a small pecker, old records, dull fitba, a good book and no ass on the lake

by underswansea

Awoke to a skiff of snow.  The small Downy Woodpecker was back. He pecked away at the fir garden poles. There must be some meaty nourishment under the bark. It was good to see him again.

In the afternoon the sun came out and melted the snow. I enjoyed the rays while splitting and stacking firewood. I found a good size wasp nest near the woodpile. It is surprising I hadn’t noticed it before. It appeared that birds (perhaps the Downy) have been at it trying for a few leftover wasps, no doubt.

Lisa busied herself destroying old financial records. They were about ten years old. She has been meaning to do it for some time. Some were from our old business, Palliser Printing. There were stacks of old invoices of jobs we did for valley businesses. Lisa asked me several times while thumbing through the pages, ‘Do you remember doing,’ brochures or logbooks or whatever, for so-and-so? Some I could remember and some I could not. What struck us both was how busy we were running that business.  Also, how a great number of small businesses from that time are no longer around.

It was interesting to note that our house taxes have gone up by about $500. The truth is they have gone up by much more as water and garbage fees are charged separately and have increased significantly in ten years. This is a ploy by politicians large and small to take something that was once a tax and call it a fee. Then increase the fee, while declaring, straight-faced that taxes have not increased.

What was more than apparent to both Lisa and I while destroying those records, is though most everything has gone up our income has not. That is not a complaint, but a fact, and not a surprising one. We’re not the only ones. I see people hurting all over. Business people, tradesman, loggers. What is odd is to see it hidden behind the glitz of a tourist town. Everything looks so shiny and bright on the surface. I guess that’s where the increased taxes are going.

Toronto won the Grey Cup. I tried to watch the game but I am not a football fan. My Dad, who loved football, used to say you had to be at the stadium. Usually, I nod off before half time. Tonight, while the game droned on, I finished the book I’ve been reading, Skagboys by Irvine Welsh.

Welsh is a brilliant author. Skagboys is a prequel to Trainspotting and Porno. I’ve never been to Scotland, but Christ there is something I recognize in the characters. The meanness and tenderness, it makes me glad I never tried heroin. It is the humour that ties it together. You have to be on your toes. I don’t know how Welsh gets away with it.

It could dip down tonight, maybe minus 12, but it’s still mild for this time of year. There will be no skating on the lake in November. We are tilting, the sun is heading south, and it will get darker yet.