1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran's Day means to you?
Remembrance Day is a time to remember a trip I took to Italy with my Uncle in 2004 to attend the 60th anniversary of the Canadian battles fought there during World War II. It was a two week trip accompanied by our Governor General and various MPs and Senators. I heard so many stories about my Father, my Uncle and my Grandfather during our trip. It was amazing. I visited many cemeteries honouring the fallen soldiers during that trip and the vision of the memorial stones, row by row by row will stay with me for always.
2. What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?
Nothing comes to mind. Nothing. Well, maybe The Great Escape, but I am not sure patriotism is woven into that storyline.
3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?
Yes. And yes, I did have a terrible flu one year - H1N1 - I was so sick and I had had the flu shot that year, but clearly too late.
4. I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?
Personally I don't like to see any Christmas or Holiday hoopla up until after Remembrance Day. I try to avoid the malls as much as possible during the Christmas season. It is just too overwhelming. And really, people? There are much more important things to get up in arms about than Starbucks' red cups. Just sayin'!
5. What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly? Why that one?
In the woods - it would be a mama grizzly. In the water - it would be a red jelly fish. I got stung by one two summers ago and it really freaked me out about swimming in the open ocean anymore.
6. Do you like building things? What's the last thing you 'built'?
I am not a builder, unless you count building sweaters that I have knit. I have built five sweaters so far this year.
7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?
The cedar trees that surround my house. I never get tired of looking at them.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Here is my latest excerpt from Chapter Eleven as I continue participating in Nanowrimo this month:
She awoke to the sound of the cat yowling from outside the front door. It was pouring with rain, the eaves were over-flowing and water was splashing onto the front porch. The cat looked like the proverbial drowned rat. And he was pissed.
He stalked by her with his tail straight up in the air and she went to get an old towel from the rag-bag to dry him off. He was indignant, but allowed her to rub him dry.
She had been thinking of attending the Remembrance Day ceremony at the local cenotaph, but with this kind of rain she thought perhaps not.
Well, that is selfish, she thought. Those soldiers in the 1st and 2nd World War had put up with more that an hour in the pouring rain. She remembered reading about trench foot that afflicted soldiers, like her Grandfather, in the Great War.
It was barely eight. She had time to eat, take her pills, tidy up, and still leave in plenty of time to get a good place to stand – especially if this rain kept up.
The rain had let up somewhat for the drive, and she got there early enough so she parked relatively close. She had her large golf umbrella. The one she used to take out on recess duty with her when she was teaching. It covered all of her and the drips were well outside her shoulder line.
She settled in – taking in the somber atmosphere, watching the scouts, cubs and girl guides lining up with the cadets and the school choirs. Some of the veterans were taking their places – many in wheel chairs, or powered scooters.
If her father had still been alive would he attend these ceremonies? She knew her uncle attended ceremonies until he died, she didn’t know about her grand-father.
But here she was and as the pipers started to play she started to cry. She always cried when she heard pipers. Was it part of her Scottish dna?
She wiped the tears with her free hand, and listened to the speeches. She kept her eyes on the four young cadets standing guard at the cenotaph and recalled the year one of them had fainted. She remembered her uncle telling her that even though you have to stand still, you must keep flexing your leg muscles to keep the blood pumping up to your heart.
The choir began to sing Flanders Fields and again she started to weep. She waited patiently through the laying of the wreaths, and after the crowd had dispersed she liked placing her poppy on the cenotaph with all the other poppies.
She stood back and took in the vision of all the red poppies laying against the cold, white, wet marble of the cenotaph.
She put down her umbrella as she walked back to the car.
It seemed right that she should be soak to the skin by the time she got home.