Tuesday, August 13, 2013

So Put on a Happy Face

I wrote about the Blue Skies Music Festival three years ago. At that time, the labels I attached to the post included things like: "camping, exhaustion, magic and music."

All these labels still apply. At the festival, you camp on site (in rural Ontario) for  4 days and attend music-related workshops during the day, while listening to musicians perform at night.

Here's a shot of the main stage this year.

It is a pretty magical time. It is also very tiring. The bands are, well, loud, as bands should be. This year, they performed until 3 in the morning on some nights. You cannot sleep while this is going on. And of course, with at least 2000 people all camping quite closely together, you can't sleep in late, either. Babies start fussing at dawn, people stay up all night to jam around campfires, and teenagers run amok at just about any hour of the day or night.

One is lucky to get 3-4 hours of straight sleep at any time.

Kathleen and Alex love Blue Skies. That's why Anthony and I go...to allow the kids to enjoy the experience.

But Anthony and I have grown too old for camping. We hate it. It's noisy, cold, dirty and we always seem to get damp right through, especially when it pelts rain all night, as it did this year.

So we decided this year was to be our last camping experience. Next year, Alex will be 18, and thus old enough to camp on his own. I will gladly drop him off at Blue Skies and let him stay for the long weekend, probably with some buddies to camp along with.

Kathleen can go during the day, on a day pass, and hang around with her brother and his friends. Again, I'll gladly pick her up at the end of each day, then drive a few short miles to a HOTEL, where I will sleep on a real bed, then arise, refreshed, to take a hot shower and eat a breakfast cooked and served by others.


So that's our plan, and we'll stick to it if we can.

Blue Skies is looking fun again, seen from that perspective :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blue Skies

It's still early August, but feeling a bit like fall, what with some cold overnight temperatures and brisk daytime winds, coupled with the first brown leaves beginning to twirl to earth.

I spent a few hours doing yard work yesterday, and noticed a million Maple "keys" already on the ground, just waiting to be tracked into my house.

But still, it's blue skies all around. I mean that literally and figuratively. The weather, at the very least, has been sunny lately, with little or no humidity, a blessing. I can look at those blue skies and feel that life is indeed worth living.

My life, these days, is quite miraculous, when I think closely about it, which I try not to. Too much introspection, I have found, leads inevitably to the rise of narcissism, and worse, a tendency to feelings of "poor me," no matter how ridiculous a notion that may be, in the grand scheme of things.

But still, no matter how you look at it, my life, it's miraculous. I have gone through an adventurous life, had a million ups-and-downs, switched careers more than a few times, and have weathered some serious issues that put me down for months and years at a time.

But here I am. Right now: I live with a man who I can get along with, and who isn't too difficult to look at. I always laugh to myself when I hear others yearn for perfect, fairytale marriages. Such things are rare. If you live in a fairytale marriage, you are one-in-a-million, let me tell you.

A close friend of mine, the only other woman I know who has also been married three times, and is still standing, told me a few years ago what you need for a marriage: "Delia, you just have to find someone you can sort-of get along with, and who isn't too hard to look at." Case closed.

Right now: I live with a man who gets along with my two children. What's that, you say? Shouldn't that be a given? Um. No. If you have ever attempted to remarry and mix kids into the situation, you know of what I speak.

It's incredibly difficult to make second marriages with children from first marriages, work. Most of such marriages fail. And I have no trouble guessing why. It's impossibly difficult, stressful, conflicting, to have to blend families. Case closed.

Of course, Anthony had no kids of his own. So we aren't really blending families to that extent. But still, Anthony, for a man who's never fathered his own kids, does an admirable job. He's easy-going, helpful, patient, kind and generous with my two offspring. Can't ask for much more.

And then there are said offspring. Alex and Kathleen, 17 and 15. As a mother, there is no bigger joy than to see one's children thrive. And they are. They are healthy, trim, active, over-run with friends, and doing incredibly well in school.

Alex has his life planned. First: engineering, then a law degree. Followed by a prosperous and happy career practicing patent law. Can you believe this kid? I can't. Where did he come from?

Kathleen, at 15, isn't quite so focused on the future. But she is thriving. And she can write a song like no musician I know. Cool! Blue skies.

Me: health is still fairly good. A lovely home, some freelance work that I enjoy, travel from time-to-time, enough money to pretty much do as I please, in a responsible way.

That's it for now. Tomorrow, I'll continue the Blue Skies lecture ;)