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Beth Caldwell - The View From Here

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The dogs rule the roost

I’m baby-sitting my boyfriend’s two dogs this week while he is working in northern Manitoba.

“The boys” and I are on a learning curve—and I’m aghast to admit that I am the student and not the teacher (at least not yet).

“Pepe” is a short off-white (needs a bath) wire-haired stubborn little mastermind who can hear a bread crumb drop to the floor in the kitchen but was rendered completely deaf when I released him to outside without a leash to pee, wherein he raced off chasing the illusive nothing and ignored my constant bellow of, “Come back here this instant!”

Wake up and smell the bacon

I believe ice cream has magical properties and, when scooped into a pretty glass dish in big round spoonfuls, and topped with homemade caramel sauce and savoured ever so slowly, moves me to write.

Despite the fact that my core temperature has plummeted from eating more than my share of vanilla (and that I can’t feel the tips of my fingers on the keyboard due to the frozen dairy phenomenon), I do believe I am inspired.

Life is just like a pot of soup

I was sitting at the kitchen table one night earlier this week—one hand holding up my head while the other made circles with a spoon in my homemade turkey vegetable soup.

I make a mean turkey vegetable soup. It’s a powerful medicinal bastion that can kill a virus just by its aroma.

In fact, I believe my turkey vegetable soup is the one and only cure for the common cold.

Where did I put that?

Twenty pieces of underwear, all my socks (each divorced from its mate), multiple pairs of pantyhose of tortuous sizes, and all the trinket junk that covered the bottom of my panties’ drawer were flung around my bedroom such that a tornado couldn’t have left a bigger mess than I did in about 10 seconds.

I was searching the last bastion of hope for a piece of stainless steel hardware I needed for the transport of my sailboat mast in the “down” position when trailering “Scout” home for the winter months.

The woman who was Florence

A few nights ago, in the midst of writer’s block, I pulled two books from the bookcase on “things to write about.”

I opened a section and read the first thing I saw.

“You’ve long suspected that your best friend is a CIA operative. Now your child is in danger overseas, and you need help.”

Not touching that one.

“Your cat (or dog) has a Twitter feed. What are its first three tweets?”

Flat stare. Try again.

“One of your grandparents teaches you something important.” Bingo!

Learning such an incredible journey

I had just finished a 30-minute, job-related mish-mash questionnaire of 50 hypothetical scenarios—the results of which were supposed to magically reveal what kind of a person I “reeeeally” was.

I answered honestly and felt pretty good about that. Then someone, who’d never met me before, came in, pulled the questionnaire, and left the room.

The door was ajar (people should be more careful about what they say when someone is listening).

I see what I see—and that’s all

There is an old story about a writer who goes to his teacher and says, “Teacher, all the stories have already been told. There is no need for me to write.

“Everything that needs to be said has already been written.”

“It’s true that there are no new stories,” the teacher replied. “The universal lessons have been taking place for a long, long time and the same themes have influenced humanity since time began.

“But no one sees that story through your eyes and no one else in the world will tell that story exactly the way you will.

I’m proud to be an outsider

The last sunset of August hovers on the horizon as I write this. If you really want to know how fast time flies, watch the sun set.

In the time it takes to realize how beautiful the purple-hued light is, reach for the camera, and turn back to the beauty, the magic of the light has changed.

I fully understand that the unequivocal speed in the dimming of the day sums up perfectly what time there is NOT to waste hesitating, fearing, and second-guessing in this world.

“The days pass so quickly here,” is a true statement in this world, too, “Dorothy of Oz.”

This is where I’m at right now

I came home Monday night to 12 C in the house and so turned the heat on, crawled into a wool sweater and sweat pants, and had a cup of tea for breakthrough chills.

I hit the shower soon after that, and turned red like a lobster as I cooked myself in a steam bath.

I’m almost ready to put the electric blanket on my bed—if only I could remember where I stored it back in the spring.

It’s the 24th day of August as I write this, and the crisp night air spills out a pungent pre-autumn fragrance of wet, mulching leaves that I love but am in no way ready for.

Here’s to 20/20 vision

I have so much to write about and yet I don’t know where to begin.

How do I priorize four weeks of great summer adventures and memories? How do I pick which life byte gets the top spot in this space?

My writing cup runneth over.

Above all else, I know for sure that time flies. I can hardly believe it is mid-August and that the sunset hour is falling ever closer to 8:30 p.m. from that day not so long ago when we had to wait until 10 p.m. for enough darkness to see the fireworks.