Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Great New Year

Rural Prince Edward Island has looked like this for a week or so but is to change overnight. We're going to usher in the New Year with a big blizzard. We had a storm last year too but it started early in the day on NYE and a lot of snow fell. I was upset with my son last year for driving into town in the midst of the storm. This year it is 7:30 and hasn't even started to snow yet. People will be able to get to their parties and find themselves storm-stayed there, at a New Years Eve party. Nothing wrong with that!

I'm happy to be heading to a new year. That is the time I always get the clean slate feeling. Some people get it in September when school begins but I feel it more in January. I don't make resolutions but pray a bit and think about what I hold hope for in the future for both the world and myself. I'm a Capricorn and my birthday is near so it's become a time of passage for me each year

Music to end a new year could be from a large varied pool of songs in my mind. I've chosen songs from a few categories. I want to say goodbye to 2008 in a formal way so Melody Gardot will help say it for me in Goodnite. I'd love to party, but at the same time, don't want to be out in a storm so have decided to stay home. I'll play this song instead and groove a little bit - World Party by The Waterboys. I can usher in a new year just fine when I think that maybe a good part of the world sees this time as a new beginning and will strive, just like me, for a Great New Year! All my hopes and prayers for a Great New Year is now on it's way to you.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Get Me Through December

I've not been posting very regularly since I've been home. Just like all of you, I've been busy. The holidays should all be over soon though and a steadier winter routine will set in.

In my last post, I told you that so many days in late December hold powerful events and memories in my life. So far, December 29th had not had any big events attached to it's date. I was glad about that. Then yesterday happened.

A man in a pick-up with a big steel bumper backed into my car in a parking lot. It was his fault and I doubt I'll have trouble with the insurance but the car is a mess. It can be fixed but I had planned to have some mechanical work done this week in preparation for a little winter trip to see my father. My brother says I should have that done following the body repair and an alignment after that.

A car is only a car and it's mishap was not the big event in my life. No, my dear Nanie passed away last night. Twenty-five years and a day after her grandson, my brother. She had been in an almost vegetative state for a long time and in just a couple of days weakened and passed away without pain or suffering. She was soon to be ninety-one. My mother was her only child and I was her first grandchild of five. Only four survive her. She also has nine great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. She has in the last few years lost most of her brothers and sisters but has two remaining sisters, both of who were with her when she died. She was the second oldest (oldest girl) of ten.

I told my son today that I plan to hibernate from mid December to January third every year. You think posts have been scarce lately......

Ralph, now you know why Get Me Through December is "my song". For my grandmother, I would choose a Van Morrison song but have been asked not to play them. My Nanie was a very deeply religious woman and many of Van's spiritual songs would fit with this post. They would comfort me and help send her on her way. My brother who died twenty five years ago was famous for his singing of Amazing Grace. Since I don't have a recording of him doing it, the Blind Boys of Alabama have replaced him at my request. I also have an old hymn that she would approve of, Johnny Cash with In the Sweet By and By.

This twenty-five year old photo shows my Nanie (in the red skirt) when she was around sixty-six. Also her mom, my mom, my sister and niece. I took the photo and was pregnant with my second child. We were a five generation family for quite a few years back then. God Bless My Nanie!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Most of the events of great importance in my life have happened in late December. I mean major, major events. I won't go into any right now except for two of them, ok three of them.

It is one year ago today that I dislocated my shoulder. That led to two surprise surgeries in the following months, one to put a pin in my upper arm and one to remove a kidney. I'd never had surgery before. To say that the events of that morning a year ago have had lasting effects would be an understatement. I feared in the worst way that I had kidney cancer from my years of smoking. It is not a cancer with very positive outcomes so to have be spared this diagnosis has been a wonderful gift for which I give thanks each day.

Five years ago yesterday I became a grandmother for the first time. I did say major events didn't I? Last night I was talking to my grandson about the events of his big day. We talked about being at his other grandma's, playing with his cousins, Santa coming into his room on Christmas Eve, his gifts, and lots of other things when suddenly he said, "Aren't you going to sing Happy Birthday to me, Grandma?" Now someone who would actually ask me to sing has to be a great addition to your life.

It is twenty-five years ago tomorrow that my brother died of Graft Versus Host Disease following a bone marrow transplant. He died at 27 so would be 52 now. His wife passed away very suddenly just over a year ago. Last week I sent his kids a great photo of their parents when they were dating and so happy in love. His kids were one and three years old at the time and my daughter was three weeks. That all this time has passed and those children are all grown up brings the most profound lessons of all. I ponder all of these events and all the others of late December and early January and give them the respect that they deserve.

A fitting song for today might be How Will You Meet Your End by AA Bondy. It dares ask that question we all wonder about and will all realize at some time.

The rest of the songs today are for my brother. They're from our childhood. We made up a game when we were kids and this song (by the Patsy Cline version) was a part of the game. A newer version that I think my brother would like is I Fall To Pieces with Aaron Neville and Trisha Yearwood. Another old one is The Battle of New Orleans with Johnny Horton. With that song, I'll stick to the version 1959 we knew best.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

And there are lots of excited kids in my family. I talked to my grandchildren yesterday and they were so sweet and at three and five years old, very filled with joy and anticipation. I had my son e-mail photos right after talking to them and got a bonus of my grandson's fifth birthday and his kindergarten's Christmas Concert. That's the best part of my Christmas so far. I went out with my sister-in-law this morning dropping off gifts to her family. I introduced myself as Joy and her as Cheer. We had lots of fun. I'm in a great mood this Christmas which is unusual so I can be Joy with no problems at all.

We've had light snow all day, about 5 cm. We are to get rain and possibly freezing rain tonight. The temperature is going to be 9 tomorrow so I would say we're seeing the end of our white Christmas. A plus is that the roads will be good for travelers tomorrow. I canceled a drive in to friends who are having a party tonight.

I just remembered to take the turkey out to thaw. It's not too late, I hope. It's a small one as there are only three of for dinner. I am missing my daughter terribly. She is usually Joy and I am usually Comfort. Sis-in-law is always Cheer.

I am making my annual Christmas Eve CD. It's a long tradition. It is always a sample of songs that say something of what is going on in the world or my life and a few Christmas songs. I can play any one of them and remember the year. Some people do this at New Years but I've always done it for Christmas Eve. A couple of songs on it this year are Silent Night by Johnny Cash and Winter by Ethan Lipton.

Have a wonderful, Christmas Eve, family and friends and as always, I wish for peace.

Monday, December 22, 2008

December Storm Day

We are in the midst of a serious storm - snow and high winds, in other words a blizzard. We were expecting it so everything on the Island is pretty well shut down and lots of people have stayed home and indoors. It's a great day for wrapping gifts, baking and cleaning. I cleaned and organized a few things. The power was out for a few hours but not long enough that I had to light the wood stove. My son made it to work and planned on picking up any employees who couldn't make it in. If he fails to make it home tonight he has a place to stay in walking distance from his work.

My daughter is spending her first Christmas away from her family this year. I gave ornaments to my kids each year so that when they had their first Christmas away they would still have something from home. I sent her all her beautiful angels to decorate her first tree. Her "inlaws" have arrived to spend Christmas with her and her boyfriend, their son. I miss her and can hardly imagine her loveliness and liveliness to not be amongst us this year.

For her today is Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Victoria Williams and some blues cause she likes the blues. Here's I Want My Baby For Christmas by Jimmy Liggins and His Drops of Joy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Is Coming

What a busy day I've had! My ears are ready to fall off. If I'd not gone for an afternoon walk you could have said I've been on the phone all day. I got out for the walk because we are expecting a storm overnight and tomorrow. I had lots of chores to do but could push them to the storm day and take the walk in the bright winter sunshine so that's what I did.

I walked and visited a friend for and hour, walked home and got on the phone again. It was easy to do lunch and supper prep while I was on the phone so had a marathon of conversations. I had my family's Christmas gifts in the mail before 25 November but that was a little early for Christmas cards so I'm phoning. They are phoning me too so there's a game of telephone tag as well.

I always play this song at this time of absolutely beautiful song. I have other related songs.....songs for the season: Morningtown Ride to Christmas by The Seekers and I Saw Three Ships by Sting. I like throwing a surprise in every once in a while.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Back to the Ice and Snow

I make friends wherever I go and this trip was no exception. Georgia, or Miss Peachy Pooch as I called her, was my charge for three and a half weeks. I walked her around a one and a half mile diameter lake twice a day and we got along famously. I walked the distance twenty minutes faster than her master did so got her good and tired which kept her out of mischief, a necessity with this pooch. Her lovely friend Boots, sitting behind her in this photo, took the brunt of her mischievousness. They wrestled by the hour but Boots has been declawed so she's at a bit of a disadvantage. The cat is biting back though and 'starts it' most times so you have to let it go on.

I had a wonderful time with my relative. She is a double amputee and I was very impressed with her abilities at maneuvering a series of wheelchairs and some aiding tools to do basically everything for herself. She just could not manage to walk the dog three miles a day and I was gladly able. We got a lot of shopping done, something her husband dislikes. I normally don't like it myself but there were some good bargains to be had due to the US economy. I got some terrific deals.

Though it was nice to come home, it was a bad experience coming home to the airport last night. It was really cold and there had been a recent snowfall which left my car windows covered with snow and ice. I had a skirt and tights on, a light sweater, a light winter jacket and no hat or gloves. I had to clean the car off and defrost the windows before I could drive. When I went back into the terminal to get my luggage I asked the security guard if the return flight had left yet. We had a laugh. It was 1 am and the flights had ended for the day but he understood. Ah, the Canadian winter! My sister in law said that there has been wonderful weather here and that winter came by just to welcome me home.

I read a lot while I was away and read Howard Soune's biography of Bob Dylan, Down the Highway. Maybe Bob can make winter better with Winterlude and this version of In the Bleak Midwinter by the Crash Test Dummies would make anyone feel better about it. Another Canadian does the same with Song for a Winter's Night by Gordon Lightfoot.