Sunday, May 25, 2008

Here Fishy Fishy

So today I got a call from my neighbour and coworker to see what trouble I was up to. I was a little worried because I was trying to learn a new strumming pattern on my guitar and it sounded like someone was dying. I thought that maybe he had heard the cacaphony and decided to call to see if everything was all right. But no that wasn't it at all. He and his wife were heading to Sucker Creek to catch some fish and were wondering if I wanted to come and since the sky was blue and it was such a glorious day, I decided to go. So I got on my fishing gear - yellow rubber boots and capris - and we were off.

Now this was not your typical fishing adventure because we were on foot and had no fishing rods. We were going to catch the fish with our bare hands. I am not making this up.

On our walk downstream, I caught alot of fins that wiggled away. But on our journey back upstream I started to learn the trick. The trick is to go to the river banks and feel under the banks for slimy fish backs and then slowly tickly your fingers alone until you feel the head. Then you put your other hand underneath the fish - slowly, slowly - and SQUEEZE and hold on to the fish with all your might.

Now I HATE putting my hands in places that I can not see. I am always scared that another dead hand will reach out and grab my hand. Completely irrational I know. BUT I CONQUERED MY FEAR. I felt along the dark places for slimy fish backs and I actually cought some.

Then my cruel streak set in. I would put the fish in the water but wouldn't let go (because we were catching and releasing the sucker fish). I would tickle its sides and stomach and try to relax it a bit. Then I would slowly let go. If it didn't swim away right away, I would catch it again.

Fishing with your hands was super fun. By the time we were done, my boots splashed water out of them everytime I took a step and my capris were wet from top to bottom. My feet and fingers were numb because at some parts of the creek, where the sun doesn't shine, the ice was still about 6 inches thick. BRRR.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How does your garden grow?

This weekend I sat in the sun and played in dirt. I felt like a toddler exploring new worlds and getting very dirty in the process. I had forgotten that grass had such packed root systems. I had forgotten that there is a whole mysterious world underneath my feet.

Gardening gave me hope. It reminded me that even when things appear dead and dry on the surface, there are life giving roots underneath what we see and with a little transplanting or watering or sunshining, the dry dead looking plant springs back to life.

I think people are like that too. So I am typing this in order to remind myself to dig deep into people's lives and get a little dirty in hopes of reviving and restoring life.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Owa tagoo siam

I had a meeting this past Tuesday for the math professional development thing that I have been leading all year. This was our rap up meeting. I recieved the e-mails for the meeting - skimmed them, because I thought I knew what they said. Got a hotel room confirmation from head offfice after they booked it for me. Monday at about 7 pm I was ready to go. But first, I thought, lets check my email and make sure I have the correct hotel. Yep The Sawridge. OK let me check the other e-mail and scan for a start time. Nope no start time. They always forget these things.

7:30 pm and I was really ready to go now. I get in my car, drive to Slave Lake, grab some MacDonald's, arrive at the hotel and lo and behold, they have no reservation for me and no rooms. My first thought was, "AHHH I am in the wrong place." So I phone a fellow teacher in Trout and get them to check my e-mail for me to see where I am supposed to be. A half hour later they phone back. "Yeah it says the Sawridge Inn but no town name." Crap. (although I was thinking in stronger language) The helpful desk staff make a few phonecalls and discover that there is a reservation for me. It is at the Sawridge Inn but in Peace River not Slave Lake.

So it is now about 11:00. I am exhausted and I realize that I still have a two hour drive ahead of me. Tears start filling my eyes and then I think, "You might as well start laughing." So I started laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation and how assuming what the e-mail says is not the same as knowing what the e-mail says. I started to realize that this as a testament to how stressed out I am right now. I don't even have time to read and process e-mails. Then the stress started to be relieved. I am going to make stupid mistakes. But most mistakes are fixable. It just might take a little more time. People will forgive me and I am going to have to forgive my self.

Then the forgiveness started to come. Of all the stupid things I have done, this is probably one of the least stupid. Owa tagoo siam.