Monday, December 29, 2014

A New Window

2014 is almost over. In two more days we will greet the new year. Through a new window we look ahead and through the old window we look behind at the year that is ending. I will not take the time to list or sift through all that happened in the last year. I will as I regularly do read back in my journal and put the days and months in perspective. I will also think ahead to what I expect the coming days and months to bring. I will prepare for some of the events ahead and believe that the things I look forward to will come to be. We have a wedding to celebrate, a book to launch and a book week tour to do. I hope these things become real experiences that I can document in my 2015 journal. I don't know of course what challenges or difficulties will be interspersed that could quickly change the events I have mapped out for the months ahead. I say this not with fear , worry or trepidation, just with a knowledge of how life has a way of unfolding in a manner we don't always predict. The new window offers a vast array of opportunity and each day will come with possibility and blessings and hopefully the strength we require. So on to whatever 2015 brings.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Look For the Light

This morning I got up earlier than usual. I got up before first light because my trusty furnace keeper was on a mission to deliver turkeys and chickens and stayed in Moncton all night. The house wasn't cold but I decided that I should start the furnace before it got cold. Usually with Burton's attentive patrol the fire seldom gets down to coals. I am spoiled in that way since he retired. The early rising gave me the gift of sparkling light. There is something about twinkling Christmas lights in the early morning that touches my soul. The lights give me a feeling of peace, hope and anticipation. Just like the excitement of Christmas morning taking time in the early morning to just enjoy what lies ahead is a wonderful thing. Today I will make scotch cookies for Caleb and Ashlie to take to Chester. I do wish they were staying home with us just as I wish Meg, Cody and the girls were coming but I understand they are where they need to be. I will enjoy my quiet Christmas knowing that if I am blessed with more Christmases in the future, they will be filled with years when we have everyone together, when we will welcome more grandchildren and our numbers will swell. Christmases past , present and future are what I celebrate in this early morning light. I look into the light and see it all and let my heart rejoice.

Friday, December 19, 2014

What a Day!

What a glorious day! The sun is shining brightly. There is just enough snow to cover the ground and trees and it looks absolutely beautiful. My home is warm and comfortable. Christmas lights are twinkling on the tree, on the railing and in the windows. Treasured decorations are on display. Gifts are all wrapped and waiting to be delivered to our loved ones. I am getting ready to whip up a batch of my mother's Scotch cookies. I may even need to do a few mocha cakes to make the season complete. I have a thankful heart for all the Christmases that have come before this one. My Mom and Dad certainly went all out to create wonderful Christmases for us when we were kids and many of those traditions came into our home as we raised our four children. I am also feeling peace today and taking deep breaths to truly appreciate the gifts of this day. I talked to my daughter for a few minutes this morning and even though she is so far away I feel such happiness when I hear of her little family enjoying and tackling the approach of Christmas 2014. Her new home is decked out with Christmas lights that I will not see but take comfort in knowing they shine where she is. Too sentimental? I don't think so. This is a day and a season to be sentimental and I embrace it all. My parents are in Florida doing their Christmas things in the sun amongst new found friends instead of family but I am so happy that they are able to do that. They will always remain a part of my Christmas. Later I will spend time with my friend Marlene in her new home. I will help her wrap, even though her wrapping standards are stricter than mine. I remember how the simple gifts we gave each other as kids meant so much to us; a sweater with puffy sleeves, three bags of ketchup chips. We will have supper together using the China Wok gift certificate I gave her last year with her Christmas present. How quickly the years go and how valuable our time together is.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Let Your Heart be Full

Step back and take a deep breath. Check on your well being and the well being of those you love. Do the things that fill you and let the rest of it go. Take solace in knowing that you did the best you could do and move on from here. These are the things reverberating in my muddled brain this morning. I feel somewhat like a wet dishcloth. The twinkling lights on the greenery on my upstairs railing offer me a quiet and soothing look at the beauty of this time of year. I take great comfort in the continuity of the decorations I pull out every year. They stay the same in the constant change of everything else. This morning I will join my friends in a group we call the 82 Moms(we all had babies in 1982)for a Christmas buffet at the Rothesay Golf and Country club. These girls have been a constant in the last few years. We meet once a month and as the months fly by and as we all meet challenges and greet joys in our lives we listen and support each other. What a gift this has been. So this will be how I tackle today; spend time in the company of friends, absorb some beautiful Christmas decorations, eat some tasty food and let my heart fill up from the somewhat limp and depleted state it currently finds itself in.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bayside Middle School

On Tuesday December 2nd I spent the day at Bayside Middle School. I had a great day. Students and staff were very welcoming. Thankyou Ms. Fullerton for inviting me and organizing my visit. I spent the morning with 21 students who were part of a book club. They had all read at least one of my books. What a joy it is to meet readers and see my stories through their eyes. I told the kids I would answer one of the three questions they wrote for me at the end of the morning. Kennedy-Yes you can have a signed copy of one of my books. I will send it in with Ms. Fullerton. Thankyou! Sydney-It was very difficult writing The Year Mrs. Montague Cried but I am very thankful that I had the time to do it and I am thankful that it became a book. Thank you for reading it. Kayce- The Memory Chair is about a girl who becomes closer to her great grandmother after seeing parts of her great-grandmother's life through memories she has while sitting in a chair at her great grandmother's house. She discovers a family secret. Jenna-I do not make a lot of money. My royalties are 10% of the cover price. Molly-Usually I know the title before I write the book. Sometimes I change the title. I google to make sure there is not another book with the same title. Ireland-It is hard to write a book. You have to take your time and do the work to get it to be the best it can be. Even after it is written you can see changes that could have made it better. Editors help you make your manuscript better. Kori-I met my husband in Grade seven. He became my boyfriend in Grade 9. I am not recommending that but sometimes it works out. We have been married almost 38 years so it seems to be working out for us. Lana- Getting through the loss of Zachary is something my family is still doing everyday. Hannah- I plan to try to write a book a year for the next twenty years. We shall see. Grace-I have not gotten a lot of negative feedback but when I do I try to accept what is being said. Sometimes negative feedback can be more helpful than positive. Mikayla-I like writing because I get to make up characters and work through a story with them. I love stories! Deanna-Thank you for your kind words! Madison-My life is similar to Amelia's in some ways. I have a big garden, farm animals and I love the Walton Lake and think it is a place of healing. Sarah-I love having dogs as pets. Chiamaka-My next book will be out in April 2015 Lauren-Writing had changed my life in several ways. I get to spend time doing what I love . I enjoy the writing , the editing, seeing the finished book and meeting readers. Heather-I have some ideas about what happens after the end of The Sewing Basket but I leave that to the readers imagination. Samantha-I love to swim in my spare time. I also like to knit ,spend time with friends, garden and go for walks in the woods. I also love to spend time with my granddaughters. John-Yes, my next book will have a body of water. The Saint John River is in my next book. Lake Ontario is in the next and my sixth book has the Saint John River again. Water and swimming is definitely something I put in my books . One page had no name I think it is Anya and I am probably not spelling her name correctly. Sorry! I plan to write a sequel to Ten Thousand Truths.The working title is Shame the Devil. In the afternoon I visited two classrooms . The time went very quickly .Thank you so much to each of the students and the teachers.

The Days That Matter

I have been away. I pulled off a major surprise and arrived at Meg's without her having any idea that I was coming. A few weeks ago Emma was in tears on the phone because she missed her Monkey and to add to her misery she realized we weren't coming for Christmas. For a few times afterwards she would always end her phone calls with 'See you next year Monkey' in a sad little voice that broke my heart. Her sad little greeting gave me the motivation to pay a surprise Pre-Christmas visit . It was wonderful. We made crafts, baked cookies and cupcakes, read books , went swimming and got lots of hugs and snuggles in. Paige was so excited to have her Monkey and her delighted little voice still echoes in my head. Last night she told Grampie'Monkey's coming back'. Oh I will be back for sure and each moment I spent with them is right here with me, each one now a memory to add to our collective repertoire. I used to say to my kids 'these are the days that matter'. That is so true. My brother in law Leonard died early Tuesday morning. He came to be with us on Oct 24th knowing that his time was short. He wanted to come home to NB to spend his last days with family. He did that. His older brother kept vigil as his life passed and he said his goodbyes. All our days matter. The sun came out briefly this morning filling my heart with hope. The clouds have now filled the sky and it is raining again after yesterday's heavy downpours but I know we will see the sun again. We will get through these next few days together. We can hold on to the fact that we welcomed Leonard home and gave him as much comfort as we were able to. We will tell our stories and reflect on the days that Leonard David White was given.