Tag Archives: Dixie

My heart is in the country.

What a day.  I had been looking forward to this weekend, especially in the last couple of days of work, when it was decided that we would have Monday off as well, making this a four-day weekend (Tuesday is Remembrance Day in Canada).  I had been invited to sit around with a bunch of other men today–to eat crap and drink stuff good for my heart while watching the football game.  This is not something I do very often at all. Plus: four-day weekend.  We had minimal plans, no major projects: do some school work, clean the garage so the Honda can be parked in there as well.  Maybe go for a walk with the kids.

It was not to be. This morning Dixie woke up dizzy and nauseous.  I’m convinced Dixie has a mild case of that mental illness where you always think you have something wrong with you.  The name escapes me, but I think Dixie has it. Dixie started a new kind of birth control pill this week and we read its side-effects this morning.  It said, among other things, that sudden dizziness and nausea was reason to call our doctor immediately—that it could be a sign of stroke.  After reading that we stopped thinking of any other possibility for Dixie’s illness.

Long story short: Dixie has an inner ear infection.  And she has been bed-ridden for the rest of the day.

This has put a damper on the extra long weekend.

You’re probably thinking, You selfish bastard!  Think of your poor wife! Well, I don’t blame her.  It’s just frustrating that someone in this house manages to get sick on every long weekend.  Or so it seems.  So I was a Grumpy Gus all day.

It didn’t help that it’s Saturday (when I tend towards gloominess anyway) and I didn’t get a chance to shower in the morning.  I hate being Grumpy Gus, but I don’t know how to get out of that funk. Except this: late this  afternoon I was sent on an errand with the children to deliver some foodstuffs to one of Dixie’s readers who has just had a baby.  They live about 12km east of the city in a beautiful house with a veranda overlooking the North Saskatchewan River valley.  The drive out there began to soothe my mind and heart, peaking when we got to their house and I breathed deeply the cool air.  Their house is out in the open, in a field, unencumbered by hills and trees.  How refreshing!  I thought that had done the trick, but, as is often the case, my mood soured upon reentering the city.

I believe I belong in open country, not tucked away deep in a city residential area.  Open country is good for the soul. I’ve wondered if people who live in the country (including small towns) are on average more religious or spiritual than people who live in cities and for some reason I think that’s actually statistically true.  If it is, I wonder if it’s because in the city people are not able to breathe or see very well.  Closed in as cities are with multi-story buildings (if not actual skyscapers) I can’t help but wonder if mental claustrophobia sets in and we switch into survival mode, turn our heads down and let the details of life, sometimes overflowing with the divine, go unnoticed?

I noticed the moon on the drive home from the house in the country.  Whenever I see the moon I am always filled with wonder; something deep inside of me stirs.  I’m not sure what it is—hope, longing, love, a sense of something “other” and bigger than I am—but it doesn’t matter how often I see the moon or how long I stare at it, that feeling never wanes; in fact, it grows.  I assume other people share this indescribable sense upon seeing the night sky.  It is no wonder, then, that in ages past (and probably still in some places) people would worship the moon or the stars (or the gods and goddesses of them)—there is certainly something divine in them.

In major urban areas some people literally never see the night sky—neither the moon nor the stars—because of light pollution (it’s difficult to see the stars under street lamps), towering buildings, the tendency to walk head-down.  I wonder, too, if this has any relation to the (not yet proven, but assumed) difference in urban and rural religiosity/spirituality?

When I go to the country, when I look up at the night sky, something happens in me—almost as if I am healed of a sickness I did not know I had. And if I was never to go into the country and breathe deeply or catch a glimpse of the moon, I would get never get healed of that thing.  I would never be overwhelmed by that something deep inside of me—that sense of something other.

I’m not sure if that’ll even make sense to you.  I need to go back outside and catch a glimpse of the moon, because I just hit the wrong combination of buttons and all the formatting in this post was lost.

Serenity now!

Marriage advice

Today marks 8 years of marriage (to each other) for Dixie and I.  It’s kind of a bittersweet day: our anniversary, Dixie’s granny’s funeral.  We got married in the same church as where Granny’s funeral will be held.  20 years ago this year, when Dixie was 9 years old, Granny gave Dixie a journal of pictures and memories.  In that journal, Granny said that one day she would see Dixie walk down the aisle.  Dixie always remembered that line, worried that maybe Granny would never see that day.  But she did.  Dixie remembered those words as she walked down the aisle.  She looked at Granny as she passed her by; Granny winked.

* * *

I know 8 years is not all that long as these things go—Granny and Grandpa were married 67 years!—so this might be premature, but I feel it incumbent upon me to share some wisdom for a lasting marriage.  At least, a marriage that lasts 8 years and counting.  (And it’s not my intention to put a damper on the bittersweetness that pervades this day.)

In no particular order:

1. Assume there is no such thing as an irreconcilable difference.  How many times have you heard this: “Star A and Star B cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce”?  It’s a catch-all cop-out.  I realize that there are legitimate grounds for divorce, but we shouldn’t look for them.  Divorce shouldn’t be an option going into marriage.  Assume your marriage will be life-long and work at it being so.

2. Forgive.  Forgive.  Forgive.  Forgive.  Forgive.  And so on.  (It is my understanding that healing is possible even in a marriage where the worst has happened.)

3. Be patient.  Especially if your spouse is slow or reluctant to forgive.

4. Say, “I love you” daily.  Multiple times, if you like.  It doesn’t get old.

5. Laugh.  Joke around.  Tease each other.  Allow yourself to be made fun of.  Give each other nicknames.  Try to find common interests—watch movies together.  Have a regular TV night to watch a particular show you both like together.

6. Be affectionate.  Hug, kiss, snuggle, spoon, hold hands, etc. (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more)

7. That old saying, “Don’t go to sleep angry”?  Rubbish.  Go to sleep angry.  In the morning you’re likely to feel much better and, in fact, a little silly for being so angry in the first place.

8. Open up to each other: share your feelings, dreams, loves, joys, passions, fears, struggles, mistakes, failures.  (And see numbers 2 and 3 above.)

I’m sure there are more—I should probably ask Grandpa—but there you have it as I see it after 8 years.