REHABILITATION & RECOVERY for My EATING, My FOOD, My HABITS .


 

“WEIGHT LOSS IS NOT LINEAR!”

Hearing this gave me a whopping-big ‘light bulb moment’.💡💡💡

I am committed to bringing myself back to some semblance of health. This Monday, week #2 of my new life focus, I went for my weigh-in, confident I would be bamboozled with triumph. After all, in week #1, I lost 4 pounds. Since then I have been positive, tracking religiously, keeping my ‘eating and recipe diary’, drinking and outputting water every two hours, and eating only 900-1200 cal per day. All that without feeling hungry or craving.

And, I lost only one miserable pound.

I was emotionally crushed, even tho’ intellectually, I knew I shouldn’t be. But I could not ‘buck up’. Instead, I ate a container of Helluva Dip, dill flavour (yum) with sticks of celery, crawled into bed with my iPad and played Solitaire for nearly two hours.

I realized this is not a ‘diet’ I am on. Rather, it is – what do they say now, “a lifestyle change’. But that lofty term does not accurately portray the concept of weight loss and what the challenge really is.

I mentioned to my husband, Greg, my pitiful but entirely natural bout of depression the previous day.

Greg replied that, since his recent knee replacement, “despite working my butt off, some days I feel like crap – my recovery, like your weight loss, is not linear, even tho’ my exercise regime is”.

That is when lightning struck⚡️!  Developing my new food prep, food plan and attitude is neither a lifestyle change nor a diet.

No! What it really is, is ‘Rehabilitation & Recovery’ from my 3 decades of over-eating. And to expect my R&R to go smoothly every day or every week is unrealistic.

OK! That I get! As a registered nurse (retired), I can relate to that. I can finally see my next months for what they really are – REHABILITATION – with ups & downs, success and failure, happy and sad, just like all of life.

I will take this new vision with me to my weekly weigh-ins, hopefully diverting a sulk, despair or depression when the scale is not saying what I hoped for or expected .

Weight loss is not linear! Nor is rehabilitation and recovery, from any illness, trauma, surgery. Nor, indeed, is any of our life-journey linear.

So, I tell myself, “This is my rehabilitation! You go girl! Remember: water, protein, vegetables.”

IMG_3244
Dinner . Water, Chicken salad + yogurt (not mayo)

 

 

🤗 I’ve got this! 👍

 

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LIFE STAGES . TRUST THE JOURNEY .


TRUST THE JOURNEY

“She wakes up each morning feeling like she has nothing to do. No routine. No purpose.”

Lisa Genova:   ‘Love Anthony’

I read these words this morning and thought, that is exactly ME. That is me when I wake without that feeling of excitement about hurrying to a sewing, writing or art project, or without an appointment, or wanting to return to a novel that is drawing me with the power of the tide.

I do enjoy sitting, apparently doing nothing, but my mind has to be engaged in creative thought for me to relax.

I keep a pile of six to eight library books on hand to alleviate the desolate feeling of nothing-to-do. Mind you, there is always housework or organizing a closet or room, but at this stage of my life – been there, done that.

Our journey thro this life is tumultuous with its constant ups and downs, its real or imagined slights. We all barter, in one way or another, to maintain a relatively consistent feeling of well being.

I thrive on passion – for opportunity, creativity, my family.

The alternative to feeling purposeful is, for me, depression. So, in order to ward off that monster, I always have a multitude of projects on the go.

Early in my marriage, it was one project only – needlework. Then I needed a new interest and, for a few decades, it was researching and publishing our genealogy. With that completed, I felt lost, until my creative juices latched onto sketching with pen and painting in watercolour. Florals are my thing.

Gradually, after several years, I began to feel I had said all I could in that media. My search was on for new artistic horizons.

I don’t know if it is because I am now in my early 70’s, but I now seem to flit from one project to another. Whatever it is, I am artistically all over the place – a true jack of all trades, master of none.

But there is nothing as satisfying and addictive as waking to a passionate urge to create.

That is what keeps my juices flowing and keeps me loving my life.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Creative Juices . quilting . sewing . knitting .


So, I have been sewing a little, and quilting, and knitting (a very little) and most recently have been hooked on practising lettering – modern calligraphy. My creative juices are all over the place at the moment. But I love the excitement of waking with design ideas rolling around in my head. That is what I have been missing for a year or more.

I love waking, making a coffee, and hurrying to create. It is exhilarating.Sweetie loves her toy sleeping bag

Sweetie loves her ‘toy sleeping bag’

This is all a huge change from watercolour painting, which I will return to eventually, but fresh creative motivation is what I seem to crave now. I tackled quilting and sewing projects for each of our five children and their families …

Andrew's Hudson Bay patterned table runner

above ~ Andrew’s Hudson Bay patterned table runner

Carrie's quilted Boho table runner Carrie's table runner

above ~ Carrie’s quilted BoHo table runner

Greg's Cycling table runner in greys
Greg’s Cycling table runner in greys

Jo's table runner

above ~ Jo’s quilted table runner

Some of my quilting is a little wonky as I am a novice, but loving it!

Steph's decorative linen pillow cases

Steph’s decorative linen pillow cases

Hahaha - my knitting group friends untangling my wool yarn for my afghan (lower right).
Hahaha – my knitting group friends untangling my wool yarn for my afghan (lower right).

Sew, that is what I have been up to the past months. I am finding that, for me, choosing colour and pattern is the most difficult part of these projects. More about that next time.

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“A Goldsmith of Words” . Quotes of Amadeu de Prado .


Last night I watched the fi1m, “Night Train to Lisbon” with Jeremy Irons, based on the book by Pascal Mercier.

My head is still swirling with the beautiful, important images spun by the words of Portuguese Doctor, Amadeu de Prado. The dictatorship of Salazar impacted his life, thoughts and words from his years as a student to his premature death at the age of 53 years. I was riveted to the screen.

I was not the only one.

E. L. Fay was influenced by the book, ‘Night Train to Lisbon’. Her 2009 blog “This Book and I Could be Friends” sums up my feelings on the topic of Amadeu de Prado.

She writes from the book:

“Was it possible that the best way to make sure of yourself was to know and understand someone else? One whose life had been completely different and had had a completely different logic than your own? How did curiosity for another life go together with the awareness that your own time was running out?”

E.L.Fay describes herself as a “Progressive bibliophile recovering from a sordid conservative past.”

See ‘This Book and I Could Be Friends” at http://www.tselfoninternets.blogspot.ca

The image of the devastatingly handsome de Prado and clips from the movie can be seen in “A Goldsmith of Words” – “Life” at: https://positivited.wordpress.com

Excerpts:

“DE ALMEIDA PRADO, AMADEU INÁCIO (1920-1973).

Featuring in Pascal Mercier‘s philosophical novel Night Train to Lisbon (later adapted into a film starring Jeremy Irons), Amadeu de Prado was born a judge’s son in the Portugal of Salazar. He heavily criticized Salazar’s dictature in his speech given upon graduating as a doctor. His only book was self-published posthumously in 1975, entitled Um ourives des palavras (Portuguese for “A Goldsmith of Words”, a phrase alluding to Friedrich Nietzsche).

‘A Goldsmith of Words’-“Life” in the Words of Amadeu de Prado from Ashok Kumar Taduri on Vimeo.

Night Train to Lisbon, in which the story of Gregorius and quotes from de Prado’s book are woven together, can be considered a literary reflection of Peter Bieri’s philosophical works (the man behind the Mercier pseudonym). The art of life and authenticity are important themes in his works.

Wonderful Quotes of Amadeu de Prado:

“We live here and now, Everything before and in other places is past and mostly forgotten”.

“What could – what should be done, with all the time that lies ahead of us? Open and unshaped, feather light in its freedom and lead-heavy in its uncertainty? Is it a wish, dreamlike and nostalgic, to stand once again at that point in life, and be able to take a completely different direction to the one which has made us who we are?”

“We leave something of ourselves behind, only leave a place, we stay there even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there. We travel to ourselves when we go to a place though we have covered a stretch of our life, no matter how brief it may have been. But by travelling to ourselves|we must confront our own loneliness. And isn’t it so everything we do is done out of fear of loneliness? Isn’t that why we renounce all the things we will regret at the end of our lives?”

“When dictatorship is a fact, revolution is a duty”.

“Is it ultimately a question of self-image that determining idea one has made for oneselve of what has to be accomplished and experienced so that one can approve the life one has lived? If this is the case, the fear of death might be described as the fear of not been able to become whom one planned to be. If the certainty befalls us that it will never be achieved… this homeness, you suddenly don’t know how to live the time, that can no longer be part of a whole life”.

“The real director of life is accident, a director full of cruelty compassion and bewitching charm.”

“The decisive moments of life, when its direction changes forever, are not always marked by large and shown dramatics. In truth, the dramatic moments of a life determining experience, are often unbelieveable low key. When it unfolds its revolutionary effects and insures that a life is revealed in a brand new light, it does that silently. And in this wonderful silence resides its special nobility.”

“In youth, we live as if we were immortal, Knowledge of mortality dances around us like a brittle paper ribbon that barely touches our skin. When, in life does that change? When does the ribbon tighten, until finally it strangles us?”
Amadeu de Prado died in 1973 of the rupture of an aneurysm in his brain, of which he’d been long aware.”

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MOUNTAIN CLIMBING & TRUFFLE FRIES … B.C. TRAVELS, day 7 . Memoir .


Today is my last day in Golden and the sun is shining gloriously. Early this morning the family headed up the 14 kilometer winding mountain road to the base of Kicking Horse Mountain. From the resort and shops, gondolas take us up another 4300 feet to the top where we are perched at 7700 feet elevation.

Stephanie, Jeff, Brendan and Tyler are eager for their mountain adventure. They are taking part in the Kicking Horse “Via Ferrata” (Italian for ‘iron path’) climbing experience.

Via Ferrata - 'Iron Path'
Via Ferrata – ‘Iron Path’
The Boyz are Pumped
The Boyz are Pumped
Geared up & ready to go!
Geared up & ready to go!

After a brief lesson and practice …

And they're off!
…  they’re off!

They hike to the mountain (off to the right) where they will begin mountain climbing.

While they are busy at that, I head to the restaurant for coffee – I am a little early and they don’t open for lunch for 20 minutes.

Eagle's Eye Restaurant
Eagle’s Eye Restaurant – highest restaurant in Canada – above the clouds, with a 365 degree view of five National Parks. 

I choose a seat with a view of my family on the rock face across from my table.

View from my table - Yup - that is them way up on the mountain
View from my table. Yup – that is them way up on the mountain

A ‘close up’ and the mountain climbers are barely discernible. Here is a ‘close-up’ –

The Climbers - look for yellow dots center, above & between the suspension bridge & the binoculars
The Climbers – look for yellow dots in the centre – above & between the suspension bridge & the binoculars.

While they were busy testing their endurance and conquering their fears, I was enjoying myself –

Truffle Fries w Manchego Cheese & coffee in the Eagle's Eye Restaurant
Truffle Fries w Manchego Cheese & coffee in the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant. Amazing!

Then I went outside to enjoy the views

Windblown me on the mountain topA Windblown Selfie atop the mountain.

Back home, Steph harvests vegetables from her garden

Beets - 3 varieties, & tomatoes
Beets – 3 varieties, & tomatoes
A bouquet of Incredibly colourful Swiss Chard, Kale, & edible Nastursiums
A bouquet of incredibly colourful Swiss Chard, Kale, & edible Nasturtiums
Another devine dinner. I think our girl should open a restaurant or teach a cooking course
Another devine dinner. I think our girl should open a restaurant or teach a cooking course

It has been a lovely, fun-filled week with my daughter, Stephanie, her husband Jeff, as well as my two fabulous grandsons, Brendan and Tyler. Thank you for more wonderful life memories and the opportunity to spend time with you.

Love,  Mom

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Boo the Grizzly … B.C. TRAVELS, day 6 . Memoir .


The forest-fire smoke has lifted a little, but in its place, dense cloud-cover continues to make every view grey and hazy.

More firsts today as Stephanie treated us to the Grizzly Bear Sanctuary halfway up Kicking Horse Pass mountain. We timed it for the 10 AM tour, recommended online as the best time to see Boo, and so it was. We were in for a treat.

Grissly Bear enclosure part way up Kicking Horse Pass mountain.
Grizzly Bear enclosure part way up Kicking Horse Pass mountain.

Boo, a 12-year-old grizzly, was orphaned at four months. The day it happened, people stopped roadside to enjoy the sight of a lovely large grizzly bear easily within sight of the road. Sensing danger, the conscientious mother bear, had shooed her three cubs up into a near-by tree for safety.  Another man pulled in, pointed his rifle out his open window and shot Boo’s mother, right in front of the cubs and all the other people. He then gunned his truck and drove off. That was how Boo came to be here.

Today, Boo was full of piss and vinegar, ready to perform for us.

Above - Nana, Ty & Bren Below - 12-year-old Botaking a break from his grazing t check out his visitors.
Above – Nana, Ty, Bren & Boo
Below – 12-year-old and nearly 800 pound Boo taking a break from his grazing to check out his visitors.

Twelve-year-old Bo - almost 800 pounds of him

After putting on a show for us, Boo decided he wanted to run.

Bo wanted to run. He stood by the tour guide until she decided to play. they ran back & forth along the fence line and when she stopped, Bo waited, eager for more
Boo wanted to run. He stood by the tour guide until she decided to play. They ran back & forth along the fence line and when she stopped, Boo waited, eager for more. Amazing!

To see the video Stephanie did of this amazing event –

https://youtu.be/5Tie1_Yt3J8

And more of Boo …

Boo, up close & personal
Boo, up close & personal – don’t you love his smile?
Boo having a sit-down after his run with his favourite Australian tour guide
Boo having a sit-down after his run with his favourite Australian tour guide.
Tyler, Brendan & Steph posing with Boo
Tyler, Brendan & Steph posing with Boo
Back home, Steph does her magic in the garden and kitchen …
Dinner Delish - BBQ'd prosciutto wrapped chicken breasts, zucchine, asparagus, rice,
BBQ’d Prosciutto wrapped chicken breasts, zucchini, asparagus.
Dinner with Steph & Jeff, Tyler & Brendan
Dinner with Steph & Jeff, Tyler & Brendan
Dinner - Presentation is evrerything!
Dinner – Presentation is everything!
We miss you Papa. You would have enjoyed today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

SMOKE 3 … B.C. TRAVELS, days 4 & 5 . Memoir .


Who’da thunk it? The smokey haze continues but we aren’t letting it get in the way of enjoying the end of summer 2015. Well, the others aren’t letting the smoke impede their activities, but I am walking around sounding like I have C.O.P.D.  For those not aware of the acronym, it is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – nothing you ever want.

I arrived in British Columbia with the last stages of a chest cold still clinging on. It should be over by now, but my chest is tight and I am continually apologizing for my terrible hacking cough, so I figure perhaps the smoke is contributing to my discomfort (and by association, the discomfort of everyone around me).

Stephanie, Brendan & Tyler spent Wednesday, Day Four of my visit in beautiful Banff, Alberta. We did the tourist things – shopped until we dropped, enjoyed yummy lunch at the Magpie & Stump, an authentic Mexican restaurant. Then off to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Boy, more than a century ago the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) sure knew how to build incredible hotels for weary travellers crossing this beautiful country via train.

Views of the castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel exuding a bit of the history of Canada
Views of the castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel exuding a bit of Canadian history – one of the fabulous Canadian Pacific Railway hotels.

BSH2 Steph & Bren - Banff S HStephanie, Brendan & the marble Bear

Day five, we stayed around home in Golden BC.  Bren and Ty accomplished a few necessities prior to heading back to university next week. I amused myself with my book, my laptop, a wee walk around the property.

Above - view of Steph & Jeff's home, bunkie, garden & Steph's garden shed Below - Stephanie's impressive garden
Above – view of Steph & Jeff’s home, bunkie, garden & Steph’s garden shed
Below – Stephanie’s impressive garden

Steph's GSteph worked from home, then cooked up some culinary delights.

Steph's Kale Pesto - so fresh and delish.  Ingredients - olive oil, lemon juice, kale, spinach, basil, garlic cloves, S&P. Yum!
Steph’s Kale Pesto – so fresh and delish.
Ingredients – olive oil, lemon juice, kale, spinach, basil, garlic cloves, S&P. Yum!

Before dinner, we headed for a walk along the Kicking Horse River. Simple pleasures remain the most memorable somehow.

The boys and Steph skipped rocks across the river while I searched for river rocks that appealed to me. Of course I will lug them back to Ontario.

Above - My Kicking Horse River-Rocks Below - Steph, Bren & Tyler searching for good skipping rocks, Kicking Horse  River, Golden, British Columbia
Above – My Kicking Horse River-Rocks
Below – Steph, Bren & Tyler searching for good skipping rocks, Kicking Horse
River, Golden, British Columbia

Steph, Bren & Ty searching for skipping rocks in the Kicking Horse River, Golden B.C.Last year I brought home stones to make an Inuksuk – a memory of the large one the boys and I made for Steph so she would remember that “we too passed this way”. My small rocks are still on a shelf in the garage.

Our Inuksuk for Stephanie - here with her boys 2014.
Our Inuksuk for Stephanie – here with her boys 2014.

Dinner was a scrumptious taco salad …

Dinner - a delish Taco Salad
Dinner – a delish Taco Salad

Good night all. I am off to bed to get rested for grizzly bears and mountain top adventures.

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SMOKE 2 … BC Travels 2015 – Days 2&3 . Memoir .


The smoke is even thicker today as it wafts on the wind, northward from Washington State, its pungent odour unmistakable. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to live within a few hundred miles of a forest fire, but the photo below of the fire raging south of us in B.C.’s Okanogan area on August 20, 2015,  give a terrifying glimpse …

Okanogan forrest fire2015,08

Last week Firefighters in British Columbia’s Okanogan Valley, faced with an enormous challenge. 

Yesterday, day 2 of my visit was quiet for us in Golden, British Columbia.

The food has been grand. My grandson, Brendan has become our breakfast chef.

Bren's Monday breakfast sandwich for Nan.
Bren’s Monday breakfast sandwich for Nan.
Bren's Breakfast Poutine - potatoes, bacon, eggs, hollandaise, cheese. Admitedly not veg, but darn good
Bren’s Breakfast Poutine – potatoes, bacon, eggs, hollandaise, cheese. Admitedly not veg, but darn good

Today our outting was a daytrip northwest to scout out the town of Revelstoke. The drive was filled with firsts for me:

First avalanche tunnels (through Roger’s Pass).

Avalanche Tunnel, Roger's Pass. View inside tunnel
Above – Avalanche Tunnel, Roger’s Pass.
Below – View inside tunnel

Inside a tunnel

My First Avalanche (road crews were working on it, causing traffic stoppage).

Avalanche - being cleaned up being cleaned up by road crews, causing cars to be stopped for kilometers in both direction. BC drivers used to this simply calmly turn off their cars, get out to stretch, visit with other travellers, have a walk or take a bladder break.
Avalanche – being cleaned up  by road crews, stopping cars for kilometers in both direction. BC drivers, used to this, simply calmly turn off their cars, get out to stretch, visit with other travellers, have a walk, or take a bladder break.

First time in Revelstoke, B.C. – whoop whoop.

My grandsons, Tyler & Bren, and my daughter Steph in Revelstoke, BC.
My grandsons, Tyler & Bren (who will be off to different universities again next week), and my daughter Stephanie, in Revelstoke, BC.

My First Glaciers … and smoke from forest fires continues to decorate each image as if taken through a filtered lens.

Glaciers remain on a summer mountain side, viewed through smoke from forest fires far south in Washington State.
Glaciers remain on a summer mountain side, viewed through smoke from forest fires far south in Washington State.

We returned home in time to greet Jeff’s son Cael, Cael’s partner Haley, her Mom & brother. We enjoyed dinner and a fun evening together

That is it for Monday and Tuesday.

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SMOKE … BC Travels 2015, Day 1 . Memoir .


When you travel, you see everything in a new light. I was on this highway a year ago, and again I was in awe of the ever-changing grandeur of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Everything was the same, yet it was entirely different this visit. The faraway views were spectacular and ever-changing. Near views of sheer rock faces climbing straight up, only feet from our car, was breath-taking.

I landed in Calgary early in the afternoon from Ontario, lakeside, a short walk from the turquoise water of Georgian Bay. Now, after a four-hour plane ride, I was a different world.  We headed north and west on Trans Canada Highway #1. When we drove through Banff, the sun was kissing the mountains making them appear clear and colourful. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky – a perfect August day to soak in the splendor of this incredible National Park. An hour further north-west, we crossed the Alberta border into British Columbia and continued through Yoho National Park.

The view began to change, almost imperceptibly. The mountain views, previously crisp with detailed colours and jagged edges, we’re now softened as if viewed was through a filter, a haze.

The smoke hanging in the air as we drive through Yoho National Park, British Columbia on TransCanada Highway #1
The smoke hanging in the air as we drive through the Rockies on TransCanada Highway #1, in Yoho National Park, British Columbia.

I commented on how particularly beautiful the misty view was.

Stephanie said, “That is smoke, from the forest fires. Can’t you smell it?”

With my sniffer alert on, the faint pungent odour was indeed discernible.

I asked, “Are some of the fires close?”

Steph answered that she didn’t know where they were now but a few days earlier they were raging in the Okanogan, a three or more hour drive south. I was incredulous that the airborne detritus carried this far away.

Continuing our drive, we veered into Field, B.C. with majestic views of Yoho National Park, now muted in a smokey mist in every direction.

The smokey haze visible In Yoho National Park at Field, British Columbia
The smokey haze visible In Yoho National Park at Field, British Columbia

Mountain roads cut into and around rock face are a wonder unto themselves.

We near our destination of Golden B.C., a town in a ‘mountain trench’ surrounded be the Rockies, the Selkirks and the Purcell mountain ranges and by five National Parks: Yoho, Banff, Jasper, Glacier and Kootenay.

So, approaching Golden is a visual treat. Roadside signs become more plentiful:

Approaching Ten Mile Hill“.    Really, a hill that long?

Test Your Brakes“.    Okay then!

Runaway Lane”.     ‘OMG’, I think. And there it is – a road veering off the highway, climbing a steep grade, only to stop abruptly at the mountain wall. Handy for those out-of-control transport trucks.

This Ten Mile Hill world becomes a circular, downhill kaleidoscope of images – steep mountains on one side of our car, unbelievable depths on the other, and the road winding out of sight behind each new curve up ahead. And so it goes, around every bend and every downhill mile, each one more spectacular than the last.

'Ten Mile Hill' on Trans Canada Hwy #1 nearing Golden B.B.
‘Ten Mile Hill’ on Trans Canada Hwy #1 nearing Golden B.B.

Finally the view opens to expose Golden nestled in its mountain cradle.

Golden BC from part way up the mountain to Steph & Jeff's home. On the far side of town, barely visible through the smokey haze is Kicking Horse Pass
Above & Below:   Golden BC  where a river runs through it – the Columbia River. Photo shot from part way up the mountain to Steph & Jeff’s home. On the far side of town, only partially visible through the smokey haze, are the Selkirk Mountains (part of the Rockies) and Kicking Horse Pass.

IMG_3645

Farther up, Steph and Jeff’s home is tucked in on the side of the Rocky Mountain range.

Steph & Jeff's patio & garden, Golden BC. Another mountain peeks through the trees. Steph's garden, to the left, is surrounded by a sturdy fence, protected from the deer who make themselves at home here. Her previously lush, colourful plants in pots & near flower beds have been chewed off leaving only subs of stems.
From Steph & Jeff’s patio & garden, Golden BC,  another mountain peeks through the trees. To the left, a sturdy fence protects Steph’s vegetable garden from deer who make themselves at home here. Her previously lush, colourful planters & flower beds were not as fortunate. The deer had a feast, leaving only stubs of stems.

We enjoyed ending the day with a glass of wine, dinner of Atlantic salmon (ironic since we are near the Pacific), asparagus, kale artichoke salad, & rice. Dessert was one of Steph’s delectable creations …

Stepanie's exquisite ROSE desert - apple slices dredged in brown sugar, butter, cinnamon wit a scoop of butter pecan ice cream. Almost too lovely to eat!
Stephanie’s exquisite ROSE desert – apple slices dredged in brown sugar, butter, cinnamon with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream. Almost too lovely to eat!

Last summer, I recorded my British Columbia adventure in my sketch journal. This year, I will blog my way through our daily doings.

Day one. Good night.

………………………………………..

THE UNEXPECTED . Memoir .


I just visited with my Grandma King. I had not seen her since 1973. I missed her warmth, her smile, her quiet, wisdom, patience, and her love. Also I always admired her strength, energy and positivity.

I walked into her home at 452 Laurier Avenue. I could hear the sounds of her quiet motion. I moved past the living room into the kitchen, softly so as not to startle her, and there she was, busy as usual, in the dining room off to the right of the kitchen. She had yards of fabric all around her, and a step-ladder. Now that I look back on the scene, I think she was taking down drapes for their twice-a-year cleaning. But I didn’t want to waste a moment asking. It has been too long since I last saw her.

Suddenly she looked up. A second passed, then she opened her arms and I leapt right into them. We hugged the longest, tightest hug I had perhaps ever experienced and I wept against her shoulder. I apologized for being away for so long. I explained I thought she was no longer here, and that I missed her so.

As she had always done, she kept busy while we visited, no sit-down-chats. That was something that would not happen often until her last years. After some time with her, I felt the strong urge to accomplish something important during this visit.

Slipping on my jacket, and saying I would be right back, I rushed down the hill toward Fisher Street. I turned left at the corner to where was my youngest son Gregory was playing in Mom and Dad’s Garden Center.

I took his hand and said, “Hurry, I want to you to meet someone.” We rushed back up the hill. Really, it was no more a slope, but in my early years when I walked that route to and from school every day, it seemed a substantial hill. And every day I stopped in to see Grandma and Grandpa. There was always a smile, a freshly baked cookie (Grandma’s favourite was ‘Hermit cookies’) or she would be removing her incredible ‘yeast buns’ from the oven.

Greg was the only ones of my five children to have not met his wonderful great-Grandma and it felt terribly important that he do so. We arrived and continued the visit. By this time, it was early evening and little Gregory was too tired for much interaction, but meet her he did. Before the visit was over it was ended by the gently melodic trill of chimes. My i-Pad alarm was calling me back to the present. This had been my most exquisite dream ever –  a treasured visit with my beloved grandmother.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

What precipitated this particular and vivid dream I wondered. I thought back and remembered that only a few days before I dropped into a ‘psychic’s shop. Jane and I chatted about how when I was a little girl, my mom or my grandma would have a local lady come, usually to Grandma’s home, to read our tea leaves . I recall the laughter, the quiet, the great moments of expectation as we sat around the table. She read our drained leaves spread about the bottom of our cups in intriguing clusters and patterns. I enjoyed those female bonding days with great affection.

I explained to Jane the Psychic, that I was now skeptical of all the psychic phenomenon and activities. She explained that it was really just an extension of our instincts, or of our paying attention to those little inner voices that often advises us to ‘go there’ or … ‘it will be dangerous to do that’. I am a huge believer in trusting those instincts, those inner voices, so I could relate to what she meant.

As a result of that conversation I enjoyed time with my grandmother again and introduced her to my youngest child. That is what he was in the dream, a child. In reality, today he is a 40-year-old man with a beautiful child of his own. I still feel the glow of the visit and the comfort of Grandma’s arms around me. And, I feel fabulously fortunate.

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