Monday, December 16, 2013

Coming on Christmas

It's almost time. The anticipation is hanging in the air, the snow has piled up, the full moon is suspended like a  bright ornament over the icy bay and there are only nine days left until our living room fills with laughter and crumpled paper as our family basks in the afterglow of  Christmas  morning.

What a season it's shaping up to  be with our 5th Christmas concert of the season coming up Wednesday.  Martina is the Master of Ceremonies in this one and it's sure to be a delight like the wonderful show Sophia was in last week.

Life is good.  I went into 2013 with a feeling of being on the verge of something amazing and this year has been the best since 2005 when my last baby was born.

Every aspect is perfect.  Life in all its messy and disorganized glory seems to have found a way to send me the best it has to offer and while my simple life of a tapping the keys on a computer keyboard may not seem all that valuable,  creating an expansive social media campaign that led the Change Islands Newfoundland Pony Sanctuary to get into the finals of the Aviva Community Fund Competition and subsequently winning $5000 for the cause feels good.  The big prize will be announced on January 28 and I have done my best with the proposal.

I've never been so amazed to see a team come together with such conviction towards a common cause with votes for the endeavor on Change islands exceeding 21,000 nearly the same number of votes a cause is St. John's received.  Considering the population of our island is 200 compared to the 200,000 residents of St. John's I think our success was truly remarkable.  I made friends I'll keep forever and proven my self to have skills I didn't even realise I could utilise to such a degree.  I am so pleased with the results and love watching everybody dive in and use their talents to support the cause, a cause I feel passionate about and feel will be a success no matter who wins the Aviva contest. We are national contenders, our little town is. I've always known we were special, now I can't find anyone who disagrees.

The best part of this entire year has been the people I've met. I've always gotten my greatest pleasure from conversation with people who have something to teach me.  I've made friends who are well known by a lot of people and those who live a life that is quiet and modest and both types of people delight me and make my life richer.  I've befriended artists and business people, entertained the idea of entering politics and come really close to finishing my latest novel and will do so this winter with two more firm projects to follow.

I'm so grateful and commit to a complaint-free season.  I delight in the work and the bustle and the hectic days ahead with the dreaded shopping and all the planning and fussing because I know that a quiet time follows where I get to be fully creative and work on that which I love the most, my writing.

And I so look forward to hearing from friends over the holidays and becoming reconnected with those I've missed this year.  I'm sure I'll be back at least once more before the big day but just in case, Merry festive joyous Christmas and a delightful and successful new year!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Cat was more Sensible

The full dollar the Parsons family paid in 1934 for their annual subscription to The Twillingate Sun set them apart from many who struggled to find a church penny each Sunday.
 The January 20th edition carried the item in its North East West South (NEWS) segment at the very back of the four page paper.

JAN 17“Fire broke out at 2 a.m. in Empire House, Hr. Grace this morning.  The Anglo Office in the same building is completely destroyed."

That was the same day the goat got into the house. The animal bleated and butted in a bizarre manner, wreaking havoc in the quiet salt box home.  The elderly matron had looked on in fright as the goat ran up the stairs and rammed through the house.

The shop attached to Empire house carrying a large stock is burnt, and nothing was saved.”

It amused some folks that Ida’s pet was a goat.  But it was supposed that a thirty nine year old spinster wasn’t expected to be practical like her nineteen year old sister-in-law Bessie who had come as a serving girl for the family and wed the forty six year old bachelor of the home, Walter. 

Irritated at having to fix up the mess Bessie gave the cat rubbing around her legs a drop of tinned milk.

A Cat was more sensible.   

“C.L. Kennedy, same range, is gutted out completely but men saved some furniture."

Prosperity and literacy had provided rare options for Ida.  At thirty nine she was one of the first six female adult education teachers with Opportunity Schools.  These remarkable women worked in communities around the province teaching night school to local fishermen and their wives.

“A barn belonging to L.Pike destroyed, also cow and motor car.”

Books adorned every shelf.  Newspapers were stacked and kept and clipped into scrapbooks.  Bessie was immaculate in her housekeeping. 

“Sure he misses Ida.”  The old lady said of the cat that had jumped in her lap for a curl and a rest.  

A newspaper clipping stuck out of the Bible on the table by Mrs. Parsons along with the telegram. 

 “Miss Ida Parsons, Teacher Opportunity School, was trapped in her room and was burned to death.  At 9.a.m this morning the charred body of the woman was found in the debris.”

A barn.

A cow.

A motor car.

A woman.

One other line, an afterthought sandwiched between a report on Roosevelt’s Industry Recovery Plan in the USA and a social note on the mate of the S.S. Clyde arriving in Lewisporte, served as an obituary.

“Miss Parsons who so sadly lost her life at Harbour Grace was a native of Change Islands.”

They did save some furniture.

“Firemen did wonderful work.

A cat was more sensible.

Bessie went out to feed the goat.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Skidoo! Vrooooommmm!

One year ago today I arrived home in Newfoundland. 
I still look out my window and inhale the beauty of the ocean.  I still become enthralled at the sight of the sky with its trillion stars so close on a clear evening.  I remain mesmerized by the smell of wood smoke in in the cool evening air.

 I've only really had one complete and utter moment of regret and that was when plans had to change due to a snowstorm in the winter.  
And that was rather unreasonable since winter here has proven so far to be way more temperate than Ontario.  

Plus, we have a skidoo!  And the trail is right behind our house.

Need a bottle of wine? Sure.  Get on skidoo, go to the Esso, get the wine, come home.  You can see why I'm so excited.  The trip to the store is as exciting as the purchase.  Skidoo to the coffee shop. Skidoo to the mall. Skidoo to GANDER!

Ok well perhaps not to Gander but I could!

Anyway, that's exciting.  

An after a productive few days finally all is ready to move forward with my most recent cause.  I've been working furiously ever since the Aviva Community Fund Competition announced that indeed The Change Islands Newfoundland Pony Sanctuary was a semi-finalist, with more votes nationwide than any other competitor in our category. We were competing against thousands of entrants and yet we came in first.  I'm very proud of how we have pulled this entire thing together with people stepping up from all corners of our province and beyond its rugged shores as well to support, to get the word out and to vote themselves.  It's a beautiful and remarkable bit of magic.

If you're not registered to help(first name, last name, email-it's that easy) then please do.  You can help a critically endangered breed of pony become a fully sustainable herd. Details are HERE.

It's a good thing at no cost.  

In all the scuffle I still managed to write and enter the Canada Writes competition.  I dislike the submission of that, find the entries difficult to read as often spacing and paragraphs are off and it's difficult to read.  I hope before some famous writer takes a look at my work somebody prints it on to actual paper and sorts that out. But I doubt it.  Publishing remorse for something I haven't a chance in the world of winning? Nah, just my own bit of pickiness.  It serves me well if I don't get too caught up in it.

So, tomorrow it's back to the book.  I can only vote once, I can only tweet all my followers once each and I have the column drafted.  I need to jump back into my imaginary world where there is drama and excitement.  

My kids had exemplary report cards.  Am I the only parent who still goes to see the teacher even if the grades are perfect?  I still like to touch base.  

Christmas..are you ready? We have the space cleared, the tree is in the house, but we're not quite ready to decorate and get into it all. We've had the Santa Claus parade(goes right by our house!) and we have our second Christmas concert to attend tomorrow night.

Life is good. Christmas is like a great big cherry on top of the year.  

I cannot imagine a better existence for a human and I'm going to enjoy each moment. 

Happy December!