Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day is Done

"Day is done, gone the sun; from the lakes, from the sky...all is well, safely rest..."  I don't remember all of these lyrics but I'm finding it's a song I'm wanting to remember.  I want to put away any disagreements and any stresses and worries.  Not an easy thing to do when you're a habitual worrier like me.  I'm having to learn how to put the day and it's bad moments to rest, how to not let it keep me awake all night.  I also am in a place now, geographically speaking, where I can daily be reminded of the beauty of the day.  There's something in everywhere I've lived that had something so peaceful, I could look and memorize it in my mind.  Funny thing, though.  Night comes and the old worries pile in.  Not a very restful thing.

I watched the Canadian Hockey team win gold, today.  Mum, Andy, and I went down to the White Rock waterfront today.  Red everywhere.  Cheers and whoops in the air.  The water was clear with only very small ripples.  Forgive me if I sound very new-agey right now, but if I could just focus on that water and the smiles I saw on most people today, my chest would unclench and my neck and head would go down to where it feels light.  I've never been a big sports fan, especially hockey, but I felt buoyant and cheerful.  These past few weeks, I have met some amazing people, many who I may never meet again, from different countries.  It's so easy to lose touch with the good, to be what I'm really not: a pessimist!

Day is done!  And it was a wonderful, sunny, and positive day. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Musical Inhibition--NOT

I was riding downtown on the bus today and a young lady of about 18 was riding in the seat in front of me.  She had a huge napsack next to her.

From the time we got on the bus to the time we arrived at Bridgeport Station in Richmond, she was gently bouncing side to side in her seat to the music she was listening to.  It's not the first incidence of people riding and listening, but I smiled as she seemed to be totally with the music.  She wasn't bothering anyone and I could only hear a few tingles of rhythm coming from her earphones.  She looked at the gorgeous scenery going by and her sense of rhythm didn't stop.

I am a music lover, myself, but, at almost 48, I still find myself freezing in action if I'm drawing attention.  I'm not used to not caring what people think.  I'd like to do a good jive or jiggle in public. not caring if anyone's looking at me.

Maybe it's a matter of timing--I almost knocked a few restaurant patrons off of their feet in my need to be uninhibited.  It was an excellent song from the 60's  that required a good "swim" move, the one where arms alternatively take turns crawling to the music.    I thought my girlfriends were right behind me, but, instead I almost "crawled" back into a very sweet young family.  I apologized and was glad they only had a smile and laugh for me.

That was one of my moments lacking in inhibition.  It was fun.  I just have to learn to do it without almost injuring people around me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Accepting and Giving Compliments

What is it in our society that many of us are not great at accepting compliments?  I and many others will often say, "Yeah, yeah!", or "this old thing?", or brush it off as if the ones in our lives give only empty flattery or compliments. 

I can only speak for myself.  I hate to hurt feelings.  I try to see the best in others and hope that, because I'm not an overly blunt person, people will not see me as dishonest. I also give compliments easy because I do see many good things in others.  At times, it has been taken as sheer flattery instead of sincerity.  I could never be a judge on "American Idol" or "Canadian Idol"  as it seems to ask people like me to be harsh and cut down the hard work and practice of those who've put sincere effort into what they do.  I won't tell someone they're brilliant if they're not, but I won't tell them they're crap either!

When I went downtown one day, I saw some old leaves and twigs and right among them was what I saw in this picture!  Gorgeous blossoms!


I've never been a numbers person, so I try not to think of numbers having signifance, especially where sadness is concerned. 

I used to love the number "24" as it was the day I was married on June 24, 1989.  I still try to see that number as positive.  Unfortunately, it's also a number I now want to avoid.  The 24th is also the day Jason died after a long weekend with his body fighting against itself.  His brain wasn't working, but his heart kept beating with a new valve.

Every month, I don't go, "okay, tomorrow.  I'm going to be depressed tomorrow because it's the 24th."  I've had good "24ths" since Jason died.  It's only a month until I face the second anniversary of Jason's death and I already feel heavy-hearted.  But, I won't be laying in bed as it is tempting to do.  I'll get a "meatball marinara" sub--footlong and watch a movie he especially loved.  I'll work on my writing and go down to the waterfront with the beautiful promenade and pier. 

Why does a number seem to come to mind even though I have so many positive memories of another "24"?  I can use this day to let the clouds hang over me or I can Thank God for the gift of having him for the time I did.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From Lonsdale Quay at mid-day.  There were boats from Russia, Greece, and Korea in the bay that day.  The smoothness of the water made me want to hop aboard one of the ships to see where it would lay anchor next.  I had a delicious spanakopita while I watched the beauty of the water and the city.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beauty and Chemistry

The whole place could've been empty and they would've just looked at each other while skating.  The routine was thoroughly romantic with the stolen glances, the winks, and the whispered thank-you from Moir to Virtue were just for each other.  As far as I was concerned, they skated beautifully, not just because of their years of training together, but of a love and respect for each other that can only make their already beautiful routine perfect.  Congratulations Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir!  You made Canada proud but you also made us fall in love with you!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ski Anticipation

I've been totally enjoying the Olympics and today had to top it--so far.  I watched the Men's Alpine Skiing event today.  While I felt that the run was entirely too icy, I actually felt myself holding onto my chair as the men went down.  It did something to me I didn't think I'd feel again for a long time--Exhilaration!  I wanted to feel the snow and air on my face and the anticipation of wondering if I'd make it down the hill without breaking my neck.  I can't speak for the skiiers, but I almost felt that I wanted to be there, not competing but going down the hill.  Of course, my hill would probably be the second shortest hill on the mountain..

I was never a big sports person as I've often struggled with vertigo, depth perception, and balance.  Hypo-thyroidism when I was small did not help as it affected my muscles and hamstrings.  Gym class from elementary school to junior high was a trial for me from beginning to end.  However, when I went skiing, I couldn't help but love it.  I'm amazed I can say that, as my earliest and most embarrassing memory of skiing, in grade 4, had me hooked on the fence waiting for someone to get me off.  My glasses were all foggy and I was amazed I wasn't crying as my friends swept by me down the hill.  There was also those horrible inventions: the rope and the t-bar.  I hated those with a passion.

In later grades, I again took to the hills.  While I slipped and fell a few times, I didn't end up on the fence. I was determined that I was going to enjoy myself.  I loved going up the chair lift and found it easier to get off of than the t-bar.  I learned, in one lesson, how to ski without my poles!  Again, my favourite word these days--exhilaration!  I haven't skiied for over 30 years, but hope to do it again.  I think I will.  I don't know whether it's that I want to prove myself after all those years being teased about my lack of co-ordination, but I'm finding myself wanting to enjoy things I've either not done or haven't done for a long time.  My mother laughs as my list of things to do (bucket list?) seems to get longer. 
If there is any hint of self-pity, forgive me, but I'm also realizing that maybe my fear of many things has held me back from testing myself more.  Who knows what I'll do next?  Come soon for my list!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Masochism and a Busy Day in White Rock

I was on a small shuttle bus that went down Marine Drive past the water.  Being the time of the Olympics, I thought I'd stay off of the big bus that went from Crescent Beach to Bridgeport Station in Richmond as I believed it would be crowded.  I meant to stay on the bus and just adore the view I love so much.  What happened?  I got off.  I can never just go past the water.  The tide was out and it looked like you could almost walk half-way to Mayne Island.  Okay, that's too far, but children were splashing in the water and chasing seagulls, a young couple was kissing (I walked past them) and a group of young people were bouncing a ball around.  It looked like something you'd see in the summer.  It's not summer, but a gorgeous Saturday.

I decided to scrub Jason's brass plaque clean as the elements always seem to fade it sometimes.  With a piece of sandpaper, a glass of water, an sos pad, and a soft cloth, I lovingly polished the plaque so that it gleamed in the sun. 

I went for an ice-cream, as Jason and I often did, and went to eat it on the pier.  For once, I actually didn't take any pictures.  Somehow, I almost felt like I didn't need to.  I felt peaceful and happy.  The promenade by the water was crowded today, making me wonder what the vacationers in the early part of the twentieth century felt like.  I know that there wouldn't have been many cars in those days but White Rock was one of those places people would come to each summer, many to quite large "cottages".  Also, people would get off of the train in White Rock or get on.  The beautiful train station is still here.  The money from the plaques many people had placed here went towards the maintenance of the station, now the White Rock Museum and Archives.

I don't know why I always do this, but I always either have to walk up one of the steepest streets in White Rock or down.  Today I walked up and prayed that my knees and ankles wouldn't surprise me  and collapse.  I also hoped that my lungs would hold up.   I puffed my way up anyway.  It actually wasn't that bad.  I puffed, but, when I got to the top and looked back down at the water, the pier, and the many people enjoying it, I felt invigorated.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Granville Island Seagull

You landed on silver (or would some say you were gray?) wings and I'm happy you came to me.

After your elegant flight to the ground, you waddled your funny way to me, hoping for anything I had in my lunch.  Sorry, buddy.  As soft as I am and lovely as you are, you just had to watch.  That was my chicken wrap and caesar salad.

Fenced from the Flame

I, too, wish I could get closer to the Olympic Flame.  A large fence has been put between it and us.  I would like to scream and shout at those responsible for this, but I also feel I need to comment on another amazing thing that is out of reach.  Stonehenge was once at the fingertips of those who wanted to experience the power of the ancient stones.  Now, we can still see it, but graffiti and vandalism has scarred it so that no truly respectful person can get near.

I would like to say I trust everyone, but, despite the good feeling towards the Olympics, there will be those who can't let anyone enjoy the sight or the moment. If the fence and "No Trespassing" sign go, can anyone guarantee that someone won't try to destroy it out of anger or on a drunken bet?  How many more things will be out of reach because ignoramuses can't keep their hot little hands off of other people's pleasures?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

I wanted to start this off with how I wanted to take the head off of every mannequin wearing sexy lingerie, or how I tear up still when I see cards for "My Sweet Hubby".  Both are temptations. 

Mostly, I want to, as lonely and sad as I feel today, talk about the love I've felt for a man I loved for 20 years.  Jason and I did celebrate Valentine's Day.  We exchanged cards, we went out, dressed up, and placed roses in a vase on our kitchen table.  Valentine's seems sad, though, in other ways.  It's become so commercialized!  I say Yes! Have a romantic night, but don't just have it on Valentine's Day.  Love for each other also means being there through thick and thin.  Yes, that is cliche, but it's true.  You also love each  other when one of the partners is vomiting hopelessly from stomache flu on your tenth anniversary, suffering pneumonia together on Christmas Day (yes, we both had it at the same time!), sitting at the bedside of the other in the hospital, visiting doctors together and hoping that the mole you have isn't malignant melanoma (it was).  It's holding hands and holding your loved one when there's fear.

Love is also laughing together as you realize that, as poor as you are, you really can get a free hot dog at the Ford dealership and meet Nicky Fordinsky (interesting experience).  Jason and I didn't get through 20 years together without clashing.  We made it a ritual, every day, to tell each other we loved each other, even when it was done through clenched teeth.  We were both good yellers! But we ended the days, most days, saying "thank you for the day".

I'm not a love guru, by any means, but, because of some of the hard times and good times, I've had to rethink how I viewed Valentine's Day.  I was given a Valentine's Card this morning by my mother.  I felt horrible because I didn't give her one.  My reason was, as I said earlier, I avoided the Valentine's Card aisle.  I was lucky to have someone in my life romantically, but I've also learned how to see my family, friends, and, even people I've never met, with love.  I truly hope this doesn't sound overly saccarine, but it hasn't come easy.  Even now, as I fight tears over Jason, I want others who have never felt loved to experience it, whether it be romantic for a time or romantic growing into something deeper.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thoughts for someone I never met.

I saw a torch with a beautiful flame today.
Cheers from the crowds, a blanket of red and blue over the crowds, warm spirit everywhere on a crowded Vancouver street.  I really couldn't see a frown anywhere in that great wall of people.

While we all happily cheered on the torch, you fought for your life and lost it within seconds.
A whirlwind of emotions swept through Vancouver and the world.

A celebration continued on despite the tears in many eyes, a steadfast team walked solemnly with heads held high even though you were not there and was supposed to be.

I don't know if you were ever a spiritual person,
But I can't help but feel you were there with them tonight.
You'll be there when your team competes for medals,
Smiling and encouraging your team mates.
You'll also be there if they suffer disappointment, encouraging them to get up again.

I didn't know you, but you're someone's son, brother, and best friend.
I'm so sorry your dream ended like this.  I heard, in some movie years ago, that when people die, they still never stop inspiring others. 

My deepest prayers and condolensces go to the family and team-mates of Nodar Kumaritashvilli, who died so horribly today.  If I have gotten his name wrong, please let me know.  I've never met him, but my heart breaks for him and his loved ones.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Job Hunting in Vancouver

I'm finally getting over a miserable head cold which, I think, started with a job hunt in the rain.  I'm not a doctor so I'm not really sure, but it didn't help.

I headed out on an overcast day a few weeks ago.  There was still sunshine when I left White Rock Centre and I felt all ready for a good day actually pounding the pavement.  I was wearing shoes I believed were comfortable and my resumes in my little daytimer/briefcase.

By the time I got down to Vancouver, it was raining.  I thought: that's okay.  I have an umbrella and I am wearing a good raincoat.  I had lunch first as I needed energy and I was a little cold.    The rain was steady but not pouring by the time I headed to where the school was.  I walked up Heather Street for a few blocks and got to the school. I had to press a buzzer in order to get in, which is understandable in this time we live in.  I went up to the counter to smile and greet the school secretary who said, "Bon Jour!"  She seemed very nice so I said the same thing and then handed her a resume and told her I was interested in a job at the school.  I knew a few scattered phrases in French, but it would not prepare me for the fact it was completely French Immersion.  I have absolutely NO problem with French or French Immersion, but I realized I had wasted my time and I should've really not skipped French in junior high school. 

The rain did continue in a steady way.  It became a steady downpour! My shoes were soaked and my feet were cold.  If I had been smart that day, I would have thought, "you are soaked already.  Go for a coffee then head home."  Another voice said, "take a taxi.  There's one on the corner.  You won't spend much as it's only a few blocks away from the next school."  I really don't hear voices, folks.  I just ignore good gut reactions from time to time.  I saw a bus across West Broadway and got onto it.  I knew it went down Broadway to UBC so it stood to reason I could get off very close to the next school I wanted to apply at.  Well, the bus drove and drove.  I thought, this is a long trip, but there are only a couple of stops from here.  The bus dashed past the street I wanted to get off on.  It went 4 blocks past.  The rain only got worse.  I got off the bus, snapped my umbrella back into position and stomped, as best as I could, towards the street I missed.  Again, reason entered my mind and said, "Give it a rest, White!  You're soaked!"  By this time, I was so drenched and frustrated, I was determined to get this resume in at all costs.  I could imagine walking up to the front desk and saying "HERE!  Hire me, damn it!  PLEASE HIRE ME!  I got there, smiled (hair stuck to my forehead), handed my amazingly dry resume to the secretary and said, "Hello. I'm very interested in this position."  I actually hoped that she would see what I had gone through to get to the school and pass on the resume to the administration of the school.  I would get hired because they would feel I showed great fortitude.  No, I think I just looked wet. 

I knew my mother was planning on visiting friends nearby.  I couldn't reach her so I left a message for her saying that I was going to Starbucks and would then head home.  I ended up going to Blenz across the street as Starbucks was being renovated.  I ordered my coffee and plopped down into the chair.  By the time Mum and my step-father arrived, I was almost laughing over the whole day.  I must have looked like some totally crazy woman.  There wasn't a dry piece of clothing on me or a dry hair on my body.

Moral of the story: listen to your instincts!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

High School Past

I just came off of Facebook.  I had come across, thanks to Facebook, some people I knew in high school and have become friends with them again.  I went for years thinking I wanted no part of high school reunions.  The fact is, when I got beyond my own self-consciousness, I learned about how some of them came through life, what they did, how they felt about high school.  Okay, that last one.  I know how I felt, but how could I know what dreams didn't come true for them or did come true!  Did they also shiver when doing verbal presentations?  Hide in the bathroom so that the one they had a crush on didn't see them in an awful top your Mum insisted you wear?   I feel, no matter what we experienced in high school, the person we are now still has that kid in us but we can now truly hold our heads up high.

I answered some rather inane questions: If you could go back to high school, would you?  No, not really.  Who did you go to prom with?  No one!  Were you more popular than this person?  No. Etc. Etc.  Frustrating thing was, I did answer them for over an hour.  What was in me, I wonder, that made me sit like I had glue on my seat and on the monitor.  Some did make me think, others brought out the smart-aleck attitude I DID NOT have in High School.  It was kind of fun being silly, serious, smart-alecky, even a little rebellious.  I also enjoyed writing, even in short responses, how much I cared for the people I knew then and know now--many who are the same. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Little Silver Companion

I no longer have you, but somehow I've been able to keep going and see beauty around me.
Somehow, I could catch, in a snapshot: memories, objects, life.

I went out for a long walk by the ocean today.
I was feeling empty without you.  I looked into my packsack, hoping to see my little silver companion.
It wasn't there, but at home.

How could a little silver camera be such a comfort for me when you're no longer around? 
Somehow I always hope that when I get a picture developed you'd be right there smiling in one of the shots--maybe even making a face!

I went out for a long walk by the ocean today.
I realized that I needed to trust the memory in my heart,
Imagine your gentle voice and laughter, even without my little silver companion.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Trees on the Beach.

We are all individuals,
Some bending over with the wind, others standing strong, and others spreading out as if we can gain strength almost llke an upside-down umbrella.  Isn't it interesting how, even in the same vicinity, nothing takes away from the beauty of the others, even if some look a little creepy and not as easy on the eyes as others.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I didn't know there were so many gorgeous blues in this world.  I snap a picture on the deck of a ferry, get it developed and it looks like a dream, almost mystical!  I know there is a story here! The skies are amazing when they open up and pour a palette of my favourite colour in the world--and before the day closes.
Could I maybe stage a mystery, pirate story or a romance aboard the ferry?  Perhaps soon.  For now, I'll just look at it before I sleep.