Category Archives: saintjohn

About turning soil in the backyard sunshine

Today I’ll be working outside in the dirt. Dad and I turned half the garden last night removing any weeds still growing underneath from the previous soil turning two weeks ago.

Gardening on the ground is not the same as gardening in containers. Holy weeds! It’s really not that bad. I’ve dawned Dad’s old work clothes and Mom’s old sneakers and am getting dirty raking in last year’s bagged maple leaves and will be adding peat moss to the mixture later today. It’s cool outside even with the sun shining. The air is fresh and smog is a distant memory until mid-summer when the annual Quebec forest fires and Eastern United States Coast pollution migrate, combine and settle over New Brunswick when the winds are just right.

Many of you may feel it is late for planting and I tend to agree, however in recent years, the summer season in the Maritimes extends into October because of the many Huricanes pushing warm air up the Coast from Florida. It’s been too cold at night for seedlings to survive until this past week in Saint John.

The three day long fog lifted overnight. Birds are chirping. Yellow finches, sparrows, starlings (of course), robins and two morning doves call the adjoining backyards home. The grey morning doves mate for life and sound as owls when speaking. Missy is beside herself with all the activity on the ground. She remains fearful of the green oceanic lawn, nipping just at it’s edges, she walks on anything other than it, happy to stare at the birds while dreaming of catching one.

It’s good to be here. It’s good to be alive today.

The Secret to Distilling Fog

Fog surrounds every fiber of Saint John this night. The city is quiet. Only the street lights are visible a block away. I look out the deck doors to the trees illuminated by one particular street light; they say nothing yet tell me so much.

I was born and raised here. My mind was elsewhere. It didn’t find solace. Does it now? The fog is soothing, quiet and forbids quick movement except in stealth mode perhaps.

I stare in disbelief at the remnants of Vancouver, arriving in boxes daily that I shipped through Canada Post a week ago there. Every one must be carefully sorted outside, rebagged for laundering or placed in the deep freezer for two weeks to rid them of potential stowaway bed bugs. Those last couple of weeks living in Vancouver opened my eyes to real social issues facing the poorer citizens of the city. During the Moving BACK-EAST Sale neighbors came up to wish me well and say I was lucky to be able to leave and get away before it gets worse. Aquilini Investments has no right being a landlord. The city handed them $10 million dollars to prep the skydome for 2010. These people can afford to buy a bottle of wine for $12K yet they can’t or won’t pay to properly de-infest their rental properties of bugs. UPDATE – no stowaway bed bugs were found :)

I think about my friends living in that building, a few of whom are covered from head to toe with itchy bites, rashes and scabs all because the whole building has not been treated all at once. One apartment at a time. This really only pushes the bugs into another of the 59 dwellings.

Fog is filling me up. This is good I suppose. I want to jump. Something doesn’t feel right with the world. Then again it could just be me. Then again, now is the time to make a change for better and live my life the best way I can. Time to squeeze the water out of that sponge letting the bad evaporate and the good distill.

My family is kind. It’s good getting to know them all over again. I was never estranged but developed different ideas than they did about living or so I thought I had. I’m discovering we have much in common and that is inspiring. On a humorous note, I can diagnose every last one of them with some form of anxiety, attention deficit or obsessive disorder. We Easterners are dysfunctional. It’s GREAT!

I’ve lost and let go of an awful lot over these past months. The grieving process feels genuinely honest amidst this coastal fog. The many years of heartache, struggle and shame seem to melt away when you really have the time to rest your head on a clean comfy bed.