Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

It is December 24, Christmas Eve, and I am sitting in my sister's guest bedroom in West Virginia. Hubby and I decided that instead of sitting back at home and looking at each other as the snow piled up outside, that we'd enjoy our time in the States with my sister, her husband and his family. They've made us feel SO welcome. And it's always wonderful to catch up with my sis. She's so far away from me that it makes it tough to get together with her and have some quality time. It was nice earlier this morning when the guys went out and left me and my sis here together, cooking and preparing dishes for tomorrow's meal... just the two of us chatting and laughing, thinking about family traditions and the things that made our childhood back home so wonderful. I'm glad I have a wonderful sister to reminisce with about these things. It gives me a frame of reference for my life sometimes.

Yes, so December's been a rather hectic month. Let's see... since I last wrote, here are some of the things that I've been busy with:

-- the office moved from one location to another... meaning that my commute just went from 11 km each way to 42 km each way. Nice. NOT. The trade off? I get an office with a door (for now) and a little more space to call my own. That'll change eventually, but for now, I'm enjoying it.

-- finished all my Christmas Cards (about 200 of them) for Canada, the States, France, Belgium, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. All done!

-- all the shopping for immediate needs is done and wrapped, ready to be ripped open tomorrow morning as we sit in my sis' living room around her tree. Hubby and I will take advantage of after-Christmas sales to pick up gifts for my stepchildren and a birthday gift for my mother (whose birthday is on January 7).

-- I spent a lovely weekend with the stepkids and my friend's daughter (lil K, I'll call her). I picked up Lil K and spent a morning shopping with her and wrapping gifts for her mom, getting things ready for them for Christmas. Then picked up the stepkids and we all went to see the Chipmunk's Christmas movie that's out right now. The kids seemed to really enjoy it so it was all good. Back at our place, we invited another friend for dinner with us and sat down to a lovely meal together before hubby took the kids out to Taffy Lane to see the lights while my friend and I did dishes and sat with a cup of tea. I crashed early (caught a miserable cold from hubby) while the rest of them watched ELF on our HDTV. Hubby saw that the kids got to bed okay and we drove them home after a hearty brunch the next morning. THAT was the morning of the snowstorm. What a mess!

-- Hubby and I have entertained a few folks at our house on different evenings, giving people their gifts and having a drink or two, catching up. It's always nice to spend time with friends over the holidays. I don't do near enough of that during the year.

-- And I guarantee you that we've got about four feet of snow piled on our lawn, mountains of it on the sides of the driveway! What a mess! Canada hasn't had this much snow in December in years! I know we were supposed to have a lot of rain yesterday; I hope it didn't wash it ALL away, otherwise it won't be a white Christmas!

So all of that in December before hubby and I piled gifts, clothing, and a few extras for my sister in the car last Friday and started on the 12-13 hour drive from our house to my sister's house. We made it safe and sound and we'll be here until Saturday I think. A week of down-time. Much needed. Whew!

Before I sign off, I would ask those of you who are the praying kind to say a little prayer for my friend, Lil K's mom. She's been unwell for a few months and the other day, got a diagnosis. Cancer. Things don't look good but there are more tests and likely surgeries on the horizon. The last I knew as well, my husband and I are listed as Lil K's guardians should (heaven forbid) anything happen to my friend. I am hoping against hope that my friend will pull through this. Both she and Lil K have had a lot of upheaval in their lives. This is quite a bit to ask them to handle. So if you can, please include them in your thoughts at this time. I know all prayers are welcome.

Prayers to you all from me, for a happy Christmas season (or Hanukkah, Kwanza, heck... even Festivus!) and may 2008 be filled with joy and laughter. May all our dreams come true.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

In Dreams

Thank you all for the kind words, e-mails, and even the visits to my office (a co-worker spotted last week's article!) with your encouragement and kudos for my contributions to the Globe and Mail's blogging article last week. I think everyone has been very understanding and the support that I have seen and received in the last week has been incredible. I thank you. Each and every one of you for that. It means a great deal to me.

I wanted to write today and discuss a particularly vivid dream that I had the other night. So vivid was it, that it woke me and I remember my heart racing a mile a minute, fear's tendrils invading my space. Here goes...

I was in a small village by an ocean, friendly and accommodating. The type of town where everyone knows everyone else. But there was an underlying hurried nature and fright that was palpapable. There was a huge, ferocious, black bull, complete with nose ring, that was coming to terrorize the village. We could see it coming so we packed up our midday lunch (a picnic, including the traditional red and white checkered tablecloths) and we got into our cars. Most of the cars were convertibles; I had a red one. I drove, and my husband was with me.

We drove in a convoy, out of the village and up the main road. The road was an extremely steep hill; so much so that we thought the bull couldn't get up the hill. At the top of the hill, a few kilometres away from the seaside village, there was a large, old, white house on the right side of the road, with a vast property, surrounded by green grass. (I'm not sure why all the colours were so bright in this dream; that's odd for me to take note of these things.)

We parked the cars, in a neat row (side by side), on the grass in front of the house. Then we spread out our picnic on the grass and on picnic tables, and the villagers began to have lunch. I remember music playing and having a glorious time. We had drinks, and socialized, and it was lovely.

But the afternoon was marred by the sight of the bill coming up the hill and towards us. Getting away from this bull became the focus of my dream. I grabbed my husband's hand and we went into the house; we weren't the only ones with that idea though. Many people sought refuge in the house. Some sought refuge in their cars though... again, many of which were convertibles. The bull ran up to the row of cars and began trampling them, ruining the steel, twisting and crumpling the metal, killing some of the people who had tried to escape its wrath.

The bull then came towards the house, and managed to get through the door (it was wide). The bull came through the house, into the kitchen, and people scattered everywhere. We had run downstairs, figuring that the bull couldn't get down there, and we listened to the bull wrecking the floor above us. When we heard it move to the other side of the house, we ran upstairs again. Some people tried to coax us outside, but I wasn't having any of it knowing that the bull could get outside again. Not safe enough for us.

However, someone (I don't remember who) beckoned to me from down a narrow hallway. It was safe down there... the bull's horns spanned wider than the narrow hallway and thus it couldn't get to the rooms down there. My husband and I slipped down the hallway quickly, heading into the room on the right, to join a few other people. We heard the bull, pacing back and forth at the end of the hallway.

I remember going to the door of the room, peering down the hallway to my left, my eyes met the bull's and I stared at it, my heart racing, beating out of my chest with fear. The bull tried, but couldn't get to me. The bull rammed its horns against the walls of the house, the edges of the hallway, trying to get to us. But I knew I was safe. I knew that despite its best efforts, the bull couldn't get to us.

That didn't stop me from being afraid though, and I stepped back into the room, and peered down the hallway, watching the bull until it moved towards the front door again.

That's when I woke. My psyche was obviously terrified, but of course I realized there was no bull. There was no convertible. There were no deaths and carnage and no hill to the village by the ocean.

So what does this dream mean? What is that bull? Why the convertibles? Why was mine red? Why the narrow hallway? If anyone has any knowledge of dream interpretation, I'd love to hear your take on this. I've thought about this dream ever since; for the last four days. I've no idea what this might represent; all I know is that for some reason, it feels significant.