Honey I’m Home

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When I told my daughter I was flying home on Friday the 13th she said “Oh my God mom, you’ll be the only one on the plane!”  But guess what – the plane was fully booked.  I guess there are a lot of fearless and not so superstitious souls out there. We made it from Winnipeg to Edmonton on time with a flight attendant who looked like Natalie Portman.  Only prettier.  If that’s even possible.

My son drove me to the airport when I left and my daughter picked me up this afternoon.  What awesome kids I have.  And then of course there’s W who made the trip to Winnipeg and back twice, not to mention putting up with me for two weeks in between.  All awesome and much appreciated.  I know, I know, I’m worth it, but still.

So now I’m back in siren city.  It is hot, hot, hot.  We are having the most incredible fall weather.  I will miss the call of the loons and watching the deer wander across the back lawn.  I won’t so much miss the geese honking their heads off in the middle of the night, or listening to the hourly trains as they whistle and rumble by on the other side of the river. I will miss the peace and quiet during the day, watching the eagles soar, and good times with great people.

It was a lovely relaxing holiday.  Still, it’s good to be home.

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April Friday

In my mind, April is my brothers month, just like May is mine, and June and November belong to  my sisters.  He was born on the 19th, a Good Friday in 1946.  It’s been half a year already since he was ‘stolen’ from us, no longer a child of course, but still a child of the earth and the universe and lost to us much too soon.

So here’s a rather melancholy tune for our last April Friday.  Poetry set to music.  I guess I’m still in my saudade mood.  Bring on the rain.

A fairy offering wishes, illustration by John ...

A fairy offering wishes, illustration by John Bauer to Alfred Smedberg’s The seven wishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Stolen Child

(Words by W.B.Yeats-Music by Loreena McKennitt)

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats
There we’ve hid our faery vats
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries

Come away, O human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.

 

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light
By far off furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles
Whilst the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.

Dream Fairy

Dream Fairy (Photo credit: Alexandria LaNier)

Come away, O human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.

 

 

 

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams

The Visit (Loreena McKennitt album)

The Visit (Loreena McKennitt album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Come away, O human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.

 

 

 

 

Away with us he’s going
The solemn-eyed
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.

For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.

Just the Facts

just the factsAnyone remember Dragnet and Joe Friday?  It was one of the first television shows I ever watched.  This guy was always trying to get people to stop voicing their opinions and making wild assumptions about whatever crime he was investigating, and just stick to the facts.  Week after week he had to keep reminding them.  So just for you Joe, five random facts about my day. (With some opinions and wild assumptions thrown in.  Sorry, it’s human nature.  You should know that by now.)

1.  One of the best mood lifters in the world for me is to go to work leaving my house looking like pigs live in it and come home to find it sparkling clean.  I do pay for this miraculous service and believe me,  it is worth every single penny.

2.  I have been studiously ignoring January and not bothering to hate it.  If it does pop into my head I just make a quiet wish for it to go away.  Look how well this is working for me!  It’s over half gone already!

3. There is no kind and polite way to tell someone her kid is a little shit.  Chances are she suspects it already anyway.  (This particular darling boy had two pairs of mangled glasses that looked like they’d been in a food processor.  On high.)  Mom wanted to know why they were such a mess.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t really want to hear my honest opinion so I kept it to myself.  Her child will probably grow out of the glasses mangling stage at some point in his life.

4.  Someone found my blog by searching for “fish hair“.  For once in my life I am at a loss for words.

5.  The temperature outside is two degrees above freezing.  What month is this again??  Back to normal and 18 below (celsius) by Sunday.  Sometimes normal sucks.  But that’s okay.

WOOHOO!  Tomorrow is FRIDAY, Joe Friday.  And that’s a fact.

Throwing Beans

It’s been another beautiful February day and a Friday to boot!  There’s just something about Fridays that makes everyone happy to be alive.  Even if (like me) you have nowhere to go and all weekend to get there.

February 3rd is the anniversary of the day the music died – Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper plane crash in 1959. I wasn’t quite ten years old when that happened and probably didn’t even know who they were then.  But I’ve loved their music for as long as I can remember.

It’s also Bean Throwing Night in Japan.  Probably better known as Setsubun.  Do you suppose throwing beans here in Canada might bring me some good luck too?  I only have canned ones, so maybe not.  It is a tradition in Japan to eat one bean for every year of your life, and then one more for luck in the coming year.  You can also scatter beans throughout the house to get rid of evil spirits.  What an interesting idea!  I wonder if it works….

Might as well catch myself up on some questions that have been lurking around unanswered while various bean tossing plans bounce around in my brain.

Have you ever thought about writing a book?  Yes I have.  I greatly admire people who have actually gone ahead and done it.  Every time I finish reading a good book I wonder what it must feel like to see your own words and ideas on page after page, and know that there are people out there who will read what you’ve written and appreciate all the time and effort it took for you to put your book together.  I’ve certainly written enough WORDS to fill up a book.  I just need a really great editor to sort it all out for me and make some sense out of it so it’s fit to print.  Where the hell IS that guy??

What’s your least favourite household chore?  I hate all household chores equally.

How was your January, 2012?  Is your year off to a good start?  It was fine, thank you.  And yes it is, actually.  (And this is where the person who asked me these seemingly innocent questions can now start right in on his own tale of woe, going on and on and on about all the horrible things that have happened in his own life, not just this January but in fact from the moment of his birth, and how it’s been the worst year ever so far and there isn’t a hope in hell of things ever getting any better.)   I’m not even kidding.  I know how this person operates.  I still get sucked in every time.

What makes you cry? Funerals.  Weddings.  Births.  Deaths.  Paper cuts.  Sad movies.  Extreme pain.  Sorry I can’t include the never ending story being told by that guy in the previous question.  He’s doing enough crying for both of us.

What’s your favourite thing about Friday?  I love how consistent it is, always arriving right after Thursday.

I wonder if coffee beans would be acceptable projectiles to fire at evil spirits?  I’ve got a whole bag of those in the cupboard. I don’t think it would be wise to eat over sixty of them in one sitting though. Perhaps I’ll just leave this celebration to the Japanese after all.

Having Babies

Having Babies: Part One

Okay,  where was I?  Brand new parents to a baby girl with more character than either of us put together – from day one she had an attitude.  And great lungs and a temper.  We knew lots about parenting, but nothing about actually BEING parents.   Any child is a challenge, but in hindsight I know D. was more than the usual handful.  Our spirited child.  Isn’t that a lovely way to describe it?

W. had another year of university to complete.  I had to go right back to work in a mere four weeks.  My mom came to stay with us for a few days after D. was born.  After she left, I stood staring at my sleeping daughter and was overcome with the enormity of the responsibility we were taking on.  This little life in MY hands?   What was God thinking?  All the pent up emotions from the past months welled up and poured out.  I crawled into bed and refused to get up.  Poor W.  He put up with this emotional wreck of a new mom, bringing me food and my daughter when she got hungry, and blabbering away about post-partem depression, sounding like he was trying to convince himself more than me that we could get ourselves through this.  Two days of being a drama queen was about all even I could stand.  And that’s when we made one of the two most asinine decisions we’ve ever come up with, and packed up ourselves and our newborn and took a two-day car trip to visit W.’s parents.  They were thrilled to meet their first grandchild.  I was exhausted, mentally and physically and spent the entire time there in some kind of zombie state.  So D. was at our island and a little camper practically from day one.

As much as my mother-in-law bugs the living shit out of me most of the time, I must give her credit for loving her grandchildren in her own strange way.  And she did help me realize a very important thing.  My daughter would not cease to exist if she was out of my sight.  She would not die if I left her with someone else for an hour or two.  MIL forced me to go fishing with W.  There was no heart to heart little talk about anything – that’s never been her style.  But one morning she just said that I needed to get out, and W. needed to take me, and to get the hell out of here, D. will be just fine.  It’s the closest I’ve ever come to having a panic attack.  Leave my baby?  W. didn’t have to drag me kicking and screaming to the dock, but it came close.  We lasted almost an hour with me constantly freaked out that D. might be hungry, or screaming, or in whatever state it is babies might get themselves into when their mothers aren’t around – I couldn’t even imagine.  And with W., thoroughly exasperated, saying JEEZUS Lin, my mother had three kids.  I think she knows what she’s doing.  We got back to find D. peacefully sleeping, exactly how we had left her.  How freaking amazing is that?  I know my MIL was trying to help me get out from under the enormous weight of the pressure I was putting on myself, to let me breathe and trust someone else to help.  I had to do it when I went back to work, like it or not.

We were incredibly lucky to find a babysitter that I felt I could trust.  She had six kids of her own, all in school, and she was missing the baby thing.  Her name was Mrs. White.  Isn’t it funny that I don’t even remember her first name?  She looked after my daughter Monday to Friday, 8 to 5, for the first year of her life.  It was kind of nice to have someone else to blame for how spoiled she was.  I often wonder what effect this all had on D.  Sometimes when we picked her up she would look at us with that little frown of hers, as if to say, ‘who the heck are you guys again?’  It was not an easy thing to do.  I probably missed a whole lot of her “firsts”, although Mrs. White was very kind and never said anything about D. doing something new until I mentioned it first.  D. never slept longer than a six hour stretch, from midnight to 6 a.m. that first year.  Her naps were short, few and far between.  She was active, curious, easily frustrated, loud, demanding.  We just assumed that was normal, having not much to compare it with.  We did have some friends who came over with their little Rebecca, who was a month younger than D. although bigger, and a child that they could plunk on the floor and she would actually stay in one spot.  I remember we thought there must be something wrong with that kid.

It was a hectic year.  We were all sleep deprived.  I don’t know if that’s a good enough reason for being lax with the birth control.  I recall having vague thoughts about not wanting D. to be an only child, and that if I ever had to make a conscious decision to get pregnant again, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to do it.  So I did it unconsciously.  W. finished his year and applied for a gazillion jobs.  He got two good offers.  One was a teaching position in Lindsay, Ontario.  The other was as a Wildlife Officer with the government of the NWT in Cambridge Bay.  And there you have the second most asinine decision we ever made.  How different might our lives have been, if we had gone left instead of right at that big fork in the road.  At the end of the summer, following D.’s first birthday, we headed north.  L & W’s Big Adventure begins.