Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Remember when Sunday was called "A day of rest?"

At 7:52AM  I glance at the clock. I groan but then console myself with "I can lay here for another 20 minutes, church doesn't start until 9:15"   Then at 8:16  "Enough already!" I firmly reprimand myself. "Just get your butt outta bed- you've got 35 minutes to shower, get dressed and out the door."

I roll over and grab my iPhone, and with bleary eyes I check Facebook to see if the kids are online - if Xander's up and ready I'll skip the shower and go pick him up for church instead. No kids online.
I glimpse out the window at the -25 weather as I head to the shower. I groan again and think, "I should just crawl back into bed - I could get almost 3 more hours before I work at noon."

But I press on, thankful there is always coffee ready at church before the service because I don't have time to make any.

By the time I get dressed and paint my eyelashes and other important stuff like that, it's 8:55- the time I normally am walking out the door, except today I'm still standing with wet hair. And I can't find my blow dryer. What the!??! Oh yeah, I remember Ken borrowed it to shrink wrap their windows and forgot to return it. I groan again. "I should just head back to bed."

But I seem to recall Jed might have a blow dryer downstairs in his suite. I rummage through his bathroom and come up empty handed. I groan, "I should just go back to bed," but instead I call to confirm the kids are up (being secretly disappointed when they pick up the phone) - I'll just stop by and dry my hair on the way.

I throw a few hair products in my purse, grab a headband and my bible and trudge out into the -25 with wet hair.

I arrive to find the kids bathroom occupied. I summon my last scrap of patience and stand there waiting to get in. I suppressed a groan and think, "I should just stay and visit the kids this morning."

It turns out the blow dryer was in the kitchen so I didn't need to wait for the bathroom after all. Finding a plug-in was another matter.

By the time I finished my rush job drying my hair I can hear Jade offering Xander a choice of eggs or waffles for breakfast. I am tempted once to give up on church and just stay indoors with the kids. But off I go.

As I back out of the driveway I take a nanosecond to decide it might be just as fast to take Vance Rd rather than my usual drive down Westwood. I arrive at the red light and wait to turn left onto the highway. And wait. And wait. For some reason the light will not change to green. I groan (numerous times) and think to myself, "I should just go shopping, the mall is open earlier on Sundays now for Christmas Commercialism."

But alas I choose to drive through a red light and make the trek to church. I happen to glance in the mirror as I am driving down the highway. I groan. "Thank God I brought a headband," I mutter to myself as I realize my hair was still damp and is now flat-but-yet-frizzy as only permed hair can do. I onehandedly try to work my headband into my hair as I drive towards the church thinking this has got to be more unsafe than texting-and-driving.

"I should just go shopping," I think to myself as I turn into the church driveway. But I perservere. And somehow I managed to grab a coffee and slide into my seat just before the opening strum of the guitar.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Avalina, Jesus, Elliott, Zeke & Quinn - Ahhh, baby fest!

Yesterday was a busy day. It started off with a family breakfast with Granny, PaPa and Xander and his parents. I was puttering in the kitchen getting the coffee on when I heard a wee knock at the back door at 8:45am.

"Hell-oooo. Hell-ooo-ooo." I call out in a not-quite-singing-not-quite-baby-talk kinda voice as I head towards the door. Of course my eyes are pointing down to about 25 inches up from the floor, where I expect to see Xander's chubby little cheeks, as I open the door with a big smile on my face. Which was immediately replaced with a sheepish grin as I gaze into the knees of Troy, our drywaller, who has arrived to work on our new bathroom. I slammed the door in his face.

Poor guy didn't quite know how to respond as I reopened the door with a, "Hmmmmpft! You're not Xander!"

After breakfast I was off to the church to decorate and set up for our fundraiser-dessert night-silent auction. My afternoon was filled with a baby shower for little Avalina.

Later, I was in the middle of assembling Mary, Joe and the Holy Babe with yards of muslin fabric and a gallon of white glue when I got a text message informing me that Zeke and Quinn were visiting little Elliott and it was the perfect opportunity for this great Aunty to get her first snuggles with the matching little cutie-patooties.

I finished up with the Holy Family and washed up. I momentarily considered changing my clothes before heading up to Ray & Jesse's house where the baby fest was going on, but I glanced down and a quick assessment told me I didn't look too bad.

Of course I should have realized that glue dries clear. I was half way up the Hart Highway when I rested one hand in my lap while the other one drove. What the?!? It was then I realized that the glue I soaked my craft fabric in to stiffen it, could also stiffen denim and t-shirt knit. By the time I arrived I was fairly stiffened into a driving position.

But alas I managed to break free enough to snuggle in with the most amazing little matching human beings. I'm so glad they invited me to get my first visit in the calm serene surroundings of Jesse's home rather than having to fight off the crowds that are sure to assemble tomorrow night at the public meet-and-greet.


Then as a little PS to this story, I have to share how blessed my heart feels when I drive home from the Hart, which is beautiful under it's fresh blanket of white, to have my lovely little still partially green birch tree greet me in the front yard. Oh green-ness, how I love thee!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am not afraid of spiders.

Public speaking is an irrational fear for me - like a spider fear for many others. Imagine someone with a spider fear knowing there is a tarantula running free on the table but sitting down to eat anyway. It takes that kinda guts and fortitude for me to stand up before a room full of people and make a speech.

But alas, I did it and I survived to tell the story.

I was asked to share my story of baby Ben's death at a community memorial service for people who have lost a baby - whether prebirth, during birth or in infancy. It was held in the small chapel on the cemetery grounds. (I have lived here for 34 years and did not know there was a chapel on the cemetery grounds.)

Of course I cannot share my story of Ben's death without including my story of Jed who was conceived on very same day - Remembrance Day November 11, 1985. And of how we unknowingly let God name Jedediah because it means Beloved of God. We didn't know the story of 2 Samuel 12 until Jed was a few months old.

But here I go getting off track again. I did not sit down to blog about my story. I sat down to blog about sitting in the quiet little chapel amongst lots of candles and a trio softly playing their instruments in the corner (flute, cello and violin) and moments of silence and reflection. Yes, moments of silence and reflection and the sound of my iPhone vibrating nonstop as Jed repeatedly tried to phone me to ask what time I'd be  home.

I did have the ringer shut off and the vibration is supposed to be a silent notification of an incoming event, but in a silent solemn room the vibration may as well have been a gong. I knew there must be a way of completely shutting the phone off and I discreetly tried to figure it out but alas I could not. But as I was playing with buttons and sliders I managed to set off the ringer and there amongst the grieving parents were the Veggie Tales singing Where is my cellphone. Comic relief, I believe they call it.

I finally decided to send a text to landline message to Jed. Obviously the computer generated voice that read my text to him was not very stern sounding "Do NOT phone me again. I am at a funeral!" Which of course only prompted him to immediately call back and leave voicemails asking whose funeral, where was it and what time was it over. (All information I had, for obvious reasons, purposely not disclosed over the previous couple of weeks)

And so my pocket vibrated for most of the evening distracting me from the fact that my personal tarantula awaited me at the pulpit. Ah, there's a silver lining in every cloud.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The show must go on...

I'm not a cliche fan. But some just ring true. Take for example "People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime". And some people fit all three - my friend Patti is one. I could list a number of reasons why we just clicked. And for a season I would have listed her as my closest friend. We've drifted a bit, but I know that I can always count on her being a lifetime friend.

Our husband's were born within weeks of each other. We've talked for years about doing something incredible for their 50th birthdays - travelling to Newfoundland, taking a tropical vacation, having a big bash etc etc.

And then 50 closes in. And reality sets in. They had a quiet family celebration for Ken while we were away on Vancouver Island. I described Alb's simple party in a previous post.

But we did use their respective birthdays as an excuse to go for dinner and attend a CD release concert for our good friend Maureen. Maureen and I have always joked that the more famous she becomes with her music, the more people want to refer to themselves being "close personal friends". But I am a close personal friend of Maureen Washington. Just ask me.

Seven of us met at Moxies a couple of hours before the concert. We had a great meal, lotsa fun, a bit of wine and a good waitress.

Then we asked for the bill about 1/2 hour before showtime. It didn't come and didn't come and didn't come. Finally we just went up to the counter to pay. Our waitress informed us they were having trouble getting the bills to print - she had her supervisor working on it. But time was ticking.

"I don't need a receipt," I said. "But we have to leave right now - here's my visa, just find the total and take my money."

The girl greeter informed us she could "see your waitress, she won' be long."

Yeah, we can see her too. And it's been too long already. Waiting really wasn't the issue, if we didn't need to be somewhere on the other side of town in 4 minutes.

Patti speaks with authority, "Get me a manager."

"I'm sorry, I can't leave my post." the greeter girl says.

"Huh?" her dumbass comment takes us by surprise.

In a nice yet firm voice Patti says, "Get a manager, take our money or we are leaving."

No response from the girl beyond a blank stare.

So my friend Patti turned and walked out the door. She's my friend, what could I do but follow her.

Guilt and frustration consumed me as I walked into the parking lot, glad my husband had gone and brought the truck around so it was a short walk as I slunk to the truck half expecting to hear sirens or gunshot or something.

I'm sure the bill wasn't much more than three hundred bucks. They can suck it up. We had a show to attend. And we arrived just as the curtain opened.

PS - We went back at midnight and paid our bill. But if Patti wouldn't have, neither would have I. (We did get a 25% discount, a free drink and a $25 gift card to ensure we'd have to go back)

Consider Yourself Reminded.

Ten years. It's been 10 years today since I was branded with that title that no-one ever wants to wear. That is until you receive it. ...