Here I am and bursting with thankfulness, just like the fall colours now at their peak. My favourite season will be gone before I know it.
I missed last week, which I don’t like to do, but I had a good reason. I was filling up on things I’m deeply thankful for, living my reality, starting with this.
Fall colours and violin
It soon became tricky, trying to hold my bow, as my fingers grew colder and colder. I wished I could see the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows which were in full display up north east, earlier than where I live. I am thankful that such views bring my mother such happiness.
I am thankful I got to play my violin, as brief as it was, even with the few songs I know, in a place of natural splendour.
Algonquin Provincial Park,
in the midst of my favourite time of year.
I went on a road trip, to say goodbye to a loved one. Upon returning home I was so emotionally spent that I decided to take a week off and come back again, here and now, with a double dose of reflective thankfuls.
I’m thankful to have gotten to know a remarkable woman. My aunt started a life on her own, away from anyone when she arrived, and built a life for herself and a family, here in Canada. She worked hard, raised two children, and made a mark for herself in the restaurant business.
It wasn’t until later, the mid 90s, that I was around to meet and to get to know her. I just thought the past was well represented, as we passed a remnant of days nearly gone by, with the phone booth, saying farewell to what once was, with the introduction of modern technology of cell phones, becoming the unavoidable reality.
My aunt was tough and resilient, like her mother, my oma.
She did not want a funeral or even an obituary. Was it because she did not want to bother anyone, even after her death? Or was it just that she couldn’t deal with the thought of us making a fuss after she was gone?
Well, on the chance of incurring her displeasure, I have needed to grieve and pay tribute to her, in my own few ways anyway. I am thankful I got to do that and to know how other loved ones are finding their own peace. It was important that I see them all again, to know they are going to be alright without her.
I learned to love “Operator” thanks to my father. Now though, it’s going to be forever the song that I now dedicate to my aunt, whose fierce spirit I felt as I stood just inside the booth, on a chilly autumn Sunday, in a Canadian national park, near her home, in Ontario. We all have regrets. I just hope my aunt is now at peace, wherever she is.
I’m thankful for lichens and morning glories.
I’m thankful for fall colours (red, orange, yellow) and for the possibility of either pink or blue. I’m thankful for the red blood that makes up a family.
I’m thankful for delicious food and the supporting of important causes.
pink hamburger bun
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I wanted to find out what a pink hamburger bun tasted like.
It was obvious to those I asked on Facebook and to my mom, even though my father and mother both said, up close, it could have been a sweet, dessert red velvet hamburger bun. The correct answer was it was dyed pink with beet juice, which I wasn’t so sure about at first, but did end up giving just a hint of sweetness.
Then there was a wonderfully tasty bbq chicken salad, from
The Kitchen Eatery and Catering Company,
located in Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. It also just so happens to be my cousin’s lunch counter/store front and the catering business she is growing. If you’re ever in the area, I recommend you check it out. Beef sandwiches and pies named after her family members. She has not yet named a signature dish for my aunt, but I see that happening in future.
Pies were the order of the day, with Thanksgiving in Canada being in October. The coconut cream pie was delightful, with every bite of fresh cream and coconut I tasted. She explained her lessons in crusts for meat pies vs dessert pies, one taught to her from her mother and the other from her father, a big part of her team.
She has worked a lot of years to build up a dedicated crowd of regulars. She makes good food and puts her all into everything, and it shows. Both her parents taught her all they ever knew about the restaurant business and preparing the best tasting and quality food for any potential customers. We were lucky to be some of those, this time round.
I am thankful that I got to check out her place and the food. She was very gracious as a host. I am thankful I got to see the kind of family love that exists, even after losing her mother, my aunt. It isn’t easy, but we discussed what my aunt would think, if she could truly see what my cousin is creating. She would say she is crazy, but she would be proud I am sure.
I am thankful to get to experience the timeless hospitality of
the Grey Gables Inn (Bed & breakfast)
It’s a little like my favourite fictional Green Gables, as in the age of the building. It is the type of older building I’ve always felt uncomfortable in, yet as I grow older, I continue to see the value in the history and the ghosts of those who may once have lived there. It’s a place with great character. Leave it to my mother to find such a place.
I am thankful for the discovery of meditation music, when my mind is full of memories of loved ones, and sleep is not always so easy to come by.
He had many relaxation albums, going back to the 80s.
Tony O’Connor – Live in concert at the Sydney Opera House
This composer put on a brilliant live show before his own death. I wish I could have been in attendance, but I’m thankful for his haunting nature sounds, mixed with piano, guitar, and the authentically Australian sound of the
I am thankful for some much needed guidance with my writing and the path I’m attempting to walk..
Next year will be twenty years with my father’s kidney and I feel like I need to recognize that, to do something big, possibly using my skill with writing.
I’ve felt a bit stuck on that lately, likely because, as the date of June 5th, 2017 grows ever closer, I fear not paying proper attention. What if my time with my transplant is coming to an end? I’m just afraid to get my hopes up too high.
I also am working really hard to find a healthy balance between the every day tasks of growing as a writer, the actual act of writing, with the ones I often suppress, which must include getting out and taking chances to meet people and make connections.
And so there you have it. A few extra thankfuls to catch me up with what I missed during my absence.
And, before I forget –
it’s the second episode of Ketchup On Pancakes, our podcast.
So check it out.
And so I’m glad I got to go there, as hard as it was in some respects, to stand on the border of Ontario and Quebec, to feel the wind tunnel, once past the shelter of the trees, and into the openness of the river.
But isn’t that the way they say it goes
Well let’s forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
So I can call just to tell ’em I’m fine, and to show
I’ve overcome the blow
I’ve learned to take it well
I only wish my words
Could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real
But that’s not the way it feels
—Jim Croce, “Operator”