Monday, October 19, 2015

1. Eat Breakfast...Check 2. Vote in Federal Election...Check

If you live in Canada, please do whatever you need to do to get to a polling station and exercise your still existing freedom to vote!  If we forfeit our right to do so, it won't be many years  before that right is lost to us.

My husband and I decided to get up and get going early this morning to avoid long lineups and crowds.  My hip is still not up for standing about for an hour or more at a polling station.  So, we arrived before 7:45am at the school where we were to cast our ballots.  It was great.  There was ample parking space, we walked into the school gym with our ID and electoral cards, voted and were back in our own parking lot at home just after 8am.  
I don't know what is going to happen.  The way the media is pushing Justin Trudeau at us all, I am wondering if he will indeed be our next prime minister.  I just hope that younger people are not going to be swayed by his youth and his desire to legalize marijuana and will look carefully at his other platform issues.  If they are part of an arts or music community they may be more likely to vote for the Mulcair's NDP candidates, if they can get past his age and his more homespun appearance.  While people in our financial bracket are paying far less tax than in previous years and families are getting some tax breaks that are new, I wonder how many of them realize the present lower taxes are at the expense of arts and sciences spending.

I have never had such a difficult time deciding who to vote for in a federal election.  There is of course the good idea to vote for the party and local candidate who best represents my own values and wishes. On the other hand there are times to seek the "smartest" voting choice in order to prevent a party that upsets or frightens me from having a landslide victory and majority government.  AAARRRRGGGGH!  Today was a real toughie for me in some ways, although I thought I had made a firm choice weeks ago.  I don't think it is a bad thing to have a last minute struggle to confirm or change a choice.  One vote does make a difference because it is added to all the other votes.

I am torn between a sense of hope and optimism and a sense of impending dread as I await tonight's tv election coverage.  It seems our country is poised on the brink of possible major changes....or not.....I don't know.

Yesterday I was tired from being out and about all day Saturday, sitting on uncomfortable chairs for hours on end, so I stayed home from church to rest.  I am glad I did, even though I really missed seeing everyone and hearing my husband's sermon.  Choir practise was brutal on my hip as I was not fully rested up from the day before.  BUT what fun we had.  It is time now to stop rehearsing "bar by bar" and start pulling together the shading, tightening up our endings, and giving the songs some personality.  I finally had my long overdue audition prior to the beginning of practise and the director seems pleased enough to have me, so that is a relief.  Our first small performance is in the Rotary Christmas Carol festival on December 3rd.  Mostly we are just showing up to sing, "oooh, ooooh, ooooh" as an accompaniment to one of our director's other choirs as they sing a Gordon Lightfoot song, but it will still be fun to be there and hear other groups singing.  Our outfits are simple: black bottoms and coloured jewel-toned tops, our choice of short sleeves or long.  In the spring the performance tops change to pastels.

This is going to sound just awful, but one of the "extra" reasons I am enjoying choir so much is that when people now ask me what I am doing to fill my time here I have something to say, something specific and time consuming, so people get off my case about keeping busy and stop telling me all the things they think I should be doing with myself.  Aiiii yiiiii....I know people are just trying to be helpful, but sometimes it gets to be a bit overwhelming and I find myself feeling I have to create and then defend my own reasons for what I am NOT doing.  It is exhausting.  Bless you choir practise!

Had a bit of a surprise when I got my winter clothes out of the bins to iron and hang up last week.  I have so many casual suit style jackets it is scandalous, but somehow I have missed having a basic black jacket.  I have pinks and blues and greys and browns and greens, but no black!  Guess I am going to have to purchase one item more of winter clothing after all, after being so proud of myself for having an entire winter ahead that would require not one clothing purchase.  Of the 11 jackets gracing my clothing rack at the moment, I have only actually purchased 3 of them new.  5 of them came from a friend who was tired of all her clothes and wanted to shop for new items and 3 came from a thrift store and cost about four dollars each! 

Speaking of clothes it is time to go and complete the ironing chore I began last week and assumed I would be finished with 5 days ago!  There has been neither time nor energy since the first day of ironing to finish up.  Now that I am able to get dressed every day and gad about when given half a chance I can't wait any longer to get the rest of the pants ironed...oh, and two of those jackets I mentioned.

Late yesterday afternoon we went to the Salvation Army hospice to visit an elderly, dying parishioner.  She was not able to speak to us yesterday.  O how she has failed over the past week.  It was sad to see and I pray she can go home to the Lord very soon.  We prayed for and annointed her with oil and left feeling rather bereft. She is a dear lady who gave us such a warm welcome when we arrived at St. Philips, before her cancer returned with a vengeance and is taking her away from us all.  Hospice visits are rather difficult at the best of times. You wonder if the person you visit even knows you are there and understands how much you love them. I know every visit brings back memories to my husband of his own mother dying in hospice care and the hours he spent with her in her final week of life...a difficult memory.

We both felt completely wrung out emotionally and physically by the time we left hospice.  My hip was giving me grief from the afternoon's sitting on the most old and uncomfortable choir chairs ever invented, my husband was so tired.  We started discussing dinner plans and decided we couldn't face any more leftover curry, delicious as my husband makes it, or cooking something fresh. About that time we happened to be driving past Tandoori Kabob restaurant and they have a marvellous Sunday evening buffet.  It is quite a hole in the wall, so to speak, the parking situation is atrocious, but we braved it all and had the most wonderful food, relaxing visit, some quiet space together.  We arrived home afterward feeling much better, ready for a very early bed time.  (I have to learn to stop trying to go to bed early....9pm is at least 2 hours too soon for me.  I was awake every hour starting at 1am and today I feel useless and stupid.)

Can't put off the ironing project any longer, so up and at it sister!  I can pray for my husband while I am ironing.  He was supposed to take time off today so he can get through the next 7 days of work and Synod without collapsing from the stress and work, but there is no time for time off until after Synod is over.  Knowing his health issues and history it is not much short of a miracle that he has held together this well over the past six weeks.  Here's to the next week of intense work for him and all the other office staff and Synod planners, and some relief to follow.

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