Ten Years

It is ten years today since my sister Joanne died suddenly and all too young.  We talk about her fondly and miss her deeply. In the time that has passed since she would have been proud of her husband and how he cared for their daughters as a single parent. She would marvelled at their daughters as they forged their way in the world.  She would have been in her glory to attend her daughter’s wedding and to watch her newly minted son-in-law snag a home run ball on his wedding day.  

After she died it struck me I had assumed we would all grow old together. 

It can’t be ten years.  It was only yesterday and at the same time it was a lifetime ago.  

A Perfect Pair-A Perfect Day

What are the odds?  Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear a bookmaker lay odds in the events that unfolded in this true story: 

Once upon a time there was a young couple who were in love and decided to join their lives together in marriage.  One of the things they enjoyed doing together was watching the game of baseball, namely watching Major League Baseball.  They lived in Canada and decided a destination wedding to Chicago, Illinois was their perfect wedding.  They tailored their wedding day perfectly to their tastes and those of us who shared in the day were delighted to be there.  (Full disclosure: the bride is our niece and we have been honoured to be close to her all of and live close to her much of her life.)

On a Sunday not long ago we gathered in Chicago to attend the wedding in a beautiful loft not far from downtown.  The ceremony was personal and fitted the bride and groom to a tee-touching, warm, full of love, all the things I presume they wanted their day to be.  They are so obviously in love and it’s clear that for them there was no greater gift in the world than be joined to each other for the rest of their lives.  They are a perfect pair.  

After the ceremony and brunch, did I mention we were all going to a baseball game??  At Wrigley Field?  From the reception to the ballpark we did go.


And what about the weather, you say.  It was sunny and hot.  Isn’t that grand for there are many kinds of weather that could visit a July day.  Off we go, some two dozen of us and we are seated in the Budweiser Bleacher Seats Patio in right field.  This space will seat approximately 60+ people and when there you can eat as much baseball food and drink as much beer (Budweiser of course) or soda as you’d like for the duration of the game.  

The patio was not full and our group pretty much had the run of the place.  There was another group of about 10 but they only watched the game for a short time and then seemed more intent on keeping hydrated with beer.  The fact that we had many options of where to sit figures into the odds scenario.  The guests and and the bride and groom moved about on the three levels of the patio throughout the game between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves.  There was the atmosphere of Wrigley Field and the joy of the day that was washing over us.  The Cubs were losing, we were talking, some of us watching the game closely, some not so much and then a rookie for the Cubs, Alcantara came to bat.  I was talking to another guest and he, with one eye on the field, said “Watch for it!  Watch for it!”.   When you clink this link you will see Alcantara hit his first home run and the ball, as if set on a laser beam flies into the Budweiser Patio and to the young man, the groom, who was married only a few hours before!

http://m.mlb.com/video/v34553959/atlchc-alcantara-hits-his-first-career-home-run/?query=alcantara ever. 


A perfect pair, a perfect day.

 And really, what are the odds a rookie major league baseball player would hit his first homer to a man (a huge baseball fan) on his wedding day.  


A Sunny Morning, A Heartwarming Visit and Simply Biscotti #14

We have had a member of our family visiting from the UK for the past while.  She is part of our family in every way except for that small matter of being part of the family tree.  A mere detail, we say.  

On one sunny morning a few days ago we trekked off to Simply Biscotti (the place that originally spawned the reason behind this blog) on Preston St. in Ottawa.  Lyn was interested in seeing the spot that has been written up some here.  It was a great way to start a day.  Good for the soul.  

Lyn and Simply Biscotti

We enjoyed lattes, a morning-glory muffin and an almond tart with raspberry filling.  We’d recommend any and all of them.

I heard an interview with Paul Henderson yesterday.  He’s the hockey player that scored famously during the Russia-Canada hockey series oh so many years ago.  If you are a hockey fan, you’ll know all the details.  Paul spoke of, despite his notoriety, he feeling empty and unhappy.  He ultimately found what matters in life are relationships.  I don’t know hockey, but I am firmly convinced that when all is said is done, Paul has got it right.  It is family and it is relationships that give meaning to life.  (supplemented by the odd trip to Simply Biscotti).  What do you think?


Remembrance Day 2012-Thank You Dad

Our father, Bill Allen, served in the army in World War II.  He initially trained others to drive tanks here on Canadian soil and then he served overseas-Northern Africa and Italy.  He service ended before the end of the war due to serious illness.  He contracted rheumatic fever and was sent home.

He was a man of solid character, our Dad.  A bit of a rascal some would say.  Well perhaps many would say that and we (three daughters) enjoyed his sense of adventure, wit and humour.  He was full of mischief.  His service in the war was never a big topic of conversation or perhaps I just wasn’t listening.  If it was the latter, that is a shame for Dad never lived long enough for me to be wise enough to ask him more.  He died at the relatively young age of 61 in 1979.  I can only imagine the experience, the impact and the horrors of war that our Dad experienced.

Men and women who served and returned must hope and trust their work and sacrifice makes the world a better place.  This was brought home to me in a very real way when in the 1970’s I was held up at gun point while working in a pharmacy in Regina, Saskatchewan.  I was not harmed.  Shaken, but not harmed.  When I called my Dad to tell him what had happened, he said “I never served in the war so that some ba@#$rd could hold a gun to my daughter’s head!”.  And I thought how he and others might have held hope the world would be rid of all evil as a result of their efforts.

If Dad were alive today, I’d travel to wherever he lived from wherever I lived.  I’d accompany him to a Remembrance Day Ceremony.  And I would tell him the world is a better place because of his service.

Thank you Dad.