Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Fever

Thirty years ago this summer I had a serious case of Royal Fever. I caught it the day Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement. From that moment I began gathering all the information I could about the royal family. I read books, I watched TV movies, I memorized trivia, and of course, I got up at 6 a.m. on July 29, 1981, to watch the Wedding of the Century. I drank in every moment. I was enamoured by the beautiful Princess Bride and her Prince, and I dreamed of their happy ending.

Of course, as we all know, they didn't get that happy ending, but who knew that then? Sadly, I'm not sure they even had many happy days. I was disenchanted with the Royals for a while. But Charles and Diana did bring two handsome princes into the world who I believe (hope) have learned from their parents mistakes. William and Catherine seem to really know, love and respect each other, unlike his poor parents, and they have not taken this step lightly. Once again I'm dreaming of that happy ending, and once again I find myself up at a 6:00 a.m. with a case, albeit not as serious this time, of Royal Fever.

And I have taken steps to inflict my daughter with the Fever as well! Last night, when I asked if she was going to get up early and watch with me, her response was "Aren't you going to tape it?" I was shocked! This from my own little self-proclaimed princess? "Well, yes," I replied, "But don't you want to get up and see it while it's really happening?" She thought for a moment and said, "Okay, you wake me up and I'll decide then." So this morning when my alarm went off at 5:45 I dragged myself out of bed and into Janelle's room. "Do you want to get up and watch the wedding, Honey?" She didn't open her eyes and I was sure she was going to opt for her cozy bed, but she surprised me with "Yep, just let me stretch a minute". I did, and she did, and then we headed down to snuggle on the couch. We turned the TV on just before Kate stepped out of her hotel and into the waiting car to take her ride to Westminster Abbey. Janelle was hooked! She loved every minute of it. She was enchanted by Kate's gown. She especially loved the "lacy sleeves". I was enchanted by her face as she watched and dreamed her own "Princess dreams".

The Royal Wedding has reawakened my long dormant Royal Fever, and I think it has done the same for millions of others. I sincerely hope that the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge get their happy ending. They have the chance that Charles and Diana never really had. The celebration of this wedding has been overwhelming — the most watched wedding in history. Weddings are wonderful and they draw people together, but I think anniversaries are far more worthy of celebration. I look forward to seeing Prince (or perhaps King) William celebrating with his bride ten, twenty, thirty years from now, and celebrating their children's royal weddings from the perspective of a long and successful marriage.

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge! May you enjoy many long years together!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dreams of Sunshine

Thirteen months ago we moved to London under false pretenses. We were guaranteed (by unnamed sources -- you know who you are!) that Spring comes earlier in Southern Ontario than it does in the Maritimes. We were also told that winter starts later. In March and April 2010 this proved true. The week after we moved in the temperatures were balmy. The kids were running up and down the street in tshirts on March Break. I had a lovely suntan started the first week of April. We had moved to the "sunny south". Hmmmm...

Flash forward eight months: SNOWMAGEDDON! London receives over a metre of snow in three days the first week of December! And back in the Maritimes? Green Christmas! That snow stuck around until late March, when it finally melted under moderate sunshine. We've had a few warm days. I haven't wanted to stray far from a jacket, though. And today, on April 18th, I drove to the school in HEAVY snow! When I came home, the ground was covered. Okay, so it's mostly gone now, but merely the thought that this could happen after all the guarantees of summer temperatures in April! I've had to turn the heat back on in the house, and I'm still shivering.

But I have hope! Three weeks from today, Chris and I will arrive in Mexico for the vacation we've waited fifteen years to have. Guaranteed sunshine. No kids (thank you Mom and Dad!). Just the two of us, celebrating our fifteenth anniversary under the palm trees. Of course, I know what this means. The day I leave for Mexico, temperatures in London will soar to 30 degrees! But I don't care. Southern Ontario will never have this view:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Doctor Dilemma

One of the things that I have been really pleased with since we moved to Ontario has been the level of healthcare my family has received. This started even before we had a doctor. When Janelle broke her arm last summer, I took her to a clinic where she was diagnosed in under five minutes, an x-ray clinic where we waited about 15 minutes, and London Children's Hospital, where we may have waited about 45 minutes to see a doctor. All in all, including driving and having a cast put on, we were home within three hours of her accident. Not bad. I hate to say it, but in Fredericton this probably would have been an all day ordeal.

I was even happier with our healthcare when we met our new doctor. I found her on a "London Academy of Medicine" website, and it took a few months to get in to her, but she is wonderful. She is extremely thorough, never rushed, and so kind and helpful. Such a contrast to my very gruff, impatient, always in a hurry, and often insensitive family doctor in Fredericton. He wasn't a nightmare of a doctor like some of my friends have described, but he certainly never put me at ease. The day I met my doctor here I immediately felt "cared for" in a way I never had with my old doctor. She immediately set up appointments for Janelle's arm to be reassessed, Connor's hearing to be checked, and for Chris and I to have long-awaited full check-ups. Every time I've been in her office she has not left without asking if there is anything else she can do for me. She's wonderful! I love her! But at my check-up in February she gave me some bad news.

Not the kind of bad news you expect in a doctor's office. I don't have some frightening rare disease. Or a more frightening common disease for that matter! My children are fine. I'm healthy and (according to my doctor) young for my age (see why I love her?) No, none of the usual doctor's office bad stuff. But terrible just the same.

My doctor is moving away.

She assured me that we would still be cared for, that we will still have a doctor and that if it takes some time for the office to hire a new doctor the others in the practice would pick up the slack. Still, I felt awful. I finally found a wonderful, caring doctor, and she's leaving me! But then a month later I got a letter in the mail that made me feel worse.

The letter explained that my doctor would be moving because her husband had found employment in another city and that attempts would be made to replace her, but she could not guarantee a new doctor would be found. Therefore, she suggested, we should begin our search for a new family doctor. AGAIN! WHAT? I just did that last year! I was very happy with the result, and I don't want to do it again!

I've gone back to the same website I found our current doctor on, but the only doctor taking patients is in a town quite a distance from here. There is one doctor accepting adult patients up until next week, and a pediatrician accepting children, but they are both at the opposite end of the city and I had really hoped we'd all be able to have the same doctor. There is also a service that I can register for where we will be assigned a doctor on a random basis, and we could all end up with different ones, but we don't even qualify for that service until after our doctor has moved. My next option is to just start calling doctor's offices. Chris suggested I look for recommendations, but seriously? In this part of the world, as in NB, "you get what you get and you don't get upset". Otherwise I would have left my doc in Freddy a long time ago!

So maybe I should call the adult doc and the pediatrician. Or maybe I should just start making phone calls. Or maybe I should wait and pray that the clinic where my doctor works is able to replace her after all. It's a dilemma, and one I had really hoped I wouldn't have to deal with again for a long time! Meanwhile, the walk-in clinic around the corner is very quick and the doctor (who is about 102 years old) is a sweet old fellow. Maybe I should just stick with him!