Personal updates

Oh, Canada!

I’m in Alberta, Canada for my nephew’s wedding on Saturday. So far I’ve managed to pack a couple of month’s activities into four days. I’ve cleaned house, gone shopping (have you ever put 8 huge cans of tropical fruit salad in your shopping cart?), created an outdoor patio garden in blue glazed pots and transplanted bright cadmium red geraniums, helped cooked 100 pounds of roast beef, and just generally helped my sisters. On top of that I’ve talked, laughed, and cried with my sisters and their children, watched my nephew and his fiance make and decorate their wedding cake, and I’ve tried to stay warm. It has been chilly and rainy here, but very green and beautiful. Last night we picked up my niece from work and went shopping, searching for the perfect dress for the mother of the groom. Thanks to the talents of my youngest sister, we found a beautiful dress, shoes, handbag, and necklace for my second oldest sister, and managed to have dinner, laugh and talk together, all in the space of a few hours. Speed shopping! I love it. Woven through the lives of my family is music. My third oldest sister will be performing today in Pincher Creek at the Cowboy Poetry Festival, and I look forward to hearing her original songs. While I scrubbed, cleaned, and did mountains of dishes, I listened to Imagine Dragons, Kelly Clarkson, Hits from the 70’s, Breaking Dawn, and other CD’s. I accompanied this same sister to a rehearsal where they practiced their music. One of the highlights of the trip was yesterday, when my nephew took me over to the university to the music conservancy where he had reserved a room to practice. There I saw a beautifully carved, towering organ that is reserved just for practice. He spread his music out on the floor, and then gave me a mini-concert, explaining who the composer was, what era they wrote in, and something about each of the pieces. There is a big difference between a digital organ and a real one, where you are hearing each pipe play its notes. All I can say is, WOW. It was incredible. My favorite piece was Sleepers Awake by Bach. As the rain drummed on the skylights above us, his incredible music poured around me and through me. Tears filled my eyes as I thought about this boy who has overcome some major obstacles in his life, who has a sweet and gentle soul. By day he is a mechanic in a shop in the city, but in the evenings he is an accomplished cook and talented musician. Late one night he made crepes with sliced apples and homemade caramel sauce. Delicious! He taught himself to play first guitar, then piano, and then the organ. He began taking organ lessons with a professor at the university, and finds great solace and peace in the great music of the past. He is composing his own piece as well. On Saturday he will be setting out on a new adventure with his beautiful bride. I am so happy to be here sharing this joyous time with him and the rest of my family.

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