Friday, November 27, 2015

Perhaps They Are Not Stars

This morning I saw a Facebook poster being shared of Charlie Brown clutching his pitiful little tree while looking up at the stars and it had this quote on it.

The choir sang the song “Perhaps we are not stars” a few years ago based on the Inuit saying. It was a piece commissioned by a school to remember a 12 year old student who died suddenly.

It was a hard piece to learn with many discordant notes and difficult entries. It’s not one of my favourite pieces in our repertoire but it is haunting. We sang it for a Remembrance Day service a few years back. Here is another choir singing a version of it.

Since my mom's recent death, it’s a comforting thought to imagine our departed loved ones shining down on us to let us know they are happy. I will think of that when I look up at the stars.

I am writing something every day for the Yeah Write NoMo Challenge for November.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Preserve the Memories with photo books!

I have been making digital photo books and scrapbooks for many years now. I really got into the digital books about ten years ago when the online technology became popular. I still find it amazing how I can make a book online, order it and send it off and then in a week or so, the book arrives in the mail. Magical!

People probably think I’m a little bit crazy making all these photo books of events in our lives. I have boxes full of books of events and beautiful photos I have taken of our pets, Nature, birds, and the seasons. If there was a fire, I would grab those first.

I truly believe that it’s so important to get the photos off the camera and computer and preserve the memories. I’ve often been surprised how some people could care less about preserving their photos and that saddens me.They think it's way too much work to even contemplate sorting their photos, let alone make a book.

I will keep making the books and will do it till I can’t anymore. Sorry boys to saddle you with all these books but it will be something special for you to look at when you’re old and I am gone. You can’t say I didn’t document your childhood!

I have made a book of all our visits to Cape Breton each summer for many years now. I’d always send one to my parents and keep one for myself.

Here is a photo of my mom with her cat, Mykie from the book I made in 2009.

With my mom gone, these books have become that much more precious to me and I’m glad I made them and I will continue to make them. Preserving the memories is so important.

We are all here on Earth for such a short time and want people to remember us after we’re gone. What better way than a photo book to tell the story of our lives so people will know we lived and loved as my mom did to the fullest.

I am writing something every day for the Yeah Write NoMo Challenge for November.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Anchor

I am writing this for the Blog-a-Rhythm Wordy Wednesday picture prompt of an anchor from a photo by Sreesha Divakaran which you can see at this link. Wordy Wednesday 

My mom was perfectly imperfect as we all are. She was stubborn, a bit selfish and often wanted things her way. She had a notorious redhead’s temper and wasn’t very patient. 

She didn’t like being a homemaker all that much and preferred to work as a nurse when we were growing up during the 1960s and 70s. 

She reminded me of Lucille Ball and even looked a bit like her with the red hair and big expressive eyes. Impulsive and brash, she would plunge full speed ahead into situations without thinking about it first. Often she’d get herself into a mess like Lucy would. But like Lucy, she had a great sense of humour and could laugh off her mistakes and continue on.

I’m so different in that way and tend to play it safe too much. I always wished I had more of her gutsiness. She wasn’t afraid to take a risk and fail which I often am.

She discovered painting and loved doing her fine arts degree in later years while working as a psychiatric nurse at the Allen Institute in Montreal. She joined art groups, had shows and sold her paintings to admirers of her work. Later when she retired to Cape Breton, she would give workshops and art tours to other art enthusiasts.

Having to deal with the mundane realities of day to day life made her resentful at times. I can understand that feeling. Creative pursuits take us away to another place that transcends time and we lose ourselves in the magic. I’d much rather write, or do my music and photography than housework any day! I have definitely inherited her love of art and creativity!

Despite her shortcomings, I always knew I was loved and she was encouraging and supportive to me. She was like my anchor in many ways.

She wasn’t perfect, but whose mother is? She was my mother and now she’s gone. I sure will miss her but have many wonderful memories to sustain me through the sadness of grief. 

I am writing something every day for the Yeah Write NoMo Challenge for November.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Amazing Grace

My mom just adored music. She always had the record player or radio going when I was growing up. Her tastes were so eclectic from Handel’s Water Music to Mireille Mathieu to the Beatles. She loved it all. 

She loved her Scottish heritage so much and gave us an appreciation for it, too. I often remember the house swelling with the sound of Cape Breton fiddle music or bagpipes.
Once back in the 1970’s, my mom heard a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace on the radio. It featured the lone piper along with the full pipe band.  My mom was so taken by it, she rushed home and phoned the radio station to know the name of it as she wanted to buy the record. To this day, I can’t hear Amazing Grace without thinking of her. It is especially poignant now that she’s gone and I dedicate this music to her memory. 

Here is a recording of Amazing Grace with the lone piper accompanied with a pipe band. Hard to listen to without shedding a few tears for the recent loss of my mom.

My mom loved all the recordings I would send to her and my dad of the Village Voices Women's Choir I'm in and Tartan and Tea, the flute and harp group I'm in with my friend, Sharon.

Now when I perform, I perform in her memory and it makes it that much more poignant and special for me. 

I thank my mom for instilling a love of music in me for a lifetime. 

I am writing something every day for the Yeah Write NoMo Challenge for November.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Get on your way, Mr. Robin!

The other day I saw this robin in the tree and was struck by how unusual it was to see a robin on November 21st. Being a migratory bird, he should have left by now but we have had an unusually mild November for a change.

Mr. Robin, are you still here?
Shouldn’t you be on your way?
I didn’t think you were around all year
Did you decide to stay?

Just a word of warning,
In case you didn’t know,
Soon it will be freezing
With lots and lots of snow,

The chickadees and jays can tell you
They know about winter’s cold,
How it chills you through and through
You must be feeling bold,

Freezing rain is coming down
Ice pellets sure do sting,
Finally you’re leaving town
See you again next spring!

I am writing something every day for the Yeah Write NoMo Challenge for November.