About a year ago, in an idle moment I phoned the Make a Wish Foundation of Ottawa, and told them that if they ever needed my carriage I would be glad to provide it. And that was it. I never thought of it again. Until one morning my phone rang and there was a young woman''s voice on the other end, asking to speak to the manager. So I said, well I will go and get him. Well, no I didn't . I said that's me, what can I do for you?
The upshot is that I had three weeks to prepare a carriage fit for a princess. A Cinderella Carriage.
The Wish recipient, whose name is Nour, likes pink and the movie F
rozen, and she wanted to be a princess. So it became my heavy responsibility to make her fantasy come true, at least insofar as my part of the fantasy
Pink. That's what I had to work with. So I pulled out every pink flower I had. With a few blue ones. And I kept thinking in my head, "four, four, four". I found beautiful blue butterflies and attached them to the flowers.
Because the wish would take place downtown, I recruited volunteers to help direct traffic and to protect Duke. I made them t-shirts. Brett and I wore tuxedos and top hats. The Cinderella top is too big for our regular trailer and has to be transported separately, so I rounded up donors to pay for the truck rental.
And then the day came, and there we were, all ready. You cannot imagine the thrill of driving a horse and carriage to the front door of the Chateau Laurier. I felt like an echo of long ago past. And it was all so elegant. So I drove up to the door, BMW in front of us and the Mercedes behind. And we fit right in.
Nour had been invited to a Royal Wedding viewing party. Every princess should be invited to the Royal Wedding. All the guests called her Princess and Your Royal Highness. And then they announced that the whole family would be going to Disney Land to - what else? - meet the princesses.
I think by the time little Nour got out to us she might have been feeling a bit overwhelmed. But then here was a glorious carriage, fit for a princess. There was a BIG horse to draw it. And there was a handsome man in a top hat and tails holding out his hand and telling her that her carriage awaited.
Our volunteers told me that the smile never left her face and that the rest of her family were jubilant. They smiled and waved as we drove into the market area, taking a route that spanned all of the streets around it.
When we returned to the Chateau Laurier, and Princess Nour dismounted, the coachman in the top hat and her father went up front to visit the big horse. And because Duke is such a gentlemen, he specifically lowered his head so she could pet him.
And you know what? We made the news.
A huge vote of thanks goes out to the following people:
-To Peggy Stewart, and the Wellness group, for contributing the money to pay for the rental Truck.
-To Water Street Auto Works U haul, for the truck.
-To Michaels Craft Store in Kanata, and all the staff I work with, who watched me collecting pink blooms of every kind and did not think I was crazy.
-To our volunteers, Traci Osborne, Wendy Cotie, Joe Kristiansen, and Cindy McKinnon, who also provided the tuxedos.
-To Brett Stewart, without whom my flights of fancy would never take wing, and without whom nothing heavy would ever get lifted, and who loves Duke almost as much as I do, and shows it with every job.
-And finally, to my family who put up with the pink flower craze of 2018.