Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wins Day

Well, it came on a Saturday, but it was a wins day all the same!

What day would not be a win which started with a big Totoro junkie finding this picture on

Okay, you well may ask, isn't a 64-y-o woman a little out of the "target" audience for this child's movie? Perhaps, but it is so beautifully done, with such charming innocence, that it captures the magic and both the fears and joys of childhood. We have the DVD (a gift from our younger son and d-i-l), and I watch it about every six months. In fact I think I'll spend part of my Sunday afternoon watching it, as just thinking about it makes me want to see it again. Here's the trailer, so you can see what I mean.

Well, after enjoying the Totoro picture, answering e-mail and doing a few chores it was off to town, where I found that the garden centre had a 75% off sale on Christmas items. I didn't even look at the Christmas stuff, except to note that it was in between me and the seed racks!

While a pair of 50-somethings gobbled with delight like turkeys and piled a huge cart full of fancy ornaments I circled the seed racks like a hungry condor. (I have birds on the brain apparently.)

I had gone in to buy seeds to grow microgreens (more about that in a later post) and found they were just putting out the spring seeds. Thirty-seven dollars later I had these in my basket:

  • Tomatoes: Chocolate cherry; Cherry Mix; Rainbow Blend Heirloom:

  • Beans: Blue Lake pole beans and Romano pole beans.

  • Squash: Crookneck yellow

  • Beets: Early wonder

  • Leeks:: Monstrous carentan

  • Onion: Red globe

  • Chard: Bright lights

  • Chicory Witloof

  • Lettuces: Mesclun salad mix and Mesclun spicy mix

I drive right along the lakeshore on my way home, and as I was nearing home I saw a raft of Trumpeter swans not 10 feet offshore. They are such beautiful birds, huge, with black beaks and long graceful necks. When they upend to look for food on the lakebed they look like small icebergs. At first that's what I was seeing, as there is some ice along the shore. But within a second about 20 necks and heads bobbed up. A few hundred feet farther down there was a second, smaller group. It was a thrill seeing them.

When I was a teenager living in Phoenix Arizona I read (and reread and reread) "Crusoe of Lonesome Lake", the story of Ralph Edwards, who as a teenager packed into the wilderness of British Columbia to build a cabin and a life beside the remote "Lonesome Lake". He found that the few surviving Trumpeter swans wintered at Lonesome Lake, and he and his family fed them and guarded them for many years, coaxing them back from the brink of extinction.

In the late 1970s I met Ralph Edwards, in a hospital in Prince Rupert BC. He was old and very ill, only weeks from death, but I was as thrilled and awed as if I'd been meeting the Queen. If you have a few minutes, there's a wonderful old documentary from the CBC on the life of Ralph Edwards. Well worth your time.

Sadly the Edwards homesteads (Ralph's and Ethel's, their daughter Trudy's and son John's) were completely destroyed in a forest fire a few years ago. The Edwards family is gone too, but their memorial could be said to be the trumpeter swans and when I saw those magnificent swans yesterday I thought of them, and my heart rose in thanks to them for their 40 years of backbreaking labor on behalf of these wonderful birds.

As a teenager I never dreamt I'd see a trumpeter swan, only miles from my own home in the BC mountains, a half century after I read Crusoe of Lonesome Lake". Funny how life takes you places you never dreamed you'd go.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lovely day. Seed discoveries. The full circle gets even more full.