Sunday, 30 September 2018

Busy and smiling

I was complaining to Don about how busy I was with the garden. He stares at me and tells me I’m smiling. 
Hmmm, true. As I cook I’m listening to Xavier Rudd’s new song Storm Boy (on album of same name). A grateful thanksgiving feel. 

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Time for tea and a book

Sitting here in the warm, humid morning after a night of rain. Oh my! I’ve never seen so many hummingbirds at one time. In one peripheral vision view I see eight of them. I haven’t seen them all summer but here they are. They’re trying everything out: the russian sage; the wilting day lilies; the comphrey; the potato flowers; the geraniums; and the monkshood. The monarch caterpillars have all turned black and died. The little birds seem to be interested in the carcasses. White butterflies flit about (I hope they’re not cabbage moths).
There is always time for tea in the garden. I was reading a very good novel and then the garden overtook my senses. I feel such joy in my own garden. There is no where I would rather be. 

Friday, 27 July 2018

Car less freedom

Tomorrow, it's two months with no car. I've had ready access to a vehicle since I was 18 years old and I thought it might be impossible. I've sure had people tell me that you can't be without a car in Thunder Bay. And that the bus system is terrible. However, it depends where you live in the city and where you work. I can do it. My bicycle is no longer collecting dust in the shed. I feel healthier. Actually, I know I'm healthier - I can bike up more hills than before and I feel like a super being. I want to shout out with my arms in the air, like Alice, my granddaughter, "I can do it!"

Don was telling someone the other day that it's improved our relationship. My eyebrow went up. Yeah, he said, we depend on each other more. We get groceries together with our bikes and backpacks. We go on adventures together on our bikes. He likes seeing me have fun. And being stronger.

I have more connection with nature. You just never know when it's going to rain. I used to get annoyed when I got wet and now I don't because it's bound to happen. I can smell the trees and feel the pockets of hot air and cool air. There is a feeling of freedom moving through space. It's what the car advertisements are selling you - a car flying on the open road through forests and lake country, a beautiful sunny day, and so on. They never show you the congested traffic. Well, you can still get that freedom and spaciousness on a bicycle.

I feel more like a "we" than a "me". I don't know how to explain this.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Connection to place

This week I took a walking and food tour of my own home town. Sue at Seek Adventure and Tours took a few folks around the popular Bay and Algoma area. It was an awesome morning! Besides having tasty bites at 5 unique locations I learned where Thunder Bay really got its name. And more about Lake Superior than I’d heard before! I felt a sense of home and place and pride in the resilience of our community. I highly recommend bringing your guests or just for the sheer fun of it - taking a staycation morning. 

Me and Rebekah at our last stop. 

Saturday, 14 July 2018


My Saturday shirt

What if every day were like a Saturday? I don’t mean a day where you slept in and did nothing. Though it could be that. I got this idea from a magazine article in The Magnolia by Chip Gaines. He talks about this beautiful world where there is so much to explore and discover and learn. Saturday when you have time to do different things. Exciting things. 

I remember my most exciting mornings - ever. The fishing days with my dad. When I knew we were going fishing in the morning I could hardly sleep. I wanted for dad to wake up. And it was early. Soon as I heard him making coffee I was dressed and ready. We bumped along in the old truck with the boat either on top or behind on the trailer. We arrived at a lake and put putted all day close to the shore, my dad’s fishing rod out the back and mine on the side. When I was much smaller I played with my dolls at the front of the boat. 

My dad taught me where to look for animals and birds, under bushes, near reeds. We didn’t talk much. Sometimes he did. Talked about the war. His old stories. I don’t think he meant for me to understand. He just needed to do the talking. 
We sometimes even caught fish. Whap on the head. Slithering in the bottom of th boat. Gills flapping. 

We had lunch on shore. Rye bread and ham and cheese. 
He taught me to walk quietly so animals wouldn’t run away. So we could sneak up and see some. How do you not make noise dad? Walk without putting your weight onto the earth.
Slowly. Gently. Heel. Toe. It works. I’m good at it now too.  I remember thinking that he must have learned that in the war. Sneaking up on the enemy. 

On the way home we stopped at a store in a place called Sunshine and he bought me a big bag of caramels. Dad showed me how to use the brake and clutch and press the gas and how to put a pillow behind me on the seat in the truck. In case something happened to him and I had to drive us home from the bush. I was really little. 

Saturdays. The exploration day. What if you woke up with the same expectations of fun or exploration every day? On Mondays? On Thursdays? Summer is a good time to practice. We think we know what’s going to happen. Same old work day. Really? I don’t even know what will happen in the next five minutes. What was your most magical moment today? 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

A Thunder Bay day

Riding my bike around the marina. Past the marina to an area soon to be added for public access. Found the returned Alexander Henry. Two pelicans. I’ve biked in this direction often but always found the gates closed and now there is access. Quiet. Peaceful. Felt the lake breeze through my helmet and was reminded of the ocean. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2018