the pragmatic and the poetic living together

Like many of you on the Westcoast, the rainy season gets to me. Knowing it’s coming, I have learned to do kind things for myself ahead of time to make it through. I try to make sure my house has decent lighting, I get out and walk in the rain with my dog regardless, I wear bright colours and bright shoes, I drive a bright coloured car, I buy kale, I live in a brightly coloured home.IMG_5236 I avoid any film or TV show that is Swedish…I have people over who make me laugh.IMG_5237

My favourite combative move against SAD is to plant “early blooming” tulips, paper whites and daffodils. Today I finished off the last few beds down the side of the house. That makes about 325 bulbs. It feels so good to know I have this beauty cushion. My husband feels good when he knows he has a money cushion. For me, it’s all about the flowers. Not to say he doesn’t like flowers and not to say I don’t value a little extra money, but it does sort of sum up a major difference in our approach to life: the poetic and the pragmatic.images

I’ve had quite enough of my Mini Countryman 2011 – a year I will never ever recommend anyone buy.  Despite its lovely daffodil colour, it’s been nothing but repair after repair, bug after bug. The woman who owned it before me rode the clutch so bad she also wrecked the fly wheel and two tires and a rim. There’s now a rattle in the dash. Could be nothing could be everything. The automatic brake works now and then…nobody knows why…the car is nearly impossible not to stall when in reverse…soon after I replaced the computer board my alternator belt called it quits. The list goes on and on. I’ve put $20,000.00 in and I’ll be lucky if I get $15,000 out. Ive only had the car for about six months. This has been a colossal blow to the poetic argument.

I warned my fellow when I married him that I was a Mini owner for life. He drives an ancient grey Matrix with tools and boots rattling around in the hatch and  no hubcaps and he couldn’t give a flying duck. He sometimes yearns for a truck. Why? So he can haul dirt. images-1

When he met me, I had my first Mini: an electric blue 2004 cooper S (fantastic car, just got old). Most guys I knew loved the car and couldn’t wait for me to hand over the keys. Not my Fellow. I was a little put off that he didn’t seem excited to drive it at all. He never once asked. In fact, he preferred to escort me in his ancient dirty Matrix filled with clangy water bottles…even on a hot date! As I eventually discovered, he didn’t understand my choice at all. On a bad day, a tired day, he may even resent me for owning a car that uses the most expensive gas, is above my pay grade, costs a mint to fix and doesn’t easily fit a family of four. “The only one who enjoys a ride in the Mini is the driver” he said to me today…in other words, I’m a selfish cow.

“so, what, what, what do you want me to get? Just tell me because I don’t want to argue about it anymore. What? A grey…2011…Jetta?!”

“Yes. That would be GREAT!”

He headed out the door to work on the chicken coop and I went back to the car trade drawing board. I looked at Volkswagen…I looked at all things Autotrade four door under $15,000…and it made me feel…


I kept navigating back to the 2014 volcano orange Mini cooper S. Guilty. Now car porn.

When my fellow returned I tried to explain. It isn’t about status “yes it is” no it isn’t. “You told me you want to drive something cool”. Yeah, but not to try and prove anything to anyone. It’s because the Jetta, for instance, is built entirely for pragmatism. There is no visible attempt at making this car aesthetically pleasing. It doesn’t even seem like a consideration. I am not a designer but I am an artist. This car is basically saying, “we don’t need you, you have no worth, artist! All we need in life is to get from A to B safely.” The Mini…values the artist, as a company. That’s how I feel. I don’t want to drive around in something purely functional. It depresses the hell out of me. Does that make sense?

He sighs. I suspect – not really.images-2

I spend a few more hours looking at something new: electric vehicles…all ugly except the Tesla…but the Kia Soul EV at least is almost…peppy. I could live with peppy. And we’d save so much on gas…perhaps there is a compromise to be had…

I then head out to plant my daffodils. I notice my Fellow has carried my heavy bags of earth down the stairs, dropping them off here and there where he figured I might want them. I get the gardening tools out of his garage that he has made all clean and orderly and easy to find things. I walk down the garden steps that he recently repaired. I dig into the bed that he built. I fill it with flowers.images-3




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  1. Charlotte

    I know how you feel, about grey, drab, lack of sunshine….I have felt that way too. Yes, every fall when the sun goes south, I become SAD. Did you know that the sun has approx 90,000 candlepower worth of light in the height of summer in Calgary? And in the winter, a mere 9000 candle power. Is it any wonder there are so many depressed people living in this latitude?! I have learned to utilize a therapy light from October thur March to help me navigate my world through the drear of winter.

    1. Lucia Frangione

      I am really surprised with the difference in the sun in Calgary, Charlotte! I just figured sun is sun and you all get it all the time. Wow!

  2. Charlotte

    I learned about this through a gardening talk show because plants need lots of sunshine.

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