We had our first snowfall the day after Obama won. We were warned, of course (this is Canada, after all) and armed with a camera, I tried to take the first pictures of our snow laden backyard, without much success. I am not the best photographer I know, but from time to time, I get paid a few dollars for my pictures. Maybe it’s time to take more serious photos? As you can see, the little trees we have (they’re not really ours. They belong to the public parking beside us) are already bare of leaves. And there is certain melancholy at night when it snows, and this is why, Canadians tend to make their nests as comfortable as possible with the first signs of winter. Well, it’s not winter yet, but where we are, it’s never too early to bring out the toques, the mittens and the scarves.
These days I bring mugs of hot coco up to my family. Just the mere act of boiling milk, adding the chocolate to the mixture is comforting. I forgot to buy some marshmallows, which is what my youngest is asking about. I make elaborate two week menus just so we don’t have to spend all the time in the supermarket. And I usually succeed. Just that I forgot to buy the mallows.
But even when it’s cold outside is no excuse to stay indoors. We have some of the sunniest days even when it’s brazenly cold, and I take a walk down the hill, with a certainty to my steps. Even when I work from home, I like to join the throngs of people from time to time. I like to have coffee at Starbucks, take a seat outside and watch the world go by. We’re still a small city, at least by my standards. A million souls is all Calgary has, and for some, that is a mighty large number. They haven’t been to Manila, or Hong Kong, so they wouldn’t know for sure. I’ve met some Canadians who are actually moving out of the city. They said it’s grown too large for their comfort or their safety, I wonder how they would react to a city with 10 million souls.
The past two weeks I’ve been observing the Christmas colours in the stores. I’ve done some online reading too, just to see what those who deign themselves trendsetters are up to. And I’ve interviewed florists from Edmonton and Calgary, and they’re telling me it’s all about the wines, the burgundies and purples, and maybe more organic, more re-purposed stuff. But I am seeing a range of colours in the stores, with a lot of silver and traditional decors. I’ve always loved the idea of the holiday, not the day itself. And so when my editor assigned me to do a story on what’s trendy for wreaths and flowers and table centerpieces, I gave her a resounding yes.
But I’ve done the story and submitted it, and I know for sure this Christmas I am going a bit organic. Eucalyptus branches, some pinecones and candles for the dining table that will surround a large silver reindeer my husband bought years ago. I will experiment with Christmas balls and see whether I can glue silver and white balls as topiaries. But we’ll see.