My Ode to Amherst Shore

Amherst Shore, Nova Scotia Canada

Since birth, my Mom has taken me to Amherst Shore, Nova Scotia for the Summer. My Mom’s family is from Nova Scotia, and her family always spent Summers at the shore. Now that I have a family of my own, packing up and heading North has become challenging. Finances and vacation time, limit the frequency of our trips. Thankfully, we can live vicariously through our family and friends via Facebook and various photo-sharing websites. In fact, my cousin Lisa is already at the shore and actively posting pictures. *sigh* Some cousins have all the luck.

The View from Aunt Thelma's Cottage

Today, I find myself longing for Amherst Shore. (Lisa!) We won’t make it up this year. I feel guilty whining, because I have so much for which to be thankful. Plus, I know my increasingly somber mood stems from Mother Nature’s wicked ways of hacking into hormones. Still, here I am with a headache and feeling sad. [Enter violinist playing a woeful tune.] Now lamenting, I give you my …

– Ode to Amherst Shore

Amherst Shore, Amherst Shore how I wish I saw you more.

Grateful for the times I’ve been, knowing I’ll return – but when?

The Original Summer Crew

Walking, talking, sailing and swimming; the fun was endless, always brimming.

The scent of sweet hay filling the air, hanging out nightly, who cares where.

My first kiss I shared with you, and I truly did not know what to do.

Crushes and loves throughout the Summer, some unrequited, what a bummer.

The Big White Cottage

The Big White Cottage where many stayed, was also the place where many played.

Trivial Pursuit, Bridge, Spades, not darts; Did I hear someone just bid two hearts?

We watched the Northern lights one night; oh what a show – oh what a sight.

Jumping off the Northport Bridge

Bridge jumping in Northport was fun to watch; and the Tidnish bridge took it up a notch.

Ketchup chips and Craig’s ice cream, while at the Shore we live the dream.

Who won the annual Brown/Christie Games? It’s all in fun; let’s not name names.

Oh Amherst Shore, Oh Amherst Shore, I know we’ll have more trips in store.

Next year we’ll make it, whatever it takes; in the meantime, please send me Jos. Louis snack cakes.

.:: — ::.

Relay for Life – It’s personal

Recently, someone asked me what my process was for blogging. I’ve never stopped to think of my process, so I was confused with the question. I just write when the mood hits. And, because I am constantly talking to myself, others or just the walls, I find the mood to write hits frequently. Because, when I write, I am able to get all of my thoughts out of my head without anyone hearing or listening. I like it when I see the stats indicating folks are clicking onto my blog entries; though clicks or no clicks, I’d continue writing.

Today I am feeling ill. I don’t have a fever, but I have chills, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, ear ache, etc. Frankly, I don’t much feel like writing. However, I received a note from someone today, letting me know her website was up and ready to take donations. See, my friend Jill, like my friend Angela, is prepping for a run. She is taking part in the Relay for Life, which benefits the Canadian Cancer Society. Though I may have a cold and feel crappy, countless other people are battling various forms and stages of Cancer.

Jill lives in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, and she has been an active supporter of Relay for Life for 7yrs. And, there are many Relay for Life events taking place now throughout the US and Canada, all supporting various forms of Cancer. I’m focusing on Jill, because Jill’s family and my family go way back. The families gather every Summer at Amherst Shore, Nova Scotia Canada. Jill’s family, the Christies, and my family, the Browns, battle it out every Summer during the Brown/Christie Games. Though, if Jill were writing this blog, she might say the Christie/Brown games.

Garth Christie presenting the urn to Hugh Brown. The Browns won the ashes of the Christie ego.

The first weekend in August, ever Summer, the two families participate in various events including: bocce ball, golf, frisbee golf, softball, volleyball, bridge, trivial pursuit, cribbage, etc. The Brown/Christie games have been an annual event for over 30yrs. And rather than the winning team being awarded a shiny medal or tall trophy, they receive an urn consisting of the losing teams ashes – the ashes of their egos, that is.

This past Summer was particularly somber. It was the first Summer one of the Christie greats was unable to participate. Last Winter, Innis Christie died of Cancer. He left his wife, Jeanne, his sons Mike and Loren, his daughter, Merran, as well as his siblings and countless nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. He also left behind his Brown family friends. Innis’ spirit was with the games this past Summer, but his full life presence was notably absent.

Jill Christie, Innis' wife Jeanne, my Uncle Don and Aunt Marilyn

As Jill gets ready to participate in another Rely for Life, I can’t help but think of Innis and all the other lives lost to or affected by Cancer. I think it is safe to say, whether you’re in the States, Provinces or across the Pond, Cancer has touched every single life in some way, shape or form. And, one reason there are so many charity events for Cancer organizations is because there are some many people affected by some form of the disease. And, though progress is being made in treating and beating Cancer, the need to continue with research and outreach still exists. Perhaps you could consider donating to the cause as an investment into your own health savings account. Put money into the cause of treating and beating Cancer as your own insurance policy, should the day ever come where you find you are directly involved in the Cancer battle.

Innis (left) talking with is brother, Jill's Dad, Fred (right).

We all have our list of charities to support, and many of us have lost a loved one to various diseases. If you are looking to add another charity to your list of donation recipients, I ask that you consider sponsoring Gillian ‘Jill’ Christie, as she participates in the Relay for Life. Whether donating in honor or memory of Jill’s Uncle Innis or one of your own loved ones, you can make a donation through her website here: Relay for Life, Edmonton 2010 And, a reminder that Angela is still accepting donations for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, yet another organization supporting yet another type of Cancer.