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The seed that changed the way I see things
The Seed by Yvon
 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: June 8, 2019      Views: 16

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 ABOUT
YVON 
I've been writing for over 40 years. I enjoy meditation and am interested in both western and eastern spiritual practices.

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So many people strive along in their everyday life. We all have different ways of doing things. Some people are thinkers, others doers and of course there are those who are kind of, well, lazy. I fall into the latter category. This is not to say that my butt has been sewn onto my parent's sofa. I don't even live with them. I live with my sister. At least I did at the time of the event concerning the seed. Now I'm on my own.

My sister, I'll call her Camille, just to give her a name. She had been nagging at me for years to come out to Calgary and live with her and Al. Camille's common-law husband. I was in Vancouver at the time and Calgary didn't seem like a place for a guy in his mid-50's to up and move to. But then again are there any good times to move when you're basically lazy? Pack this and that. Hell, I just left most of my possessions behind and hopped on the Big Grey Dog.

Calgary, Calgary is a city that has grown out of the middle of a huge hay field. Started back in the late1800's. Prairie grass surrounds the place in all directions. I guess cities have to grow out of something. There is also a large stream running through it called The Bow River. Let me not forget The Rocky Mountains that can be seen far off in the distance to the west.

Okay, I'm now in Calgary living in a basement room of Camille's house. Rent is cheap, food is good, but I'm doing nothing. The move to the rolling prairie only occurred after my having a stroke while living in Vancouver. I did mention living in Vancouver. That is where I had the stroke.

Not a fun thing to have- a stroke that is. I was in hospital for 2 weeks. One day I was told they needed the bed so, they threw me out. I wanted to stay, but, no way. I took a taxi home where my drunken roommate David tried to make things pleasant, fawning over me as if I was about to drop dead, I wasn't. Not being in the mood to deal with him I hid out in my bedroom most of the time. I didn't need a drunk blubbering about his miseries while at the same time trying to be extra nice to me. It was like watching a one man soap opera, live. This is the timeframe when I considered taking my sister up on her offer. Ultimately, I did.
Unfortunately David needed me more than I needed him. When I was in hospital he started hanging with the wrong crowd. Drugs were involved. I believe heroin.

He was found by his ex-wife two weeks after I left for Calgary, dead on his bedroom floor. I still can hear her pleas as she asked me on the phone if she was to blame. I assured her that David was on a downward spiral and had hooked up with a bad crowd while I was in hospital. She was not to blame. She accepted what I had said and was relieved of the burden of blaming herself for his death.

It was David who found me on the hallway floor and called the ambulance. He saved my life. Sadly, I was not there to save his.

***

Things were tough at first. I was way out of whack. Balance off, memory disjointed. I think the forgetfulness was the worst. I'll deal with that later on. It took months to get my balance back to a satisfactory degree. Won't be perfect, but adequate.

Camille and Al's place is comfy. There was however one god awful monstrosity in the downstairs rec room. A bar! It is near the entrance to the rec room and blocks part of the doorway. Camille, decided years back to build Al of all things, a bar. My sister is no dummy but her skills as a craftsman are something to ponder upon. She'll take on any project but, beware of giving her advice. Claws come out and a stubborn cat appears.

Myself, I am a skilled craftsman with over 20 years' experience in commercial woodwork. When I first arrived at Camille and Al's home the first thing or at least one of the first things that came to mind, was, that bar has to go. I asked Camille to let me fix it. The damn thing was painted white after all. She said no. But I convinced her it would help in my rehabilitation (which it did). There were 2 stipulation- I had to use as much of the material in the existing bar as possible. Okay. The other was, my sister had to help. Not so okay. .

Camille and Al have some tools. I have some tools, I bought other tools and supplies that were needed and away we went.

First dismantle the bar to its frame so I could cut 3 feet off its length. Of course Camille was giving instructions at every turn. It was not easy removing panels that were ½ inch thick but screwed on with 3" screws, and lots of them, everywhere. My drill and hers were both overheating. Finally the bar is a skeleton. Just the framework stood alone amidst the rubble of scattered tools and sheets of wood.

Well, this frame looked worse than the bar that was completed. You can hide many mistakes behind sheets of MDF (medium density fiberboard). At the bottom there were 3; count them, 3- 2 by 4's screwed together running along the front. It was now 4 1/2'" thick. I asked, WHY? Camille just smiled and said, well, I had them left over and didn't want to waste them. Arrrrg! Or whatever the sound that comes out of frustration.

The frame was good for height but the length had to be cut down. (Don't worry there is a seed attached to this story. That is why it is called the seed and not 'That Damn Bar') We had a hand held circular saw and an 11' bar frame that need to be cut down to 8'. The main problem was the 3- 2 by 4s screwed together. It took 4 cuts around that mess to complete what should have been one cut. The rec room was looking like a wreck. Not a rec.

Tools, tools, where are my bloody tools. Hidden here, hidden there, hidden everywhere. Most were in plain sight but after the stroke my brain wasn't on short term memory awareness and my mind wasn't focusing when looking at things. Many times tools I needed were right in front of me but for some reason I couldn't see them. So I bought a tool box with a clear lid and a decent size box to put the tools in. Organization, sweet organization. It felt good to know where a tool was so long as I remembered to put it back. The tool box was easy to find.

The bar was finally cut down and I started to picture what I wanted to make. My sister had Ideas of her own. After all it was her bar. With a little manoeuvring and subtly changing her image to my vision, Camille finally saw what I really had in mind and agreed to most of the design. That is except for how the top would sit. We were pretty close so, I let her have her way.

The bar was cut down and built. There were some changes to the side structures. A little fancier, solid maple mouldings and hickory veneers. The top was to be the center point when seated at the bar. This was going to take time. The same materials would be used but would be a bit fancier than the structure itself.

Tools, or lack of them, (a wood plainer to be precise.) I needed the solid wood to match the veneers in height to make a perfect finish on the top. No plainer; have to raise the veneers to the solids height. Easy to write down hard to do.

For hours I reworked the wood for the perfect finish. I had the skill just not the tools. Frustrated, I sat down on my sisters back deck. I was a little pissed about the final job I had done. This is where the seed comes in.

There I was on the deck, not quite fuming but definitely dissatisfied with the outcome of this project. Then along comes this seed. You know those puffy white ones that look like a dandelion that has gone to seed.

I was drained. Sitting there this seed had the audacity to float by on a breeze, a few inches from my face. I was about to smack it down, then I started looking at it. I mean really looking at it.

The seed was perfect! It was doing exactly what nature had designed it for. It was symmetrical and light so it could float along. This seed was a thing of perfect beauty. I held my gaze on it until it passed out of my sight.

Calmly, I realized that no matter what tools or skills I had, I could never make anything as beautiful as that seed was. I will always be grateful for the experience of realizing Nature in perfect form. That simple seed changed my perception of the world.

Author Notes
Thanks to galiaG for the image. Sometimes it's the little things that make a difference.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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