Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Book a Year

" A book a year for the next twenty years" was a statement I made at my first book launch. Caleb asked me later if that was really my plan. " I thought you were just writing this one." Oh my heavens no. While The Year Mrs. Montague Cried was a book I needed to write and was the book that got me published first it was from the start only one of the many I dreamed of writing. And funny enough, dreams have played a part.My soon to be released book When the Hill Came Down came about because of a dream. I recall telling the dream at a Sunday night supper. Don't you just love it when people tell you their dreams in detail. Not! After telling the dream I said I was going to write a book about the scene in my dream. Caleb said" Well that's the end of Mom's writing career." Hopefully not. This morning I finished writing book number twelve.This story came to me in a dream when I was staying with friends Odette and YoAnne in their beautiful home on the Northumberland Strait. I have felt so connected to Odette throughout the writing and have often reached out to her with questions. She has sent me photographs to help me embrace the setting. I hate finishing books. I become so attached that I am always filled with emotion when the end comes. Yesterday I wrote the last chapter and cried. The emotion in the last chapter may have justified my tears but some of the tears were simply because I was done. I will of course spend more time with the book as I fine tune, revise and gather an overall sense of it before I let it go. But oh how I will miss the characters and the beautiful shores of the Northumberland Strait.Now I wait for the summer to offer up where my writing will take me when I return to my desk at the end of August. I have two novels started and I may wander back to them but I have another idea percolating and it may take over. Or something totally new may show up. A dream might even push its way into the creating of the next book. I do not know and that is what makes this goal so much fun.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

What Today Is

I got a reminder yesterday from my blog coach (daughter)that I had not written since last Friday.I did consent to write one this morning so here goes. In beginning this day I can't help but think what today would be . I got a reminder on my phone first thing that today was the NB Book Awards Gala.I thought many times on Thursday that it would have been launch day. I would be in Fredericton giving a young writers workshop and last night I would have given out the awards for the WFNB's writing competition winners.I would be attending the Gala tonight and Fear of Drowning would or would not win.Would have been , should have been , would be but I'm not. The Kingston Farmer's Market opened today and I am not there either. With no new book to sell and strict regulations I have decided to wait awhile before returning. I wish the new manager, the board , vendors and all the market goers the best this morning. So back to what today is instead of all it could have been. It is sunny and beautiful. Yesterday was the first day at Marlene's camp which is always a season indicator. Yesterday I wrote my journal and had my coffee on the front veranda for the first time. My grand kids got in the lake yesterday for their first swim of the season. I put my feet in but didn't take the plunge.I have the garden started and today I will continue planting.May as most months it seems is barreling by. It has brought sadness and loss and I hold my friend Alice in my thoughts as she finds her way.Change and challenge is constant as we begin to open up and adapt to Phases and plans to deal with Covid 19 concerns. We are weary and wounded and wary. Life is the same and so different.Summer plans will be adapted. I will get in the lake. Seeds will germinate and green shoots will break through the earth. Alice will face all the firsts,the heartbreak and the loneliness. I need on this day to take a really big gulp of one day at a time.Do the work, dream the dream, put one foot in front of the other , count your blessings and don't borrow troubles from another day.You can do this.

Friday, May 15, 2020

A King Among Men

I knew this day would come which does not make it any easier . Alice who has watched her beloved husband's gradual and serious decline for months was overwhelmed with the depth of despair she felt when he took his last breath. Of course this is the way of it. We can tell ourselves a million times that it is coming, prepare ourselves in a surface way, even pray for the end to come but the abruptness and finality of the death, the separation, the before and after is monumental and must be endured. Nothing easy about any of it. The things we tell ourselves are comforting, 'he had a good life' 'he lived the way he wanted' he had seventy five years' and on and on and all of that is true of course. Good memories will be treasured, kind words and prayers will abound but still the reality is brutal. The loneliness, indecision, regrets, and second guessing, blame and anger,disbelief and despair will accompany the loss.Paul Edson was a great man. He was wise, kind, positive, grateful, loving, loyal, hard working, generous, and patient. He gave his all to his wife, his kids, his grand kids, his siblings , friends and neighbors. And he loved his yard, his front veranda , his history channel,his garage, his dog and his deer.He was rock solid for his wife while at the same time willing to pretty much go along with whatever she said. He loved his time at the trailer and his friends Richard and Charlene.Burton and I will miss him like crazy. We have a treasure trove of wonderful , warm and funny memories. We will miss his slow cooker creations, his predicable quotes and his genuine interest in everything. Our kids love him like an an uncle and his influence in their lives runs deep. Go in peace Paul. You have fought the good fight and have made us all proud to say we knew you.

Monday, May 11, 2020

This Mother's Day

This Mother's Day I woke to snow covered fields and trees and low single digit temperatures. But the sun was shining and I accepted what the day was to be. Burton made breakfast and Caleb brought my gift and a wonderful hug.I attended online church but came late and missed parts of it.I had a leisurely (as I do every single day) bath and was just getting dressed when my across the road grand kids and their dad showed up. They were smiling widely with mother's day joy and a gift for Grammie.They had just left when Meg called and Paige happily offered her greetings. A nice relaxing afternoon ended with a walk. I bundled up and headed up the wood road. Burton went to the pub and picked up our pre-ordered supper . It was delicious. A quiet rather isolated Mother's Day but nice never the less. A day to reflect on motherhood, its joys, its sorrows ,its victories and failures, its vulnerability and disappointments, its rewards and blessings.The snow is almost gone and a new day has dawned and on I go being a mother, a grandmother and living the life I have been given. As my mother used to say "just be your own sweet self". I'm trying and will keep trying . And full disclosure my gift from Meg arrived by courier Monday afternoon.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Harley the Therapy Dog

I often talk about how much I value my journal and reading back previous entries on my blog. I started my writing morning with just such a look back.I went to the May entries from last year. What a gift looking back is. May 6th talked about the rhythm of our days. It took me right to the afternoon I spent walking to the brook with Dad, preparing his supper and having the privilege of sitting together for a meal. I knew at the time how valuable those days were but am happy to be reminded. I also can't help but think of the rhythm of our 2020 May days with all we are facing this year. Last night I had a weepy spell.I had googled something leading me to something else and discovered that Tim McGraw's daughter has an uncle named Zachary White. Seeing that name on my screen brought the tears. Perhaps I was already vulnerable from watching a sappy movie Tim McGraw was in. Soon after my daughter sent me a picture of her and two of her brothers and I lost it.My sweet dog Harley instantly comes to my side at the first sign of tears. I always feel compelled to assure her I'm OK so she can relax. Back and forth texts with Meg calmed me and re started the tears and poor Harley was up and down, back and forth to my side.Already in the writing of this entry Harley has left Paige's room to come to my side twice. Get it together she is probably thinking. Well the blessing is that usually I do have it together and for that I am so thankful.I am anxious to get to work this morning. On my wood road walk yesterday I had an idea of where to take my story next. Yesterday I was having a crisis of confidence and felt stuck trying to get to the end of the story but not sure how to get there. What came to me was a journal shared by a woman's daughter that answers some questions for two of the characters. We shall see how that plays out.When I say we I really mean me as I have to do the writing to make it work . I also have to believe it will work. My re reading of journals and blog entries is all about building on the belief that our days and our struggles matter and that we will get through them. I believe that next year when I read back to these days I will be given that same assurance. We can do this!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

May Days

Yesterday the highlight of my day was a short pop in visit from my grandson Skyler. What a sweet, kind and happy boy. Our short visit was crammed with so much. He arrived so excited about driving the tractor almost by himself,his rain pants covered in mud and a wide smile on his face. What a joy to this grandmother's heart to see him and his dad so actively involved in the great outdoors and each other. After asking his dad he accepted a cookie which I said might be a little stale since they weren't his uncle's favorite and weren't getting eaten up very fast. He asked me all kinds of questions and I asked him some. Missing school , his friends and some aspects of normal life he remains so happy and positive. Looking at the calendar he said" It's May, April was a sad month".So this morning remembering his delightful visit I will think about May days. My mother always loved Mayflowers and spoke of May Day celebrations at school. Her birthday was May 5th and she would be 92 if we still had her with us.As I mentioned in my last entry May has some disappointments with all its cancelled or postponed events and happenings.The market has not opened in a normal way. I will not receive my new book or have my launch. Meg and the girls will not come for the launch. Meg hasn't missed one yet by the way .Last year Burton surprised me when he arranged for Emma to come with her mom.I will not get to attend WFNB's WordSpring and pass out the awards for the winners of the writing competition. I will not get to go to the NB Book awards and see Fear of Drowning highlighted as a short listed title.But I will get to continue to enjoy the comfort and privilege of being home. I will hopefully continue in good health. My husband and I will begin our 44th year of marriage still loving each other, still laughing and crying together and still each others best friend. I will begin the gardening season with the expectation that I will have lots of time to keep a weed free,flourishing garden with good yields. We will continue to clean up after the major renovations of last year and enjoy our new verandas. I will get closer to jumping in the lake.May will be a month filled with blessings and challenges as most months are.With March and April behind us let us look forward to brighter days,and be grateful for all our blessings.Let's see the world with Skyler's optimism and joy."That cookie wasn't stale Grammie."

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Another Day at Home

When are you writing on your blog again? my daughter asked last night.I'll write tomorrow I answered. I do love it that she looks forward to reading what is on her mother's mind even though most days we talk on the phone for several minutes and cover many topics.Do you have to talk to your mother every day? her daughter asked once. Yes I do was her answer. I must say I am so thankful for our phone conversations. Burton says he can always tell when I'm talking to Meg because I am laughing non stop. So lying in bed this morning thinking about getting up to face another at home day I thought about this entry. What did I have to say today? On Wednesday I normally meet my friend Kathy and we go swimming , do some shopping and have lunch. This is the seventh Wednesday I have stayed home. For the most part I have been perfectly content to stay home. I have been getting lots of writing done and am reaching the end of the book I started in mid October.I have walked every day, baked a lot, played cards with my husband, watched TV and gotten through the days . I have processed the disappointment of these shut down days.No farmer's market yet,no 82 Moms, no book launch yet, no NB book awards , no school visit to Grand Manan,no grandchildren visits, possibly no summer visit from my girls, maybe no trip to Scotland. Once in awhile the disappointments creep in again and I have to give myself a talking to.Because of course even with the things I'll miss I have so much to be thankful for.I don't have anything profound to offer this morning. I, like the whole country am still struggling to deal with the horrific loss of life in Nova Scotia. I daily send up prayers for the loved ones left to piece their lives back together after such devastation. I daily send up prayers for my friends Paul and Alice as they walk their difficult path in these strange times when friends can't drop in to care for and comfort them. The sun shines this morning and April approaches its end. The month has flown by. Tomorrow we will celebrate 43 years of marriage. That perhaps deserves a blog entry of its own.But today we are at home.Our bubble is small but our blessings are many.