Writing for the holidays and coming up to the end of 2017 brings up the memories of the year and its changes. Keri and I lost a very affectionate and spoiled white cat who was very much the “baby” for the seventeen year lifespan he spent with us. We have cat-owning friends whose cats are included in the holiday gift exchange. These friends brought a cheerful boy into the world late January. His smiling face has been a ray of light for the year. The holidays will include celebrating his mother’s birthday as he grows up in his cat-loving family.
Memories and the bright lights bring us through a seasonal corner. The twenty-first is the year’s shortest day, and by Christmas Day and New Years’ Day increments of daylight have begun. This will take us to springtime – bright and green and fresh to our senses. This year had a wonderfully green spring and summer which was loved by a darling white cat who would be heartbroken every winter when the snow and cold would be all over everything just to annoy him.
The Tragically Hip harken back to Christmas Past. Their 1989 album Up To Here was released in late fall and became an immediate hit. I gave a copy to a high school friend that Christmas. At that time I listened to R.E.M. and the Doors, two bands with whom The Hip would be compared. (Another friend would get a hand-copied volume of Jim Morrison’s poetry that Christmas.) Day for Night, perhaps their darkest album was released late 1994. This coincided with the breakup my first marriage. Happily, by the spring of 1996 when “Ahead by a Century” became a hit, I met Keri.
The Hip’s frontman Gord Downie, who passed away in October, gave us turns of phrase we will take through our lives. Guys of my dad’s age would discuss Hank Williams with a similar reverence. Gord and my cat have been mainstays of the life Keri and I have had up to the present day in the Boyle Street neighbourhood in Edmonton. The New Year will have changes and new things and people will come into our lives. We will recall these events over holidays and hope for the best from the upcoming future.
Reinhardt lives in Boyle Street with his wife, Keri Breckenridge.