Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rain on a sunny day.

As you might already know from AC's post this morning, on Tuesday, The Boy got the middle of the night phone call that we all dread. His dad had passed during the night. Even though a loved one is sick and you are told that death might be imminent, you never expect it when it happens. You are never ready, and you always want to talk to them just one more time. Sigh!

Gilles had been in and out of the hospital since mid-summer, but we thought he was getting stronger and might rally like he had done so many times before. Sadly it was not to be this time. How sad for The Boy to lose his dad just when he is about to become a dad for the first time. My heart just aches for him.

Gilles was so please when he heard the news that his first grandchild was on the way, and he looked forward to holding that little bundle in his arms. When Butterfly and The Boy last visited Gilles about two weeks ago, he said that he would be strong and hold on to see that baby. Oh dear, life continues to get joy and sorrow all tangled up together doesn't it? All we can do is take what comes when it comes and let the remembered joy help us get through the sorrow.

Hug someone you love today and tell them that you love them. Walk in the sunshine whenever you can and enjoy this day while you have it. I intend to do just that.

Talk to you all later.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Reading Assignment

I picked up the mail last week and noticed a magazine sticking out of the pile of envelopes. It was Bug's first copy of the McMaster Times, her university alumni magazine. On that particular day, I didn't know where she was in Thailand, and my heart was in a bit of a tizzy wondering if she was ok. I stood at the kitchen counter and absentmindedly leafed through the magazine,while my mind drifted across the miles to meet my heart somewhere in southeast Asia. This quote jumped out at me and halted my absentminded perusal.

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
St Augustine

I was grateful that Bug had taken this world travel book in hand, and was making an effort to read the whole thing, I just wished she would stop every now and then and let me know what chapter she was on! Where in the world was she?

She has since blogged about her current reading, so I now have a bookmark on that page and will be able to rest easy for awhile. Thank goodness! The girls even called home on Friday night, or should I say early Saturday morning. I was a bit groggy and disoriented when I answered the phone but it was soooo good to hear Bug's voice and share Puff's enthusiasm over the phone lines. They both sounded healthy and on-top-of-the-world happy. How neat that I could speak to them across all those miles. Thank you Mr. Bell.

Lulu and El made a return visit to our house on the weekend and breezed in the front door on a gust of wind full of stories and laughter. What a week they had and what tales they have to tell. We enjoyed hearing many of the stories first hand and having our house filled with their high spirits during the telling of them. They thumbed through many pages of the world's travel book last week and had a blast. Keep an eye on Sass's blog for pics.

I hope you have a chance to pick up the travel book and read a few pages from time to time this fall. Such a pretty time of year for "reading"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Good News

The A-Team just posted a blog and they are doing just fine. Yahoo!

I am breathing a bit easier right now. Will write more later. Time for bed now. Nightly night.

Thelma and Louise? No!

Lulu and El, is what we will call these two gorgeous gals. Heather, my sister, on the left and Sarah, her daughter, on the right set off on a road trip this week, and stopped in to visit us on their first night. We sent them on their way bright and early in the morning, and their spirits were high even if they were a bit nervous about driving through Montreal.

I love these pics we took of them the morning they left and thought I would post them here for the rest of the family to see. Don't they look happy? I am sure they are having a grand and glorious time.

Have fun girls. See you on Saturday.

Love and hugs from one and all.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Left foot, right foot, left foot - breathe.

I read these words in an Anne Lamott book during the summer and I knew the phrase was a keeper. Sometimes it is the only way to get through a tough time – left foot, right foot, left foot - breathe! Just keep moving forward one baby step and a time and try to take a deep breath every now and then.

Oh goodness the A-Team's trip to Southeast Asia is a tad hard on this mother's heart, right now, and I am struggling to take one step at a time. Just the thought of them trekking around in those strange corners of the globe makes me nervous. I must admit that I am not breathing too deeply these days and probably won't be until they are home safe and sound in December.

I wandered down to the kitchen on Sunday morning to make coffee before I picked up my journal to start the day off write! Three hand-written morning-pages are the first things on my agenda each day, and I am back in the habit of doing them before I even think about anything else. Best way to start the day for me.

Still in my jammies on Sunday morning, I poured myself a huge mug full of steaming brew then headed over to the couch with it. I picked up my journal and just got nicely settled in when I realized I had left the radio on in the kitchen. Drat! I prefer to write in silence, and now that I was so nice and comfy I didn't want to move again. Hmmm? What to do? I decided to stay put and just try to block out the radio. It was in the other room after all.

A few minutes passed and AC came padding down to the kitchen for his morning coffee. Oh good, I'll ask him to turn the radio off before he heads back upstairs. He grabbed his coffee and joined me on the couch for a short visit before making tracks to the den. The radio was still on, but he would take care of it when he got up. I turned to him and asked him if he had heard from the girls. He reminded me that they were in the southern regions of Thailand and probably not near an internet cafe so we might not hear from them for awhile. As we sat there talking about the girls and their grand adventure, a news bulletin came on the radio and the announcer's words hit my heart like daggers. There had been a series of bombings in south Thailand and one Canadian had been killed! Popular tourist areas had been targeted with these bombs and many people were injured.

AC and I sat on the couch in stunned silence. My stomach did a flip and went into a knot. We listened for more details and before the end of the broadcast they announced the name of the girl who had been killed - it wasn't familiar to us. Ok, now I could breathe again, but where were the girls and were they ok? We still don't know!

I am holding onto the old saying that "no news is good news" and I am trying to remain calm. Help! Left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe. They are probably on a secluded beach somewhere and don't even know what is going on in the areas around them. Yes, that is why we haven't heard from them. They are safe and sound on a quiet beach.

On Sunday morning I sat motionless on the couch while my mind went flying to all sorts of dark places. Fear lurched up into my throat and almost choked me. Oh dear God, where are the girls?

Breathe, just sit still and breathe. This situation is completely out of my control so getting upset and worrying myself into a frazzle is not going to do anyone any good, so just sit still and breathe. In, out, in, out, in, out. Yes, that's better.

I must tell myself the truth and only the truth. Not stories my wild imagination tells me about the truth, only the truth as I know it right now. And what is that truth, the only thing that I know for sure? The girls are in southern Thailand and I haven't heard from them for a few days. That's it. Those are the only facts that I know for sure, nothing more. Anything else would be just stories my imagination might dream up.

Yesterday we heard the news that a coup had taken place in the country and tanks had moved into the capital city. Left foot, right foot, left foot – breathe! We walked around in a daze for a few minutes and then packed up and went to the park to spend a few minutes where the wood drake rests. There really is peace in wild things! We came back home somewhat calmer and moved through the rest of our day. Left foot, right foot, left foot – breathe.

On our way out to the car we noticed three of our neighbours gathered by our car chatting. They greeted us cheerily and I responded in a shaky voice. I quickly filled them in on the details and hugs were offered all around. Later that night another neighbour called and said her son was in Taiwan and he had a friend in Bangkok. She gave me the friend's email address and told me her son had contacted him about us and girls and said they could contact him at any time and he would help in any way he could. How nice to have someone to contact directly in Bangkok. Now if the girls would just contact us and let us know where they are!

Amazingly enough, I can honestly say that I am calm right now, and I am sleeping at night. Amazing! I sure would like to hear from the girls though. Until then, it is left foot, right foot, left foot – breathe.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


We got a note from Butterfly the other day that the "cat was out of the bag", so we could go ahead and share the news with our circle of friends now. Yahoo! Goodness it has been hard to keep this under my hat for the past few weeks, but I did it. I was just about bursting though.

AC broke the news earlier this morning here, and has linked to Butterfly's blog, but I just have to add a few details of my own.

This has been a long and painful road Butterfly and The Boy have walked these past couple of years, and we hurt for them as they faced each disappointment along the way. Our hearts went out to them as they struggled with the heartache of infertility, and we felt so powerless to ease their pain. Goodness it is hard when you children hurt and there is nothing you can do for them.

We supported them as best we could and tried to be there to offer a shoulder to cry on or just listen when feelings needed to be vented, but this was a very private walk they had to take and we waited until we were asked for help before we offered any.

Acquaintances on the other hand, would make flippant comments and jokes about having babies, or what was wrong with them, or what were they waiting for, and Butterfly felt like screaming at them. She was hanging on by a thread each month, and these people would walk all over her hurting heart with their casual words. There is a huge lesson to be learned here for all of us. Think before you make a flippant comment to a young married person about not having a child yet. Infertility is a huge problem in our society today, and there is no heartache quite like it.

When Butterfly and The Boy started infertility treatments the drugs sent Butterfly on an awful roller coaster ride of emotions and she and The Boy needed the love and support of family and friends to help them hang on while their little family unit chugged up one huge hill and careened down another. What a ride we were all on.

To make this rather long story a little shorter, just let me say that this summer Butterfly went in for an IUI treatment and it was successful. Oh joy!

On the day of the treatment The Boy couldn't get the day off work, so AC and I took Butterfly to the Infertility clinic and sat tensely in the waiting room for her. AC and I were amazed at the size of the place and the number of couples coming and going the whole time we sat there. The waiting room was large and almost full. A steady stream of people moved through the efficient and busy office.

After a while AC and I noticed that people were glancing at us out of the corner of their eyes, and it then dawned on us what people must be thinking. I bet we were the talk of the day around some dinner tables that night. Can't you hear it now? 'You wouldn't believe this old couple sitting in the waiting room at the infertility clinic! They must have been at least 60! What in the world are they thinking?' Ha, ha, ha. What a hoot!

Anyway, after the treatment, came the waiting time. Each day seemed ten years long, and at one point Butterfly said she felt like a "watched pot" and a watched pot never boils. So we tried to give her lots of space and let her tell us how she was doing when she was ready. I felt like this big elephant was sitting in the room with us and we all just pretended like it wasn't there. Oh so difficult to do, but we did it.

On the August long weekend AC and I were working at the local music festival and Butterfly came to meet us at the front gate at the end of one of our shifts. The Boy was out of town, and she quite often joins us for dinner when he is away so we didn't think anything strange about her meeting us and coming home with us. We piled into the car and merrily chatted on about the music festival and how much fun we were having. We were still chattering on about people we met during our tour of duty that day as we entered our kitchen. I was unpacking coolers and thinking about what to make for dinner when Butterfly handed us each a little gift bag and said that seeing as we were working so hard at the festival this weekend she bought us something to help us get through the next couple of days. I took the bag and thought it was a piece of fudge or something like that. As I reached into the bag I heard a commotion behind me. AC was rushing across the room towards Butterfly, and I then saw clearly what was in the bag. A pair of baby booties! The IUI was a success, the test positive, she was pregnant. We stood in the kitchen, crying and hugging and crying some more. Oh joy, joy, joy.

It was still very early in the pregnancy, and many things could go wrong at that stage, so we had to reign in our urge to shout the news from the housetops just yet. But inside the house we let our joy run free. AC and I started calling each other Grandma and Grandpa and we liked the sound of that let me tell you. Oh joy, joy, joy.

So, here we are almost at the three month mark and have been given the go ahead to finally spread the news far and wide. Come next April, little Smidge (Butterfly called the embryo Smudge, but now that the embryo is officially a fetus I changed the name in my mind to Smidge) will say hello to this old world and I will answer to the name of Grandma. Oh joy, joy, joy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

September Hello cont'd

Sunshine greeted me this morning, but rain is on the way. Sunshine means a ride on the bike, rain means time to sit in my writing corner and maybe compose a blog or two. Oh joy, I should get both things done today.

Let me see, do I have more catching up to do before I go any further? Oh yes...

Wedding Bells - As you already know from AC's blog, Bug and Puff got engaged, but wedding bells won't be ringing until next August - I think!
I only got to talk to Bug for two minutes before they left for their three month trek through Southeast Asia, so I didn't get any details. Sigh. I am someone who wants all the details, and I didn't get ANY. I want to know when it happen, where, who said what, what the ring looks like, what date was set, where the wedding will be??????? Don't know the answer to any of these questions. The girls were in such a tizzie about the stolen laptop and lost tickets, they spent most of their time frantically running around trying to get ready to leave as planned. They sure didn't have time to sit for a leisurely chat on the phone with dear old mom. I only got to say "Congratulations, I love you, have a good trip and take care." So, I wait until they get home from their trip to get more details of the engagement and wedding. Stay tuned.

Thanks for all the heartfelt wishes left on AC's blog for us and the girls. Warms our hearts!

Oh goodness the day is moving forward and I must be on my way now. This entry is short and sweet, but at least I wrote something - right Dale?

Talk to you all later.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

September Hello

It is a cool rainy morning in September and just seems like the perfect time to open the laptop and let my fingers do the walking over the keys for awhile. It is past time to check in with all of you out in blogland that is for sure. Sorry I have been away for so long, but while the sun was shining I had to be out in it, not bent over my laptop. In between busy times with company and fun in the sunshine, I managed to read a ton of books, pedal a few klicks, fill up a pen and ink journal, do a tour of duty at the local music festival, go camping at Riverwood, and wonder of wonder, even spend some quiet time where the wood drake rests .

The summer is now history, fall is moving in to stay for awhile and I am loving the change in the weather. Cold nights and cool days are such a treat after the heat of summer aren't they? Leaves are starting to change, geese are flying overhead and we are enjoying the biking trails on every sunny day we are given. Snow will start to fly before we know it, so we have to get out on the bikes while we can.

With the busy summer behind us, it is now time to get back into a routine, and that will be nice after the lack of same all summer.

AC has kept you posted on our comings and goings over the past few months, so I won't try to go back and fill in too many details of all the time I missed writing about, but must add a few...

Violin Lessons - huge hug to AC for following his dream and picking up the violin again. I think it is great. Too bad we got rid of his old violin last year, but I guess he is right and it wouldn't have survived all those years in the heat and cold of the attic. Oh the attic! Do you remember that story? Here and here . Makes me shudder just to think about it again. (By the way, the attic in our new home doesn't have a thing in it, and it WON'T!) Anyway, back to to the violin. The new one looks great and sounds good. AC plays it everyday and I am impressed with his progress and enthusiasm.

Let me stop here to say just one thing about his enthusiasm. As a result of something that happened last week, I had to put my foot down and issue a house rule. "NO PRACTISING AFTER MIDNIGHT!" Yes midnight! Can you believe that?

I was rather tired one night last week, so toddled off to bed around 10pm. I was blissfully sawing logs by 10:30 but was rudely awakened at 12:15 guessed it, sounds of the violin bombarding up the stairs from the basement to the bedroom. It took me a few seconds to process the sound and when I looked at the clock I couldn't believe my eyes. It was after midnight and AC was in the basement playing the violin. Good grief!

I rolled over and tried to block the sound with my pillow, but that didn't work. I was just about to get up and stomp down the stairs to see what the heck was going on, when the music stopped. Ah, peace and quiet at last. Well, not for long. The next thing I knew AC was following the music up the stairs and he was whistling! Yes whistling!!!!!!! He was happy, happy, happy and just bursting with the joy of the music he had been playing, and he was whistling. Whistling! I met him in the hallway with an incredulous look on my face and it was only then that he realized that I could hear the music up in the bedroom. I then pointed out to him that is was almost 1am and he was whistling. Whistling!! He didn't even realize he was doing that.

I dragged myself back to bed and thankfully peace and quiet ruled for the rest of the night, well except for a few bursts of uncontrolled laughter, all was quiet. Sheesh! No practising or whistling after midnight, and that's final!

Well, the morning is brightening up and the sun is peeking through at last, so I will end this update here and head out for a bike ride. I will be back soon to continue this "catch up" blog.

It has been nice talking to you again. Enjoy the sunshine today, get out and walk in it every chance you get.