Season Of Spider Love


In my corner of the world spiders are considered summertime house invaders. With seasonal predictability they arrive on the promise of spring staking claim to the garden. As days lengthen we open windows and doors, inviting spiders into our homes with warm weather indifference. Canadian summers are fleeting, knowing they’ll be gone at first frost excuses occasional household spider drama.

As I write, autumn chill suggests a timely spider farewell – not so fast, this is the season of spider love.

Three species in particular, the Hobo, Barn Tunnel Weaver and “giant house spider” Eratigena Atrica reach sexual maturity in autumn. All three abandon their horizontal sheet or funnel garden webs in search of love. Just when Canadians let their guard fall with autumn leaves, harmless lovelorn spiders appear in bathtubs, basements and bedroom walls.

As spiders go they aren’t behemoth, venomous or likely to bite, all they want is a little love.Take a deep breath, stifle screams, scoop and show them the door.

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Pass The Hand Sanitizer


Late August 2017 Lethbridge, Alberta, a perfect morning to watch the Whoop Up Days parade. We settled curbside, seated among families, senior care home residents and a smattering of tourists.Very much a regional celebration, sprinkled with local politicians,dance academies, beauty schools, financial institutions and community services. Local children came prepared for handfuls of candy along the route, loot bag bulges rivaled Halloween.

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Along came a multicultural community group – dark skinned children carrying baskets of wrapped candy, beaming generous delight at outstretched hands. The family seated next to us let their children accept multicultural candy, then it got weird. The rising voice of Mom sent chills through an otherwise perfect morning. She meant business, Mom didn’t have to snarl twice – “get over here right now!” – plucked her children from innocence to realities of hand sanitizer  brandished with alarming urgency. Rabid purpose dispatched healthy dollops into outstretched hands.

Caught in my stare, Mom blithered half hearted platitudes – “the street is dirty, don’t want them to get sick”. Speechless, I turned away. Refusing to look back when snippets of insane jibber-jabber revealed Mom’s overwhelming need to explain hand sanitizer for strangers on the other side.

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This Canadian is grateful for hand sanitizer parade morning. As Canadians we possess an infinite capacity to finger Trump’s America, oblivious or politely indifferent to reality of racism in our back yard. I saw beautiful children full of hope and promise, hand sanitizer Mom saw dirty, inferior children who posed a risk to her family. As Canadians, regardless of faith, demographic or political affiliation, we have to stop hand sanitizing Moms. Next time I won’t look away.

Home From A Week On The Road


Last Friday sparked seven restorative days on the road with my husband. Seven days isn’t much time, 1,000 miles out, 1,000 miles back, another 1,000 meandering miles in between. Visiting family in Penticton, B.C. and Lethbridge, Alberta lent direction and purpose, far from burden or obligation we embraced structure, but for predetermined structure we might have driven to Kenora, Ontario.

Road trips are a state of mind, for us unspoken understanding of travel without tidy edges. We don’t care if it takes 6 or 14 hours to get from A to B, the road dictates absolutely no rules (correction – no fast food is a steadfast, unbreakable rule). Hitting the road without urgency is the essence of travel, an expedition of discovery beholden to no one.

For those who know me, a photo of ice cream Notes in Summerland B.C.  Taken on road trip day three, when was the last time I looked this relaxed?

Below – road trip gallery starting with a cell phone shot of my pinhole eclipse view in Greenwood B.C., followed by random unstructured glimpses of road trip majesty extracted from my phone, and husband’s camera –

Powerful and wise, the road delivered a better person home. Notes is back, all it took was a road trip to put things right.