KELLYBROOKS

Photojournalist currently hanging out in Barrhead, Alberta.
End of the day.

End of the day.

The season of sickness.

I often don’t have the opportunity to write a column anymore, since all the hot topics in Barrhead open up the floor for multiple letters to the editor.

After contracting some kind of illness for the third time in 2014, I felt more than qualified to write this poem about the common cold.

Your eyes can barely open,
You can sense there’s something off.
That’s when you try to take a breath
And all you do is cough.

You tell yourself it’s just a cold,
You’re barely sniffling.
And you have a lot to do today,
So out of bed you spring.

The fatigue is only mild,
And the fever’s hardly there.
You’ll just go about your day
and be no worse for wear.

But getting dressed is tiring,
And eating is a chore.
Maybe you’re still waking up,
But man your throat is sore…

Out the door you saunter,
There’s no strut in your step.
And something’s lurking in your throat,
That could possibly be strep.

The tasks that lie ahead of you,
May as well be climbing mountains.
Your body aches, your voice is gone,
And your nostrils are like fountains.

Your temperature is wonky,
First you shiver, then you sweat,
Your mind begins to wonder,
How much worse will this plague get?

The taste in your mouth is less than nice.
The phlegm in your throat is mounding.
And why are people yelling?
Don’t they know your head is pounding?

You seek out a comfy sitting spot
To find some peace and quiet,
Then comes the tickle in your throat
And your body starts to riot.

You try to block the burst that’s coming,
Your eyes well up with tears
And then begins the cough attack
That seems to last for years.

Everyone is staring,
Parents lead their kids away.
You hear a woman ask her friend,
“Is she going to be OK?”

Your bleary eyes have started leaking,
It looks like you’re going to cry.
So you take your sputtering, coughing self
Away from the public eye.

Thankfully day is over,
Though your chills won’t take a hint.
And when you’re home you take a look…
Your face has a green unnatural tint.

You drag yourself across the floor,
Spent with sickness and with sorrow,
And flop down in your bed at last,
“I’m staying in bed tomorrow.”

Took some quick pictures of a papier mâché/craft session that went on during spring break this year. I would have much rather plopped down in a chair beside them and gotten my own hands messy with paper and glue…however adult responsibility called and I had other places to be.

I was invited out to a local farm to see the new arrivals, and it was so adorable I could have died. I stumbled along on my personal tour, through puddles and mud and, well, there are farm animals about you know. Luckily I came equipped with my rubber boots.

I couldn’t help but fall into a constant state of laughter. The sounds that come from goats and sheep tickle my funny bone to begin with, but to hear those shrill little bleats coming from newborn lambs through the sea of deep BAAs was too much.

Does anyone else think goats’ rectangle-shaped pupils are really funny?

Had a good laugh when I spotted this deer sneaking a peek of me over some hay in the countryside.

Had a good laugh when I spotted this deer sneaking a peek of me over some hay in the countryside.

So much hockey lately. I have spent countless hours shivering in the arena these last few weeks, watching avid hockey players skate up and down the ice. Some of the games are actually rather exciting, and I find myself quietly cheering on the home team during intense moments. 

However my favourite part of the game is when the zamboni is flooding the rink, because it gives me a chance to take out my yarn. Is that bad?

So much hockey lately. I have spent countless hours shivering in the arena these last few weeks, watching avid hockey players skate up and down the ice. Some of the games are actually rather exciting, and I find myself quietly cheering on the home team during intense moments.

However my favourite part of the game is when the zamboni is flooding the rink, because it gives me a chance to take out my yarn. Is that bad?

Headed out to Camp Nakamun near Barrhead for an elementary school’s winter carnival. Actually, it was a Carnaval, since the students were part of a French immersion program.

It was nippy, but watching children frolic about in the snow and barrel down hills on toboggans and crazy carpets at top speed makes cold feet worth it. They even had ice fishing, though I don’t think anyone caught anything.

After all this time, I finally had the opportunity to witness the magic of the Northern Lights. Unfortunately I didn’t have a tripod with me, and had to use my car as a sturdy surface for my camera. 
Eventually I was too frozen to stay outside any longer, and took some pictures inside my car with my camera resting on the ledge of my rolled down window. Next time I hope to be more prepared, but I was still happy just to see them.

After all this time, I finally had the opportunity to witness the magic of the Northern Lights. Unfortunately I didn’t have a tripod with me, and had to use my car as a sturdy surface for my camera.

Eventually I was too frozen to stay outside any longer, and took some pictures inside my car with my camera resting on the ledge of my rolled down window. Next time I hope to be more prepared, but I was still happy just to see them.

Sunset on a windy day.

Is it spring yet?

Spring is in the air. Beautiful, life-filled spring.

Well, that’s what my brain keeps telling me with these spurts of 4 degree days that keep popping up.

Before my mind starts racing and I begin making my long awaited summer plans, I have to stop and remind myself that it’s only February. Spring hasn’t even arrived yet.

I notice there are no green buds on the trees. In fact, the trees are still quite bare and covered in snow and frost.

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There are no patches of grass peeking through the dirt. The dirt isn’t yet visible through the layers of snow and ice. And that second layer of snow and ice.

I don’t wake up to birds chirping. Although I did almost hit Alberta’s only squirrel a few days ago on my way to work. I gladly took that as a sign of warming conditions, until it snowed the next day.

How I long for summer’s long hours of daylight. The time of year when sunshine is beaming through my window when I wake up, and it’s still light out when I leave work.

What with these sunny and almost mild afternoons that have been appearing through the dead cold of winter, it’s easy to forget there are approximately six months of winter left. That’s fairly accurate, isn’t it?

It was above zero for over a week in January, in the dead of winter. The fact temperatures reached up to 10 degrees last month is toying with my emotions. Maybe even my mental state.

I found myself wandering to the grocery store without a coat last week. Since when did -10 become acceptable sweater weather to me?

Maybe after such a frigidly cold winter I’m so desperate for spring I have convinced myself it’s OK. Yes I’m shivering, but it’s 30 degrees warmer than -40, and I’m Canadian after all.

Or perhaps with this being my second winter in Alberta, my body has become somewhat immune to the cold.

With that said, I wouldn’t be opposed to a tropical vacation right about now. It might not be -40 (knock on wood), but it isn’t 25 degrees and I’m not on a beach either.

Who wants to fund my trip to the tropics? Any hot destination with a comfortable beach chair and a fancy drink with a little umbrella in it will do.