How to be less cranky when turning 60

  • Buy a coffin.
  • Put the coffin in your living room.
  • Fill the coffin with clothes that don’t fit, books you’ll never read, lists of people you don’t talk to anymore, every regret you’ve ever had, all your lost dreams. Add a picture of you at 28.
  • Stop plucking the hairs on your chin. For fun, see how long they’ll grow.
  • Stop gluing down the three hairs on your left eyebrow that poke out like past sins.
  • Burn your 36 DD bras. Fly free.
  • Stop buying self-help books. If you own any, add them to the coffin.
  • Do 10 squats a day so you can get up and down off the toilet when you’re 70.
  • Eat bread and pasta and potatoes and white sugar and milk chocolate if you want.
  • Walk outside, not on a treadmill. The treadmill is a symbol. So is being outside.
  • Give your better angels a voice and tell the bitter bitches who talk over everyone to fuck off. Better yet, throw the bitches in the coffin.
  • Obsess about now.
  • Practice listening to your dog, your cat, your budgie, your goldfish and then go listen to your best friend.
  • Talk to people the way you talk to your pet. Chances are if you say “Who’s a good friend?” they’ll beam with pleasure.
  • Look up at the sky and not your feet. The view is better.
  • Practice what you preach.

 

 

Memory map

Map1963

Map of Canada – 1963

When the Canadian Oxford Desk Atlas of the World dated 1963 was published, I was six years old.  The first map in the book shows the land mass of Canada and the scale is one inch to 300 miles.  In this atlas the islands and inlets spattering the west coast of my childhood are, like my memories, unnamed. I know now those islands grew from cataclysms and it makes sense that the route through them – the way home – is dangerous. Continue reading

Mexican horses

TodosSantosHorse

Untethered

 

1968
We moved to Vancouver Island when I was ten. One of the selling features for the new location offered by my dad was horses – I could learn how to ride. Lessons arranged, I showed up at the barn on Saturday morning. The group lessons had started the week before and so the trainer gave me the last horse available – a  16 hands tall beast named Jet. I needed a leg-up to get into the stirrups. Continue reading

Writing-Down-the-Baja-ha-ha

What could be better than going to Baja Mexico in February – from snow drifts to sand dunes; from tires spinning on ice to waves crashing on the beach; from white-out conditions to bougainvillea and cactus flowers in bloom? What could be better than all that? Going to Writing-down-the-Baja, a writers retreat led by author Ellen Waterston of The Writing Ranch, and attended by bra fitting expert and author Elisabeth Dale. Not that I knew the latter would be there or that there would be surreptitious glances at my breasts to determine did I know what I was doing  bra-wise. No, that was a double-barreled bonus. Continue reading

Elementary

Lopsided, I lug my tote bag and clomp into the change room of the community swimming pool half an hour late – because of work. The lane swim began at 11:30. I like to get there for the start,  be the first one to break the surface of the water, make the first wave, set the pace. I tiptoe through the heat-fogged room in winter boots, careful not to slip on the slick floors. I love the smell of chlorine at high noon. I’m in my element. Continue reading

Performance appraisal 2017

christmascookies

Will work for cookies.

 

Pat stamps fast tracks –
tap tap taps.
Baas assays Pat’s annals,
yack yack yacks,
alarms Pat. Nay ‘scape.
Can’t sass. Facts am facts.

Pat drafts a brash plan,
charts tasks, basks –
ha ha ha – all’s grand and
all that. At last, Baas marks
Pat A1 – nay spat – pays scant.
Alas, tax man grabs all back.