Here comes another Christmas! The world didn’t end, as was predicted by the Mayan Calendar, and things are still chugging along in a relatively normal way.
Like most of you, this year I’ve experienced ups and downs; disappointments and victories; sadness and happiness; loss and gain – a virtual roller coaster, as life often is. By this time in my long life, not a lot surprises me, although great moments of joy are still sprinkled throughout my existence. And more and more, I realize that change is inevitable.
The highlights of my year have been mostly musical – my birthday celebration in May with a great band comprised of old friends – Bill King, Russ Bosswell and Daniel Barnes at the Dominion on Queen was attended by a lot of friends and acquaintances. I felt very honoured and blessed that so many showed up to offer their good wishes and enjoy our songs of the 60’s.
Enjoyed my annual performance with the Niagara Rhythm Section in Niagara on the Lake in May – it was a stellar evening, with a fantastic band backing me up. It was great to have Mary Ellen Moore with me that day – another lovely friend I’m so glad to have. In the R&B field I’ve also showed my support for dear friends Robbie Rox and Cathy Young at the Black Swan, and at Virgil Scott’s celebrated “Musician’s New Years Eve” at the Hollywood on Queensway.
I fulfilled one of my “bucket list dreams” by performing a full evening of songs as a solo performer-guitarist at the Plein Air Artists’ Garden in July. I love a challenge, and I worked hard to meet this one. I am always far more comfortable with a band or fellow singers backing me up, providing me with the “wind beneath my wings”. When you have to accompany yourself on an instrument, usually some of the aspects that go into the performance – confidence, technique, concentration, vocal power, instrumental accuracy are compromised when you put the two together. I feel I did a decent job, and the people who were in the audience enjoyed it enough to stay in their seats while it rained on them. Hopefully I’ll get to do it again in 2013 – it’s always fun to have something to work towards. Maybe it’ll be easier the second time. 🙂
I had a wonderful jazz gig at the Homesmith Bar, backed by Mark Kieswetter, Jordan O’Connor and John MacMurchy. Those gigs are few and far between. It was 2 years ago when I last performed at the Homesmith – there are so many amazing singers and musicians in our talented Toronto music community – you’ve got to wait your turn.
On the home front – I got my main bathroom renovated, and it’s lookin’ mighty fine. Clean lines, white and black. No more tub!
I also traded in my beloved Suzuki Aereo for a more up to date Volkswagon Golf. Bells and whistles – -I’m enjoying the remote locks, and the heated seats!
I have so many blessings – great friends; a wonderful son and daughter-in-law, and an adorable grandson Alex. So far the health is good – with a few scares here and there. That’s bound to happen when you get to be my age. I also am blessed with a voice that still sings – and I’m thankful to be still adding it, along with my spirit to the Mighty Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, as I have been doing for nearly 40 years.
My house in Riverdale is still my haven – though with property taxes rising hugely, I hope I can remain here for a while longer.
Yes, there has also been sadness and loss, but I won’t dwell on that stuff in a Christmas letter.
I still awaken every morning with a song in my heart, and a prayer of thanks to the good Lord for such a wonderful life so chock full of blessings – my country Canada and my freedom as a woman; my good friends and family; the gift of music, and the good living it provided to me and my children; my beautiful home and the health that allows me to still enjoy all of this.
I am looking forward to spending Christmas day with my son Gord, DIL Sara and grandson Alex. And I look forward to 2013 – to playing my uke (on a cruise in February) and guitar, and doing more arrangements for the Ault Sisters, and raising my voice in song with the Mendelssohn Choir, and other bands.
I wish you all the very best of the season. And if you should feel a little sad – pick up a ukulele. Instant serotonin!