Saturday, July 11, 2009

Me and Miss Helen

An evening with Helen in St. Albert.

While I'm showing off my dearest friends, here's another photo taken during my trip to Alberta.

I've written about Helen before. When my former husband and I moved to the small francophone village of Legal (pronounced leGAL), just a half-hour north of St. Albert (a small city bordering the northwest edge of Edmonton), we were soon fortunate enough to strike up a conversation from the back yard of our new home, with a lovely couple strolling down the alley one evening. That was Helen and her husband, Joe, who lived two doors down.

To my young children, they became Auntie Helen and Uncle Joe. They were there whenever we needed them and, as Helen likes to say, their door was "always open." Joe was a handyman carpenter who could build and fix anything, and since the boys' dad was a city boy who didn't know the right side of a hammer (sorry Gord! you have many other fine qualities!), we called on Joe pretty often. He built a small ramp to make it easier for Emil to get into the front door with his walker, which he used outdoors in winter. He built dividers for our kitchen drawers. He rigged up a system of lights for me to plant my seedlings in the basement in early spring. He built a shelf for the window above the kitchen sink, for my houseplants. Oh, he spoiled me. Even said once that if I got a little bit of land in the bush, he'd build me a cabin. I mean it: spoiled!

Joe's gone on to that great workshop in the sky, but Helen is looking better than ever and spoils me just as well as Joe ever did, in her own way. We have lots of laughs together.


Gotta bolt. Another batch of bread dough is sitting on the counter waiting to be shaped into loaves ... got busy writing and forgot about it.