Monday, November 22, 2010

Art of conversation

At the supper table:

Owen: I know how many sides a circle has.

Me: How many?

Owen: 1

Me: How many sides does a square have?

Owen: 4

Me: How about a rectangle?

Owen: 4

Dad: How about a tetrahedron?

Reiley: 28.  I bet it's 28.

Dad: I bet someone is talking out of their butt.

Reiley: I can't help it, it's in my genes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hot November Sun

This really isn't my story to tell.  But one I was told that changed the impact of this day for me. 

Since our very first years, we've gathered.  Held close in our mothers arms.  For something we had no way of understanding.  The poppy a new toy to fiddle with attached to our mothers coat.  Stories were told about relatives we never met.  The story short, for no one knew how it really went.  Just that it did.  Once in school, old enough to know the word war but not truly the meaning of freedom, we sat on the gym floor and listened to the veterans.  We gathered quietly outside and stood in the cold and watched them lay the wreaths.  The sadness on their faces a truth, not a gesture. 

The cold she said, was what she noticed most.

The scene could not have been more different from the one we grew up with every November 11th.  Everyone gathered on the tarmac, soldiers remembering soldiers in the very place our countries have made the most recent sacrifices.  People remembering, who understand and know in a way I never can. 

She stood there dressed in uniform, but instead of the biting cold November wind on her cheek, she felt the hot Afghanistan sun.  Then over the horizon the thump thump thump of chopper blades cut through the ceremony and those needed scattered to meet the helicopter carrying one of their own. 

It couldn't have been more real or surreal.  Soldiers of the present remembering soldiers of the past.  Some they called friends. 

I'll never be able to imagine the reality they know, but I can be thankful and honour them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The power of love.

The tornado ripped through town picking up the house and tossing it into the land of Oz.

Well, it wasn't a tornado, but it was stronger than the so called hurricane we had.  And it did pick up the house and toss it 20 ft away, leaving the turkeys in an unfamiliar world.

In the past 4 days we've had more than 5 inches of rain, leaving everything soaked through. The turkeys are still here, but I must say, having turkeys in weather like this is not fun.   The poultryminium 1000 we built is showing wear, has no bottom and only one wall.  It was perfect during the summer and offered plenty of shade and shelter and allowed for grazing.   Recently, the cows and horse have been chewing on the tarp that is its roof, making holes and the rain has decided to fall horizontally.  So the turkeys are wet to say the least.  The tips of their wings and tail feathers are brown.  The tail feathers are nothing more than the center quill and look more like ass end of a porcupine.  There isn't a dry place in the field to move the coop to.  The best I can offer is a spot without puddles and even this is now hard to come by.  Keeping an eye on the weather, I can point the wall of the coop into the wind, giving them some reprieve.  So long as the wind direction doesn't change the turkeys stay relatively dry.  When it does change though, they're off to Oz.

Friday I spent the day an hour away in meetings.   Mart walks in the door, home from work to the phone ringing.  It's our neighbour, Fred. 
Fred: Have you looked out the window?
Mart, confused, but accustomed to Fred's odd way replies: No, why? 
Fred: Your turkeys are on your lawn.  Where's your wife?
Mart: Work
Fred: Can I videotape you trying to catch the turkeys then?

My loving, patient husband suits up in his rain gear and goes out to round up the turkeys.   They had wandered from the pasture, under the barbed wire fence and onto our lawn.  Since they had already been under the fence Mart thought (and sensibly enough) that they could and would, walk right back under and into the pasture again with guidance.  He forgot they're turkeys.  There are a few things dumber than a turkey, but none come to mind right now. 

I should add that between the barbed wire, at approximately the level of a man's crotch, there is an electric fence wire we use to divide part of the field.  Oh, and it was on.

Our turkeys are friendly enough but not used to being handled.  Ready for the roasting pan, they are nearing 25 lbs each.  Not having any luck herding the turkeys, Mart simply picks one up, carries it over the fence and returns it to the coop.  It was simple really.  I don't know what the fuss was about.  It was only a 25 lb turkey flapping its wings and kicking its legs and trying to escape what it believed to be an attack on its life, with Mart trying to hold it under one arm while straddling the fence and getting electrocuted every 10 seconds in the crotch.  No big deal, really.  Before long he had all 5 back in the coop.  They were wet, disheveled and bright blue in the face showing just how put out they were by the whole ordeal, but no worse for wear.  They're turkeys, and with fresh feed in front of them, they quickly forgot the whole thing I'm sure.  Mart, likely not.  

He truly loves me, I can tell.  He'll cross the driest desert, sail the largest ocean, climb the highest mountain and catch turkeys in the rain, just for me.