#50 Co-dependants & crow dependants
January 11th, 2016
I suspect that by the time a person, gender nonspecific, reaches fifty or more years of age, she or he has picked up a clue or two about food. And so on the first Thursday of every month, the Seniors get together for pot luck and you couldn’t get better food in a four-star restaurant anywhere in the world. It is to make a person envy the ruminants with more than one stomach!
Fern makes a macaroni and cheese which is to make anyone go back for more. Carol, well, she can cook anything and knock your socks off. Alex does a great banana cream pie and Gary’s Italian casseroles are incredible. I feasted, and oinked, and then wished I had hollow legs.
As good as the food was the conversation. There’s no rule which says you have to be in a good mood with a store of hilarious jokes but that’s what was happening at our table. A guy named Jack, whom I don’t really know, was so entertaining he should be on CBC radio. Val had me giggling most of the night.
Nobody seemed to care that outside the world was frozen in a most unusual way. This is the wet coast, we are used to rain, lots and lots of rain, some say we get twelve feet of rain a year, some say fifteen, and I have personally experienced week-ends where I’d vow before the throne of all the elder gods that we got twelve feet before suppertime. But not now. There has been white shyte and now the temperature has dropped so the snow froze into ice and it just lies there, stubborn as a Scot with a gripe.
Bird droppings land, sizzle, then freeze into ittybitty grayish lumps. The bare bones of trees are outlined against the sky, skeletons on view. Some, like my Linden tree, still have wisps of remnants of what once were leaves clinging to the dark twigs.
So I’m not taking any Therapeutic Promenades these days. I already have an artificial hip, so I don’t need to slip on that persistent layer of ice and wind up with a matched pair. I’m hunkered down in my own bunker, with warmth, and light, and a TV and a pile of unread books and I’m working on a novel I tentatively call A Cast of Hundreds. When my wreck of a back won’t let me sit and type any more I head for my chair and settle with a book.
My side yard isn’t a bird sanctuary but right now it’s full of chickadees and towhees, and a couple of times a day an entire murder of crows swoops in looking for a hand-out. I call them my crowdependents. If I throw out some dog kibble they squabble and surge, flutter and squawk and then here comes the Raven. She’s three times as big. Everyone gets very, very quiet, nobody makes eye contact, as she strolls through the suddenly subdued lot, takes her pick of the offerings, then wings away. As soon as she lifts off, the noise starts, all those who had studiously turned their heads and avoided even looking at her are suddenly brave as all get-out again.
So this small world of co-dependencies and crowdependants makes a lot of the sense much of the time.
Until I turn on the television.
Down in Oregon I see the Yee-Hawjadists and some Y’all Queda bunch are occupying a government building at a bird sanctuary, claiming they will lay down their lives to defend whatever-in-hell it is has got their water hot. The son of a welfare recipient who owes a million dollars in unpaid grazing fees seems to be the spokesdweeb for the bunch and while I don’t usually ascribe mental deficiency to people whose politics confuse me, I do think this bunch are a tad lacking. While posturing for the television cameras and vowing to go down fighting for whatever, they’ve also said they’re there for the long haul, years if need be, they’re armed to the teeth and well-prepared. But will those who support them please send some snacks; chips, dip, cheezies, and maybe even some Krispy Creme donuts? Seems they’ve run out of Dr. Pepper and Red Bull. For once the federal government of the Excited Snakes is taking a moderate position. They’re not eager for another Ruby Ridge or Waco horror. The family this gang of self-proclaimed “militia” are supposedly supporting have publicly asked them to just go home, and they’ve said they do not support this group. So cut off the heat and light, maybe. If it’s as cold there as it is here, the whole lot of them would be half-perished in no time. If only the television cameras would just go away and reporters would stop recording the rantings of the bearded rifle-bearing patriots in camo-outfits, things might calm down.
I turn it off. I go back to A Cast of Hundreds in my town of hundreds. And I wait for the first Thursday in February.
Anne Cameron grows pussywillows on the western edge of Vancouver Island. She received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia in 2010. Her 23 books include Daughters of Copper Woman, the bestselling work of fiction ever written about B.C. and published from within B.C. She has banished herself to Tahsis, a small town not far from Friendly Cove where the shenanigans called British Columbia all began.