Monday, 8 July 2013

Where did June go?!

I've been feeling great!!  As a result, I've not been able to keep up my blog as I've been busy enjoying life to the absolute fullest.  My last post was about my Relay For Life experience this year.  The following weekend, June 14, 15 and 16 was also a busy, busy time.  On Friday, June 14 I hosted my students' Annual Spring Recital.  This is a formal concert where my piano students, their families and friends and I celebrate the progress that each and every student made during the past year.  This was an extra special event for me this year.  I wanted to publicly thank all my students and their families for their prayers for me during while I was on my leave of absence.  I was unable to do this at the recital because every time I thought of what I would say, I would get choked up and teary eyed.  And this was just in my home in the week leading up to the recital.  I'm glad I didn't mention it publicly as I have thanked everyone personally.

The night was truly a celebration and the students played their music with passion and skill.  The music performed ranged from baroque, classical, romantic, neo-classical to blues, jazz and movie themes.  My husband helped me set up the space by setting up 80 chairs for the audience.  As people arrived for the recital, he had to add more chairs.  It was a wonderful show of support for the students and great to have a "full" house.  As always, there were refreshments including cookies, loaves, juice and water.  After the recital, everyone mingled and enjoyed themselves.  I always feel nervous and maternal for each student that performs.  They all played well and handled their individual nerves with grace.

After the recital, my husband and I cleaned up all the crumbs and put away all the chairs so the space was just as it was before we arrived.  We then drove 2 hours to help family build a deck for the rest of the weekend.  Before we knew it, the weekend was over and we were heading back home for the rest of the busy week.

I spent my week playing in my yard.  I trimmed the hedge.  It took 3 days and I enjoyed listening to the birds singing as I worked away.  I then trimmed my forsythia bushes.  I love the feeling of self-satisfaction after it is all done and the hedge and the bushes look neat and trim.  Next on the list was to cut the grass and pull the weeds.  Also in this week of June 17 to the 22nd, I taught a few piano lessons for students who were getting ready to do their practical exams.  On Saturday, June 22 my church was having a strawberry social.  So on the Friday, I made my favourite white cake recipe which goes well with strawberries.  I delivered it on Saturday, June 22 and stayed to help hull strawberries and then serve ice cream as part of the Strawberry Social.  My husband arrived to pick me up after my "shift".  We bought our strawberry shortcakes and stayed to visit while we enjoyed the sweet bursts of strawberries in our mouths.  I find that I live in the moment now and my senses are more acute.  I hear the sounds of nature and enjoy the sounds of rain.  My taste buds jump with joy when they encounter the various foods that I like to enjoy.  The strawberries certainly made my mouth water as I ate them.  After the strawberry social, I visited the location of the practical exams in support of one of my students who was playing her first exam. She was not nervous but her mother was.   We could hear my student playing her exam and she did very well.  Now comes the art of waiting for the marks and comments to be posted online.

I took Sunday, June 23 as my day of rest.  I went to church in the morning where the service took place outside on the lawn of the church.  The chairs were set up underneath the big maple tree.  What a glorious morning this was.  There had been some rain during the week and everything was dewy, damp and thriving!  The birds were singing away and the breeze was gently shaking the leaves of the trees causing them to whisper above our heads.  Normally, the organ is played during the prelude as we settle and ready ourselves for worship.  This particular morning, the prelude was a time of listening.  I LOVED IT!!!  This is what I love to do all the time.  No music, no television, no noise....just the calm music of nature.  What also made this church service special for me was there were two guests attending who were going to lead us in a Sacred Teaching Circle in the afternoon.  They were an aboriginal couple and she shared some drum music with us during the church service.  It was a great start to my day of rest.  I spent the rest of the day sitting on my patio with the sounds of nature in the background while I planned my summer vacation trip to Prince Edward Island.  It was a glorious day.

June 24 and 25, I travelled to St. Catharines with my son as we attended Smart Start at Brock University.  During our journey, my heart was filled with love and pride as I watch my son prepare to set out on his own next phase in life.  There were many moments in those 2 days that my heart swelled with love.  We reconnected during this time and it was an enjoyable 2 days.  I am sure I will miss him deeply while he is away at university but I also know that I have been a good mother as he is ready to leave the nest and be fully independent.

On my return home, I now needed to prepare for the next adventure in my life.  It was time for the Second Annual Cousins' Weekend at Sauble Beach.  I frantically did laundry, bought supplies for camping and made my multiple lists.  I find now that if I don't write things or thoughts down then I totally forget them.  So I had grocery lists, packing lists, to do lists, cleaning lists and lists of chores for my children to do while I was away.

Friday, June 28 arrived.  My husband and I arose from our nice warm bed and put on the coffee.  We had a leisurely breakfast and were on the road by 10 a.m.  We arrived at Carson's Camp in Sauble Beach at 4 p.m.  We rented a "cabin" and it was put on the site beside my aunt and uncle's trailer.  My one cousin was going to be staying there and my other cousin was across the road in her own trailer with her family.  She's expecting a baby in August and I was really excited to see her.  My husband and I shared our small cabin with my brother and his wife.  We had an enjoyable weekend of laughter, food, drink and more laughter.  I always love the campfires in the evening when I go camping.  Out came the marshmallows.  Some were roasted to perfection which in my opinion is when the whole marshmallow is a golden brown on the outside and gooey in the middle.  If they're done just right, you can neatly take the outer layer off with your mouth and then roast the middle section again.  Some marshmallows didn't even make it to the stick to be roasted.  They were just eaten as is.  Some marshmallows became flaming torches.  This always scares me because I remember my sister flinging a stick up out of the fire when she was young and the marshmallow came flipping off the end of the stick and onto her face.  It gave her a nasty burn.

We enjoyed a potluck dinner on the Saturday night.  We certainly did not go hungry.  On Sunday morning, we made bacon, eggs and hash browns from the leftover potatoes from dinner.  We also cut up the leftover steak into strips to have steak with our eggs.  We had toast with homemade pear jam and homemade rhubarb orange marmalade.  What a great way to start off our Sunday.  My brother and his wife left just after breakfast to return home.  We spent the rest of the Sunday with my cousins.  We went for a walk down to Sauble Beach on Lake Huron.  I was so pleased that I was able to walk that far.  Last year at this time, I did not have the energy or stamina to do this.  We wandered along the beach and went to Main Street in Sauble Beach (the town) where we browsed through a few boutiques.  We then made our way back to the campsite.  Once there we figured out our dinner with my cousins.  After dinner, we walked back down to the beach to watch the July 1st Canada Day fireworks.  It was a great but tiring day!  We stayed at the campsite until July 2 when we left for our trek home.  We stopped in at my brother's dairy farm on the way and shared a cup of coffee as well as some strawberry shortcake.  Too soon, it was time to leave again.  We arrived home on the evening of July 2.

July 2 was my husband's birthday but we celebrated it on Wed. July 3 because that was when the children (I thought) were available to have a family dinner.  Best laid plans always have to be flexible.  As it was, my daughter was scheduled to work so she missed out on the dinner.  She did get to enjoy multiple pieces of cake after work though.

So this brings my blog up to date to the beginning of July.  As I've been busy, I've had moments of anxiety in wondering how I'm going to get everything accomplished.  My mantra that I used while I was going through chemo actually became very useful to me throughout the last week of June.  "One breath at a time, one moment at a time, one step at a time."   As mentioned briefly in this post, I was planning a trip to Prince Edward Island.  I will post more on that vacation as time permits. is a grand adventure.

1 comment:

  1. It all sounds wonderful, Cathy! Living each day to the fullest is what it's all about. Breathe in life, listen to the sounds, enjoy the sights... There is a great big beautiful world around us, and when we stop to look around, we are left in awe. I'm so glad to see that you are doing so well, and happy to see you in such high spirits. After the dust settles and you have free time, let's hook up and share a cup of coffee. I'd love to hear about all your news, including your son's next phase in life. That is a bittersweet moment in a mother's life!