Monday, September 2, 2019

...We thought they'd never end...

Labour Day, one of the very few days of the year when everything is closed. I like it, it's like a moment out of time, time standing still.

We are into the very best time of year around here, a month or two of absolutely perfect weather. The unbearable heat of summer is done, the miserable cold of winter still in the future. And the gardens and farm markets bursting with tomatoes and corn and squashes and everything else. The students are back and celebrating the way students do, the streets are lively and sometimes too lively. This year the students in my neighbourhood seem not to be the "party hearty" types so we all get to sleep at night.

This is good for Hapi too. She can just barely handle the heat of summer, the cooler days are perking her up. I was supposed to take her to the groomer to get all her matted fur cleaned up but I totally forgot and now the next available appointment is a month away. She's going to be a terrible mess by then. Under normal circumstances it takes hours and hours to clean her up but now that she is old I am reluctant to put her through that. I told the groomer I just want "quick and dirty" and if that means she comes out still a matted mess then so be it.

She had a bad episode of diarrhea necessitating leaving the back door open at night so she could get out rather than do it in the kitchen, when that cleared up (yay rice and apples!) she then became incontinent. So she has decided not to sleep indoors at all. I miss her being by my bed but on the other hand I get to sleep through the night.

She is losing the fur on her tail, her once beautiful billowing flag. The vet checked her out and thought it was not a sign of something worse, she was otherwise healthy enough, and recommended trying melatonin. So we're doing that. I now sympathize with men going bald, I hate seeing her ratty tail.

Birthday gift, one of the tea towels I wove in the spring
Last Wednesday was a friend's 65th birthday. I've known L for 46 years, she was a teenager when I first met her. On Wednesday a bunch of us met at her sister-in-law's for a birthday lunch and then on Saturday her husband threw her a "surprise" birthday party at home. It wasn't really a surprise, when he phoned to invite me to the party L happened to be there and I had the phone on speaker (I usually do that automatically): so much for surprise. But he invited all of the old gang, all of us who have known L almost since she arrived in this province.

She arrived a year before I did, in 1972. There was only one other person at the surprise party who knew L longer than I did, M. He told a story from back in the day, a story that until this Saturday he had not told in its entirety. As L told me later, if M had told the truth about the incident before now she would have killed him. She always knew he wasn't telling the truth, fortunately she no longer wished to kill him for it. It was a good story, I'd never heard the whole story either, just his severely edited version of it. L and I rehashed the story on Sunday and we decided that even now he was not telling the whole truth, parts of the story just didn't ring true. Oh well, we all self-edit.

Now you're intensely curious as to what the story is, I'll just say that it involved drugs and the RCMP and hiding stuff behind L's back. In the end nobody got hurt and nobody went to jail, sort of an Alice's Restaurant tale. I guess that tale was M's birthday gift to L.

At one point in the party L's husband sat down beside me with their old photo albums and started turning the pages. Talk about Memory Lane!! Between the photo album and M's tale it was an evening spent in the past, almost half a century ago.

L's mother died when she was quite young and her father was no great shakes at parenting. So at 16 she took off with her boyfriend on his motorbike and on a whim they headed to Nova Scotia. Shortly after arriving here he was killed in a road accident, leaving L and another friend who travelled with them behind. They had found an abandoned house way back on the mountain, near some other hippies also squatting in an abandoned house. So she met some of the local freaks that way. There quickly grew up quite a community of young people, including some new arrivals from out west, the three guys who set up Trinity Farm ("the three guys"). My husband and I and our 2 kids arrived the following year, we had lived in a house with the three guys in Vancouver. We had parted ways for our own adventures, but for one reason and another we decided to follow the guys to Nova Scotia a year later. M was the cousin of one of the three guys and used to hang out at Trinity Farm, and so did L. My little family arrived at Trinity Farm on the Labour Day weekend of 1973.

When M told his story we weren't sure exactly when it happened, but piecing together the bits that each of us remembered from those days we decided that it was it was either the fall of 1974 or the early winter of '75. I was preoccupied with my own drama (family breakup) so I was only dimly aware of other people's dramas. Those were definitely the days, my friend.

1 comment:

Wisewebwoman said...

Wow Annie what a precious party that was, most of my history sharers are gone and it's only with those we can truly relive the experiences.

I remember Ansa's last grooming. My groomer was kind enough to shut down her business from other dogs to alleviate stress for Ansa and took about 4 hours to do the job. I was so grateful to her.

Poor Hapi, my heart is with you.