Sunday, June 02, 2013

Ten Things I Loved This Week

1. Finishing not one, but two books I've been reading for quite some time. And both of them were brilliant.

2. I went to see Hawksley Workman last night in St. Thomas, a small town just south of London. I know one person who lives there, a former hairdresser I had in Toronto who was amazing. I always used to joke that she looked like Xena (seriously, I wish I could post a photo because SHE LOOKS LIKE XENA). So as my husband and I are walking up the side street to the theatre where Hawksley was going to perform, I'm looking at this woman on the street talking out front, and no sooner did I think, "Wow, she looks like Xena," but she glanced over, her jaw dropped, she threw her arms open and started screaming. The ONE person I know in St. Thomas, and she happened to be at the very place I was heading to in St. Thomas, the very first time I've been to that town since we moved here. What are the chances?! It was SO much fun to catch up with her.

3. At the Hawksley show (which was AMAZING and the umpteenth time I've seen him) this drunken guy who thought he was oh so funny kept shouting out things from the very small audience (the venue was this converted church that was a spectacular intimate place to see an act like Hawksley) and at one point Hawksley responded by yelling, "STEVE HOLT!" My husband and I burst into laughter. Brilliant.

4. I read my first full-length superhero graphic novel. Now that I've done that AND watched all eleven Doctors, I think I can finally lay claim to my laminated Geek Cred Card. I just need someone to teach me how to play Dungeons & Dragons.

5. My husband is coaching my daughter's softball team, and they don't use a pitching machine like the other teams of really young girls who don't know how to throw a ball, so unfortunately the games mostly consist of 7-10-year-old-girls bowling the ball along the ground and one girl after another getting walked. So this week he just started putting every girl in as a pitcher, and our daughter was in first. She stood there, put the glove up to her mouth and stared VERY SERIOUSLY, and then threw a pitch. Strike. I couldn't BELIEVE it. The next four were balls and the kid walked but that strike was genius. She threw three more strikes that inning.

6. On Sunday last weekend I spent about four hours out in the garden just weeding and pulling back leaves (which, turns out, has this strange feeling of futility when it's a forest floor, but the previous owners of this house had built a garden back there so I decided to bite the bullet and attack the leaves) and afterwards, it looked amazing. The next day every muscle in my body ached but I was so happy looking out and seeing my garden looking so lovely and perfect.

7. We got a hammock. I don't really need to say anything more. Paradise.

8. I bought some fresh asparagus and mushrooms and strawberries (yes, Ontario strawberries!!!!!) at a roadside market and it was all divine. Ohmygodilovesummersomuch.

And now the two big ones:

9. My cousin's five-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer in January. It's been something that put the entire family into turmoil as we tried to buoy up my cousin and her husband and her two kids, plus my uncle and aunt. But it also pulled us all together to rally them, to spend all day every day thinking of them and subconsciously praying that everything will work out. They've been using the CaringBridge update blog, which is an incredible resource for cancer patients, where we get updates from them a couple of times a week. And a lot of the updates have been heartbreaking as this little boy with stage IV neuroblastoma fights for his life, can't eat, and lost all his hair. But it's also been a glorious story of a boy trying to smile in the pictures, snuggling with his little sister, mugging for the camera with his feeding tube, posing for pictures with his bald grandpa to show how much they look alike, and we're all so full of hope. This week the update told us that he had his fifth round of chemo, handled it beautifully, and then underwent surgery to remove one of the tumours, and they believe they have 90% of the cancer. He weighs more than he did before his diagnosis, is spending more time at home than at the hospital, and is a star. We love you, buddy.

10. My dad and his wife left at the end of April to travel all the way to Spain to do the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, often called The Way of St. James. (Martin Sheen was in a movie about this called The Way a couple of years ago.) My stepmom is an experienced hiker and marathon runner and has been building up my dad's ability to do these things over the past few years, motoring through the Grand Canyon and learning to hike with a tent on his back. But THIS... this one is a 500-mile pilgrimage that takes 30 days, doing about 25 kilometres a day. I'd be dead on Day 1, but I don't have the experience these two do. But still... I will admit it was with some trepidation and worry that I hugged them both goodbye in April. And this week I got the email from him that they'd arrived in Santiago and were officially at the end, and Dad was VERY happy to have learned how to ask for a beer in Spanish. Haha!! Yay Dad and June!! I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of both of them. And also that there's no way in hell I'd ever convince my husband to do the same thing. ;) I shall live vicariously through others. I can't wait to see them next week and hear all about it.

And those are my highlights! How about yours?


Cairistiona60 said...

This 10 things idea is cool! But I'd like to go back three weeks because three weeks ago today I took my Canadian husband to my homeland for the first time. So, here are the 10 things I loved about our vacation in Scotland.
1. Just being there. I get homesick sometimes and just to step onto Scottish ground took all that away.
2. Paul's reaction to the place and the people. He loved the country and my friends and family, most of whom he had never met. They loved him too!
3. Haggis, black pudding, chip shop chips, potato fritters and deep fried pizza. Luckily enough, a defibrillator was not required!
4. Being a tourist in my own country and having to explain that I hadn't lived there for 17 years so I didn't know there were knew currency denominations!
5. Getting to practice my Gaelic, badly and only twice but, hey, I did it!!
6. Watching the Eurovision Song Contest live and laughing at countries who got "null points".
7. Glasgow. I love Glasgow. I even got to go to Ibrox where Rangers play!
8. Meeting old friends that I hadn't seen for years and picking up exactly where we had left off.
9. Some of my friends are geeks and they loved hearing my convention stories. One was even wearing a Cyberdine Systems t-shirt Awesome!!
10. Coming home to a meal cooked by my stepson who had missed us. Scotland will always be home but my heart is here!!

Page48 said...

Speaking of Xena, Lucy L. is all a-Twitter about a Xena reboot.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I like going to Nikki's page and getting info on my other friend's vacation. :)

Great news about your nephew, Nikki!

Blam said...

I read my first full-length superhero graphic novel.

Ooh! Which one?

they don't use a pitching machine like the other teams of really young girls

Hmm... I think this is why, before Little League, lots of kids in the US start out with tee-ball. Frankly at the younger ages I guess I assumed that coaches pitched to their own kids, because especially when the girls (or boys) can't really pitch you're missing out on not just hitting but fielding, defeating the whole purpose of the game.

He weighs more than he did before his diagnosis, is spending more time at home than at the hospital, and is a star.

That's great. I know that this week has been a lot darker for you, so all the more reason to remember something like this. One of my own favorite things this week was actually about kids and chemotherapy.

And yay Nikki's Dad and June!

Unknown said...

I read my first full-length superhero graphic novel.

Which one?

I just need someone to teach me how to play Dungeons & Dragons.

Time and place.