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Prince Albert Voice

Janice DePeel

Busy Morning!

I’m nervous.  Today my day begins earlier than usual as I have medical appointments.  I wake up an hour and a half before I need to leave so I can prepare and have time to just take a deep breath and relax.  One of my toddlers slept in the bed with me last night and he hasn’t been sleeping well.  I look at his face, relaxed in slumber and he looks dead to the world.  Quietly I climb out of bed, moving in micro movements so as not to disturb him.  Standing, I think the mistake was looking over my shoulder to see if he was still sleeping.  That’s when his eyes popped open.  How do children do that?  It’s like they instinctively know when something unusual is taking place and they want to be a part of it.

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Summer Blues

When I was a young girl I remember admiring my Dad as he tended to his honey bees.  He had six or seven colonies at our home in Candle Lake and then he had a couple of bee yards towards the Meath Park area.  Some of the best honey he harvested came from the hives of bees he kept near specific crops such as alfalfa.  I grew up watching the bees dance around my father as he pulled out frame after frame and gently brushed them aside so he could study the work they were doing.  And because he didn’t get stung, I came to believe the bees were my friend.  One day I saw a honey bee struggling in a deep mud puddle.  It never occurred to me that it might be scared and in distress.  I just wanted to save it.  When I dipped my finger in the water and lifted the bee out to dry ground, I remember its’ tail end curling and she stabbed me in the finger tip.  I went to my mother, crying, and she wiped the stinger away.  I still had the bee in my hand and I remember indignantly crying, “It BIT me!”  Mom replied, “That’s what bees do.”  I couldn’t accept that.  “But, bees are my friend!”  I stayed away from bees with my bare hands after that.  Any rescuing I did began with a stick or twig.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t then that I learned my lesson and kept my distance from those stinging individuals.

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Surprisingly Delicious

Have you ever been on vacation and tried a meal at a hometown diner that was just extraordinarily delicious?  When my daughter was eighteen months old she joined my sister and I on a driving trip to North Carolina.  Along the way we stopped in a small town and chose one of the Main Street restaurants to have our dinner.  The food wasn’t extraordinary.  In fact, it was rather simple and we could have pulled the ingredients out of our pantry at home and created a similar meal.  Perhaps that is why that meal still sticks in my mind.  A dozen years later and I still recall those first delicious bites of roast beef and potatoes, succulent and moist, with gravy on the side.  And there were baking powder biscuits.  Even by the time I finished my meal, which had cooled to room temperature by then, it was still a tasty meal.  You know it’s delicious when the picky eater of the family clears her plate, even when all the food was touching, but I did!  

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Dare I Dream?

Today, as I look at the flowers blooming on the bushes in my front yard, I hear an admonition repeating itself inside my head,  “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”  This isn’t so much applicable with the lilacs as their little buds turn into blossoms and then they die - that’s their life cycle.  But for the blossoms on the Mountain Ash, they turn into bright red berries once the blooms have pollinated.  And I find the berries just as lovely as the flowers.  Part of the reason being because of the aesthetic appeal those berries have for me in the middle of winter when everything is quite stark and bare.  It is mentally stimulating for me to see the colourful berries clustered on the trees in contrast to the snow and ice I often associate with winter.

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Spring Has Sprung

Despite the frigid temperatures, I am unable to deny Spring finally seems to have decided to arrive, and stay.  There was limited evidence the season had sprung upon us, like an early crocus peaking through a white capped bank of snow that refused to melt, however I was beginning to think we were going to go straight from winter to fall.  It didn’t help that May long weekend, which I call “Gardening Long Weekend” saw my friends posting pictures of snowfall from Kamloops all the way to parts of Saskatchewan and beyond.  We had a schmear of the white stuff yet it was enough to help me decide NOT to go shopping for bedding plants quite yet.  Then the wind came, and because there’s  nothing more unpredictable than Mother Nature when she blows a gasket, leaving me with a false sense of security, I shrugged my shoulders and thought nothing of it.  I have a little green house just outside my back door.  I’ve weighed down the bottom of it and I’ve been fairly aggressive in handling it, pushing against it and testing to see how far I could go before it would collapse, fall over or otherwise cause damage to the precious cargo stored inside.  Nothing I did made me think my plants were threatened and I felt quite secure in my own mind that I could move the plants I’d purchased into my greenhouse.  I had tomatoes and cucumbers I’d planted from a kit, which I shared with you a couple of weeks ago.  But I also had some peppers and wave petunias as well.  Oh, have you already noted I’m writing in past tense?  The days were warm and sunny, after it finally stopped snowing, and my plants were adjusting to their new home, albeit not exactly thriving but, they weren’t throwing themselves out of their pots either.  I felt quite confident that another week in the green house and I’d be planting them in their permanent homes.  My Mom came and found me.  “Your little greenhouse on the deck…” she began.  I nodded my head, looking out the window, and noted the trees dipping and dancing as the wind whistled through the bare branches just beginning to sprout leaf buds.  “I think it’ll be okay,” I said,  “I have the zipper open a bit so wind will go through it and not create a balloon of air and I have some rocks, an old heavy grill and a brick on the bottom so it should be secure.”  My Mom listened then finished her sentence, “the wind just picked it up and threw it onto the ground.  Everything is destroyed.”  Well played, Mother Nature, well played.  You got me.  

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