Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy moments for a Happy Solstice

The Winter Solstice always makes me happy, as the days will be not so dark soon and spring is just around the bend.  But the past few weeks, pre-solstice, have had happy moments too.  Like last week, when fifteen year old Shiloh got the zoomies.  Never mind that it was in the house and that she was soaking wet and muddy.  She zoomed.  Happy zooms. It was a dark, wet evening and  I had put her outside in the rainy, muddy back yard so she could have a pee.  Then I got sidetracked with other dogs.  It was several minutes later when I heard a bark - followed by Mitzi running back and forth excitedly ("Mama Jean, Mama Jean, didn't you forget somethin'?) - which reminded me she was out there.  The moment I opened the door, she flew in, and before I could grab a towel or say "I'm sorry", she was flying around the house, leaping and twirling and barking and expressing great joy.  Unfortunately, the moment I grabbed the camera to try to catch it on video, she stopped. But oh how it made me smile.

Ha ha, good thing Mama Jean, because that
was my Christmas present to you!

And then there was that sudden encounter on the sea walk on a cold wintery day.  My friend Liz and I, who write a newspaper column together,  were interviewing and photographing an oldtimer who plays the zither down on the seawalk. A few people passed by, some turning  to watch for a moment.  But then something happened that made our day.  Liz described it to our writer's group in an email, and she captured the moment much better than I could:
Then another couple walked by briskly, said good morning and carried on...but then the woman stopped, turned around and said “Are you the paper ladies?” 
 We said yes. 
"OMG, you are my paper ladies. I just love you! The first thing I do when I get the paper is open to your page saying 'Where are my paper ladies?' Oh I must give you a hug.”  She hugged us both and even hugged Peter whom we were photographing.
The day instantly felt warmer as we puffed our chest in self satisfied glory.
Love small towns!
The paper ladies.
(Liz Maxwell Forbes, used with permission)
So now we are collectively known as The Paper Ladies.  Here's some of the photos we took that day.  The article about Mr. Rempel and his zither will be in the January edition of the Chemainus Valley Courier.

Peter and his zither
(c) Jean Ballard 2013

A Crofton oldtimer
with Paul Newman eyes
(c) Jean Ballard 2013

Peter and his zither
on the new bench on Crofton Seawalk
(c) Jean Ballard 2013

There have been other warm and fuzzy moments, too.  A lost local dog safely reunited with its owner; a goodbye hug from Riley who leans into me and buries her face under my chin just like my Charley used to do; neighbourhood teens dancing down the road spontaneously singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs - with lovely voices and huge smiles on their faces; a light sprinkling of snow that for a very short while made the Christmas lights sparkle more brightly, the world look even more beautiful, a pre-Christmas dinner with good friends and neighbours.

Happy Winter Solstice, everyone.  May your winter seem a little kinder, your days a little brighter, and may you find many warm and fuzzy moments in your life.


Phab Guy said...

Happy Solstice and best wishes for the new year to you Jean.

Dawn said...

Dear Jean,
Another year of enjoying your wonderful blog. Love the guy with the Paul Newman eyes!

Thanks for including us in the zoomies experience, even though it was much too fast to photograph.

Ellen Nickerson said...

Your blog give me warm fuzzie feelings. Merry Christmas an all the best in 2014. Thank you for all your postings through out the year.

Anonymous said...

Shiloh..OMG I am so in love..and the zoomies is just the best..thank you Jean for my go to bed with a smile moment..