Thursday, June 4, 2015


Today I kayaked up the river joining Maple and Martin lakes.  I crossed two beaver dams, portaged around a waterfall and eventually turned back when I came to a set of small rapids.  My goal had been to make those rapids - which I had seen while snowshoeing through the woods.  Next time, I'll cross them and go farther. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Greening

The air is full of just budded, misty green leaves.  

Spring peepers fill the marshy spots with their incessant ringing.

Scents come alive and drift into memories. First loves and lost loves. Places we've left behind.

The smell of my toddler's neck slicked with humid curls. 

The sight of my four-year old's excitement over a newly sprouted plant.

Spring holds all of these things.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


And just like that, the ice is out.  

It went out yesterday while the rain lashed and the wind howled. When I woke up, there was about a third of the ice left. The wind had jammed it hard up against our shore. 

It was completely gone when I got home at 3:30. When Henry noticed, he shouted, jumped, danced, and hugged with joy. "We have WATER, mommy!"

I am equally thrilled. After a long, difficult winter, it's good to see warmer, easier days coming. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tough Going

I hadn't snowshoed since my mom died until today. 

My sister in law, Leanne and I went out earlier today for a hike, and it was tough going. I've never worked so hard at snowshoeing. Since I haven't  been out, there were no trails and no base. We tried to walk on snowmobile tracks, but even that didn't help so much.  

We went across the field, and through the  swamp. It was deep. So deep. We made it to the place where I usually enter the woods to go up to the first beaver pond, but the snow was just too deep. Absolutely impassable. We turned back, hiking along our path through the swamp. I wasn't done, though. I NEEDED more time alone, more time in the woods. 

I set off for a short hike through the woods, and down to the lower field. 

Sometimes the hardest things we do are the most important. The hardest things to say, feel or do physically. Sometimes we need to push through to the other side. Today I needed physical exertion and silence. I needed to get back outside, where I haven't been since my mom died. I feel everything when I'm alone. I needed to face this today.  I'm glad I stuck it out, but it was tough going. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Dear Mom, 

Tomorrow Henry turns four. FOUR. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed. 

I am really struggling today. Tomorrow is the first "event" I've had to go through without you. I've planned just a small party- but it's still plenty of organizing and baking that I need to do, and to be honest, I'm having a hard time putting my whole heart in to it. 

I am hurting terribly thinking of how much Henry adores you and how his memories of you are soon going to start to fade. He talks about you, and he knows you are dead, but I don't know that he really understands it yet.  He asked me yesterday when we were in the spare bedroom if we were getting it ready for Granny to come and visit.  We actually have many moments like this, and they are sad, but not devastating.  I like that you are still close in his mind.

Well-intentioned people will tell me that "it's okay, you will keep your mom's memory alive through your stories", and yes, of course we will do that, but these words are not comforting to me. 

I want to scream, "IT'S NOT THE SAME". It's not the same, and it never will be. You will never have a living, breathing relationship with Henry ever again, and that hurts me. I know it hurts you, too. I can feel it and I will carry that with me forever. 

Mom, today, tomorrow and for the rest of my life I hold you close to my heart and I will miss you every second of every day. 



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Make Friends and Influence....Birds

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time visiting my grandparents at their home on Ahmic Lake. They had many different bird feeders for many different kinds of birds, and bird watching in the winter was particularly interesting. 

Now, we definitely don't have the extensive bird feeders that they did (and still do now that they've moved into Parry Sound), I did learn a thing or two about feeding birds from those days, like how Blue Jays are very social, even friendly birds, and absolutely love peanuts. 

If you want Blue Jays to flock to your house, go out and grab a bag of peanuts in the shell. Toss a handful out every so often, and call out to the birds - I have my kids yell out,  "hey, Jays!".   Pretty soon, you'll have Blue Jays flitting about, and they will come and call to YOU, eventually. They are bold birds. 

On these bitterly cold, but brilliantly sunny days, making new bird friends has been an activity my little kids have loved, even if their yelling at the birds through the windows makes it near impossible to get a decent photo. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Hardest Part

Dear Mom, 

I want to tell you about the hardest part. The hardest part wasn't finding out you had died. It isn't going through your things, and it wasn't even turning my back and walking away from your casket in the cemetery. The hardest part was at the end of your service, when we followed your casket out into the cold and snow. 

A piper was playing Amazing Grace. Michael, Matthew, Mel, Duncan, Mark and Luke were your pallbearers. I held tight to Henry's hand (Rick had taken Clare to another room), and we walked up the aisle out of the chapel. I couldn't look up- I didn't want to look at everyone looking at me.  Holding Henry's hand was the only thing that kept my feet moving and me upright. 

When we got outside, they placed you in the hearse. We were all sobbing. Deep, soul wrenching sobs. Your boys, Katie and me. I tried so hard to not completely break down because Henry was with me and I didn't want him to be scared. 

I remember Matt standing with his head down, hand on your casket, sobbing. It was cold, but we didn't feel it. Snow fell lightly all around. 

And then that was that. They closed the door to the hearse. 


And that was the hardest part. 

I miss you so much.