Winter, Still

I am so very, very tired of you.
Grey sky, you are ugly.
Ski and snowboard enthusiasts, bully for you.
Boots, you have become heavy.
Gloves, I long to feel the world again.
Scarf, you are strangling me.
Ice, I’m waiting for that concussion.
Flowers, don’t give up, your time will come.
Rain, rain wash away all the dirty snow, please.
Birdies, come back.
Spring, you smell like dog pooh and yet I long for you.


Yesterday I got to watch Papa Bear play in a charity hockey game. A friend of ours started up a hockey team for people with special needs. The players range in age from 12 to 66. There are two females on the team. Once a year they play a game against the ‘docs’. Once a year my husband plays hockey.

I remember the first time I watched him play hockey. He was an intern and I believe that it may have been an all intern team. We had been dating for about a year and I watched him with all of the pride of a devoted girlfriend. I was dazzled, he could even skate backwards! Was there anything that he wasn’t capable of?

Fast forward 23 years. I don’t exactly want to be there, but I want to support our friend’s team and oh yeah, the husband too. I watch him skate out onto the ice. He looks good. Oh, whoops, that’s not him. Oh, there he is. He looks kind of lanky, kind of skinny. How has he managed to pass 23 years, have 4 kids (Oh wait, I actually had the kids) a crazy schedule with irregular exercise and he’s still thin. I resent that, just a little and it doesn’t feel good. He’s the kind of guy who on Monday can say, “I think I should drop a few pounds.” and then on Wednesday says, “Hey, look at that. I’m down five pounds.” It’s hard not to resent that. He also says things like, “I’m starving, when’s dinner? I forgot to eat all day.” Who does that? I’ve forgotten to pack a bra in my gym bag after I’ve gone to the Y for a swim (wearing my swim suit under my clothes) but I’ve never actually forgotten to eat a meal, been too busy sure, but forget? That just won’t happen, ever.

As I was watching him the resentment quickly disappeared only to be replaced with concern/fear. My inner dialogue went something like this, “Oh my G-d his back. Please, please, please don’t let him injure his back. It’s been so good since his second surgery, please, please, please be careful. That one player is kind of aggressive, did he notice? Stay away from that player. His heart. What about his heart? Hockey is known for causing heart attacks in weekend warriors. You just sit around until your turn and then the cardio activity is suddenly ramped up. This can’t be good. Please don’t have a heart attack. Watch your back. Watch your back and your heart. Geeze it’s cold in here. My toes are freezing. My nose is cold. My butt is freezing. I’m cold I want to go home. I don’t want to see him get hurt. I don’t even like hockey.”

The game ended. We both lived through it. My girlfriend whose son was playing turned to me as the guys were heading down to the change room and said, “Your husband was so funny. He said that he felt like he was having a heart attack.”
Yeah, he’s soooo funny. Next year we’re going to make a donation to the team. He’s not allowed to play again. I’m grounding him.

When did all of this aging happen? Physically, I can’t really think of anything that I like about aging. I dislike all of these changes. As my kids would say, aging is bush league.

What’s Going On (?)

It’s been a crazy week. Well I guess I mean crazier than normal.
I’ve had a meeting or lecture to attend almost every night, volley ball games followed by a full day volley ball tournament. Volley ball has become my new favourite sport. Whatever sport my children happen to be involved in at the moment always seems to become my new favourite. I might not be loyal to a single sport but I am loyal to my kids.

Papa Bear and I attended a lecture at the university given by a guest speaker. He is an Israeli history professor working in Calgary right now. The topic was Israel and security from a historical perspective. I have to say that I was very disappointed. I should have expected him to be very left wing, aren’t all universities bastions of the far left? But, when he spoke I was keenly aware that the university students to whom he was speaking did not have the knowledge to put what he was saying into perspective. When he was speaking of the collateral damage from Operation Cast Lead he did not clarify that numbers were so high as civilians and their homes, schools etc. were being used as shields by the Palestinians. There was no mention that Israel increased its risk to its own soldiers my conducting a door to door assault (is that the correct term?) instead of an air assault which would have increased the collateral damage. Not to mention, of course the toll taken on the Israeli civilians – many just children – from the years of missile attacks inflicted on them. He also did not have an understanding of the North American mind set. When someone asked a question about the settlements I knew that as a Canadian the word settlement brings to mind vast open spaces not an apartment building spitting distance from Jerusalem. It was a frustrating evening. I guess the upside was that it was not particularly well attended.

On a completely unrelated note I am asking the question, “What’s going on?” I’ve been reading a book this week that has me bothered. It’s the book that I took the potato head quote from. I like this author, I really like his way with words and his characterization. I’m just having trouble with the subject matter. O.K., so here’s the thing, I cheat when I read. I read ahead and I skip about the book. I’ve done it for years and ebooks only make it easier to do. I knew that this book would be a painful read, there was plenty of warning, I was ready to cope with this. But, I decided that I wanted to read ahead and find out what the issue was that was torturing one of the characters and creating all of the angst in the novel. Yes, yes I know I shouldn’t but I did. I don’t have a problem with what the issue in the novel is I have a problem with the fact that this is the third book that I’ve read since July with this same issue. The two main characters who are deeply in love with each other since childhood discover (or at least one of them does) that they are half siblings. Once again I ask, what is going on?! Why has this become such a hot topic? Although handled well in each and every book I can only think, ‘Come on, this again?’

For years I never came across this and then three times in less than one year? Are we running out of ideas or is something very creepy (creepier than normal) going on out there? Does this have something to do with some sort of mass societal fear due to the existence of sperm banks? That seems more likely to me (and really I do wonder is it likely?) than men having affairs, their children meeting up and falling madly and hopelessly in love with each other. I would also like to know why is it that when brothers and sisters don’t know that they’re related they complete one another and understand each other as no one else can and when they live together in real life, knowing their relationship they only want to kill one another? Where’s the love then?

At least when I read a Harlequin romance I know to expect each and every plot twist and element of the formula. I hate feeling disappointed in ‘literature’, please don’t force me to read more Harlequin, I have enough things to be embarrassed about.