We used to get cold winters in Agassiz to my way of thinking not from the perspective of some of the old timers in Agassiz who remembered the 48 flood like it was the water that carried the Arc in Biblical times and snow storm of epic proportions but cold enough to mandate mittens, toques and scarves oh and of course the warm boots.
Well on one of these occasions when it got really cold brother Doug and I went out looking for ice to skate on. We spent a lot of time outside when we were kids and although I do remember getting cold all the time cause I was so skinny you couldn’t keep us in the house.
Man if we could find a nice pond that had frozen over in the cold it was time to put on your skates and play hockey or just skate without playing hockey it was all fun and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Sometimes along with the cold arctic weather you would get the brutally freezing winds that would freeze the water faster then just the cold alone.
The problem with water freezing when you had a strong wind was that you had much less area to skate on and the ice was no longer smooth as glass but rippled and bumpy. The skating on a pond that was rippled and bumpy was unbearable so when we had a cold snap around 1975 and the big pond out in Gus Loy’s farm field froze over it was no good to skate on because it was an open field and well I am sure you can figure out the quality of the ice from my prior description.
Being resourceful and not wanting to miss out on our chance to skate we went for a walk down Hardy road looking for some smooth ice to practice our pirouettes and triple sow cows. I think Hardy road was about a mile long and we walked about 8/10 of the way down the road looking for the glass that virgin ice. You know the stuff and the sound of the skate cutting into it and the sound of the ice cracking a bit under your feet not because it was going to break but because it was settling or at least that’s what we told ourselves.
Well on this particular day in question we hopped over the fence to get out to a new pond and we saw the most amazing and sad thing that we had ever seen. In the field was probably close to 60 or 80 ducks. The ducks in the field was not the strange thing but the fact that these ducks were all dead and frozen into the pond was pretty strange.
We broke one or two out of the ice and brought them back home. We came back after and got the rest out of their icy tombs hell eighty ducks would make a lot of duck stew and the feathers would make at least 10 feather ticks Mom made all of us kids feather ticks and they were pretty amazing.We were thinking that the ducks had been poisoned all in the same location and same condition I mean the dead condition so eating them was out of the question but the feathers and the down were there for the picking and picking we did until we filled plastic garbage bags.
We found out from the local experimental farm that the ducks had not in fact been poisoned but because of the strong wind and the cold weather they most likely set down in the field because it was getting dark and they were also probably close to exhaustion from trying to fly in that wind that they just froze to death in the water.
Sad But True.
Ok this is the third time i have attempted this, now with the help of Simon Imight just have something that will actually encode and upload.
I was trying to do an homage to Filmpunk and his electric trimmer shaving, i thought he did such a great job with that. I enlisted my son Simon to assist me last night and this is what we came up with, enjoy the show.
The stars had fallen from the sky onto the beach so they could crawl into the sea.
I was born in December 1963 on the 21st if you want to send me a present :) I was the youngest of 7 kids at the time of my birth, that would change a couple of years later when my foster brother Doug came along, but that is another story. I have been told that I was a happy baby, I didn't have a care in the world except getting on the tit occasionally, that was a bit of a challenge as I was born with a cleft lip and palate and if you can imagine with the roof of my mouth not connected I was not able to get suction to extract milk from the breast as it were so I was relegated to drinking from a cup right from the get go.
The birth defect I had is called a bi lateral cleft lip & palate (check it out online, it’s pretty groovy) The way this situation affects you is as follows. Your upper lip does not close so it appears that you have a split lip, to add insult to injury the roof of your mouth does not come together either. In a normal birth your mouth, nose and lip are all sealed and you are able to breath normally and get suction for the tit. (I am not completely breast focused its just one of those things) Besides this weird looking face I was a pretty happy baby, probably because I was given a bit of extra attention from my family.
When I was a year old I had the first of 15 or so surgical procedures, closing the roof of my mouth and my upper lip. Each surgery making improvements on the last one. Of all of these surgeries the one that had the biggest psychological effect on me as an individual was something called “the Abey flap”
Let me describe this procedure if I might, first a little preamble, typically with a repaired cleft lip and palate you will notice that the upper lip is tight to the teeth and the lower lip, although normal appears to jut out in relation to the upper lip. The Abey Flap works like this. You take the lower lip and you slice a w in the middle and you reopen the upper lip in the centre and you take the cleaved lower lip and sew it directly into the upper lip. At no time do you slice the piece of the lower lip that has now been sewed into the upper lip. Picture this, you now have a mouth with two openings on the right and left side of the mouth with a flap of skin sewed into the upper lip. They leave the lower lip piece of skin attached to the upper lip for three weeks in order to maintain a constant blood flow and have the skin grow into the upper lip.
I ate for three weeks through a straw, pureed everything, carrots, potatoes, ground beef etc etc. I gained three pounds in three weeks unusual for me I was pretty skinny.
After three weeks you go back into the surgical suite and the Dr. slices what was previously your lower lip and you can again open your mouth and talk like a normal person.(My Normal)
The difference was I now had a bit more flesh in my upper lip and although it was a little swollen from the surgery I was pleased to look a bit more like everyone else.
There have been a couple more surgeries since then, bone grafts and the like, but none that have had the same effect as the Abey Flap.
They say that life is short, I guess that’s true but you know I guess we have to take what we get and run with it, everyone deals with their shit is different ways, some wallow in self pity, some people turn the other cheek, some people just stop doing anything and let life pass them by.
Personally I don’t know what I will do or how I will go, I have been sparred that little bit of information and for that I am grateful.
We have a friend, a beautiful, lovely, warm, smiling woman, we love her dearly, she is married to one of our good friends and we love him dearly as well.
On Saturday night last week we attended a fund raiser and our friends were there, in fact the fundraiser was for the beautiful, lovely, warm, smiling woman.
You see she is in stage four of a cancer fight that has certainly not been very kind to her. I will not go into details, suffice to say she knows the outcome of her situation.
She wandered around this fundraiser like the angel she is, smiling with people, hugging gently (her bones are quite brittle now) talking to people and just being who she is, she amazed us with her approach to this situation,
I would consider this a wake of epic proportions, although it was not called a wake, I think she garnered an incredible amount of positive influence and love that night.
Naomi had difficulty sleeping that night, she tossed and turned and found herself thinking about our friend all night to the point of getting up in the morning and immediately going to the computer to offer our support, such as it is.
Naomi needed to get her love off her chest and down in writing, we were planning a dinner at some point this past spring before the shit hit the fan.
Our friend came back to us with the most amazing email, her email back to us said (paraphrasing here) Thank you guys so much for coming out on Saturday night, it was so good to see you I am sorry that I didn’t have more time to actually visit with you, we really need to get together probably sooner rather than later.
We were flabbergasted. Here she was making us feel good and showing us the love. I don’t know why I felt compelled to write this today and submit it but there are times in our lives when we just have to look around at all the people we have known and recognize what an impact they have had on our lives, but as well look at your friends and understand what an impact you have had on their lives.
We may not get the chance to get together with our friends, she has surgery tomorrow to remove a tumor on her arm and have a piece of metal inserted into her shoulder to provide support for the arm and she doesn’t know how she will feel for this weekend….
That’s my story my friends, I really don’t know how to end this, what do you call this, an expulsion of information rattling around in my brain, my god the woman is only in her very early fortys… Matthew
Spent the weekend in Whistler BC and this is one of the images I took, love trees reflecting in water