Friday, October 30, 2015

The Lansdowne Letters: The Wintigo Is Coming!

It's amazing the predicament a teacher can get into
when he tries to communicate 
with Ojibway words he doesn't understand.

Such was the case on Halloween, 1960,
when my father tried to explain Halloween to his Ojibwa children 
in the heart of wintigo territory in Northern Ontario.

A Halloween Moon

On Monday, October 31, 1960
My Father Wrote  
(Stag Party letter continued):

Oh yes, we also had our Halloween party 
at school this afternoon, 
and it was also a great success.

 My Father's Ojibwa Children
Anglican Day School,
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

can’t remember when I have ever seen children 
enjoying themselves like my Indians did.  
Bill Mitchell told me that they never had parties 
in the school, till I came.  

All the white people think it is wonderful of me 
to go to the trouble and expense to treat the Indians.
Bill told me also that if I had 
let him know about the party earlier, 
he would have donated quite a bit of candy and gum, etc., 
but that by the time he found out about it, 
he had already given all that he could afford 
to the Indians for the month 
and had exhausted the amount 
that the Bay allows him to spend on welfare.

Bill Mitchell Talks with an Ojibwa Man
Mitchell was the Manager of the Hudson's Bay Post
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Bill and I are planning a whale 
of a Christmas party for them though.  
He is going to donate $20.00 himself 
and seventy dollars on behalf of the Bay.  

Harry Evans, the pilot for Superior Airways, 
is going to fly a Santa Claus in from Armstrong for the party.  
This Santa will also visit the out-lying settlements 
at Summer Beaver, Big Beaver House, and Webique.  
Bill is trying to talk me into going along to help Santa out 
and see that everything is distributed evenly.

All the Protestant white people will also be helping out with the party, 
and the Anglican Bishop will be good for a donation.  
We are not going to have any sort of a concert though,
just a nice party with Santa.  

So Donnie and Barbara won’t be confused and disillusioned, 
tell them that it will be so near Christmas 
that Santa is saving his reindeer for the big night.  
That is why he has to fly in with Harry Evans.

Waiting for Santa the Previous Year
Barb, Roy, Me, Donnie, and Little Gretchen ~
No Bertie Yet!
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

But to get back to the party we had this afternoon, 
we played all the traditional Halloween games 
such as dunking for apples, eating apples on an string, 
and many others too numerous to mention.  
The Indian children don’t celebrate Halloween, 
and they had never dunked for apples before.

  Dunking for Apples at the Party
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Of course, there were no masks in the Bay, 
so I had them all make masks.  
Of course they didn’t have the slightest idea how to do this, 
so I had to make one first, and pass it about 
the classroom for them to examine.  

Then I had to draw about ten different faces 
on the blackboard to give them some ideas.  
I drew a clown, a fat blond woman, a baldheaded man, 
a devil, an Indian in war paint, a skull, a witch, 
and some others that I can’t recall right now.  
Some of the masks turned out pretty good.

The Children in Their Halloween Masks
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I ran into quite a problem in communications 
when I tried to explain just what Halloween was.  
The Indians just don’t have any words for goblin, elf, 
little people, or anything like these words, 
and consequently they had no conception 
of what I was talking about at first.
I was just getting nowhere at first with my explanations.  
Then I thought of the Ojibway word Wintigo
so I introduced this into my explanations.  
All this was taking place in the morning of Halloween.  

Then I got a reaction from them.  
They all looked startled and scared; 
and I thought good, 
now they’re getting in the proper spirit 
to talk about ghosts, goblins, etc.  

I thought that the word Wintigo was ghost
so I started talking about how on Halloween 
all the wintigos go out on the prowl.  

Well, all of a sudden, all the little children were crying, 
and even my teenagers were looking damned scared.  

Then, I realized that wintigo 
evidentially had a different meaning than that 
that I was trying to put across to them.  

I tried to get myself out of the mix-up, 
but only succeeded in getting myself in deeper.  
The more I talked about the Wintigo, 
the more scared they got.  

Well, then, I tried the word Manito which means spirit
but this means nothing to the Indians, 
unless you talk about 
the Matche Manito, which means bad spirit, 
or Mino Manito, which means good spirit.  
Unfortunately the Matche Manito now means the Devil
and that only made them worse than ever.  

When I tried Mino Manito
I just added confusion to my other difficulties, 
because with the advent of Christianity, 
Mino Manito has come to mean the Holy Ghost.  
I could have used a little help from him about then, 
or even from Kishe Manito, which means Chief Spirit or God.

Well, finally I started to get alarmed 
about how scared they were. 

I was frightened that if I didn’t get things straightened out, 
they might be too scared to go home for dinner; 
and certainly, they would be too scared 
to come back for the party in the afternoon.  

I told them to stay in the class, and 
I went over to the nursing station 
after Anne Flaherty and told her my troubles.  

I needn’t have worried about the children 
leaving the school while I was gone.  
At this stage of the game, they were so scared 
that it would have taken a bomb to get them out.  

Anne is part Ojibway and speaks the language, 
so she came over to the school; 
and after about fifteen minutes of rapid-fire, 
two-way conversation with the Indians in Ojibway 
(none of which I could follow,) 
she had things straightened out for me.

It was just about dinnertime by then, 
so I let the children go home, 
and I accepted Anne’s invitation 
to stay for dinner at the nursing station.

  The Children in Their Halloween Masks
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

From Anne, I found out just what a Wintigo is.  
We have no word for it.  
A Wintigo is the very personification 
of all things evil and horrible.  

It is far worse than our devil. 
It is a combination of a devil, ghost, ghoul, werewolf, 
and anything else you can think of.  
Wintigos are supposed to eat women and children.  

If a wintigo visits the community, 
all sort of horrible things can happen.  
No wonder the poor kids were terrified.

In spite of their acceptance of Christianity and everything, 
they all believe firmly in wintigos.  
Wintigos are as real to them as God is to us.  

I have decided to leave Ojibway out of my explanations 
till I am a whole lot more proficient in the language.  

Well that winds up the page, and the day, so I will sign off.
Bye now,

I sympathize with my father and any teacher
who has gotten into difficulty trying to explain things
to students who speak a different language.
Obviously he had not heard of the psychological problem

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

In Honor of Canada's
New Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau:
The four MacBeath Girls supporting 
Justin Trudeau's father,
Pierre Elliot Trudeau,
when he ran successfully to become
Prime Minister of Canada in 1968.

Donnie, Bertie, Louise, and Barb  Freeport, on the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia
Photo Copy by Roberta MacBeath Heembrock
© All Rights Reserved

Links to Earlier Posts:

TLL: Grounded

TLL: The Order of Good Cheer

1.  Wintigo: 
     Father Ouimet was giving my father lessons in the local Ojibway language.
     Apparently wintigo was the spelling used there.
     The word has many spellings, windigo being a more common one.

2.  A Great Book: 

This is my favorite novel (so far)
written about the Oji-Cree in Northwestern Ontario.
It gives a chilling account of the experiences
of two young Cree fighting in WWI
and of the Wintigo
in Ojibwa and Cree cultures.

Joseph Boyden, its author, has written
two more memorable books about First Nations peoples:
Through Black Spruce and The Orenda.


And for Map Lovers Like Me
Territories of the Ojibwa Groups
Lansdowne House is on the Attawipiskat River (by #15),
The river wasn't sketched as far as Lansdowne House
(a little to the right of the first O in Ontario). 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Scavenger Hunt: October 2015 ~ Potpourri

Well OOPs!
I thought I had scheduled this to post on November 1st!
LOL ~ The Computer-Challenged One strikes again!

Happy November!
I hope you've survived last night's Halloween shenanigans
and are looking forward to a great holiday season!

Did you have fun chasing down October's photos?
I did!  
No organizing theme for me this time,
just a potpourri pulled together during a challenging month!

1.  Question
What Are You Hoping For, Gracie and Rufus?
Aurora, Colorado, USA

2.  Cream
A House Specialty ~ Ekmet
Loaded with Whipped Cream
Ithaka Greek Restaurant
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

3.  Number
A Number of Pronghorn on the Prairie
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A.

4.  Lattice
Lattice Work on a Back Alley Door
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

5.  Familiar
A Familiar Walk at Sunrise 
Aurora, Colorado,  U.S.A.

6.  Ring
A Ring-Shaped Balustrade
Rotunda, British Columbia Parliament Buildings
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

7.  Today
Today is a Beautiful Day for a Walk
with Gracie and Rufus
Along Piney Creek
Aurora, Colorado,  U.S.A.

8.  Down
Looking Down on CenturyLink Field
Home Field for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League
and the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer
Seattle, U.S.A.

9.  Writing
The Daily Specials
Jam Cafe
Old Town, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

10.  Many
Many Clouds Make a Dramatic Sunset
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A.

11.  Broken
Broken Ground on the Prairie
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A.

12.  Whatever You Want
A Geology Field Trip to Isle Haute
October, 1970
This is one of the photos in my big collection
I digitized this month.
Nova Scotia, Canada

Happy hunting in November! 

November's List:
A Stranger,  Looking Down,  Pop Culture,  The Weather,  Big,  Sign
Bottle,  Out and About,  Hat,  Hole,  One,  Whatever You Want

Thanks to Jill (Greenthumb) 
and her Made with Love blog 
for setting up the scavenger hunt.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Morning Music Break ~ Anthem

Do you ever have a maddening musical phrase 
running through your mind?

Maddening because you can't remember
what piece of music it is or where you heard it.

An example of a rhythmic pattern used in heavy metal. 
The upper stave is a palm-muted rhythm guitar part.
The lower stave is the drum part.

Well, for a number of nights,
an unidentifiable brainworm
was burrowing through my dreams,
and it kept busting through
the music in my head when I was awake.

The violins looped around and around
filling my mind with gorgeous sound,
but I couldn't grasp the rest of the piece.

And then I realized that an organ
was coming into the snatch of music
after a few seconds.

Bam!  Slam!  
Deep Purple!

Downstairs to my CD Collection.

Deep Purple ~ Anthem
You Tube ~ Claudio Benvindo de Medeiros   

I've been a fan of the English rock band Deep Purple
from its beginning in the late 60s.

The band began with a progressive rock sound, 
and over time its music morphed 
into hard rock and heavy metal.

Deep Purple along with Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath, 
became known as the "unholy trinity 
of British hard rock and heavy metal."

Throughout its successful four-decade run as a band, 
Deep Purple's line-up changed repeatedly,
and it showcased successful hard rock stars of the era.

The musicians performing on Deep Purple's 
first three albums were:
Rod Evans - lead vocals
Ritchie Blackmore - guitar
Jon Lord - Hammond organ, keyboards, backing vocals, strings                                        arrangement on Anthem
Nick Simper - bass guitar, backing vocals
Ian Paice - drums

Ritchie, Jon, Nick, Ian, and Rod

Those first three albums 
contained some well-known favorites of mine:
Shades of Deep Purple (favs:  Mandrake Root, Hush)
Book of Taliesyn (favs:  River Deep, Mountain High, Kentucky Woman, Anthem)
and Deep Purple (fav:  LaleƱa).

Anthem is on The Book of Taliesyn.
The song stands out as one of the first 
that fused rock and classical music.  
Jon Lord composed a baroque section featuring 
an organ and a string quartet for the middle of Anthem.

But Anthem was much more than its music.
Its lyrics capture the intense feelings of love rejected
and of those dark nights of the soul 
spent spinning around in twisted sheets. 

The refrain expresses a futile hope 
filled with longing.
Chances are, if you've ever loved and lost,
that you have felt like this.

"If I could see you
If only I could see you
To see if you are laughing or crying
When the night winds softly blow"
Source:  metrolyrics     

Sadly, Jon Lord died of pancreatic cancer on July 16, 2012.

Lars Ulrich of Metallica commented after Lord's death:
"We can all be guilty of lightly throwing adjectives 
like 'unique,' 'one-of-a-kind' and 'pioneering' around 
when we want to describe our heroes 
and the people who've moved us, 
but there are no more fitting words than those right now 
and there simply was no musician like Jon Lord 
in the history of hard rock. 
Nobody. Period.

There was nobody that played like him. 
There was nobody that sounded like him. 
There was nobody that wrote like him. 
There was nobody that looked like him. 
There was nobody more articulate, gentlemanly, warm, 
or fucking cooler that ever played keyboards 
or got anywhere near a keyboard. 
What he did was all his own."

If you have time for a second cup of coffee or tea
on my Monday Morning Music Break,
here is a second track from The Book of Taliesyn:
River Deep, Mountain High.
It features Deep Purple's gorgeous heavy sound
and showcases Jon Lord on the organ.

Deep Purple ~ River Deep, Mountain High

Have a good week!

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Lansdowne House Letters: Bushed

In my last northern post I shared how my father
approached the challenges of isolation and loneliness
in the remote village of Lansdowne House
in the wilderness of northwestern Ontario.
He focused on remaining busy and never letting himself go.

 The Wilderness of Northwestern Ontario

Before I, myself, went north,
I had no concept of what being cut off from civilization
for long periods of time meant.

I was entranced with the romance and mystery of the North:
Indians, coureur des bois, priests, vast landscapes,
northern nights with dancing skies, wolves, and
the monumental Hudson Bay Company
with its far-flung trading posts.

My Father's First Flight into the North
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Dad's and Mom's Descriptions
"This is a picture taken from the Norseman 
just as we were crossing the Albany River 
which is about half way between Nakina and LH. 
You can see the Albany River down to the right." (Dad)
"On way to Lansdowne House" (Mom)
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved  

Into the Storied North
Dad flies over it for the first time.
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue 
All Rights Reserved 

His Description
"View from window of Norseman showing woods and typical small lake.
We flew over thousands of them just like this."
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue 
All Rights Reserved 

The North drew me, as it had drawn my father and others.
I was an idealistic white ten year old
when I went into the wilderness in February 1961; 
but I'm sure that there were also white adults
who went into the northern bush fueled by idealism, 
a desire to make life better for the Indians,
and a longing to experience the mythical North.

And some, I'm guessing, were less prepared 
and less knowledgeable than I was,
with untested inner resources and personal fortitude.

A Lonely Sight:
Dad's Luggage Dumped on an Empty Beach
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved

Some misjudged their ability
to handle the challenge 
of leaving behind
all that was familiar
for the remote North.

And some of those
the bush broke.

They left bushed
and under very different circumstances 
from when they had arrived.

When I went to Lansdowne House,
I overheard bits and pieces of stories discussed 
by the adults within the tiny white community,
stories about forcibly removing bushed people
from different communities in the North.
I don't remember the details,
but I do remember their awareness
of the risks being in the North carried.

Reflections in Lake Attawapiskat
The Bush Around Lansdowne House
Photo by Donald MacBeath
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue  
All Rights Reserved

Here is one incident that my father wrote about 
after he left the Indian Affairs Branch
in Sioux Lookout, Ontario:

"Another character we had let himself go
physically, emotionally, morally, and nutritionally.

"Oh, he always wore a white shirt and tie in school.
The only trouble was that the shirt 
he was wearing when he went in in September,
was the same one that he was wearing
when they took him out in March.
I don't think it had been off his back in the interim,
most certainly it had never been cleaned.

"This character started off by not caring 
about his personal appearance or  cleanliness.
This apparently threw him into a state of depression,
and he became very homesick and lonesome
for his wife and family.

"Then he got this ridiculous idea
that his wife was being unfaithful,
and he really hit the skids.

"He started making up to one of the squaws,
and a married one at that.
There was quite a scandal in the village.

"The husband came home from his trapline,
sized up the situation,
and forbade his wife to speak to the teacher.

"The squaw was apparently quite attracted to the teacher,
for she tried to shoot herself,
but only succeeded in shooting off a couple of fingers.

"As a result of the whole mess,
the teacher became exceedingly despondent,
and did not bother watching his diet to see 
that he was getting the necessary nutritional elements.

"In March, he became seriously ill,
and we had to send a plane in
to rush him him out to the hospital.

"The local hospital in Sioux Lookout couldn't diagnose
what was wrong with him,
and he was rushed to Winnipeg General Hospital.

"He had scurvy of all things -
the first case the hospital had dealt with
for goodness knows how long."

I share this anecdote to underscore
the challenges of living in the remote North
cut off from contact with the Outside.
Sometimes the only contact available 
was via shortwave radio,
if there was one in the community.

During his time in the North with the Indian Affairs Branch,
my father sometimes had to go into isolated places 
and remove or help remove white people 
who had suffered complete breakdowns.
It was a difficult task, made worse by the fact 
that the bushed person often did not want to come out.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

In Honor of Canada's
New Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau:
The four MacBeath Girls supporting 
Justin Trudeau's father,
Pierre Elliot Trudeau,
when he ran successfully to become
Prime Minister of Canada in 1968.

Donnie, Bertie, Louise, and Barb  Freeport, on the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia
Photo Copy by Roberta MacBeath Heembrock
© All Rights Reserved

Links to Earlier Posts:

TLL: Lessons in Ojibway

TLL: In Isolation


1.  Language: 
     Today many people find the terms Indian and, certainly, squaw offensive.
      My father did not intend to be offensive.  These were the words used fifty years ago.

2.  Who?  Where?  When?  
     My father deliberately omitted information that would identify the teacher
     and the Indian woman when he wrote his account of the sad, painful event.
3.  Source of Anecdote:  
     My father recounted this event in an unpublished paper he wrote while attending
     St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1965 or 1966:
     The Northern School Teacher:
     A Hand Book to Be Issued to All New Entrants to the Teaching Profession 
     in Indian Schools in the Sioux Lookout Indian Agency 

And for Map Lovers Like Me:

Map of Northwestern Ontario
Showing the Attawapiskat and Albany Rivers
Inland from Akimiski Island in James Bay
The black dots record raccoon locations garnered from Indian trappers and other sources.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Time Travel Whiplash

Chaos has overtaken the Barbour household,
and time is seriously out of whack.

I feel an affinity for 12 Monkeys' James Cole,
with Terry playing Kathryn Railly to my James.

Wikipedia   Non-free_use_rationale_guideline  Analogy/Critique   

If you've seen this chilling and unforgettable neo-noir sci-fi film,
then you grasp the consequences of time travel whiplash.

Wednesday, October 7th
Things started to slip out of control
when the Ever-Patient Terry and I arrived home 
just before midnight after a long day of traveling.

Sadly Leaving for the Airport on the Bus
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

We were thrilled to be home!
Wired and tired, we roamed for hours
snacking on muesli scrounged in the pantry.
Terry crashed about 3:00 a.m.

But it was the first Wednesday of the month,
Insecure Writer's Support Group Day
so I was hopping all over the internet,
commenting on IWSG posts,
not to mention writing my next northern piece
due to publish in under 24 hours.

Fortunately I remembered chunks of crystalized ginger
and squares of dark chocolate hidden behind the muesli.

Better than a shot of Red Bull!
The burn of a mouth full of ginger keeps you hopping,
and the silky melt of chocolate soothes the burn
way better than an emergency gulp from the cold water tap.

I had creative responsibilities,  
and in my timeview, it was still Wednesday;
Thursday wouldn't happen until I crawled out of bed.

At four a.m. common sense won.
Or was it that I couldn't see the computer screen
with my magnifying glasses on?
Or that I couldn't hop because my tongue was dead?
I tiptoed into the bedroom and slipped into bed.

Round and round I spun,
circling this way and that.

"Stop it, Louise!" blared the not so Ever-Patient!
"Every time you do that, cold air gets under the covers!"

Sharp words from the Ever-Patient?
Perhaps he was experiencing time troubles too,
feeling a little more Jeffrey Goines than Kathryn Railly?
It was all downhill from there.

Disclosure:  Sometimes the E-P has
non E-P moments and morphs into Grumpy Cat.

4:08 a.m. ~  Lack of Empathy for My Late-Night Writing

4:12 a.m. ~  Lack of Empathy for My Late-Night Writing 

My internal clock ran amok for days,
and things spiraled more and more out of control.
I might as well have criss-crossed time zones 
around the world twice in 80 hours.

Question:  At what point would you recognize you were spiraling?

Thursday, October 8th:  
Up at 11:30 a.m.
We eat muesli with half and half
and sandwiches made of rat cheddar cheese 
in six-week old bread.

Grumpy Cat plays pickle ball 
while I don't go to the store.
I'm too busy and too wired. 
I'm write, write, writing.

The Ever-Patient reappears and plops 
a supper-sized bowl of muesli 
and half and half by my computer.

I write until 3:00 a.m. 
with repeated trips to the cupboard and tap.

Writers Fuel

Friday, October 9th:
Up at 5:30 a.m. 
Still muesli with half and half.
Terry plays pickle ball.

I chug coffee bleary-eyed.
I have forgotten about going to the grocery store.
Or blogging. Or writing.

I am prying photos out of an old album with a sharp knife
while I watch some of the many episodes 
of the Young and the Restless I missed while traveling.

I think about the dozens and dozens of other albums
I have to pry photos from too.  And digitize.
I want to stab the album.

My writing!  Yikes!
I stab the knife block instead and power up my computer.

To power myself up,
I begin to scarf ginger and chocolate,
washing them down with copious coffee.

I enter the flow!
I am on a creative roll!

Hours later the E-P reappears and gently suggests 
I shower before he takes me to Parkway to eat,
because now there is no more bread or half and half,
and dry muesli is hard to swallow 
after playing pickle ball in the hot sun at 6,000 feet.

We pick up milk on the way to Parkway.
I hungrily eat hot food and toss back merlot at the bar.

Much later, at home, 
writing and blogging have slipped my mind. 
I am playing Star Trek, Goldfish, 
and myVegas slots on-line.  Brilliantly!  
I win millions of fake chips 
and stagger to bed about 3:30 a.m.

Saturday, October 10th: 
Up at 7:00 a.m. 
I have an early hair appointment.
I am in serious need of a skunk line coverup,
and nothing comes between me and my hair stylist.

On the way home I stop at Sprouts 
for more half and half, ginger, and chocolate,
and something green, leafy, and scary 
to go with Sprout's deli-prepared meatloaf.

No time to get anything more!
I have writing and blogging to do
(and maybe a couple of slot spins 
with my new millions).

After a meatloaf supper with no green, leafy, scary things,
I degenerate into a gambler on tilt.
I lose millions of fake chips.
I am pissed.

The E-P distracts me with 
a consoling arm around my shoulder.
accidentally hit maximum bet 
and lose a half million chips in one spin.
I am broke and really pissed.

Terry beats a hasty retreat downstairs
to hide in whatever sports event is on tv.
His rabid male cheering doesn't cheer me.

There is nothing like a big gambling loss to clear brain fog!
I wallow in Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan's
Girl from the North Country countless times
while rereading my memoir-in-progress.

The Rest:
I'll spare you the rest.
I realized I was out of control 
when I found a big bag of baby kale 
in the fridge on Monday.
Whatever possessed me to buy that?

I'm hoping that kale degenerates into slime quickly,
and I can sneak it into the garbage without Terry noticing.

Today, Tuesday, October 15th:
Last night I only stayed up until 1:00 a.m. 
writing my latest northern post.
I only played Cash and Dylan's GFTNCountry 
about 20 times while I was writing. 

I got up at 7:00 a.m. to spit-shine my northern post
before two appointments this morning.
Both were cancelled by sick providers!
I had the unexpected gift of extra time!

So I drafted this without Cash and Dylan, 
ginger and chocolate, or muesli and half and half.

I'm slowing the whiplash of herky jerky time travel.
I think I've dodged a James Cole plunge into madness.
I think I can sleep tonight!

 You Tube ~ Damian Ponce 

And then the phone rang.
The Lovable Labs are coming to visit.
Just when I thought I was gaining control.
Oh silly optimistic me!