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Chewing the Fat

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March 2011

Me and my sisters

Good morning everybody!

Don and I are on the ferry.  We are going into Vancouver to have brunch at the Pan Pacific with his literary agent.  We are sitting at the little desks where they have wi-fi.  I like traveling on the ferry.  The rumble of the engines underneath us, the slight rocking movement, it’s like being in the belly of a cat.

When I booted up my computer and checked my emails, I found these photos attached to an email from my sister, Jennifer.  They were taken by Phil this November when we went to her house for the U.S. Thanksgiving Day feast. 

Before you scroll right through them, I think an explanation is in order…

The first one is perfectly normal.  Like the majority of photos I have of the three of us. 







The next one, someone shouted out, “Be silly!”  I am nothing if not obliging.





“Okay, now be super goofy!”  I think it was Phil that called this instruction out, I don’t remember, everyone was making a lot of noise. 

Goofy?  I thought.  That’s new.  We never used to do that.  Must be something new Becky and Jenny have come up with.  Well, if they want goofy, all right then…

Flash goes the camera. 












I glance over at my sisters to see what goofy things they came up with.  Um…Okay… I think maybe a little clarifying is in order.  I don’t really think looking like cute little cheerleaders celebrating a touchdown qualifies as goofy. 

“Wait a minute,” I bellow. “You were supposed to look goofy!”

“Wha…?”  Becky says, looking confused, and Jenny’s laughing, making jokes, and I’m laughing too. 

Flash goes the camera.











And all the guys, Phil and Todd and Don are laughing and Becky starts laughing too.  And we laugh so hard the kitchen gets all full up with our laughter, every nook and cranny full, until finally, we have to stop because our cheeks are sore and our bellies hurt.

Don says my idea of goofy is probably a little more extreme on account of having kids.  I think Don is just making excuses for me.

Happy news!

Everybody here is jumping up and down.  I just got off the phone with my boy Will and he has been offered a spot in a great 3 year acting program in England.  Hats off to you, honey!  We are SO proud! 

Of course that means he’ll be living in London for a least another three years and it’s a long way away, but thank heavens it is all working out and he has the opportunity to follow his dreams.  Couldn’t be happier.

Another happiness is, I found out this morning that the playwright has given his permission for us to do his play, which is a huge relief.

It’s one of those lulls in life, when things seem to fall into place, like finding the missing piece of the almost completed puzzle under the sofa.  And it’s a weird juxtaposition, because on the other side of the ocean from us, such sorrows and tragedies are continuing to unfold, and my heart hurts for all the families and homes that have been/are being under siege.  And I wonder how it is, that here, at the exact same time, our family has been blessed with such happiness.  And I don’t understand how the world/the fates/God works.  So much challenging times going on around the globe.  Feel so helpless. 

And at the same time, feel almost overwhelmed with gratitude.  Am grateful for this patch of sunshine, this dollop of happiness that Will’s good news brings my family.  Am grateful for the cherry blossoms that are blooming outside my bedroom window.  Grateful that the clouds took a break from raining and opened up to shower our budding gardens with warm, brilliant sunshine.  I hold this moment close to my heart, try to absorb it down deep into my pores, so when the challenging times, that are always lurking just around the corner, decide to stop lurking and pounce on my head, I will have this moment, this day to draw from.  And I will try to remember to remind myself that hard times and good times, change with the wind.  Remind myself to breathe and to try and find the hidden blessings that are always present no matter how difficult the circumstances. 

a morning meander


It’s been awhile. 

I woke up early.  Still dark outside.  Rain pattering on the window.  A car just went past, headlights on. 

That’s unusual.  Our street is very quiet.  Especially at this time of day.  I wonder where they are going? 

Maybe they have an early flight?  Hawaii?  A business trip?

The wind picked up for a second, causing the rain to splatter, rat-ta-tat-tat, harder on the window.  A spurt of passion that has now, once again died down.  Just peaceful rain, puttering along.

Sort of like me, I guess.

HA!  As I wrote that, it’s like the weather was reading over my shoulder, because, seriously, there was a huge gust, an exuberant surge of wind, so strong that I could hear the branches of the garry oak outside rattle and shake like maracas.  It was like the wind was answering me, saying, not on your life sweetie, we are just giving you a lull, a brief respite, an early morning amble.  There is a lot of excitement in store for you.

Made me smile. 

I’m still smiling.

David and Amy are away on a stay-cation.  I hope it isn’t raining where they are.  Rain is nice, but when one is on vacation, it’s nice to be able to bumble around without having to huddle under an umbrella.  Actually, I don’t know if David and Amy own an umbrella.  I’ve never seen them carrying one, and it rains here a lot.

I generally don’t carry one either.  The only time I do, is when I am out with Don, because he’s always got one or two in his car.  And he has this idea that when I’m with him, it’s his manly duty to keep me dry.  It’s quite sweet, really. 

Funny too, because I get this imp in me sometimes and when he stops his car, he’ll say something like, “You stay there, nice and dry.  I’ll go get the umbrella out of the back and come around for you.”

“Okay,” I say.  “Thanks, honey.” My head tucked down so he can’t see the grin that is starting to form.  He smiles, trustingly, happily, because he’s the big man, taking care of his woman.  Then, he’ll tuck his head down like a turtle, disappearing his neck entirely, into the collar of his jacket and hop out of the car to get that umbrella. 

The minute his door shuts, mine flies open and I hop out and head jauntily down the sidewalk, letting the rain fall where it may. 

I hear his panicked squawk.  I don’t look behind me.  I don’t have to.  I can feel his agitated, worried fumbling, as he tries to disengage the umbrella from all the junk back there.  “Meg!” he’ll yelp.  “Wait!  You’ll get wet!” 

But I keep walking, long legged strides. 

I hear him run to catch up to me.  Having to hold the umbrella in front of him like a shield so the wind won’t turn it inside out. “Meg!”

And then he’s there beside me.  Wielding that large black umbrella with it smooth curving wood handle.  There he is tucking in close, wrapping his arm around me, holding the umbrella slightly lopsided so I get most of the cover, even though I don’t care if I get wet. 

There he is, not even grouchy that I foiled his plan to keep me safe and saran wrapped and out of the elements.  He’s just slightly confused, perturbed, that things didn’t go according to his plan.  That despite all his valiant efforts I still got a little wet.  “Why didn’t you wait?” he’ll say, and I’ll look at his sweet familiar face and laugh, because he’s so fun to tease and makes me feel so loved.

I just looked up.  It’s lighter now.  The night darkness, gone.  Not quite full fledged daylight, but getting there.  A raven squawked.  The rain isn’t splattering any more, but I can still hear the run off in the drain that comes down from the roof and along the outside wall of my writing room. 

I think I’ll go back upstairs now, and tuck back into bed, pull the covers up around my neck and maybe drift back to sleep for another half hour or so.