2011 Winter Solstice Letter

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Dear Family and Friends:

This past year has been a very busy one for Peter and me. January to May  I was preparing for  two productions by the Harmelodic Club ,the first to take place April 30, in Williamsburg, Ontario, and the second, May 21, to be presented at the Library and Archives, Canada Auditorium. The second was our 75th Anniversary Concert.

It is incredible that the Harmelodic Club of Ottawa began when women, especially married ones, could not be professional performers. The club, like others throughout the world, was created so that female musicians could practise their profession in each other's homes. The Harmelodic Club has had a great journey through these 75 years, and our concert reflected that experience.

I also wrote many articles and poetry, and was published regularly in WOTMAG, (Women On Top Magazine),  as well as in  our local paper, (Riverview Park Review).

On July 22nd, at about 9:45 P.M., Mischa, our beloved cat, was struck down by a hit-and-run driver, who did not even attempt to stop, knowing he/she must have  struck Mischa with the bumper of his/her vehicle. Neighbours, driving home soon after Mischa was struck, saw him suffering by the side of the road. He died on the way to the emergency vet hospital. We are grateful for the help Lev and Loretta, neighbours , who drove me and Mischa to the vet, and to our neighbours Diane Ritchie and Gabrielle, her daughter, who noticed Mischa suffering and ran to alert us.

We will always remain  grateful  to the many family and friends who had us out for meals, brought food and comfort, condolence cards, had us to their homes and gave us  wonderful support during the times following Mischa's demise. He was such a passionate, adventurous and loving cat; however, a couple of months later, we were asked to mind a cat for a friend of one of my adult students. It was supposed to be for a month.  Miko, (the name he was given by his first owner), adopted us almost immediately. My students both children and adults, also readily took to him. When I discovered that our hearts were  that entwined to him, I asked if we could adopt him, since his  'owner' wanted to extend her stay abroad, and might  not return to stay . She agreed to let us adopt him. Miko gives us so much joy. He plays ball just the way a dog does. And he can play ball for hours! We will always be thankful for this lovely gift. He also plays  with many other  tossing and fetching toys, loves music and loves people.

From September to this point in my writing, I am involved in teaching additional students, writing more columns for  WOTMAG, writing more poetry, and learning new repertoire.

I have also become more involved with the Poets' Pathway Project, the Carleton University Music Department's Early Baroque Opera Ensemble,  composing more  songs and other miniatures,  attending concerts with Peter and friends, going to physio therapy and aqua -fitness for my severe arthritis, and preparing for more  short performances with other  musicians.

Peter has been busy also with his various organizations, and is still semi-retired. We are both growing older, and finding we tire more easily. I'd like to travel more than he does. 

I appreciate how each moment is precious with each family member and friend with whom I interact, whether it is by phone, e-mail or in person.

I miss those of you who live far away. I wish we could phone each other much more often. I find that hearing your voices fills me with a deep joy. I sometimes feel that I don't have much to offer you, except for my affection and loyalty, But you must know that each of you hold great meaning for my life.  Yes, I am 'married' to music in a 'spiritual' sense, as I am  to Peter, but most of my music would be very sad and 'angular', had I not encountered/adopted/loved/ created/ (and will always love) each and every one of you.

Peter and I will try to travel out to see those who live away. I am no longer an officiant. I retired in October. Summer is now much more possible.

I wish each and all of you a Happy Winter Solstice, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah or any other cultural  event. Our home is open to each of you should you wish to visit.


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