For a brief spell, about twenty years ago,, I took piano lessons, for a brief spell about twenty years ago and was showing some degree of progress, learning simple compositions of classical works. One of my most favorites had ‘words’ “Going Home, Going Home, Now I’m Going Home.” The composer was Antonin Dvorak, his composition is New World Symphony . Of course I had to Google the man. “He was a Czech composer, one of the first Czech composers to achieve worldwide recognition. Dvořák frequently employed rhythms and other aspects of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia, following the Romantic-era nationalist example of his predecessor Bedřich Smetana. Dvořák’s style has been described as “the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them.” Even today I remember the right hand fingering. If I ever get around a piano again I shall take piano lessons. The piano was the property of the third husband, whom I eventually divorced. You can listen to New World Symphony on YouTube – it is absolutely beautiful.
I am presently sitting in seat 1A on an Air Canada jet in the Vancouver airport waiting for the plane to take off. I am going business/first class (of course) When making the momentous journey from London, England to return to Vancouver to live in 2017 was sitting in 1-A. My life has radically changed since then – the only thing that remains the same is this blog. How absolutely extraordinary it is to realize that.
I was the very first to board, telling folks that I was the leader of the pack. Of course, they laughed. Talked to the two handsome pilots.
Me: Hello you two handsome men. Please drive carefully!
He (s): of course Madam.
I am appropriately garbed in my abaya but suddenly realized it is inside out. Guess I shall take it off at some point in time and put it on correctly after I get off the plane. It is a short flight as I remember but the announcement has not been made which will inform me and the other passengers of how long it will take, the weather there and all the essentials. Unfortunately all the temperatures are in Celsius, not lived with Celsius when young nor for an extended period. I will either adjust or walk about in blissful ignorance. I cannot imagine, nor can anyone else, a more different climate to live in from Abu Dhabi to Edmonton, but I am fine – fine and dandy actually, because I hate the heat. During the excessively long winter months I can become a snow bird and fly off (with the assistance of a jet, of course) to warmer climes. I am not planning to grow wings and fly.
I shall attempt to take picture of the screen saver showing scenes of Edmonton, which looks rather beautiful actually. One of the Saskatchewan River called that wends its was through the river valley. Also a new bridge that I have not seen before, guess a lot of change can take place in fifty-five years – I left Edmonton for Sn Francisco in 1967.
I am flying on frequent flier miles , the flight cost no money – but my extra baggage required me to pay something like $200. That is two hundred Canadian which is $153.54 American.
Looking back realize the last time I was in Edmonton was in 2019. It was for an honorary memorial for all University of Alberta graduates who had died in the prior year. year. My ‘wished for’ Dad, Francois Meunier graduated from the U of A after going back to school late in life. Our commencement ceremony was on May 29, 1964, my twenty first birthday. My ‘wished for’ Dad had died the year before, flew from Vancouver to be present at the ceremony, to honor him and other graduates who passed away. “Dad” had a vast family – huge! About seven kids and their progeny. I was the only one of the ‘family’ that attended the stirring ceremony which honored all faiths – although many live in Edmonton. It is evident now that Francois held the family together and when he died it rather fell apart. I have the fondest of memories of times spend with the family as an honored child – Christmases and a cruise to the Caribbean. My nickname was the Eldest – Mother Meunier would have been thirteen when she had me, we laughed about that. This was the last conversation ‘Dad’ and I had: Francois uttered the following words.
He: Daughter!! You lead such an interesting life!
He called me daughter, oh the joy in remembering and such a fascinatingly true compliment. In his final days I cheered him up – he had grown depressed living in palliative care knowing he was dying. I returned – the prodigal daughter brought him cheer. He died happy – one of my finest achievements.
By the way progeny is a descendant or the descendants of a person, animal, or plant; offspring. Synonyms are: children, young, family, brood; issue; spawn; progeniture, quiverful.
How interesting to think that I was part of the Meunier brood, their quiverful., their spawn.
Now as I write it is 3:21, I am nestled in the finest hotel in Edmonton, the Hotel Mac a Fairmont Hotel. I also have a long history with this hotel – the last time I stayed here was on my birthday – May 29, 2019. I remember it well. Had breakfast corresponding with a man who was a catfish – it was later revealed that it was not the handsome man portrayed in his profile photo but a black man from Nigeria. He justified his usurious behavior by blaming it all on his country its poverty and corruption.
He: There is no way for me to make a living here because of the corruption.
Me: So that makes it all right for you to use me? I have nothing to do with corruption in your country. You feel used so you use me. I do not think so.
Needless to say the man got no money from me and he was blocked. I guess he came clean (so to speak) when I confronted him.
I now correspond with a different sort of man on Instagram. EGG (Emirati Great Guy), the man gifted me with a beautiful prayer rug. We exchanged messages yesterday at lunch – I sent photos of Edmonton. He promised to come and visit during summer, possible bringing TOO (Teacher Of Old) with him – TOO is 74 and was his English teacher in Abu Dhabi years ago. I
have met EGG and TOO in Costa Coffee at the Abu Dhabi Airport Premier Inn.
He: I will visit you in the summer.
Me: That is great. You will be a novelty. Actually Edmonton has a large Muslim community.
EGG and I are chatting on Instagram at this very moment.
He: Here in Oman it is 50.
Me: Here in Edmonton it is 41 but that is Fahrenheit. I do not know Celsius.
That is a huge difference in temperature. As Rudyard Kipling said: East is East and West is West. “East is East and West is West (and never the twain shall meet) is a proverb Said of two things are too different to ever be agreeable or harmonious. The phrase comes from a Rudyard Kipling poem. If you learn young that East is East and West is West, you won’t waste time trying to convert people to your view. Of course, I met EGG, who is by the way, extremely wealthy. But I was a Muslim when I met him so he did not have to try to convert me to his view.
Extraordinary things keep happening to me. I took a taxi from the airport into Edmonton. The taxi driver is a Muslim from Pakistan – we chatted about the faith on the ride to the hotel. We hold remarkably similar views – that societies have corrupted the faith – that it is important to distinguish between how Muslims practice in their Muslim majority countries from the purity of the Islamic Faith. I will call him when I need a taxi but he may be busy giving other people rides.
Even more wonders occurred – when checking into the Mac a young woman was at reception with her parents, who were from Montreal. She works here, I get to see her again today. She is a Muslim, previously worked in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai. How likely is that??? Not at all likely. Do remember the meaning of extraordinary: remarkable, exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, marvelous, wonderful, sensational, stunning, incredible, unbelievable, miraculous, phenomenal, prodigious, spectacular outstanding, momentous, impressive, singular, signal, preeminent, memorable, unforgettable, never to be forgotten, unique, arresting, eye-catching, conspicuous, noteworthy, notable, great; out of the ordinary, unusual, uncommon, rare, surprising, curious, strange, odd, peculiar, fantastic, terrific, tremendous, stupendous, awesome, amazeballs, out of this world.
Definitely it was amazeballs, all of these coincidences.
Photographs are from the Air Canada screensavers.