Canada

This is the first post in an ultra-long time.
I’m posting because I’m feeling badly in the wake of Trump’s behavior at the June 8-9 G7 conference in Quebec. The extent of the anger, fear, surprise, and, finally, depression I’m feeling is taking me aback somewhat. I guess it’s because it feels strangely personal.

In my late teens and 20s our family used to go tent-camping in the Canadian Provincial Park system every August. We’d take the NY State Thruway north from the NY metro area, , the warm late-summer air pouring in the open windows of the big station wagon, mom driving, dad navigating if need be, and us 3 offspring in the rear seats, and supplies for 2 weeks’ roughing-it scientifically packed in the homemade top carrier by my father, whose engineering smarts, old Eagle Scout experience, and general handiness came in more than handy.

We loved Canada. We loved its sort-of Britishness when we were in Ontario, its sort-of Frenchness when we were in Quebec. We loved Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, we loved the little towns in the country you encountered so quickly upon leaving a city, the non-US yet somehow not foreign quality of it (at least to people whose lives have been spent in the northeastern US)
We loved the progress to whichever Provincial Park we’d decided to make home base, the increasing presence of woods, the gradual cooling even in the hottest summer… that breath of the northern forest. We pitched tents in wonderful places with camping facilities delicately inserted into dense woodland surrounding pure lakes where the loons called back and forth, that whiffling signal of community echoing across water at dusk, and the family in the nearest tent spoke French gently to each other around their campfire, and swathes of tart little low-bush blueberries growing like jewels among the tree-trunks.

We felt at home with the straightforward pleasant, sensible people, the very slight Scottish tilt to the English of many of the Anglophones among them. The 2 elderly ladies in the bookstore who charminglyasked my dad’s permission to pat his beard, just grown that year – this was probably about 66 or 7, when beards on professional men were still novel – saying it reminded them of the men of their girlhoods. The woman behind us at a band concert the year that Canada had adopted the maple leaf flag, saying to her companion that in her opinion it looked like a bath mat. The Park rangers who led us with about 20 other campers on a nighttime Wolf Howling expedition. The convivial feeling of breakfast at a Park inn after 2 solid days and nights of chilly rain, all us hardy adventurers dring off and eating giant helpings of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup. The Canadian border guards when we drove up to the checkpoint, casting an experienced glance into the car and at my parents’ IDs, asking a couple of routine questions in a friendly way, wishing us a good vacation and waving us through.

I could go on, but you get the gist. I am deeply offended on their behalf. They invited the man representing us to their home, and he slapped them in the face for no reason.

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Is anything more heartening than a Chickadee?

I don’t think so. The life force made visible in a small neat continuum with a black beret.

And thus to human politics in this, our republic. I don’t opine on such things here a lot — I don’t opine here a lot period — but there’s something about the phenom of volunteers in the snow of NH that seems to suit my blogmood. I’m not sure how I feel about Bernie Sanders candidacy; I like and respect his general views, leaving aside things like his votes against better gun control leg, which were forced, I’m sure, by constituent realities every bit as much as HRC’s vote for the Iraq military force authorization was forced by the fall of the WTC towers. I don’t think he could do what he’s promulgating if elected, because I don’t think he has the coattails to change the population of the Congress. I’m not sure Hillary does either – probably not, is my guess – but she’s a tough practical politician. And there’s nothing the Republican endtimers financed by Kochetalia International can pull on her, short of assassination or kidnaping, that she hasn’t seen before.

I wish the NJ primary wasn’t so late. It usually doesn’t make much, or any, difference to the outcome in these days of prix fixe conventions. I’d love to see a really open convention. The Republicans may get one whether the grandees want one or not.

But back to chickadees… and splendid fat squirrels hanging upside down at the feeder at dusk. And snow lingering on a small row of bricks, a white patch on each one like a miniature shirtfront.

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Feb 1st AM

Lovely pale sunlight and soft streaky cloudiness such as you only get in winter. Mild today, in 50s. Lots of snow still to melt. Took B for stroll to condos yest. He loves to gambol in the snow round the house, tho it’s getting quite moist and clumpy. Much prancing, crunching through surface, leaping forth, tail waving.

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Jan 29 morning

For the second am in a row, I opened my squitchy eyes around 7, to see out the window the pale, tender blue grey of winter just-morning sky, laced across by the big corner oak’s charcoal branches, and visible thru them, a pure gibbous moon, simple and on her own.

Low 40s predicted for today. Gentle partial cloudiness at present.

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Thurs after Jan 23rd storm

Snow level sinking apace, but there’s still plenty to go. Yesterday started with marbled semi overcast skies, progressed to poetic semi-sun, warmish breezes. Frozen patches overnight. Today mostly sun. Benny stomps thru the almost-slushy snow where it’s level. Jingle went out after dark for a good hour or so: had to check for interlopers, as this is, after all, a primary cat territory-reshuffling and mating season, so the kittens can be born in Spring.

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Apres blizzard in northern NJ

People in places like Buffalo sneer when DCPhillyNYC people worry about oncoming snow – but this last Saturday’s – Jan 23, 2016 – was the real thing. Howling wind, bitter cold, great volume of fine snow — about 3 feet here.

Warming now. Semi-cloudy. How long will the huge piles last if it stays mildish during days?

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humble idea

Think I’ll try a simple nature/weather daily entry for a while. Non-verbose, and see if I can keep it going.

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