The Log Driver's Waltz

Saturday afternoon. In the kitchen.

Erin's in town. The kids are playing outside. I am chopping vegetables for supper and singing the Log Driver's Waltz in my head.

If you ask all the girls from the parish around, 
what pleases her most from her head to her toes?
She'll say, "I'm not sure it's business of yours, 
but I do like to waltz with a log driver."

Just as the light-footed log driver goes birling down a-down the white water, I'm birling down the stairs to the back door so I can check on the barbecue. I lift the lid. The potatoes sizzle in their foil packets. The trout is nearly done. I sway back and forth in waltz time.

For he goes birling down a-down the white water
that's where the log driver learns to step lightly;
Birling down a-down the white water,
a log-driver's waltz pleases girls completely.

I close the lid on the barbecue and step back inside the house. As I shut the door behind me, I cease humming and start singing in my best Kate McGarrigle voice -- up an octave and full of warble. I waltz myself up the stairs singing at the top of my lungs.

I've had my chances will all sorts of men
but none as so fine as my lad on the river.

I prance up the top three steps to the landing as I belt out the next two lines.

When the drive's over, if he asks me again,
I think I will marry my log driver--

I stop short.

I am staring into the face of the nine-year-old boy who lives across the street.

He must have let himself in.

He looks me up and down.

"Hey," he says.

I nod. "Hey."

Unvirtuous Abbey, the correct way to eat pumpkin pie, and some news

Hiya. Bit of a content-dump on tomato transplants today.

First, CBC Radio's Maritime Magazine recently ran a documentary of mine about an abbey of virtual monks who pray for our first-world problems. It's called Unvirtuous Abbey, and you can take a listen to it over here.

Second, my Collective Wisdom parenting column aired this week on CBC Radio. This month, I sought collective wisdom about the food traditions we pass down to our kids. Listen here.

Third, gosh, I just last week signed a contract with Nimbus Publishing in Halifax for a book I've been picking away at for a few years. It's a novel for kids aged 8-12. I can give you more details when we get closer to the publications date, which I'm told could be about a year away. But, y'know. Fulfillment of a lifelong dream and all, I kind of wanted to tell you about it.