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Beth Caldwell - The View From Here

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Wisdom unfolds in sweet form

First of all, I am writing this with sea legs and if I didn’t feel the floor under my writing desk in my bedroom I would swear I was on the sailboat socking through the waves on Rainy Lake. It’s incredible how the human body continues to process motion some 20 hours after setting foot on dry land.

I suddenly have visions of the old salt “Santiago” from the novel “The Old Man and the Sea” and wonder if he had sea legs after his long fishing voyages.

Variations on the ‘last tack’

Sailing has sparked a fresh start in so many ways for this gal, who is standing up and cheering because her ship has come in.

I am happily involved as a budding member of the Rendezvous Yacht Club, and learning as much about life and myself as I am about the master art of sailing.

I have spent many years reading books and studying philosophies that revolve around the “power of now” and other modalities that harness my thinking into the moment at hand and away from the yesterdays and tomorrows and unknowns.

Followers make good teachers

Sometimes I think I’m “all that” and I am!

And then I do idiocy and dig my bicycle out of a two-year storage, plunk on a helmet made for a bigger brain, and pedal like the dickens (because I was going to be late) the 8.5 km to work.

About two km into the stupidity was when I rolled my eyes to the wind and said out loud—in my self-deprecating voice—things that I shall not repeat in public.

My saddle bones were smoldering from bike seat friction, my lungs were on fire, and I’d lost feeling in my right hand from gripping the handle bar too tight.

Taking Twain’s mantra to heart

In general terms I do not like ants. They show up inside the house where they are not welcome, and on occasion there is the one ant that is so much bigger than I expect and it freaks me out.

On the other hand, ants also fascinate me and I have great respect for their fortitude in the world.

Their load restrictions are bar none, they have incredible focus, and despite formidable and recurring odds, ants don’t dally. They strive to rebuild a world they want to live in. They don’t lie at anchor or drift in life when things get messed up.

‘Homeland’ security division on high alert

Short, sweet, and to the point.

That’s my goal as I write this at 4:30 a.m. on a Tuesday—paddling madly against the tide in the procrastination bay of time frames for my column.

I’m not sure where the last week went. I lost track of it at “Hello” and then was whisked away by the infinite chores in my neck of the woods.

I often think that even 24 hours of sunshine wouldn’t be enough time for me to get done all the things on my list.

Listen a little harder to their stories

In his book “Illusions,” Richard Bach penned, “You teach best what you most need to learn.”

I write about a lot of life’s little quirks, home runs, jagged points, and ocean waves. I’m not sure I do this to teach anybody anything.

In fact I write to help heal my life and learn from my somewhat windy journey. However my readers often tell me that what I write about helps them, too. I appreciate their feedback very much.

Today I miss my grandparents, Joe and Florence, who died in 1996 and 2006 respectively.

Act the way you want to feel

I have a photograph of my late grandmother, Florence Drennan, on the wall facing where I sit and write.

The photo was taken in 1929. Grandma is 14 years old and one of eight young girls in wool cloche-style hats trying to be still for the photographer. Some of them are laughing.

My Grandmother has an ear-to-ear closed mouth grin and looks ready to bust a gut at something funny that must have been circulating among them that day so long ago.

The bond around here sticks like glue

The news probably has been out there for a long time, but I just found that our ear lobes never stop growing.

That’s just great—there goes one more part of my body headed south without my consent.

Perhaps I could postpone the imminent downward droop with duct tape. Goodness knows the super adhesive is my back-up plan for putting other things in their place.

I’ve used duct tape to hold my baby toe against its digit neighbour so it didn’t hurt so bad after I broke the little buddy kicking a big rock that I couldn’t pick up.

Sometimes I do know what I’m talking about

I don’t imagine a lot of 16-year-olds read my column.

If my own daughters were still in that age group, I know for sure this writing space would be the last place they would cast their eyes because they’d be sure to find their haphazard and often dramatic ways cloaked in feeble anonymity and spread like alphabet butter in a 600-word essay.

June really takes the cake for me

I love the month of June. In fact, aside from my birthday month of October, I think June takes the cake.

I say that now while my lawn is still two days from another cut. Usually by the time I’m done mowing it, and because I have a big yard and there’s only one of me, I’m not quite so thrilled on the bursting green rapid growth that happens in Month Six.

But today I like it.