Christmas is About Love

I’m hours away from getting on a plane to visit my mother. She lives 10 hours from me in the next province over. She has dementia and it’s been worsening of late. For a couple of years now, she’s been slipping, repeating herself, forgetting important things like her health history or that she wears glasses and hearing aids. She’s still an avid talker, but her conversations now revolve around her big tv and the man friend that drops in to watch football. Sometimes when I’m with her and I’m bored and a little mischievous and too tired to redirect her, I’ll bring up the big TV myself. One of her oft repeated phrases is, “At least I still have my mind”, something that makes us smile every time she says it. Continue reading “Christmas is About Love”

Where’s the Peace?

A Fictitious Listicle of Christmas Complaints

The biting cold, the howling wind, the slippery roads, the snow piling up, and the enveloping darkness, make me want to roll up in a blanket with a jumbo bag of Munchie Mix and not poke my head out till spring.

I wiped out in a heap on the driveway yesterday and was pretty sure I looked like a beached whale and, if I didn’t manage to get up promptly enough, that someone was coming to helicopter me out to the Arctic and lob me onto a precariously thin patch of ice and set me adrift still lying there, essentially gift-wrapped walrus bait.img_2270

My neighbor’s house looks like a reindeer binged on 10 ugly Christmas sweaters and then proceeded to projectile vomit. You’d think looking at it would banish my Seasonal Affective Disorder forever, but I still feel like I need to go inside, dim the lights, and take an Ativan. I’ve started averting my eyes even in the daytime. 

My 30-year-old, Zellers Christmas special, fake Christmas tree is now starting to look like a 30-year-old, Zellers Christmas special, fake Christmas tree. Even Charlie Brown and the gang couldn’t sing this pathetic, scraggly mess of glue and plastic back to life.

My attempt at making a cheery platter of whimsical holiday treats ended with me crying, dusted with flour and eating cookie batter out of the bowl, while tearfully admitting that I don’t have the dexterity to use a rolling pin, cookie cutter, or piping bag or the stamina to make six dozen cookies in one day.

The lines were so long at the mall and the people so grouchy, I started to blame them for everything that’s wrong with my life.

fe0a9ec7-abaa-464a-bab9-0a6de62d856bIf I have to listen to Frosty the Snowman one more time, I might have to rent a snow blower and take out all the snowmen in my neighborhood, handknit scarves, carrots, and all.

I couldn’t find the wildly popular, obscenely overpriced, Christmas gifts my loved ones wanted, so there’ll be dampened sadness around the tree this year instead of joy.

I can’t afford this but I’m doing it anyway and I’m not sure why.

I got the ugliest ornament in the gift exchange at work. It’ll make a fine addition to my growing collection of ugly ornaments from Christmases past.

Too much cheese log equals one large cheese plug. 😛

With all these Christmas parties, my bowl-full-of-jelly belly is starting to overflow my pants by a couple of large dollops.

The turkey is dry, the gravy is lumpy, the Jello didn’t set, the guests are arriving, and I feel like a smelly, wrung out dish rag who just had her hand up a big bird’s butt.

Continue reading “Where’s the Peace?”

The Path of Service

It was a couple of months into the pandemic. Other than grocery shopping and going outside for fresh air and exercise, we were asked to stay home to contain the spread. My son and I were c1b761d7-8ef1-4631-b36d-42aaf5f259e2walking on the dirt path in the river valley near our home. We were approaching a section carved midway up the hill where one had to walk single file to reach a couple of flights of stairs that would take us up out of the ravine. We immediately noticed an unusual sight. An old man stood on the trail wielding a shovel. It was a warm day and there was sweat dripping from his brow. He was gouging out the side of the hill with this shovel and tossing his take down into the river. He was widening the path, so that two could walk together side by side. Every time I walk on that path now, which is often, I think about that man. While many of us were holed up in our homes, worried about ourselves and our loved ones, complaining about masks and restrictions, he was doing something positive. He was making the world a better place. Continue reading “The Path of Service”

The Snowshoe Fiasco

Note from the Author: All of the pictures in my post today, with the exception of the Pixabay snowshoe picture, are of the hike I was on courtesy of George Mach, an exceptional photographer and friend.

I went hiking in the mountains on Saturday. My friend invited me to hike Spreading Ridge on the Icefields Parkway, the majestic, mountainous road linking Lake Louise and Jasper. There would be seven of us. I was told to bring cleats and snowshoes, as there would still be snow. Temperatures would range from +5 °C at the bottom to -5 °C at the top. It was a two hour drive from Calgary and as we travelled North, the landscape looked gradually more wintery. I’ve never been a huge fan of winter, but in the last number of years, I’ve tried to embrace it more, as it’s an inescapable reality in Canada. Continue reading “The Snowshoe Fiasco”