Sunday, May 20, 2012

A List of Awesome Things

When my friend Anne's husband was diagnosed with cancer and life became too much to bear, Anne would go out into the yard and lop things.  We'd meet for Friday coffee, and she'd tell me stories of how she spent the afternoon pruning plants in her yard, hacking branches off of large trees and hauling the wood around. I'd go to her house and hedges would look as though they'd been attacked by an angry (or really hungry?) beaver,  trimmed in places they hadn't been trimmed in years.  Working outside doesn't really let you think too much, she said, or wallow.  She'd be so tired that by the end of the day she'd fall into bed.

Now she has cancer too, and I'm lopping, figuratively speaking. With no garden, I'm retreating to work, where I am lifting weights, speed walking, and more with teenagers.  I walk in the sunshine until my feet are sore and legs ache so much that by the end of the day I fall into bed or sometimes, I doze off right on the couch.  Everything else has been on the back burner-including this space.  Some days, I'm so tempted to wallow, but as Anne always says, "sometimes you need to be there, in that sad place, for a while. But it gets awfully boring to STAY there. So get on with it."

Anne's words, said to me so many times as she coped with her husband's illness, come back to me all the time as I learn to cope with hers.  Schmutzie's Grace in Small Things lists on Sundays and
@alexishinde 's occasional Awesome Things lists via Twitter have occasionally been the only things that have gotten me through the day.  Cancer is unspeakably ugly, people. Watching someone you love like a sister suffer so much rips your heart out.  On one hand you can't imagine life without them, on the other you wish their pain could just STOP already.

So I lop. Bake. Run. And now, I'm making lists too-because I know Anne, she doesn't want me to STAY there.  This weekend, I made lists for two days. I may continue all week, I don't know.  I even took pictures and created a set on flickr.  I can't promise it will be a regular thing, because lately, nothing is regular here.

Saturday

Awesome things #1: Sunshine. Motorcycle. Ocean Air.

Awesome things #2:  This note, stuck to a seat at the front of the bus on the way to downtown Vancouver. 





Post-it on the bus


Awesome things #3: Pretty, pretty colored t-shirts to stock up on for summer!  West 49 and Gap had a sale. Aren't the blue ones vibrant?





Pretty color t-shirts


Awesome things #4: spending the afternoon with Anne on Saturday and giving her a hug from @jamieoliver  Jamie was SO fantastic-here I had committed to be a Food Revolution Day ambassador on Saturday, but once I heard how sick Anne was feeling, I bowed out and went to the city to visit her.  Giving her a hug and sending Jamie Oliver's best (as he said) made her smile, and warmed my heart. 

Awesome things #5: The motorbike almost fell over but didn't, Hubs was ok, and I wasn't on it. WHEW. Related: new tires are slippery.  Oops!  There's some scratches. John and I looked at it, shrugged, and considered it not nearly as important as other things. It's a bike, it can be fixed.


Awesome things #6: Ordering a grilled chicken burger at Troll's and eating EVERY last salty, crispy, ketchup covered french fry. John called it comfort food. Yes, I think he was right.  I can't believe I ate the whole thing.  It was SO delicious, and there were all sorts of little crispy bits at the bottom of the dish, which I shamlessly picked out, one by one. Then I licked my fingers.

Awesome things #7: Little kid on the ferry slapped his hands on hood of a gorgeous, new, orange shiny Porche-Mom's and my eyes met with a collective "Oh SHIT!" expression.  She quickly grabbed him as we both looked around for the owner, stuffed him in the car, and we laughed.


Awesome things #8: (more weird than awesome) sitting next to hippies on the ferry discussing their commune.  "The matriarch gave me a bead, and now I'm her son".  Umm. Okay.... 


Awesome things #9: brownies and milk. 'Nuff said.


Awesome things #10: Coming home and turning on Twitter to find all sorts of wonderful messages from my followers.   You guys are the BEST.




Sunday

Awesome things #1: Hitch hiker spotted: wearing red/green/white fluffy leg warmers. I almost asked him if he was an elf.


Awesome things #2: There was a robin, perched on my neighbor's roof just outside the window, singing. Reminded me of Anne's backyard when she lived here. Her backyard was amazing!  A huge vegetable garden, fountain, berry bushes, trees, and many bird feeders. We would sit and have tea, chatting and watching the birds for hours. Anne knows them all. She amazes me with her bird knowledge!


Awesome things #3: Found a treat we thought was only in the USA when grocery shopping-brought 1 home for Kev and he danced.  "I thought I'd really miss these if we didn't go on a big road trip!"  Nice to know we can enjoy Izzes now and then here at home this summer-they are a great alternative to pop.





Fizzy Izze


Awesome things #4: A sushi shopping bag. Anne brought this back from Hawaii, and it always makes me smile. I shopped with it today, and filled it with all sorts of produce.





This bag makes me smile


Awesome things #5: Hubs "is this dishwasher clean?" pause. Me: "Honey, it's running. Of COURSE it's CLEAN." Bahahaha!  I think he may have forgotten how it works. 


Awesome things #6: The smell of cookies baking. John was so happy I was baking his favourite oatmeal chocolate chip ones he greeted me with hugs and kisses.





The Smell of Cookies


Awesome things #7: licking the spoon of caramel after filling yet more cookies.  That recipe is coming soon, as I get some photos and add them to Chasing Tomatoes. 


Awesome things #8:  Love. Family. Friends.

What's YOUR awesome thing?

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