July 12th, 2014
I am en route to Winnipeg and a random memory just popped into my head. I tried to smile at the thought and dismiss it, but instead of fleeing, it lingered and begged me to play. So, I thought I’d share.
Probably 27 or 28 years ago, I lived with my grandparents in a cute little house next to a beautiful bubbling brook. I rode the school bus to school every day – through the town, up the hill and across the highway.
One day after school, I went out to catch the bus and it had already left. I probably panicked a tiny bit because I figured I’d be in trouble. I cried a little, and then I walked. I walked across the parking lot, down the school’s driveway, and along the road, under the highway bridge. I believe I was halfway through the town before my grandma pulled up beside me and asked what I was doing.
I told her I missed the bus and I was walking home.
She asked me why I didn’t phone her to come pick me up.
I didn’t have an answer. The truth is, calling her had not crossed my mind
I’ve grown up with this attitude about me; “I can do it myself. I can deal with this. Cry a little and then wipe the tears and do what needs to be done.”
I’m still that eight-nine year old girl. In her, I see other girls like her. Her mother, and her grandmother. I love them all.
And it feels like all this happened just last week.
July 11th, 2014
As we come closer and closer to being in my parents’ home, a feeling of strangeness is rising up in me. Six months ago I left this place full of animals and people who are no longer.
I’m not afraid of the emptiness, but I am. The realization that life is short hits me hard sometimes. The older I get, the less I want to…not because I am afraid of my own mortality, but because I know there are hard times to go through ahead…and I don’t wanna.
Today is another step. One huge step up the staircase of and to the future, clearly placed before my eyes. It’s one of those big steps that scream that time is passing oh so quickly. No gentle whispers from this kind. Generations are moving up, taking their new positions on the staircase.
Sometimes I feel like my legs are still just a little too short.
July 6th, 2014
This morning I attended my last church service for the summer. It feels strange to be going away for so long and to not see everyone for so long. We’ve been together every Sunday since the fall and in some cases, more often than that, working toward the church that we have today.
While I’m away, a team of people will come up from the US and together with our church, will serve the people of the communities in the northern hills of Calgary. It’s too bad that I’ll have to miss being a part of that – a concentrated effort of love and reaching out and caring for people just brings my heart such joy! Since I can’t physically be part of the Light in the Hills week, I will pray for people to reach out for help, and for others to want to help their neighbours. And when I get home, I’ll reach out to others as I’m able, loving them and caring for them in whatever way I can.
I am so very thankful for this group of believers, for our church and our pastors and all of the others who are using part of their summer to love people they don’t even know. It’s just so amazing. <3
July 5th, 2014
We have a new van, hooray, hooray!
Jon, Claire and I headed out to Airdrie to check her out today, and then bought her, in my name. For the first time I will have a vehicle, purchased, registered and insured in my name. I feel like such a grown up. LOL
She is silver, though the kids think she’s white. Her name is Ariel, since she was purchased in Airdrie. She has so much cargo room; I am so in love.
I’m sad to say goodbye to Winnie, but the time has come. I hope that Ariel will give us many years of safe driving, starting even when it’s cold, and no weird flickering lights at random times.
Hooray for Ariel!
July 4th, 2014
For my birthday
this year last year last birthday…hmmm…let’s start again.
For my last birthday, I received a gift of an evening of wine and chocolate and babysitting. I took a very long time to book it, and when I finally did, they were all booked up for months. Eventually, I managed to get signed up for the “Snobbery” evening that was scheduled for last night. Yay!
While I am not particularly a wine lover or a chocolate lover, I enjoyed the evening immensely. Choklat is the location of the only chocolate maker in Alberta, and I’d say he is in the right profession. Jon and I spent the evening learning about the process involved in making chocolate from scratch, all the way from the beans being grown, picked and fermented to the purchase and shipping of said beans, and the making sure the quality is the best it can be before agreeing to buy the beans from that specific region and grower. We saw the machinery that it takes to take the beans from beans to chocolate. And then we tasted dark chocolate of varying percents from various regions. It was amazing to be able to taste the difference between a 70% dark chocolate from Venezuela and a 70% dark chocolate from Mexico or Brazil (?). Even the 80% dark chocolate was not too bitter to enjoy on its own, and the milk chocolate was divine.
After sampling each chocolate, we got to try it with wine. Different chocolates with different wines. It is amazing how a wine can bring out certain flavours – fruity, nutty – and how if you aren’t drinking the right wine with the right chocolate, well, they both taste horrible.
Yes, I’ve never been a chocolate lover. But I sure am a chocolate appreciator now. If you have a chance to attend the Snobbery presentation (I can’t remember what it is called, exactly…must be all that wine ) at Choklat in Inglewood in Calgary, do it. You will be enlightened and you just might become a chocolate appreciator too!
July 3rd, 2014
Today we met up at Sikome Lake with my sister in law and her two boys and one of their friends. It was so nice to be able to sit on the beach and chat while the kids ran and played and swam and grumped and ate and chatted among themselves!
I have to admit our kids don’t see each other as often as they should. Between hockey schedules and church commitments and work schedules and vacations, we just don’t make the effort to seek out the time. We don’t live that far apart – less than an hour from each of my kids’ three cousins (soon to be four! YAY!!) – and only get the families together about 2-3 times per year.
I remember my years with my cousins so fondly and I’m sad that my kids don’t have that too. There were five of us who were close and though some of us were better buddies than others, we all had each other, and we knew it. I am super thankful for facebook now so that I can keep up with what’s going on with my cousins. No more meeting up at Grandma and Grandpa’s house every holiday anymore. Those memories are some of my most treasured.
July 2nd, 2014
Well, my oldest is old enough (and responsible enough, in my eyes) to babysit.
I don’t know where I got the idea that 12 is the age, but here he is, 12, and here I am, ready to leave my other three children in his responsible care.
And also ready to date again!
I have plans to send him to a babysitting course that includes CPR; that will happen after the summer, and I will also send boy number two, as he will be old enough to take the course as well.
I’m proud of my boys and the young men they are turning out to be, even if they drive me crazy sometimes as they explore independence and test limits and toe the boundary line. It’s part of growing up, right? I pray that my response to the push will always be the right one, and that they’ll be able to look back on this time in awe of the patience I had when dealing with their attitudes, and smile about it.
God, please grant me all the heaps of patience I need and will need; and the confidence to hand over bits of responsibility as my children are ready. Amen.
July 1st, 2014
Today we planned to brave the crazy Calgary Canada day crowds, so we jumped into our van and headed downtown to take part in the party.
After driving around downtown Calgary for what seemed like forever, waiting for traffic, pedestrians, ambulances to clear so we could proceed to the next block in search of parking, we gave up. We drove out of the downtown core and found a little drive in, where we stopped for a bathroom break and a delicious family sized box of fries.
After that, we returned to our neck of the woods to enjoy a lovely park (in which we saw less than 30 other people in our entire afternoon there). We walked around the huge lake, threw some rocks in, saw ducks and an entire Canada goose family, snacked on granola bars, enjoyed the hot hot sun and played at a few playgrounds.
When we’d had enough outside, we drove home, stopping at Walmart to buy some burgers to grill and some ice cream to eat on the way.
It was a wonderful Canada day. We celebrated alone – as a family. Just the way we like it.
June 30th, 2014
Today is the last day that I’ve vowed to wear a dress to raise funds for All In for Girls.
I’m not feeling sad about not having to wear a dress tomorrow. LOL I think that I will continue to wear dresses quite regularly, because that is just what I do in the summer. But we’ll see how it goes.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all have supported me in words and financially over the past month. It means so much to me because I have trouble asking for financial support especially, and you all have just been overwhelming with your generosity, allowing me to raise way more money than I thought I could.
I love you all.
June 29th, 2014
In my life, I have read and heard stories of moms who spent summers meeting up with their group of besties and hanging out at the river bank or the beach all day, chatting and picnicking while their many small children ran back and forth, playing and laughing, arguing and figuring it out between themselves.
Of kids who grew up this way, the children of their mom’s friends becoming their friends because there was no other option; who they counted close as siblings after all the time they’d spent together, but didn’t show it in the halls at school or while hanging out with other friends.
I have read about this so much that I can vividly picture it.
What ever happened to this community? Do others have it and I’m just blind to it? What’s changed over the years to take away just hanging out in the summer with your besties, rather than rushing about every which way, with busy kids and frazzled moms at a time when life should be laid back and easy?
It’s sad that it is gone.
Oh how I miss those days that I never actually experienced for myself. LOL