18:49 - 03/11/2019
Just before Christmas I was struggling to pull my bins out behind my fence. The one was full of cat waste, which becomes very heavy when it freezes. I couldn't budge it and was about to give up when a young fellow materialised out of nowhere, it seemed. He helped me quite cheerfully and I was very grateful. I asked him where his winter gear was, because it was a bit nippy. He allowed he wasn't cold except for his hands. I offered to give him my winter gloves as thanks for his assistance. He accepted and accompanied me inside to claim his prize. He told me a very long tale of woe which simply did not add up, when I thought about it. He also seemed to want to case out every single space in the house. He seemed to be quite startled when I mentioned number four son still lived with me. He did drop by a couple more times in the next few weeks, but didn't seemed to be too fussed about other people meeting him. I haven't seen him since the new year, so maybe his family moved on.
I took a birthday cake by for the one friend who has invited me to a couple of National Geographic lectures. We ended up having a very nice dinner together and she helped me with my family tree research.
I've spent some time with my family and my Dad. My Aunt died just after I last wrote you dear diary. She was 97 and my Dad idolised her. She stepped in to his Mom's shoes not long after my grandmother died, you see. Anyway, it seemed to open a flood of memories for my Dad and I've learned a great deal more about the family and our province's history. We've gone through some more family photos too. Very politically involved our family was/is - I come by it naturally, in my own defense.
Around the Christmas season, I saw a lot of my own sons and their families. I love visiting with grand-babies. They are all so unique. A+ and I were invited to Christmas Eve dinner by my oldest biological grand-daughter, her boyfriend, and her one cousin who is my youngest son's wife's first child at the new place they had just moved in together. It was very entertaining. A+ and I spent a lot of time together too. On Christmas Day all transit was free, so we took one of the new routes that had been implemented just to see where we could get to from my community. That ended when it got a lot colder than predicted and there were very few places open to go in and comfortably warm up. My oldest son gave me a pass for the National Music Centre, so A+ and I were able to visit that, the museum, And the new library between Christmas and New Year's Day. There was a great play by the local bottle-pickers performed at the library while we were there.
In January there was the celebration of life for my Aunt in Red Deer which is about an hour north of this city. My brother said he was really tired and rather frustrated because his trip to get home on time was so messed up. He had been in Quebec when his flight was cancelled 4 times. The reorganisation had gone through 16 iterations. He ended up spending the night in a hotel about 2000 miles from home. He had to catch a 5 am flight to our city in order to be at the celebration. He said the airline had cited "weather" as the cause and would take no responsibility or compensate him for his troubles. There was "weather" on the Atlantic coast at the time, but certainly nothing of note in the area he was. Air Canada is notorious for really bad attitudes and service to it's customers. That has been an issue for decades. I have my own stories to tell from before in the 1990's and after 2000, so one can't even cite 9/11 for the issues.
The celebration of my Aunt's life was wonderful because it brought so much of the family together. I don't think I've spoken with or visited with my cousins as much as I did for the next couple of months. I even got to meet some family I had only ever visited with on Facebook before. Bonus! I also got a little more family history sent my way, which was very helpful. My Dad did really well, but had panic attacks afterward that were pretty debilitating for him. That is always how he deals with death, sadly.
Mid-January the deep freeze set in with a vengeance. -30 each day with a wind chill closer to or worse than -40. That has lasted until now, when a chinook finally graced us with her presence. My Dad and his friend had bought me many very warm clothes and bedding last fall. They must have sensed the cold coming. At the end of January A+ and I went to celebrate Chinese New Year at the Chinese Cultural Centre. Last week we attended the first community town hall debate for our provincial election. It was about water security. I should have taken a blood pressure tab before I went. Pipeline access is only a diversion that the mining companies are using to drive public policy decisions, when that isn't even the crux of the matter. Ditto for the high profile cabinet resignations in our Federal Government.
Anyway, dear diary, My back is quite painful at the moment so I'll bid you adieu until the next entry.