Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Heartbeat's Length.......


Whenever I hear the eerie shrill of an ambulance's siren scream through the air, I can't help but think of the lives that will change because of it.

Lives change in a heartbeat. Any time of year, under any circumstance it can be heartbreaking. During this time of year, when there is such a focus on family get-togethers, Christmas magic, and fun, that heartbreak is multiplied. When it involves a child, it's impossible to fathom the depths of the sorrow reached.

Growing up in a rural community you know everyone, attend school with everyone from miles around. This creates a great sense of extended family. People look out for and care for each other.

When tragedy strikes, the wagons circle, and the flow of love and support begins.

Such a tragedy struck my hometown this past week when the young son of a former schoolmate passed away.

The soul-eviscerating, heart-crushing grief that must strike when this happens is unfathomable. The question does not become, How does a person heal from this? The immediate question has to be, How do I keep breathing? How do I survive this? How do we survive this?

To the family, my heart aches for you, my heart breaks for you.

Although the gift of your son was given to you for but a heartbeat's length, his shine will remain with you in every heartbeat to come.


Let's not take for granted that tomorrow is guaranteed, that we have all the time in the world to patch up relationships, straighten out misunderstandings, heal old wounds.

Say the 'I love you', the 'I forgive you' the 'I'm sorry', or just silently let crap go, if that's what you need to do.

The words left unsaid can often be the loudest and hardest to shake.


With a certain family in mind, I'll leave you with this wish.....

May you, as the noise settles, and silence echoes where his voice once rang, find strength, find courage.
May you find your breath, a way to put one foot in front of the other, to fight the invincible cocooning urge.

May you, in time, once again find peace, and some semblance joy, for other littles need to feel you smile, even though you may feel like a liar.
May you see that they are learning from you what it means to grieve, how to survive the pain, how to walk through this fire.

May you lean on those who surround you, and know the rest of us carry you in our prayers.
May you, as time inevitably passes, when the edges of grief are less cutting, find that smiles come more readily than tears.

Until next time.......................

Friday, December 1, 2017

May Your Goodbyes Be Sweet......


It is, once again, with a heavy heart that I am writing this week's ramblings.

When you come from a large family, as I do, there are a ton of things to celebrate. Lots of milestones, weddings, pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, lots of reasons to send each other congratulations. Unfortunately, the flipside of that is losing people. A lot of people. 

Luckily, because of the sheer volume of people involved, none of us go through these losses alone. 

Not so long ago, we lost Uncle Mike the junior "Bookend" of the 14 siblings created by my Mom's Mom and Dad. Yesterday evening, we lost the senior "Bookend", Uncle Norbert. 

This was an uncle who fathered a string of 7 daughters, was the first to tear up listening to a beautiful choir, was always ready for a laugh and was one of the best huggers I have ever known.

The bookends. More than twenty years separated their births, their departures, but a blink between them. 

Five brothers now keeping a watchful eye, and no doubt sharing a rum or two in the process. 

Knowing Uncle Norbert's love of life, I feel he would want us not to dwell too long in sorrow, but raise a glass in his honour, and smile, holding the best of memories dear.

Sadly, Uncle Norbert's passing was not the only one felt by our family, this week. Earlier in the week, the father of three of our nephews lost his battle with a very serious illness. A hardworking man, not yet 65, left behind the broken hearts of many loved ones. 

Losing loved ones is likely the toughest thing we have to live through, as humans. The love and connection that lifts us and makes us thrive, is also what makes saying goodbye so difficult. 

So worth it.


Besides receiving hard news, the past few days were filled with a bit of work at the shop, some gift wrapping, Christmas baking, marking calendars for grandbaby Christmas concerts and the completion of Snowmanpalooza!

The upcoming week will include a bum around day with my hubby, working shop, more baking, more wrapping, and doing my best to fix up a 4year-old"s self-inflicted haircut. (before Christmas concert), and spend some time with a fabulously big family sharing memories 


Until next time, with loved ones in mind........

May your goodbyes be sweet, filled only with the most beautiful memories to help you through.
May you carry each other beyond the grief, lifting, consoling, lightening the load with all you do.

May you understand that although time may not heal all wounds, it does help them change, even fade.
May you give yourself permission to take that time, then, once again walk in the sun, away from the shade. 


Until next week..... 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Imagine The Magic!!!


The Holiday Season has officially hit it the Reid household.  With tradeshows every weekend I started the decorating a bit earlier than usual because I have to do it a bit at a time.

Between this hip not being completely back up to par and fighting some weird cold/laryngitis type thing, a bit at a time is what it needs to be. Hardly the biggest problem in the world.

One of the upsides of early decorating is getting to steep in this little munchkin's reaction to everything. The snow globes, dancing snowmen, and Christmas tree, Oh My!

How incredible it must all seem to these young eyes. Last year she was a bit young to take it all in, this year you can see the magic of it all reflected in her eyes.

The lights that are beginning to appear all over town as you go for car rides. Everywhere you go and everywhere you look, magic, magic, and more magic.

To have the opportunity to experience this time of year through the beautiful eyes of this little face, once again, is priceless. We got the chance through our kids, and now through our grandbabies.

When our kids were small, things were so hectic, and stressful. If I could give my younger self some advice, it would be to relax more and just enjoy it. I would tell my "young mom me" to accept the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas, and give myself permission to just let it not be perfect. I would tell my "young mom me" to not stress so much over that perfect gift from the wish list, just give them the magic, it's what they will remember. Trendy toys come and go, but the magic lives forever.


Over the past several days...........

A great tradeshow in Swift Current where a bunch more books found new homes despite the fact that when I tried to chat with people it came out more like a drunken cat gargling peanut butter.

This was followed by days unable to be of much use on a phone etc at the shop.

I was able, however,  to get a bit of a jump on a presentation for the upcoming career day in which I need to say something brilliant to inspire some teenagers. Inspire might be overshooting, I'd settle for not bored.

I also had a nice chat with a new acquaintance about a possible new writing adventure.....

As for the next few days......

Tradeshow tomorrow in Kindersley at the mall.

Working the shop

Running errands

Prep for tradeshow next weekend in Cupar



Until next week....

May you allow yourself to see the magic of the season, and let it soak in.
May you celebrate the imperfections, real joy lives in games played and words spoken.

May you enjoy the giggles, the wide-eyed wonder, the lights, the endless verses of jingle bells.
May you never tire of "Twas The Night Before Christmas" and other stories of Santa and his pals.

May you celebrate this time with family and friends, cherish every minute, tomorrow is a gift but not a promise.
May you give yourself permission to relax, watch some "Grinch," pour some wine, eat chocolate in your pajamas.

May you allow yourself to experience the magic, let it make you smile.
May you give yourself permission to enjoy, it's really okay, at least every once in a while.


Friday, November 17, 2017

The 2017 Snowman Migration Begins!

Well folks, before now, I imagine you were unaware of the fact that snowmen migrate. Well, they have officially begun their annual journey from the basement. It seems, every day, a few more make their presence known.

My family loves to tease me about my fascination with these little guys, but, honestly, how can you look at them and not feel at least a little bit of holiday spirit seep in. Though, what is featured in the photos is a thin representation of the whole, it is more than worth the teasing when tiny people visit my home, and after taking it all in, with wide eyes and huge smiles, inform me with conspiratorial whispers that "Christmas lives in your house."

I'll take the teasing, gladly.

With office parties revving up, the constant stream of what to buy for that perfect gift, the wishlists to Santa taking shape and 'Elf on a Shelf ' back on facebook, there is no denying that the holiday season is here.

Inevitably this triggers the narrative that there is some conspiracy to stop people from saying "Merry Christmas."

Over the years, I have put forth a few of my own experiments on this very subject. In a variety of different crowds, in several different places in the presence of people from multiple cultures I have, in rotation wished people either Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and Happy Quanza. The only reason I didn't include more, is that I'm not completely confident in the specific names of the twenty plus other observances that happen during the month of December.

This is what I came away with........

I never came across one single person who was offended by any greeting. Neither did any person correct me or try and stop me.

What I think?

"Happy Holidays" seems to be the most inclusive greeting. It's not because "Merry Christmas" or other greetings offend or anger anyone, it's the simple fact that "Happy Holidays" excludes no one, and personally that, as far as I can tell, best aligns with the spirit of the season.

No one will be offended by you sincerely wishing them well. Happy greetings cost nothing, feel free to be generous with them.


The past week included some grandbaby snuggles, a superhero movie marathon, giving my hubby a haircut, some prep for future book promotions, dust bunny hunting, laundry, Christmas shopping, and fighting with some weird cold/laryngitis thing that, in turn, had me helping out with the shop as best as I could from home.

 Life is running at its usual crazy pace. Trying to take time, make time, to let the bits of downtime soak in.

The upcoming week....

Tradeshow in Swift Current on the 18th......

Work the shop..............

prep for tradeshow on the 25th.....

Assist in the snowman immigration........


Until next time......

May you revel in the beautiful chaos that this season of giving provides.
May you sustain your sanity, take a beat, let it be fun, let any anxiety subside.

May you release the vision of perfection that can overtake the joy.
May you realize the magic, for your little one, does not live in any toy.

May you see the real magic comes from the fun, the laughter, making a decoration, nibbling a special treat.
May you see wish lists change from year to year, toy trends fade, enchanted memories remain forever sweet.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Let's Honour Their Sacrifice...All Of It

Remembrance Day

Her heart stopped as the dark car pulled up and halted feet from where she and her three young children were raking and playing in the freshly fallen leaves.

She knew what was to come even before the first car door closed. Her initial instinct was to shield the kids from the horror that was about to assault them, the pain about to ooze from this heavily decorated man.

Someone was distracting the kids, the person in front of her was speaking. "I'm so sorry to have to inform you...."


The young boy broke away from the grip of his Grandma's hand to be closer to the flag-draped casket as it was slowly lowered into the ground, the 21 gun salute still ringing in his ears. He had blissfully little understanding as to how much his life tragically changed in that moment, what it would be like to grow up without his Mom.


The haunting images of the blood, the loss, the chaos, the gut-wrenching smell of death, it all followed him home. How could he pretend that he was the same when that was impossible. It was there every time he closed his eyes, in every firework, in every car backfire. It was in the eyes of every other vet he met. How would he ever find normal again.......


We should honour those who fight for our freedoms by honouring our freedoms. Let's stop wielding said freedoms as daggers, twisting them to suit our prejudices, contorting them to fit our agendas. Let's honour them in the spirit in which they were won. Our flags are not meant to be raised as a weapon against our fellow citizens, they were not created to divide us, they, indeed, were created to give a sense of belonging, of unity, a proud symbol of that unity.

Let's take a beat to truly think about the sacrifices made by our military and their families. All of it. The uncertainty, the missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, births, deaths, school plays, basketball games, swim meets, first steps, first words, first girlfriends, first dates, all of it. And those are the lucky ones.

The lucky ones who get to come home and try to make their old "normal" fit once again, try to make sense of what they've been through, trying to transition to their somehow familiar, yet very strangely, new reality. Trying to once again embrace the life that once was, the exact kind of life that they enlisted to protect in the first place.

Then there are the unlucky. The ones who are forever missed and mourned by those they left behind.

All of it.


In deep appreciation to those who fought and continue to fight the fight that allows me and mine to live the pretty fantastic life we live, thank you.


The past days have been spent goofing off with some longtime friends, bookkeeping, story writing, presentation prep, doing laundry and other domestic engineering.

In the upcoming days.....

A weekend spent at home, watching movies, puttering, and sneaking some grandbaby snuggles....

Taking part in a trade show here in Milden on Wednesday.......

Working the shop.......

Prep for tradeshow in Swift Current.......



Until next time.........

May you know we appreciate your sacrifice, your time, everything you give.
May you know we understand it's because of you, we live the lives we live.

May you recognize that "thank you" is all we have, knowing full well it's too small.
May you see there are not enough words to express our gratitude, even in giving them all.

May you make your way home, and be able to put your head to pillow in peace.
May your soul become quiet, your surroundings serene, may every turmoil cease.

May you know we see you are not always treated as the heroes you are, or with the respect that you deserve.
May you, I hope, still see us as a people, an ideal, a community representative of what prompted you to serve.

Until next time......

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Don't Let The Frenzy Get You!


Well. Halloween has come and gone, treats and a few frights were handed out, now come the tummy aches that inevitably follow an overindulgence in sweets. Conversations ensue,  explaining why Twizzlers are not a good idea for breakfast each and every day, and how the peanuts in a Snickers bar don't count as vegetables.

It was awesome seeing all of the costumes on social media, kids and parents alike. It was a well-needed respite from the seriousness the world carries these days.

As the evening wore on, the weather took a decidedly wintery turn. It began innocently enough as rain, which quite quickly became sleet, then, just as quickly, snow. As of November 1st, we have snow, and if you listen to the forecast, it's pretty much here to stay. If it does, it's going to make for a very long winter. Very. Long.

But, there's absolutely nothing we can do about the weather, so we might as well make the best of it.

Heck, a bunch of people I know were chomping at the bit waiting for this, snowmobiles and skis at the ready.

Just goes to show you, the same news can be perceived as good to some, not so good to others, but that doesn't change the fact it's the same news. Snow is still snow.

And now, if you are paying attention to ads and storefronts, we flip the switch from skeletons to Santa. I literally saw a display that had an inflatable spider and an inflatable snowman occupying the same shelf.

I sometimes get the feeling that retailers are scared to let us, the consumers, breathe. As though allowing us to take a beat between feeding frenzies will somehow grind the free world to a complete halt.

It's all of the December Gift Giving Holidays, then the "after holidays sales", then Valentine's Day, Then St. Patty's, Easter, Then all the "have tos" for Summer, then comes "back to school", then Halloween, and then we are right back to Christmas.

Don't let the frenzy get you. There is time. Breathe.


So the past days included doing a Karaoke Halloween Bash, which was a blast, catching up on some dust bunny hunting, laundry, and some much-needed housework.

The upcoming days will include more of the same, working the shop, and spending some time with some people near and dear to my heart.


Until next time.......

May you find joy in the changing of the gears, stepping to the beat of your own drum.
May you give yourself permission to breathe, you write the rhythm, determine the outcome.

May you create and embrace your own traditions, or not, there are no rules it's your holiday season.
May you have Turkey or Tacos, Pies or Pizza, Rum, Hot Chocolate or both, it's your rhyme or reason.

May you allow yourself to enjoy, there are no criteria, just loved ones and fun.
May the holidays bring you the joy they are meant to, breathe, your rhythm, your drum.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Happy Halloween! Time To Let Your Goofy Loose!


Well, that time of year is upon us!

Yup, that time when we dress up our kids, let them knock on strangers' doors and beg for candy. When you stop to think about it, it's kinda crazy, but, it's also a ton of fun!

For adults, I think it's a great stress reliever. Although our logical minds understand we are basically playing a grown-up version of dress-up, the simple act of putting on a costume brings with it a sort of freedom.

It gives permission to, for a few hours, be silly and goofy, and blame it on whatever character we are dressed as. Some of us don't necessarily need a costume to let our goofy loose, but some do. I think it's an awesome way let go of those day-to-day stresses, and blow off some steam.

Over the years, including and especially those that have involved karaoke shows, we've tapped into all kinds of themes for costumes, a few of which are sampled above. We've angel/devil,  Las Vegas lounge singers, cop/robber, Gomez and Morticia Addams, and so on, and so on......

This year, well, our show is tomorrow night, so I'll have to let you know.

With all the negativity hanging so think thick and heavy in the news these days, it's important to let our goofy loose, now and again.


So, these past few days have been awesome. I had the honour and pleasure of visiting a great school and a fabulous library.

The school was in Watrous, where I had the privilege of hanging out with an incredible group of Kindergarten to Grade 4 munchkins. The kids were enthusiastic, fully engaged and had fantastic questions.

The next day, we paid a visit to the library in my hometown. It was great to see familiar adult faces surrounding the new faces of their children and grandchildren. This reading was also followed up by some great questions.

When it happens that my life, as it is now, rubs up against my past, it becomes a bit surreal. It, at once, feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago. There I was, reading books I have written to the kids and grandkids of the people I went to school with.

The pinch me moments never stop. It's pretty incredible.


The upcoming days will be spent participating in a tradeshow tomorrow from 10-3, followed by putting on a karaoke show tomorrow night.

The rest of the week will be spent working the shop, running errands, prepping for, and handing out candy to various ghouls, goblins, Disney princesses, and superheroes.

Until next time........

May you receive your neighborhood masked munchkins kindly, handing out treats with a smile.
May you be spared the toilet-papered trees, and other tricks, for to clean up, always takes a while.

May you let your goofy loose, let it fly, even if it's just for a night.
May you find the perfect costume for your mood, be it for a laugh or a fright.

May you find the willpower to step away from your munchkins' tempting, sweet loot.
May you, if you can't, find a reasonable, believable explanation, for their reaction won't be cute.

Take Care..........