Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Home again ...

Calgary International Airport
Plane rides are usually not that interesting.

In my case I was so tired I didn’t even feel the take-off from Montreal.

The stewardess must have given the warning about danger and where to find the exits but I didn’t hear it.

When I woke for the first time refreshments were being served up and down the isle. I put on a movie, My House in Umbria (2003), with Maggie Smith. If a person is too tired to watch Maggie Smith, then they should just quit trying to stay awake and give themselves over to sleep.

The only excitement on the flight was a four year old boy to the left of me and up a few seats who began to vomit during the descent. In that case, it is only excitement for the parent and the stewardesses. In his knapsack, the father had a change of pyjamas for the little tyke but I got to watch him get stripped and lots of clean-up material delivered to his dad. While this was going on the adult beside me was begging the stewardess to let him use the facilities at the back of the plane. He couldn't see what was going on a few seats up.  The stewardess was  just not going to let that happen. Ah, much better than watching a movie.

Greg dropped me off at home. After taking off my coat, I slipped over next door to see who was still up since the lights were on. Taking off my coat and then going out the door wasn’t that smart since it is -20 Celsius. I don't know what I was thinking.  The first thing that struck me was that Richard hadn’t shovelled a path between his back door and mine, so I had to go around the front of the houses.

Michael was still up. He sleeps in a different room now, so he showed me around. He said he wasn’t asleep yet for he was waiting for his turn to have Grandmother Joan come in and read to him. She was just finishing reading to Betty and Alice. I told Michael I would come over and see him again before school, and I wanted to know what time he leaves for school. He told me he isn’t sure, but he thinks it is just after sunrise. I still laugh when I hear him saying that to me.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018


I know that to engage with Hebe requires thought on my part. She is easily surprised and when I come into the room she may say, I hate grandmother, which her mother translates into oh, you surprised me by coming in the room when I wasn’t expecting you. Knowing this, I was wondering this morning how I could say good-bye to her in the least painful way for her. So far my best method is to come into the room and tell a story so interesting that she hangs on every word and quietly listens for the next sentence to drop. This is a high order.

This morning I told her that when Catherine was a little girl (my hook, for I might say something interesting about her mother) I used to tell her stories while she ate, and so I was going to share one of those stories now. And without a breath I did Daniel of the Old Testament coming to the king’s court, eating healthy food, becoming favoured, refusing to bow and worship the king and then the exciting part – walking in the fiery furnace.

She was quiet and even interested when I shared my family secret, passed down from my dad and now I was passing it down to her: how to remember the names of Daniel’s friends, Mesak, Shadrak and Abednego.

My dad taught me to remember with my shack, your shack and a bungalow.

 I hope she shares that trick with her own grandchildren when they are little like she is.

And then I got out of the kitchen, knowing to get going when the getting is good.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Family fun at Christmas

Catherine sent a link to this game to Rebecca.  That is because we had such a good time playing it when Leo and Mary were here.  I am not sure if it is the game that is good.  Or how we played the game that really works.  There is lots of talking, trying to find out who among the players you can trust and who are lying to you, and just trying to figure out the game in general.

The instructions come in German which fact wasn't much help to me.  Leo had played it at a gaming convention he attended.  He told us that there were two sides of players: the explorers and the natives.

Since something about that didn't work for me, Leo was totally open to name changes.  So we called the sides the colonizers and the indigenous.  Then the game became fun for me.

Now a few weeks have passed.  Thomas said he wanted to buy a copy of one of the games we played at Christmas.  Thomas told me the name of the game:  Tempel des Schreckens.  I told Thomas I had not played that game with him.  Thomas was positive I had  I was equally sure that I hadn't played a game with the name "Temple" in it.

"Thomas.  I don't like gaming at the best of times.  I always try to get out of playing them.  And with a name like that, I would have remembered that I had played it."  I went on and on.

Thomas told me that there had been a name change on the game, and while he couldn't remember it, he did remember that one of the sides was indigenous, at which time I could remember the game.

Probably the fun of the game was calling out explorers and natives.  Yikes.  How can a person with TRC sensibilities tolerate that?


Two Weeks or a Fortnight

It was my dad’s wedding anniversay yesterday.  And on the 14th of January it will be his birthday.  He would have been 112, probably a little too old to enjoy life.  He did live until he was 76 – not really bad in today’s world.  Strange little sayings of his stay with me.  “Nothing is fair.”  Catherine quoted him when she spoke in Sacrament meeting last week.  He told her this saying when he was a teen-ager and she has her own words to describe how she felt about it.  From what I can remember, she resented it, railed against it, wanted to deny it, etc.

I was thinking of another of his sayings today, also thinking of it in connection with Catherine.  Doral would say that if you just let a cold go, it will take 2 weeks to cure it.  Or you can get medicine for it and the cure will take a fortnight.

Catherine has been sick.  Really sick.  The kind of sick where many times in the day a person has to decide if they should stay standing or hit the bed.  Now I get to make that decision many times a day, even if I am not sick.  But back to Catherine?  She has stayed standing.

I didn’t mean for my post to go in this direction this morning, but now that I am on a roll, here it is.  Catherine and Eric spoke in church last week.  It was a diminished congregation.  Many people had gone home to their families and so those of us who were left were a small group.

I had practised a few hymns during the week.  That is because the week before, there was no one to play the piano.  Catie came down and asked me to do it, but I haven’t played for years.  No exaggeration there.  I said no.  She stood up when the opening hymn was announced to lead it.  Still no one at the paino.  I got off of my pew and went to do the honours.  I estimate that I hit the right notes at the beginning of most bars, but I couldn’t do much more than that.

Well, back to last Sunday again, where the piano player did appear so all I had to do was rest on the pew.

Catherine rose to a height that let me know I was present during a sacred moment.  Most mothers might say that about their children, but not me.  I am a brutal critic.  I actually just shouldn’t go to church at all, because I can’t leave that function at home.  At any rate, I was there, she did her talk, only choking up at one phrase.  The rest of it was as though Dr. Patterson had coached her for the festival. 

I actualy felt sorry when she stopped.  Sorry for Eric who had to follow her. 

He was riding a different train.  I thought he was giving honest, pravtical advice from his profession. Useful.  In fact, on a different day, I would have been taking notes.  Then he used two examples from his own life, ones that had happened so recently that the truth of them was still present, at least one of them for me.  He used an example of a phone call from his brother, and he used an example of trying to parent Hebe. 

Both, exquisite, both in pain and beauty.

Time for me to go to church.  Anyone who wants to know more will have to saying something in the comment section and I will go on and on and on and on ….


Saturday, January 6, 2018

On watching film ...

Who knew that we could see so many films that have won Academy Awards.  This week we are doing it one bite at a time.  Every evening there is a film.  I am not one to ever choose a 10 pm showing, but what can I do when we eat our  evening meal as the Spanish do – often beginning at 9 pm.  Maybe I have exaggerated a bit, but not by too many hours.

We eat, do the dishes and cue up a film from Netflicks, which last night was Dancing Wolves.  The movie wasn’t downloading fast enough.  We had a number of pauses.  Frozen ones. Eric said that he thought the colour wasn’t that good as well.  He left the room for a minutes and when he came back, he returned with his own personal copy of the film.  Who knew? 

We had a glorious return to the film using disks, the colour was enhanced and we continued to enjoy Rebecca Javis’s 2018 resolution – seeing another of the winners of awards from the past.

I woke up this morning thinking about the length of time the world has been able to enjoy film:  120 years.  I thought about how old I am:  80 years.  I was doing some math, thinking how I have been alive for nearly 2/3 of all of the time the world has been able to enjoy film.  I thought about having so much film in a home that a father can just pull out an old Academy Award winning film from his library.  I have not enough imagination to take me to the place where film will be if I get to live another 20 years.

P.S. I might add one thing about choosing films.  Everyone in the house gets a chance to choose.  Hebe wants her turn.  "Alright," they say.  "Choose one."  But she is a no girl and she can't think of a film to choose.  She is better at saying no to films that other people choose.  When I leave, it is that girl that I am going to miss the most.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Planning for the Future - my role models

I was wondering how I am going to get back to Montreal, and I am wondering this before even leaving.  I asked Wyona if she wanted to take a trip here.  This is what she said to me:
1. I have a cruise booked on April 26 from Hawaii to Vancouver. 
2.  I have booked a trip in the fall with Greg. I will take the WestJet to London, a week in Venice, a cruise from Venice to Rome, 4 days in Rome, 8 days in Florence, 4 days in Rome, cruise back from Rome on Celebrity Reflection to Ft. Lauderdale, and WestJet back to Calgary.

I also do appointment, banking, errands, and I shop with Lurene, Tonia and Zoe.
I love busy days.' 
To tell the truth, I love busy days as well.  Now I can see I have to ramp up if I am to keep moviong forward at her pace.



Thursday, January 4, 2018

Broken Bones

Xmas 2017 at Annis Bay
From Moiya

David fell off of a ladder.  Well, he told me he didn't fall off of the ladder.  He was on a ladder on it collapsed.

He  still tried to do some work afterwards which didn't work out all that well for him.

He has a broken rib.  Now is trying to recuperate in bed.

He is on a lot of pain killers.

It doesn’t help matters that he is sick with a bad cough.

That really shakes his ribs up.

 Frequently he is having muscle spasms.
4 out of 5 of Dave's families
were at the lake for Xmas.

Fun, fun, fun.

David is not moving very fast.

 The robaxecet helped him get a little bit of sleep last night.