Friday, December 27, 2013

The house still stands, seventy years later, Standard one-storey, square, nearly windowless Ruthenian structure of plastered white adobe and a roof that had been thatch, but now in rot.
Nobody lives there anymore. but the house stands by the creek that used to flood and had often threatened the very edifice itsel.It had taken so long for my young father to build. For a near stripling of a lad, he would show 'em.. And he did. There it stood on its slight rise over the creek. It did not have tile or a tin roof, the very model of wealth in Ukraine; a peasant house, but not bad for just turned twenty and newly married.
"Marry Dmytro, for he has golden hands." Well, didn't he?
But a great war came and the machine gun and cannon shells would whoosh into the house. But the walls were thick. Though the roof burned, the house would not crumble or burn. It was made of clay brick.

We had to abandon the house for the real fear of Communism.
My uncle went back recently to roport that the house still stood, empty "for they all had gone to Canada."
Nobody lives there save for an old hobo lady who begged she not be reported.
Would I dare to go back?


(To be continued)

Friday, December 13, 2013


It is Friday, Dec.  thirteenth.
 
Oddly, it's always been a lucky day for me.
 
I got my job with the Toronto Star, and then Seneca College on Fri. 13, finished a novel on that date, resulting  a creative writing fellowship in San Miguel, Mexico (a division of U.C.)
Why should today's  Friday 13 seem uncharacteristically ominous, like fishing in a vat of worms?
 
It's probably because I'm  now into my76th year  and the old chassis is starting to rock...But I still chase old ladies.
 
Seems to me that in the past, every  bout of sickness seemed to have a morning of healing, an  on this Friday 13, I'm still   placing any bets on waking up refreshed and renewed, born again tomorrow.
 
But there had been warnings.
 
 Just last year, I collapsed on the street tin ninety degree heat. Happily, a postman walked me home. "What day is it,"
I asked groggily. He sai,d "Friday 13, 2012"
 
Happily on this day the postman cometh again. Hopefully wich cheques.
 
Not too long ago, I fully expected the man with the scythe.
Good things still happen on Friday 13?
 
Yes!