Welcoming new life.
Enjoying the season.
A camping trip with family and friends.
An early Christmas.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is celebrations.  I can think of no greater celebration than when loved ones gather.  Featured image is Ric & I on our wedding day.

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.


Celebrating the Gifts of Life

NeitherAt 10, I ruled the world –
hard peddling up steep roads
and letting go on the other side
thrilling to speed and risk.

At 20, I felt the pressure
to define my life, marry,
and be somebody – driven
without much compassion

At 30, I relaxed a bit,
celebrated having birthed
three children, confident
in my role and responsibility.

At 40, alone and toppled
by unexpected divorce,
I found new focus in recovery
in redefining goals, dreams

retreatAt 50, facing the brutality
of chronic illness, I vowed
not to lose purpose, willed
myself to re-engage, create

At 60, the wisdom of a gentler
pace, the joy of simple pleasure,
not much different from 10,
minus the hills and thrills.

(This past year has brought so many unexpected gifts that I feel my gratitude is inadequate.  Travel, the introduction of photography and art to my repertoire, and finding a purpose through written word.  What I once thought as an ending (ME/CFS) has opened many new doors.  Life never fails to delight.)

(My weekly challenge is celebration.)

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #8: Celebration

By the time you read this, my celebration will have begun.  The family and I will have met for a casual dinner at a local restaurant, and I’ll be glowing from pride to think that two generations all started with me.  Miraculous, isn’t it?

Today, we are headed up north, where I will celebrate my actual birthday in the company of dear friends.   A peaceful retreat is how I wish to mark the day.

This week, I invite you to reflect on celebration.  How do you celebrate?  How often? What do you celebrate?  When was the last time you felt celebrated?

Share a story, describe your ideal, or take a moment to celebrate some aspect of life – no rules, just an open invitation.


Looking forward to reading your posts!

A Photo A Week: Celebration

A year ago, as we sold off the rest of the contents of our house, I was both excited and wary about the path we had chosen.  Two-and-a-half years confined to a bed had stripped me of the ability to dream, but my husband was not about to give up.

“I will put wheels on the bedroom and drive you across country!” he declared, and that is what he did.

BB Kings

We left mid November, after the first snow of the season has descended, and I wrapped myself in blankets, and propped up with pillows, and watched with disbelief as the scenery around me changed.  Six months we travelled, and each day was a celebration.

From the nostalgia of Beale Street in Memphis and then westward through Arkansas, and Texas, every stop along the way filled with wonder.


New Mexico’s colours and welcoming vibe made me sad we couldn’t stay longer, but there was much to see, and I wanted to take it all in.  Through Arizona, and California, then Oregon, and Washington State, I was wowed by the changing landscape, and the indescribable beauty.  Our journey reached it pinnacle on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where we celebrated yet again in a floating dock off Protection Island.  (Featured Image).

(This post responds both to Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: celebration; and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: wonder.)


Baby Turns Two

Two years ago my husband was just released from the hospital following triple bypass surgery, my daughter’s mother-in-law fell down their stairs resulting in a concussion, and our third granddaughter was born.  It was a chaotic time.

RynAugNow, I am happy to report, all are well, and the little one is more than thriving.  We all gathered at her house for a celebration, and the weather cooperated by being warm and sunny despite the forecasted rain.

Happy to snuggle with Dad, August watched as the other two girls ran through the sprinkler and then dared the slide while the water sprayed them.

How many memories do these images spark?

At the end of the day, I found the birthday girl chilling inside.


Looks like summer is getting an early start this year!


Baatis and Chinese Food

“These Christmases never cease to amaze me and make me feel so special!!” messaged our daughter-in-law after this year’s family get together.

With five adult children, their partners, grandchildren, and exes to work around, finding time to get together is always a challenge.  Plus, just how many turkey dinners can one eat in a week’s time?

“I just want to have a Chinese food and board games Christmas,” my youngest daughter suggested.  “We’ll host if everyone agrees to wear jammies.”

So we showed up on the 29th, bearing our Secret Santa gifts (we draw names amongst the adults), presents for the young ones, and munchies for game time.

Laughter filled the room and our newest addition, at six months, delighted everyone with her nonstop smiles.

The highlight for me, came from my son’s mother-in-law, who decided to add to our celebration by gifting all the ladies with Somali pj’s:  baatis.  The light weight, flowing gowns were a hit, not soon to be forgotten.  Next year, she says the men are getting theirs.


I can’t wait.