Thursday, December 18, 2008

i got a call at work...

i'd like to know exactly what part of the body this doctor specializes in...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

when you go 'home'...

in september my favourite aunt died. she was a pretty amazing woman. i used to visit her often with my grandmother when i was a kid. technically, she is my great aunt, as she is my grandfather's youngest sister. she used to make tea and bannock (the second best bannock i have ever had - my grandmother's being, of course, the best); she loved playing her music very loud and dancing around the house; she could play a wicked tune with two spoons on her knee and jig the night away; she had a wonderfully contagious laugh; a kind heart and a collector of memories.

i hate cancer.

going back 'home' always brings up a myriad of emotions in me. there is part of me that hates that place. the constricting hold it has on my throat makes it difficult to breathe sometimes. it is a raging sea of small minds and smaller opinions and its undercurent is sometimes insurmountable. when i think of how i feel in those familiar places and seeing those familiar faces - the same, but older; easily recognizable, but weathered - my feelings are a mix of relief and panic. the crazy panic that i am missing something: missing family, missing events, missing things that might matter. then the relief that floods me know that my life is my own: my decisions, my mistakes and my mysteries.

i saw many faces when i was back for the funeral and most looked back at me slightly confused and a bit taken aback. you could almost read the expression in their eyes 'who is this person?' and many of them asked me that question directly. i was pleased to hear the following words over and over and over again, repeated dozens of times as i talked briefly with family members and old family friends: "wow, i didn't recognize you *at all*!" and "gee, it has to have been at least 15 years since i have seen you!" those words brought a comfort to me that i wasn't expecting to feel among the nervousness and anxiety i had being back in such familiar territory. i don't quite know how to process it or even if i have to, but i think i know one thing is for certain: i won.

but in the time i spent there i visited the place that i missed the most. the beach. it was my fortress of solitude, my escape and, often, my confidant.

it's a lovely drive.

it's a good place to come and think.

i spent hours staring off into the waves.

life, the universe, everything.

this picture is a bit special. this property used to belong to my grandparents. it is right across from the restaurant they used to own and their house is still off to the left side (not in the frame). there was a guy on top of the roof when i drove by, circling the parking lot, i think he was replacing the shingles. when i snapped this photo he stopped using his nail gun and looked down at me taking the picture. i told him that this used to be my grandparent's house and, although they sold it about 20 years ago, he smiled at me and said my grandmother's name formed into a question: "veronica?" that brought a tear to my eye. she died over 12 years ago and moved away from the town about 17 years ago. it's nice to know she has not been forgotten.

anyway... my point! the big evergreen in the middle of the shot is a tree i planted in the first grade!

Le Grande Pomme

yah yah, i suck.
however, zips has been on yet another adventure...

zips was demonstrating his awesome godzilla impression.

he took in the wonderful exhibits @ the met.

he snuck into a broadway show.

enjoyed some quiet time in central park.


met some new friends.

got acquainted with lady liberty.

he's certainly had a busy but fun year!