Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An Ontario Christmas!

I write to you today from my HOME.


I am so glad to be here. Though we didn't really have a white Christmas (we have about an inch of snow, which doesn't quite cover the Fields) it was absolutely lovely! I am getting used to how bright it seems to be here, compared to La Crete, as well as driving on our beautiful Ontarian HILLS which I miss so dearly in Alberta.

My Christmas holidays began Christmas eve. I went to Toronto to meet up with a friend for lunch, do a little walk down memory lane, and of course, gossip! We compared travel stories, although her stories of travelling to Ireland and England definitely outdid my icebridge-ferry stories of La Crete. She's off to the U.S. next, though, which doesn't make me at all jealous!

That evening I met up with my boyfriend, Christofer, for his family gathering in Toronto. In Spanish culture, they open gifts at midnight on Christmas eve. So I went for a feast, exchanged gifts and visited. It was strange to go from La Crete, where nobody hugs or touches, to his Spanish gathering where everyone greets with a hug and a kiss! We left Toronto around 2am and got to my parents' around 4am.

Of course, my older brother Bradley, who's autistic, was very wound up. Though he didn't get up until nearly 9am, I heard him up at 7am. So I think Chris and I slept from about 4am to 7am before our Christmas day began, at my parents' house.

We got up to find half our living room sprinkled with gifts. Bradley, Dylan and mom sat on the big couch, Chris and I took the love seat (I have always sat on the love seat since I was a child!) and Dad took a chair between the couches. I was "Santa" and delivered the gifts. It was a great Christmas and it took us a few hours to get through all the gifts. Chris got new luggage from my parents, I got Dylan a new pet rat and he got new boots from mom and dad, Bradley got some of the loudest most annoying toys ever (I sleep beside his room so loud toys keep me up ALL night!), mom got shopping and spa money, dad got tickets to a local show, and I got some shopping money (because I am QUITE deprived of this in La Crete) and a diamond necklace from Chris. He also got my mother and I diamond earrings :)

After gifts and breakfast, we played with out new gifts and Chris and I struggled to stay awake. My cousin Donnie, his girlfriend Jess and their son Jamie came over to visit for a little while, while the six of us were playing the board game Apples to Apples. After that visit, Uncle Matt, Aunt Debbie and my cousin James came to visit. It was so great to see them, especially James. I hadn't seen him in a long time! In the evening, we had a Christmas hot tub :)

Chris stayed the night again and I drove him to Toronto in the morning. I decided I should use the washroom before driving the two hours back home again so I went inside. Bad idea. I had to go in and kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss about 12 people or something. Go pee. Come back out and say goodbye, which means kissing everyone again. I was there for about 5 minutes and kissed about 40 times. Insane!

I came home and we had our Holmes gathering, and most people were here already. The kitchen, dinning room and living room were lined with tabled strewn together for our sit-down feast and the room smelled of delicious turkey and sweets. We had such a great feast, I am still full from it days later. And then the desserts started, and we had more desserts than could fit on the kitchen table!

After that we had our gift exchange and most people stayed to visit. We played games and all of us were too tired for a Christmas hot tub, so we all went to bed pretty early.

Officially, that's when the Christmas events were over, although my days are jam-packed with visiting and shopping, and of course, relaxing as well. It's so great here, I've already picked out some mansion houses for Chris and I to buy when we move back to Ontario :P

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I recently lost somebody very special to me.

To us, he was like a Grandpa, or as James and Donnie called him, Grampie. He was my Aunt Debbie's Dad, and although I call my Aunt Debbie's sister Aunt Barbie and her parents my "almost" grandparents, we're not related by blood. However, that doesn't make them any less family to me.

Last Monday, a week ago yesterday, Don dropped dead of a heart attack. No sickness, no signs if illness or injury, no shortness of breath. He was just visiting a friend and leaned forward and dropped dead.

It was so sudden that when my mom called, shortly after noon our time (2PM in Ontario) it almost didn't seem real. I got off the phone with her, called my boss Larry at the Chamber to let him know I was taking an extended lunch, then my boyfriend to tell him what had happened, and then called the Echo office to talk to Tom, my Pioneer boss. While on the phone with Anne, an Echo employee, I started to lose it. I got off the phone with her, called a friend, and completely broke down.

I couldn't believe that he wouldn't be there the next time I went to the cottage. The next Christmas. Newyears. Canada Day Social "Back North" (Ontarians, 'back north' has a new meaning now that I'm in La Crete, and I'm sure Don would have loved it here!). Nothing would ever be the same.

One thing I told mom that was special and unique to him was his offering of "screech", or as the rest of the world knew it, wine. He was so welcoming and always wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable, with wine in hand. I don't think I'll ever hear the word "screech" again, but if I ever do, I'll think of him.

Last night I settled down with a glass of dry, red, wine with Chris and it made me think of Don. And as the boys went ATVing by our backyard, it made me think of Don back north. And writing a moose hunting article last week also made me think of Don. I am noticing more and more that little things remind me of Don, and that I'm thinking of him all the time. Maybe it's his way of showing me that he's still with me; maybe he never left me.

I know that it will be hard at Christmas when I go home. Being here and so far away, it hasn't completely sunk it. It will be hard to go visit Norma, his wife, and not have Don offer a glass of his homemade wine when I walk through the door. Or to have him start up the coo-coo-clock for Bradley. Or to just see his soft, warm, smile standing at the back of the room, making sure everything is organized and going as planned and that everyone is happy and welcome. Or have him get up and offer me his chair as I walk into the room.

But I know the emptiness won't be forever. I'll be seeing you again, Grampie Don.

Many recent changes

So much has happened since my last blog update.

First of all, Christofer and I have moved upstairs in the house we were renting from. So now we have a giant master bedroom, a giant bathroom with a jacuzzi bathtub, and giant walk-in closet. We also have our own living room, which is bigger than our living room and kitchen in our old place, with a lot more furnature and room to have people over. Our kitchen is huge so now we should be able to have people over more comfortably. A laundry room and a tredmill also come with the house, so we are very happy for both of those (though I have yet to go on the tredmill). There are also two bedrooms upstairs that we plan to rent out for Abe. Every person we get that rents (either the bedrooms or suite downstairs) we get 10 per cent of the rent, so that will be deducted off our rent. Which will really help us out! Although the room mate thing should be interesting, especially since we have two men interested. Hopefully they don't have a problem with cats. Or common-law relationships.

Another major change is that I have recently taken a second job. I now work part time at the chamber of commerce, in La Crete. I am doing some advertising and PR things, but mostly heading the AE&I Workshops and Career Centre; running workshops and one on one meetings for resume building and career hunting. I'm really enjoying it so far, although balancing both jobs and some sort of social life has been challenging.

It's two weeks from today that I will be home, and I cannot wait to go home for Christmas. I am home from the 21st until the 2nd. I just can't wait for some homecooked mama meals, my own bed, and hottubs and gin&wink with my family. Oh Ontario, I miss you!