Thursday, March 25, 2010

Itty Bitty Beauties

I remember going to visit my girlfriend Angela when she was pregnant with her daughter, Mikenah. Her and her husband, J.C. were living in a small house, and it was the middle of a heat wave. 
I didn't really know J.C., but I remember being nervous to see Ang. What would she be like, now that she was pregnant? Would she be scared? How would she look? 
As it turned out, it was, always has been, the Ang I knew in high school. Bubbly, funny, laughing. The only thing that was different was that she looked like she had swallowed a beach ball. 
I think my opinion of J.C. was formed that night, when, as the three of us watched TV, he leaned over was whispered sweetly to the bulge under her shirt. I knew then what kind of dad Jay would be, and I was right on the money. 
When Mikenah was born, I remember walking into the hospital room that November day. My eyes welled up with tears at this tiny pink bundle, who just hours ago was warm and cozy in Ang's tummy. As soon as I held her, I felt a connection. 
"I want you to be her god-mother," Ang said, watching me hold her newborn baby a few days later. 
With Mikenah's birth, I became a mother, of sorts, too. 
Through the past three years of Kenah's life, I've moved around, swept in and out of their house intermittently. Even on those short visits, though, I always knew she was special. Creative, feisty, spunky, with an imagination that has no limits. 
In moving back home, I've been able to spend more time with my nieces (the clan grew last July when Ang gave birth to Reesah, the sweetest, happiest baby who is almost never without a smile,) and yesterday, I lay down with Mikenah to rest before her nap time.
"Just relax hun, close your eyes," I say, adjusting myself on the bean bag. 
Mikenah closes her eyes. 
"Now think of something soothing, like a river, or a little waterfall. Maybe a sunny day at Grandma and Grandpas."
Mikenah's eyes open and she looks at me. 
"I'm not thinking about that," she says. 
"Ok, what are you thinking about?" I say, trying to hide a smile. 
"I'm thinking of a superhero," she says. 
"Oh, ok!" I reply, surprised at her answer. "What kind of superhero?" 
"I'm thinking of a kid superhero, who flies and wears sunglasses." 
I've often asked Ang where she comes up with this stuff. Ang seems just as baffled as everyone else. 
I may be a little biased, but my take on her amazing personality is SHE'S JUST THAT SMART. 
These two girls have enriched my life more than anyone can know.

I'd like to say she gets this, right here, the sass and the style and the cool-ness from her Auntie Kate. But really, I had very little to do with her genetic make up. 
My good friend Ang turned 27 yesterday and I think it's safe to say that she has, thus far, accomplished the most out of all of us. Most days, I don't know how she does it. But she does, all the while staying sane, calm, patient. A wonderful mama. 
Happy Birthday, Ang. I'm so proud of you.


Coversation with Pop about my blackberry, after handing it to him to say hi to my sister:
Him: I can't talk on that thing!
Me: Yes you can. It's a phone, Dad.
Him (talking the phone and holding it to his ear like a bomb about to detonate): This is weird. There's no talky-thing! It's like talking into a Toaster Streudle!

Toaster. Streudle. Amazing.

Later on in the night:
Me: Dad, I think the phone line is down.
Him: Well, you'll have to use your waffle.

If this whole retirement thing doesn't work out for him, I think he should seriously consider a job at RIM. In marketing.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Perfect night

I pull into the driveway and honk the horn. Pop is burning brush in the firepit. He looks up and waves, and I get out of the car and haul my bags of groceries into the house. I'm putting the groceries away hurriedly, thinking about what I'm going to wear tonight and about work tomorrow.
"You didn't even say hello to Joe-Bob," says Pop as I rush around the kitchen. "Come look."
I go to the kichen door, and look out. An oversized partridge is pecking away at the birdseed Pop's scattered on the snow.
"Hi, Joe-Bob," I say, smiling. "Oh my god he's fat!" I add, looking more closely.
"Oh ya, he can hardly fly," says Pop, chuckling. "Good thing he has me for a buddy."
Later, before I leave for the night, Pop says "Come outside for a minute."
I follow him onto the back deck. As I walk outside the crisp air hits me, laced with the smell of wood burning. A silver crescent moon is rising in a clear midnight blue sky.
All is quiet, and I listen. All of a sudden, "POP!", a loud crash explodes from the ice. I jump about 10 feet.
I turn my head to listen as more sounds come from another spot on the lake. The ice moans and groans, as if some beast is trapped underneath trying to get out.
"What is it?" I ask.
"It's the ice shifting," explains Pop. "Isn't it neat?"
It is at this point I figure out why I have moved back here.
If this isn't an example of true blue, everyday, natural beauty, I don't know what is.
Eternally lucky is how I'm feeling tonight.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Some of you (and by "some of you," I mean the 12 friends that read this) have been asking me what has been going on lately with my blog.
Have I been struck down by some weird virus that has crippled my typing fingers? Maimed by a wild moose? Buried under 6 feet of Northern Ontario snow?
Ok, maybe you aren't all as dramatic as I am, but the truth is, I've been noticeably absent these last few weeks. For that, I apologize, oh faithful 12.
What's been up these past few weeks? Allow me to make a list.
1. Got a cellphone. Me, a cellphone! Can you believe it? And not just any old cellphone, a (drumroll please) BLACKBERRY! I figured it was time to stop laughing at technology and embrace it. Also, I felt kind of amateur stopping at a gas station in the middle of an assignment to ask for directions.
I am now one of those people I used to snicker at driving doen the highway, seemingly talking to themselves, until you notice the headset connected to their cellphone.
Just as a side note, this entire post was written on my new, black, little miracle worker. It gives me directions, weather updates, and one hell of a recipe for Yorkshire pudding. I think I'm in love.

2. Moved in with a boy. Not just any boy though, one that makes me coffee in the morning, calls if I'm working late to check up on me, and feels comfortable enough to pee with the door open. OK, so the last part, I could live without, but living with my Pop for the time being has been great. And although he complains about turkey bacon and the frequency with which I clean the toilet, I know he loves having me here.

3. Oh, right! Started a new job as a reporter/photographer with the daily newspaper here (the whole reason for my sudden pack up and move away.)
All I can say is it feels amazing. Everyone I've met, both in the newsroom and on the street has been so welcoming and warm. My new editors seem fair and smart(always a good combination), and as I slowly get to know the city all over again, I can honestly say I haven't met anyone I don't like.
To summarize - my job is to go out, meet new people, hear their stories, take their photograph, and write about it. Really, what could be better?

I will admit, I miss North Bay a lot. I miss the people and my little room. But every day I'm here, I grow more confident that I made the right decision.

For everything that's happened in the past two weeks, two months, two years, that has led me right to this spot, I feel so very lucky.