Monday, December 27, 2010

I Have A Dream, A Five Year Dream

A one year dream does not seem like a long time to keep alive. Everyone knows how fast a year goes by, the older we get, the faster it goes by, like a blink of an eye. A five year dream on the other hand might sound like a very long time and I don't want to wish my life away. So the plans that I have for that dream to come true will be broken up into a year a time. Perhaps even a summer at a time. Our three weeks holidays each year.

My dream as does my husband's dream involves the property and buildings we purchased in Prince Edward Island this past November. In the photo above blissfully running through one of our fields are the two children of my husband's niece from Nova Scotia. Their mother is probably inside the farmhouse at the time, wandering from room to room making plans in her head as to what should go where..her children without a care in the world are having a delightful time running, jumping, falling down and getting back up again to do it all over again.

As I was fortunate enough to be in P.E.I. for three weeks in November I spent many hours at our new place, planning, dreaming, renovation by knocking down walls and later drawing diagram after diagram of room plans, trying to decided what would be best where. Not all of my time was concentrated however on the inside of the house but I also walked the perimeter of the front and back yard thinking where a good spot might be for the vegetable garden, where we will dig in our fish pond from here, planning my iris bed, where masses of daylilies would look good etc. My eye went to the very large field to the left of the house and in my mind's eye I saw a very large, grassed and treed park.

The field is presently planted in winter rye and will be planted with potatoes in the spring, by a farmer down the road we are allowing to use all our fields for potoates. After all we need to keep the fields plowed so the spruce trees wouldn't take over. We have lots of woods and trees on our 35 acres so we really don't need more spruce. Our land is bordered on three sides by trees, blueberry bushes, wild roses, the odd apple tree and it will be my delight to walk around our land in the spring and discover even more species of trees. Being thrilled by the fact different varities of birds will make their homes in them especially after I put up many bird houses that my brother will make for me.

As I looked at the field I could see new trees growing there, red maple, sugar maples, plus many of the types of trees I'd love to plant here in Muskoka but have no room for in our smaller yard. Considering our yard is small I do have forsythia, varigated dogwood, a dwarf lilac, three boxwood, nesting spruce, a red maple and sugar maple plus a mountain ash, several bayberry bushes and an old crabapple tree that was here when we moved here. So you can imagine how many varities I will want to plant where I have lots and lots of room to play with.

My brother-in-law who has lived on the island for at least ten years now and has more acreage than we have likes to keep telling me how long it will take to cut the lawn on such a large portion of land. But I tend not to get discouraged, as I dream big and bold. An important part of that dream is finding a big old tractor with lots of miles left on it to cut the grass around all those many wonderous trees, dappling the grass in the sunshine.

Those delightful children running through that field that sunny but cool day cemented in my mind that I was on the right track. They ran from one side of the field to the other, where they were stopped by our border of trees. They laughed, giggled and played so carefree and happy. Would that I could give that joy to many more children, let them roam and run, resting on little benches my husband will make nestled under the shade of a growing, handsome tree. Under the watchful eyes of parents who might be resting on our porch or deck, whatever we decide to build on that side of the house, or perhaps walking with ease across the dappled lawns themselves. Even better perhaps running along with their children or chasing them here and there among the trees. This is the vision I see with clarity on these cold winter days here in Muskoka. Hoping against hope five years with be just enough time to watch this dream turn into a reality.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Starving for Color and Other Stuff

It's such early days of winter to be tired of snow already or at least the whiteness of it everywhere. I know underneath all the snow blanketing our yard are tiny shoots and roots that will weave their way up through the wet, dark soil in the spring but I need to see some colour now. So I viewed some of my photos of spring and summer flowers. It was a much needed lift.

The house inside is full of colour and sparkle this time of year but as gardening and especially planting flowers is such a pleasure of mine it's hard to wait until the frozen earth let's go it's chilly, frigid fingers so we gardeners can get our hands dirty again. This is a good time of year to read up on all the new gardening books that I don't have time to read in the summer however so I'll be sorting through those.

I do have a lot of house plants which need my tender care but the violets aren't blooming right now, just the red leafed shamrock is giving me some blooms. I love my jade plant but alas it doesn't flower either. My deep rose Christmas cactus went bust this year but my new white one from last year is blooming away and I'd love another pink one but where to put it? There just isn't enough room for all the plants I'd like to keep inside.

As the snow falls outside again today and the wind howls around the trees in the evenings I try and keep busy by knitting or doing some crochet work. Trouble is I have more than one project on the go. So I'm making a vow to myself that I will finish up all "unfinished" work before tackling yet another project. On the go I have an afghan I'm crocheting for our couch, a lovely cotton throw I'm knitting and knitting those cotton dishcloths for Christmas gifts. I learned to crochet when I was twelve, my Nana taught me so I'm better at that than knitting. I want to learn to be a better knitter so have a friend who is willing to help me over the tough spots. But she nearly gave up last night. (wait until I ask her to teach me to knit socks!).

I was trying to tackle for the first time knitting on an extra stitch each row making the dish cloths. For some reason my brain wouldn't compute doing it after watching my friend. I tore it out time after time, she finally laughed, walked away and said she just couldn't watch anymore! One thing about me, I'm stubborn. I don't like to fail. I ripped it out again after she left for home and voila, it worked! I have one nearly finished. I find it so much nicer while watching tv to have something in my hands to do. It gives me something to look at when someone is getting murdered or falling off a cliff or something. I usuually just ask my husband what happens after the screaming subsides. Even better is trying not to watch those kind of shows at bedtime. Thankfully there are lots of Christmas shows and movies this time of year if I can find one I haven't seen a hundred times.

Most winters I get out for walks three or four times a week but this year when I open the door and the cold draft hits me, I tend to shut the door again and hibernate inside. It's not like I don't have a lot to keep me busy..I'm also tackling making the curtains for our bedroom I promised my husband a few ....... I won't say how long ago I promised but he had a look of amazement on his face when I said I was doing that next. I also have a crocheted tea cosy that only needs the flowers sewn on to be finished and a scarf I knit which needs the pockets I also knit sewn on..Perhaps I'll feel much better after I finish all these odds and ends before tackling yet another new project like crocheting some rag rugs. Now where did I put that material?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our 13th Anniversary on December 13th, 2010

Today is our 13th Anniversary and it falls on Monday, December the 13th. I'm at home alone while my husband is at work. We had snow all day yesterday, that wet, heavy snow that bends the branches down and makes driving so dangerous, slipping and sliding along the hiways and biways. So today is a good day to stay inside and bake.

My husband's favorite dessert is chocolate cake. Many evenings after he compliments me on the supper I prepared he will mention that what would make it perfect would be the chocolate cake waiting in the kitchen. Of course there is no chocolate cake waiting in the kitchen but tonight there will be. As we both don't need to eat a lot of cake or any other dessert for that matter I usually divide the batter into two pans and freeze one. Having a dessert hidden away in the freezer comes in so handy at times.

This coming Wednesday, we head up to Parry Sound so my husband can have an operation on his left knee. The surgeon is going to scrape the inside of his knee (the meniscus) and hopefully the pain my husband endures will be no more. If this operation doesn't work then he will probably face a knee replacement down the road. We are certainly putting our hopes into Wednesday's procedure. Many days I've seen him limp along, not giving up from anything he wants to do but suffering in the process.

From the night we met at a single's dance at the Legion here in town he has done all in his power to look after me. To do the hard slugging for all my gardening projects, to make me wonderful benches or blanket boxes or bathroom cabinets in his workshop. He seems to have the knack of anticipating my needs before they are spoken of. I do not drive so he has to drive me to appointments when he can or else I walk. He takes me shopping and we've devised a way to make it less painful for him as he hates shopping. He drops me off and comes back in an hour or two or three, however long I deem to need that day.

As I think back on our relationship that involves a blended family, my two adult children and his two adult children who were teenagers when we met, it has not always been easy. There have been some royal battles but the end result was that we solved them and came out on the other side. Sometimes blasting away at each other in anger, we just couldn't resolve much, so we would resort to writing notes or in my case "letters" (I'm long winded). We could read calmly what the other was feeling and trying to say which really helped. Sometimes it's a long and winding road to get to a better place in a relationship and I think we have achieved that.

I have a girlfriend that I met when we were three years old. We go back a LONG way. She once told me: "I've heard you laugh before, but I've never heard you laugh like you do since you met Jim". My laughter is full of joy, the kind that bubbles up and spills over. I'm happy to say we can still make each other laugh. Sometimes the teasing I can do without, but he gets such a kick out of it and his laughter seems endless. Love is so much about anticipating each other's needs, trying to meet those needs, trying to make each other happy. Love is an action.

For thirteen years as often as we could we have kept Friday night as date night. The one night of the week that is set aside for us, when we try and give each other our full attention and I still feel special that night having my husband all to myself. Sometimes we are joined by other couples and we go dancing. There is no place I'd rather be than dancing with my honey as that is how we met. Dancing even while there was no music to dance to, just the music we heard in our own heads. Life can be like a dance, sometimes all jumpy and jarring, sometimes slow and graceful, sometimes just standing in one spot holding each other and moving silently to the beat of our own hearts.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


A Poem I Wrote In Memory of My Nana, My Mother's Mother Who Half Raised Me.

"And Sometimes You Hold on to the Memory of Love"

Love is not a tangible thing you grasp, like an apple on a tree.

Love is illusive, like vapor, twists and turns,

Caressing our cheek, perchance causing a tear to fall,

Like dew drops on a summer morning.

I don't remember her uttering words of love

It was her actions of unconditional caring.

I absorbed her love like osmosis,

Letting the tendrils of her affection wrap me.

Her hands were worn, wrinkled, but strong.

Her silvery grey hair was always curled.

Her dresses were homemade, a pattern she created.

Her wealth was her unlimited love.

My memories of her weave in and out of my life.

Warming my heart with the richness of remembered devotion.

Death cannot sever the threads of our attachment,

At birth our blood melded us together, never to be severed.