New Year, What's Next?

                                A bright blooming hellebore on a grey Covid-19 day.


I have not written for a few months because I feel a bit lost these days. Mostly grey days without the promise of an early spring trip to Oaxaca. Monsieur and I have enjoyed the wide assortment of birds that visit our balcony. Juncos, chickadees, flickers, tits, and a downy woodpecker are our daily guests. They enjoy the seed bells and suet that we buy from a local store.


                                            The parking lot gardens are showing signs of life.

 This winter has been a time of many losses. A friend's husband, a family friend and a neighbour have died since Christmas. Cancer, old age and dementia...endings. Live seems fragile and uncertain. At our church, the Music Director has resigned and the Minister has announced her intention to retire. I wonder if the loss of opportunities to interact with the congregation has disheartened them. 

I have decided that I miss schools and children. I have returned to work on a limited availability basis. I teach wearing a mask and I eat my lunch alone in the classroom when the children are playing outside. My mother may have an operation in February so I will have to take some weeks off.

 

                        Nine years ago, I arrived in Paris to live one of my dreams. (photo taken with my iPod)

I have just celebrated my 69th birthday. As my Nana used to say, "I am in my 70th year." So much has changed in the last decade of my life! Since my retirement, my life has been filled with adventures. During the first 4 years, I was hardly home! The old adage "go go, slow go, no go" comes to mind. Circumstances over which we have no control, can curtail our activities.

Even on a grey January day, I enjoy reading an interesting book, watching as feathery friends devour the suet, streaming a mystery or cooking a pasta dinner for my husband. 


I'm still buying books from independent book-sellers and sharing them with friends. Unfortunately, I don't see friends (even outside) very often. I have giant piles of books on my desk.

My favourite book that I have read recently is: Olive Again

My favourite recipe that I have cooked is: Brussels sprouts with gnocchis, parmesan and bacon.

My favourite streaming (addiction) is : Silent Witness (especially the older seasons with Amanda Burton).

My favourite dream is that: In 2022, Covid-19 and all variants will have vanished and my daughter and I can travel to Europe.


Courage to me means ploughing through that dull gray mist that comes down on life-not only overriding people and circumstances but overriding the bleakness of living. A sort of insistence on the value of life and the worth of transient things...My courage is faith-faith in the eternal resilience of me-that joy'll come back, and hope and spontaneity. And I feel that till it does, I've got to keep my lips shut and my chin high, and my eyes wide

F. Scott Fitzgerald



Comments

  1. It's so nice to see a post from you. I can empathize with the grey days, although I'm happy for the recent bits of sunshine we've seen. The birds are so much fun to watch here, too. I'm retiring at the end of this week and am thinking about how I will feel productive and useful afterwards. I will TOC, but not for a few months. I want to spend some time with my very young grandchildren (once restrictions ease) and don't feel comfortable doing that while I'm at school everyday. We must keep our hopes up in spite of that "dull grey mist" that Fitzgerald referred to.

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    1. I'm sure that you will really enjoy spending time with your little ones. It is difficult in these days to have as productive retirement as we might wish but it is the small joys that will see us through the grey.

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  2. I do like that Fitzgerald quote. At first I thought they were your words and it seemed natural that you would write them. I hope your birthday was special and I can tell you from experience that there will come a birthday when 69 seems like a young woman with time and energy to accomplish wonderful things. And you will.

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    1. Thanks, Dewena. Time and age are indeed relative. The uncertainty of our times will pass. I wonder if some positive changes will emerge from the pandemic.


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  3. Oh those lovely pops of colour are so appreciated on these dark days.
    Books and escapism on Netflix round out the routine here in The Humble Bungalow...walking outdoors and home keeping are helping me stay focused as we wait out the pandemic.
    Good for you to get back into the school...it must be quite refreshing to have a change of scenery and something else to do. I had my hair cut and my hairdresser said she is so grateful to be working as it fills her days with pleasant distractions.
    Take care Madame.

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    1. Walks and home activities are definitely our lives right now. Schools seem quite safe right now. After having spent 10 months with our safe spaces and fewer faces, it is so important to keep our transmissions as low as possible. One day, I'm sure that we will be able to meet with more people and to travel once more. I'm hoping the travel within the province will be allowed again by summer.

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  4. This is a wonderful post - honest and yet hopeful.

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    1. Thank you, Jeannine. These times are difficult for most people. I hope that we will see
      happier times soon.

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  5. Welcome back, have missed your voice. We are all down and feeling gray these days. You are not alone. And we are all looking for little bits of life to make us feel better. Glad you have the birds to watch, the signs of life in the garden and your daydreaming plans for travel in the not so distant future.

    I was called to sub for 2 weeks in a school library and really wanted to say yes. But my husband is having a procedure this week on his back and I will need to be there with him. I liked the thought of being back among books and babies, though. Enjoy your time with the children.

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    1. It is a difficult time for us all. We are short of vaccine so our timelines keep changing.
      Our schools seem to be quite safe. They are not having students in the library in many schools. Teachers borrow books for the class. When they are returned, they are quarantined for 3 days before reshelving.

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