With each new birthday, astute ‘Livre des Visages’ observers note my age. As of February 2015 j’ai quatre-vingt-seize ans! (Do the math anglos: 4 X 20 + 16 = 96 years old). There is a story of how this came to be:
When I signed up for L-d-V (Book of Faces) there was a slider for age or year of birth. Sliders make me want to push the limits. The limit at the time I signed up was 1919 so that is why I am 96 on L-d-V as of 2015.
With each additional year, I feel like I should fill out my timeline as there is presently a big gap between my L-d-V birthday and my real-time birthday that should really be documented. I’ll find pictures that are year appropriate. Project duly noted.
The monument pictured to the right is in honour of Georges-Etienne Cartier, well enough known in Québec but in the ROC he enters history as John A. Macdonald’s ally. Without M. G-E Cartier, Canada would .not exist in the form we know it. The monument is in Jeanne-Mance park (or is that part of Parc Mont-Royal?). When I begin skiing, bicycling, running or walking up Olmstead Way into Parc Mont-Royal I pass before (or behind) this monument. Let’s say the angel guards the entrance to Olmstead Way. It happens that this monument was erected in 1919, my L-d-V birth year. It was recently restored at the cost of millions, which is quite understandable for a 96 year old. There is a fantastic view of the monument when you are coming up the bike path in Jeanne-Mance park from Rachel. This photo gives angel-appropriate back-lighting to the monument. It is a stunning monument from any angle at any time of day.
When winter weather reports talk about ‘miserable’ weather, snow storms and adverse conditions, it is all so much given a negative slant. The real disaster for me is never ‘more snow’ but rather when the snow gets soggy and rain falls to destroy it. We get less of those mid-winter thaws in Montreal – a good thing in my books. New snowfall means I’m out skiing – a run up Mount Royal – in the company of so many other joggers, skiers, snowshoe-ers, tobogannists and dog-walkers – the cream of Montreal society. Hang with the positive people. Let the car-driving commuters commiserate sourly about the weather – I’m among those that know what to do with snow.
Felt quite stiff in the bones after a hard-day’s work packaging sausage yesterday, but I followed through on the previous night’s good intentions of going up-mountain and got out of the house before 8am for the couple blocks walk to the park where I put on my skis and rejoin (I think this is a French usage) the ski-trail along Olmstead Way. I can see the elevation that I am going to climb, but the grade on Olmstead Way makes it the best of X-country skiing experiences. In about an hour I’m at the cross – la meillure oeuvre de la Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, érigé en 1924. This is the best place to take my small collation (snack). This morning it is half a dried fig and the water that is left in my small water bottle. Whether it is nuts, chocolate, raisins, dried blueberries or cranberries nothing ever tastes so good and yet just a bit is all I need.
From the cross – everything is down-hill and very fun-going. On est gaté ici dans une ville faite pour les sportifs d’hiver. Jésus, soit loué. Tes oeuvres sont magnifique.
The following is Psalm 86:10 from ‘The Message’:
Ready to put your beauty on display,
parading your greatness,
And the great things you do–
God, you’re the one, there’s no one but you!