Monday, August 14, 2017

Two Weeks From Today

This morning I took my coffee and journal out to the back veranda and took in the beauty of the sights and sounds around me. The sun was strong burning off the thick morning dew . I could feel a trace of fall in the air while at the same time feeling the beauty of summer. As a teacher I would already be feeling the tug of the school year coming and feel the need to hang on tightly to the last few days of summer holiday. I know my daughter in law feels that same tug. The tug is different for me these days. In two weeks I will return to my office and to the work I have been given the chance and privilege to do since giving up the work I loved for almost thirty years. I now am happy to let someone else welcome the Grade Four students when school starts up again. I will be busy writing books. I will begin writing my eleventh book. Six have been published ,one awaits publication in the spring and three sit on the back burner waiting. Someone at the market on Saturday said I will need a bigger table soon. I am happy that I still sell all six regularly although Meg would say The Sewing Basket doesn't get its fair share of recognition. I will squeeze as many books in as I can and be thrilled as each one arrives. For now I look forward to two weeks from today when I will say goodbye to my summer routine and welcome my writing routine again for another year. Today I have a plethora of peas and beans to pick and some weeds to pull. I have a lake to visit a couple of times and I look forward to attending Charlotte's Tea with my sister in law and friends this evening. Oh the joys of summer and the anticipation of fall. Kathy Thornhill's beautiful hooked masterpieces hang on the wall beside my table and I love that the one with an open book and pile of books is in full view.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Weekend After

This house is so quiet. I put the girls rooms back to rights and packed away all their treasures the day after they left. I have taken it fairly easy all week trying to get my energy level back. I was able to come and go as I pleased , nap when I felt like it and watch whatever I wanted on TV. Life is back to normal and we miss those little girls like crazy. They were happy to be back home and it is of course as it should be but thinking that we won't have them running around again until next summer is not easy. Every summer brings new joys and changes. Again this summer I see the results of my futile attempt to keep all the weeds from our massive garden. In reality it would probably take five full time employees to keep it weed free and we are managing with two part time ones. At this point in August the picking of peas and beans takes priority and I couldn't possibly catch up with the weeding. I vow once more to go smaller next year. Last year I kept a close eye on the growth of my sunflowers. That has not been a focus this year and sadly the last few standing have been knocked over by our beautiful big brown pig who breaks out once in awhile looking for love. There is always next year. Perhaps that is the best lesson gardening gives us. In fourteen days I will return to my office. I am quite sure what I will begin to write but won't know for certain until I actually sit at the keyboard and see what takes over. The gifts the summer gives us , the bounty the garden brings and the joys of writing are unpredictable, changing and variable but the blessings of season have a constant that give us the assurance to believe in " maybe next year". For that I am so thankful.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Don't Even Talk About It

"Don't Even Talk about it!" is what Paige has been saying for the last week or so whenever the topic of leaving has been mentioned. Transitions, change, goodbyes are so difficult. But all good things , all things come to an end. This morning the house is quiet because the girls had a sleepover at Aunt Bri's and Uncle Chapin's. That means of course that I will not hear their footsteps and their morning greetings again until next year. We will coax them from their beds in the early morning hours tomorrow and put them in the car to drive to the airport for an early flight. I am sad and don't want to talk about it but here I am writing about it. The morning air held the promise of fall and I am anxious to return to work but how can summer and our time with the girls be ending? I know just how quickly weeks, months and seasons pass so it should not surprise me that we have come so quickly to this day. I will begin the packing and the process of letting them go. They live in Alberta and I must come to terms with that. I will, but my heart will break seeing them walk through security. We try hard not to have long, emotional goodbyes but the emotion sits under the surface . I know these weeks have mattered more than we can even imagine. Our girls know us so well and have added to their repertoire of data that can be brought up quickly and at anytime when they need their grandparents and need to know just how much we adore them. We have had so many laughs, so many moments and distance can not take that from us. Ok,so on this beautiful New Brunswick day I will get them ready to go back to Alberta but I know New Brunswick goes back with them and the summer of 2017 was worth every single minute, every challenge ,and every bit of what we all offered to it.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

With Each Jump in the Lake

Five more sleeps. How very quickly six weeks goes by. July has passed and the beginning days of August are the wind down days of the time of Summer 2017 spent with our granddaughters. With each jump in the lake the time to say goodbye gets closer . I will swim after they go home as long into the fall as I can and each time I will see in my mind Paige swimming vigorously out to the raft, her blonde hair and the collar of her red and blue life jacket sticking above the rippling water. I will see Emma swimming closely behind her and triumphantly reaching the raft and taking an exuberant jump into the deep water. Each drive down and back will hold the echoes of the conversations and the beauty of the chance to hit the lake one more time. I heard a woman on CBC today talking about the wonderful healing power of water and swimming. She said that water has the power to take our feelings whatever they are and give us back only good ones as we leave it. I have known this for a very long time. I have taken the gift of healing the Walton Lake gives me season after season and do not take for granted any of its power. I believe that as the girls leave us they take a part of that gift as well. The memories of getting to its shore,of running and jumping in and of allowing the water to connect us are deeply cemented in their minds and will hold a lasting place in their memories with us.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

When I'm at the Cottage

I love the months of summer. I love all the seasons and everything they bring but I love that summer transforms my house into a cottage. For moments of each beautiful summer day I see my home as my cottage. I stop a bit from my busyness and pretend I'm at the cottage. I take my lunch out to the front veranda and take in the beauty surrounding me. I stop and just enjoy the peace and quiet of my summer retreat. I swim in the beautiful Walton Lake and hang our bathing suits and towels on the line. The back veranda is covered with sand and water shoes and life jackets hanging from hooks on the wall. For brief moments my year round home holds all the charm of a treasured cottage. I try to go to the cottage at least once a day. I stop worrying about the dust, the dirty floors, the dishes in the sink and go to the cottage where none of that matters. I stop fretting about the weeds in the ridiculously huge garden and sit in the lounging chair, on vacation. I go to the cottage and just sit and enjoy while at the same time anticipate getting back to my office. I have two story lines percolating in my head and we shall see which one takes over when I get back to work. Oh the joys of summer and time at the cottage.And the best thing about my house also being my cottage is;there is only one tax bill.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Our Granddaughters are our Garden

We are almost done week number four. We have had a lot of fun, some fights, pretty good bedtimes and I have heard "Monkey!" thousands of times. This summer of 2017 has held its share of wonderful memories and monumental moments. Emma has learned how to ride a bike without training wheels and has gone from a smaller one to the bigger one I bought for them . She has continued to be a stronger more confident swimmer and is growing like a weed. Paige has gone from standing reluctantly on the shore of the lake watching us swim to being the first one in the water, swimming(with her life jacket) all the way to the raft. She has almost mustered enough courage to jump off instead of lowering herself into the deep water from the ladder. She is still using training wheels on her small bike. We shall see if she makes the transition from life jacket and training wheels before her time here is over. Grampy continues to be in charge of the laughter, the one who hollers the loudest and can quickly bring Emma out of an episode. He can scare the life out of us all and he is the one who loads us up for a late night swim under starry skies. He is the keeper of fun and the one who constantly reminds me nothing else is as important as the time we are spending with our granddaughters. Our huge garden is getting some attention but the garden we are tending to this summer is the garden of granddaughters. We watch it grow and blossom and it fills our hearts with joy.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Don't Stop

I have not written an entry since the day we were expecting the girls. Almost two busy weeks have gone by. The highlight so far has been our trip to NS. We traveled to River John for the grand opening of Mabel Murple's Book Shoppe and Dreamery. Sheree Fitch and her husband Gilles Plante welcomed about six hundred people to their magical property. It was a beautiful day and it was a pleasure to be part of the celebrations. We returned the next day to a quieter book shoppe and a chance to actually talk and get a hug from Sheree. I also got to meet author book store employee Linda Little and had a lovely chat with her. We will be back !Yesterday as on most Saturdays I stood behind my table at the Kingston Farmers Market. This year I have six books displayed and am happy to meet people and talk about my books and writing. Every week I get small gifts of interaction and yesterday was no exception. The crowd always holds a mix of locals, devoted readers and complete strangers from far and wide. Last week a family who lives and works in Qatar and summers in New Brunswick visited my table again for the latest book having purchased and enjoyed books from past summer visits. Their enthusiasm to see my new book on the table was wonderful. On that same day a man stopped and told me he has read Ten Thousand Truths at least five times and takes it annually on the cruises he takes in the winter. He eagerly bought Waiting For Still Water so he could spend more time with Rachel, Amelia, Zac , Jodie , Raymond and return to the farm on Walton Lake Road. Buyers like that warm my heart and make the quiet and slow first hours on market morning well worth it. Yesterday I had a couple more such interactions. A woman approached and said her aunt was in waiting for her breakfast but would be coming to my table shortly in anticipation of my new book. Susan appeared a while later and was as excited as her niece predicted. Her husband accompanied her and admitted he was as big a fan as she was. After buying two books he said just before leaving. " Don't stop". What a lovely thing to say to a writer. Don't worry I don't plan on stopping and after this summer hiatus will eagerly get back to my office. Oh how very thankful I am for it all. So for now it is granddaughters, garden, swimming and road trips, market Saturdays and all the gifts of summer.All the joys of summer that prepare me for the wonderful privilege of returning to my writing in the fall.