Merry Christmas!

Well, it’s Christmas Eve.  Technically, it’s Christmas Eve day, but, so what?  It’s exciting!  I can’t wait to see the looks on my grandchildren’s faces tonight when the go to bed anticipating Santa’s arrival.  The absolute best thing about Christmas is children.  Presents are nice, but joy is better.

This has been a tough year, and I don’t think any explanations are needed as to why.  But. . . it’s also been a pretty good year, too.  The States have a President they can be proud of, Canada has earned a reputation as being a leader in self-restraint and sound governance (and I’m not a Conservative, by the way) and James Cameron has finally released Avatar.  (Not that I’m at all interested in seeing it, but I know millions are, and so, therefore, their wish has come true.) 

I think, movie-wise, the more important film this year was District 9.  It didn’t get much praise, and wasn’t around long, but the ideas and social commentary contained in that story have stuck with me.  It’s a disturbing look at discrimination.  Very profound in its delivery.  Was it Oscar-worthy?  No.  But definitely thought-provoking.  Avatar will be all about the special effects, the sound track and how much it cost to make.  Substance?  Hmmm, can you say Titanic? 

Back in the real world. . .

The past year was pretty damn good on a personal level, too.  We traveled to the Dominican (had our eyes opened, there), then went on a month-long motorcycle trip to Nova Scotia and back.  That was simply amazing.  Had my eyes opened again, this time to the beauty and open-ness of people both in Canada and in the United States.  That trip has created a desire to re-visit many of the places we passed through, with the aim of staying longer to enjoy them. 

As I’ve gotten older different things have become important to me, and I am extremely grateful for that change.  It’s no longer mostly about what I want, or what I think I want.  It’s more about seeing the people I care about happy and successful and fulfilled in their lives.  Despite the economic downturn, or maybe even because of it, I’ve seen that happen for several people this year. 

My brother-in-law has taken a major leap in going back to school to become a teacher.  My son has discovered new reserves of personal strength in light of how the economy has affected his company.  One of my brothers took a huge risk this year and bought his own business.  There are many more examples I could relate, but I think you get the picture.  Happiness is all about your frame of mind and what you’re willing to give of yourself.  And it makes me  happy and proud by association. 

What a leech I am!

Well, that’s it for now.  I wish everyone who has taken the time to read my ramblings (and I do know I ramble) much love and a very Merry Christmas!

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11 Sleeps til Christmas

My God I can’t believe how cold it’s been!  Apparently, there are reports that Alberta, in particular the region we live in, is currently the coldest place on the planet.  I don’t know if that’s true — I have my suspicions that Antarctica might still be somewhat colder — but it sure feels like it at the moment. 

Buses are cancelled in our division today, and so I thought good I don’t have to go out in this weather.  But duty made me try.  I went out to start my car — it had been plugged in since 1 am Sunday — and it barely started.  When it did it made this nasty, unhealthy sound, like an ancient electric can opener that no longer has enough juice to even scratch the surface of the lid it’s supposed to be cutting through.  I let it run for about 10 minutes and even after that it still sounded rough, so I decided that even though I’m barely 10 minutes from where I work, I’m not going to chance it.  The fear of freezing and of being without a vehicle are just to great for me.  I’ll go out and run the car every couple of hours for 10 minutes, hopefully that will enough to keep it from seizing up. 

Just the few minutes it took for me to run outside and deal with the car was bad, I can’t imagine having to be out there for any extended period of time.  Although, once upon a time when I had a dog, I would have bundled up against the frigid temps and gone out for a brief walk.  That’s one of the reasons I do miss having a dog for a pet — it forced me to get out in winter even when I seriously did not want to.  Dogs need their exercise, and so do humans, but where dogs will gleefully step out into the cold, concerned only about what new smells they might discover, most people won’t even bother to stick their nose out the door.  That’s me, right now. 

This kind of weather inspires a sort of inertia within me.  Being cooped up, inside with nothing but the computer and the TV for entertainment I find myself doing little or nothing.  Although I have tons of things I could be doing like:  reading, crocheting, baking, cleaning, doing laundry, finishing addressing Christmas cards, writing, putting the finishing touches to the decorating, cleaning my closets, dusting my dressers, straightening up the spare bedroom, the list goes on and on and on.  I just don’t want to do anything, except, well, read, maybe.  That requires no effort, and curled up under a blanket I just might drift off and have a little cat nap.  Such ambition!

But. . . I try not to be too hard on myself, it’s not often this kind of weather locks us into our cozy, comfy homes where we’re forced to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet.  Most of the time it’s go, go, go.  Especially around Christmas.  The need to feel like we’re doing more, being more is incredibly high around the holidays, so if nature gives us a day off I think we’re wise to take advantage of it. 

Eleven more sleeps til Christmas — I’m looking forward to seeing my grandchildren on Christmas morning as they tear through their presents.  I want to see my son and his wife enjoy their first Christmas in their new home, and I’m so pleased we’re invited to be a part of that happiness.  For Tim and I, that’s what it’s mainly about now:  We’re on the outside, looking in, and what we see is what makes us smile and brings us joy. 

An update on the Christmas tree:  it got decorated yesterday and it is absolutely lovely!  I will post a picture here as soon as I get one taken. 

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Flash Fiction

This is an example of something called Flash Fiction.  I entered this piece in a contest about a year ago (didn’t win, but got some decent feedback).  I’ve since edited it taking into account some of the comments I was given. 

It’s an apocalyptic little story, something ala 2012, if you will.  Hope you like it.

© 2008

  Beneath the Bed 

 Kathy Larson

              A wistful smile crossed Sandra’s face as she gazed down at the tiny body beside her, and she thought, what better place than this?  The steady rise and fall of the baby’s chest helped to soothe her, but it couldn’t stop the fear blossoming in hers. 

            It was warm here, beneath the bed; absurdly, she felt protected.  Then, sorrowfully:  Why hadn’t he stayed?  Choking back a sob she drew their son close and buried her face in his blankets.

            When the flash came she was telling him about the fun she and her sisters had once had playing make-believe beneath their beds, imagining golden lives in a far-off and shining future.

Monday, Brrr, December 7th

Here's our nice little tree for 2009!

  

It’s minus flippin’ thirty-seven (-37ºC) here in Bon Accord!  I do not, I repeat do not, want to set foot outside again until it is at least only -15.  That’s not asking too much is it?   

I will do my best to be grateful for this weather and try to remember that it will kill the pine beetle and save our forests.  Also, it looks pretty from inside while I’m bundled up with a coffee and a good book.   

Oh, yeah . . . we got our tree this weekend and it’s not a giant.  It’s a very nice 8 footer that will be easy for me to decorate.  We went out with Landon and Jenn and the kids this weekend to Gunlor Pines — a family tradition now for 18 years!  With all the snow we got on Friday it was really quite nice.  The kids seemed to have fun although being bundled up they could hardly move, it was cute to watch them stumble along.  Timothy just kept agreeing with everything we said — “you like this one, buddy?”  “yeah.”  “how about this one? is this one better?”  “yeah.”  I’m sure he was just wondering why on earth we were out there wandering through a bunch of trees that essentially all looked the same to him.  After Tim and Jenn ‘felled’ our trees we headed in for hot chocolate and candy canes.  The kids were enthralled by the inflatable Santa popping in and out of an inflatable chimney.  It was a very good day.   

And now we’re in a deep freeze.  Sigh. 

A happy bunch of lumberjacks!

  

 

 

 

Wednesday Night

A place of indescribable beauty, a testimony to faith and spirit and, yes, gratefulness.

I am grateful for my life . . .

This after 3 evenings and one day of meetings.  I didn’t think I’d ever see the end of them.  But, they’re behind me now and I can start to focus on other things I enjoy. 

Like. . .

baking with my grandchildren on Saturday and then having my son and his wife and my other grandchild come for supper. Then we’re going to go see some Christmas lights and take a little stroll on a beautiful winter evening.  Nothing quite says Christmas like baking and lights!  I am looking forward so much to this little self-made solstice on the weekend.

Right now I am dog-tired.  Yesterday at work I fell on the ice while helping supervise our kids during phys-ed where they were learning to curl.  Me and ice, not a good combination, historically.  I gave my head a good rap and jolted my back and shoulder, too.  Not so much that I can’t work, but just enough so that I can feel twinges of achy pain all day. Lovely.  Still . . .

I am grateful I didn’t get hurt worse.  That my body is still resilient enough to handle such mishaps.  I vow to not set foot on ice again this winter, or, at least until our next curling class.  Maybe I should take a helmet?

Well, I think I’m about ready for bed.  Which is something else I’m grateful for — that I have such a lovely home and a place to sleep that is warm and safe and comfortable.  So many in our world do not, and so many are fighting to bring security to others and, as a result, are missing their own safe, warm beds.  I am grateful for their efforts, even if those whom they are trying to help are not. 

The world is such a great place, truly.  Sometimes my heart just weeps at its loveliness.  Did you see the moon tonight?

Tuesday, Dec. 1

The countdown has begun.  Christmas is officially just around the corner.  I’ve got a bunch of plans and it looks like I’m gonna be busy, busy, busy!

On another note:  God, I can’t stand lies.  No, I’m not lying about my busy month!  It’s something else, entirely.  I will think positively, I will have only happy thoughts, I will control only that which is within my control. 

Movin’ on!