Monday, March 31, 2014

89. I Love ... the Hand Sewn.

I have things
that have been stitched 
by the hands of 
my mother,
my grandmother,
my children's great-great-great grandmother
and my adopted Nan from Newfoundland.

I hold them.
I touch them.

I wonder what they were thinking about
as they sat and worked away.
I wonder where they were sitting.
I wonder whether they enjoyed doing it
as much as I do.
Whether it was a respite from the 
hard work of the day
or something to fill vacant hours.

I cherish
that every single stitch
exists because of 
their hands.

I envision them,
sitting quietly,
infusing that creation
with their hours,
their energy,
their spirit
and their enduring love.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

88. I Love .... hand sewing.

It can actually get me
out of bed,
early and enthusiastically,
to think that I have some
hand sewing
waiting for me.

I find it 
relaxing, meditative.

You can quietly accomplish something,
with so little.
So little materials and tools,
so little fuss and mess,
so little movement and activity.

I sit quietly
with music
or my books
or my thoughts.

I work away
and stitch by single stitch,
something is
born.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

87. I Love ... camping

I used to not.

Love it, that is - or even Like it.

I loved it as a teenager.

We bought a tent for our
honeymoon to British Columbia,
wanting the adventure
and to save money.

We used it twice.

I think it was then
that I decided that a
pre-made bed -
up off the ground,
was preferable to the
primitive alternative.

The appeal of camping
dissipated with age.

'The Harbour Castle'
would be my answer if
someone asked where I liked to camp.

I bought a tent trailer
when the kids were young,
determined to give them the experience
of camping.
Although I had to do it alone,
as Brian liked it even less than I did.

I was up off the ground,
that was a bonus.

When they grew up and left,
I never camped again.

Until now.
I have come once again to
love it.

I still do prefer to be 
up off the ground.

Friday, March 28, 2014

86. I Love ... the crackling and popping.

Not the crackling and popping
of Rice Krispies.
That's what people from my era
think of when they hear
snap, crackle, pop.

I love the
crackling and popping
of the wood stove in the kitchen.

Especially in the evening
when I am alone in the
quiet;
wrapped in a blanket,
reading by a soft light.

She is company,
that old stove;
conversation
with her voice
being fueled by the intake
of the wind.

Welcome company.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

85. I Love ...remembering the feel of my Dad's hair.

When I was a child,
I'd sit on his knee
and pull the little ten cent
black comb
from his shirt pocket.

I'd comb his hair
backwards,
sideways,
over his eyes.

He'd make silly noises
and I'd giggle.

His hair was so fine,
like silken threads;
a shiny mixture
of silver and copper.

So fine.

As he lay in 
final years,
I would sit beside him and
ever so gently,
I would run my fingers through that
fine hair.

Remembering.

Instilling those memories,
 and that feeling
deep into my heart
and soul.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

84. I Love ... the Magic Bridge

Behind our barn,
on the neigbhouring property,
there is a plain, old concrete bridge
over a little brook
that goes by our house and winds its way
into the Avon River.

It is for the farm equipment to access the fields.

It dips down enough that you think that
you are alone,
secluded in the woods, faraway.

There is a huge old willow
weeping over the brook.

In the spring, or after a huge rain,
the water tumbles over the rocks,
sometimes rushing like a 
great and mighty falls.

Other times it is more like 
a trickle.

There is always some movement,
some sound -
roaring and rushing
or
quiet and melodic.

My children,
and now my grandchildren,
have always been drawn to that bridge.

It is
a secret place
far enough away
but close enough to home
to feel
safety and freedom and adventure.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

83. I Love ... turning Nothing into Something

I was born doing that.

Perhaps because 
art stores and craft departments
weren't accessible everywhere.
Nor was money
it seemed.

A new pack of crayons
in your Christmas stocking
was exciting.
I don't believe I ever even owned
thin pointed coloured markers,
just that huge, smelly 
Black Magic Marker.

Musilage.
That bottle with the red rubber tip
that was only nice when it was new;
crusted and dried out so quickly.

I couldn't use the 'good' 
Scotch Tape
because it was "too expensive".

But what I could and did use was 
my imagination.

A twig stuck into a little green apple became
a person;
a toothpaste lid became a chair;
everything I could get my hands on became
Something.

I think that's why I have always
'seen' things
in the discarded.
'Necessity is the Mother of Invention';
I became an 
Inventor.

I derive far more pleasure,
more gratification in
re-purposing, re-birthing
than I do from starting from scratch.

There is a greater challenge in that
than simply going and buying
fresh and new supplies.

And more satisfaction for me in
breathing new life
into Something,
sending it on a new journey,
giving it a new story.

Monday, March 24, 2014

82. I Love ... when my adult children have time to talk.

For the entire year
before my eldest went off to college,
I grieved.

I would often lay in bed
and listen to the 
noises of the house.

Four teenagers;
the days of them being in bed before us,
gone.

I'd listen to those voices
bouncing noisily within our walls
and try to 
soak it in;
try to make it last,
knowing that all too soon
it would be quiet.
Too quiet.
The house would never, ever be
as full and alive and vibrant
as it was at that very moment.

And it wasn't.

They went away,
one by one.

But when they came home,
they didn't rush to their rooms
and immerse themselves into their own world
as they had.

They brought coffee
or sat over a cup of tea
and talked.

We talked more than we did
when the lived here.

I cherish those moments,
one on one with them;
when I get to hear of their world
outside the walls
of this house.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

81. I Love ... when my grandbabes come running to me.

That is such a
true joy
that I wish I could capture it and 
bring it out at will.

It's such a short, short time
in their lives -
just between getting their running legs
and when they become too mature
to run with unbridled enthusiasm.
Minutes it seems.

Puppies.
That's what they are.
If they had a tail, it would be wagging.

"Hi Nana! Hi Nana!! HI NANA!!!"

Legs running, arms outstretched ...
such a tiny moment in time.
Such a blessed moment in time.

Last summer,
such a moment is frozen in my memory
and in my heart forever.
I so wish I had a video,
I'd play it over & over & over.

My 'Salt & Pepper' team -
running together,
trying to outdo each other;
both yelling it at the top of their lungs...
'Hi Nana! Hi Nana!!! HI NANA!!!'
Then the youngest,
not even three yet,
has the creativity to up the ante with
'Here I am, Nana! HERE I AM!!!'

That tickled me so much.
Her confident knowledge
with the truth ...
it is a bigger joy for 
ME to see THEM
than
them to see me.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

80. I Love ... Laughter


Some people do it so easily,
so readily;
so out and out
joyfully.

I love to see that;
to hear that,
to be part of it.

I love the
lightness,
the silliness
that can cause
that laughter.

That uncontrollable,
spasmatic
overflow of nonsense
that makes you gasp for air;
makes your belly hurt.

It cannot be manufactured.
It cannot be canned,
made-up, forced.

It is real and pure and so refreshing.

A good laugh and a long sleep.
are the two best cures.
Amen.

Friday, March 21, 2014

79. I Love ... Drifting Off.

I sometimes think about
how many nights in my life that I have 
fallen asleep.

Every night at some point.
Thousands of them.

And so few,
so very few
am I aware 
of that moment 
when sleep overcomes me.

I am awake; then awake again.

Somewhere between those points
I have slept.
And dreamt.

There are rare days though,
that I can feel myself
suspended,
between those two worlds.
Caught.
Not quite awake.
Not quite asleep.

The drifting.
It's delicious.

There is no control over it.
It happens or it doesn't.

Precarious.
The smallest thing
jolts me back
into this world.

I think I don't let go enough.
I seem to be always hanging on
way too tight.
Hanging on
to the day, to consciousness.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

78. I Love ... my Dad's hat.

I have it -
my Dad's hat.

He wore it to church.
That's probably about the only place
because he didn't go anywhere else
fancy.

Funny that I love that hat
so much when it really 
wasn't him.
It really wasn't who he was.

A work hat.
A driving helmet.

That's who he really was.

The man never went bare headed.
The last thing on out the door -
the first thing off in the door ...
a hat.

I see him with this hat ...
running around the rim with his fngers,
flipping it on his head with such ease.

I see me grabbing it with a giggle,
off his head and onto mine,
it falling over my eyes;
his patient laughter.

I see me in the backseat of the car at nighttime -
me in the middle.
Sister asleep on one side,
brother on the other,
mother's head against the window.
Me, awake - keeping vigil.
Staring at the image of my Dad
in his hat.
Knowing,
even way back then
that I had to carefully file that moment.
Knowing 
that it wouldn't last.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

77. I Love ... Staying Home.


I am so content
in my home.

Farm home, sea home;
each is a nest.
Each surrounds me
in comfort
with all the things
I value -
family - neighbours - friends;
treasures
that I have collected
over a Lifeime.
Stuff
that holds
the energy and the memories
of times and people
past.

Places to sit - 
lots of them.
To sit alone
and think and write and dream and plan;
to sit with folks
and do the same.

I am content
at home.

There is so little need or reason to
leave it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

76. I Love ... Going Somewhere

I love
the Planning of it;
the Visualizing;
the Unknown
or 
the Familiar.

It's really not even all that important
Where
I go.
Or How
I go.

Plane. Train. Automobile.
Bicycle.
Feet.

I just love to
Go
Somewhere,
Anywhere.

And
I love 
to Stay.

Monday, March 17, 2014

75. I Love ... Ireland


I'm Irish Heritage
all the way.
Maternal, Paternal ...
all four sides.

When I learned that
Ireland
is much like
Newfoundland,
I had to go.

And now,
I yearn to go back.

The beauty,
the history,
the people ...
breathtaking.

It was like my heart and soul
caught up to somewhere
I really needed to be.

As I landed that day
I thought about the fact that I was the first
in my family line ...
great grandparents, parents, siblings
that stepped foot
back upon Homeland Soil.
The first to return
after generations.

Why so long?

I thought of my ancestors
leaving their home;
waiting at the wharf
for the ship to come to take them to the 
Unknown.

And those left behind,
never seeing their loved ones again.

There are people there
with my blood,
my ancestral heritage,
but I don't know them,
they don't know me.

We have Family in common.
And Ireland.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

74. I Love ... Simplicity


It's my word of year for 2014.

I crave it.
I want Everything to be that.
My surroundings,
my headspace,
my days,
my life.

It is is the City I want to move to
without moving.

I want to avert my eyes from
'Too Much'.

I want clean lines,
open spaces,
non - accumulation,
fewer Things.

Big problem with it
is that I already have
Too Much.
And if I spend all my time
dealing with the act of
ridding myself
of it,
I have virtually destroyed
that which
I crave.

Catch 22.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

73. I Love ... having had a Childhood Friend.

I was almost twelve years old
before
I had a Real Friend,
a Daily Friend.

That's just the way it was.
I lived in the country
at a time when parents
didn't drive you to activities
and play dates;
didn't consider
that spending time socially with other children
outside of school
was beneficial or necessary.
That's just the way it was.

I still recall the excitement
when I found out
that a girl the same age as me
was moving in next door.
June 1965.

From that moment
to this very day,
we have been
Friends.

We laugh
about the times we had,
the dressing the same,
the phoning each other
the minute we got in the house
even though we'd spent the entire day
together.
The crazy, silly, embarrassing
things we did.

It was so good to have a
Friend
back then
and to still have her 
now.

Happy Birthday Nellie.

Friday, March 14, 2014

73. I Love ... My Old Red Van

Sixteen years old
when I had to
release her,
which iwas done only because
of the uncertainty 
that she might fail me 
and leave me
stranded one day.
I doubt it she would have.
Friends don't do that.
And we were.

I never grew tired
of that old girl.
I never wanted to get
a fancy new replacement for her.

I always felt good 
walking up to her,
climbing in and heading off.

Even though other people
undoubtedly
saw a dated, tired, old van,
I saw her as my trusty old friend.

I sometimes talked to her 
like she could hear me -
thanking her for starting after months of waiting,
telling her I missed her.
Because I did.

Weird, I know.
But perhaps she knew it.
She lasted way longer than most.

She was one of the good ones,
my Red Wagon -
almost 400 Thousand kilometers
we went together.

Filled with rusty bits 
and other treasures
from the sea;
filled with
friends
and
memories.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

72. I Love ... Stove Soup.

In Avonbank or Salt Harbour
there is a certain joy
in building a pot of soup
on the woodstove.

It speaks of a 
quiet and unhurried day.

It is a rare occasion,
but it need not be.
The stove is often on
and all it would take is to 
think of it.
And do it.

When I do,
it is a long and loving
creation,
adding bits
of this and that,
here and there.

It is a process,
an offering of my time
and love - 
simmering, stirring - 
nourishment and goodness.

And memories
of days when I had children about,
who also thought of
Stove Soup
as a special treat.
Not really because it was a big deal,
for any other reason than I had
convinced them it was,
with the excited pronouncement that we were having
'Stoooooooooooove Soup'.

One time they invited a friend over to join us
in that special occasion.
When she sat at the table, she said 
"This is just soup."
and my dear children corrected her immediately 
saying
"NO! This Stoooooooooooove Soup"



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

71. I Love ... Vintage Bubble Lights.

Those bubbling candle
Christmas lights,
I can still see them -
memories of my childhood.

A fragrant Scotch pine,
a real tree
adorned with many lights
and one single string
of bubbling candles.

Red and green bottoms,
amber pointed test tubes
bubbling & bubbling,
mezmerizing 
me
with their movement.
The original twinkle lights
I suppose.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

70. I Love ... Lavendar

I want to grow it.

Rows and rows;
fields and fields
of blue and pink
like the pictures
that go around the 
Internet.

I want to inhale it,
deeply
as a potion
for sleep.

I want to make it
into stuff -
sachets,
soap,
tea.

But most of all,
I want to
grow it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

69. I Love ... getting up in the middle of the night.

I should clarify.

I love a good night's sleep
for sure.

But on those inevitable nights
when it
doesn't come,
I love it 
when I can convince myself
to get 
up.

I make myself
a cup of coffee,
light candles,
put on soft, relaxing music,
grab a blanket
and a book
to read 
or to write in,
and 
I savour
the dark,
the quiet,
the solitude,
the fact
that the only other thing
that I could
or should
be doing is 
sleeping.

I'm not.
So rather than toss and turn and fuss,
I love it when
I just get up
and spend the hours
in pleasure,
and confidence
that I will sleep again
another time.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

68. I Love ... tea


Tea.

The idea of it,
The making of it
The sharing of it
even more than the 
taste of it.

A chilly day,
wrapped in a blanket,
hands around
a mug
filled with steaming tea.

Even the thought of that is
comforting.

Tea
with a friend.
Tea
with just me.

Friday, March 7, 2014

67. I Love ... photocopiers

photocopiers.

I wish I had one.

Not the weeny little printer kind.

The big, honkin' REAL photocopier kind.

The kind you can make 
wonderful quality
prints 
of everything and anything.

Colour copies.
39 cents each.

In reality,
that's way cheaper than I could ever
operate my own for.

I'll just love
photocopiers
at 
Staples.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

66. I Love ... our pond

I need to live by water.

I grew up by a creek
I grew up AT the creek.

Our years in Ellice tonship were dry.
out there in the middle of a flat field.
At the top of the agenda for moving
was that there had to be water
and some roll to the land.

The little brook
was a start.
Not enough though.
I needed more.

We put the pond in a spot
that looks like it has
always
been there.
It a natural thing.

Natural for all the things
that are drawn to it.
The birds.
The frogs.
The kids.
Me.

So much life in a tiny, tiny spot.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

65. I Love ...Daisies

Fresh and crisp and simple.

White and yellow -
pretty in any colour vase.

A bouquet on a kitchen window sill
picked from the wild.

Daisies
 were my wedding flower.
Not exotic.
Not high fashion.
Basic.
Like me.

"He loves me .... He love me .... He loves me .... "
Forget the 'not'.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

64. I Love ... remembering my babies heads on my shoulder

Remembering the feel of my babies heads
upon my shoulder.

Ahhhhhhhh...
that I shall
never,
ever,
EVER
forget.

A tiny, warm, sleeping
 wee head
tucked between
my shoulder and chin.

Closing my eyes;
trying to soak it in.
Willing it
to last
a little longer.

It didn't.
It doesn't.

They were there
sleeping so peacefully
just the other day.

Needing me.
Mostly 
just me.

And then they were
gone.

Time
took them from my arms;
Out
into the world.

But I can still feel them.
They are still there.

Monday, March 3, 2014

63. I Love ... Uploading

the convenience of on-line.

Banking.
Ordering stuff.
Uploading stuff to Staples.

Brilliant.
Convenient.
Fast & easy.
Cheaper than gas
and stamps.

Cheaper too
because
I'm not tempted 
by things I didn't know
I wanted
or 
needed.
Things I don't.

They don't jump in my way
and trip me,
yelling
BUY ME! BUY ME!
when I'm
easily distracted
by the next click
and I'm
on to the
next thing.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

62. I Love ... tiny vintage trailers

I want one.

It's been on my vision board
for years now.

A little Boler,
a little Trillium;
either will do.

I don't necessarily
want to drag it around anywhere.

I might.

But that's not the reason
for the obsession.

I'd be happy to park it
and just look at it.

I want to decorate it.

I want someone 
to open the door
and say
"Oh my!
How cute!"

I want to be able
to crawl into it
like a tiny little 
bubble of comfort
and possibility.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

61. I Love ... Trumpet Vines

I often wonder
how long
they've covered this old house.

I often wonder
who planted them.

Every year,
back again.

Climbing,
climbing.

Curtaining the windows
from the outside.

New sprouts
on thick, ancient, gnarled
trunks.

Deep red-orange blossoms
trumpeting 
summer.

Heralding the humming birds:
"Come drink of our sweet nectar;
we have made it just for
 You."