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Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Exciting news, folks. I hope you have your seat belts fastened, because not only is this the first time I’ve typed and posted a blog from my phone, but I’ve also decided to take you with me.

You are now on an all expenses paid trip to Dublin and the United Kingdom.

You get to sit here at Gate D65 and keep me company for the next hour, which is nice because I’m not used to traveling alone.

Don’t worry, we had an incredibly easy check-in with only one (long) wrong turn (I told you to wear your glasses!), but we still managed to get here with way too much time to spare.

We’re chilling at a bistro table and considering writing more on Helena but we’re a little too nervous excited to settle in. We’re not really looking forward to getting from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 at Heathrow, the monster of all airports, but we’ll deal with that when the time comes.

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When we first arrived at our gate it was eerily quiet. So much so, that we almost wanted to ask what time the airport closes for fear we were about to be locked in. But now there’s plenty of people watching to do and enough distraction to keep us from our real writing. We will write when we’re folded into our 2x3x2 seat, right?

Anyway – we’re through security, boarding passes in hand and soon we’ll be flying high.

Thanks for agreeing to come along. It means a lot.

See you soon, kids! (Our seats aren’t together)

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I usually try to keep it to myself because it may be a little dark, but my favorite Christmas song is Fairytale of New York

by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

 

Perhaps it’s the way the lighthearted melody contrasts with the heaviness of the lyrics. Or maybe the writer in me is embracing its brutal honesty and hidden truths. It might even be the Celticness of it all, I don’t know, but whatever it is, it has an impact on me every time I hear it.

 

It’s raw. As the Irish often are. It’s real. Emotionally based. And it’s deep.

 

There’s something to be said for someone who has the grit to celebrate an imperfect life, holidays that turn out less than wondrous and writes lines like; “I could’ve been someone.”…“Well, so could anyone.”

 

Shudder.

 

It’s alright to admit your life hasn’t been perfect. That you’re not perfect. I remember, in a writing class years ago, the instructor told me my main character was too perfect. No one wants that. Imperfection is what encourages strength and growth. It makes us legit. Interesting. Three dimensional. Tempting. Addictive.

 

We can all be someone. Just the same as anyone. But different. We all get that chance. We just have to take it. And use it well.

 

Keep living. Keep fighting. Keep dreaming.

 

And don’t let anyone take any of that from you.

Behind every song

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At least I don’t have to wear the crippling stilettos or the breathtaking (no really, I can’t breath) party frock while puzzling over extension cord hell, wading through the tangled light swamps, while fighting mean crowds for a Black Magic Box or when searching the aisles for the perfect fuzzy socks.

I didn’t mean to rhyme that last sentence, I swear. I’m pretty sure you can tell from the imbalance I created by doing so. But…’tis the season, right?

Everyone’s in a jolly, rhymy, singy type of mood. Yes, even me. Well, maybe not jolly and singy, but it seems rhymy isn’t a stretch.

If you read my post from last year I’m sure you’re worried about this one, but I’d like to ease your mind. I am in a slightly better position this time around. Our lights, although there can never be enough for the kids, are up and all are glowing. Our parlour is as finished as it’s going to get for now and looking rather festive I must say, swagged with seasonal set dec and sprouting a spriggy Spruce.

Christmas 3

I’m bought and wrapped (around each of these kid’s fingers that is) and the chimney is ready to soot that red suit.

Christmas 1

Extra! Extra! I’m shoutin’ it loud from a snow-laden rooftop near you. It’s down to the wire folks, and  I hope you’re as ready as I think I am because, as merry as it is, Christmas waits for no one. Naughty or nice.

Christmas 2

Christmas 4

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There’ll be hell to pay for this post. I will have all happy holidaying nature-lovers in a tizzy. Thor will rain down and strike me with his what are you thinking? club. I’ll be frowned upon by the Gods of all things multi-wheeled and RVQ’d and I hang my head in shame. I do.

But, as I watch my husband drip with sweat, nip his fingers, work harder than a pack mule and swear bloody murder over and over, my mind meanders across the fence to the other side where dark things grow.

Shaded tendrils of twisted tarnish creep and curl around my closing throat. Vicious vines slither through the naughty nooks and corroded crannies of my mind.

“Why?” They hiss.

We have a lovely backyard, a wonderful deck, running water and a conveniently located fridge and yet….sigh, and yet, we pack up everything including the kitchen sink and putt off into the wild blue yonder to snooze on gritty sheets and feast from swampy coolers. We cram our clothes into damp outside wardrobes and eat off paper and perfunctory plastic. It takes ten times longer to do things and the room service bell is long out of order.

Gearing up for a camping trip takes days and decamping, even longer and somehow, after six years of owning a tent trailer (we used to tent – shudder), we still don’t have it down pat. You’d think we’d be bursting from the Velcro seams at this point, but somehow there’s always a ten yard dash before every excursion which includes us whipping out the worn and weary Visa at least twenty times over.

So, back to the why. Well, like I said, it’s that blue yonder thing, the dream that we’re free as birds while living under an azure sky. I’m not a nature girl by any means, but there’s something to be said for cooking in the open air and sipping a cider while flipping the morning’s flapjacks. At what other time is booze before breakfast ok? Well, pretty much never.

And, as parents, we take solace in the knowledge that the teens we now drag along will one day look back and have memories they will probably distort, but at the very least, cherish. The swearing, sweating and screeching, the worrying, working and waiting, worthwhile. We’re learning what life’s all about and passing it on, but most importantly, we’re bonding. Our little family is growing into a well-oiled machine, albeit slow and somewhat painful.

I guess swampy and gritty bring out the rainbows.

Our home for the next ten days

Our home for the next ten days

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Your guess is as good as mine.

What could possibly keep her from practicing her passion and fortifying her future? She has been in Maui for a week, but that wouldn’t stop her. She’s more motivated than that…isn’t she? She comes from pretty tough stock and I’m sure a touch of wonderful weather and a brilliant blue bay wouldn’t hold her back.

Westin Pool

I know her pretty well and snorkeling, sunning, swimming and a few pretty Pina Coladas could not stand in her in her way.

Maui Beach 1

Pina Colada

But as I flew home with salt on my skin, sun in my heart and memories on my mind, I looked at my family and I knew, Hazy wasn’t stopping, she was simply letting me live.

Sunset

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Hung with care, I’m not so sure, but hung…absolutely!

The tree is up and lit, mind you, decorations adorn various nooks and crannies and from the outside the house emits a mysterious glow.   Mysterious, that is, because half our lights are burned out.  This realization came, of course, after hanging them.  Who checks beforehand?  “Probably everyone,” I tell my husband.

When the season was first upon us, I, in denial, stood before shelf after engorged shelf, each one literally bursting with boxes of dazzling illumination.  Seriously, if you had cash, credit or those nifty Canadian Tire dollars, the cream of the crop was yours for the picking.  They even light them now in tiny, little display portals so you can see what it is you’re buying.  This would’ve been handy years ago, when LED’s first appeared on the scene and we bought string after string of mismatched blues.

Fast track to today.  The shelves are bare, scattered with only what has been rejected and need I say…or, are you feeling my foreshadowing?  I’ll toy with you a little more…

They have big, acorn-sized white, they have primary shades (not the beautiful, crown jewel type gems) and they have, yes, the old school clear glass, non-LED (a.k.a. non-enviro friendly) type bulbs.

But, do they have the two strings of plain blue that I need to replace my, somehow, LED rule-defying burned out strings?  No.  They don’t have two.  They have one.

In the big ‘Christmas is too commercialized, this is not what it’s about’ scheme of things, it really isn’t a big deal. #firstworldproblems However, it is still frustrating and the fact doesn’t change that the lights, are indeed up, and our house be lookin’ cray cray.

Nonetheless, Christmas is well on its way in our good old homestead.  I was starting to think this was finally the year I’d actually have to say; I dunno what happened.  I guess we just missed it.

But missing it, we’re not.  There are all kinds of parties to get to, lunches to be had, shopping trips planned and family time organized and I know it will all be over and gone in the blink of an eye.

I do this every year.  I pull as Christmas pushes and anxiety builds with every popped Advent window.  It’s because I forget.  I forget that as it gets closer I start to stop.  I stop shying, shuddering and shirking and I start embracing, engaging and entangling whatever the season brings.

And it’s good.  Good to forget that I remember, good to remember that I forget, because I still want the magic and, it’s alway there….way at the back of the shelf.  I only have to turn on the lights to find it.

My Tree!

Our Tree!

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No really, things are going well.  Sure, my husband has been away for weeks on end, I’ve had the mother of all stubborn head colds – you know the kind where your skin and hair follicles weep when touched  – and a Bubonic Plague type flu has molested everyone else in our house Grim Reaper style, but…things are getting done.

I have made more than a dent in the Christmas shopping.  Of course there’s way too much for one and not enough for another, but still, achieving, and…I’ve wrapped pretty much everything I’ve purchased so far.  Oh, I said it.  Oh yes I di-id.

I’ve already mailed my parcels overseas (at least a month early for me – yes, they usually get there in January provided I’m ‘on the ball’) and I even managed to throw a few lights up on the house front.  Well, two mini trees, some sparkly snowflakes and a couple of LED wrapped urns to be exact.

Mini Tree

Mini Tree

Sparkly Snowflakes

Sparkly Snowflakes

LED Lit Urn

LED Wrapped Urn

I’ve been giving my dining room a facelift and we’re finally (after more than two long years) filling what I have affectionately dubbed the exposed beam and insulation display room upstairs with stuff to make it, well, you know, a bathroom once again.   We’re doing all of this now, after waiting all this time because right before Christmas is the perfect moment to start big projects, make an enormous mess and spend even more money, yes?  No.  But it’s all happening, regardless.

Chair Before

Chair Before

Chair After

Chair After

Bathroom Before

Exposed Beam & Insulation Display Room

Extra stress and every spare moment spoken for aside, it is awesome to be accomplishing so many things.  After all, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and at the risk of sounding all too presumptuous, I will live to see another tomorrow.

(Please excuse my shoddy snaps ~ a photographer I am not!)

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