pick and prepare for them. And now have to spend time making additional arrangements for them to get.

Or, you know, forget them and their order and never take orders from people who no-show on us (without good reason) ever again.

I will let you guess which option I currently prefer.

Wednesday July 26th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: litter.

Very busy in town today - had to drive by Lions Park three times before I could find a parking spot so that I could restock the washroom this afternoon. Happy to be taking a break from all the traffic for the next four days.

Sorry for all the late postings. Sleepiness combined with lack of inspiration.

Hoping to get back to catching up on comments tomorrow.

Edit: sigh, never mind.

Mine:

What's that lurking in the shade of that maple tree? Ah, just another kiss between you and me. I remember how young I felt then, how happy and free.

And this piece of paper, crumpled up in the grass? Just one of many love notes I wrote for you in class. No wonder it took three tries at History for me to pass.

Look, over there - two empty bottles of wine. One was yours and one was mine. I can still feel the tingle that ran down my spine as we crossed a line that no one had bothered to define.

Not for me at least. But then I was never very good at listening to my priest.

Memories of us litter the landscape of my dreams. All the whispers, all the stutters, all the screams. But nothing here is really as it seems.

For you are not here, just what you left behind. Trust me, I've looked all over the hills and valleys and forests and beaches of my mind. Just bits and pieces scattered about, fragments that only serve to remind me of ties that no longer bind.

Tuesday July 25th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the lifeguard.

Had a brief visit with a high school friend who was passing through Osoyoos today. Wonderful to see her and her daughter (who is about a year older than Max) again, and it's always a treat to share our produce (in this case, blackberries, apricots, and peaches) with an old friend.

One more day until my weekend.

During which there will be much hiding in the shade.

Mine:

I watch people swim
and, sometimes, drown - I'm not a
very good lifeguard

*     *     *

I get bored some days.
That's when I like to yell 'Shark!'
and watch them scatter...

Monday July 24th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: passing through.

Another day in the books as summer keeps on keeping on.

Now down to only five more Town Hall cleans before the end of my contract. Not that I'm counting or anything...

Mine:

Time's gone by
In a big hurry
It seems,
While you've been
Out there just chasing
Your dreams.

Dad's dying
And our Mama is
Long gone;
Who knows if
I'll get to see one
More dawn.

But you're here
And it's so good to
See you,
Even though
You say you're just
Passing through...

Sunday July 23rd, 2017

The exercise:

Slightly earlier in the month than in June, we return to The Dream Kingdom today.

And chaos ensues...

Work was good today. Hot but good. Big wind blowing tonight should mean cooler temperatures tomorrow.

Hopefully.

Mine:

"Dylan!" Olivia shrieked.

"Hold on!" Josh yelled.

"Help me!" Dylan screamed.

"Everyone calm down!" Nystor shouted.

"Grab my hand!" Josh said as he reached for Dylan from the opposite side of the carpet. But just as their fingertips brushed another transformation took hold, sending Dylan wailing out of reach. "Damn it, Olivia! Hold this thing together!"

"I'm doing my b-"

"No." Nystor's voice brought with it a momentary calm, as if through the force of his will alone - or perhaps it was the strength of his imagination. "Olivia, focus on flying. The carpet will hold on its own - in some form or another. Just get us down safely."

"Which island should I aim for?"

"The nearest, child. Don't overthink this. The power of the meteor shards is greater than I expected at this distance. Put everything you have into landing this thing and then we shall go from there."

"You okay dude?" Josh asked, his hands having returned to his sides where they were gripping the carpet. Hard.

"I'm all right," Dylan replied. "Just trying to imagine having really strong ar-aaaahhhh!"

The carpet had morphed once more, but this time the edges had gone from a soft fringe to razor sharp spikes. Dylan let go, a trail of blood tracing his descent.

"Nooo!" Olivia screamed.

"Dylan - parachute!" Josh shouted.

"Focus, child!" Nystor said sternly. "Focus on f-"

"Hold on!" Olivia yelled. "I've lost control... we're going down!"

The carpet dipped, soared, dipped again. It briefly leveled off before entering a steep nosedive. Nystor began muttering a spell but only moments later they crash landed in a grove of towering trees.

Saturday July 22nd, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: hiking in the mountains.

Took the family for a drive up Mount Kobau this morning. Bumpy gravel road for the last twenty or thirty minutes, but totally worth it once we got to the parking lot near the top. From there we did a 3 km loop trail that took us to a lookout and through fields of wildflowers and butterflies.

Absolutely beautiful up there.

Miles rode on Kat's back for the whole hike (other than a brief escape at the lookout for a water and snack break) and Max hiked the whole thing himself. Here's a shot of the boys at the lookout:


Hoping my legs will feel okay at work tomorrow after all the ups and downs of the trail.

Mine:

Butterflies drift
Through pine-scented air,
While wildflowers
Help distract the bears...

Friday July 21st, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose which take place on: the construction site.

Good day with the boys. Miles had a rough sleep last night, so he napped early, and while he did that I took Max for a walk around Haynes Point. Haven't been out there for a while and we both enjoyed it.

After we got back everybody had a late lunch (because Miles and Kat had just woken up) and then I took the boys for a wander around the farm. Ended up at Natalie's house for a bit, then Kat's parents.

Had a yummy slow cooker meal for dinner (beef stew) and now the boys are asleep and Kat is over at her brother's house for a visit.

And I am once again working on the comment backlog...

Mine:

Whenever the question was bellowed by the foreman, the entire site seemed to fall deathly silent. Everyone knew what the words meant as they echoed and echoed and echoed. It was a tool to be used not on steel or concrete, but on human flesh and bone.

"Where's my damned sledgehammer?"

Thursday July 20th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a country acrostic. Any country you like.

I will not make any comments about how impressed I would be by anyone who managed The Democratic Republic of the Congo, because that would be mean and I wouldn't want anyone to feel obligated to do it just because I mentioned it here.

So. Moving on.

Delivered apricots to the bakery with the boys this morning before taking them to the park. At one point Miles (who is walking now, by the way - pretty sure I haven't mentioned that yet!) just got up and wandered off on his own, about halfway across the park. Me and Max just watched him go since there's a fence that runs all the way around it.

We had to go get him eventually though.

Because he was not coming back on his own.

Mine:

Ruining the trust of the
United States in their
Supposedly strong democracy.
Secrets spilled by an
Idiot's idiot son
And yet... still stands his presidency.

Wednesday July 19th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the trajectory.

Had some time to rest and catch up on comments this morning before taking over with the kids for the afternoon. Natalie came over to play with Max (and Miles) for a bit, which was a nice break for me as well.

Got the boys for most of the day tomorrow, so I best get some sleep.

Mine:

I was a rising star in this company, once. They said I seemed destined for the top and I believed them. Why wouldn't I? They already held the riches and power I desired. Their wisdom came from experience and lives of luxury.

So I sacrificed. I put in the extra hours, I skipped holidays and birthdays and weekends. Gave up friends who were more distraction than motivation. It would all be worth it in the end - that's what I kept telling myself. Every morning and every night.

But then something... happened. Things took a turn. I'm not sure when, exactly. I have no idea how. But suddenly I was no longer the favored son. I was not the heir apparent. Doors no longer opened at my approach.

Sometimes... sometimes they were slammed shut.

I do not understand the how or the why or the when. But I do know the who.

Elliot Gordon.

He's getting the special treatment now. They're grooming him, stroking his ego. Telling him the same lies they told me.

Because he is the new me.

I wonder if there was a me before me, as it were. That seems rather likely, now that I think about it. I wonder what became of him? Or her, I suppose. Doesn't seem likely in this company, but I guess you can never be too sure of anything around here.

I've learned that lesson, all right.

Just a bit too late in the game to do anything about it.

... or is it?

Tuesday July 18th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the traffic jam.

While today didn't go exactly to plan at work, it still ended up being a reasonably good day. And now... four days off.

Trying really hard to catch up on comments enough to get to the yearlong prompt before I have to go back to work on Sunday. Fingers crossed I'll get there.

Mine:

Bumper to bumper
as far as the eye can see...
time to start drinking.

*     *     *

Honk the horn. Honk the
horn. Honk the horn. It has to
work eventually...

Monday July 17th, 2017

The exercise:

Let us do some more continuations today. I think you know the drill by now.

Smoke from the nearest forest fire was bad again today. At least it helped keep things cooler. But I would have appreciated better air quality to go along with a lack of wilting heat.

Beggars, choosers, blah blah blah.

One more day and then my weekend arrives.

Mine:

The smoke burns my eyes but I am too captivated to blink the pain away. I do not want to miss even a moment.

All the books and audio interviews I have consumed in recent years as I prepared for this night were an utter waste of time. I am wholly unprepared for this.

My nerve endings are tingling. The intermingling aromas are overwhelming my ability to process them. The rhythm of the drums have become my heartbeat. Colors whirl and blur and separate until everything before me becomes one.

I can hardly breathe.

The ritual has begun.

Sunday July 16th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the pinata.

Kat and I met for the first time 12 years ago today. Apparently.

Because I totally forgot about it until she reminded me at lunch today. Oops.

Work was generally uneventful again today. I think temperatures peaked in the high twenties today, which was a nice followup to yesterday's high thirties. More of the same tomorrow it looks like.

Mine:

"I don't know about this."

"What's your problem now?"

"The pinata."

"Oh come on. I filled it up with healthy snacks, not just cheap candy and dollar store toys."

"It's not that."

"What then? Are you worried one of the kids will take somebody's eye out? I can find a stick that isn't quite so sharp."

"It's not that either."

"Right, spit it out then. I haven't got all day, you know. The party is starting in less than an hour."

"I just don't think the kids should be trying to crack open a stuffed figure of your ex-wife..."