and i don’t consider that hyperbole, either– this particular piece of marble has been in this particular state for what i imagine is several million years. i can already hear the protests, and i say that the fact i have made a few “deletions” is somewhat moot, as i am speaking of the stone itself here.

the stone shows signs of having been involved in some slight changes in eons past– some of the soft veining in the piece has been moved, as if the rock “slid” against itself– the veining carries on, but at a small distance. as i have been sanding along, these veins are showing more clearly, and as a matter of fact, new ones have shown up, fine dark lines in odd places. it’s an adventure, sanding this piece.

tell it to my fingers, and they might have a different story. i have tried to use gloves as much as i have been able, but it is difficult to get the sandpaper to conform to tighter spaces, or to follow a line, with them on, and so i doff the gloves regularly. this brings a lot of abrasion to my fingertips, and especially the small finger of my right hand and the one next to it have suffered. there’s a hole in the glove, dear liza, and now there are blisters on the fingers.add to this all the additional sanding i have done– i ran over the whole piece with 38 grit paper, schookum stuff, but when i went to start with the 80 grit i saw that the 38 hadn’t “taken” enough, and so i went and did it again, until i got a decent finish, and then it was on to the 80– only it wasn’t– i decided that i needed an intermediate grit as well, so i sanded it all with a 60 grit paper– it was more meant for wood sanding, but i finally made some progress in the process.

as a matter of fact, i finished up with the 80 grit paper this very morning– YIPPIE!!– and that is where this millennial bathe came in– i took out the hose and attached it to the spigot on the side of the house (too bad the hose couldn’t reach to the spigot at the back of the house, which would have added a pump’s pressure to the stream of water) and turned it on and washed the entire piece free from all grit and powder and cobwebs and whatever else might be found there. when one puts the water to a stone one can see what it might look like polished, and it did look grand!!

as a child growing up in edmonton alberta i was always fascinated during the spring thaw, all those little stones (gravel i suppose, thrown out to gain traction in the snow) so colorful in the gutters beside the pavement, panning for treasure in the meltwater. i would take some home, but dried they just looked like gravel, of course. i have had a great inspiration for using this idea to create a beautiful sortuv fountain, if anyone out there would wish to commission it– i ain’t kidding!!

after the bathe, it was me up on the platform with a bucket of water, a cloth, a plastic glass and some sandpaper, starting the “wet” portion of the sanding process. well, that only lasted about 15 minutes, and i had to quit. i went to the store and picked up some sponges and heavy duty rubber gloves to get it totally underway without wincing and groaning too much.

part two– canada. i have been back a month and a half now, time enough to ponder all the stuff that happened and appreciate it more. what i DON’T appreciate is, having shot a nice image of a jetway especially for this point, to have my computer regurgitate it as being too large. so, you get stuck with the cloud shot. sigh.

canada was great. i got to see a lot of friends that i hadn’t seen in a cat’s nine lives, it would seem, and have some experiences that date from even further in my dim past. everyone thinks i live in such a paradise, and fer sure it is, but it isn’t so perfect as one might think. sweet corn– such a simple thing, but it had been a decade and a half at least since my last cob. mexicans love their corn, and so do i– but this is another magnitude better, in my overrated opinion. it was every bit as good as i remembered it being. thanks muchly, o wondrous friends of richmond– you and your family made this sailor feel at home!!

staying up on a mountainside was another treat– my brother and his wife live up at the “wack”– chilliwak– high above a golf course, with a view i wish i could show you, but that dratted program spat that photo out as well. what a view!! wonderful warm hospitality and friendship too.

walking around stanley park with a treasured friend. wow, even a heavy pack and shoes that were too tight couldn’t make it anything less than sublime, nor could the sometimes drizzle dampen the pleasure.

and vancouver in the sunshine, perhaps one of the most wonderful cities anywhere, i feasted on it.

don’t ask me how i could have been such a blunderer as to have forgotten my camera in vancouver when i left– i didn’t get it back til i was in victoria, meaning that all those fabu shots i was going to take in my hometown and environs came to naught. but i do have my memories, and also much gratitude to my friends in the area, for the way that they put me up and put up with me there. all i can say in passing is– hey you two– give ginnie another chance!! you know what it means!!< victoria was full of family and reaquaintance with one another, and a ceremony a little too personal to speak of here. it was so very good to see everyone and spend a little time together, time shortened to poignancy-- all too soon i was back on that plane, homeward-bound, tired beyond belief, a gruelling flight ahead of me. worth every bit for all the pleasure.

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