Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Guilty Conscience Gets Me in Trouble

Rob arrived home Saturday. Hurrah. 

Sunday was the Academy Awards. We went to Helen's for an Oscar party - our first really if you don't count attending the Governor's Ball in 1993. Helen and I decided no elaborate dishes that require knives and forks and so we bought olives and cheese, cold meats, bread and crackers, vegetables and fruit. Gill and a friend made fresh crab cakes with a mango topping. The rich desserts, in honour of the Oscars, were chocolate eclairs, made by a pastry chef friend of Helen's and an apple, blueberry crisp by Marlene.

Rob and I were the first to arrive. While I helped Helen arrange platters, Rob pressed the button on the remote and began to watch stars walk the red carpet. Marlene, Steve, and Lael arrived soon after. In my best hostess voice, I asked them and Rob what they would like to drink and poured and served. Except I forgot Rob. 

This bugged me. How could I forget him of all people? We had only been re-united the day before... and so, as I watched the opening scenes of the show - pleasantly surprised at its entertainment value - I looked across the room at Rob and lambasted myself for forgetting him. Part way through the evening, thinking I must make it up to him in some way, I left the room, slipped into the kitchen, and back into the living room, behind him and began to massage his shoulders and stroke his hair. He turned around, looked up, and lo and behold the man I was touching wasn't Rob. Everyone thought it a joke, including Rob, but I felt like an idiot. 

I can laugh now but I wasn't laughing at the time.

The past week has been crazy busy. I did finish the accounting at around midnight Friday night and I was able to create a flyer and a menu, and keep the house clean for around half a dozen potential buyers... 

I paused here and thought of Shirley whose father is dying. She has been writing more than usual so I went to her blog to learn that her dad died yesterday. Again death startles me. Frightens me. It has been happening too often. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Two Valentines

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Lovely 5 Bedroom Cottage for Sale in Dundarave, West Vancouver

I imagine that there is a family out there who would like to buy our cottage and raise their children here. It's a short walk to three schools, the beach, and Dundarave Village where there's restaurants, coffee shops, grocery store, and assorted boutiques. There's a young family next door and another across the street. 

The house is rather special. We have lived here 25 years and raised three children under its roof (which we replaced three years ago.) Before us, the Clarks lived in the house - also for 25 years and raised their two children here who have returned to visit - once the boy/now man to show his daughters where he grew up and once the girl/now woman to cut ivy for her wedding bouquet. 

Both Rob and I loved the house from 
the moment we saw it. It's wasn't pretentious, had many book shelves, and it felt...  I don't know what you call a place that feels good to you the moment you walk in....  It felt like us - casual, comfortable, quiet.  

With only Rob and me living in the house now - and often we're in France -  it's feels too big and not necessary anymore. Admittedly too, it is expensive to maintain two houses; not to mention, a lot of work. 

I had to have a tooth pulled today and some bone shaved in my mouth so if my descriptive powers are lacking, please visit Faith Wilson's realty site  where there is a movie, showing every room and all the details. I'm hoping some person or family soon will discover its charms so I can stop my incessant cleaning and gardening and move on... though Gill arrives in several days so I will ease up and enjoy her company. Rob returns a week Saturday. 

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Make 'Em Laugh, Make 'Em Laugh, Make 'Em Laugh

My brother-in-law Bill's party on Ground Hog Day reminds me of a Danny Kaye song. Around 30 or so guests were willing to make fools of themselves for a laugh and although I felt like a little old lady in the bright yellow wig my sister gave me, I wore it most of the evening - for a laugh or two. 

Earlier in the day, as I was slaving over the lavish cakes for the celebration, I thought of another man who was celebrating his 62nd birthday on Ground Hog Day. Strange as it may seem, every year on this day, I think of my first true love - the beautiful dancer I met when I was 15 years and send him a silent message. This year I sent him a real one... and he responded, noting that "so many life ingredients were added to the mix in impetuous youth." I continue to think on this... am I the same person today who I was then? Is Malcolm? Is Bill with his subdued afro? 

One of my favourite movies is "Ground Hog Day". I love the idea of doing the same thing over and over until I have it right. And also the idea that there's time to do anything I want - like learn how to play the piano and impress the one you love.

I am feeling a little breathless these days, feel that the world is spinning faster and faster, and there's no time to catch my breath, no time to do everything right, and I'm trying, in the pause between breaths, to sort of out priorities. What must I do and what is unimportant in the business of selling a house? 

I had an email from another friend who noted something that she felt was profoundly true: "You always give up what you love." This tore at my heart. As I look around the house that I have lived and loved in for 25 years and try and cover its flaws so someone else will want it, while at the same time, knowing that the flaws give it character, and whoever walks in and loves the place, will accept its imperfections; and I think also about the business accounts that our accountant is asking for (and which I haven't begun), and all the things that one must do each day, each week, to keep body and soul together, I feel inadequate and not up to the task. 

"You always give up what you love." I remember a scene from a movie - can't remember which one -  where a nuclear bomb is about to explode and the husband tries to urge his wife into the bomb shelter, and she won't leave until the dishes are done.... Priorities. I have said that I want to write a book before I die and I'm scared that I will never find the time to do what I love... though saying this I do a lot of little things that I love - like baking and decorating a beautiful cake and donning a hideous wig, like sitting in a cold restaurant, wearing my coat, and sharing a meal with good friends, like standing in an empty square in a little village in France with a bottle of champagne in one hand and a flute in the other, bringing in the New Year with two loved ones... 

And sometimes, I catch a glimpse of a solution to my battle against time... but at the moment it eludes me.