Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Huatulco, Mexico.

From the air, the jungle surrounding Huatulco resembled broccoli. Dense, dark green. I could smell it before the Sunwing jet door opened like a jaw, and we Albertans walked toward the palapa-roofed airport arrivals building. We had our passports stamped, our luggage dog-sniffed, and were free.
Late afternoon. My good friend Flo had arrived an hour earlier, via Vancouver, and she was waiting for me. My first ever girls'-only trip; now I understand the appeal.
A regular-sized van waited to shuttle us to our 60-room hotel, the VillaBlanca, 4 kilometres from where 99% of the other tourists were headed: the all-inclusives. There was a little delay, as I've come to expect in Mexico. Good. Time enough to peel off my clinging pants and sweater, and slip into the linen shorts and light top I had at-the-ready.  
We settled into the van and not three minutes passed before someone said "Saskatchewan," and I realized that Rhonda, the daughter of my former neighbour Ruth (in Middle Lake), and her husband Greg were among the small group. Rhonda and Greg had rented my house for a few days over the Christmas holidays in 2011. (I would also soon meet folks from Eston, SK, who knew my sister Crystal and her family.) 
I am too tired to write more now. Will pick this up again later in the week. For now, here's a short video.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Musical fun on a November day.

Trio: Megan on cello, Anna on guitar, Shelley on piano.
Playing Bach ... and Elvis.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Daylight Savings

An extra hour of sleep is snow-ushered in
as if time and the elements colluded.
And yesterday the city’s good citizens
were raking last leaves, tarping
patio furniture. Even us. The garden draped
in crackling blue plastic
weighted with old-fashioned bricks.

                           One day into winter
and we’re surfing foreclosures
on Vancouver Island. My bed calls,
the window draws my heavy eyes
to the white sky and raspberry canes
bent under the fresh weight of snow.

Winter wipes away.
It calls for snowy owls.

And Qualicum Beach: oldest mean population
In Canada. Will I surrender? 

The neighbours did not get their trampoline
packed up. Nail-sized icicles decorate
the eaves of the dilapidated garage.

A woman in the alley sweeps heaps of snow
off her compact white car
and it stops resembling a sleeping polar bear.
The skeletal plum trees’ throw graphic shadows
against the cedar fence. The light sharpens
and before my gaze the snow-garden softens:
cat’s paw-prints across the deck
become pocks, become larger nothings.
Winter advocates slowness. It compels us
to sincerely see.

Qualicum: republic of retirees.
Difficult to fathom green winters.
Nights without a furnace’s calming push
of heat.

An extra hour to these new days.
I allocate mine to snow.

-Shelley A. Leedahl