Holly jolly is not how I’d describe my frame of mind over Christmas. Yes, I truly enjoyed having two sets of Grandma and Grandpa GeoK visit, cooking for family and friends, and getting out and about for (almost daily) walks with Mr. GeoK. And I loved that both our university-attending sons were home for the holidays. But it was constantly at the back of my mind that they’d soon be flying off in different directions, to their evermore independent lives. For much of Christmas break, I felt like I was missing them already… I’m not often maudlin, so am working at regaining my usual practical outlook. After all, raising offspring who are happy to visit the empty nest is what parenting’s all about!
But December is more than Christmas, and there was plenty to be happy about as the days ticked by…
1. Shooting Stars
Soaking in our hot tub on December 11, I saw something streak across the sky. Mr. GeoK saw it too! Then another! That’s when I remembered reading something earlier in the month about the Geminid meteor shower. It was a couple of days before peak meteor viewing, but since it was our last night in Canmore for a while, we organized our camera gear and headed out with hopes of getting at least one in a photograph. We were not successful, but it was fun to try. And the real joy is that we spotted them at all!
2. Cozy and Warm
December started much warmer than usual and stayed that way for more than half the month. Twice we enjoyed daytime highs of 15C (60F). About a week before Christmas, temperatures returned to seasonal norms – still very comfortable for walking outside. Then, along with presents under the tree, Christmas Day brought much colder weather. We’ve been in a deep freeze ever since, with an extreme cold weather advisory in effect to end the month. The daytime windchill temperatures have been as low as -44C (-47F). When the sun goes down on such frigid days, it lights up the exhaust coming from all the furnaces that keep us cozy and warm.
3. Play Outside Time
No matter the weather, Mr. GeoK walks outside – even on days when it’s so cold that his glasses fog over and his breath freezes on his jacket collar! I join him as often as possible. Over the years, I’ve learned the exercise and Vitamin N improve body and spirit!
4. Music for Mental Wellness
Over the couple of decades that I worked a high-stress job in downtown Calgary, I found that Wednesday noon-hour choir rehearsals pushed a reset button in my mind. I returned to work happier, calmer and refreshed. So it’s been interesting to watch K turn to playing guitar to help manage the stress of assignments and exams. The added benefit? We get to enjoy his music!
5. Joy to the World
For three years running, Mr. GeoK’s parents have enlisted my help creating their holiday greeting. Over the years, Grandpa GeoK has applied his woodworking skills to creating a series of nativity scenes. Several have been auctioned off as fundraisers, but they’ve kept three. This year I photographed the first nativity scene he created and layered on their wish for the world.
That’s it from me for this month. Check the link up at the bottom of Photo Blogging Challenge host PJ’s post to discover what Holly Jolly means in other parts of the world.
And if you’re looking for a way to stay motivated to improve your photography skills, consider joining PJ’s photo blogging challenge. The monthly themes make for a low stress “photo assignment” with plenty of time to get creative. New participants are welcome any time. The key requirement is five photos; the amount of accompanying text is up to you. The next theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa on January 1st, a great time to start something new!