Saturday, January 31, 2015

Civilian Seal Visit and Decapitated Groundhog

I enjoyed waking on the boat this morning. Looking out my window I first had a troop of Canadian geese go by. That was followed by a dashing flock of young grey sea gulls competing for the mouldy bread I’d found in the freezer and threw out to them. The sea gull ruckus then attracted  a couple of young seals.  What a great visitation for the morning.
The temperature in Vancouver is steadily warming up.  There are crocuses showing all over the city.  I found myself already thinking of the Mount Vernon spring Tulip festival. We’ve been to Harrison Hot Springs and probably will be back sometime in March. That always seems to heal the ravages winter does to the aging bodies.  But the Mount Vernon Tulip Festival just blows the mind. The bright colours wake up the year.  
Laura’s sister has texted her asking if she’ll open her Maine Island Art Studio  April 19th. That's the first day of the Gulf Island Bird Festival.  Caroline annually puts down her paintbrush and picks up her running shoes to come to  the Vancouver Sun Run.  My Winnipeg friend Wes is right now doing his annual pilgrimage to the Mexican beaches. My Vancouver friend Richard has just returned from Puerta Vallata. Richard’s return  really must mean the worst of the Vancouver winter is over here.  Doug’s still fishing off the Mexican coast but Doug’s migrations are as much influenced  by fish movement as weather change.  He’s posting tuna catches on Facebook to the envy of all. Yet Bill just caught a monster trout here and put the picture of that 13 lb beauty up on Facebook.   That means more snowbirds will start their migration north.  I doubt Johnny off in Thailand will be affected by these local movements. He’s more affected by the elephants playing in the ocean off his beaches.  He was putting up pictures of that last month when insane Canadians were participating in the annual polar bear swims.  
I know there’s a ground hog out there somewhere doing computer projections of Climate Change.  I saw on Facebook that an eastern wolf ate it when it gave depressing news before their latest blizzards hit.   I’ve grown suspicious of the United Nations Climate Change predictors because their political hot air about Palestine and Israel seems to throw off all their instruments.  For all I know Islamic Nation beheaded the ground hog.
Personally I rely on evidence of Facebook friends. Laura posted the  pictures of crocuses.   In my office the wave of suicidal complaints that begin in November is cresting now that we’re at the end of January.  My accountant friends are becoming frenzied in the rush to meet the annual taxation jihad by our government.  Gilbert’s hair was so matted with winter growth that I’ve had him shorn last night so he’s half the dog he used to be.
Around me on the dock one or two other skippers are getting their boats ready for spring sailing.  There’s notices out of the spring Motorcycle Runs. It’s hard to believe that February begins tomorrow and the book launch for my book, Psychiatry and Addiction, Personal Perspectives is just a month off, March 1st, Sunday, at the Alano Club 6 to 9 pm.  When Bernice was helping me get that project completed it was fall and a spring launch seemed an eternity away.  Where did Christmas and New Years go
I spent the first couple of weeks of January in Turkey so the build of work that I returned to has had me run off my feet. Time just seems to fly with age. Looking in the mirror I ask who’s the guy with the white santa claus beard.  But I remember December when the ice was on the boat and water pipes on the dock were frozen I wondered if the winter would ever end.  Now I feel sorry for my friends out east.  This week I had the top down on my Miata sports car and lots of motorcycles were back on the streets of Vancouver.  In the rest of Canada people are envying their neighbours who traded their cars in for snow plows. Soon the ice from sleet and frozen rain  will have families  wondering how much their cars will get for a trade in on a Zamborni machine.
I’m so thankful in Vancouver that spring comes a couple of months before the rest of Canada. There has to be some advantages to living in a city where the average house price is a million dollars for a hundred square feet, you can’t park your car anywhere for the bike lanes, and free empty syringes of drug addicts litter the streets.  Thankfully the spring rains will wash the roaches away.
Of course, when I skied at Whistler each weekend I never noticed how sullen Vancouver was in winter.  I might well talk about that as yesterday but it’s been a decade now since I skied at Whistler.  Somethings just seemed silly as I got sober with age. One of them was putting boards on my feet and flying down hill only to wait in lines and do it all over again.  I remember I loved that for decades but today what I miss most is the cross country skiing I fell in love with years ago in Winnipeg.  I last did that a few years back only because there’s no ‘dog friendly’ ski trails hereabout.  So much of my activity depends on  dog friendliness.  Gilbert and I would rather walk on the sea wall than go up the glorious Grouse Mountain where he’d face all the existing predjudice dogs encounter here in this city that prides itself on tolerance.
It really is paradise here.  Every day above ground is a good day.  I must focus more on gratitude because I’ve become a little snarky with winter hibernation.  Fears,resentments and self centeredness are really such an easy ‘default mode’.  As my Christian psychiatrist friend  is fond of saying, the world doesn’t have much need for any more bitter old people.  
Just as spring is coming again this year after winter seemed like it might not end, so each day is a new day.  I loved most the cartoon posted this week on Facebook with twins in the womb arguing about life after delivery.  One insisted there was no life after delivery and everything would be just darkness while the other had hope that there’d be more light and they’d meet their Mother.  That was awesome.
I think in Vancouver the seals know more than the ground hogs.
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