Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Letter 2009

December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas dear friends and family,

Snow covers the ground here in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Nights are especially lovely with the coloured lights set off by the white mantle. The trees, also dusted with snow, are very lovely.

The nights are longer and darker, but the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. We sincerely hope that the light of the world brings peace to you all at Christmas.

A year is ending, a new one awaits. May it be for you a year filled with happiness, despite the pain life sometimes throws at us.

This past year has been busy, as usual with school and soccer for the children. Life revolves around four places here; home, school, stadium and church.

January found Marc and I with my brother Cecil and his wife Jane, in the Château Montebello in Fairmount for a night. Nobody had told me we were going, it was a surprise for me. (Story here: http://coucoumelle.blogspot.com/2009/01/memorable-week-end.html) This was supper: a $50 bottle of wine, (which, when shared comes to $25 per couple) and a four course meal. I had caribou terrine and candied onions as an entrée and cream of asparagus with apple pieces for soup, then Lac Brome duck leg, and finally coffee and desert from the desert bar, which had a very nice selection of pecan pie and sugar pie and mousses and other things. I wasn't very hungry anymore at that point, so I didn't indulge myself too much, but Marc had a sore stomach afterwards.

We went camping for a week at Mont Ste-Anne this summer. It was very beautiful, and I would love to go back again. We visited with a few friends, did some fishing and mostly just hung out around the campfire. Pictures here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=152629&id=576820498&l=30a589f39d (You don’t need a facebook account to view them through this link)

Maryssa’s soccer team won the championships this year in her division. Jean-Alexandre’s team won bronze. Nicolas started playing Timbits soccer this fall, and Gabriel was accepted on the Celtix du Haut-Richelieu 2001 M team. He plays a year older than he is. Nicolas has also been playing with those a year older than him, because when they started, he was one of the few who knew anything about soccer. He kept complaining that it wasn’t “real soccer” until he was put with older kids who knew how to play. Then he was happy. Dominic has been practicing with a team a year older than himself as well this fall, although it appears that that team is going to fold up. They will continue to practice with a different U13 team in the same club for now.

I finished writing a book I had been working on for the past 3 or 4 years, and submitted it to a publisher, one that had previously published a book by my father. They accepted to publish it. It is called Be Not Afraid, and is available for the moment at publishamerica.com. The idea for the book came from a dream I had a few years ago. I woke up and started writing… The day of her marriage, Isabella stands looking over the edge of her parents' terrace onto a busy passageway below. She desperately searches for a way out as she is faced with an arranged marriage she doesn't want. The daughter of a high-class couple, the man she loves is a common worker, outspoken in his fight for social justice in this society of the future which greatly resembles our past in many ways. Isabella has followed him in taking up the fight alongside other young men and women. This eventually leads to the death of one and the exile of the other. This is a story about keeping faith alive, fighting for what is right and never abandoning hope. It is also about finding love again where you did not expect it.

Jean-Alexandre went to Greece with a group from his school in October. He says he enjoyed it, however he has not told me much about it. (He’s a man of few words) and I have yet to see any photos, as he has had some trouble uploading them. The rest of us (excluding Marc) visited my parents in Barry’s Bay for Thanksgiving weekend.

Marc still works for the Yellow Pages in Montreal, and I still do some hairdressing from home, as well as the usual soccer taxiing, homework supervising, piñata making and birthday party organizing. (For my own kids, not others, I have enough just doing my own.)

And so the year ends, with Christmas in sight, and family soon to be gathered around the tree, in front of the fireplace.

We wish you the most blessed of Christmases and the happiest of New Years,