January 2, 2002




Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

The New Year was but one hour old when my Aunt A. passed away. On New Year's Eve day, I received a message that Aunt A. had suffered a massive stroke and was in hospital. We all prayed, and then she was gone.

I sit working off and on at the computer, waiting for details of her passing and news of the services that will mark our loss in time's ledger. Grief snatches at me small desperate lunges.

Time is set aside during the day to sit by the front window and glory at the sky, occassionally to read. I wonder about serendipity, as the book The Uncharted Heart places its protagonists in "New Ontario", the area where my Aunt A. taught, married, lived, and died.

Today's photo is scanned from a note I recieved from Aunt A. December last. [The card containing the note was designed for use by supporters of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.] In it she talks of the north and the people I remember from childhood. Her stories enriched my understanding of myself and where I came from.

This is the second New Year that has brought with it the death of a beloved Aunt. We were stunned early in January 2000 by the sudden loss of my Aunt M., the baby of the family. Now the eldest, Aunt A., has passed away suddenly.

As I revisit my January 5, 2000 journal entry, the photos remind me of the depth of my loss. The briefness of our time here is impressed upon me once more. Those precious souls we love will not forever write, or call, or simply exist comfortably out of our sight but within our reach. A woman of mature years myself, I wonder that the smiling child in the photo is so bright within me still. From her flows the shock and disbelief at the passage of time and the nature of loss.

The landscape is postcard perfect today. Every window I peer from yields blue sky, led down to pristine white by dark and waving branches and trunks. The older I become, the more vulnerable I am to the joy of light.

I have been puttering about in the kitchen most of the day. Our current supply of baking apples is now exhausted, peeled and chopped and baked into the bottom of a cake. The aroma of cinnamon and apple fill the house.

The last of the turkey bubbles in the soup pot. We usually let it simmer for several days before removing the meat, straining the broth, and adding herbs and vegetables. The longer it takes, the better it tastes when all is said and done.

We have eaten all the pies, the chocolates, and the ice cream. We have enjoyed every bite and nibble of these rich foods and now it is time to return to saner habits of eating. The dietary transformation begins with the consumption of a very large orange, sent to us as a gift from Florida. Although this represents healthier eating, the fact is well disguised by the taste and texture of juicy, sweet fruit.

Slowly, I have been moving the gifts from underneath the tree to their new and rightful homes. This week we will take down the Christmas decorations and cart the tree outdoors to await proper disposal. Needles will be showered from the family room to the door and beyond. Pine needles are easy enough to sweep up, but they cling stubbornly to carpets; from whence they will lodge painfully in an unsuspecting foot. I never manage to find them all.

So, here it is, the second day in the year 2002. The new year will unfold as it will, a mystery more compelling than the best of stories, and an opportunity that will come only once in a lifetime.

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Worldly Distractions

Snowy birdhouse, decorated for Christmas.
A note from Aunt A.

By the Easy Chair
The Uncharted Heart
by Melissa Hardy

15:57 EST
Temp: -4` C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: W 15 km/h
Barometric:102.5 kPa

Sunrise 7:56 AM EST
Sunset 5:01 PM EST

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

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