Hay, Hay, Hay, It’s Glenda Again

Hay, Hay, Hay, It’s Glenda Again

Hay, Hay, Hay,

It’s Glenda Again



Nostalgia. A photo, a movie, a place, a person, sound. What pulls you back into a memory? Today it was a smell. The smell of hay.


Long grass cut at the ankles and left on the field, naked, sun scorched and seared. The farmer prays for sleeping rain then checks the sky hopefully, fretfully, and faithlessly. Good and bad hay is bundled in bales and tugged by arms of good and bad children onto rusty old pickups, or sparkling new trailers, or clunking wooden wheelbarrows rolling on metal wheels. Then grass igloos in hot lofts where children and mice squeeze into small spots, a summer is spent sipping sweat tea and pulling hay remnants off clothing and out of hair. 

I saw an old green pickup truck yesterday, dangerously overloaded with hay. Strapped down with dental floss. The truck turned right, the hay tipped right with it. I held my breath and started imagining my obituary.

“Buried under Hay”

“Hay she led a great life!”

“Hay, Hay, Hay, The End.”

The floss was strong and the hay hung on tight.

What a sight.

I wondered if the driver recognized then that his idea of adding that ‘one more row’ was a stupid one. I wonder if he held his breath when he turned the corner the way I held my breath when I watched him? I wonder if he prayed? Angel’s hands holding up hay?

All that hay brought back memories of a summer in a hay loft with contact cement. Oh, Lord I’m sure I would have had more brain cells for all of my entire life if I had just NOT sniffed all that glue.

I was young.

I was stupid.

I loved getting high.

I can still taste the glue in my mouth.

I blame Ann.

Some have sisters who help them to bake, and read, and play dolls. I had Ann.

She would drown me in the pool and give me contact cement to sniff.

I loved her.

It was one liter of contact cement. We stopped sniffing glue when we used it all up. It took a while. We shared though.

‘Come to the hay loft, here’s a baggie, breathe deep!’

We were the generous sort.

I couldn’t wait to grow up. I was going to have an apartment like Mary Tyler Moore’s with a walk-in closet filled with glue. I was going to live the life.

Things change along the way, as life does. When the glue ran out we found other things to do in the hay loft. Smoking was cool. Nothing wrong with striking a good match in a hay loft… ‘whoops there’s dad, butt it out before he sees!’ ..and we did, right inside the middle of a bale. It was the glue, it made us dumb 😛

I don’t know why I’m writing about hay today. Perhaps it’s because I’m thankful not to have died in it, or by it, back then or yesterday. Maybe it’s the walk I took this morning in an abandoned field. Fallen logs on fallen grass burned yellow under the sun… and the smell.

The smell of hay, pulling me back to the summer of ‘78 sniffing glue and smoking cigarettes like the bad ass babies we were back then. And tremendously thankful, that I didn’t get what I wanted as a kid.

I couldn’t fit any of that glue in my little closet 😀







Well… Welcome here.

This first blog is going to be about Spinning on a Barstool because quite frankly, it’s the reason we’re all here.

It took me nine months to get my thought out on paper and I was very lucky to be gifted a book from my daughter Danielle aka Dani, ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr  . I didn’t read it quickly. I savored it. I didn’t want to finish reading how he built a story. The story itself didn’t really matter actually. I just fell in love with how he told it. There are authors like that who have really touched my HOLA… I have no word for it so let’s just HOLA! That inner part of me that sighs and whispers and screams and rejoices “Oh Thank you, God, he/she can write!” Doerr gave me permission to describe! And so I did. When I came to a part that needed color, I simply thought, “WWDD What would Doerr do… and out it came, kissed by God. Sometimes it surprised me. Sometimes I read it and it still does.

While I really enjoyed writing some of these bits I struggled with all of the information in my head. I did have people reading chapters as I went along, they all knew me, some knew the whole story already others didn’t. I kept wondering how the words would resonate with someone who didn’t know me or the situation or even Chilliwack for that matter. So I swam some and I prayed. Just about every turn and curve when I didn’t know where I was to go next, ya that, that was met with, “Okay God, where next?” Inevitably it came usually without much ado, sometimes surprisingly beautiful, other times in tears. Through all of it, I wondered if I was getting enough information out in the right way. It’s hard when you know every little detail. What to pick. What to leave out. A lot was left out. If I put it in the book would have been two thousand pages. I also didn’t want to puke out info, that’s boring. So yes I could have added more info but it would have taken the space of the color and the color highlighted the info. It was a good trade.

While Doerr was my storytelling inspiration, good old Jords was my ability. The book truly was written because of his voice, distinctly Kermit, in distinct Peterson wisdom. “Write one paragraph a day.”

If you’re a writer. If you have a story dancing with your neurons. Open up your laptop, your journal, your whatever, and write one paragraph a day. It works.

At the end of nine months, I had a lot of words on a lot of pages and a lot if insecurities. I had a vision, yes. But right in that vision was the vision of failure. The questions. “Who would want to read this? Why would they pay money to read this?” “Who are you kidding Glenda, you never made it past grade 10, ha, you think you can write a book worth anything? Pfffft, you’re a joke. Who on earth can call themselves an author when they don’t have that education? Surely you must need an English Major or Minor or at the very least English 10. But along with all those voices was my aged one. The one that said. “I’m just a little too old to care what people think I need in order to do what I want to do.”

I pushed the insecurities aside and told them to fuck off ( excuse the language I do live in a trailer 😉 And I sent my book off to a self-publishing company expecting, anticipation, shivering in terror actually at the ‘results’ from the editor. It’s horrifying. This wait. I thought for sure she was going to ream me out, my grammar is terrible, my spelling terriblier…I was getting ready for the instruction to delete mounds of words and rearrange, do whatever it was she needed me to do to make my work understandable to people who don’t know me. Four weeks later, it was ready to download….and her words in the columns beside the chapters…

….brilliant storyteller…

…don’t stop writing…

I sighed.

Relief washed over me, waves and waves and waves of relief.

The story was understood by someone who didn’t know me, or it, or Chilliwack

… and then I told Haney he was married to brilliance and I haven’t stopped, nor do I plan to 😛

Those words though…

To know I successfully conveyed the story that so needed to be told was… I have no words. I’m thankful truly to God… for all those times He responded with ideas in my mind of where to go, and how to write it…

I’m thankful to Kerry and I long to be like her. To be able to deliver a compliment that allows the hearer to move forward with confidence, that’s exactly what she did for me…. because if someone doesn’t happen to like my writing and they voice that, I have ‘brilliant storyteller, don’t stop…’ to bounce it off of, that’s pretty damn powerful!

And all the advertising I needed to get this book out there to be seen, THAT… is built on the back of Kerry’s words. Those words echoed ‘go forth in confidence.’ And so I have.

I also have continued to write. I don’t have the energy for another book at this point but I found short stories. My website has them. I enjoy writing them, I do hope you enjoy reading them!

I leave you with this.

Be like Kerry.

use words like ‘brilliant’

over-the-top words

on the ordinary.


Whatever it is you yearn to do,

bite it off in small chunks every day.

You’ll create something brilliant, one paragraph a day!