Saturday, March 17, 2012

There is nothing more contented than a cat with a full belly .....

Isn't this just the perfect St. Patrick's Day Photo. I found it at a blog called Greetings, Air
and just had to share. Although I don't celebrate the day, I do like all things green, especially Kermit and Shrek.

It's All About the Hat

I didn’t have to wear my favorite hat once this winter. Where did winter go? Was it whisked away because somehow I didn’t deserve it, or because someone somewhere needed it more than me? Not everyone loves winter, but when you grow up in a country with four seasons, you learn to embrace each, or hate each. Hate has never been a feeling I enjoyed, so I tend to go with the flow, and embrace those things that I can’t change. So I love winter.

Now the days are longer and I am enjoying warmer than normal temperatures. I’m not complaining. I packed my favorite hat away with a promise of next winter.

But as I look back, I missed this year’s Sunday walk with Stuart and friends from the church trekking up the mountain in the newly fallen snow. I missed the annual winter carnival and the great time spent outside with friends from the community. And I especially missed the “true” snow-days when everyone was sequestered in their homes after a significant snow. Not the snow-days when freezing rain forced school closure, or snow fell briefly, followed by a dirge of rain, and ice flourished. There were no stunning frozen scenes along the brook this year, and the bay rarely steamed.

I know many would argue that it was a good winter; the roads great for travel. If there has to be a blessing in a non-winter year I guess that would be it. But I for one missed the high snow banks and the crisp, winter days perfect for outdoor activities. If we must live in this northern country, than it stands to reason that winter should be our friend. But the robins are here, and any snow we get now will be named for them. Daffodils are peeking their heads above ground, the maple trees are in bud, and I’ve heard rumors of crocuses in bloom. Time moves on, and so must I.

© 2012 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fond Memories

Gerald was unlike any other man I know. His spirit was gentle and his laugh was contagious. I wanted to spend every hour I could with him, and as a child of twelve I found myself following him everywhere. He had worked many jobs in the time I knew him, excelling equally at each. But the one I remember most was his position as mixer for the local Coca Cola dealership. I would spend long hours after school setting atop the towering bags of sugar, watching him carefully measure each ingredient into the large, luminous vats. He would describe each step to me in detail, and at the end of the day, I would be rewarded by a cold bottle of the elixir, or so I thought it to be.

I loved to listen to Gerald’s stories about interesting people in his life. There was Cousin Weekeye, a negro, or at least that was what they called them when I was twelve, who worked at the vinegar mill; and Dempsie Burns, who never worked a day in his life. There was Scissors, whose freshly picked blueberries you had to buy if you wanted to save face in the small town, and there was Dan Tips, who frequented the divorcee over the road. Gerald told stories as he laughed, but I knew from his delivery that each person held a special place in his heart. He never judged them; he just liked a good story.

I can still see Gerald standing, one leg resting on a rock, cigarette in hand, and deep in conversation with his friends. I can feel his strong hand in mine as he guided me safely around the pond on my new skates. I fill with emotion when I remember the clown nose he wore the day he got a crew cut, and his shout of “a happy birthday cake” every time my mom placed one on the table. I weep when I remember his tears when I was all ‘growed’ up and ready to leave home.

You see, Gerald was my dad, and he was and ever will be my soul mate. I thank God for his life, and give thanks that today I am just like him.

© 2012 by Maureen Newman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Excerpt from my novel

With little to fill her time, Abigail made her way to the basement to begin unpacking the remaining boxes from the move. Had she known what they contained she would never have begun.

Opening the top of the first box Abigail gasped in despair. Christmas presents wrapped neatly with bows and ribbons stared back at her from the container. Each one sported a colourful tag with the sentiment, For my beautiful wife. Love always, Michael. After several moments of uncontrolled tears, Abigail slowly removed the presents from the box, one by one. Each seemed prettier than the previous one, but the last one took her breath away. Wrapped in the most stunning gold paper with raised hearts, the gift was adorned with a beautiful red and silver bow woven around a large piece of mistletoe. But it was the words on the tag that broke her heart all over again..... To be opened on Christmas Eve (wink, wink). I’ll be Santa Claus, so we need to be sure Timmy doesn’t see me kissing you.

Resting on her knees, Abigail stared for some time at the beautiful gift. I don’t care if it’s not Christmas yet. No will know when I open it. With a gently touch she removed the bow and slowly released the tape that secured the wrapping paper. A box with the words “Darling It’s You” printed on the top lay before her.

Bowing her head, Abigail closed her eyes and took a deep breath. There was no doubt about it. Michael had bought her the ruby satin nightgown she had seen hanging in the window of the lingerie shop on their last night in Sedona. Opening the cover, her suspicion was confirmed as she lifted the delicate gown from the box.

Intriguing whispery black lace cascaded down the front of the dainty spaghetti straps to the bodice. The striking ruby and black contrast of color was stunning to the eye.

The freshness of the pain kept Abigail huddled on the floor beside the parcels for several minutes. Making every effort to contain her grief, she slowly picked up the other gifts, and placed them back in the box. As tears blurred her vision, she held the beautiful nightgown close to her chest and headed up the stairs to an empty bed.