From Where I Sit – The Latest Lesson

How did you cope with the soggy summer weather? Like most things, it impacted some people more than others. For this Festival Coordinator, it caused some fleeting angst. Then I realized that far bigger, more established events like the Calgary Stampede or Taste of Edmonton got through it. Albertans are plucky people and most will figure out a way to do what they really want to do. That may mean packing rain gear, shortening their stay, or just grinning and bearing it.

At is happened, our August 20-21 weekend was fine. The showers happened at night and didn’t hamper our outdoor plans. The cooler weather was a blessing to those of us working so hard for so long. The subsequent couple of weeks were cool and gloomy enough that it kept me indoors sorting, storing, rationalizing all the things that must be kept from year to year. Purchasing some more totes and a wheeled storage caddy should make a huge difference next summer. I’ll spend less time searching boxes and bags. Most of the preliminary packing of what needs to get to the hall is already done. It will be easier for me to load the utility trailer and for the volunteers to unload and reload it before and after the festival. For all of us, time is precious and saving steps and working smarter makes more and more sense as we age. Plus, I love the challenge of making that happen.

During the past many weeks, nothing has been done outside other than cutting the grass. My three flowerpots died ages ago but I haven’t yet removed the bodies. While I awaited some potentially life-altering medical results, I reassessed how I was living my life. I decided that regardless of the results, there are going to be some huge changes in the yard. Undesirable and volunteer plants would be nuked with Roundup. Overgrown shrubs would be yanked out by their roots. Invasive perennials would be shared or gonzo. Naturally, Roy would be needed for the tractor and bucket work. A pea gravel mulch, a few specimen trees, and huge landscape rocks would be the new minimalist look.

The goal being to free up time for guilt-free pastimes that bring pleasure not drudgery. If I need a ’flower fix’ I can visit public or private gardens or greenhouses. I can buy flowers for the house. I can damn well do what I want when I want. I can make my life easier. I can choose my own destiny.

Unfortunately, the cold, damp weather has meant not a damn thing has been done to advance this project. Nor is much happening with harvest. The wet summer has led to sclerotinia, a fungal disease in the canola. It will affect yield when the work finally begins.

This long weekend I went to church, we visited our grandsons, and I spent Monday cleaning and rearranging my office. As satisfying as that all was, it feels like just biding time. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting for results, better weather, the perfect yard; the latest lesson in patience, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

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