Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

The Fairy Olympics       

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Prince Charles flitted and bobbed amongst the yellow flowers and tall grasses, stretching his muscular wings and practicing his moves for the Fairy Olympics that were to begin in Fairyopia in two months time. Charles was aware that he’d have no problem winning most of the medals in the competition. But he was the son of King Karmen and Queen Mirabella, two of the nicest kindest fairies ever hatched from a fairy cocoon.  And he was a very kind and pleasant fairy as well! 

It wasn’t that Charles did not enjoy winning. He was always pleased when he achieved the fastest time in a flying or swimming competition. But the other fairies, who were his friends, had to lose in order for Charles to win. And he was a wiss when it came to disappointing his friends. Charles had even flown backwards once during a flying match to allow his best friend Gurgle the opportunity to win a race. But Gurgle- who had no sense of direction – had become lost and flown off-course. And Charles had won anyway.

Charles hadn’t always been muscular and athletic. For most of his childhood he’d been a bit overweight. He was teasingly referred to by his sisters as “Chubby Charles.”

As babies, Charles and his sisters, Sunshine and Showers, had metamorphosed from the nymph phase in the same way that other fairies – and some insects- do. The tiny hatchlings had appeared on their parents’ doorstep following a snowstorm. When they were taken indoors where it was warm, the girl fairies had emerged from their cocoons far sooner than their brother. Charles wasn’t really that interested in learning about the real world.

Throughout their childhood his sisters had remained speedier than Charles. Sunshine could fly so fast that you could barely see her tiny body whizzing through the air. And Showers could swim as swiftly as the tiny, silvery fish that darted and twirled in the depths of The Black and Blue River. Both girls had beaten their brother many times in sports competitions. 

One hot summer day Charles and his sisters were cooling themselves in the Black and Blue River.

 “Let’s have a swimming race,” suggested Showers. The sisters’ long blonde curls were tied back with spider webbing and their wings were tightly clasped behind their slender shoulders.

 “Yes, let’s do that,” agreed Sunshine.

Charles had eaten two large pieces of fairy-cake while visiting with Fred the hippopotamus at the ferry terminal. Fred had just hauled the ferryboat on-shore. It was laden with delicious cakes baked by the fairy cooks that lived on the east side of the river. As payment for his work Fred was permitted to eat as much cake as he desired. And he was good about sharing with his friends.

Charles’s stomach was still full and the last thing he wanted to do was compete in a swimming race.

“You’re just afraid that one of us will beat you,” Showers scoffed. And of course Charles’s masculine pride could not ignore that remark. As it turned out, he not only lost the race to Showers; but his other sister Sunshine, finished ahead of him as well.

The next morning Charles was still unhappy about losing the swimming race to his sisters. His wings dangled and his head drooped as he skittered along a woodland trail that led to an open meadow. Charles was wishing he was stronger and thinner. His sisters would no longer have a chance of beating him in any kind of competition! 

Charles had expected to be alone that morning. But now, in the distance, he could hear his sisters joking and giggling as they fluttered back and forth behind him on the trail. One of them squealed something in a high voice about “Chubby Charles” and the other sister giggled. Charles felt his face turn beet red.

In the middle of the meadow there was a large rock. Charles noticed that a smooth tunnel had been drilled right through the middle of it. He wondered if it was the result of a fairy having previously wished for a hiding place….

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Perhaps another male fairy had once desperately wished to escape from his sisters or some other pesky fairies? Charles thought to himself. Fairy wishes generally came true if one wished long enough and hard enough. The tunnel was not visible from the air. Charles had flown over the rock many times and had never before noticed the opening.

His sister’ voices sounded closer now – and from higher up. Sunshine and Showers had opened their tiny wings and were gliding toward the clouds. Very soon they would spot their brother below them on the ground. There was only one place to hide. Charles slowly eased himself into the rock tunnel until both ends of his body were out of sight from the air. It was a tight squeeze and he could barely breathe.

It was nearly sundown when he was finally able to emerge from the tunnel where he had been trapped for almost an entire day. By that time his stomach had shrunk and he’d lost enough “bulge” to escape. 

It was then that Charles’ interest in becoming thinner and stronger was resolved. From that day forward he worked out every morning and every evening.  He also assisted Fred the Hippo with towing the ferry, refusing all offers of cake as payment. 

Charles sisters no longer referred to him as “Chubby Charles.” They proudly polished the medals their brother was awarded at various athletic competitions. At the Fairy Olympics, Charles had won several more to add to the collection displayed on the family mantelpiece. 

This last batch of medals was what Charles was most proud of. He’d helped train some of the younger fairies to become better athletes. At the Fairy Olympics these upstarts demonstrated that they were even faster than he was.

Charles was very pleased with his second and third place medals.

That was a lovely wedding 🥰

Here are the lyrics to the song I wrote and sang at the ceremony for the adorable (somewhat mature) bride and groom:

Love in Your 80s

What does it take to find love in your 80s
To open your heart and make a new start
What do you need to believe in a future
To lift up your face to the stars
Sharing the space where you are

Your life has been long, you’ve had to be strong
Counting the costs of the things you have lost
With so much that’s over and so many gone
In the twilight of life you’ll find a new song
A song of two hearts who belong

What does it take to find love in your 80s
To open your mind and see what you’ll find
What do you need to believe in a future
To lift up your face to the stars
Sharing the space where you are

Nothing is over until it is over
As long as you live you’ve still love to give
After each ending, it’s time for beginning
what else is losing but practice for winning

Here’s what it takes to find love in your 80s
It’s courage and faith and a sparkle of grace
It’s life everlasting, and feast after fasting
And lifting your face to the stars
Sharing the space where you are

Your lives have been long, you’ve both been so strong
Now, sharing the costs of the things you have lost
With so much that’s over and so many gone
In the twilight of life, this is a new song
A song of two hearts who belong

Yesterday was stressful. Spent hours attempting to download and copy our vaccination cards on both mine and George’s computers and then hopefully, print them out. My old Window 7, now a 10, is sometimes reliable but slow. George’s is new and fast but has strange habits. Turned out both computers locked out on us and I noticed all accessible networks here at the Lodge had little locks on their availability. Did I do that??? They recovered after awhile…..
My printer and I have disagreed before and yesterday was no exception. It is new and came with no instructions whatever. All its quirks and quarkes are encased in a manuel that has not yet been completely retrieved from its innards. My problem is that I learn something and am confident that I have it in my brain and then ‘Poof!’ It is gone.
Thank you Elaine (@ Autumn Services for plasticing our shiny new vaccination passports! Now we can attend restaurants, bars, events…..problem is I am too tired to go anywhere!

TO LEARN OR TO UNLEARN??

I’m thinking about a response I received years ago from the then manager of Fraser Lake Inn, when I applied for a job as a waitress. I’d had very little experience, but Ray (I think that was his name?) said that was good. He wanted his employees to do the job his way. “It’s far easier to learn new job habits ,” he explained. “Than to unlearn old habits.”

Maybe that’s true in other aspects pertaining to the human condition?

I am really perplexed about our seemingly divided views on important subjects. What about my deeply held thinking habits re things such as advocating for vaccination against diseases? Should I unlearn my tendency to go along with the status quo? I strongly believe in being vaccinated but perhaps I am wrong?

What about abortion? My personal observation of friends who’ve been through it, is that abortion is against a woman’s natural need to nourish the baby that is inside her. It is very hard on a woman to have an abortion because it is against nature. She suffers mentally and emotionally after having that abortion. But on the other hand, I had a misscarriage at 2 and a half months. It was definitely not a fully developed fetus, by any sense of the word, at that stage of the game. I felt no emotional attachment…should I have felt sad?

Hope and Change

Obama used the phrase “Hope and Change” as his pre-election slogan. It seems to me that is the only way for our society to carry on into the next phase of our existence. Hope is what we wish for and change is the process that makes it happen. We build upon what we already know.

Medical science has come a long way since I was a kid back in the dark ages. I remember meeting a woman who seemed amazingly young for her “advanced”age. I was in my late teens and had never known anyone who looked as healthy as she did at the age of 60. Now many of my children and step-children are approaching or have reached that magical age of 60. They all look amazingly young for their age, according to nineteen fifties standards. They are still able to work and play hard. Some have sufferred through serious health issues and have recovered.

During the past seventy or so years , medical Science has bumbled their way through some horrific mistakes like the Thalidimide crisis and come up with healing substances such as penicillin and othet anti-bacterial medications; also anti-virals, anti-inflammatorys, anti- psychotics etc. They have developed vaccines to protect us against polio, red measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever and other horrible diseases.

The big killers used to involve heart problems. My uncle died at 36 because he had been born with “a hole in his heart” Shortly after they came up with the “heart lung” machine which made open heart surgery possible. Now half my friends who’ve slowed down because of blocked arteries (including myself) have had stents put in and we now can keep up with our fellow senior citizens. I have also put up with breast cancer (not fun but I survived) I can only say “Hurray for Medical Science!”

Perhaps we need to think of the Coronaviruses as akin to extra- terrestial beings set to multiply and take over our planet?

They are living organisms. Like all living organisms, their main intent is to survive and propogate their species. They are very good at doing this.

They were new on our scene. At first we were helpless to defend ourselves. Because of the airplane the virus travelled to all parts of the world, living and propagating inside the living bodies of tourists and other travellers.

Now we have vaccines which are weapons to stop (or at least slow down) the extra terrestrials from multiplying and wiping out large segments of our human population.

At first it was the elderly and infirm who were mostly vulnerable. But these crestures have a little trick that we don’t have (or perhaps we do but it takes more time for us to develop it?)

They are able to mutate their offspring into meaner and tougher beings that are able to attack younger and stronger human beings more and more effectively as time goes by.

Anyway that’s my take on the situation we human beings are in!

My Son’s Latest Poem

Canada’s Shame by Bruce Ray

give us back our names
as we lie in the cold
and dark Earth
our voices muffled by time
and it’s passing
memories rising up like
pale lilies from our bones
to say we still live
as long as our people
remember us –
let us walk with the
spirit bear once again
let us feel the skin of the land
and walk the fire’roads
of the deepest forest
let us return to the place
where we were born long ago
our names are all we have
our names are what we
leave behind -we speak from
our choked mouths
and hollowed out skulls
waiting now for the names
of recognition -golden eyes
still see -the starlight
and the moon of our sisters
give us back our names
don’t bury the truth beneath
like we’ve been buried
let us be proud of our culture
like we were before
the teachers came to fill
our heads with numbers
give us back our names
for surely we are only dead
if no-one speaks of us
resurrect us with the truth
of your truth
give us back our names
there are no stones on the ground
to mark our passing
there are no stories and tales
to celebrate us -they filled
our heads with useless knowledge
and they took away
our language and history
how we were made to speak
the god’tongue of our masters
we were compelled to think
with the colonized mind
and to put on the white masks
and live out the white dream
give us back our names

give us back the eternal spring
and the waters that rise up
from our open throats
as we sing of our captivity
and the injustice of what
has been done -how we wait for
someone to speak our names
we wait for our faces to be
uncovered from the dirt
as we share our secret story
with the children of mercy
give us back our names
give us back our names
and now a thousand and more
in the neglected graves of
residential schools
forced assimilation, some 150,000
children taken from their
families during this period and
placed in boarding schools.
in order to“’get rid of the Indian’
in the child.”
give us back our names
speak the sacred language
of trauma -let us rise again
bruised and beaten but unbowed
give us back our names
take our bodies and carry them
back to our people
let us sing the funeral songs
and invoke our ancestors
give us back our names
let us be angry and resolute
let us go through pain
let us walk through the fires
and let us feel the heat
give us back our names
and in the calling let us open
our eyes to see again
give us back our names
give us back our names


give us back our names
as we lie in the cold
and dark Earth
our voices muffled by time
and it’s passing
memories rising up like
pale lilies from our bones
to say we still live
as long as our people
remember us –
let us walk with the
spirit bear once again
let us feel the skin of the land
and walk the fire’roads
of the deepest forest
let us return to the place
where we were born long ago
our names are all we have
our names are what we
leave behind -we speak from
our choked mouths
and hollowed out skulls
waiting now for the names
of recognition -golden eyes
still see -the starlight
and the moon of our sisters
give us back our names
don’t bury the truth beneath
like we’ve been buried
let us be proud of our culture
like we were before
the teachers came to fill
our heads with numbers
give us back our names
for surely we are only dead
if no-one speaks of us
resurrect us with the truth
of your truth
give us back our names
there are no stones on the ground
to mark our passing
there are no stories and tales
to celebrate us -they filled
our heads with useless knowledge
and they took away
our language and history
how we were made to speak
the god’tongue of our masters
we were compelled to think
with the colonized mind
and to put on the white masks
and live out the white dream
give us back our names

It all boils down to choices about whom we choose to trust and about whom we choose not to trust.

In regards to the Covid Pandemic, I choose to believe that the children , in whom our country and countries throughout the entire world have invested good money in, in order to educate them to become scientists, need to be trusted.

They have not only used their own exceptional minds that God gifted them with, as well as the wealth of knowledge passed down to them by previous scientists (who learned what worked and what didn’t work) but they now have amazing tools and data bases on the DNAgroupings of simliar viruses. That’s why these vaccines are as effective as they are.

There is bound to be screw ups from time to time. My thoughts re side effects are that those same people would have suffered even more terribly and likely died if they had contacted the virus itself. It hasn’t been stressed enough that Covid 19 is an emergency situation similar to what people were told to do during WW 2. I lived at the Coast and still remember the blackouts, ration tickets etc. It was what we had to do. Don’t know if anyone complained about “conspiracies.” It was just was we had to do because we were facing a common enemy. Same thing as nowadays and the terrible virus that is mutating into a more dangerous one because that’s what viruses do.

My cousin’s healthy 3 yr old granddaughter contacted a caronavirus (not Covid 19) and died suddenly only a few years ago. Such a horrific tragedy that the entire family is very slowly recovering from! You can bet your booties the entire family has now had their Covid 19 shots!

THE BRAITHWAITE ROSE

I took a run over to the North Shore where our old cabin stands, skeleton-ized but still in a jaggedy upright position. Not so the outhouse- so tippy you’d have to stand on your head to pee! Lots of memories. The petals & glorious scent of the Braithwaite Rose that Ivan Ray once gave me twigged my senses. The plant has multiplied wildly. It’s bright pink plumage peered out from the tall strands of uncut grass on what used to be our lawn. The grassy cavern nearby was the hole that Bruce dug for our septic tank when he was about thirteen. What really gets me is the row of pines, all healed up from the scourge of the mountain beetle, which did attack them during those epidemic years. They are now completely green and tower high enough to obscure the neighbor’s view. I think they could be marketable timber. Leon planted them the year Fern turned two.
Reminds me of the spruce trees my dad planted the summer I was twenty-one. My brother has put cables on them to keep them from falling on the house. Who needs clocks and calendars? Just plant flowers and trees!

I have been re-reading some of my favourite non-fiction books this past while. I love the stories told by those who were there, who personally experienced the happenings. The ones that others in later years gloss over, too often re-telling those same tales, tainted by their own predudices, experiences and misinformation.

Local history books are great and i am especially proud of our own “Deeper Roots and Greener Valleys” Right now I am emersed in Chapter 9 “Stories From The Past.” Those particular stories were collected and compiled by Dianne Lewis and Gina Baker in June 1978 and included in the book published by our historical society in 1986.

George Seymour’s contribution which begins on page 303, is interesting and enlightening. He worked at the Lejac Residential School Farm and described how the children were put to work digging potatoes etc. Well told stories told by an intelligent and hard working man who lived a hard life back in the day.

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