Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What You Duning, Grampie ?

As I write this entry this morning I hear the echo of the question Paige has asked many times a day in the last few weeks to either Grampie or Monkey."What are you duning,Grampie? What are you duning, Monkey?" Following along behind us she constantly asks us what we're duning. Good question Tiny Toad. My July days have been filled with doing many things. Yesterday Meg and Cody took the girls and went to visit friends in Halifax. Being alone and looking at the full day of uninterrupted hours to do anything I wanted was wonderful . I worked away at doing household chores with no "Monkey" interruptions . Oh how I will miss those, but the echoes will stay in my mind. Burton and I found ourselves filling the silence with what the girls would be saying .Today when the sun comes out I will get to the garden. I will fill wheelbarrow loads with the weeds that have gone unpulled.I will have quiet hours to let my mind wander. This morning I found myself longing to get back to my writing. I have not had time to give it any thought, but I look forward to getting back to work. August approaches and just like in my teaching days I feel the tug of September. I am anxious to get to the editing of The Memory Chair. We hope for an April launch. I have been selected to do a tour in May for the TD Canadian Children's Book Week. I will be told in a few days which province I will travel through and will be thrilled wherever the tour takes me.I am so thankful that neither Burton nor I have any trouble filling our days .On our PEI trip Chapin mentioned several times about being on vacation and stated that Burton and I were not on vacation because we are retired and on vacation everyday.I will give him that and would be the first one to say how wonderful retirement is but I would also say how wonderful it is that that stage does not mean sitting on a chair with nothing to do all day. Our days are full, our weeks and months ahead hold the promise of more of the things we love to do. For me there are more words to write , more opportunities to enjoy. For Burton there are more trees to cut, more animals to raise. Together there are more days to enjoy what our efforts have provided us ,the family we have created and the good health we now enjoy. "What you duning ?" We are duning just fine, THANK YOU very much!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

One More Sleep

I have had my granddaughters for twenty-four sleeps. Some of them been hard fought for (One more story, one more trip to the bathroom) , some interrupted (calls for Monkey in the middle of the night) and some spent with family members at sleepovers ,but for the most part I have had a five year old and a two year old for all the days so far in July. Some things that I would normally attend to have gone undone but I have certainly been kept busy with other things. I will be so happy to see their parents arrive for many reasons and taking a back seat to the full time care of these delightful girls will be a welcome change. That being said, I am so glad we did it. Getting to know these precious girls and squeezing all our grandparent time into one visit a year is what we do and I am glad we can do it. I have seen Emma go from a timid swimmer to swimming underwater with no fear. Paige has perfected the art of using the toilet which for anyone who has trained a two year old will understand is an amazing accomplishment for us all. We have been blessed with countless hugs and many " I love yous !" Paige is talking even more than when she arrived and her sense of humor and facial expressions are priceless. Emma is a riot and when she is good she is very, very good. The rest of that saying is of course but when she is bad she is horrid. Of course she is not horrid but let's just say when she is not good you must grit your teeth and wait for the delightful Emma to return. She will start kindergarten in September so the little girl we know will be so grown up when she comes back next year. So one more sleep and our July days with just the girls will be over. I will get to my garden and possibly catch up on the weeding that didn't get done. I will have my alone swimming time and finally get my kayak in the lake. I will get my routine back but part of me will be so sad to see these days come to an end. I will never again get to spend time with my granddaughters just the way they are right now. Our July days will be memories and hopefully ones that Paige and Emma take with them and always treasure when they think back to their visits in New Brunswick with Monkey and Toad.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Water Fall Down a Rock

It has been quite a week. Last Friday was definitely the calm before the storm. Arthur came in with a vengeance on Saturday morning leaving a path of destruction in its wake. It certainly could have been worse but what it was,was challenging enough. All the trees that blew down left many without power, some still without it after seven days. The heavy rain caused Paige to comment on the gushing waterfalls around the Clifton rocks. She has been saying "Water fall down a rock" ever since. The beauty, wonder and destruction of nature through the eyes of a two year old. I have seen so much through the eyes of a two and a five year old in the last two weeks. During our time without electricity Paige kept saying " We have no powers". Dealing with the absence of the conveniences we have come to rely on so completely leaves us feeling that way for sure. By day 3 I had finally come to terms with the "new normal" and had begun to adapt. That is not to say I wasn't thrilled when we arrived home after supper at the Reed's Point Pub to turn the porch light switch on and discover we had our powers back. My role as full time "Monkey" to two little girls has been all consuming. The few minutes or hours of respite I get when Grampie,aunt or uncles take over has been very helpful in keeping my powers. I have been seriously involved in toilet training a two year old and her constant claims that she has to pee have been welcome and exhausting. Very few accidents and her pride in a function she has done without thinking and now is very aware of, has been fun to watch. Challenges of what the five year old will wear have been less entertaining but enjoyable all round. This intense time with my girls will leave me tired and thankful for my own time again but I am not complaining. I hope that the trip to NB will be something they do for many years to come. This year it comes with the memory of hurricane Arthur of water falling down a rock, of the glee a trickle of water brings and every other little joy my two beautiful granddaughters bring with them when they come to the farm.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reflections From the Lake

I miss my wood road walks. I had hoped that they would continue but they have been replaced for a number of reasons. Bugs are probably number one but time is certainly a close second. My alone time and reflection time comes in the form of my alone lake swims these summer days. These are harder to get since I arrived back home with my granddaughters but I am trying to sneak one in, at least once a day. Today I was able to because my daughter in law came and took the girls for a walk. I quickly mowed a small section of the lawn that Ashlie and Caleb had not been able to get done before I got home, then jumped in the car for my coveted alone swim time. What a joy it was! I thought of the glorious summer days I had when my children were young. We would often spend the entire day at my Mom and Dad's beach on the Saint John River. Burton was usually away with the army for most of the summer so our days were free to enjoy the beach, have supper at Mom and Dad's and then hurry home to look after animals and get the kids to bed, then start all over again the next morning. What wonderful memories. Now I am in the position to provide such memories for my grandchildren. For the third year in a row I have brought Em to the farm and now her little sister has joined her. What a thrill to see them take such pleasure in the simple things a summer's day brings. Early this morning I watched as a raincoated , rubber booted Paige toddled across the yard following Grampie over to feed the pigs. The mud on her boots was a bit of a stresser for her but she was where she wanted to be. Later in the day the girls showed their monkey bar skills to their very enthusiastic aunts and uncles. They shrieked with glee to see Disco and Nellie. Em convinced her Grampie to take her for a lake swim( or a wade at least as he didn't go in with her today ) while Monkey got supper. They accepted hugs from their great grandparents and showed off their beautiful smiles and personalities to two people that watched their mother grow and were a huge part of her life. I was so happy to be in the middle of it all. Swimming in my solitude for a few quiet minutes I thought of how very lucky I am to be given my role in the lives of those I love. I strive to be the person I need to be so that I am able to be all they need me to be. I celebrate my wellness , my circumstances and give such thanks for the gifts I have been given. I am always aware of the fact that Zac is not in this circle as I so wish he was. Floating on my back I look to the sky and see a vastness much greater than myself and much beyond my comprehension to reason the why of it all, but take comfort in the power of that beautiful sky and the rippling water and let it fill me with the peace that makes truly enjoying these beautiful days possible.