A bit about Barb the Saint….
She’s the Patron Saint of Artillerymen.
“She is also traditionally the patron of armourers,
military engineers, gunsmiths, miners
and anyone else who worked with cannon and explosives.
Saint Barbara’s Day,
is celebrated by the British (Royal Artillery, RAF Armourers, Royal Engineers),
Australian (Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, RAAF Armourers),
Canadian (Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians (EOD),
Canadian Air Force Armourers, Royal Canadian Artillery, Canadian Military Field Engineers,
Royal Canadian Navy Weapons Engineering Technicians),
New Zealand (RNZAF Armourers, RNZA, RNZN Gunners Branch) armed forces.
Additionally, it is celebrated by
Irish Defence Forces Artillery Regiments,
Norwegian Armed Forces Artillery Battalion,
United States Army and Marine Corps Field and Air Defense Artillery,
Marine Corps Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians.”
…all to say,
she’s the Saint of blowing up stuff.
December 4th also coincides with the date
Francois signed on as an army recruit 1975,
40 years ago.
Even though he has now traded in his combats
for a boat, a beard and a bigger smile,
and as a retired officer,
he can no longer wear the dress uniform of the Royal Canadian Artillery,
he remains in touch with the small community of gunners,
also known as the guys who blow up stuff.
Tonight is such an occasion.
I, on the other hand, will remain at home
to decorate for upcoming holiday festivities.
Every year I get read the ‘riot act’: “Please don’t overdo it!”
Really difficult for someone who grew up in a home
where, if it didn’t move it got decorated.
Living in a small condo apartment though does help me to keep things minimal.
Our land galley will soon be bustling with activity
while we prepare for just under 3 dozen guests.
Even as I write this I feel just a slight rush of stress rising,
so I’m going to close for now,
pour myself a glass of wine,
put on some Christmas tunes,
let the tension melt away,
and dream of being back on the water.