“Date” with my son

Ready to go!

My kids are growing up so fast. I had been warned that “time flies”. I realize now that it seems that as we age time really does speed up.

Fred’s sixteen already, and although I may be slightly biased, he is a great kid.

He is a young man that works hard, cares much, and rarely complains. In fact he complains so little that his clothes were ‘shrinking’ more everyday and he would just squeeze into them and go on about his day.

I planned a day. I made appointments at the salon (Fred’s first professional hair cut), let him pick where to have lunch, and dragged him through the extremely limited clothing stores in town (well men’s clothing stores).

The time in the salon was lovely. The tacos for lunch were delicious. Shopping was…hard, the boy doesn’t care what clothes he wears, and he didn’t show me ‘how’ the pants fit, he just said they did. (I really hope they do, 🤞.)

The very best part of our day, I think, was taking him to the nursery and letting him pick out some plants to love. I had not realized that he had never been with me before when I went there. It was love at first sight as we walked into the giant green house. It reminded me of my grandpa, how he loved his garden. On this trip Fred picked a crocodile fern and a fun succulent to decorate his room with. “Look at this mom! And this! Look over here!”

I think I have found a gardening partner as he chatted about how excited he was to get our gardens cleaned up and planted. What else we should get on a later trip. JOY!

Our day ended too soon. I really can’t wait for the next chance we get to go out together again!

Tired but happy!

Sneaking up

Sandhill Cranes

I love these guys. I don’t know if it’s the size, or their awkward shape, or the little babies they have with too long legs.

These guys were picking in a field near my friend’s house. She was teaching the young people kung-fu and slipped away to tell me to borrow her rubber-boots and go.

I stuck to the edge of the first field, and started picking my way through the thorn brush at the edge of the next when I was spotted and the warning cry went up.

Maybe I should have been more patient? What was the rush anyway? I snapped a couple of pics and tried to move closer.

I should have kept my camera up! They rose up from the far-side of the field. The beauty of their flight took my breath away.

Snippets of Spring 2022

Continuing a new lifestyle, gluten-free, nearly “added” sugar-free, not “processed”, aim to hydrate and feel great.

Walking with purpose for exercise, or meditation, or socialization.

Enjoying the birds, the gardens, the outside clean up, and the sunshine.

Stepping outside my comfort zone, target shooting in public. Surprised I can do so many things I didn’t know I could.

Trying new or retrying things I haven’t done in years. Learning to not be so self-concious and relaxing into fun.

Campfires with friends. Meeting new people.

Strolls with old friends enjoying the blessings around us.

Just a little taste of spring. A glimpse of thoughts and changes for the season. My beautiful colourful life!

Walking Back Out Of That Grave!

Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday, a rather BIG deal in the Christian church. Tim, Fred and I hustled to get ready and went to service at the little chapel we attend regularly. Pastor Chris told a joke at the beginning of the service(as is his style) . A piece of that joke really hit my heart. ” A teacher had asked her students what Easter was (various answers are given)….and then a little boy answers, Jesus dies Friday, is laid in a tomb, and on Sunday He comes out and if He sees His shadow He goes back in for six more weeks.” Lol funny right~except when it’s YOU who has seen their own shadow and run back into the tomb.

Once upon a time, I was a people-pleaser, the proverbial “good girl” or at least part of me pretended to be… or did strive to be…. worked at being even. Maybe slightly or a little more so; passive/aggressive and definitely a warrior of the under-dog. All wrapped up with a bow of life experience that taught me the importance of doing what one was told, holding it together (a.k.a. suppressing ones) especially negative emotions (although sometimes a good giggle fest did not go unpunished if it was “poorly timed”). I seriously thought I had worked all this out… mostly.

But what happens when you wrap yourself so tight up in “being good” especially a “good christian” and a pile of hurts and crap gets thrown your way? What happens when your persona slips and your world spins out of control and Lord have mercy “YOU SEE YOUR SHADOW!!!!”?

Me personally? I ran back into the grave and slammed the bolder tightly, sealing myself in with hopelessness!!!

Good, good Lord how did this happen? How can a smart, well educated, loving, caring “christian” person listen to the “you know better, how could you do “that again” ” voice whispering to my soul. That ugly, dirty, deceitful voice! The exclamation point of seeming silence from the Spirit made the voice louder dirtier, “truer” somehow.

How could I forget, that the giver of my very life, who knows all and sees all, who knows the end of the story when I myself am stuck in the middle, how could I forget that He chose to spread His arms out in my place, to take the wrath intended for me, just to show how important our relationship is to HIM, HOW COULD I MYSELF ME FORGET? How could I forget unlimited grace? How could I slip so deeply into this despair?

How seemingly easy it was to slide back into a space of deadness. “Don’t feel… don’t process… don’t acknowledge the pain… make it unreal in your head. That’s it, good cover story, don’t you feel so much better now?” “Your tired, your unmotivated, it’s all pointless anyway, here today~gone tomorrow…sleep a little longer, watch another video, play another game, just get out of your head…stone wall your heart. Oh your body aches? I wonder why?” DEPRESSION!!!! LIES!!!! DEATH!!!!

This time the pit was deeper, darker, scarier, deadlier without hope than ever before. The light slipped! Source was invisible, silent!!

WHO AM I??? WHERE AM I GOING??? SEPARATION! HOPELESSNESS! Shadow person.

Then one day a friend told me, not even knowing the whole of the battle for my soul, “it seems dark right now, but you will come through this and grow through this trial.” “If she only knew,” my mind whispered to me. Another young person mentioned “my light seemed dim some how, was I okay?” (Uncomfortable question when your are hiding a war inside that is raging on for your very soul! A good girl would not admit that!)

A question came as I started to push myself to move (not because I wanted to, just because it was more uncomfortable not to look like I was putting in an effort {classic people-pleaser move}). The question was “what do you believe?” It started out small and quiet, and the words never changed but the intensity and the word You became louder and louder.

A while later a second question came, “who do YOU say I Am”? But, but, but…

“God this darkness is killing me! OR am I already dead? I AM THE WAKING DEAD!!! I need to feel! I need to feel anything, am I even alive?”…”but I am so afraid.” the words quietly trail off in my head.

It is familiar, comfortable even, pretending going through the motions. Fooling no one, not even myself. Dark.

Back track to last week, my underdog of the day: Tim, is having a rough week, HE is tired, HE needs rest. A quick plan and by afternoon we are off. A bottle of wine, some lavender scented bath products, and a longing like my very life depended on it to “feel”, “feel something anything intensely”. Just one night!

“Am I even alive?”

Morning comes. “YES, YES I AM ALIVE!”

A new level of energy, a tiny little ember of hope, the kind still voice, “child”, is all it says. This was Friday.

I am in the tomb, but the rock is shifted. There is a sliver of light shining through. It is shining on me. The shadows are shifting. But “I am okay, bruised and dirty, but cautiously breathing.”

A long walk with the kids on Friday afternoon, wash the ceilings in the dining, livingroom and hallway on Saturday. “Good, good.”

Sunday comes: put my exterior together, drag my body to church, plan in my mind to celebrate Jesus my God (“even if He doesn’t celebrate me”).

Then something happens! With one small joke and the words “JESUS TOOK IT ALL!” Pastor Chris goes on to say, “I am still a ‘sinner’, but HE is still my SAVIOUR.”

I hear the Father say, “Child what are you doing in that ugly grave, step out into the light and live, just live.”

Must say my legs are still shaky after such a long “sleep”, but I breath deeply, I look to see the bright sun shine and I am thankful, so very thankful that maybe, just maybe if I decide today to be the messy, occasionally mixed up daughter of the King, like HE made me to be, I can experience the joy of feeling, and experiencing this whole messy life and LIVE!

The questions are still there: “who do you say I AM”, and “what do you believe”. These are the life saving questions I realize.

We worry so much about so many things, what mistakes we make, what others think of us, how we look, what needs to get done, are we good enough. Why do we do this to ourselves? Do any of these things really matter?

The Creator made us, He made us unique, and I think in His ultimate wisdom He allowed imperfection in the creation, so that He could work in us and refine us. He made us like little children, with curiosity, the ability to learn, and the sensations to delight and to feel at a spectacular soul shifting level. If HE is who He says He is, why do WE worry, why do WE strive so hard, with such devastating effects?

He is good, I am not! He is perfect, I am not! He is loving and I am receiving! He is the source of my light and my life the very air I breath, and I am responsible for living and feeling, growing and learning and sharing my gratitude and praise with Him!

I stepped out of that grave. I am alive. I chose to live! Why don’t you step out of yours also and choose life too?

***To anyone that was brave enough to read this far. I apologize that this is not grammatically correct, as it is the rantings of my internal heart, mind and soul. I also apologize for any personal triggers I may have pushed, although now maybe the time to expose those triggers to the light.

AWAKEN, ARISE, YOU ARE ALIVE!

Look right in front of you, what do you see?

Morning has come again, night is over.

What will you do with this day, this here, this now?

Days have passed on, one after another, gone like the wind.

Stalled, low, waisted.

Mourning!

But “I” am alive. “I” am here. “I” can rise.

There is still beauty when the darkness like blinders is removed from one’s eyes.

Today I am alive! Cleanse off the mourning. Breath deeply to the core. Allow ‘heart’ to beat again, feel deeply the rhythm of the song of life.

Be kind, and live.

A Season of Sorrow

Spring melt

King Solomon who is described as have being the wisest man on earth tells us that “to everything there is a season, a time for everything under heaven.”

At the beginning of March my husband Tim and I had went away for the weekend to plan and regroup. The long range forecast was promising a ‘warmer’ month of March and we had hoped to jump into our work early after winter shutdown with fervor and renewed energy. Finishing off orders and being prepared for the spring rush.

As we were chatting on our drive home, I said to him that I felt a longing in my soul to STOP, stop striving, stop pushing, stop trying to do and be more. I felt a need to just be in the present, to do what needed to be done and to not worry about the ‘next’, the ‘more’, the ‘opinions’, the ‘drive for improvement’. I am not sure if this explains the sensation or not but I wanted to take the moment as it came and not rush through just move into my natural slow rhythm. Being content in just being.

Within minutes of getting home, I found out a friend that had helped me out of the kindness of her heart when I was in the season of small children, had died in her sleep. It felt like God had put an exclamation point onto my thoughts of slowing down. What is the point of rushing and striving towards; what death, transformation to heaven? God put many beautiful things in front of us to enjoy. How many have slipped by unnoticed because I was chasing something? Never making it over for that cup of coffee and a chat.

Still reeling from this shocking news, the kids told me that my friend had called and that I was to call her back. When we connected she gave me the news that a dear pastor and friend had passed on to heaven. My husband had known Pastor Claude from high-school when he was a truant officer and he was always a jovial fellow teasing my kids especially my son Fred who really loved him. He was someone one to counsel with in our early “growing years of marriage”. Never saw this coming. Sudden. Final.

I attended two funerals that week and my mind was set. Exclamation point boldly in place. Slow down, smell the roses. Be you, be “?” what, happy!?

Life went along, continued doing the daily grind. Working towards our goal of getting the mill running, the kids educated, was pleasant really, tucked away in my home with my family; existing.

On Sunday that pleasantness came to a screeching halt. Two phone messages, one from my mother, one from my aunt, hadn’t even listened to them and I knew that it could only be one thing. My grandma! My childhood friend and playmate, my spiritual giant, my gramm. Yes she had taken a turn for the worse, she was now “palliative”, was not expected to live much longer, so after two years of covid separation we could go in and see her. Honestly, anger and grief flooded my soul. My mind went taring and I knew I would be packing a bag and staying with her as long as she was on this earth. Life could wait.

I held my grandma’s hand. I read scriptures to her. I prayed with her. I had a cuppa (tea) and ‘told’ her the cookies were good and I was happy to be there having tea with her. The time drew near, I knew she was slipping away. I hoped that she heard me, I hoped I was a comfort to her, and I hoped that she knew how much I loved her. I hoped she would open her eyes even for a moment and see me and say “oh Candy your here, I love you” the way she would. I struggled in my mind with the lost time together, because of covid and the years of famine when just getting by was prioritized over time with grandma. Regret comes easy, but only when it is too late. She made it to heaven in time for supper 5:34 pm ‘a feast at a table in the presence of thine enemies’. I could almost hear my grandpa’s voice saying to her “what took you so long woman, been waiting for you, it’s about time we eat don’t ya think.”

After grandma passed on I spent a couple of days taking care of my oldest daughter at her house as she had taken ill. No matter how old or independent my children become when they are sick I need to care for them. I needed to be sure that she was going to recover and be okay. Funny how fear can grip you, even when you know that you know not to be afraid. She is healthy again and back to her life. I look forward to celebrating belatedly her birthday with her this weekend the Lord be willing.

What followed was two more weeks of shocking moments and forced quiet. As first Tim’s uncle passed away, then his aunt passed away in her sleep, and finally when life seemed to be starting to go back to normal and I was getting my feet back under me my uncle passed away.

We have had 6 deaths, 3 close, one extremely close and two friends in the month of March. As we were mourning we fought off a virus. And for myself it felt like I was treading water and tiring quickly. Praying for quiet peace away from pain.

We missed out on all of the celebrations of life of the the last four people, it has been surreal. There is a comfort to be found in these human rituals of life and death. A necessity of closer and an ending, a reminder of life being short. A renewal of the day at hand.

The beginning of the month of March, a month that is sometimes springlike, sometimes a miserable extra month of winter. My hope had been for spring, for new life, for flowers, the Son’s warmth warming deeply to my soul. Instead death’s winter grip seized me, shook me, shocked me, crushed me. Reminding me that we hustle and bustle, we plan and we fret, and it means nothing. There is a season for everything under heaven, and we do not have the control of the seasons, only God does. Striving comes to not, God blesses and God takes away, and we, we have this moment that we are in. But even as snow comes falling from the sky today and the atmosphere is dreary I will hold this day as long as it lasts to be forgotten on the morrow as memories fade more quickly as time goes flurrying by. Tomorrow not promised but if it manifests another day to delight in or mourn in until our tomorrows are eternal. Season after season till the end.

“Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

Beauty in the transformation

To everything there is a season”

Life and death

A dance together

Painful reminder of the twinkling of time

Felt like forever

Quickly rushing into can’t slow it down

Childhood~Adolescents ~Parenthood ~Change~Growth~They leave home~Death

Thought today would not come, then it’s gone

Gone like a vapor

Held hand slips away

No more time for someday soon

Gone to eternity

Beauty in the transformation

Silence in the shadow left behind

TIME CHANGE & SLEEP MERIDIAN!

annual morning panic

Here we are again, in Ontario Canada and under the effects of the annual daylight-savings-time-change-fiasco! I am NOT a happy camper! Do “they” not realize there is “something to” getting up and going to bed at a constant time, especially if you practice it, which I dream of doing, and sometimes am successful at accomplishing! Here we are again the rush hour morning, I chug my coffee, jump through the shower, slap on my makeup, and PANIC because Tim has already reset the clock on the wall and I didn’tsee him do it! Yes today is “the annual morning panic day”! Happy daylight savings time to you!