Thursday, March 27, 2014

Off the Beaten Path

Well indeed the storm raged yesterday. It was late coming making us wonder if the forecast was correct but then came in with gusto. We weathered the storm nicely, snug and warm and with no loss of power.This morning the sun shines brightly and the snow that drifted is still blowing about. I got out and shovelled the walkway, the path to the basement door, the pig shed door, three quarters of the chicken shed where snow had blown in from the small opening that leads to their yard and watched as my husband labouriously moved the snow off the driveway . Then I snow-shoed through the field up through the pig yard where the fenceposts that enclose it poke out only a few inches through the deep snow.Wearing snowshoes I could zig zag in through the woods that I only see the edge of from the wood road. Off the beaten path for sure. I could see where some wildlife had moved since yesterday's snowfall. I made my way up the hill in through stands of trees and small clearings. Coming out on to the trail I was overwhelmed with the beauty from a different perspective. I was euphoric and actually found myself brought to tears. I heard a piece on CBC recently about the Happiness project. 100 days of happiness. I really don't think it should be a project it should just be what we aspire to every day.I don't even think it should be called happiness. I think the key is to be present, be grateful, be aware of our existence in the huge scheme of things and stop long enough off the beaten path to truly appreciate the path we are on.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ready, Set ,Go

I just got back from a few days at my daughter's home in Alberta. Emma invited me to her dance recital and I couldn't let a mere 4913 km keep me from going.It still amazes me that I can be in Alberta in the morning and back in my own bed at night. I quite enjoy flying and my air miles earned flights yesterday took me from Edmonton to Toronto to Halifax and finally to Saint John. Three different sized planes, the last one being about the size of a good sized travel trailer. You could stand in the aisle and touch both sides and could go right up the the pilot and ask "are we there yet?"The plane before was a huge luxury Boeing with two aisles , pods in first class(not that I got to sit in one)and several flight attendants not really attending to you unless you were sitting in a pod. Maybe someday I will experience that.For each successful take off and landing and staying in the air in between I am thankful. And I am thankful I can get out to see my granddaughters so easily.Paige is getting language at a rapid and amazing rate. She has a couple of words that her dad contributed to her repertoire and although HUH? seems cute at first it could get a bit annoying and hopefully she will refine her questioning techniques. She has "Why" down pat for sure. Another one of her favourite phrases right now is "Ready, set , go" as she sends toys flying from any surface to the floor.To be exact she seems to be leaving out the "ready" but very enthusiastically calls out the "set,go" part. So this morning as I enjoy being back home I am reflecting on my days with the girls and looking to the days ahead.Here is my "Ready, Set ,Go". Write today, big storm brewing for tomorrow,waiting to hear from my publisher with hopes of a book coming out sometime in 2014, waiting for results of application for CC Grant, trip to Mexico for friend's daughter's wedding, facing the 15th anniversary of life without Zac, our 37th wedding anniversary,and SPRING. I know according to the calendar spring is here now but let's have some spring weather. I am looking forward to seeing the ground again and seeing buds start on the trees and shrubs.So today I say with Paige "Ready , set ,go" and let's see where everything lands.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Waiting For Right Now

Another beautiful but very cold Monday morning. The sun was warm as I walked down for Nellie but the wind and the biting cold not so much. I must say like many others I am waiting for warmer weather.Yesterday on my walk (for those of you who are sick to death of my wood road ramblings you can stop reading now)I was caught up in my thoughts when I found myself thinking I had not even noticed walking a certain stretch that I always enjoy.It made me think of how we do that. We get so caught up in thinking of what we are waiting for or worrying about that we forget to enjoy what we have right now.To find a balance in grasping where we have been,anticipating what is ahead and actively enjoying what we have right now is the challenge.I missed a beautiful stretch of the walk by not paying attention. I stopped and looked around me and took in as much of the beauty as my brain could process. I thought of what I have right now, how I got to where I am and where I hope to go. How quickly the already travelled part goes, how fleeting the present and how uncertain the next stretch but I am thankful for all three.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bayside Middle School

I finally got to Bayside Middle School. After two cancellations we decided to go with today thinking if we planned for Wednesday or Thursday we might have another storm day. I had a wonderful visit. I spent the morning with 24 kids, three groups of eight and each group had read one of my books. That was the first time I had that configuration to present to and it was great. Some of the kids had already read the second or third book and most were eager to trade books so that they could read another . The feedback was very good to hear. Again great questions were asked. Some of them were; Where do you get the amazing ideas? ( How can you not love that one?) Did you ever get in trouble at school like Rachel did?(I had to admit that yes I certainly did)Why do you like to write sad stories?(Not sure of the exact answer to that one) From your experience what advice would you give to writers?(Write!) Would you suggest writing stories based on dreams? (really liked that one as my daughter and I both have some really bizarre dreams that would either be really good books or not)How did you get the courage to write The Year Mrs. Montague Cried? (Actually I need to find courage each time I present or talk about The Year Mrs. Montague Cried and am extremely grateful that I am able to find that courage and more grateful for the rewarding experience it always turns out to be)I talked about the sanctuary of my lake and my wood road and then quickly realized these city kids had no idea what a wood road was.Not a road made out of wood that would be a wooden road but a road through the woods. I got home very tired from a draining but enjoyable day and thought a nap might be in order. Instead I took my three happy dogs up the wood road. Quite a bit of snow had already fallen and it was snowing steadily making the woods look like the perfect setting for Lucy when she entered Narnia through the wardrobe and met Mr. Tumnus.Luckily there is no White witch who makes it always winter and never summer but today I enjoyed another winter walk. Getting up early and giving up a day in my office to the students of Bayside Middle School was well worth it but I must say I am very glad to be staying home tomorrow and getting back to my writing.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

You Decide

Again today I had the pleasure and privilege of taking another walk up my wood road. I say the pleasure because as I have previously stated it is a beautiful ,enjoyable walk. I say privilege because I am blessed to have a piece of property that affords me this luxury as well as the health and opportunity. I could really go on at length about this. Do we really take the time to count our blessings? On my walk to day I thought of how many times recently I have heard people complaining about this winter, how long it's been ,how cold it's been how hard it's been. In this winter wonderland that is my wood road followed by my three very eager dogs bounding in and out of the snow it occurred to me that I am grateful for this season just as I am grateful for the three other ones. I will be sad to give up these snowy walks. Soon it will be a muddy walk and eventually a buggy walk. Each season brings its own beauty and its own challenges. It brought me to the thought that that is what life is like. I could list the sorrows, the worries the hardships I have been called to face. I could certainly list some situations I wish were different or could change .But oh what blessings I have been given.The way we look at anything is a choice we make . You decide to see whichever side you choose.We sometimes get caught up in the complaining and in the negative dialogue. I choose to choose not to. Today I was given another day. It was a beautiful winter's day and for that I decide to be truly grateful. Just an add-on after today's walk.(Friday) I know some of you may be saying enough with the wood road already. Sorry I can't help it. I believe if everyone had their own wood road or a comparable place and took a quiet walk each day there would be fewer problems in this world.