Off to a great start

April 2020,,,love you guys

No, maybe not off to a great start but it must have been a great beginning because here my folks are 64 years later celebrating a milestone. Celebration. I think every year is a milestone of celebration…making a commitment to the person in your life that you said “yes” to way back when. Still together. I chuckle when I hear newly weds say that it feels like they have been married forever. Just you wait. Oh to the celebration, mom and dad. Even though it will be the first time in all of your years of marriage that you will not be holding hands, giving a peck or two (hiding eyes here) and warm hugs of love and affection (big smile now) for one another… you love each other. (Thanks for the interference pandemic – not going to talk about you today).

Wow. It is humbling to have known someone for that long…and still talk to each other!! Hahaha. Kidding folks. It is kind of unbelievable really when you look in the section of the local newspaper with births, celebrations, and yes deaths and read about who is who. You see life unfolding before you and the wonderful testimonies of the celebrations. Yes, even in death, the life lived for however long…a celebration of; to be remembered or to remember. And then you look at the length of time different couples have been married. Holy lightening and everything that is holy….50, 60, 70, 80 +++. That must be some good cooking is all I can say.

So I take this journey today thinking of two special people in my life, giving witness to dedication and commitment to one another. Love. How does one do it? I guess I am going to refer to the pandemic situation. Because the turmoil that it has caused on families in particular marriages…how to weather the storms, is breaking my heart. You hear story upon story. Not good. I have a very sad feeling in my heart that the repercussions in the wake of this pandemic will change the face of many a couple; it has already started. How does one work through the hills and valleys of relationships, riding them out, and know that love still holds firm in the hearts of one’s heart, life partner, friend, lover, companion…however you want to capture the person who has been with you for….well forever?

I look at my folks and wonder how did they meet. I recall mom telling me that they met at a dance. And mom asking how tall my dad was…and dad being dad he replied, “Tall enough.” Can you imagine? Wow dad way to romance mom. I love the movies when two people for some reason cross path and then perchance they meet. Do they click right away? Well of course it is the movies. But then like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail you just never know. But it is the crazy way of meeting where out of hundreds of thousands multiplied by however many more, you meet the ‘one’. Then again it could be the boy/girl next door or childhood crush in school which grew into…you are it for me. You just never know when or where. And you do not know what is in store for you.

So what makes a relationship last or lasting. If I take mom and dad for instance, they are kind of opposite in many ways. Yet they worked. Mom quiet and reserved but boy don’t let her get that line across her mouth; dad the talker..oh boy. Still does. I mean it is not like I remember them or think about them being a couple over the years in a meaningful and heartfelt way. They were just mom and dad, same old same old. Oops sorry. LOL. But seriously they were always there – at the table, in the yard, knocking at bedroom door (really I just wanted to play with my barbies or read – no cell phones back then. Hehe), in the kitchen, in livingroom, in the car. Always. There.

Easy for them?? I doubt it. Think about it. Any couple who come together, come from different life experiences. They are not a blank slate. On a spectrum with own values, beliefs, faith, cultures, families, traditions, friends, attitudes, personalities, preferences, temperament, other relationships…the list can go on. Two. Different. People. Then the universe calls out, luring the mystery of fate, and then buddaboom buddabing. They meet, feel attraction or maybe not a first (or a long time), but nevertheless eventually get the “zing” – you have to be watch Hotel Transylvannia 3 – or spark and voila they decide to stick together like super glue. Oh yes, nice analogy. But get the picture. The couple become one for and to each other. Happy dance. It might be the “I do” or the “moving in”, no vow or contract, but stay they do….the togetherness. And that right there is AMAZING!!

What makes the yes come a knocking. I think of my own daughters. Having children, you decided that which means “yes”. I wanted children, blessed to have children, and all that comes with it. So for two meetings of the heart and mind, after the “zing” does its thing, somewhere along the way “yes” begins to come into the eyes by word and gesture for each other. It is the “yes” that is unbelievable!! Someone wanted someone and with all the hope in yes. Simple three letter word but packed with so much. Of course, right behind that is “no”, you know that word when things are not as ticktyboo as one would like. Yep, the hills and dales…maybe more like Grand Canyon dips. Just saying. But to get out of the dip and the valley, climbing up with that hand still there….albeit wrinkled, worn, much used, and a little bit shaky but oh still so steadfast solid.

Love. There is an old romance series from Jannette Oaks with one of the movie titles Love Comes Softly. I like to think that. It reminds me of a love that builds over time. Maybe the crossed paths, struck a light and ignited fast, even crazy fast, well other kind comes in more slowly. KInd of like a waterfall from a babbling brook, oh so gently falls to the rocks, and then off it goes meandering down the stream. Merrily merrily. Sometimes you look at a couple and think how in the world are they together. Not even knowing them but just the presence of each. You just never know who is drawn to whom or why. Love just works. Which I think Saint Paul brings a boundless display of capturing love…”love is patient, love is kind. Love is envy, it does not boast…Love never fails.”1 Cor 13:4-8 Is that it? Love never fails.

Well today, I honour my mom and dad. Just them. Loving them for who they are. For providing a path to follow, regardless of life’s circumstance, it worked. You work. I know you are not going to be able to touch hands or hug or kiss one another (TMI) but you will look into each other’s eyes on the screen (thank the Lord for technology) and smile. Laugh. Giggle even (nah dad not you). And hear my mom, who does not talk as much now, sees my dad and say, “there’s my man.” She did that a week ago, as my sister shared with me. God bless love. Thank you for giving me, all of us, family and friends a guide post to loving beyond measure. You got this and we, got you, now and forever more.

Celebrating the gift of marriage, testimony to a life lived with another, allowing someone in and be part of one’s life. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers and to those beloved couples who hold each others hand.

Open to the Unexpected

Newly born found on backstep by Trudi.

Well I am sitting here thinking that my eyes are playing tricks on me. It is April 17. Right. Then why, oh why, are there great big fluffy snow flakes falling down, laying the ground with white stuff? Still. Are you kidding me Mother Nature?! I mean I just took down the snow fence for goodness sake. I do not need a reminder that you have a warped sense of humour. I do understand that it is hard to let go of your seasonal wardrobe but this is not funny…at all. This is so unexpected and not what I envisioned at all seeing for what I had planned doing today.

Yes the unexpectedness in life. Lately there has been a number of unexpected things happening, albeit good for the most part, but catches you off guard. You know what I mean. It could be a perchance meeting, one that you were not prepared for, because life has been extraordinarily ordinary of late. And voila, then ordinary becomes extraordinary. Or an idea plopped down in front of you and think…well maybe. Or an opportunity to respond in a loving way, maybe even helpful way. Or a feeling that goodness is coming. A kind of Easter season coming to life within, drawing out gifts of wonder and delight, taking you or giving you a wondrous hope, unexpected but oh so welcome. Does that make sense?

I think of my youngest daughter who just got a job despite the circumstances in Ontario. Coming into a field, not of her own choosing, but choosing her, her voice echoes in my ear with a confidence so welcomed. Woohoo. Go little one, go. Do your thing. To a video call from my oldest sharing her joy and delight of spending her time with her growing baby, now walking. What!! How is that possible? You were just born…oh yes last year (silly me) at this time. Or my just got off the phone call with middle one, having done a food drive. What more can you ask of all of then? The pride and love one has in own children, whatever and wherever they may be, it is with a deep sense of wonder how things work out. Each in their own way have made a path, just rightly for them, and nothing can make one feel more in awe than hearing the sweet voices of happiness. Thank you.

Soon, next week actually, my parents will celebrate their 64th anniversary. It is hard to believe but oh so grateful. The unexpectedness for me is that for the first time in their entire marriage, they will not be together to celebrate as mom is in the nursing home, dad at home, and Ontario extending a more determined effort to crush the wake of the pandemic. Love will be shared virtually. In that it hurts most graciously. But I do give thanks for technology and the generous hearts of family and friends as I gather their bounty of love to bring festive cheer to my parents through the weaving words of memories, wrapped in heartfelt love.

Lately, I have had some wonderful conversations with different people that have been most quite life giving. It is amazing the kindness one experiences when people are open to dialogue, extending an invitation to give a bit of time to chat. I keep going back to the many signs I have seen across the island, advertising the message of staying safe, be kind. When you read those messages, they have taken on a deeper hue of colour in our lives, one’s that we will not forget any time soon. Why? The unexpectedness of being placed in situations that cause change or in some settings, force change to happen. LOL. Human being by their very nature do not like to change unless absolutely necessary. Making someone do something, not of their own choosing, can present turmoil and chaos; both which are not easily redeemable. At first seeing the sign of ‘staying safe, be kind’ brought a smile to my face. We should be. What a lovely thought. Yet, now it comes with a seriousness in me….it is necessary. Who would have thought?

I think of my granddaughter right now as I have been spending a lot of time with her lately babysitting. How does a 20-month old teach a way older person life lessons…me for example? Every day. Every day. We have been really focusing on nature and getting to know our world together. She just makes me hoot with laughter….the belly kind…take no prisoners kind of chuckle. I have to hide behind my shirt collar at times because she does the wildest funny things and it is just her being her. Her big think now is waving and saying ‘bye’; queen wave. We go to wash our hands – she waves. We go for a walk in the woods – she waves. We hear the birds – she stops promptly lifts up her head and then she waves saying “bye birs”. She hears a big dump truck or farm machinery up the road – she runs over to me arms extended saying “up” and then as I hold her she turns to trucks passing and waves. Is there not a book by Robert Fulghum All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten. I think if I am really paying attention, it is well before. The unexpected lessons from a 20 month old on hospitality and welcome and kindness, I cannot match.

In all, being present, listening, being aware, seeing all that is before you. Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Is that not what it means to have God in one’s life? Or if not God then something of the more, which provides a way to become more cognizant of and be open to the unexpected, allowing it to catch you….lift you up. What a graced moment!! My grandson was talking to me the other day, so excited about a new game that he got. I am trying to think of it but I am gapping. Oh yes, Crashbandicoot. Thanks daughter. Obviously I have to brush on the awareness of my 10 plus year old versus my 13 or 20 month old grandchildren. Yikes. Anyway he astounds me regularly by his unbelievable wicked vocabulary, his capacity to gather his thoughts so clearly, and to navigate the gaming world so I can at least pretend to get the gist. Have not got a clue. But he does. I sit in awe, not by the topic as much, but by his own enthusiasm, smiling eyes and joy he brings to whatever he does. Astonishing and happily received my boy. Thank you.

So while the snow is still coming down, I have a unplanned surprise in my truck that I got today. When I got in my truck I was just going to get a couple of groceries and tuck in, spoil myself today. I am not sure why I did what I did but I took a left turn instead of right and…. got soil. Yep. A mixed soil. Yeah the language of gardening….who would have thought!? And grass seed. And fertilizer. And yes mulch, red cedar variety. Whew. Wouldn’t you know it that the first brave move of me as gardener and it is snowing. It was cold putting the bags in the back of my truck. I have decided and hopefully my family does not laugh at me too much…to garden. Yes to take the ordinary thumbs of mine and make things happen. Ta da. More like uh oh. I mean I do have this slight problem of not attending to keeping plants alive. If you tell me to take care of other people’s, no problemo; but my own (as family and friends have given me some), it just does not seem to compute. This sudden decision, surprising even me, is like taking the bandaid off….just do it for landsake because the sunflower packages that I grabbed the other day will not take root on the counter.

So for the unexpected delights in life. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of prayers and to the fruits of unexpectedness in theirs.

Airing out my…

At the wharf, traps pile high

Hahaha. I love it this morning. I am hanging out my laundry on the clothes line. Woohoo. Best dryer ever!! Chuckling to myself as I think of that old lecture learned over many years from my parents (not specifically those words but close to it) not air out your dirty laundry. Well lots to air out here today…pants, tops, underthings (oops), towels…but certainly not dirty. Oh my I really hope the sun is not so intense that it makes the towels stiff. LOL

But peaking over the laundry as I pin them up on the line, I see the sun coming up over the trees, clear blue sky and a jet plane flying overhead leaving its puffy white exhaust in its wake. It feels like a normal typical spring day. Honestly I have not seen a plane in the air for a while. Is there a bit of calm and activity returning? For sure down by the dock, there are stacks of lobster traps piled high next to the moored lobster boats ready and waiting. You can feel the anticipation in the movement on the wharf. Very soon they will be launching.

Well the week has been filled with all kinds of goings on. I have been singing the children’s song Mr Sun , Sun, Mr Golden Sun Please come out and play with my granddaughter. She is learning so many words….it is wonderful. The weather has been cool, cloudy, overcast, and foggy. Damp kind of days. I know it is April but does it have to live up to its reputation. Here my youngest daughter sits outside as we video chat sharing great weather with me back in Ontario. She says do you want to know what the temperature is? NO. No I do not want to know thank you very much. So today I am embracing the sun, cool still…but woohoo. I like the sun. Not a sun worshipper but I like the cheeriness of it.

Maybe that is why sunflowers have been on my mind lately. I think I am going to pretend I know what I am doing and going to grow sunflowers (and other fun flowers). Not a green thumber, more like a brown thumber, but that is not going to stop me. And thankfully my grandkids are my cheerleaders. However, first of all I need to make a garden; that would be a good start. Hahaha. I just learned somewhere on the island is a large farm that grows fields of sunflowers. Need to find it and maybe stand in it. Is that weird? In the mean time, I am watching my yard, looking at where the sun shines as I understand that the sunflower needs direct sunlight. I find it fascinating how the sunflower moves its face towards the sun. Reminds me of my grandchildren’s smiling faces. Beautiful.

Surprisingly I am getting into this growing of things. Or at least making an effort. Like my lawn for instance. Raking the leaves this week between rain drops and fog, it felt good to give it a clean and shine. Then, yesterday, I got it rolled! Holy lightning. Boy does it look different. I guess it needed it. For goodness sake, now maybe I won’t trip over my feet while playing badminton. That dip or two in the ground trips me every time. Thought it was my clumsy feet. Well it was but maybe now I won’t feel I’ll take a nose dive if reaching for the birdie. Watch out now my grandson. Hahaha.

This whole spring season is just wonderful. I feel like a live wire, full of energy, coming through me. Maybe it is the snow gone or the red dirt fields ready for planting or tractors hogging the roads as they go from one field to another (patience is a virtue) or the horrible permafrost ruined sections of the roads across the island, but it is spring. Yippee. I’ll take them all. I just took down the 100′ snow barrier my brother in law put up in late fall. It felt sooooo good. Done like dinner.

Babysitting my second oldest grandchild, she wants to be outside all the time now. And what did I notice….there are buds on some of the bushes. How do I know that? Well little one does not realize that I do not bend like she does nor am I short? So whack and whop as the bared branches take a swipe at me as we go through the bush. She does not go around but right through heavy brush because her mind is made up. Yeah me. So while I navigate the face plants of whipped branches, I see miracles before my eyes, literally. Mother Nature are you serious! Don’t tease. It has not been the greatest of weather, but well life grows and pushes through despite all the barriers coming through. So there is a budding on the tips of many bushes and trees. Lovely. Spring has sprung.

But really just enjoying life today. There is so much to be happy about even if I saw a mouse wrapped in a tarp in the outdoor play chest as I was digging out toys for outside use. Thought I imagined it but no. I picked up the tarp, shook it out, and the little fat furry rodent, made a bee line out into the bush. Ewww. It is not my favourite. Don’t say cute. Please. Anyway I am enjoying walking on the grass and wearing shoes. Yes shoes. And I even enjoy washing Maggie Mays dirty paws that she is getting from our long walks. Of course she knows which path to go on….mud. Yep. Can’t walk like me, on the tufts of grass, jumping between patches of mud and grass. Nope. But hey cannot have it all.

So spring, airing out me….my cobwebs and wobbly knees. Letting me flap and flop as I begin once again to experience the longer walks, brisk and lighter. Letting the delight of the rain and sun, blue skies and wind, rocky shores and crazy waves, red dirt and broken roads, hope of new life coming in. But for goodness sake, please remind me to put kleenex in my pockets….not a friend of nose dripping when walking. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers and for those who are in lockdown once again.

Oh Easter Morn

Easter comes in whatever way

I woke up to the dawn of the morn and was greeted with snow blanketing the world around me, deck and land. There was not a warm fuzzy feeling coming out of me right now. Joy was not quite the expected response in the stirring of my heart nor the wondrous Alleluia!! that usually comes on this day. Sorry, Lord, I’ll do better. Got it off my chest….you know confession and all. Well, Easter you have come in, memorable as ever. to welcome us to a new day beginning a new year of rebirth, renewal, rejuvenation. Not quite feeling it but I know joyful life is there. It might be hidden to be found just like the little ones discover on their own Easter hunt for they are the proof that all can be found.

It is such a dichotomy Easter in its timely tradition of faith and its polar tradition of the joyful Easter egg hunt. Two totally different worlds meet, lamb and bunny, but still with the gift of joyful delight. Uplifting the heart and minds of those who participate as in the faithful who have overcome to see the light or the pitter and patter in discovering the cracking open of the Easter egg. Neither to be taken lightly nor wrongly, just different paths giving the human heart a promise of spring, light and love. It reminds me that Easter is really a good time to feel comfortable putting all of one’s eggs in one basket. Safe and cared for. Afresh. Just like the kids. Although I am sure there might be a tussle or two with the little ones but not for the faithful….open and allow all of self to be present, lay bare, in the rising of the Lord in us. Eternally of hope.

But regardless of what kind of day it is outside, it is the inside that counts. The inside of each of us, standing maybe at the foot of the cross or empty tomb or standing right beside a hidden treasure just waiting to be found. I think of the many Easter mornings with my own girls, the delight and crazy as they began their hunt (way before church too of course). They were full of the unknown knowing all would be found in the early light….turning over- looking under- climbing – crawling – kneeling – stopping – running….the elusive Easter eggs. The carefully painted eggs that we blew out the yolk which later on in years became the many colourful plastic eggs filled with surprises. Miss those days. But I remember the little hints and clues, getting hot or cold or luke warm LOL, whatever the wording, to help them get closer to the few elusive eggs not yet found. Boy was that fun. However, the challenge was to get up early enough to help Easter bunny with the hiding. And to top it off, having to write down where hidden. Hahaha. Yeah not so fun.

Oh to go back to the golden old days. Nah the gold and old days are here. The tradition and wondrous experiences are the now. Certainly I can hold my own resurrection of memories from years gone by, even in technicolour, but really they are ever present. They have to be because it is part of us, in our faith and/or in with our own cultural customs. I am in awe that my own daughters as they continue the mark of wonder and glee in preparing their own path of traditions and observances. The detail and planning behind these days, shared with me, most humbly for me, recreating the aged and storied goodness.

It is odd not to be going to church. Over the last year since the pandemic began, I have chosen to stay away. Initially I had no choice but eventually as the doors opened, I found myself inclined to stay with the pastor’s effort of the live streamed Mass on Facebook and the daily Gospel reflections. I also found a Newfoundland channel of Sunday Mass that is accessible. Nourishing my faith in God’s house is a beautiful gift but not at expense of gatherings. Yes there are the protocols in place but I have realized that God stays with me wherever I am and so being with my grandkids and family….that is my need. Having experienced the loss of seeing family, my mom in particular, and then the restrictions to even visit openly within and between provinces, I realized that the sacramentality of life is so much more, seeing God in all things, graced moments, which I have come to appreciate more and more. Life is precious including having the digital age that fosters a communal awareness, connections and fostering relational goodness as in this day in age, no other choice. Being and seeing my mom, my daughters, my dad, my granddaughter, my siblings across the miles live virtually…just to see and be seen. Yep. Today is a reminder that Easter gives an invigorating hope, of a new life within.

But not to ignore the other side, there is Easter of a more secular nature; no less important as it is traditional and well-intentioned customs of many. Easter bunny and the Easter egg hunt for real beautifully painted hollow eggs, colourfully sweet filled plastic eggs or the big chocolate Easter bunnies (hollow and solid) discovered at the end of hunt. I do not know when the change came, going from the traditional hollow chocolate eggs and bunnies only to a more flash-in-the-pan, popular modern day chocolate character variety fare. But give me those delicious Cadbury creamy filled eggs. Yumyumyum. Do you wonder about the wee tiny oval eggs that you get? Seem like the shape of bunny droppings? Ewww. I don’t know but still…yum in the tum. Too much information. Sorry. Yet, it is so unbelievable the Easter fare out there. How does the Easter bunny choose?

Well needless to say I saw the images of my grandchildren doing their Easter hunt; nothing has changed. Basket, hunt, eggs…filled. And smiles, big smiles even on my two youngest of grandchildren. Yes my youngest just over 1 year is walking or one-handed trailing the walls and such. Good thing Easter bunny knows how to hide the eggs along the walls or fridge or low cupboards or corners. Hahaha. Oh Easter what have you done!! Given joy to the little hearts and minds whether understood or not. And maybe just maybe the story of Easter from the Christian perspective, giving an account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ may come to pass. But whether heard or read about, bible or other story told, makes the connection or not, signs of new life and spring may be the place of awareness. And chocolate fix. I wonder if the Easter bunny knows of the palette of the older children (you know the adults in the hunt)? Just wondering.

So as you and I enjoy this Easter weekend, hopefully sharing in a meal with loved ones, if not near but from afar (technology rocks), let us take a moment to remember….

If you see a rabbit laying little brown eggs, don’t eat them they are not chocolate.

Two things I learned from the Easter bunny; everyone is entitled to a bad hair day and some body parts should be floppy.

You might want to think about what colour you paint your eggs when eggs are found on the ground; maybe avoid yellow.

Where else can you bite someone’s head off and not get yelled at.

Lent was invented so Catholics could get another shot at New Years Resolution.

No thanks, chocolate Easter bunny, I have more than enough men in my life that are hollow and full of disappointment. (not nice really)

Go on an Easter hunt; I can’t even find my car keys.

Easter is the only time where it is safe to put all your eggs in one basket.

Be patient….sometimes blessings need a little bit more time before they hatch.

Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day were only three days apart.

When life gives you more than you can stand….kneel.

Have a happy Easter for peeps’ sake.

Rejoice and enjoy this day and the days to come, somebunny loves you. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers today and let their hearts be filled with gladness.

Mind needing attention…. aaahhh

Look beyond the trees.

Lately, I have been doing different kinds of mind activities, you know the kind – brain draining logic kinds of games. Stretch the brain till it hurts. Ones that frustrate you to no end. But you do them anyway. LOL. So I have got into the habit of ‘cheating’….alleviating the sense of how can I be so not smart. Sorry Lord, but I have and I know it is Lent!! But almost to the finish line. I did not give up ‘cheating’. But I’ll think of not giving up so easily. Okay?? It’s just that, well, I mean they put the answers in the back of the booklet for goodness sakes and my fingers do the walking. Quite frankly I am glad they do. Because honestly having checked my wee small brain with the one who made up these particular ‘good for the mind’ games, my eyes go crossed eyed. I even went to a thesaurus when doing a crossword puzzle to check to see if the clue and crossword word matched. Unfortunately yes. Yet, it is dp funny how your brain wanders to one place and the word can mean something entirely different, almost too much of a stretch at times.

Speaking of Lent, hopefully it has been a generous amount of time over the past few weeks for reflection, walking in the desert so to speak, removing or staying things that have been a distraction of sorts in the long stretches of your life. Yes there is also the part of giving up something or taking on something, a discipline of sorts, for forty days. I did not give up or take on but settled into what I already have. Which is more than enough to dwell upon. And well, I love fish on Fridays for sure (not the fishy kind mind you. Not even for Lent will I take on fishy fish. Sorry.). Searching for the calm in the deep pits and crevices we struggle through, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Maybe it has to do with the timing of Lent and spring…new birth, rebirth, fresh feel to the day. Excitement even with the masks. The journey of self-discovery of the pause in one’s life and seeking deeper meaning to what life is all about I think happens wondrously. Reflecting has got to be one of the most powerful gifts to give oneself, decluttering the heart and soul within. I am so grateful right now because my walks have moved or returned to the shores and cliffs nearby. Feel so much closer to God, me, and my wandering thoughts.

Now with the change in daylight, the warmth in the air, the smells (yes even cow dung), the delightful patches of colour, and low and behold the time for dying and rebirth as Holy Week closes to open Easter season invigorating our hopes. Marking a holy moment of gratitude with one lit candle touched by another to bring light to a new path, new beginning. Oh yes Lent, you have done your due diligence for me these past weeks…getting my mind to pay attention. Hence mind games to fine tune an instrument that needs a bit of a stir. I know I know, logic head games or scrabble (yes me and myself playing against each other. Guess who wins?) are not quite a Lenten practice but hey I am a work in progress.

I feel this keen stirring within me to get the fire lit, a burning desire to grab life by the horns and run with it. It could be the excitement I feel as the physical presence of barrenness and worn blanket of winter white sheds its layering to hints of delight. There is a lightness in my step that almost makes me want to burst free but of course, I will probably fall on my face. Yes. These old legs have been a walkin’, not a runnin’. Hahaha. Have you ever tried that. Face plant is not my thing. Thankfully I have two grandchildren who are under two. So I have to build up to the run. The only catch is my grandson who is 10 1/2…I’ll have to practice discretely. Yeah me. But really there is such a desire to get to work on the whole enchilada….me.

So working on the mind, body and spirit….with mostly the mind lately. I think the spiritual part is always being fine tuned in gratitude and love that I receive gratefully and with promise from those that I love and come into my life giving me a bit of themselves to me. Now the burst of energy seeping through my bones is getting to be livelier. My feet were really moving today even though it was overcast and fog coming in over the water off the northshore, I was stepping in time. LOL, I am thinking of Dick Van Dykes song from Mary Poppins’ Step In Time. How my mind works I will never know? Hey there is another thing helping my mind. Texting. I have to say thank you to the people who set up the ability on phones, computers, tablets etc with programs or apps to allow you to ‘chat’. Although I have not mastered the two digit texting on phone or tablet like my daughters. I am really good at one finger. Oh my, my old typing teacher would have a fit…tap my fingers when I stray off and look at typewriter. Those were the good old days. I remember that rule – “two hands, two feet, if not no beat”. Beat? What do the feet have to do with the hands? Oh yes, sit up straight. Beat. Rhythm. Oh yes. How one forgets!! Hahaha.

The gift of sharing and chatting with others in whatever form or whatever way, gets the mind active. Sometimes I cannot express my thoughts fast enough as I connect to one thing and they are already going off on another. That reminds me of Messenger and Google Hangout – timing of conversation does not fit the comment they just sent. Even on cell phone. I guess when you have so much to say to one another…well let’s just say slow down. There is Lent all over again. Pause and breathe. Sometimes I think people in general are not comfortable with the quiet. Need to fill in the space.

Why the mind lately? I have once again been thinking of my mom and even my dad. We say we have senior moments. Everyone, young or old can have them. But with my mom walking with dementia that is a whole other kettle of fish. Dad gets mad at himself because he cannot remember. He says it began when he had to carry a little note pad and paper when he worked the floor at the plant. It went down hill from then in memory? I do not think so dad. You had way too much to remember for goodness sake. Is there a connection between an active mind, staying active and dementia. I do not know. Certainly music is a big thing that brings the heart to the mind, generously and wondrously moving. But I also discovered that when you talk about her passions, remember them, her eyes light up. Might not be many words but something is jogging and best thing….most beautiful mom smile.

So spring, I am giving and praising you for the kick start to my days lately. I sat outside on my deck (just pulled the Muskoka chairs out from the shed) and enjoyed my crosswords. Not going to bring scrabble out because it is too windy and hey, the birds may think these little wooden things are to munch on. No thanks. But also to thank you for opening up the woods for my granddaughter and me; she is a hoofing her. Now that she can walk in her new rubber boots, we are going places. The woods is her oyster. Her mind is in full gear, grabbing on to words as she repeats what I talk about in what we are doing….love it. She stops all of a sudden because she hears the birds….not that horrible movie The Birds….no the big crows that yak and caw constantly. Her head goes up when she hears their sounds, spots them and starts to imitate their call. I teared up as she raised her arms up to talk with them. Precious. Yesterday we got out of the truck when I picked her up as I have to park at top near the road due to soft clay dirt and permafrost; she sees overhead a gaggle of geese flying above us. Oh my what a sight! She waves at them as they fly by in their perfect vee. Wow!

Paired with her abundance of being a sponge and taking it all in, she has a brother who just keeps me hoppin’ too. His mind is razor sharp and also filled with love for another human being. When he watches a movie, listens to a news story, or reads a piece from a book and tears up (no my grandson it is a beautiful heart you have) oh I want to scooch him forever. Amazing graced moment. He feels so strongly and does not miss a beat. Isn’t there a saying about little ears. Well his are fine tuning exponentially, thank you very much. He has this uncanny ability to take something and make it come alive. The way he articulates his thoughts, the way he finds words beyond his years, and uses them appropriately….nothing wrong with his mind. Well done parents.

I do realize that my mind like any other part of the body needs attention. Cannot neglect it as it is easy to do. You know when you put the milk in the cupboard (oops, hope not for long) or forgot to turn the stove off (not good, better not be far) or forgot your wallet (hope your not hungry) or forgot to close the window (flood insurance). You know things you do when you are in a hurry or busy. Just do not forget the kitty litter if you go on vacation. But the biggest one is a daily one, forgetting the names of people. I can remember a few times of a family member or a good friends, said their name a hundred times, do you think I could remember? Nah. Of course being in education there are so many students I taught and staff I worked with….after awhile you have to suck it up butter cup and just admit it. Honestly, we are human. Not great in a business deal mind you.

So food for thought if your mind is in a muddle, take up the piano or guitar, eat a strange or different foods, change your daily routine, do a puzzle or strategy game, read or write differently (not backwards but aloud or in poetry), do math for a gr. 5 (yeah that will get your heart pumping), learn a new language (pig latin or…), take a class (out of comfort zone), donate your time.

If a cluttered desk is a sign of cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Albert Einstein. Play scrabble. Blessings this day.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers and for a healthy and active mind.

Rubber Boots in fashion??

Boots are made for walkin’

I am not sure about you but I am really getting tired of the winter fashion….boots in particular. Heavy slugging. But hey my toes keep warm which is a bug a boo of mine in having cold feet. Reading socks are the bomb for sure. Is that an old adage “cold feet, warm heart”? Anyway not my cup of tea. So off with the winter boots. Please. Can I really put them away? Well maybe I will keep them on the rubber mat just in case because March has not finished. It came in like a lion but heaven forbid it would go out like a lamb. We shall see. So winter boots, you are on standby. But off with you….my feet feel lighter already. I love wearing running shoes or sandals. Oops there is an in-between stage though….rubber boot weather. You know its a thing.

Right now, I have a tune and lyrics in my head from Nancy Sinatra’s “these boots are made for walking and that’s just what I’ll do…” I know the song is out of context for my thoughts today but the boot theme is not. Spring is here!! Woo to the hoo. And with it comes all kinds of outer wear…look out runway, fashion heats up, with its finest. Not really being a fashion statement myself, but shopping with my middle daughter the other day, the cutest kiddie boots with handles, were on display. LOL. Where do they come up with these ideas? But you have to love the imagination of the footwear designers. Just like any good producer of fashion, you got to catch the eye and in this case, the little eye. And so like any good mother, she lets her little one take a boo at the wide array of boots. Personally what I think and what the little one thinks….nope not even in the same ball park. Oh yes boot designers, you got the kiddie market.

Surprisingly, my daughter does not go with door # 1 or 2 of boot selection from her baby’s hand grabbing but with door #3….plain jane solid dark coloured boots with tiny handles and pink soles. Why? Well, heaven only knows. I mean there is a smorgasbord of Princess, Paws, zoo images, 3-D wing coming out of boot, flashing soles, tie-dye, splash of technicolour strewn in geometric crazy etc. I guess when the boots get muddy it does not matter. But there you have it…rubber boots ready and set in the buggy. Little one is going to be wearing them everywhere. It is always interesting picking her up in the morning to be with me for the day and her shoes or boots are missing. Where might these ones end up? Last time, her winter boots were found in her brother’s bed. Not sure how my granddaughter determines the map in her own mind. Too complicated for me.

So rubber boots (or depending on where you are from wellies, wellingtons, galoshes, billy or gum boots. Who knew?). They are in fashion. I find on the island there is a certain culture of rain boot wearing. Maybe it is where I am walking or looking but young and old alike seem to be okay with rubber boots. Not fancy but solid thick rubber soles – Canadian Tire or Marks specials. In fact, many male/female younger/older wear the ones with the banded stringed tall tops which funnily enough we bought a pair a couple of years ago when my daughter and later me gave working on the mussel socking line a go. Which by the way it is HARD work let me tell you. Anyway, the standard spring boot wear seems to be a lined pea green boot with tied at the top feature to reduce water coming into the boot. Kind of like an all terrain vehicle of boots…good tread, durable, takes most surfaces, rugged. I have to say I see quite a few wearing them in all four seasons too which I guess is not a surprise as it reflects the island fishing culture. I kind of like that.

However I do not want to wear big rubber boots for too long. They are kind of clunky too. But unlike my daughter she would and does. Not the CT special…no no no…not for her. Fashion is her thing which I know will be her daughters too. Yikes. The thing to do is get Hunter boots. Hunter rain boots. You got it. They are kind of like the Sorrel of winter boots, only for fall and spring wear. I never have heard of them before until my daughter pointed them out to me a few years back. Looking at the price which really if you break it down….how often are you going to buy another pair of rubber boots. Oops I should say rain boots as the Hunter line says on their site. My bad. So take the price, divide by the months worn yearly, length of years keeping them….not so bad. It is the ouch initial outlay or at least for me. Because we are talking about rubber boots. RUBBER BOOTS!!! Yet I do have to say they are stylin’ on her, seem to wear nice, and practical. She had her pick from a variety of tall or mid calf length, full colour range, buckle for bling and practical use for a larger or smaller calf fit. I do have to say nice rain boot.

Why a big to do? Because the charm of the island with its red clay dirt roads, lanes fields, and pathways….lets just say sink or swim. Don’t get me wrong. I love the red dirt charm. You should see me come across the 13 km bridge with the sun beating down towards the shores of the island….beautiful deep rich red stone and dirt. Lovely. When you sign up for island life, you sign up for all of it….not pick and choose. Which I did and do, as I have parked my truck up at the top of lane because the permafrost is melting and creates havoc on my lane never mind places that are not paved or gravelled. I like the natural look…what you see is what you get. Which means suck it up buttercup.

So today my granddaughters debut…little boots meet mud and melted snow puddles. Woohoo. It was gorgeous today, simply beautiful with a southwest wind, melting of snow and jacket weather. But look down, way way down and I’ll call Rusty – oops that is an old children’s show. New page. Look down and there are my boots and her boots. Hers sinking in the lane. Aaaahhhhh. Noooooo. And don’t I turn my head and there is Maggie May sinking deep into the soft parts of the muddy red dirt lane. Yep. Its official. ITS SPRING. Deal with it. Okay okay I am calm. The little boots leave a trail of boot prints down the lane. Why would she do anything else unlike me who as I look down, being so much older and wiser, walking on the side of lane next to grassy part. No sinking. No deep tread marks. Nope. What is she thinking? Having fun. Yep. Get over it.

I look at her and think that is what it is all about. Lets have fun Rara. Yes little one but can we maybe avoid the lane for just a bit. I would prefer not the crater look, or in this case, the footprint look on the lane. Just for a hot minute. Hahaha. No can do as she takes off seeing another puddle. It is all the same to her…life to be lived.

So what to do. Well let me see. Spring time. The season of perpetual unpredictable weather. It rains. It pours. It gets mucky and muddy. It makes puddles. It gets squishy and mishy. It soaks. It gives us cats and dogs, thunderstorms, lightning. The whole kit and caboodle. We get all bundled up in winter, what happens in spring? Mud and rain. Growing life, mud and rain. Blooming and planting, mud and rain . Get picture. Yeah. Have you not seen this. People dodging the rain as they jump over puddles to get to car holding onto the umbrella trying not to get more wet. What part of you did not get wet? And where is the shopping cart? Hmmm. Covid-19. Take it back. Oops. Maybe rain gear could be good…. including rain boots!! I mean who wants wrinkled soggy menchy feet and to top it off ruin a perfectly good pair of shoes.

Side humour today. While carpenters were busy working outside the old house I just bought, I busied myself with indoor cleaning. I had just finished washing the floor when one of the workers came in and asked to use the washroom. I looked at his muddy boots and said “Just wait a second, Ill grab some newspapers

“That’s alright lady,” he responded, “I’m already trained.”

These boots are made for walkin’. Go and enjoy jumping and laughing and carrying on. Mud and all. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers and for the dance in the rain, boots on,

Smile…its a good day

I see water….woohoo

Don’t you sometimes want to kick up your heels and twirl and whirl, smile like a cheshire cat? Is a cheshire cat more like a sly smile? Nah. Hopefully not. That is not the feeling I have today. Nope. I am talking more of that wide stretched grin splitting spread of the lips until they hurt (not really) from the giddiness within and bursting at the seams. Best feeling to grab a hold of your arms, wrap them tightly around you and smile like crazy. I got that this week. Thank you. Thank you.

What is there to smile about? Come on I can see it….nice and slow. Yep. You got it. Smile you are on….. Right on. Yes, there are lots of things to smile about and I think we need to do it more often. I love to smile. My challenge is not to smile or chuckle when I should not. Especially when my grandkids are doing a no no and I am supposed to be firm or be serious. Bad behaviours and all that. Are you kidding? That is what parents are for. Hahaha. Or those times when someone (adults usually) slips or rams into a window of door, and then look around to see if anyone saw; I just can’t help myself, crack up in smiles and silent laughter. I am not that mean. Thank goodness for masks these days. Sometimes I think I have a warped sense of humour. But hey today, smiling is on my mind and why. Well let me see. Hmmmm….

First my older sister tells me this week my mom and dad now have the ‘shot’, the pandemic shot, woohoo. And dad got to see my mom face to face in the same room two days ago. Woo to the hoo. I teared up when she texted me with this information. Bless her heart for keeping family in the loop. Anyway, I know it is only once a week but who knows, maybe soon it will be twice a week for them. Please. Please. Please. And then to top it off, the nursing home contacted family members and it looks like my sister is going to be classified as an essential caregiver for our mom at the home after they give my sister the ‘shot’. Oh happy day. Who would have thought a shot would be connected to happy?

Then this past Monday was the anniversary of the pandemic permeating our lives to the nth degree. What is there to smile about? Well always find the half cup full mantra…my newest granddaughter was born on this day a year ago. And she is thriving. Simply perfect. I know all babies are but I can brag. Okay. She just celebrated her first birthday on Tuesday. I cannot believe it!! I mean where did the time go for goodness sake. And there she is the little picininny (Rara language for precious) eating her Elmo cake – first sweet. Oh my heavens the red is all over her face. Watching her on the short video (big smile on my face and nodding my head), she has a slow start looking at what it is before her (head of Elmo). Kids are beautiful, aren’t they? She tentatively touches the cakeface of Elmo, and then oh my she gets her little paws in, squish and mush and lick. Mommy of course has the cloth nearby. Hahaha. Little one has her eyes so focused on the cake before her…what to do what to do? So funny. The smiley face on her as she dips her finger into the red icing and begins to eat ‘Elmo’ …yum in the tum. She takes a taste it carefully (so funny to watch) and suddenly, hand to mouth mock speed… got it. Happy 1st Birthday.

Smile and Mother Nature. Of course the weather has not been all peaches and cream lets just say. But there was a moment of sun and shine yesterday while getting into my truck. I drove just a little bit down the open road and thought what the hay. I rolled down the window, lo and behold, the warmth of the sun hits my hand as I reach out. Hooyah! Alleluia! I know this is Lent (no Alleluia and such) but Lord, I really felt the need to feel the cozy warmth spreading through my fingers, which I did. The breeze filling the palm of my hand, teasing my fingers, with the hint of spring. It’s like my fingers took on a life of their own, flex and stretch, to the beat of the wind lightly whipping them into a playful mood. Oh yes. Thank you.

Despite being ready for winter to be over, I have learned to appreciate and welcome the cold snap. I can walk on snow still. Don’t laugh. Yes sirree. It felt great because seriously, lately walking with my granddaughter in the woods or on the open field, her weight does not break through the snow but me, its not fair. Step and stomp. Not fun and not funny. Workout me but nooooo…. she does not break a sweat. Just turns to me arms up because her little legs are tired….are you kidding me? “Up” she says. Yes, she knows how to talk now. “Up”. I’ll give you up. Gently and smiling, I lift her and she looks at me….melt. Oh what we do for our loved ones.

But today, I took Maggie May out for our early morning walk along the road and decided I am going to try the tractor trail. So like offroad driving, I took a step onto the snow and then another. Well the Lord is good to me. I am light. Feels great. Smiling and flapping my arms. No audience at this time of the morning. Woohoo. So off we go walking along the snow laden trail, then down to the beach where I make no prints on the sand (haha), traipse a bit of the rocky red shore, turn around (do not need to face plant on the icy rockface), and go back up the cliff top to continue my walk. The view is breathtaking with the sun sparkling cascading a hue of blue white snow lining where the cliff meets frozen ice snow down below. And me, I literally kicked my heels and my face broke out in a smiley smile from ear to ear as I come to the mid point of my walk, seeing the lighthouse across the bay. The beacon of light is going!!!

Surprising read on FB. A couple of days ago, I read a beautiful article from a friend on FB, you know who you are. Thank you. Anyway, she shared this photo of a newborn baby fawn found lying on the backdoor step of some person (not sure if she is known) with an article attached. I think the article is from Conservation authorities (not sure) and helping us mere mortals get our act together. Do not touch the fawn for it seems like the mother will deliver babies in the strangest places. Well just to be clear mom is nearby, states in the article, getting food or standing near by to protect. So you and I, don’t touch don’t feed just don’t do whatever the human heart feels like wanting to do. You know who you are. We are asked to leave the baby fawn alone. Unlike colts being born and have legs to get up and go, fawns take a little bit longer (as the article states). So smile, welcome the new born and enjoy while you have her/him.

Then, I catch a poster that reads….my ducks are not in a row. At this point I have no idea where my ducks even are. That caught my funny bone. LOL. Thanks once again for the smile. Chuckle.

However, the piece de resistance was putting out my Muskoka chairs on the deck and when I went to sit down, a FLY flew in and landed on the arm of the chair. Smile smile smile. Not because it was a fly…where is my fly swatter anyway. No, it was because it was warm enough for the fly to come out and play. Now that my friends is something to smile about. Happy dance…yes yes yes. Oh it is the little things in life that makes you appreciate the joys which come upon you when you least expect it.

Flies are a good thing? Right? At least right now. I’ll probably have another comment, not so smiley, when barbequing season is in full swing. It was warmer today. Yes I have to park my truck up near the road but hey give me plus two digit temps.

Whatever you are doing today, clocks are ahead, daylight longer, cannot beat the joy and promise of whatever comes your way. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are need of our prayers and the warmth of a smile given to them.

Hanging in but….

Dating on-line. Really??

Baring my heart here. I have not talked about on-line dating in a while so today I find myself booting up the laptop and fingers finding their way to writing deep awareness of this chapter I have opened in my life. Whew. Well here I go.

You know you think about something for a little while and then you believe that maybe it is a good thing. Then you think some more doing the whole ‘checklist in the head’ kind of pondering. Pros and cons. Positives and Negatives. Do to or not to do, that is the question. That’s me in a nutshell. I do not think I over think but I do mull over for a spell before I make a decision. Which finds me in a wee bit of a quandary over on-line dating. Yes still at it. Hanging in but….My youngest tells me “it will be a slow go for ya, mom”. On my walks lately I have been talking out loud as I trek down the road then up the road, down to the water over to the harbour and back. Wondering what in the world is the world of on-line dating all about. What should it look like? What does it actually look and feel like? I can tell you my first impression was more a ‘fun-in-the sun’ kind of feeling and now it is more like a ‘wack-a-doodle oopsie are you kidding me” kind of chaotic sensation within me. Right down to my toes. Not sure if that makes sense.

Maybe I am approaching this whole dating thing all wrong. I have met some lovely men (hope they do not mind me saying that) and then I have met some questionable “are you for real” men!! Flattering and kind but red flag kind of work going on in the back of my mind. Literally in my head I am saying “are you real”? My daughters and sister have ingrained in me to be cautious. Yep. Of course I failed miserably in the first few goes but oh well. Life is filled with mistakes. Right?? But as a wisdom given to me from a former principal that I worked with, sharing a life lesson that I have walked with for a long time. He said that all things we experience are good no matter what they are. It is what we do with what we have experienced and decide on what we want to keep from the experience, what is a truth of the experience, and what we want or need actually to let go of. So that is me right now.

What have I learned to date (About me” About men” About me and men? About relationships? Is that a long time to be on it?) which is now going on the fifth month by the way. Maybe that is not a long time. For me I think love, if that is what one hopes to find on the dating site(s), comes softly. I really like that image in my head. I took the phrase from one of the book titles by Janette Oak’s which also happens to be a movie romance series set in pioneer times. Although as I have been told by others, love can hit you square in the face too, and quickly. But what I am discovering about myself as I am not the latter, more of the former. So more of a friendship before anything else kind of woman. That there are certain things I would like to take place during the on-line dating, if I am going to move forward or engage with the person in any way. Wow, look at me!!!

Surprisingly and somewhat disconcertingly, some of the men I have met seem to express strong feelings right away (like in 3-4 days of talking and chatting). Not on the phone or video chat, only by words shared on the chat line of site or in emails or google hangout or texting. Look at me. Woohoo. Just saying. Getting sidetracked here. Is that normal? Is that real? Is it to be trusted? when a man comes to a conclusion that he sees bells and forever. What??? Then I think to myself is it the same for younger people on the on-line dating? Probably not. Because quite frankly being my age of 61 years young, maybe there is more of an urgency. Or maybe it is more like ‘been there done that’ and now a better understanding of what one does not want. The years are not as fruitful when you are over 50+ or 60+ or 70+ which is who I have attracted. Oh yes there were two in early 40’s….no I am not a cougar for goodness sake. I got that from a TV show. I am so hip. I was kind but said no thank you…way too young.

I have discovered about me that I am not afraid to share my thoughts which is a HUGE win for me. I have been getting lots of practice talking with men which is quite new. And Tony the Tiger great. Why? Talking with my dad or brother or in-laws or male colleagues does not count. You are not seeking a relationship with them in that way. But how I speak and banter with those who are familiar to me, I have to do that with the men I meet. I have to be true to myself. Just be me.

Dating has not been in my life for a long time…..I mean a really long time. Cobweb kind of long time. Anyhoo, it is all good. Being honest is my go to. But I realize that I may be too forthright which I need to be careful of, not turn someone off so to speak. I really try to be kind in my words. I really like reading the profiles of the men on the two sites I am on. Very different approaches in framing and navigating the dating sites…interesting.

I tend to make a comment to those who have a photo and have something to read. I click ‘pass’ or ‘x’ if the person has no photo or has little to say or nothing to say (not finished their profile maybe). I click ‘smile’ or ‘like’ as I think the men should know they made you smile or made a connection or liked their thoughtful points about themselves or have great photo(s). Get my drift. The problem when I do that is I get myself into trouble. I am getting profiles, matches so to speak, that are from anywhere from the States —not even in the same code – zip vs area. Really??? Or many from out west. Then quite a few from Ontario (hey hey) and just a few from the Maritimes. And where do I live?? You got it.

One man responded to my comment to him about his profile and I guess decided to look up where I live and said, “there are not many fish in that community”. I wrote back that “there are not many fish on the whole island”….LOL. Anyway, the distance seems to be a pro/con. Am I biting my nose to spite my face? Should I give them a go. But three who expressed interest in me said they would relocate. And each of them ‘lied’ in profile about where they live. I discovered afterward as we got to talking. Why did they do that? For me, how could I ask that of anyone when I would not relocate myself? Visit – yes (after covid). Then men from Ontario presents a more attractive choice in that I have family and friends in Ontario which I will always visit when I can. Is that a hopeful? Or is it the same all over again? Long distance relationships. Is it fair? Yet Maritime men, well I guess I am not their cup of tea. Or maybe it is the bridge. Would you pay to come to meet a woman that you do not even know…is she worth 48.50 toll? No. Or is it my age? Or is it….what??? You can get a complex after awhile. LOL.

I read the prompts from the dating sites which indicate you will catch the attention if you…. have a few photos, share some things about self, and if you feel an initial connection, send a like or smile along with a comment. Well. I did. Okay, I have had success but….on-line dating for Karen in bits and bytes.

What did I get? Well, no video chat or phone call for the most part so far. And if so, brief brief brief. Are they real? And make sure they do not want money. Or it seems unable to because of reasons X Y and Z. Not heard from since.

Learning there are some lonely men who just want to chat. I love to write so…okay.

Success with one video chatter. Great. And he found someone. All is good in the hood.

Emails and chatting….great idea. But hopefully they want to move to phone or video. Because honest to goodness the question comes up…are they real?

So how do I approach on-line dating from all of this. I just plug away and know myself. I want someone who can carry on a conversation. Someone who wants to talk on the phone or video chat. Someone who can at least make an effort to touch base. Someone who is honest for goodness. Someone who is really exists. And I cannot treat it as a mission or project or goal (my bad)….when it happens then it will. As John Lennon said life happens to you while you are busy making other plans. Advice?? Nada. If someone is considering on-line dating, do it. Just leave the expectations at the door. And be yourself for you cannot be anyone else.

Okay Maggie May, you are my date today and tomorrow and tomorrow after that. Hey, just so you know, I did have my very first face to face date, it lasted an hour. Sat in the parking lot of MacDonalds in his truck listening to him talk about his career mainly. Learned a lot about potatoes for sure. Then I said thank you, nice to meet you, and goodbye. Is it me? Yep. Anyway he was real. LOL.

To Love and dating and relationships. Blessings this day.

Let us pray for those who are in need of prayers today and to feel the love of others around them.

Get Out the Photo Album…Yikes

Me…how we do grow up!!

Yikes my brain has gone on standby!!!! What is up with that?!? Last weekend my middle daughter was over with the kids and she happened to see some photo albums sitting on my book shelf. Pulled out a few and started to skip through the pages of yesteryears. Oh my. Smiling and chuckling, remembering a bit here and there. I sat beside her and would fill in a few of the gaps. recalling when and where. Of course I did not put the pictures in chronological order (hindsight is always great) so it took a bit to place. But when she started looking at ones from my early days as a young gal….way back when. LOL. Yeah some are black and white because they were. FYI: My grandson asked me a while back, “did you have TV back then, Rara?? Was it the kind in a big wooden with dials? I saw it on an olden kind of show.” “Funny, very funny, grandson of mine”. Hahaha. Yes we did smart one, even in techni-colour…eventually. Boy they grow up so fast…10 going on teen too soon and have a ‘tude and half. Love him.

Anyway, when I looked at my own photos of long ago, I had a much harder time retrieving back into the recesses of my own mind, pulling at the cobwebs of my childhood and growing up years, looking at the images, placing them, what was behind the photo. Hold on Silver, need to pause for a bit, I do not want to loose those memories. Sort of like in the song Photograph by Ed Sheeran when he sings “we keep this love in a photograph we made these memories for ourselves, where are eyes are never closing, hearts are never broken, and times are forever frozen, still“….whew that jumps out at me straight between the eyes.

So naturally my daughter discovers I also have a whole boat load of pictures tucked in a large blue plastic container that I had not taken out in a coons age nor organized for that matter until recently. Yes I had it hidden in my closet for keepsake but needing to clean out my closet, I forgot to put it back. And of course my second grandchild, little curious mite that she is, discover the bin, and what….well she knows how to open lids. Yep. The teeny little fingers grabbed a few of the pictures and voila…..they float. Yes they do my darling granddaughter. Oh oh oh. Anyone who knows tiny tots, they like to do repeat, repeat, repeat. So each time she came over, her little mind does not forget. And so little Muhummand Ali, does her thing…see the bin, quick as a wick, moves fast for a little one and…..Well thankfully the pictures are durable, should be looked at, and so lesson number 51. Yep, Rara lessons for my little granddaughter. No throwing. Be careful. Be kind. Kiss the photo. Gentle. Ta Ta. No thank you. Pick them up. Let’s just say I am glad the photos are not confetti-like. Once again, retrieve. Aaahhh! Gotta love them.

Hey it is my fault. I left them out. My bad. But gratefully for I have to laugh too because my oldest who just had her first baby last year, and by the way the little one is turning 1 yr old this week….holy lightning where did the time go!!! wanted some pictures of herself to compare to her own baby girl. Good thing I spotted a few pictures as I was retrieving from the ‘fun and games’ with my other granddaughter. You never know what life presents to you.

So I gathered a few photos that I found of her and our family over the years in the blue bin and sent them via text. Thank the Lord for the miracles of technology and cell phones and sending messages virtually by the way. Just saying. But why it meant a lot to me this time around was that I wanted to find pictures of celebration to express my thoughts…it was my daughter’s birthday too. When someone says a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’, I could not find a better way to express my love and blessings to my eldest as she celebrated her special day with family surrounding her before her eyes. Forever frozen photographs. Yes. Ed. Yes. Well said.

I love to write and for many years I would write a long note or poem-like prose to each of my daughters. I even did the large bristol board card with pictures and words, telling them how special they were/are to me. Oddly enough, my middle daughter said to me she wished I kept a few more things….like favourite clothing items or toys or games and such from childhood. Yes. I understand as right this morning I was wrapped in a nightie my mom made for me (which will not be made by her hands ever again sadly enough). But maybe and hopefully they do that now with their own, holding on to things for their young. I can tell you that my oldest daughter has this app which she and her partner use to capture every single day the life of their daughter from feeding to #1 /#2 to her firsts or whatever things she does daily. Can you imagine? What a tracking of her little life!! And pictures. Holy Hannah, lots and lots. Once again technology has an amazing ability to capture life’s precious moments.

I know I have some favourite images/photos/items of my own past, ones that I look or hold onto for they bring such joy to my heart. It might not be joyful or meaningful to others but it certainly was and still is to me. Maybe it is a way of giving the heart the reminder of the goodness in one’s life, the blessings given, the held memories captured to joggle the old noggin’ to remember life as we knew it and life as we know it now. But also the mind too. I think of my mom right now who is walking with dementia. My dad calls it the terrible disease. It is,Dad. No other words are needed in that.

At this point, gratefully and with heartfelt joy in my heart, she still recognizes each of us when we skype her. My sister and I bring images to her through our words during our virtual visits, recalling her as our mom, bringing out the things we have always loved about her. She could make something out of little. Had the ability to make a casserole dish taste delicious even though you may not think the foods together would work – tuna fish, mushroom soup, peas and potatoes….yum, mom. Best cooked rice pudding to perfection. Fresh bread that wafted its way into ones nostrils as you came into the front door. Swiss steak that falls off the fork. And pizza…delisiohso. Don’t get me going on her gardens…no mom not the weeds and good for the soul. But your knack for beauty and flowers and shrubbery that worked together. I am grateful for those moments now and hear her husky laugh, nothing like my mom’s laugh and smile….it is funny how her voice is so much more. Her nose still spreads as we look at her. She wants to say something smart, I just know it. But loses the thought before it begins, yet it is still awaiting there to come out. Tears come to my eyes right now. Sorry.

Take out the albums. Yes, I think it is good to look back to see where you have been. Good memories and not so good but all are recollections gathered and held dearly that have become part of who you are becoming. Not souvenirs selected from an outside momentary place but deep rooted images companioned in the very roots of your being. Held reverently with heart and home attached to them. I think I am going to have to write on the back of the pictures maybe or something so while I still can….you never know what life has in store for each of us….bring life to the photo.

I think I begin to understand the oral traditions of faith, of families, of communities and then deciding to have them written too. Memories can fade and recollections become hazy clouds, forgotten places and faces, treasured memories once stored become empty. Hold on a moment longer to be forever captured….blessings this day.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers today and for those who experience the loss of remembrance, keeping the dignity of those who suffer in this way.

Critters and Mother Nature…Just Wow!

Surprising fun.

Kowabunga! Can the end of February be any more crazy with weather? Crazy with unexpected guests? Crazy with surprising fun? I thought I was in New Brunswick for a bit over the last few days!! Not in a mean way but when I travel back and forth from PEI to Ontario during the winter and early spring months…I almost have to close my eyes and just hope for the best. The weather can turn on a dime. No wonder my dad would not consider going down home to his parents in NB for Christmas way back when…you cannot trust Mother Nature. But having said that….”Dad, I moved down east to experience it first hand anyway”. And so worth it. Here to stay.

So getting back to weather, this week of ‘turncoat’ weather…sun – rain -sleet – storm – wind – sun – mild – freezing brrrr wind gusts – snow AGAIN – back to sun and blue skies – today overcast bit milder and icy on road. Aaaaahhhhhh. My sister and I just shared a moment together this morning when I texted her, “so how many more days to spring??” Hahaha. 21 days as of today. Last day of February. Does it really mean spring? I mean really, Mother Nature has her own sense of humour and will do whatever whenever wherever she wants because she CAN!! And don’t get me started on thinking of the old adage…. March coming in like a lamb, going out like a lion…not going there today. So I got my shovel ready. Mother Nature…enough already.

Then unexpectedly especially when staycation as an operative word these days, a little treat was in store for me. Four days ago, I was given a wondrous gift from my nephew…he changed the oil on my truck. Okay, good to know. Hold on a sec because while that took place, I was with my granddaughter, sister and me enjoying a little farm menagerie of barn life extravaganza….chickens, goats, sheep, donkeys, and barn pets. The smile on all of our faces….woohoo. And adorable as button photo ops. Those goats can sure ham it up. Billy goat gruff eat your heart out. The miniature donkeys really were soooooo cuddly cute. No, did not cuddle per se but stroked their heads when they would let us.

Cute, “kid”ding

My granddaughter was a bit hesitant at first but then her little legs strutting back and forth between the pens and coop…well no words. Watching her look at the sheep grazing on the hay and she just stood there with her face shiny bright and chattering away. The sheep got an earful. Bless your little heart for making the adults see the joy and delight of Creation. Grinning from ear to ear. Talk about unexpected fun. Oil change and fun at the farm. Who would have thought?!?! Thank you nephew for inviting us into your world at your girl’s family farm.

Mind you the smell could be a bit overwhelming. But do you know what it was not. It brought me back to a childhood memory of my grandpa’s farm in NB where we got to play in his antiquated unneeded barn. Mom had a quiet fit…you know how mom’s are. Good ol’ days. That dank musty smell coming from the forgotten leftover hay, worn wooden slated wagon, and beaten wooden beams high overhead came in like a whiff of spring. Silly huh? No. Take me back to those good old days for just a moment or three.

You never know.

I have always had this strange interest in worn doors, odours and hand touching ‘history’ (maybe need to change that to ‘look but no touch’ for now). This barn was brand new, as of two years ago, so why memory lane….for whatever reason its sight and smell wafted in and stayed with me that morning. I was as wilful as my granddaughter going back and forth, not just following her, but doing my own trekking too. Felt like a bit of a farmer, kicking the hay towards feeding fence with my boot, having fun, watching the playful antics of the animals. No my daughter, she was safe. Geez. Anyway I had to laugh at the sheep because seriously when someone says don’t be a sheep. I get it. They moved as one if they sensed danger. My little granddaughter being dangerous……. and me and my sister. We moved, they did moved…. together…like sheep. Get it. Holy lightning they can move fast. Hahaha.

Beauty and Beast

Then for the last few days, these cheeky beautiful looking and unexpected guests have been teasing my Maggie May. All of a sudden she goes from zero to hundred with a yip-leap-frantic tail wiggle-barking frenzy mode. There before us out in the yard a fox, sitting so prettily in his/her healthy fur coat and pointed black nose, staring in. Beady eyes…sly as a fox. Yep little creature you got that down. Oh my. I mean I have noticed quite a few red foxes out and about lately. Being winter you can catch their paw prints and boy my yard seems to be a draw. What I have not noticed is rabbits prints. So fox + rabbit = life cycle. Eewww. Thank you Biology lesson 101. Well, no wonder they are looking mighty healthy. I guess I should be grateful it is not a skunk (whispering that one) or a coyote.

It is the little things in life that make your day. Which reminds me. Have you ever watched the movie The Birds? Well I did ONCE and once was enough let me tell you. I think it is an old Alfred Hitchcock film. Personally I am not into horror thriller scary kinds of movies and that one has stayed to haunt me for a long time. Why am I mentioning it today? Unquestionably, there seems to be an inordinate amount of birds clambering around the road side, in farmer fields, banded along telephone lines, flying helter skelter in front of my moving truck and squawing high in the trees…. in disturbing droves. Do birds go in droves? Never mind. What I am saying is there seems to be a noticeable clustering of them and it reminds horribly (a phobia from that yucky film…sorry horror movie buffs) of the scene of birds coming down the chimney or lining shoulder to shoulder on telephone line. Then attack. Yeah not a warm fuzzy memory. Eeeeeh Yaaaaah. So beware of the dip and dive. I am not interested in racking up a meal plan for other critters on my truck grill. Just saying.

But unexpectedness, surprises, crazies….all bring life to life. Blessing.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers and pray for unexpected surprises of fun for them.