Comfort

Grey Cup Sunday came and went without any fanfare in my home. As a child, I spent the day at the movies with my mom and aunty taking us to the local theatre to watch Old Yeller, That Darn Cat or a multitude of other Disney movies at the Capilano Cinema. After the movie, we went back to my grandma’s house where the rest of the family was watching the game. Food was laid out on trays and plates for everyone to nibble. The adults had Black Lable or Lethbridge Pilsners in their hands while cheering for the Rough Riders or Eskimos. We would enter and would go to the closet to pull out the basket of lego or pencil crayons and build or colour until the half-time show where grandpa would call us for a roast dinner. The table was set up buffet style so everyone could get back to the game. I can still smell the spiciness of the roast and the aromatics of the beer bread. I loved his Sunday roasts. 

This was Grey Cup to me. Not a football game. I began watching football as I grew older and my team was in it every year. It was something that became expected, Edmonton would be in the game and would win…always. It was comforting. 

When I became an adult with children of my own, Grey Cup parties became less appealing. Edmonton was not in it as frequent. Managing children among non-child friendly events were stressful. Eventually, I decided to stay home with my kids and let the hubs decide if he wanted to go or not. Grey Cup Sunday became a day filled with Christmas baking. Both my children have commented to me how great it felt to have me in the kitchen with the cookie smells wafting from the kitchen and they were close by on the sofa reading or playing and sampling the food coming out of the kitchen. It was comforting. 

Now that my kids are adults and I can only tell you who is playing in the Grey Cup this year because it is in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa – FYI, and I can tell you it is still the day I do the bulk of the baking. I make less because I don’t go to Christmas parties so I don’t feel the need to bring things to people’s homes. I made a batch of shortbread for my brother. A few mincemeat and butter tarts because on Christmas Eve it is a nice treat. Ginger sparklers and chocolate chip were the main event this year because I only make what my children will eat.  I may still make honey popcorn because it is my favourite, but I eat fewer sweets now than I used to but it is a great treat to mail away to friends to let them know I am thinking of them. It is always comforting when you know you have someone far away who thinks about you. 

It was a long week and I pampered myself with comforting things. I pulled out a book that I only read when I need an escape. I first read this book during Christmas break in University back in the day. I read it again when I went back to work after my kids were older and I hated every second of my day and longed for an escape. I read it again when I was in the hospital after having surgery and needed to get my mind off the pain. This book came out again this week to help me relax and transport me away to England where I like to think I want to live until I am actually there and remember I love it here in Canada best. Books so comforting to me. 

My daughter gave me a box of bath bombs from Lush last Christmas. I love a good soak in a hot tub with a book. Wednesday, my day started at 5 in the dark in a parking lot setting up for a work event. It was dark but surprisingly mild for a November morning.  By Noon I was done and went home. I was so glad I saved that last bath bomb. It was a Dragon’s Egg. It hissed and sizzled and stained my body blue. The fragrant steam relaxed me and I read my book for four hours, only moving to add more hot water. It was so comforting for me! It was the perfect way to end my day.

I have a teapot that my little gram used. When I think of her I like to make a pot of Red Rose tea and sip away from the Royal Albert petit point patterned cup. Sipping from the set she used always made me feel grown up and sophisticated. It is a ritual I share with my kids and hopefully one day any grandchildren I might have. Tea Parties are a guilty pleasure of my childhood that I still indulge in today. I am happy to share this ritual with anyone who is interested. Cookies and tea are my favourite comfort food. 

One of my best pals lives in California. They celebrated their birthday this week and I called them to say ‘HEY! You are old now!’. I find long newsy phone chats comforting. My mom called this morning from England and we video chatted. I saw my dad and my daughter hopped on the call. We caught up on the weekly things and reminisced about older things and then we made plans for future things. My dad misses family rituals and I think I will recreate Christmas breakfast for him when he returns because it isn’t about the day, it’s about the event itself. Sweet and savoury with coffee and juice is how we always ate breakfast Christmas morning. We don’t know when that will be because they decide last minute when they will be home. But when they do arrive, Christmas breakfast will be waiting because it’s comforting for my dad. 

I think that is what relationships are all about. Finding comfort in our day to day and enjoying it. 

The Asian Hut or in English : The Russian Tea House

Today was the day it was decided to visit the Russian Tea House. It is a “restaurant” on Jasper Ave, downtown Edmonton. You eat lunch and have your tea leaves read by one of the psychics that work there.

Driving downtown Chatterbox says. “Where is the Asian Hut?”

Me: Huh?

ChatterBox: You know that place we are going to have our fortunes read.

Me: You mean the Russian Tea House?

ChatterBox: Same thing

Me: …………………………..

We arrived and were seated. We ordered food that was Meh, while we waited to to be escorted to the back where a psychic was waiting for us to tell us our future and steal take $200 from us. While I can’t speak to the rest of the family, I can talk about MY fortune…or lack there of.

I had ordered tea for reading and drank it up. I carried it carefully back to Nicky or Julie or Bobby…(I can’t remember her name). I REAAALLY wanted my tea leaves read since Harry Potter has his done by Ron and it was forecast that he would die. I loved that! I liked the idea so much I had placed in on my 50 in 50 list!

We ordered food that no one really liked and waited. When it was my turn, I carefully carried my tea leaf laden cup to a table in the back. Psychic Nicky set it aside and asked what kind of reading I would like. Hmmm, I never had a Crystal Ball reading before, so I chose that one! She washed it of to free it from energies of others then placed it in my hands. It was HEAVY and made my hands sweat. She glanced into it and looked shocked. I said give it to me straight, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Your life is in chaos. Really? NO KIDDING! There is someone you work with who is ( insert what she said) Yes yes that is true. You are working towards something to advance your career. Yes. Your marks aren’t as good as you want them to be. I laughed. This is true. In spite of the honors I am achieving, I want honors with distinction. I was told to apply my self more and I would have that. ( hmmmm I guess that means no more writing a paper on the day it’s due!) There are secrets you keep because you feel alone and abandoned WOW yes this is true. I don’t tell people what I am thinking very often because I don’t suspect they will be interested or understand. In 2 years my new career will take off. I will have a choice of which road to take, but it looks like paper work will be the path I choose (YIPPEEE KI YAY!) You will go on two major holidays this year, one City by a major ocean that feels like the Atlantic (Hello New York!) and one feels like a cruise. (YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSS!) There was a bunch of talk about my kids and really great stuff regarding them, and some sad stuff too.

The the Crystal Ball was removed from my hands. It was time for the tea leaves to be read. I was asked to turn the cup over in the saucer and spin it 3 times.

And….then she dropped THIS little nugget…

You had a medium sized dog who was very special to you. He has passed over and is around you a lot. This opens the door for you to get a small dog, that becomes a medium size dog (so a puppy?) within the next 2 to 5 months. (insert bewilderment and cute squeaky baby talk voice….A PUPPY!!!!)

I’M GETTING A PUPPY! So does this mean I should go out and get one in 2-5 months…or do I wait for the Crystal ball and Tea leaves to send one over? How does this future stuff work?