It’s Sunday on the May long weekend and I hope you’re having a good time, wherever you are. The other day I was trying to explain to an American friend what this weekend is all about and I have to admit it’s a bit confusing. Here’s what I learned from a quick search. The holiday is officially called ‘Victoria Day’ and it’s celebrated on the Monday preceding May 24, which is the day that Queen Victoria was born in 1819. It is a statutory holiday in all provinces except NS, NU and QC, where it’s called ‘National Patriots’ Day’. In NB it’s listed as a ‘prescribed day of rest’. Most stores remain open; banks and government offices close. Mail isn’t delivered.
Fewer and fewer people use the official term Victoria Day, instead calling this ‘ The Queen’s Birthday’, ‘ The May long weekend’, ‘The May Long’ or my favourite, ‘The Two-Four’. Whether the latter refers to the date, or to the kick off of summer beer drinking season is a matter of personal choice. This is typically a busy gardening weekend, as by late May, the weather should be warm enough to get plants into the ground. Unfortunately, it’s snowing in Calgary today even though they’ve recently had temperatures in the high 20’s.
Three weeks from today is the Victoria Half Ironman race, something that I’ve been training for since late fall. Last Sunday I made the tough decision to withdraw from the race. Dental surgery/infection and a nasty cold sidelined me for over three weeks, at a time when I should have been building big miles. In a nutshell, I ran out of time. Once the decision was made and I shared it with my family, friends and training buddies I felt sad, yet relieved.
It took a couple of days to mentally adjust to not having this goal to reach for. I love the challenge of pushing myself and the feeling of being fit. I got out for two short runs and a lovely hike to Quarry Rock with my daughter, Brooke, and was reminded that fitness can be found in lots of places.
What to do with all that extra time now? I made a little jacket for the 10-month old daughter of a couple that I know from triathlon training. I’ve been easing back into garment sewing and this project reacquainted me with reading patterns and various sewing techniques. Here’s the jacket, front and back. Click on the photo to enlarge. Note the little bicycles on the fabric!
When that was done I took on the task of making myself a name tag. These are handy at quilt meetings, retreats and workshops. I made this out of bits and pieces from my fabric stash. I found some fabric that has inspirational quotes like ‘dream big’, ‘make messes’ and ‘bite off more than you can chew’. Then I made my name out of bits and pieces of alphabet fabric, kind of like an old-time ransom note. Not wanting to get too far away from my sporty side, I used a piece of coveted swim fabric for the back. Here’s the name tag. Again, click on the photo to enlarge.
The completed name tag is a reflection of me this week and most weeks; thinking positive thoughts, using my imagination and keeping active and fit.
Whether you’re in the garden, shovelling snow, drinking beer or just relaxing I hope you have a safe and happy Two-Four.
Thanks for reading.
I used to think none of us inherited Grandad’s artistic abilities … But we have just chosen to use it differently! You definitely inherited his talents!!!
What an inspiration he was to all of us.