Monday, January 01, 2007

My Top Ten of 2006

I am stealing and modifying this idea/meme from Eric at The Electronic Firefly. Considering the three headings, it may not look like a list of ten, but I think it can be broken down that way. I see four items under music, three under baby, and at least three more under Arizona. It simply suits me more to exposit rather than to itemize and list.



One day last July, we drove Butterfly to the fertility clinic in Ottawa. On the way we spied a bunny (or were there several – I can't recall exactly and it doesn't matter). Thinking of the reproductive capacity of rabbits, I somewhat but not altogether jokingly remarked that it must be a positive omen. Several weeks later, Butterfly gave us a little gift; I opened the bag to find two baby booties inside.

We were told that it was early days, "So don't get too excited." Hah! As if we could help it. I decided that I would get excited and would deal with the disappointment later if all did not turn out well. Mother-to-be is now in her fifth month, and I still hold to the same philosophy. I can't imagine not being excited.

My excitement mounts higher when I see little Smudge's ultrasound pictures or hear her (we think she's a she) strong heartbeat on the monitor, or see the increasing visible evidence as Mom begins to round out perceptibly as it does in this most recent picture. All of a sudden, she's really looking as though she's with child, and I look even more forward to being enchanted in April.



One day last summer, I sat on a hillside in nearby Almonte listening to a Celtic music concert. The weather was splendid, warm and sunny but not overly hot. As the day wore on and the music continued to roll over us and through us, I thought, "This would never happen in Sarnia." It was then that I realized that I was at home: home in a way that I never was in Sarnia.

It's a musical area. I guess there's lots of modern, urban stuff in nearby Ottawa, but there's also a lot of old time fiddlin in The Valley. Finding the Celtic Jam in tiny Middleville was a case in point. As I said, however, there's all kinds of music around and about inclduing the rather major Country Fest that Cuppa and I volunteered at this summer. While I'm not a huge fan of country, I don't particularly mind it, and working guard duty for much of the weekend was a positive experience. And I musn't forget how Cape Breton Live packed out the auditorium twice in a last minute event that hadn't even been scheduled. Remarkable.

It must have all inspired me in some way because I soon found myself renting a violin, then beginning lessons, and finally buying my very own instrument. Actually, it wasn't really a new idea; taking up the fiddle was something that I had placed on the backburner of my mind several years ago. Somehow, surrounded by all of the music this year, it seemed to be the right time and place to move it from the backburner to the hotter front burner.



Time passes quickly, and late in 2005, Cuppa and I realized that it had been quite a while since we had been on a trip. Arizona and the Grand Canyon seemed to be calling, so we began to make arrangements and ended up flying from Ottawa to Phoenix via Toronto late in April. (It seems that good things happen in April.)

We rented a car and headed to Flagstaff which became our base camp for four days. From there we made day trips to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Later in the week we drove to Monument Valley where we took a private three hour tour with a Navajo guide. Without doubt, it was the highlight of the week. By saying that, I don't diminish the other sites, including the next and final one, Canyon de Chelly, where we walked in this desert valley for three hours with an old Navajo guide and a young British couple. It turned out that both the old guide and the young couple could leave us in the dust. Well, they could have but they were kind, and we had a great time.

A real highlight of the trip was meeting our first bloggers ever: Paul and Julie in Flagstaff, and Dale and Chelsea in Phoenix. Based on this experience, I highly recommend meeting fellow bloggers. They were (and still are, I'm sure) wonderful, warm, friendly people. In fact, maybe meeting these folk was even better than Monument Valley. Hmmm.

I'm sure that I could add to this list if I were to ponder longer, but I must resist the temptation and give you fine folk a break, not to mention my easily over-taxed brain.


PBS said...

You two have had a great year and it's been fun to read about it and see photos in your blog! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

Leann said...

loved your posts on the trip.and sooo glad you shared with us the joy on learning about the new little one on the way.God bless.

Anonymous said...

Looks like 2006 was a very good year with wonderful memories and still lots to look forward to. Wishing you much happiness in 2007.

luna pie said...

Junkle! Happy New Year to you!
I hope 2007 is as exciting (and more) as 2006 - You know, you and Saunt could always come for a visit to South Korea!!?? That would be a thrill! :)

Wishing you health, happiness, love and laughter.

Sneice xo

Anonymous said...

Expecting grandchildren is amazingly exciting and Smudge will be here before you know it. We'll all be waiting.

Sedona is one of my favorite places on earth, I have been there 4 times and consider myself very fortunate. Of course, the Grand Canyon knocks your socks off and is something to behold.

While you were in Flagstaff, did you happen to go to Busters for dinner?

Anonymous said...

Arizona (Payson) is likely where I will wait out the final months before I leave for Thailand. It is a beautiful, beautiful place ~ not too far from Sedona with one tenth of the price tag. If you get to AZ again, be sure to check out Payson. :)



Anonymous said...

I love reading your posts - and even though I don't always have anything clever to say -I lurk alot. I am so excited about your forthcoming Smudge!

Gina said...

I too, have found my fellow bloggers to be wonderful people!

Happy (belated) New Year!

methatiam said...

I made the top ten list?

Garsh! I'd like to thank the acadamy.......

Here's hoping that 2007 is even better, and may we meet again soon.

Anonymous said...

Just a lovely look backwards at a mostly lovely year. May this year be just as wonderful. I imagine little smudge will assure that it'll be a very happy one.

karla said...

2006 was quite a wonderful year wasn't it? ;-)

Happy New Year AC and best wishes for a fine and wonderful 2007.

Anvilcloud said...

Sare - It would be nice if we could get over there, but perhaps you'll get younger, funner visitors. You never know.

Pam - We didn't get to Busters. We did get to El Cantino or whatever. And then there's IHOP (yes, we really know how to live it up).

Chani - We didn't make it up to Payson, but we buy something touristy from someone from up there -- a Navajo woman who was in that park in Oak Creek Canyon.