Monday, 1 March 2010

What a Magical 17 days!

The Winter Olympics ended yesterday, a party that lasted 17 days and sparked some magical awakening of Canadian spirit in this country!  I will write more in a minute as, frankly, it's a bit emotional for me to write about it. I'll warm up with an update on my SAL with Jane

I just love all the colours that have been added since last time. It makes it very spring like, doesn't it? I'm feeling recovered from whatever I had last week though the hay fever bit is still hanging around.  I'm so enjoying stitching this, and doing it as a SAL with Jane has been lots of fun!  I'm already thinking I want to stitch another of Brenda's design, Mary's Best Handwork.  I love all the reds in it!

But what I really want to stitch next is the new Blackbird Designs' Honeysuckle Manor, whenever it arrives! 

Now, I want to write about the Olympics because my heart is so full if I don't tell you this story I'll just burst.  The last event of the Olympics was the Gold Medal Hockey game - Canada vs USA.  If anyone didn't realize how much hockey is part of our national psyche, we found that out yesterday! Me? I don't normally watch any sports games but this was BIG, this had a whole nation anxiously cheering on our team. 

The game was a nail biter. The USA team was amazing in scoring the goal that tied up the game with less than 30 seconds to Canada's win, and drove the game to overtime. Here's where you can have a good laugh picturing me. 

In the last minutes of the game, before USA scored the tieing goal, I was pacing back and forth between the TV room and the kitchen, practically running on the spot because I was so nervous. My DH was laughing at me and said 'hey this is good exercise for you! You should do this more often.' Ha-ha.  When the tieing goal was scored, you could feel the whole crowd collapse in disbelief.  I'd wanted to cry and I noticed my heart was racing. I was shaking! Can you believe it? My logical side said 'It's only a game'. My emotional side said 'It's about Canada!'

I couldn't watch the next period. I had to go to the next room and pick up my needle to calm down my heart rate. After awhile I heard kind of a roar. I walked into the TV room and saw the Canadian team piling on top of each other in celebration, and the crowd absolutely roaring! I tell ya, it could've gone the other way and the US could've won. Then I would've feared riots, national depression, and me eating my way through tons of chocolates! 

I never would've thought myself being that emotionally attached to the outcome of a game! But this Olympics has been a magical one and woke in many of us a pride in being a Canadian. Normally, we are all so laid back and quiet but this, this was really like getting together as a family and watching your kids compete and do their bests. Teary moments were aplenty.

Maybe you had to be here to just feel the vibe. It was the strangest thing but most heart-warming.
With this final Gold medal, Canada achieved 14 Golds which is the most that any nation has ever achieved in the Olympic games!  That was amazing considering when Canada went into these games the worry was if we would win ANY Gold medals at all on home turf!  (You see, this never happened when the games were in Montreal and Calgary.) So much for small expectations and grand surprises! 

My bit of Olympic blathering isn't meant to be self congratulatory (ok, maybe a little but that goes to the athletes!) but just to record this moment when one day I look back on my blog and can then recall this special moment.  I want to send a big thank you out to everyone who have made these games an amazing time! 

Lastly, I just want to thank you for stopping by. I know the East has been hit hard with more snow. I send you some sunshine with these flowers and hope spring will come soon in your part of the world. Take care and I'm sending each of you a hug just because I'm still tuned into this happy vibe right now! ;-)   


Jennifer said...

First let me say your SAl with Jane is coming along beautifully . Brenda's patterns are great.
The game was awesome . It certainly capped off the Olympics in Vancouver didn't it?It was a real nail biter!! Our athletes did so well in so many ways. Look forward to seeing more of your stitching now that the tv's will have a rest!!

Gillie said...

Hey, you say what you feel, Melissa, I think we need to feel some pride in our respective countries these days, especially given all the awful news we hear from around the world! The UK does not feature much in the Winter Games, too much rain, lol! but we did have a Brit become a member of the IOC this year! I got a little carried away last year when the Stillers won the Super Bowl! A nice ending to the Games!

BeckySC said...

BEEutiful progress, Melissa :) I have this one in my stash and I am LOVING the way yours is stitching up :)

Catherine said...

Great progress Becky! Those flowers are beautiful - thanks for sharing!

And as for the Olympics - Vancouver obviously has a magic spark or something! Congrats to all the athletes involved!

Ranae said...

Congrats! to Canada,
The SAL is looking wonderful

Cari-in-VA said...

I'm so glad that you are feeling better!

I heard the hockey match was quite a game - congrats to Canada for an amazing win!

Your couple is really cute - you and Jane are flying thru this one. I love your choice of a next start - it's wonderful.

Your flowers look beautiful and I bet they smell of spring.

doris said...

Oh, I'm so incredibly behind in reading your blog! So sorry ... I used to be so organized and then I lost it.

That hockey game was the most exciting I ever watched. Of course, my feelings about it are the opposite of yours, but it was an incredible game. Congratulations to your hockey team, and to Vancouver for a great Olympics.

Love your SAL. It's a great project, and it looks like you're having a lot of fun with it.

Thanks for the great flower pictures.

Andrea said...

Beautiful progress on BK/BT Melissa, I swear, the more of this I see you stitch up, the more I want to get it! Love it!
Glad you're feeling better :-)

Danielle said...

So what you're saying is hockey is kinda popular in Canada? ;) I didn't get to watch the last couple of days of the games but I watched lots of the rest--I'm amazed what those athletes can do (flipping up in the air on skiis??). I always love watching the Olympics and was happy to see such a successful games and now really want to visit Vancouver! Your sampler is looking lovely and such pretty tulips--bring on spring! :) (Danielle-The Peacock's Feather)

Deb said...

Your piece is looking wonderful! I just love watching your progress on it! And the game was a double -edged sword for me. I'm half Canadian, but born in the US - which way to go? Kind of hard when you have most of the family cheering for the States. But it was a great game anyway.

Karoline said...

Your SAL is looking lovely, great progress.

While I haven't seen much of the winter Olympics this year (mainly down to time difference) I can totally get your excitement. I shall probably be exactly the same when the Summer games come to the UK in two years time.

LindataxPA said...

Love your BK/BT - giving me thoughts about getting the chart and stitching it myself!

The hockey game yesterday was incredible. As a US citizen from Pittsburgh, it was with mixed feelings that Sid the Kid scored the winning goal. But we watched through the medal ceremony and were touched by the thousands in the stands who proudly sang the National Anthem of Canada. And kudos to those at the Curling finals too on Saturday night for singing not once but twice!!! Way to go Canadian Olmpians.

Linda B
Pgh PA

Irene said...

I watched the game and when it went into overtime I didn't know if I could stand it. Well there I am stitching away and missed the winning goal, thank goodness for replay :) I can't imagine what it was like downtown, here in Burnaby cars were honking like a flock of geese !

Vonna said...

I think it's wonderful that Canada won :) I really do!
And I love that SAL piece has me looking at it all over again....which is BAD news for my husband :) LOL!

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

Absolutely beautiful stitching, Melissa! I just love how it's turning out - and so quickly, too!

It was a barn burner of a game last night! When the USA scored, I thought Rob was going to break our sofa he was jumping and basically convulsing so much - ridiculous, if you ask me! But, it was an exciting game and great fun to watch. You should be proud and if it wasn't going to be US, I'm glad it was you all!

Laurie in Iowa said...

I enjoyed every day of the 17 day Winter Olympic Extravaganza. Yeah Vancouver! You deserve a gold medal for a fabulous Olympics.

Margaret said...

Oh those colors on the SAL piece! So lovely! And the tulips! Thank you -- I needed that! lol!

I was very happy when I heard that Canada had won the hockey game. I knew how important it was to you Canadians, so in my heart I was rooting for the Canadian team to win. I don't blame you at all for getting so wrapped up in the game. I would have too! I think Vancouver did such a wonderful job hosting these games. Such a beautiful place, and such a great games! Congrats!

WoolenSails said...

Your piece is coming out beautifully. I worked on mine some more tonight, on the upper right corner and then just the heart left.


mainely stitching said...

Hooray!! A huge congratulations to all Canadians - what a great Olympics! :D

caerbannog said...

Your sampler's coming along beautifully!

I am not to into sports, but I thought the Olympics were really great this year too. I thought it was really moving, whenever a Canadian won gold, to see everyone in the stands singing along with the national anthem. Congrats on Canada winning hockey! It was a thrilling game. :D

Nicki said...

I'm in the UK, we don't play ice hockey over here and I'd never watched a match before, but I did watch that one. And wow it was good! Such a nail biter. I was cheering for Canada! You had such an amazing games and it was a fitting end. Congrats! :)

Siobhan said...

Wow, you're moving along like gang busters on your WTN&T sampler! It looks great. I love the Mary's Handworke sampler, too.

Of course, I wish the game had gone the other way, but it was an excellent game with (from what I could see, as an American observer listening to a Canadian announcer calling the game on a European TV channel!) good sportsmanship, and I was very happy that if it wasn't us, that it was the Canadians who won. You all did yourselves proud with the hosting of the games. I'm glad that it, as you say, awakened a national spirit in the country, because you have every right to be bursting your buttons with pride. My only complaint is that the coverage that I watched didn't show little side trips around the area like I remember seeing with the Lillehammer games, etc. I would have loved to have seen more of BC.

Alison said...

I'm so glad the Canadians won the hockey. Canada & Australia are like special cousins....we both have British heritage and we think alike in many things. Beating the Americans is just one of those things! LOL.

I know exactly how you guys feel about your Olympics...we had the same thing here in 2000. It was amazing!

Jane said...

How exciting for your country to win the hockey on the last day, and to beat the Americans. Tough competition and a match well deserved of its win. Are you having Olympic withdrawals now? :)

Don't all the colours go well together in BK&BT? I love it all and it's such a fun piece for a SAL. Wonderful stitching, Melissa. Keep it up!

Love your bright looking flowers too!

Carol said...

Wonderful stitching and wonderful comments on the Olympics. Canada should be so proud of everything that went into hosting such a memorable event. And even though we were (obviously) rooting for USA during the hockey game, it was easier to bear the loss since our own Pittsburgh Penguin, Sidney Crosby, scored the winning goal! He is so beloved in our city, Melissa, you would think he had been born here :)

Sweet William Primitives said...

Hello Melissa~your sal is coming along just beautifully! I may have to do this one myself..I just love it! Oh, and (I'm whispering now),
I was rooting for your team too! (:
Congratulations Canada~and thank you for a wonderful job of hosting the Olympics..I so enjoyed watching it all from our warm family room!(: best regards~Kathy

Barb said...

Though I was hoping USA would win the game I was also afraid that Canada would hate us if we did! And we wouldn't want that! I don't watch much hockey but it's important in our family since DH is a former recreational player and now a referee and DD works at an ice rink.

We are missing having the games to watch every day and now we want to visit looks spectacular!

Brigitte said...

Good to knownthat you are feeling better, Melissa.
Your SAL piece is such a beauty and I love to see the progress on it on your and Jane's blogs.
As for the Olympics, no, I didn't see the hockey game but DH did and he was screaming and wowing all the time although he usually doesn't watch sports on TV. Must have been really nerve- wrecking also for those who are not into sports. But I can relate to what you say about magical sports games and the feeling of getting together as a big family. We had that happen in our country when we hosted the soccer world championship in 2006. There definitely were magical moments, too.

Lennu said...

Oh my, I'm still sorry I missed the game because of the terrible headache. And believe me, nothing but a terrible headache could have prevented me from watching :) But I went to see the result and watch the goals as soon as I got up the next morning :) It was wonderful to read about your feelings, I can imagine how it feels! I still remember when Finland won the World championship in ice hockey in 1995, they played against our neighbor Sweden, which made everything even better :D

Your WIP is looking great, such lovely colours and motifs!

MyLifesAStitch said...

Awesome stitching!!

Although I didn't watch much of the Olympics this time around, I know what you mean about the wonderful feeling of an entire nation coming together, united in cheering their countrymen on to victory. It taps into what makes a nation great, doesn't it?

Great post!!

Nicole said...

Beautiful progress Melissa!! This design is so cute! I'm happy for Canada too - it's great that they won when the Olympics was in Canada. Must have made the whole country so proud! I also love Mary's Best Handework - just got it yesterday! :)

Suzanne said...

Your SAL is coming along so beautifully. It's amazing how lovely it all starts to look when you add more colour.

We really enjoyed watching the olympics and seeing snippets of your beautiful country.

Von said...

I watched a good portion of the USA/Canada hockey game and I felt much like I do when watching a close Boise State football game. :D Of course, your team won the gold, and I think most of us feel that if we had to lose the gold, at least it was to Canada. Congrats!

Lisa said...

hi I've just came across your blog tonight, and I wanted to say you have some wonderful stitching, your samplers are beautiful

Lois said...

Loving your progress on BK&BT. Glad you're feeling a bit better. By a complete fluke I caught the hockey on TV Sunday night and realised that it wasn't just recorded highlights but the actual game. Not that I know much about ice hockey but I certainly picked up the tension. Way to go Canada!!!! Congrats on the win! Hope that stash arrives soon, I'm doing some stalking myself now!!!

Peg said...

Your sampler is looking great, I love her stance :o) I'm looking forward to seeing your next progress post.

Peg x

Snip said...

Congratulations on your sampler and a great post on the Olympics! I think that the comments above, from the Americans in particular, were so generous about us Canadians winning the hockey game. I feel really touched by it, actually. They are all so gracious and lovely.

Joanie said...

Your sampler is lovely and so is your stash. I think we were sisters in a previous life, our tastes are so much alike!

Nice post on the Olympics. I thought Team USA had you but Team Canada pulled it out! Congratulations on a wonderful Olympics, Canada did a great job! I was glued to my TV for 2 weeks.