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Monday, February 24, 2014

A Second Chance

I had a nice chat with my mother last night.  She recently found my blog here and read over my Panama plane entry.  Her advice was that I should read that one over every now and then. 

So I did.

It is funny really, we face something traumatic  and then life as we know it changes.  But, I suppose we can slip into the rigger of routine and forget what it is like to face death in the eye but escape its grasp.

This is exactly what happened to me.

I forgot the elation of simply being alive.  Of being able to see those I love again.  To experience daily routines.  To make new friends.  To love, to to be hurt.  Such an amazing gift it was to walk off that plane alive.

I slipped a little recently.  I forgot how incredibly fortunate I am to just wake up to another day.  I might even have forgotten to tell some special people how incredibly important they are to me. 

Here is the link to the blog about the unforgettable Panama flight.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hockey Time!

Trust me, this statement is more true that you could possibly imagine.
Last Sunday evening I was watching the Finland versus Canada hockey game with a friend.  He had made the mistake of turning the game on for me while he prepared something for us to snack on.  Immediately engrossed, I failed to hear anything he was uttering until the "oh my god you really are Canadian aren't you?"

Yeah.  I don't know how it happens, but it does.  When I was teen, my popularity soared when I started dating the lead scorer on the top local hockey team.  My indirect affiliation with a budding hockey hero providing the validation necessary to enhance my social standing with my peers.  Weekends I spent happily rink side cheering my then boyfriend and recounting each moment with my friends.  Sadly our relationship ended when he transferred his passion from hockey to curling.  Watching someone sweep ice weekend after weekend was not really my thing it seems.

Anyway, I still adore hockey.  I love the live sound of skates on ice, the tension of a tight game, enjoy my beer from the plastic cup while I watch - I simply love being there.  Now it is the Olympics.  We are doing well this year.  But as I write this I am also watching the Sweden versus Canada playoff game.  Facebook was alive with people back home happily waking at 4, 5, 6 am on a Sunday to take in this game.  I like that I am watching this at the same time as so many of my friends and family back home, it is a passion shared by an entire country.  Hockey is the one sport, or one thing,  that essentially unites our country.  Winter is unbearable without it.

I recall the last Olympics in Vancouver.  After being on the road for three months I happened to land in the middle of the Canada versus US hockey game.  No one would pick me up.  Grabbing the last taxis at the airport, I couldn't help but notice the roads were practically empty of cars.  Canadians instead at home on the edge of their seats.  Not only is hockey important, but we take particular pride when we happen to beat the US - so I really didn't stand a chance.  Any self respecting Canadian would not miss such a moment.

It is kind of cool.  I am an ocean away, but right now I enjoying, and sharing in a Canadian moment.

I picked this video because it is a sampling of some of the songs that you hear at a hockey game.  Just listening to the mix puts me a good mood.  Go Canada!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Another Sunny Saturday

Just spent some time updating my running playlist. This Hedley tune seems to add a little extra bounce in my stride, so I decided to share.

Happy Saturday :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Morning Moment

I woke up feeling particularly happy today. In part because I could feel the warmth of missed sunshine upon my face along with the promise of a beautiful day. Happy text messages from back home were waiting on my phone.  Another message from my BFF away on a trip but still making certain I had interesting things to fill my every spare moment. My flat filled with the smell of the beautiful bouquet of flowers that were laying on my desk when I arrived for work the day before.   

And, it was also in part because of the evening before.  A long, relaxed dinner eating exotic foods, the likes of which I dare not share here. Conversation that covered every subject imaginable; food, wine, our cultures, work, life, travel, family  – even taxes.  I have known my friend for a long time, but this was the first time we had ever talked in such detail.  I still feel the glow of a good time spent.

The past few weeks have had me questioning a few of my life decisions.  Pressures from a continent away.  Days that challenged me to the point of numb exhaustion.  I could not help but question essentially everything.   The cloudy days only exasperating the doubt that lay heavy on my mind.

But today, it is different. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ground Day and Sechseläuten

A meme came by on my Facebook feed that made me smile. I have a few friends that pass around funny ones and was about to share this particular one when I realized that there was no point.  You see, it was about Groundhog Day.  Yeah, every Canadian (and American) knows what I am talking about here.  It is one of those things that we do not really, truly embrace as fact – but rather as some sort of assurance that indeed winter was coming to a close.

Each year Groundhog Day falls on February 2nd.  How it works is someone sets up a camera outside of a groundhog hole.  If it happens to be cloudy when  he exits his underground home for the day then spring will come early. If it it is sunny, the groundhog allegedly with see his shadow and retreat back into the ground then we all have to suffer through another for six more weeks of winter.

Ironically, this whole Groundhog thing was started by German immigrants in Pennsylvania.  At least that is the best that I can find. Anyway, my point is that not one over here would really appreciate that meme.  

And then I thought of Sechseläuten.  I experienced it for the first time last year.  This is an event that happens exclusively in the Canton of Zurich.  It takes place on the "must take" route to my home so I am a participant whether I want to be or not.  A big deal, the results of this event make news headlines all over the country.  You see, depending on how quickly the giant snowman (filled with explosives) burns is a direct indicator of how long summer will be in Switzerland.  The burning takes place usually on the third Monday of April, normally following Ash Wednesday.

Although both different, the wishful thinking that lay behind for warmer weather is similar. I get them both.  Fun, and a wonderful conversation piece they are however not conversations that easily work continent to continent.  I cannot imagine explaining to my colleagues about the groundhog. They would think Canadians are already a bit more strange than what they already do.  And to explain to a Canadian about a firework filled snowman  - well, they would think I was a bit strange too.

So, after all of that – I decided to keep the groundhog meme to myself.  

Friday Night

Friday arrived and I need to get out.  The week was a long one for me.  In fact one evening I was home and congratulating myself on making it through Wednesday when I realized it was just Tuesday.  That day sure felt like two in one let me tell you.  Therefore I didn't want to make plans as I was torn between wanting to get away to somewhere or just surviving with some modicum of humour left.   
I think I need one of these for my wall at home.  Okay, perhaps not.

Friday night arrived and I was restless.  I wanted to get out.  But I was particular. I wanted casual, easy conversation and a good vibe.  My best pal suggested el Lokal.  It was perfect.  The sort of place you can just be, relax and look around. Since it is sort of a unique place here, I decided to share a few photos.

This guy is hanging off the ceiling.  He sort of looked exactly how my week felt :)

When you run out of conversation 
(okay, that never happens to me)
there is plenty of useful stuff around 

to help out with that.

Canada!  Yeah.  A bit pathetic, but hey...

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Hmm... A lot of truth to these words.