25 April 2009

Emph Attic: Hroshi the hippo turns 13

A hearty welcome to “Emph Attic”!

“Emph Attic” is a letter I’ll send out once in a blue moon, starting today, on days when the desire to share much ado about nothing simply cannot be quenched. It does not replace my regular Northern Lights/Southern Cross column (posted on this blog); however, the (non-blog) readership differs slightly.

Happy Birthday to all Readers (and hippos) born in April. Hroshi, our purple-eared hippo-child (who travels, writes books and generally brings cheer to the Phillips household), turned 13 today—or rather, we celebrated her 13th “birth” day with us.

In 1996, the Czech family with whom we lived in Prague during our memorable year in Europe sent her home with us to South Africa. Little did they know we’d immigrate to Calgary, Canada in 1998, taking our travelling companion with us!

Since then this amazing creature has accomplished much, considering the limitations of her stuffing-filled mind. She has continued to travel, make friends around the world (hippos are gregarious) and act as CEO of hippo communications inc. (co-run by Chief Financial Officer, Robin Phillips).

As many Readers already know, Hroshi and her unicorn friend, Evangeline, published an anthology of letters late in 2007 called The Hippo and the Unicorn. There are still a few copies left, and I have no foreseeable plans to order a new shipment, so please let me know if you’d still like a copy.

(Also remind me if you’ve ordered one and not yet received it: I lost my way, administratively speaking, sometime last year, and am only now finding it again.)

Among other interesting projects, Hroshi is currently working on a new book about her great-niece, Hubble (the sweetest little hippo-soul from Botswana). Watch this space!

Hroshi turns 13

Happy birthday, Hroshi!

11 April 2009

Apr 11: Holy Saturday

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter, dear regular NLSC Readers (and a few seasonal souls).

I am filled with awe as I think of what the resurrection means—if we let the truth of the cross of Christ touch our lives. Our God-given free will is simultaneously dangerous and splendid—and a complete mystery to me!

Last night I attended a Good Friday service at a local church and surprised myself by weeping bitterly throughout the closing song. I walked home through the park, and on impulse I opened the garden gate leading to my neighbours’ house and walked up the path to their back door. A party was in full swing and I was graciously invited inside. “Stay for supper,” they insisted. My earnest pleas(e) fell on deaf ears. I stayed.

Halfway through the meal, with a smidgen of embarrassment, I suddenly realised I’d already eaten with my hubby before I left for church! (Did that stop me from indulging in seconds, followed by decadent dessert? Not at all. I have a special storage space in my legs for delicious home-cooked meals. Just last week I saw a sign at the Dollar Store that read “Supper’s ready when the smoke alarm goes off.” Hmmn. Made for my kitchen. Robin orders his pizza crust extra-well-done, so as to remind him of my cooking. But I digress.)

After my Hobbit-like second supper last night—after which my hosts played a board game with their guests while I gratefully and gleefully washed the dishes; it’s so hard to get good help these days—we were all treated to several moving renditions of the guests’ favourite songs. I found myself in tears for the second time that evening. What beauty! What passion! What rich voices they both have. I shall certainly write more about this gifted duo if they follow their hearts and start singing in public again after a silent year.

And then today dawned sky-blue and clear with the unexpected promise of additional blessings. Can one solitary life contain such sweet abundance? On the spur of the moment, my writing-accountability-partner phoned and invited me for tea. Through the park I meandered once more, this time in the opposite direction, along the Bow River’s edge and all the way to River View. E and I chatted up a storm, heartily agreeing to continue our monthly meetings for the purpose of mutual encouragement, inspiration and edification. I left for home with a blithe spirit and happy heart.

I wasn’t home five minutes when the doorbell rang and another tea-drinker’s daughter asked if I’d join her mom at Tim Horton’s. I partly rebuttoned the shirt I’d been in the process of removing, slipped on my muddy shoes and headed back out the door!

Tea for two at Timmie’s was a treat, and two of my companion’s church friends joined us for part of our visit (you’ll be pleased to know we immediately switched to our common tongue in the interests of enhanced communication). Cochrane community certainly has the power to cheer one’s heart and lift one’s spirits—not that my spirits needed a lift after my amiable amble through the park, greeting bicycle riders and dog-walkers and familiar picnicking families and spring-cheered children.

Now it’s time for bed after a most satisfying holy day spent visiting and equally satisfying pre-Easter night spent writing.

Be of good cheer: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed.

P.S. Brad, may I please share the following bluefishTV Easter video from your blog?