Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A bit of this, a bit of that

Time for a little catch-up of the events of the past week or so. The trip to the mainland was uneventful - no whale sightings, no glorious sunrises or sunsets, and the task of clearing out mom's old suite is now complete. Mom seems content enough in her new facility. The nursing staff there is excellent, the place spotless, and there are lots of amenities and activities for the residents. It was heartwarming to hear my mom say of the place, "I feel like I'm HOME." And it is a huge relief for us "kids" to know that mom now has the 24 hour medical and personal care she needs.

Next to each resident's door, built into the wall, is a lovely glass-enclosed display cabinet, where personal items that tell the story of the resident's life can be placed. It is fascinating to see each person's memorabilia, a visible reminder to staff and visitors that these are not just patients but unique individuals with long and interesting histories.

The process of clearing out mom's suite was, in many ways, also a lesson in history. I learned things about my mother's and late father's life that I never knew. We found journals and scrapbooks that I didn't know mom had - she had kept every card her children had ever given her, and the programmes from every show we had ever taken her to. And among the programmes, we found a treasure. These photos are some of the pages from the programme for a 1923 performance of Anna Pavlova at the Royal Opera House in Covent Gardens, London, England, which my mom attended when she was five years old!

Front cover

Back cover

My mother's oldest sister took her to the ballet, and mom kept the programme all these years. It is 17 pages long, with beautiful representations of dance, interesting descriptions, and several ads for Roaring Twenties fashions. We have been in touch with the Royal Opera House, who tell us highly decorated programmes such as this are very attractive and are often used in their exhibitions. This particular one is extremely rare, and my mother has agreed to donate it to the Royal Opera House for their collection. How cool is that?

I arrived at my mainland destination before the snow flew - my timing was perfect as the next morning I received an email from my neighbour showing a foot of snow covering the neighbourhood! (Oops, I deleted the email, so can't post the pictures here!). And by the time I arrived back, five days later, the snow had all disappeared. The snow on the mainland lasted only a day or so, also. The goddess must have been smiling on me. I hate driving in snow!

Charley, Sadie and Allie were very well taken care of by their new petsitter (thanks, Barbara!). In fact, too well taken care of - Charley and Sadie didn't even bother getting up to greet me when I returned! At least Allie ran to the door when she heard my car - my nose would really have been out of joint if none of the critters missed me!

Since returning home, the weather has been a mixed bag of rain and sunshine - and lots of rainbows. The pulp mill on the edge of town must be doing well - at least, if they found the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, which shone directly on one of the ships loading at their docks.

And what are these blue and orange sausages?

Why, it's Charley and Sadie in their raincoats (it is too warm for their warmer winter coats, but their fur is so thick that some protection is needed from the rain or they take forever to dry when we get home).

They were investigating this rusty chain at the end of the boat launch dock.

No doubt it smelled of crabs or prawn - here's one of the many boats being put into the water to head out to set some traps.

Poor Charley, who doesn't have much range of motion in her hind quarters, lost her back end down the crack between two pieces of dock. She never made a sound - I suddenly realized the leash was tight and looked back to find her looking pathetic with her front legs on the dock and her back legs down in the water. Oooops.

Well, that's enough for tonight - it's past my bedtime. Tomorrow I shall post an update on Martin, the alpaca I found abandoned on the farm I rented in Mission. Stay tuned!


Daphne's Pal said...

Jean, what a wonderful find in that program! I have been a dance teacher/dancer all my life. Thanks for sharing this most interesting bit of dance history.

Black Jack's Carol said...

It was honestly thrilling to read this post:
1. I'm so glad that your Mom is happy in her new home, and love the idea of a glass cabinet showing chosen bits of background history.
2. That program is absolutely gorgeous, and I felt a connection since the only traveling I have done outside of Canada and a few places in the U.S. is England/Scotland, and I actually attended a performance of La Boheme at the Royal Opera House.
3. Any encounter with a rainbow is cause for celebration, and your photo of it is lovely.
4. The sausage photo was great fun, and I can't wait for the Martin update!!!!