Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Joannie Rochette

snow, blowing snow, temps around freezing

What a day! Two feet of snow at least...thank God for Tony who came and dug us out this afternoon and even brought a bag of groceries (hot cross buns, chocolate syrup - the essentials...just like the pioneers). We were going to stay in Montreal overnight and drive down to the country today. I had a Skype book club chat with this marvelous bookstore called Mysteries&More in Nashville. It started at 8pm. We had a great time...lots of fun and interesting questions. They'd read Still Life.

But - Michael and I had heard the forecast. There was always going to be bad weather for the balance of the week, but a sudden storm had appeared off the east coast and would hit Quebec by midnight and dump up to 20 cm's of snow. And the rest of the week was looking bad too.

So we decided to scoot into the car and head home in the window between 9pm and midnight. The first half of the drive was quite...between the forecast for a blizzard and the Canada/Germany hockey game, we were mostly alone on the road. Then the snow started...and got heavier and heavier. We were going to stop for dinner off the highway but decided to push through. made it home - always a relief! - in time to watch Joannie Rochette skate in the women's short programme. both Michael and I were in tears, as were most of the people watching. Poor one. What depths she must have. Sometimes when watching sports it suddenly becomes about something else...and no score could ever reflect that. That was such a moment.

These young athletes are amazing. She's amazing.

Then Michael and I crawled to bed and woke up to snow plastered against the windows...we could barely see out. It was waist deep and we got on our snowshoes to walk through it but could only get two paces away...I couldn't lift my leg high enough to get to the top of the snow.

I was supposed to go for a meeting at the Sutton school, to discuss their Reading Programme. As you know, they've asked me to take part, which I'm thrilled to do - but I'm not a natural with children. After I mentioned on the blog that my strategy was to treat them like puppies a number of you wrote to say kids actually have thoughts, and feelings and imaginations and perhaps it would be better to appeal to those rather than offer them cookies if they sit up nice and beg.

So I will try. But we had to cancel the meeting since the school was closed. Rescheduled for Friday.

We were forced - forced I say - to have a cafe au lait in front of the fireplace instead. I wrote the March newsletter and marveled at Marjorie from Connecticut, who seems a "friends" demon. She'd have made a marvelous herder in another life.

Unfortunately the snow has also plastered itself against our satellite dish, so no Olympics. More time in front of the fire. Reading, nibbling, sipping. Preparing to write the next book, starting monday.

Oh, Michael just reported that the satellite is clear and Sutton's own Clara Hughes is about to skate in the Olympics. Must fly. Speak tomorrow. Be well.

9 comments: said...

What an amazing performance in spite of tragic circumstances. Even if she doesn’t win a medal for her performance, Rochette deserves a gold medal for persevering through an extremely difficult time. Her story makes me want to watch her in figure skating just to see how she does in the rest of the Olympic competition.

lil Gluckstern said...

Watched the skaters this afternoon (recorded them) and teared up for Joanie Rochette and her father. Beautiful skating with heart. Also saw the Canadian bobcled team get to be in first place. The spirit awards are a tie between Canada and the U.S. Glad you are snug in your home on such a snowy day!

Elizabeth said...

Had no idea that Clara Hughes is from Sutton. Very moving "end" to her career. Of course, it's the start to the rest of her life. And so nice to hear the announcer describe her husband as her inspiration. Like you, I think.

Christiane said...

I won't comment on Joannie's performance, but I do want to comment on yours. Unfortunately, I don't have the gift for words that you have. So here goes! I have just "discovered" your books. It was love at first read, and second and third. The image that comes to mind is that I have discovered "une belle talle", like a great patch of juicy mountain blueberries! You are the first author whose books bring on a great belly laugh as I read the reparties of Clara, Gabri and brilliant grumpy Ruth. I have never before interrupted my reading but with your books I just need to share with my husband each particularly savoury image you create with 4 or 5 well strung words. I love your characters, I love your settings, and I particularly love Ruth's poetry. "I envy you your steady blaze/fed by the Book of Common Praise. ... How do you do it? Will you, one day, publish one of "her books"? She has a fan!

Thank you!
Christiane Dufour

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Yes, aren't the olympics amazing?

And Christiane...what a very beautiful message. You've made my heart glow. Thank you. I can't tell you how wonderful I feel that you've found the books - and that they speak to you.

I wish I could take credit for the poetry, but the fact is, the poetry is mostly from two works...Margaret Atwood's Morning in the Burned House...and a privately published book by the late Marylyn Plessner. Indeed, that particular quote is from her book. Very powerful.

Thank you, Christiane.

Thanks to all of you for commenting.

Barb said...

Add me to the list of people who tears up everytime I see that remarkable emotional performance by Joannie R. In fact, I've started leaving the room when it comes on, to avoid sighs by my husband. :x

Talk of pastries... I know Oreos do not really count as pastries, but one son who just got back from Argentina was marveling at how each afternoon at break time, a plate heaped with Oreos would be brought to him. Luckily he is an Oreos lover. :)

Anita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita said...

Several of us have been combing the web recently looking for the author (and full text) of the poem you mention in so many of your books, attributed to Ruth Zardo: Who hurt you, once, so far beyond repair that you would greet each overture with curling lip?
Just now, doing several searches on Marylyn Plessner, this blog post came up. Can you help us out here? We love the poem (and the books, actually- I'd move to Three Pines if I could!) and would like to see it in its entirety. And, we'd love to know who actually did write it!
(And please excuse the fact that this has nothing to do with the actual post.)
Thank you!

Kendra said...

I love Ruth so very much and I'm just tickled that another favorite author (Margaret Atwood) penned her works. Thank you for these incredible adventures.