Friday, December 30, 2016
Family...a word that, as far as I can tell, has no absolute definition. It means something different to everyone.
Family is but a liquid entity that shape-shifts without warning, changing in size and depth as the calendar inevitably flips. It has the ability to encompass both those with whom we share intricate strands of colourful DNA, and those with whom we can share everything but.
For some, this word can evoke feelings of abandonment, feelings of neglect, feelings of insecurity, even fear. My hope is that for the majority of humanity, this is not the case. My hope is that the word "family" is a warm embrace full of comfort and unconditional love. The reality is, that for most of us, "family" drops somewhere in between.
Perfect is impossible. A family could only achieve perfection if humans had no hand in its makeup, no hand in the nurturing, decision-making, nor guidance of offspring.
So, once perfection is taken off of the table, what are we left with?
We are left with a messy, sometimes miserable, hectic, squishy, argumentative, funny, absurd, beautifully flawed work in infinite progress filled with those who would be there in a heartbeat if we needed them to be.
As we walk into this ever-unpredictable new year, embrace the messy, let go of the perfect. Trying to achieve something that can't exist can do nothing but make you feel like you're somehow, or in some way "less than". Your family, your life are uniquely yours. Live it without apologies or explanations, without filtres, without edits. Live all of it, not just the highlights that make it to facebook.
Needless to say, the past week was busy. Busy, hectic, fun, and full of plenty of laughs. Oh, and cookies, yeah, and pie.
I hope these words find you happy and healthy and ready to dive into 2017. I, for one, am planning to cannonball that baby. making the biggest splash I possibly can. How about you?
Until next time I'll leave you with this wish as the calendar flips, yet again.
May you ring in the new year with joy, with optimism, with grace, in whatever way makes you smile.
May you ring it in with intent, with purpose, with a splash, dive in, make it worthwhile.
May you see the year ahead as a blank canvass, patiently waiting for the stroke of your brush.
May you paint boldly, with confidence, for your colours are brilliant, be deliberate, don't rush.
May you make, in the months to come, memories begging to be retold by a smiling voice aged by the adventures you have yet to live.
May you create and build upon precious moments, weather the tough ones, try your best not to hurt others, give yourself a gift, forgive.
Happy New Year!!!!!!
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Our Christmas table last year, and the munchkins that will be seated at it this year. Every year our family grows. This year by one Little Miss Izzy, who made her presence felt last year, but didn't officially appear until April fool's day.
We are forever grateful to have the opportunity to gather these faces together, not a care in the world other than who will win the various board games.
Take your joy, hold it, squeeze it, let it erupt, covering all that surrounds you. This time of year can be hard for so many, for so many different reasons. You never know how deeply a kind gesture or thoughtful word can touch a troubled heart. It takes so little effort and costs nothing, yet can have the power to help lift the heaviest of burdens.
Whatever your holiday, whatever your traditions, whatever reason you might be getting together with loved ones, do it up. Take this time to appreciate without complication, without condition, without hindrance. Leave any differences at the door, you're not likely to solve the world's problems over turkey and pie anyway.
Speaking of pie, I still have a couple to make, so I better wrap this up.
No two Christmases are created equal. There are new faces, aged faces, more grown-up faces, but also the faces we will no longer get to see. The missed faces.
It's tough, it get's more tolerable with time, but never easy. It helps to keep in mind that though we miss them, we can also honour their memory by giving the gift of joy to our littles. If the littles see that we can miss them, yet genuinely smile, they can absorb the fact that happiness is possible after loss. It changes, but it's possible.
And that, my friends, does it for now. Have a great time!
Until next time......
May your deepest wishes come true, reliving the bright-eyed wonderment of your earliest years.
May you know that nothing is impossible, nothing beyond reach, the only hindrance, unfounded fears.
May the joy this season brings, spill out and carry on for the days, weeks, and months that lie ahead.
May you share it in every way you can, with everyone you can, it just might help someone, let it spread.
May laughter echo through your home, and may the magic felt by your littles be contagious.
May you be utterly consumed by warmth and love, the joy simply uncontainable and outrageous.
Until next time! Happy Holidays!!!!!!!
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Our little Izzy. She is growing so fast, turning 9 months old as the calendar flips to another new year.
As she grows, her biggest fears will be running out of monster spray, or her brother getting into her stuff. She will never have to wonder if she is loved, or be cold or hungry. She will be able to run and play outside, the worst dangers, stepping in gopher holes and/or dog poop.
She will grow, solid in the knowledge that her safety net is soft, but steadfast, kind, but strong, and big enough to be near, no matter where on this earth her wings may eventually take her.
She is one of many who share this incredible luck. But she is also one of not nearly enough.
A person only needs to take a mere glimpse at the news to see the shock filled faces of angels too terrified to quiver, no longer even able to cry. They are broken. It's impossible to make sense of the senseless. If we, as adults can't do it, what must it be like for them?
These babies, big and small, trapped in hell, knowing safety is possible, but next to impossible to reach.
As humankind, how did we get here.....again.
It seems, that as generations pass, humans are the only species who continually repeat behavior so incredibly, and obviously, disadvantageous. Killing each other to accumulate imaginary power over things that will never really belong to anyone. Oil, land, water. Baffling.
One can only wonder if we will ever learn. So far, it's not very encouraging.
In the meantime, I, for one, will do my best to keep the spotlight on this hell in any way I can, for pretending this, or any evil doesn't exist serves no-one but those who perpetrate it. I will also take extra special care to hug loved ones a little tighter, and a little more often, not losing sight for a second just how lucky we are.
This week, I visited a school wherein one very young, bright-eyed, precocious little girl, about 15 questions deep into the Q&A that follows all my readings, asked the question, "Are you rich?"
"Well," I said, "I have a great husband, four daughters, four son-in-laws, and four grandbabies, who are all healthy and happy. I have a warm house, I get to eat every day, and I have a soft, warm safe place to sleep every single night. Yeah, I'd say I'm pretty rich."
The older kids in the group seemed to get it, but little missy munchkin simply rolled her eyes as only six-year-olds can, and retorted, "Well, I meant money!"
Kids are awesome!
So, as I mentioned, this week involved a visit to Kerrobert Composite School for a reading. It's always such a blast! So grateful for our local writer's guild, without them, I wouldn't be able to visit all the places I get to visit!
This week also included a trip to the physiotherapist. This hip just wasn't getting any better on its own, time to call in the experts. She was very helpful and is pretty sure she should be able to assist in speeding up the healing process. Apparently, I've done an excellent job of tearing up a fairly large group of muscles. They are now full of scar tissue and have anger issues. Nothing some very strange interpretive dance moves, heating pads, and rolling a ball around on the offended area won't cure.
As for the upcoming days.......
Getting ready for Christmas!
Yup, there will be plenty of watching Grandbabies perform in Christmas concerts, prepping food, running last minute errands, using the term 'running' rather loosely, unfortunately.
Well folks, that about does it for now.....until next time....
May you see beyond the horizon, feel beyond the terror, know you're not alone.
May kindness touch you, may comfort find you, may you find a new, safe place to call home.
May you never again have to look into the face of evil, never again have to live in fear.
May you know that we see you, all of you, your terror, we feel, your cries, we hear.
May the hands of angels pull you from the rubble, bring you peace, placing you beyond the reach of this, or any other hell.
May you, until then, know we see you, your terror deeper than tears, your horror deeper than any bottomless well.
May some solace soon find you, and allow you to blissfully sleep.
May you once again laugh and play, nevermore with a reason to weep.
Until next time...............
Saturday, December 10, 2016
We've popped the cork on the second week of December!
Mother Nature has gone from letting us run around with a 'do I really need a jacket' frame of mind, to 'holy crap, it hurts to breathe'. The snow hasn't really hit in our immediate vicinity as of yet, which, for me, makes the sudden cold a little easier to swallow.
But, hey, we had an exceptionally beautiful November weatherwise, so that, in and of itself, shortens our winter by an entire month!
I'll take it!
This past week was spent in a hotel room writing my face off. I was able to gain some ground, for sure, just not as much as I had hoped, as this stupid hip hinders things more things than I thought possible. It's definitely making me very aware of the things I usually take for granted.
Progress is still progress, even if it isn't at the desired pace. A step is still a step.
The hotel was one that provided breakfast every morning, and, more importantly, the breakfast room had tables and chairs that worked better for writing than the desk and chair in my room. Short leg/stupid hip problems.
One morning, a young Mom came in for breakfast with her 4 year old little boy and 10 month old baby girl. I know what it's like trying to juggle a baby, yogurt and fruitloops, it seemed kinda ridiculous not to offer to help carry some of the items back to her table. Once everybody was settled in, The little guy became pretty comfortable and we began to chat.
Kids are awesome. It never seems to fail, as soon as they figure out that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say, they are more than willing to talk. By the end of our visit, he had told me all about how he is really a tiger and hunts the blue and white chickmunks, yes, I do mean chickmunks, that live in his house. He went on to explain how he washes off his tiger stripes in the sink so nobody finds out about his superpowers.
Yup, kids are awesome.
The week rounded out with baking some Christmas cookies and having the grandbabies over to decorate them.
Oh yeah, and then our furnace's blower motor decided to crap out. Yup, -30C windchill, no heat. Yay. Thankfully, we have a brother-in-law that just so happens to be a plumber, and he was able to come out and put a new one in. Furnace quit at supper time, and working again by bedtime. Thanks Will!
As for the upcoming days, there will be grandbaby snuggles, writing, a school visit, some baking, and laundry.
Well, that's it for now. Until next time.........
May the chill be kept at bay and the cold not intrude.
May warm hearts, hearths and hugs, help keep you renewed.
May there be plenty of cuddles and snuggles wrapped up in blanket nests.
May you, when forced inside by the freeze, create, enjoy, make cookies, take rests.
May you pick up once again, that guitar, that book, whatever you've been meaning to get to.
May you, when it's just too cold to go out the door, take the time to reconnect to you.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
No, I haven't moved, these are real, actual photos of our part of the world on Dec. 3/2016!
It's a bit strange, to say the least, but, I, for one will accept this lack of the white stuff with a truckload of gratitude.
Although winter doesn't actually shorten by the simple lack of snow, it sure allows us to feel that way.
The lack of sunlight, at least for me, is made much more tolerable by not being buried under 8 foot snowbanks.
Little things that make life a bit easier shouldn't go unnoticed.
Little things, well sometimes, not so little things like having kids and grandkids that are, by all basic measures, pretty healthy and happy is one thing that had a spotlight shone on it today.
Today, I met a young mom of three, her youngest, a little 18month old boy forced to deal with a pretty rare condition. A condition that makes him allergic to most food proteins. The kicker is that there is no way of knowing what foods will make him sick until about 6-8 hours after eating. Right now, he has three safe foods, carrots, apples, and quinoa.
I can't imagine the dread and anxiety that must go through both the parents and the little one each time they try a new food or drink.
Something as basic as feeding your child, made so difficult.
Notice the little things, I know I will.
So, this week has passed pretty quickly. I'm still a part-time couch jockey, with a date with a physiotherapist, but I'm more than grateful for the fact that I am an otherwise pretty dang healthy woman who has had the privilege of celebrating a 50th birthday, and has no reason to think I shouldn't have the further privilege of celebrating many more.
A few more snowman made the migration from the basement...............
Today, I participated in a great little tradeshow in Colonsay, Sk. Small town shows are awesome!
As for the upcoming week..................
Squeeze some grandbabies............
Write, write, and write some more! I will be strapped to my laptop for the majority of the upcoming week. I'm hoping to make a huge dent in the back half of my novel.
Well folks, that about does it for now. Until next time.....with a certain little one in mind....
May you find, when things are darkest, the courage to keep you going strong.
May you know, when doubt hits, decisions founded in love are rarely wrong,
May time bring solutions, options, countless ways to make things better.
May you, in the meantime, wear the support around you like a favourite sweater.
May you celebrate every victory, however slight it may seem.
May this, someday, become an awful memory, a distant, bad dream.
Until next time..........