Saturdays

Me Time
What’s your ideal Saturday morning? Are you doing those things this morning? Why not?
My ideal Saturday morning would be to read the paper with a cup of coffee beside me. Then I would probably do a little bit of writing (either online or journalling depending on the mood). Saturdays usually involve doing some laundry. I usually try to plan out what I’m going to wear to church the next day too.
Am I doing those things this morning? Eventually I will get to reading the paper. I went grocery shopping this morning. I have someone deliver my groceries but I didn’t know my Mom was coming home so I only got enough for one. I’m well stocked up now!! Saturday must be the day guys go because it was full of older gentlemen doing the shopping. Who knew?
The 3rd Sat of the month I meet a friend for coffee. It’s our chance to catch up. We’ve been getting together for years. Sometimes we have to meet on another day but it’s my ideal way to start the day!

Nervous

Fight or Flight
Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?
I think my most recent memory would have to be when my brother got married. I had to stand up in front of 200 people and read a scripture passage. I’ve done it in the summer time at my own church but there may be 50 people and I know all of them. Plus it was in a Catholic Church so the traditions are a little different than in a Protestant Church. I did well and everyone could hear me but I was very glad when it was over. The whole day actually made me nervous because that sort of display isn’t me.

I was very nervous when I wrote something for my writing class as a gift for my friend. It wasn’t gut twisting nervousness but I was nervous whether she would like it or not. It wasn’t like anything I had written before and I wanted to do her justice. She cried when she read it so I think I did good!!

In my life I try to avoid circumstances where I would feel that nervousness. There have been times when I’ve had to do things I didn’t want to do but I have found if I do the right thing most of the time things turn out alright in the end.

All By Myself

Cut Off
Alone in a Crowd
Sitting here looking in
Chin up, pasting on a grin
feeling that I don’t belong
different drummer, different song
I was once a twin, part of a pair
Didn’t feel this when she was there
One more thing I can’t replace
Seeing her familiar face
I’m a square peg in a round holed world
That doesn’t fit for this lost girl

When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?
Boy this is a difficult question for me right now because I am sitting in a very quiet house alone. Unfortunately it’s too cold to go anywhere and friends are busy. People have all sorts of suggestions “turn on music or the tv for background noise” but I find that too noisy so I just read a book or play games online. This is the first time that I have been by myself for this long a period and it’s different.

I wrote the above poem after going to a bible study that I used to attend and I just felt out of place. I can’t even tell you why, it was just a sense that I had. I used to attend a singles get together at a friend’s house once a month. But I didn’t really feel like I fit in there either because I was single in the sense that I wasn’t married but I had lived my life as a pair. Twins have a very hard time making friends because we grew up with a ready made best friend. We expect to have that same relationship with another person and we can’t.

There is a difference between being alone and lonely. I know I’m alone but I don’t feel like I have to fill up my days with stuff so that I don’t have to remember that I am. I know of a couple people that do that. They don’t want to be alone with their own thoughts. It’s almost as if they think there is something wrong with being alone. Even when Janet was here we could sit outside for an hour just listening to the birds chirp and not say a word because we didn’t need the noise.

Welcome to Dullsville

Local Flavor
London Ontario is not really a tourist hotspot. We are located close enough to Toronto and Niagara Falls that people drive there when entertaining family.
I live close to Wortley Village which has been voted best neighbourhood. It has changed a lot in the last 10yrs though. It used to have a little lunch spot that had wonderful soups and sandwiches–now it’s a Mexican restaurant (I think?). The local coffee shop is now like a Starbucks and lost the neighbourhood hangout vibe. It’s too posh! Then the fine dining establishment turned into a pub. One of Mom’s church friends feels the same way as I do that it has changed from what made it great. Or maybe we just don’t like change??

London has some great festivals in the summer time. Rock the Park, Home County Folk Festival, Ribfest. If you come to London between July 1 and Labour Day there are festivals going on every weekend and most are free to attend. The Balloon Festival ran Victoria Day weekend. Unfortunately it ran out of funds. We lived close enough to downtown that we didn’t even have to go downtown but could sit on the deck and watch them go overhead. Some were so close we could see the basket.

I love where I live. It’s just right for me.

A Plot of Earth

A Plot of Earth
I was mulling this prompt over and then I remembered a conversation I had via email with a lone twin friend about the idea of having a commune for twinless twins. I think it came about after going to conference. It is a yearly event for twinless twins to get together for 3 days. But the time seems so short. There is the cost factor too. Many people just can’t afford airfare, hotel and registration. It’s sad to think that someone may not be able to get that experience because of financial reasons.
Of course the plot of land would have to be large because there are hundreds of people registered with the twinless twins org. It is such a joy to be able to hang out with people who are like me. Who understand what it is like to go through life without your other half. To not have to put on the brave face to people who don’t truly understand what it means to have a birthday without your twin. I don’t use the word “celebrate” anymore, I choose to “honour” our birthday.
I have many twin friends who live far away and email is our main source of communication. I have one friend who I talk to almost everyday. It would be cool to be able to just walk down the hall and knock on her door. To share a cup of tea together or a book that we thought the other one would like.
Love definetely makes the world go round but my plot of land would bring us closer!

Vancouver BC

Tourist Trap
What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?
In August 2007 I went to visit a friend who lives in Vancouver. It was a place Janet and I had always wanted to visit. I had reconnected with this friend after Janet died and in one of our emails back and forth she asked me about places Janet and I intended to go someday. She put it out there that since she lived in Vancouver that I could visit her. It was a nice idea but one I couldn’t even think of because it just seemed too much effort at the time. Then I was talking to my minister who lived near Vancouver and he said I should go for it. So it ended up being a way for me to honour Janet.
The first night I stayed at a hotel and then stayed with my friend for the rest of the week. Janet and I had always planned to go to a place called “Death by Chocolate” if we went so I did it for her. It was a little bit of a walk from hotel but well worth it. I sat in the corner and had a good cry because I couldn’t believe that she wasn’t there to share it with me because she should have been!
My friend and I took the ferrybus over to Granville Island. It’s such a cool spot. Funky shops, boats in the harbour, buskers. We played some games in the kid zone and then gave our tickets away to kids that came along. They were so shocked but we heading home so we thought someone should get use out of them.
We went to Stanley Park which is the place to go when in Vancouver. We went to the Aquarium. It rained in sheets (it does that in Vancouver) We took the trolley around the park (and my feet were thankful). Such a beautiful park. I dipped my feet in the ocean.
Probably my favourite place was the Museum of Anthropology. I loved the symbolism of the totem poles. They had an exhibit with a canoe and other momentos from this person’s childhood. I think it was in memory of someone. There was a memory box where you could write something to a loved one. We both did it and then I sobbed. I wrote “I did it, I’m here. I wish you were here and I miss you”. We then went to a Japanese Garden which is close by and I sat down on a bench to sit and think about Janet. My friend gave me space to do that. I was so thankful that my friend didn’t plan anything in the afternoon because I was physically and emotionally exhausted/drained. She could sense when I was thinking about Janet or needed some space.

Vancouver is such a beautiful city. I love the mountains, the water, the diverse neighbourhoods. I would definetely like to go back.

One Day at a Time

Use It or Lose It
After my twin died my Mom and I went to a bereavement group to help us cope with the loss. One piece of advice that we got was that we could only take things one day at a time. For a while I was ok with this but started to get impatient “how long is one day at a time?” But I came to realize that the more I fought it the harder it became so it was easier to just think of it as one day at a time. The facilitator actually said that there will be days when it’s even less than that–one hour at a time. It’s true. There were things that I did that were really hard or places or people I really didn’t want to see but if I thought of it as one hour at a time I could do it.
I did what most people do and kept busy. Friends would call up and invite me out for coffee or over for dinner. When my Dad had cancer it was a 24/7 job so anything else fell by the wayside. Unfortunately that meant that friends that didn’t understand that eventually fell by the wayside too. It’s interesting how people came to the funeral to support us but never realized we needed the support before that.
I found out my Mom will be coming home soon. Yesterday was 2 weeks since she has been in hospital. I could only take it one day at a time because i didn’t know when she would be coming home because the Drs didn’t know either. I would think ok today I will do laundry, today I will clean the kitchen etc. They are everyday chores that most of us do anyway but the task is so much greater when i also have to go to hospital or make phone calls as well.

I thought we’d never come back from that one…but I DID IT.

Undo

Undo
What would I uninvent? That’s easy…call waiting. We have our phone bill bundled so we got all the bells and whistles. When Mom was first in the hospital I would get phone calls while I was on the phone with someone else. It’s so annoying. I just think who would want to tell someone “oh sorry your call isn’t important I gotta talk to someone else”.
At the same time I LOVE call display. It has saved me from talking to quite a few drama queens.
When I was talking to Mom this morning I told her “I know what yours would be…fake pockets” and she laughed. She just thinks they are so useless. And I quote “if I want a pocket give me a pocket not some ornament on my pant where am I supposed to put my kleenex?”

5 Foods

Five a Day
What 5 foods would I choose if stranded on a deserted island?
Steak, potatoes (or is it one potato?), green beans, loaf of whole grain bread, eggs. There every meal covered. I would also have milk–it’s a liquid so therefore not a food and butter–a fat also not food 😀

It’s ironic that this is the prompt for today. I just made out a grocery list for the grocery delivery service guy. I don’t drive so this is a lot easier than taking a cab to the store and lugging stuff home. He does all the work and the delivery charge is the same as taking a cab to the store and back home. It’s hard planning meals for just one person. I mean most of us go to the grocery store and determine what we are going to have based on what is on sale or what we feel like. Maybe we throw in some “extras”. I have to plan each meal daily and decide what vegetables etc. I’m trying to use up stuff in cupboards and freezer too.

My Mom and I are the types of people that if we go to Shoppers Drug Mart we will stock up on stuff so we don’t have to go for a while. I still have a whole package of tp, shampoo, soap.

Right now being stranded anywhere warm sounds like a good idea!!

Two Places at once

Clone Wars
You know the saying “I wish I could be two places at once”…well Janet and I could. One of us could go with Dad somewhere while the other one stayed home to help Mom.
There was a time when she wanted to go to a social event but I didn’t want to so I went to another function. People automatically expected us to attend things together. We usually did but once in a while it was nice to hear new stories, meet new people. I think she enjoyed being a “singleton” once in a while. If she went by herself no one would know she was a twin. When we were younger I was a little more outgoing but in later years it reversed. I liked the tried and true.
I remember after Janet died thinking if I met knew people they would never know I am a twin. It was a weird feeling knowing I was different. Knowing I am a twin but the world sees me as a singleton.