Tuesday, June 30, 2015
How ironic that the book I have been reading on my travels includes the story of Job - a man who was tested beyond belief. Tonight, at the midnight hour, I find myself relating...
Okay - I suppose we cannot compare having your tribe wiped out and being cursed with seeping sores with having the washer flood, the landscapers forget the curb appeal part of their contract, flooring that won't stick, wallpaper that won't unstick and icing on the cake -- having the pitter-patter of little feet - paws - romping across the ceiling. Yup - we got company, and just in time for us to get our house ready to list. Hubby has been working around the clock to get our place ready to sell.
Don't get me wrong -- there's been progress - new carpeting, three freshly painted bedrooms, one partially upgraded bathroom, overgrown trees removed and the hedges trimmed. But we've miles to go before we sleep --literally.
And it doesn't help to be doing most of this after the work day when we are tired, although we have had the help of our families. As I was mopping up the laundry room floor with already musty towels to the tune of hubby cursing the tiles he was trying to match to the uneven wall, it occurred to me that we are really earning our new dream house. We have to earn it to deserve and by Job -- we deserve it.
And now - I will officially call this pity party to a close. And tonight as I lay to rest my weary bones, I will give thanks for all that is to come.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
When it sold to someone - not us - my experience reminded me to trust that this outcome was the best one for us - that something better was in store. My heart was right.
Hubby and I will soon be the proud owners of a historic stone schoolhouse with four lush acres on a quiet country road, minutes to the quaint village we love. A magical property more than 100 thousand dollars less than we bid on the other house.
Sometimes the universe has something better in store than we allow ourselves to dream. So dream big. And be grateful. And tonight I was reminded - and filled with gratitude. I predict a very good night's sleep.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
It will be an hour commute - time to practice my Swahili - which would be a challenge in winter. But I want to try. I don't want to NOT try it because of fear.
This weekend my eldest daughter and her love moved to a new home three minutes away. I know they will soon start a family and she wants assurances that we will all remain close and engaged as a family.
Change is inevitable and can be unsettling but if we embrace it, we can make it be a catalyst for something even better. I have one eye on our next adventure with the other on ways we can preserve and even strengthen our relationships with our family.
Monday, May 18, 2015
On the drive up north, I glanced up from my book occasionally and snapped my mental shots for posterity of the very familiar landmarks and roadside sights. The rugged, raw beauty of the steep granite rocks that flank the highway seem ed to usher us along on our way to our little piece of paradise. I wondered how many times more I would take this drive.
Saturday was a chilly overcast day - dead quiet on the lake. Hubby and I slipped our hoods (that's why we call it a hoodie) over our heads to keep the black flies at bay and headed for the dock. With not a neighbour in sight, the illusion of being the only ones on the lake was complete. We leaned back in the Muskoka chairs, legs stretched out and quietly reminisced. The lake had delivered every hope and dream that we'd had when we bought it. Now we must let it go to make room for another dream. The chill in the air meant a fire was in order and Hubby stoked the flames until we turned in.
We awoke to the sunshine flooding the room. The weather was nothing short of perfection - clear blue sky, brilliant sunshine and 25 C temps. A gift. Perfection. And a first -- the first dip of the season in the frigid lake.
It's funny - minutes tick by slower; colours are more vibrant; songbirds provide the soundtrack; life is good at the cottage. Nature is a balm for the soul and a day at the cottage is like a mini va-cay. It occurred to me that we have to find a way to recreate the tranquility of the lake when we are away from it. To slow it down a bit. There are the same 24 hours in a day - whether here or there; the trick is to be in the moment, to be mindful of my surroundings, to drink it all in with all of my senses, and to take pleasure in living fully in the present. Slow time. That will be my new speed. And for all the time I've had immersed in nature, I am truly grateful.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Then - as suddenly as it started - it stopped raining and the skies cleared. I made like Clark Kent and changed into my super hero walking costume. I plugged my peaceful tunes in my ears and walked boldly out the front doors, leaving my bruised banana and sour apple behind. I started humming along with John Denver, "Sunshine on My Shoulders" (my favourite) - and I may have been singing too, judging from the strange look the lady at the bus stop threw me. I could feel the tingling of happiness creeping in,,,starting with my toes and moving up my legs. I broke into a slow jog -- maybe more of skip -- and the heaviness of stress and angst lifted with every step.
Maybe it was spring fever. Colours seemed more vivid and the air, a little fresher than normal. My senses were on overload and the world seemed to be sending me little messages. I couldn't help but feel cheerful as I walked through the pink tunnel painted with school kid messages.
It was only thirty minutes but it was enough to energize and relax me for the rest of the day. As I changed back into my office appropriate attire, I had a few words with myself - and promised to make moving a priority - all cajoling aside!
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Over the past five years we enjoyed every moment we spent in the cosy cottage, inhaling the kind of peace that only comes with being immersed in nature, swimming in the pristine lake and cherishing those quiet moments that inspire creativity.
But Hubby and I want something more; we want our tranquility to last past the weekend and we want to fall asleep and wake up to a chorus of birds chirping and crickets singing. We want to live in the country. So this weekend we listed our beloved Falconridge. And as if in support of our difficult decision, we were blessed with one of the most private and peaceful weekends we have had in two years. It was truly special and just want we needed. We worked hard to get the place in shape for showing. Hubby exhibited his Herculean strength in lifting the dock ramp and connecting it to the dock, and lugging the Muskoka chairs and canoes down to the lake. He admitted that he was grateful that this would be the last time he had to do it.
Then we exhaled. We reminisced about the wonderful, special times we'd shared at the cottage and then turned our focus to the future. It will be hard to let go of something so special, that had become a part of us, but we both agree - there is something exciting for us in the future. A new dream. And the pursuit of that dream will be thrilling and invigorating, just like all the rest. And that is what makes life so rich and wonderful. Life is good.
And for that, I am truly grateful.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
|Photo credit: Theresa Brown|
He wrote every day, religiously recounting his Arctic adventures, doing his best to recall details; to paint the colour and details in the story. And then he asked me to edit it. That was months ago. I would pick it up, peel through twenty or thirty pages, smoothing out the kinks, preserving the voice, removing random spaces and punctuation - and then weeks would pass. I had a myriad of excuses when he would tentatively ask me "how is the book coming along?". I was busy; work was crazy; I was travelling; I was tired at the end of the day; "I was working on it". But the truth was - I felt terrible. I could see the sense of urgency he had about getting his book completed, so he could share. And I was holding him up.
So I put this little project of ours at the top of the list, and got it done. It's not perfect. There are some random font changes and a few typos. But the story he put to paper is all his - imperfect and real. And over the past months (maybe even years) that we have spent discussing and collaborating on his project, we have spent precious tine and shared special moments together.
The excited email that I got from him telling me how happy he was with the books, and his note of heartfelt gratitude -- priceless. And for all of that and more, I am truly grateful.
My dad is a prolific blogger. Check out his blog to read more of his adventures and musings: Peering Through a Porthole