Pausing to Revel

Remnants of wrapping paper peek out from under the sofa. Leftover goodies tempt from the countertop. In the aftermath of our family gathering, I pause to enjoy the peace, processing the sweetness of the day.

So many precious moments:

“Grandma, can we have another present?” Three-year-old August, so enthralled with the magic of the day.

“Mom, this soup is the best yet!” So heartwarming to be able to cook for loved ones and witness their enjoyment.

“Who wants to help Grandma?” Three eager faces gathering around.

My heart is full and I am exhausted.

This is the advantage of this stage of life: the ability to imbibe in the pause.

(Thursdays I write about the things that fill me with gratitude. My challenge this week is “pause“. Image from personal collection.)

A Child Glows

Child,
delightful youth,
my heart’s jewel,
you are light-bearer,
hope for the future –

antics haphazard,
laughter contagious,
spreading joy,
sparking imagination –

I pray that your spirit
remains joyously vibrant,
that reality dawns gently –
polishes the radiance
of your glow.

***

I wrote A Child Glows in November of 2018 in celebration of my granddaughters. I have edited here, slightly. Image from personal collection.

The focus this week was child/childhood. The topic elicited a wide range of responses and I have a feeling could serve as a prompt for a whole year without being exhausted.

Thanks to all who participated.

Proscenium
WANDERLUST AND WONDERMENT
radhikasreflection
Stuff and what if…
one letter UP
Sealing Wax Notes
Sgeoil
AWISEWOMANSJOURNEY
parallax

Grandparents Are Blessings

Great Grandma (my mom) lives on at 92. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren adore her.

I never knew my grandfathers – both having died the year before my birth. I remember my grandmothers, and was particularly close with one until she died when I was eleven. I still have her last letter to me. My other grandmother, having raised a brood of her own, had little interest in the role.

My mother, thank goodness, has never lost her caring nature. Nothing thrills her more than a new baby in the family, and in some ways, I think that’s what keeps her going.

It warms my heart that my children and their children have such a close relationship with this woman, who raised six of us. Having endured more hardship than any one person deserves, she is a testament to survival, and teaches that there is always something in life to be joyful about.

(For Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Grandparents.)

Nailed It Dad!

Did you try some of the soup, Mom?

I glanced around at the many pans, ingredients, and baking paraphernalia lining the kitchen counters; not to mention my son-in-law and granddaughter who where firmly planted at the stove.

No, I messaged back. It’s a little busy here.

An unexpected trip back to Ontario landed me smack dab in the middle of my children’s busy lives. After two nights at my son and daughter-in-laws – where the bed was comfy and convenient – my body had a reaction to their dog, so I moved to my middle daughter’s home to couch surf for a bit.

While Mom and the two-year-old resumed their normal weekday activities, six-year-old Sloane and Dad were still on Christmas vacation and on this day they were attempting a “Nailed It” challenge.


Apparently, “Nailed It” is a baking show, which Sloane frequently watches. The premise is that the contestants are shown professionally decorated cookies, cupcakes, and cakes and challenged to reproduce them and then judged on the outcome. By default, I was nominated to be the judge.


Unlike the television version, Sloane and her dad did not race the clock, but dedicated a whole five-and-a-half hours to completing the task. I was beyond impressed by the organization and commitment that went into completing this task.

My judgment: cookies – nailed it; cake – nailed it; parenting – A++


Photo a Week: Whimsical

Wasn’t quite sure if this crowing rooster was whimsical or forlorn, now that the flowers that had previously blocked it have been cut down.

Whimsical is lying in the grass with a pink helmet on trying to roll your tongue:

tonguetwister.jpg

This past weekend we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with a family gathering.  A full-length mirror provided lots of whimsical fun and entertainment:

goofball

This granddaughter was trying out an English accent, and this one, just two,
was trying to keep up:

Hello me

(Nancy Merrill’s Photo of the Week challenge is whimsical.  V.J.’s weekly challenge is gathering.)

A Week of Celebrations

other birthday girlThe celebrations started last Sunday – dinner at a Greek restaurant with the family.  It was a double celebration, Sloane having turned six just days before.

Then we headed North to a friend’s cottage and had a meal rich with the summer’s harvest: corn on the cob, potatoes cooked with garlic on the barbecue, and orange glazed salmon.

Seems, we celebrate with food.  The next day, we drove into one of the larger towns and had Mexican – one of my favourites.

 

ladies seadoOn the actual day of my birthday, I woke up deciding that I would ride the jet ski – a risk I had been avoiding, as driving has not been something I can do since the onset of ME.  Even the motorized scooter we purchased proved to be too much for me, but I decided I’d strap on a life jacket and do a quick tour.  Something to mark my 60th.

“Was it fun?” my friend asked me after.

“Not really,” I responded honestly; “I was too tense.”

But I did it!

You couldn’t have done it a year ago! my daughter-in-law messaged after I posted the event to a group chat.

She’s right.  There is progress to celebrate.

I napped after the excitement and then we drove into a different town, and had dinner overlooking the water.  Just as we sat down, a cormorant dove down and came back up with a large fish in his mouth.

“Good luck,” I thought.

A heron flew by and settled into the brush nearby, and three otters popped their heads above water long enough to give us a show.  Of course, I didn’t bring my camera.

heron in nestOn the way home, we picked up the eldest granddaughter for a few nights stay.  Together we went exploring – she with my iPhone for a camera, and I with my Sony.  We found fish swimming in the nearby pond, a waterfall, and a heron hunting at the water’s edge.  While she tried to creep closer, I noticed a beaver making its way to her side of the pond.  A large splash sent her running back to me, eyes wide with surprise. The heron, too, had disappeared, but as we turned to go, flew back overhead, landing on a nearby tree and then taking to flight again.

“Look Grandma!  There is still a bird in the tree.  It must be a baby.”

The young heron squawked, and Finley mimicked it, keeping up quite the repartee.

We had stories to tell upon our return.

sunburst lilyThe week ended up with another celebration of birthdays, this time for our youngest daughter.  We hosted a barbecue, and then everyone went fishing.  No fish were caught, but the stories more than made up for it.

Sometimes we celebrate because the occasion calls for it, and sometimes we celebrate because life just gives us so much to be excited about.  This week it has been a bit of both.

Thank you to Olga at Stuff and What If… and Sgoeil for their contributions this week.

See you tomorrow for a new challenge.

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V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #4: Relationships

“The people we are in relationships with are always a mirror,
reflecting our own beliefs, and simultaneously
we are mirrors, reflecting their beliefs.”
                            – Shakti Gawain

A friend of mine used to say (and I paraphrase).

“May you experience as many relationships as you need to be whole.”  

I like the way she thinks.  It is unreasonable to expect that one person will fulfill all our needs.  Romantic relationships aside, our friends, children, siblings, parents, and co-workers all contribute to our sense of self and how we interact with the world.

This week, I am challenging myself, and any who follow along, to examine a connection and ask the questions:

  • How does this relationship inform who I am?
  • What have I learned about myself through this connection, and…
  • How, if at all, has it made me a better person?

I might also ask what it is that I bring to the relationship.

All are welcome to participate.

Just add a post to your blog on the topic of relationship, and create a link back to this page, or enter a link in the comments below.

The challenge is open all week (and ongoing), so feel free to post at any time.

You might add VJWC as a tag, and or use the challenge banner:

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Looking forward to your responses – always enlightenment to be gained.