Wednesday, October 23, 2013

All the blessings, none of the stress

I have been teaching a lot this month. Mostly in Grade 3 and Grade 7, but also Grade 5 and Grade 11. It has been wonderful. I get to teach these wonderful children without having to plan parent/teacher conferences, go to faculty meetings, or do hours and hours of prep.

As an experienced teacher I have lots of tricks up my sleeves, and the students know and respect me already so discipline is a non issue.

Oh the Grade 3's can be silly, and the Grade 7's loud and goofy in that teenagery kind of way, but God I love them. How can you not love a class that launches into songs from the Pirates of Penzance while solving Angle-Side-Angle problems?

I have been helping teach Geometry this past week. I was terrible at Geometry when I was in high school - but over my teaching career I have learned to love it with its orderliness, and magic.

It has been a good month. Except for a sore back, I am feeling very well, sleeping well, and enjoying life on these sunny autumn days. Life is moving along and I feel like I am moving along with it, or maybe even slightly ahead of it.

It is all good.

And I am thankful.

And at peace.

Thanks be to God, as my dear friend June would say.

Yes, Thanks be to God.

And, modern medicine.

And, talk therapy.

Thanks be indeed.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Whenever I have a big family dinner I imagine giving a heartfelt speech at the beginning of the meal, a la those Hallmark family movies. But I don't because I tear up too quickly. But, if I didn't tear up then this is what I would say.

I am grateful for the thirteen of us that sat down for dinner yesterday. Into my tiny little house we figured out how to sit us all around a table with a mish mash of plates and cutlery, cloth napkins and glassware. Mis-matched chairs, and hand me down table cloths. It was perfect.

To my brother, John, who sweetly served me a plate of food, while I soaked my burned hand in water. Thank you. You have always been there for me and our friendship, sister/brother relationship is very special to me.

To my sister, Wendy, who told me to breathe, found me some tylenol, peeled brussel sprouts, brought pickles and made the gravy. Thank you. I know Thanksgiving has always been your favourite of holidays, and I was happy to host it at my house this year. You are my rock. I am so grateful to be on this journey with you as such a big part of my life.

To our dear friend George. I have known you as long as I have know my dear husband. You were the best man at our wedding lo those many years ago and I am so grateful you come to our noisy family gatherings. You are family to me. You are family to my kids. You are my husband's best friend. That means the world to me.

To Tate, my great-nephew. You give the best hugs in the world. Bar none. And you always give them spontaneously and you seem to know exactly when I need that hug or cuddle.

To Ripley, my great-nephew: your stories, your sense of style, your Ripleyness, gives me faith in the future generation. You teach me that being an individual is the perfect thing to be. Always.

To my nephew John-John. Your sense of humour. Your quiet support. Your great laugh. Your podcasts. I love watching you parent your boys. And thank you, thank you for moving furniture and drying dishes. You are a star.

To my dear brother Bill. In your quiet way you make me feel so loved. And you give great hugs. Your heart is huge and I am so glad there is room in there for me.

To Debbie. You are such a star for holding your own in our noisy family. I am so glad you have been a part of my brother`s life for the past two years (exactly this weekend). Thank you for the delicious pies you brought to our dinner and for your incredible laugh. I love that laugh.

To Arwen. Thank you for the wonderful salad and for washing all those dishes. I love your stories. You are such a great mom to your boys and wife to your husband. I love your writing and your passion for your careers. You make my life better for knowing you.

To Dex, my nephew. Thank you for holding the space for all the missing cousins (Ellen, Kyle, Mitch, and Harry) this year. Thank you for all the furniture moving and for being wise enough to suggest we remove the glass before moving the table. Your quiet presence is always welcome. Your connection to my daughter is special and I am thankful for it. It was so much fun watching your reactions to your dad's crazy stories. And, I promise, your secret is safe with me.....

Dear Roger. You are a good friend. I was the best man at your wedding and it is one of the biggest honours in my life. I love your stories, your sense of humour, your gratefulness and your paella! I am so glad to have you in my life and when you sit at the table at one of our noisy, crowded family dinners I always know that your appreciation is absolutely genuine. That is something I have always been able to count on with you.

And Brian. Saving the best for last. Or maybe it is the hardest because how do I thank you for all you have done for me over the past few months. You cleaned (despite your sore knee and shoulder) and shopped and prepped and cooked. You rubbed my sore back, and fretted for me so I didn't have to. You helped me keep going despite a sore back.

You try the new recipes and make sure we have enough wine glasses, and wine to go in them. It was your idea to have the dinner this year and it was a good one. You have put up with my noisy, crazy family gatherings for 38 years even though I know at times we can be a little overwhelming.

And I think I speak for all of us present that we are all thankful you have found a way to prepare brussel sprouts that makes us all want more than the requisite two!

And even though my two children were not there physically, they were there in spirit. I am grateful that my son called us from Edmonton as he was cooking his Thanksgiving goose (one he raised himself!), and I am thankful I could support my daughter over the phone line while she stuffed and cooked a turkey with friends in Halifax.

I am blessed.

For all my friends whom I love and who love me, I am blessed.

I hope those reading this are able to count their blessings today too. We are some of the lucky ones.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Yesterday as I was driving to look at dishes with my dh it struck me. I felt happy. It was probably the third time this past week that this feeling of happiness washed over me.
I haven't experienced this in some long time.

I feel chattier lately. Also something I haven't experienced for a long time. There is a lightness to my being.

I have reduced my meds back to one a day, and even though sleep is still not so easy in the middle of the night, the days contain more contentment.

Maybe it is fall. The cool, sunny days. Even the rainy ones. Maybe it is just the top of another peak and the bear will have another mountain to climb someday in the future.

Maybe it is that my arm is almost fully healed and not getting in the way of things (like climbing on top of the camper to fix a broken vent - yes, I did that this weekend).

The thing is. I am not going to worry about the why, but enjoy the now.

Piglet (which was my nickname in highschool - my good friend was Pooh) and Pooh sum it up nicely:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Waiting for the phone to ring

Waiting for the phone to ring. One is hunting, and one is awaiting test results. But the phone doesn't ring. It just seems so quiet around here. The quiet is very noisy.

And it is raining. And I don't want to be 'that' person that keeps phoning, and asking.

So I am 'this' person that putters with her knitting, sweeps the floor, takes long baths, and tosses and turns.

I remember years and years ago when I got very sick and needed emergency surgery my sister sent my mother a card called 'The Watcher'.

It is hard being 'the watcher', because you can't do anything. Not really.

So today as I listen to my husband chatter with his young six year old friend I try to busy myself with this and that.

But really?

Really I am just waiting for the phone to ring.