Sunday, February 22, 2015
Sunday, February 08, 2015
Today we had a burst of spring weather and we got outside for a ramble at our local (and beloved) nature center, watched them tapping the maple trees for sap and wallowed in warm air and sunshine.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Saturday, January 10, 2015
It's funny, we got all ready to go for this walk and as chilly as it was I don't think it required the long johns and thermals we put on. Had we been as prepared for our trip to ICE a few days later that would have been much better. For some reason I thought that the coats they gave us would be adequate. Oh no - I thought my fingers would fall off and so the half hour or so we got to experience the ice carving was enough for me.
Hot chocolate went down well at this too.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Overall not a bad little holiday.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Long past the days of excitement and anticipation of Santa and presents and selection boxes, the strongest memory I have of Christmas in my own home is the overall sense of peace and tranquility that permeates my mother’s house on Christmas Eve. The shopping, the cleaning, the chopping and prepping is complete – nothing more will be done tonight and she’s enjoying one of the few tipples she’ll have over the holidays (not so for the rest of us!). The overhead light is off, the fire is lighting as well as the candle in the window to welcome us all one by one either from out of town, from work or the pub, from mass or to drop off a plate for tomorrow. The house smells like Christmas. The ham is cooked and we’ve been warned not to go near it but nothing can keep me from picking off a few chunks and burning my finger tips in the process. Salty and hot and delicious. “Is it too salty? I steeped it overnight” “No Mam, it’s perfect.” “Get away from it now or there will be none left for tomorrow”. But I know that ham will stretch long past St. Stephen’s Day and I'm making sure the second taste is as good as the first.
There’s probably music playing and the TV is muted with a familiar film or mass from the Vatican. A neighbor or a relative drops by with a tin of biscuits; “will you have a drink?” “Oh, only a short one Jim, we’ve got a few more stops to make tonight.” When a few of us gather we might even break into song - not quite the picture perfect family gathered around the piano but we can string a tune together and debate whether we'll open up another bottle of wine.
I know families celebrate Christmas differently and our little international family has blended traditions which we celebrate equally but I just want to say that while I'm in the middle of the high jinx and bustle of Christmas Eve here (this year dressed like an elf!) I will be thinking of the Christmas Eve calm back home, humming "Fairytale of New York" and no doubt finding something equally tasty to pick at.