Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Worry and Wonder

This entry came to me in the middle of the night and I should have gotten up and written it. We shall see what remains of it in the light of day. I had awoke from a dream where I was a young mother with two kids, my oldest child a girl and a younger boy. I do not remember any other details of the dream but when I woke up I laid there thinking what if I had not had Zac. He was my firstborn. I see young mothers so caught up with the wonder of their babies. It was just like that for me. He was a precious baby, a precious toddler, a delightful little boy, an amazing kid and a wonderful young man. We got to have him in our lives for twenty years. This all went through my sleepless brain and I began thinking about worry and wonder. What a mix of those two emotions is a mother's heart. I worry constantly but I do attempt to find the wonder in my life that helps me let the worry go. The wonder of a beautifully formed flower. The wonder of a sunset. The wonder of my granddaughter's smiles. The wonder of my daughter's sense of humor that keeps me laughing. The wonder of sitting across the supper table with the boy I fell in love with forty years ago. The wonder of seeing my two boys with the girls they fell in love with. The wonder of my granddogs zigzagging in excitement around our slow moving Biscuit. The wonder of my parents who still amaze me with their vitality. It was this list that I compiled as I laid awake. I could have made a worry list but I chose not to. I start this day with my focus on the wonder of the life I have been given and I will keep trying to let the worry go.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ready for the Sun

Father's Day 2015 was a day of heavy , steady rain. I drove across the Saint John river to go to church with my Dad and out for lunch with my parents. Getting in and out of the car offered a good soaking. I came home and cooked a turkey dinner for the man who fathered my children , my brother in law Ronnie and my friend Paul, all fathers that deserve celebrating. As the rain fell we watched our garden sections fill up with streams of running water between the long rows, hoping that all our planting efforts were not being washed away. Today the rain has stopped and I wait anxiously for the sun to come out and dry the ground so I can hoe up the emerging green sprouts. I read this quote this morning 'Don't plant more garden than your wife can hoe'. I am sure it has deep meaning, but for me it has very literal application. I am the one that hoes. I love to tackle each row and as the daily growth of each row of beans, corn , peas, potatoes etc. advances I love to give each and every plant the attention and the time spent weeding and hoeing gives. But I do wonder this year if my dear husband and I have planted more than this girl can hoe. We shall see. I will give it my best once yesterday's rain soaks in and the sun comes out to dry the ground. I include a picture of a past garden that offers me the motivation and assurance that seeds that are planted will grow and the combination of rain and sun brings about a bountiful harvest.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


The blossoms on my flowering crab tree were so beautiful a few days ago. I waited for them to come out and almost overnight they were a cascade of deep pink flowers. I had taken a few pictures and then the very next day when I thought to get a few more close ups of the blossoms they were gone with barely a trace of the display of the day before. I now have a vase of lilacs on my kitchen table and look out many times a day to enjoy the purple blossoms on the several lilac bushes in my yard. They too will be gone before I know it. I had one lone deep purple bearded Iris by the back steps and I tried to pay attention to it every time I walked by. It always reminds me of the year we had Chapin's grad party here after prom and entertained or should I say contained hundreds of kids. The morning after that event my clump of bearded irises were pretty much stomped and left as purple footprints on our back veranda. This morning I see several prom pictures on Facebook and along with my thoughts on the fleeting quality of blossoms it serves to make me a bit weepy and reflective. Last night I watched a movie where the family of four kids was the same configuration as mine would have been at one time. It brought me to tears. How quickly life happens . How fleeting one stage passes. I saw another post on Facebook this morning advising parents to pay attention to their small children as they grow up so fast. So overall this finds me typing this entry with tears running down my cheeks. I planted tiny seeds yesterday that I have the confidence ,based on my past experience, will result in plants that will bring about a harvest and die back down in the fall only to be ploughed up and return to the earth. The seasons, the cycle, the continuous evolution of life. None of it should be missed, none of it should be taken for granted. I will wipe my tears and take another day that I have been given. I hold the hope of blossoms to come as well as the memory of the beautiful blossoms I have been given.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rainy Days and Tuesdays

Well we have started. Our planting schedule has had weather delays but we finally got started yesterday. Despite a gusting wind that looked as if it was going to remove all of the top soil and relocate it, I planted all the beans and started planting the corn. Today, I finished planting the corn before the heavy rain started . Burton and Wayne got all the squash in as well. So I find myself in my office this afternoon instead of in the garden. Yesterday I visited a classroom at Lakefield Elementary School. They had just finished reading Ten Thousand Truths and The Year Mrs. Montague Cried. It was a pleasure to spend an hour with them as they asked some wonderful questions and shared their feelings about the stories and life. Kids never cease to amaze me with their compassion and insights. They were very interested in hearing about the sequel of Ten Thousand Truths. Parker asked me what my next book was going to be about. I told him I wasn't exactly sure but that it would come to me as I planted and looked after the garden in the next couple of months. Sure enough as I began sowing the bean seeds yesterday afternoon the seeds of my next book began taking shape. I ran in the house and up to my office to jot my thoughts down. The book I began in January but put aside to get to Shame the Devil pushed its way into my thoughts again and took on a whole new turn. Now I await the quiet hours in the garden so that I can let the story unfold until I find myself back in my office in September. During the summer I will steal some rainy hours like this afternoon and take a bit of time to touch my writing. I will read Shame the Devil one more time before sending it off to be read by someone else. I will make some notes for the book I see ahead of me. I will give some thought to two picture books I have percolating. I will let the summer come. I'll watch the seeds grow in the garden and in my imagination.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

And Now it's June

June has arrived. The weather unfortunately is not excatly heralding its arrival. We are awaiting the warm and dry weather that will get the planting season underway. But it is June never the less and all the business of the spring has led me to this day. I am so thankful that all the things I planned for and anticipated fell into place and were everything I wanted them to be. I am taking a deep breath today and looking back at all that has come about. I finished the book I started writing in January. It seemed to have a momentum all its own and although it didn't write itself it certainly pushed itself onto the page. I will take a bit of time to re read it and see it in its entirety before I send it along. The wedding took place and I await the hundreds of pictures Meg's friend Jen took so I can fully digest the beauty and wonder of the day. I did the book week tour and have recovered from my driving experiences. Last week I headed to Nova Scotia. I had thought at one point that we would crowd more into that tour and also head for PEI but I am so glad that it was exactly what it turned out to be. First of all the trip to NS gave me the wonderful opportunity to visit with my cousin Jan and her husband. Over the last few years writing events in the Halifax area or flying from Halifax to Nfld have given me the chance to stay in their home. They have always warmly welcomed Burton and me or a friend and me or just me into their home. They provided excellent meals and lots of great conversations. Jan and I share a rich past. Our mothers are sisters and we spent many years connected by that bond. We value that bond but even more than that we have come to value the bond of friendship as adults. My cousin played the part of Chauffeur to the events I had in Halifax and Cole Harbour. She was so excited to accompany her cousin, the author and I hope she was not too disappointed . Our first library reading was attended by two. Don't get me wrong I will read to two and we certainly enjoyed the two girls as well as the library staff member who tried to reel half the audience in. Half the audience was vocal, exuberant, highly expressive and somewhat of a challenge. She was entertaining though and full of personality. The other half was much quieter and reflective and offered lots in her own way . The Saturday morning library visit offered no audience but the librarian was very welcoming. Two book signings offered their own gifts. I met a lovely woman who wanted to buy all four and since the store did not have all four and she also realized that struggling authors make more money if they sell directly to readers, accompanied me to the parking lot where she bought all four books from my trunk. Thank you Faye! Then came a school visit to Winding River Consolidated in Stewiacke. What a wonderful day I had! Beautiful building , great staff and enthusiastic kids provided a worthwhile visit. Again the best of teaching and being an author made the time spent there a rewarding experience. I was glad to get on the road and head home though. Burton and Cale had extended the pasture and I drove up the driveway to see the three cows standing in long grass enjoying their new territory. The lilacs are almost in full bloom , the flowering crab tree is blooming and the buds on the trees are bursting. I am so anxious to start putting out flowers and planting seeds. I look forward to the lake , to kayaking and watching our gardens grow. We have some building projects to see unfold. I will get the girls by the end of July. The winter has passed with all it gave , the spring arrived and brought so much and now the summer is before us. The sun will shine and the summer of 2015 will unfold. I look forward to the gifts it will bring.