Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Winter Whiteouts and Memory Blizzards

The theme is music and I’m supposed to follow the lead and the cursor’s blinking and I’m stewing over whiteouts and car rentals and another trip to the frozen prairie to move a loved one into long term care. I made the fateful decision and now must see it through—and I’ve got nothing, absolutely nothing for the blog.
     Suddenly I overhear a snippet of an old song on seasonal rotation and the memories come flooding. Lost and out of reach to her, suddenly vivid and alive to me. Yes, I‘ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.
Sheet music by Melrose Music Corp., ca. 1943. Author’s note: To accommodate travel requirements, I wrote this contribution before Nancy posted her delightful ode to summer flowers. On the day this appears on the blog I will be in Saskatchewan, where in December there are no snowdrops but those falling from the sky.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Momentary Sunshine

In the big backyard of her parents’ suburban house, Zinnia chases after her older sisters Hyacinth and Magnolia, but they are mean and refuse to be caught and they laugh at her.
     “Maggie, wait!“ Zinnia whines. “Cinth, slow down!”
     But they're already gone out the side gate, locking it behind them. Zinnia falls on the grass and rips off the sunhat her mother insisted on. She closes her eyes, tilts her head up, and in the warmth of the summer afternoon sun, forgets for a moment her constantly teasing sisters and how she loves and hates them at the same time.

Inspired by You Are My Sunshine.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

You Are My Sunshine

There’s this young guy, spends way too much time downtown and way too much money at Funland, and he sees this old guy, night after night, begging in a doorway off Yonge, strumming his ukulele, singing the same sad song to a little stuffed dog, just trying to make change for a meal. And it works for a while, until the strings start breaking—no money for strings—even after some punk steals his uke, he sits there still, strumming those invisible strings, still singing that same sad song to his little stuffed dog: “ . . . please don’t take my sunshine away.”
Inspired first by Your Report on the Subway, a Toronto moment Kathy captured back in January 2016. Now, almost six years later, Laurie’s It’s Raining Mensches got me to finally write down this very old and very sad memory of mine. The photo is by Ciatus, who has an album on Fickr that perfectly captures the Yonge Street on which this story unfolds.

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