At sundown, I light the candle[s]

Today, Colombians celebrate La noche de las velitas. The night of the little candles, a supposedly catholic holiday. See Wikipedia’s entry for it*. Below is an excerpt from it:

“This is believed to derive from a hanukkah tradition since a large number of paisas are from Jewish descent.”

* I have no idea why they call it Day instead of Night.

Now, I am not Paisa but from Santader.

However, I did grow up playing with dreidels around Hanukristmas™ and with groggers around Purim/Holy Week.

On December 7-8, houses, cars, churches were decorated with with white and – guess – light blue. Continue reading

There were some good times too

With all the bad news, I totally forgot to say that there were great moments during the holidays too. And that’s never a good thingmcause I rarely lose sight of the little [big] things. Besides, it is rather uncharacteristic of me not to make a big fuss about presents and food, and presents, and snow, and presents and parties, and presents and stuff, you know?

So, fret not cause here it is, [cue fanfare] my much belated Christmas/New Years Eve post!!!*

Let’s start with Sid’s surprise birthday party:

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It runs in the family

Talent and beauty run deep in the family, it would seem.

Here’s a picture of my cousin (the young woman) doing the routine that earned her and her partner a spot in the 5th Colombia Salsa Festival.

Prima - Salsa

Photo credit: ClaveLatina Escuela de Salsa

Pretty cool.

Congrats, cousin!

Good to see that mental illness is not the only thing that runs deep in the family.

My son’s reply

Yesterday, I wrote about my son’s birthday.

I posted the link on his FB wall.

This is his reply:

So long ago in the middle of the forest and yet so little has changed…

This forest is disappearing, the mines are now in its stead.

And yet the boy, I, keeps dreaming,

we’ll see how far he will get.

I’m sure he’ll get very far

Following his dreams

Happy birthday, my son

Yesterday was my son’s birthday.

My amazing, talented, beautiful son is now 24.

But to me, he'll always be the little dreamer, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders

But to me, he’ll always be the little dreamer, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders

But work (because we’re in the middle of a big weekend event) and life (because we’re one continent away) got in the way of celebrating.

How can I even begin to enumerate all the things I wish and hope for him? I don’t think there is enough space in WP for that.

Happy birthday my son! Be all the things you want to be and dream all the dreams you dare to dream.

2013, who would’ve thunk?

Here I am, first day of 2013.

My mother had this crazy idea that the world was going to end in 2000. I don’t know where she got it from. This is funny cause my mother was a sensible woman, not prone to non-sense. In fact, that’s the only odd thing I ever heard her say.

I must’ve been about 6 or 7 when she said it. I remember doing the math in my head and thinking: In the year 2000 I’ll be 32. Oh, that’s OLD, I don’t have anything to worry about.

Oh yes, I did think that. And it still makes me laugh that I thought a 32 year old person was very old.

But! The world didn’t end in 2000 and it didn’t end in 2012 either (Duh!).

So, hello 2013, even if I ringed the new year in with a cold.

In any case, I’m glad my daughter convinced me to get dressed even if just to take some pictures. The hot shower helped too.

20130102-014951.jpg

Holy smokes, do I ever look like my mother now

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An eulogy 29 years in the making

How do I even start.

Her story ended 29 years ago.

After 29 years, rage still runs rampant in mine.

My mother lived a short, painful life. Being the daughter of a young unmarried woman, she carried the bastard stigma all her life. Her mother, my grandmother did end up marrying a different guy and having four more children which my mother raised while her mother was out washing clothes and cooking for rich women. Even though she called her stepfather dad, he never gave her his name. She had to live with the shame of having her mother’s name only. Of not having the same name as her siblings. It was still a terrible thing when I was growing up. I saw how children my age that only had their mother’s name were treated. I can only imagine it was even worse when she was growing up.

She was denied a name, an education, a future.  She had scars all over her body from the corporal punishment she received from her own mother and from her school teachers the few years she was allowed to attend. Once her half-siblings were born, she was taken out of school to be their nanny.  Once those half-siblings were old enough to go to school, she had to take a job to help support the family. Continue reading

What makes the Summer Solstice Girl happy

A smile, a hug, a good conversation.  A squirrel pausing to evaluate if I pose a danger to her and then continuing to look for food for the fast approaching winter.  A chipmunk eating peanuts from my hand at the Arboretum park.

Flowers, rain, thunderstorms, birds chirping away outside my window.

Family and Friends.  Seeing a friend being happy.  Being able to help a friend in need.

Chocolate.  Chocolate fondue, chocolate chips, chocolate cookies, chocolate cake, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate icing, hot chocolate, iced chocolate, chocolate bars, chocolate fountains.  Chocolate-covered strawberries. Hell, chocolate-covered anything. Well, not really… chocolate-covered broccoli wouldn’t make me happy.

Dancing, being airborne (a.k.a. aerials), competing, performing.

My cat, so soft and warm cuddling with me while I type.  My cat, playing hide and seek with me.  My cat going on walks with me.  My cat. Period.

The sound of running water.  Rivers, creeks, falls, a backyard pond, a fountain.  Water in the form of lakes, ponds, inlets.  The sound of the waves splashing on the shore.

Music, music and more music.  From Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Liszt, Rimsky-Korsakov and Ravel.  From Joplin, Bechet and Armstrong to Gershwin and Bernstein. Classic music, Celtic music, Klezmer Music, African music, Latin music, Jazz, Blues, Black Gospel, Soul.

Bunny wabbits and groundhogs.  Horses. Fall colour explosions, snow. Making snow angels.

A nice cup of tea and a book.  A good movie shared with good friends.  Cuddling.

Coffee.  Meeting a friend over coffee.

A full moon on a clear night.  Stargazing.

Food.

Karaoke!

Those are the things that make me happy