Blake: there on his ‘sad height’

Blake, on his perch

So the family has come and gone, daughter and grandsons from California and Texas. It went well. Blake basked in their affection.

Now he is in bed #3 on the Elder Care floor of a Toronto hospital, bombed out of his mind on hydro-morphone and offering acute observations: the doctors are being much too cautious; this is a total waste of time; they are not managing his pain – he can still feel it, not a 9 anymore, but even so a 3. In short, he has better things to do.

He sleeps and startles suddenly. “I’m awake,” he says. “What happened?” I ask. “I don’t want to lose control,” he says.

On Monday, the Palliative Care Team will come to assess his needs between 10 a.m. and noon. We will be there – Alice, his friend, Daniel, his son, and me, his ex-wife.

The traffic on this Feb. 23rd, 2019 was brutal. Two hours each way from my western suburb. I listened to David Bowie as I crawled along the Lake Shore. And cried.


Late Bloomers: tree blossoms in late June

Japanese Tree LilacThe riotous fuchsia and pink of early May have faded and gone as has the purple lilac. The white spirea and mock orange and apple blossoms ditto. This week I saw only the Japanese tree lilac, which I managed to get a picture of. I knew it was a lilac because of the shape of its leaf, but it was not in my Trees of North America, so I had to find it on-line.

The other blossoms I saw were on two tall trees, one on Annette and the other on Davenport. I thought I remembered that the leaf was that of a catalpa (Northern Catalpa). I had long ago learned that on a nature walk in Rondeau Park. I stopped twice on my drive home to have a closer look at the two trees I had noted, but traffic and rain have so far prevented a picture.

The flowers are like tiny orchids with four petals and red stamens that stain the petals yellow and draw the eye into their heart. The leaves are about 4 inches across and smooth edged, plain as the palm of a hand and pointed. The trees are over 60 ft. high, I think. There are many beautiful pictures on-line, but none that are shareable here.

Once again they are an introduced species that not everyone cares for. The Ontario government calls catalpa ‘invasive’ and recommends that you plant a native species instead. Too late, too late, O bureaucrat! Because of someone’s ill-advised decision 50 year ago, I can have an exquisite moment just outside a traffic lane.