Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
~ Auden

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Birthday Rose Bush

A rose needs time and care to be maintained to it’s full potential.
And like friendship, once nourished we find it was well worth the effort.

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That’s Life

How far you go in life depends on 
your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and 
tolerant of the weak and strong, because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

~George Washington Carver

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If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner,
you have learned how to live.
~Lin Yutang

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Come Alive

“Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
~Howard Thurman

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Excellence Or Perfection

Striving for excellence is stimulating and rewarding;
striving for perfection – in practically anything –
is both neurotic and futile.
~ Edwin Bliss

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No Words

Thinking of the families in Saskatchewan today.
No words will help,
I have no words to say.

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If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves. ~Thomas Edison

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That’s My Dad

Hello, Low Tar Roofing, Lorne speaking. Hi mom, yep. We’re on the highway, just coming into West Van.” Lorne checks his rear view mirror and pulls over into the slow lane, fumbles the telephone to his left ear while holding the steering wheel with his right hand.
Yeah, dad and I looked at a job up in Hope. Big one. Yeah, I think I’ll take it, Well, I’m heading into traffic, talk to you later.” He clicks the cellular button off, looks towards the passenger side of his small pickup truck, That was mom, she sounds better now, guess she’s accepting us the way we are, eh?” He settles back into the seat, flinging his right arm up onto the back of it. Ah, the freeway, we can cruise from here.” He shifts into fourth gear, picks up the phone again, pushing buttons as the tones echo in the little cab.Gonna call Sue,” He says, checking his mirrors again. Hi sis, it’s me. Oh we’re fine. Who? Me and dad. We’re on the freeway heading for the ferry. Talked to mom and she’s feeling better. We’ve been to Hope. Stopped at Harrison and reminisced about our trips up there. Yeah, that was fun in those days. Remember the little evergreens you pulled up from beside the road on those trips? They’re real trees now. It’s quite a major resort up there now. Busy? OK talk to you when I get there.” He turns the phone off, transfers it expertly to his right hand and puts it on the seat beside him. Shifting gears again he concentrates on the road as the s-curves and downhill slope runs into Horseshoe Bay. The highway straightens out just before the Squamish turnoff, he relaxes again. Glances over to his right, “Sue’s fine. She wondered where you were. She’s glad you’re with me. Let’s stick together, eh.”
Lorne reaches under his seat, pulls out a can of Molson’s Blue and pulls the tab, juggling it against the steering wheel. I know you don’t approve, but I need this one.”  He takes several long, satisfying gulps of warm beer.
There is no line up at the Langdale booth as he pulls up to the open window, hands his commuter ticket to the attendant, What time’s the next one,” he asks the uncommunicative young man in the booth. Two thirty.” The booth window closes with a thud.
An hour to kill, eh. Oh well,” he pulls away from the booth, follows lane 29 until it changes to lane 6, and coasts slowly to the head of the empty row.  Guess we shouldn’t have stopped at that truck stop in Chilliwack for coffee. Oh well.” Turning off the ignition, he releases his seat belt, finishes off the can of beer and reaches under the seat for another. He flips on the radio, looks over to his right, lifts the can of beer in a toast, and chuckles as he begins to sing along with the radio. Trailer for sale or rent,” he sings loudly, then stops. “Remember that trailer you built us when we moved from Edmonton to Red Deer. Us three kids, you and mom, all crammed into that little homemade caravan. Sue pretending we were gypsies.” He chuckles, takes another gulp of beer. “Yeah, that was a pretty good trailer, your first of several.” He watches in his rear view mirror as a moving van pulls up behind him.  Yup, we’ve spent a lot of time in these ferry line-ups haven’t we? Remember heading over to Sechelt, the whole family crammed into the old Pace Arrow; dogs, cats, the whole tribe?” He laughs, but his laughter has an edge to it, a cynicism that always comes out after a couple of beer.  And Harry’s birthday, remember Harry’s fortieth birthday. Sue made a treasure hunt for him and he had to go all over Sechelt searching for clues. He had to ask a woman in the drugstore for a key. Found his gift in Sue’s post office box. Yeah, that was good. Good old Sue. She’s great, Sue is. Yeah.” he lets out one long sigh, and leans forward onto the steering wheel. And remember those horrible renovation jobs I had? You saved my butt on those ones. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. And Mrs. Briggs, Bags, whatever, she knew it. Boy, she knew I didn’t have a clue. She was after my hide, that one. What a oh, sorry.”  He turns his head to stare out his side window, watching as a car pulls up beside him. He sits in silence, watching, as the lot fills up for the next sailing.
And my old wooden boat. ‘Chief.’ Boy, I couldn’t have got it going without your help. I sure wish we..”  A tap at his window interrupts his train of thought. He rolls the window down, looks up into the face of a police officer. Doing a spot check on cars today, sir, where are you heading?” The officer speaks pleasantly, leaning down to peer in at Lorne. To my boat, in Sechelt, sir.” He pronounces each word slowly and carefully, trying not to slur.
You do realize it is against the law to consume alcoholic beverages in a public place?”
Lorne puts the beer can down on the floor, “Sheesh, no, I never thought about it. Sorry.”
How many have you consumed?”
Just one, this is my second, I just opened it, wasn’t really thinking.”
The officer peers past Lorne, looking at the seat beside him. “What’s in the bag, sir?”
Lorne looks to his right, pats the seat, “That? That’s my dad.”
The officer straightens up, pulls the door open and stands back, his hand still on the handle.
Will you step out of the truck please sir.”
Lorne looks over to his right again, hesitates and then gets out slowly, stepping out of the officer’s way. May I see what’s in the box in the back?”
That’s just my tools,” Lorne heads toward the back of the truck, opens the large black wooden box that holds his boat-fixing tools. As he does this, the officer leans into the cab of the truck and lifts the large white bag off the seat, looks inside, pulls out a large white plastic container, holds it up, reads the label and then carefully puts it back into the bag, and sets it back on the seat. He turns to Lorne with compassion in his voice, “Sorry sir. You’ve been to your father’s funeral. Taking his ashes home, are you? Sorry.” He walks toward the car behind them, turns and looks at Lorne, “Be more careful with that beer sir,” and then walks away.
Lorne gets into the cab, shuts the door, reaches down, picks up the can of beer and takes one long slurp.  Whew, thanks dad.” He laughs a loud and bitter laugh, “you just saved my butt again.”

©Sharron R. McMillan

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Here’s Looking At You

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Finding Meaning

When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing,
when what you are doing serves both yourself and others,
when you do not tire within,
but seek the sweetest satisfaction of your life and work,
then you know that you are doing what you are meant to be doing.
~Gary Zukov

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Sunrise In Nanoose

Crows caw in fir trees.
Creamy white sky underlined
with hazy pink horizon,
above a zig-zag border of mountains
stretching as far as the window’s view.
dove coos her morning song
as flocks of gulls head inland from the bay.

©Sharron R. McMillan

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Oranges Are Ripening

Our indoor Calamondin orange tree is happy to see the sun and has produced quite a few nice little oranges.  I used one grated in the cranberry sauce I made for Easter dinner and it gave wonderful flavour to the sauce.

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Christmas Rose

Helleborus niger
Is a little confused with our changeable weather
and so am I.

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Rest Stop

One hand full of rest
is better than two fists full of labor
and striving after wind.

(Photograph taken at Lefty’s Restaurant in Parksville, BC, a fantastic place to eat!)

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