Central Alberta has an oldies station, 1440 Wetaskiwin, which plays the hits of the 50s, 60, and 70s and for it I am grateful.
I go to Red Deer twice a week for acupuncture. It's about a 100 mile round trip. If one must make a long drive, then blasting the stuff one heard in high school is a great best way to do it.
Nothing beats rocking down the highway on a bright sunny summer's day listening to oldies. Only they aren't oldies to me as I crank up the volume. I'm riding down a gravel road with friends and dates and beer, 17 again.
It puts a big smile on my face.
For the record I am well aware of my surroundings and fully engaged in the act of driving my car on the highway. I am grateful for that, too.
Yet there's the other me inside, as I cruise by the canola fields in bloom under the bright blue Alberta sky with the sun beating in a side the window, who never left the 70s.
I am so grateful she's still here.
On this Monday I am grateful to say we spent a weekend camping with our friends Bob and Sylvia at Pigeon Lake.
The lake is north of us and south of them and takes each party an almost equal time to get to it. That's another thing for which to say thanks.
We do this camping weekend quite regularly though have missed the last two years. This past weekend meant getting back on track and we did.
We spent some time paddling on the lake looking at birds and such and then went for a walk in the bush where we found strawberries, raspberries, and running red raspberries. The latter grow near the ground and shoot out runners. They are very tasty.
Our evening meal included, but was not restricted to, leg of lamb done in a dutch oven. It was the best lamb ever.
Later at the campfire I had the idea to stick a Two-Bite Brownie (R) on a stick and plunge it into the flames. Fire-roasted brownies are amazing.
Best of all we got to spend time with our friends, and for it I am grateful.
Yesterday a memory floated into my awareness during one of my many daily unguarded moments. It made me laugh, and for a variety of reasons I am grateful.
Back in the mid -1980s I worked at the newspaper in Olds. I'd been away from reporting a few years when I got the job, but I got the work done each week. That's what matters.
Deadline was Tuesday afternoon. The paper had its own printing press so that left some flexibility in when things got done, but I preferred to get done earlier rather than later so that meant getting as much done on Monday as was possible. Monday was also the day I got the police report from the Olds RCMP detachment at 1:30 p.m. and then made the 10 minute drive to Didsbury for the report from that detachment.
Usually I'd get back to the office a bit after 3:30 p.m., slip down the alley to The Beehive, a convenience store, for a solid pick-me-up snack and then settle at my desk.
And that's when it happened.
I'd look down at my notebook, swing my vision to the blank paper in the electric typewriter and think:"What am I doing here? I can't write!"
I had a good chuckle yesterday when I remembered this bit of silliness. Of course I could write, but it didn't stop the occasional bit of panic.
I got over it at some point. I don't recall when I stopped thinking it, but I am grateful that I did. I am grateful that I saw through the absurdity of it. I am grateful that at some point back then thinking I wasn't qualified for my job suggested the people who had hired me were easily fooled. That was both insulting and silly in the extreme. It made me flip my insecurity over and tickle its tummy until it spilled its secrets.
I'd been looking at the world all wrong. Once it righted and I admitted my ability to write everything went well.
I am grateful I came to that realization three decades ago, and grateful for the memory and the laugh it gave me.
Enjoying myself on the shore of this beautiful tarn.
We went hiking in Kananaskis on Saturday and I am very grateful.
We found a short, fairly easy hike that led to the shore of beautiful, peaceful tarn. I found it difficult to leave.
The hike is Cirque Black Prince and once you get to the lake you can walk back on a parallel path for a bit until it joins the main path.
The loop makes for a delightful walk.
Last week I started acupuncture treatments and I am so very grateful I did.
I noticed significant improvement after the first treatment.
It occurred to me about 10 days ago that acupuncture might help my heart. I'd taken these treatments for asthma about 20 years ago. Today I do not use any medicine for asthma and have to remind myself I have it. Dr. Kenneth Wu treated me then and he is treating me now. He is an acupuncture specialist and a Dr. of Oriental Medicine. I am grateful he is in practice only an hour's drive away.
He told me why my heart is irregular and that I'd come to the right place. He did not guarantee it would revert to a normal heartbeat because I'd left it too long although that does happen.
I told him I hoped to get rid of the fluid in my legs. He said that was kidneys and bladder and the whole body will get treated.
After four needles stuck in my back for about 25 minutes I drove home, very relaxed.
The next evening Mike and I went for a six mile bike ride. In the more than 20 years we've done this route I have always stopped at the three mile mark to rest a bit before heading home.
That evening I did not.
The second treatment was Friday.
Saturday we went for a short, steep hike as I wanted to test how I was doing.
In the past I have to rest during steep pitches because the blood pounding in my ears sounds like partridges drumming.
On Saturday there were no partridges.
That evening we went for another bike ride.
I am to go twice a week for two months for these treatments.
You can bet I am sticking to it.