February 23, 2002

Andrew wrote a letter...



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]

I wrote an entry this morning that will never be read by anyone but me. The content was depressingly honest, totally raw, and described an aspect of my reality in some detail. However, that aspect of my reality is only one of many. Committing it to print can serve no purpose. Those who like or love me will be discomfited; those who dislike or bear me malice will experience satisfaction. Not the kind of impact I desire for either party.

My morning ramblings did end with a sentiment and a passage I would like to record and keep. After pondering the nature of politics and power in Canada, doing a bit of wallowing in despair at public misconceptions and myths, I ended up in the arms of Andrew.

Andrew was born around the end of the 18th century; he worked hard, sired and raised children, and left his ancestral home with family in tow in pursuit of a better life. He landed in Canada. He is a Caucasian male who is more real to me than the Caucasian men of power who have dominated my life and my lifetime. Andrew's words ring more true, for lesser men of politics, such as he, need not fear the consequence of honesty and sentiment.

I cannot speak to life in other countries. My ancestors came to Canada in 1821, full of hope; a hope that I feel has been largely realized. I do not believe their dreams included palatial homes or any other form of conspicuous wealth. Nor did they dream of power over others, of high social status, or fame. What those who begot me dreamt of, most Canadians now take for granted, although this too may pass.

In a letter home to his sister, my Great Great Great Grandfather Andrew describes his new life in Canada.

"... there, after I had toiled until I could toil no more, I would have the mortification of being a burden, -- but here, two or three years labour will give me more than will keep me in sickness, as well as in health: there it is all dependence, -- here, it is a fair prospect of independence. Now, dear sister, if I had to come here again, I would come readier than before."

Attila and I have been enjoying ourselves. We sit in our easy chairs feet side by side on the ottoman. We giggle. We laugh out loud. Sometimes we read books; each lost in our own. Sometimes we watch a television program, spending as much time discussing the plot, the characters, and the nature of the universe as we do quietly viewing the panorama unfolding before us. Sometimes we ruminate over the small problems that plague us; but never for very long, as the problems are indeed small. Attila and I are discovering that we really do get on well together.

I was worried about that. The map of our relationship was drawn while on the heavy seas of child rearing. We knew we could count on one another in crisis. That we would enjoy each other after reaching shore was in the unknown future. It is much different than anticipated, much more satisfying than I would have believed possible. It is a blessing that we are not bound by our imaginations.

February seems very long for a short month. Winter has lost its novelty by February. Spring is still far enough into the future as to tantalize without satisfaction pending. We know there will be more snow, more ice, and more gray and cloudy weather.

It seems that everyone we know is coping with February by making merry. Neighbors have gone to Cuba, as have Luna and Janus. Dear second cousin is off on a motor tour of the southern, warm states of the USA. Goodness, that adds up to only three families! It seems like everyone though.

Attila and I decided upon our own February remedy. On Sunday last, Attila's only day off work, we bundled ourselves into the little green car and headed out on our adventure. It suited us perfectly, this wandering.

What did we do? We visited as many secondhand bookstores as we could manage in an afternoon. Each with $10.00 spending money in our pocket, we went on a literary spree. We even stopped mid-afternoon and sat in a sunny coffee shop window sipping our respective cuppas.

Our list of acquired treasures included:

Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages, Frances and Joseph Gies, Harper & Row, New York, 1987

The Fighting Cheyennes, George Bird Grinnell, University of Oklahoma Press, 1950 (First published in 1915 by Charles Scribner)

National Geographic: The Photographs, Editor Leah Bendavid-Val (a gift for Luna)

Dinner with Tom Jones: Eighteenth-century cookery adapted for the modern kitchen, Lorna J. Sass, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977 (a gift for Auntie Mame)

After arriving home, Attila prepared one of my favorite meals, Herbed Fish, served with creamy mashed potatoes and sweet peas. It was altogether a wonderful day.

Since our Sunday foray, I have been reading bits and pieces of all the books and quietly contemplating the stunning photographs. Nothing like a cup of tea and a good read, feet up on the ottoman, to color a February day cozy.

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Worldly Distractions

My easy chair.
A February Hot Spot

By the Easy Chair
The Narratives of Fugitive Slaves
by Benjamin Drew
First Published 1856, Boston: J.P. Jewitt

14:58 EST
Temp: 2`C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: SW 20 km/h
Barometric:100.6 kPaSunrise 7:13 AM EST
Sunset 6:03 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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