Monday, December 20, 2010

The Christmas Stone

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, Snow is glistening...

The song called Winter Wonderland drifts through my mind on an almost constant basis these days. It truly is a wonderland outside...everything has a lovely skim of fresh, powdery Snow. The Christmas lights decorating the front entrance, along with all the Snow, should put me in a Christmassy state of mind.

So far, though, the Spirit of Christmas has passed me by.

It may be because a viral bug has found me. My nose is running and my bones ache, my mind is cloudy and my eyes are red and sore. But today....ahh, today I will put the bug in his place!...I have presents to wrap and send.

No matter how I feel, when I get down to actually wrapping all those bags and bags of gifts Santa just plunked down on the guest room bed, there is an insidious feeling that takes over. 

The Christmas Spirit is stealthy and cunning like this. I find myself wrapping a gift, in a rather resentful manner, because I'd far rather be lying on the couch...and suddenly, sneakily, the Spirit tickles my mind. I begin to think about the recipient of the gift, how surprised they might be, and how happiness will bubble over when they receive it.

Love makes itself known along with the Spirit, of course. I will miss my family over Christmas...they have travelled to Mexico...but Love still overflows when their gifts are wrapped, with a special bow here and there. And yet, still, it feels bittersweet, this wrapping of gifts...

My grandson asked me yesterday if I was going to be there at his special place in Mexico. I almost lost it then, when I told him I wouldn't be,  that I would see him very soon after his return. I will miss my granddaughter's sixteenth birthday celebration as well. And so, you see...the Christmas Spirit, as sneaky as he is, still can have a difficult time with me.

It is always thus, every year, really, whether I see my family or not. Thirteen years ago, my daughter died on December 30. Even yet, it feels as if a Stone has been placed on my chest, more so at this time of year. And many of us feel so, if an anniversary of a death should happen around the time of Christmas and the New Year.

I wish I knew how to remove the Stone.

The Spirit of Christmas, however, does not let all these sad events hold him back. He insists on arriving, whether or not I am remembering a tragic time. And with his arrival, even if the Stone is hampering my breathing, things become easier.

Why not, after all?...I ask myself. There is nothing I can do about the past...why should the past now have the power to tell me how to feel today?

A beautiful sight...we're happy tonight...
Last week, a dear friend said to me...Can you even begin to imagine what Katrina's first Christmas in Heaven was like? Can you imagine what Earth would look like from Heaven, with all the lights and good cheer? The young children's voices in all the school choirs would float upwards...she said... and for Katrina,  for whom Christmas was her favourite season,  wouldn't she love it so?

Yes, she would...I said...She would, indeed!

And with that, the Stone becomes a little bit lighter.

Because my daughter loved Christmas, most years I remember that. With the rest of the family gone this year, I  have allowed myself to sink into Grinchiness.

But with Christmas music playing, with all the gifts only half wrapped, I think it is time to join in on the joy of the Season. Sadness has no place amongst all those gaily wrapped gifts.

I recall, when my granddaughter Brianna was about a year old, how Katrina and I and Bree went to a very beautifully decorated home. As we wandered through the garden Katrina said...Isn't this just the most beautiful  and happy place on Earth?... I looked at her own enormous beauty, with her eyes shining with love for her baby...and I thought, yes, right now, this moment, there is nothing lovelier.

And at Christmas, this is the memory which takes over. And I still think there can be nothing lovelier than that extraordinarily clear remembrance of my daughter.

Gone away is the bluebird, here to stay is a new bird....

Years ago, I told my daughters, when we went for a walk, that they could each hold one of my arms. Heidi always took my right and Katrina always took the left arm.

And today, even though a cold bug found me, even though the Stone still finds its spot over my heart, I will go for a walk.

During that walk, I will feel my daughters' hands clinging to their preferred arm. They may not be here with me, but their energy is. Just as my grandchildrens' loving thoughts will surround me, as well.

The Stone will become almost non-existent.

And then, later on, I'll conspire...

To face unafraid, the plans that we made, walking in a Winter wonderland!

Friday, December 03, 2010


The Christmas season has certainly arrived in my grocery store. It has been decorated to the nth degree, it is stocked to the ceiling and songs calling out for joy and wonderment play over and over.

It quite put me in a daze. I wandered the aisles, listening to all the old Christmas carols. The decorations were over the top, but done with class and care. I realized the whole idea was to make things look so good, sound so good...the consumer would buy items or gifts, without thinking twice. I proved them right.

I was in the baking section. I'd baked all the previous week and needed reinforcements. I was completely engrossed in picking out dark chocolate when I heard a musical sound that wasn't part of the song about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer presently playing over the loudspeaker.

The sound came at intervals, over and over. I raised my head, wondering, looking around. It took a bit before I realized it was a cell phone.

It was coming from the hands of a woman, who was looking at the black object helplessly...a little fearfully, even...

She looked over at me...I don't know how to answer this phone...said she.

I am no expert on cell phones. I don't know how to use them, either, as a matter of fact. I have a black one that I forget to charge, probably on purpose since the day when I found myself in this lady's position.

She continued...This is a new thing for me...I got this as a present from my son. But I don't know how to answer it or shut it off. And it keeps ringing!!!...

She was becoming undone. I smiled with sympathy and said...I think you flip the lid...

She looked at me and then at her phone, still in her hand. She shoved the phone at me and with great anxiety said...Can you do it?

The phone stopped ringing. I smiled and was beginning to tell her my own stories about cell phones when the phone rang again. This time, she almost threw the thing at me.

I hoped this phone I was now holding was like mine...and it was. I flipped the lid up and handed it to her...You can talk now...I said.

But she backed away, waving her hands in front of her.

...No, no...she answer it!

I looked at her in disbelief. She wanted me to answer her phone?

I looked around. We had drawn a crowd; they were lined up and down the aisle looking at items like flour and the different kinds of maraschino Cherries with intense concentration.

I knew they were all listening.

By this time, I hoped the person who was trying to contact this fine lady had disconnected. I said a tentative Hello into the phone...

...Where is my mother?! What's happened to her?...a frenzied male voice asked frantically...I've left messages, a lot of them. What's wrong?

I have trouble talking on phones. It's a thing of throat closes up, I stumble over words, say things that aren't meant...

I tried to hand the phone over to the lady who had backed herself right up against the chocolate display, looking at me as if the 'divil' himself was crouching in my hand. She shook her head.

I was becoming exasperated, just a bit. I heard her son's shouts coming from the phone...Hello? Hello? Hello?...

I put the phone to my ear...Your mother's alright. She's right, she just doesn't want to talk on this phone...

I tried to reassure the caller, but he was a chip off the old block and had let his anxiety get the best of him.The lady had been standing there with her ringing phone for awhile before I arrived, apparently. He insisted on speaking with her.

In turn, I insisted she take the phone. With my eyes steady on hers, I placed the phone in her hand and said...Talk.

She did.

I let go of the breath I hadn't realized I was holding. I glanced around at the sympathetic faces around us, some wreathed with hilarity.

I felt a huge giggle waiting to burst out of me, as well. I looked at the lady, who was now talking in Italian to her son, with great gesticulations punctuating her speech.

It was time to move on. I smiled at the shoppers lined against the displays and received quite a few wide grins, in return, as I trundled off with my cart.

I smiled at myself as I found I had walked straight to the florist's department. I find Plants when I am anxious...even cut Flowers still have enough energy left in them to calm me.

As I stood there, I wondered what had caused this lady to be so frightened of her cell phone.

But the music, the bonhomie, the general energy there in the store, that day, made me shrug my shoulders and continue shopping. I bought Spiderman gifts for my grandson, lovely girly things for my granddaughter, and enough baking supplies to last me well into the middle of next year.

I didn't see the lady again; it was the cashier, who had seen the whole hullabaloo from her vantage point, who reminded me once more. We discussed the fear of talking on phones. Neither of us knew the name of a condition like this.

It wasn't until I googled the fear of speaking on cell phones that I found it was called telephobia.

Especially since many of the signs of telephobia apply to me, I felt especially sad that I had let exasperation get the better of me in the store with the lady.

One never knows another's story until one has walked many miles in another's shoes.

I know that.

And it is the Christmas season...goodwill to all.

I can only hope I will have more patience with my next encounter which might disturb me when I am intent on something...

And that I have learned a lesson about myself and my own fear of cell phones.

Christmas shopping. 

I guess it's true.

It does bring out the best and the worst in us...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Winter Spirit

The weather has turned unbelievably cold. North Wind has set up shop; the temperatures hover around -20C and silent Snow covers the ground.

The Wind chimes sometimes catch in a wee draught from North Wind.  The sound is crystalline tunes heard in a dream...

One cannot walk anywhere outside in the Snow in silence. It sounds very like shards of glass breaking underfoot; the crunching of footfalls in the dry Snow travels far.

I dreamt, early this morning, of Snow and Ice...and dance. The Snow and Ice cannot be deemed unusual, what with every Tree, Shrub and Field covered with the white stuff. But the dance...

In my dream, I am walking through a silent, ghostly forested area. Snow hangs low from Cedar branches which look as if they could break and shatter from the weight and cold.

I feel a sense of urgency...and yet, I do not know where my destination lies.

It is night time, but the path I follow is lit by the silvery light of a full Moon. Snow lies everywhere, reflecting Moon's twinkling rays in crystals of Ice.

I'm not aware of the beauty here; I am completely intent on reaching a wee Log cabin situated in the far distance. Smoke issues forth from a small chimney...a welcoming sight, indeed. 

The cold does not bother me, although it appears I have very little clothing covering my body. I notice, as I quickly near the end of the forested path, a necklace of Feathers hanging from a long, icy Cedar Branch.

I snatch these off the branch...and in so doing, I release a shower of Snowflakes, which twinkle and glisten in the ivory light as they descend, like dancing Fairies, ever so soft and slow, to the ground.

I do not comprehend, in my hurried state, why the Feather necklace is so important, yet I know it is.

As if the path had never been, as if the cottage was never there, I am abruptly catapulted onto an expansive, Snow-white Plateau, completely surrounded by Mountain ranges.

I am wearing the necklace now.

People...figures, at least...are dancing, more and more of them appear, as I stare across the vast Plateau. They are like shadows, like mist, swirling here and there, sometimes with ferocity and sometimes swaying softly, as a mother might with a child in her arms.

There is no colour anywhere. All is white, even the figures. The only spot of colour...vibrant, in some cases...are the necklaces of Feathers, which swirl and sway, as fluffy and light as the Snowflakes falling unabated.

I glance down at the Feathers around my neck. They are brown, a deeply, intensely rich brown.

From somewhere else, another plane, I watch myself join the dance.  The necklace of brown Feathers floats and flies along with the swaying of my body, just as they do on the rest of the dancing figures.

I am the watcher and the participant, all at the same time. I watch and sense myself experiencing joy...happiness and freedom, I dance. And then, oh, wonder! I actually allow myself to feel it, to open the arcane, mysterious well become as one with the Winter Spirit.

I dance hard, in my dream. Hard and fast and furious and long...and then finally, gently swaying, like a soft breeze swirling through a stand of Willows.

And then, I hear a song. It begins as a quiet hum, builds in intensity, until it seems to consume me, originating from a magical, mystifying spot deep inside me.

I dance and sing, there on the wide, white Plateau, with the surrounding Mountains as my audience.

I am awakened by a cold nose pressed against my cheek. It is 4:30 AM; Lucky must have been concerned hearing and seeing me thrashing about in the bed. The bed covers are completely tangled.

It feels as if I am still dreaming, as I open the door and let both Dogs out into the freezing cold. It is utterly still...not even the traffic on the highway far below shatters the hush.

But, as in my dream, it is bright white outside. I would have no trouble walking about and finding my way.

I look towards the path at the bottom of the hill. It is so like the one I followed in my dream. I wonder what would happen should I choose to follow it, now, when the magic of the dream still seems a distinct part of me.

Would I find the Winter Spirit dancers? I want to dance in the cold once again. It appears, however, I would have to be dreaming, since it is unlikely my body would be able to dance as wildly and freely as it did on the Snow-blanketed Plateau.

There was no pain in my dream dance.

The song has not left me. I find myself humming it throughout the day. It has no real tune; at least, it is not a song I've remembered hearing...

Winter has arrived. The Winter Spirit does not care about dates; he comes on his own time. Being early or late really doesn't figure into things.

And I have choices. I can dither and complain about Winter's cold, I can dread it with every fibre of my being.

Or I can focus on the beauty of Winter, marvel at the crystalline cold, have anticipation filled with joy for the Christmas season...

And if I can't dance as well as I did in my dream, I can sway.

And I can sing my song... 

The song given to me, in a dream, by the Winter Spirit.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Apples, Muffins and Cold, Misty Weather

I'm looking outside at a chilly, grey November day. The low-hanging, dark grey Clouds alternately spit Snow or a grizzling Drizzle.

It is time to place the cosy, furry hood on my  warmest yard jacket, freshly washed yesterday. I'm grateful for this dark brown quilted and furred coat, aged and tired as it is, when I take the old boys for their usual walk this morning.

I've been outside in much colder temperatures, but when moisture is added to the mix, it's dreadfully cold...the kind of chill which enters one's bones and lingers there.

The Dogs considered the idea of a longer walk for a few minutes and then turned back to the warmth inside the house. Even the Pheasant which crossed their path did not entice them to chase. Only the tips of their ears perked up a little, as they watched the Bird trundle into the bush.

It's too bad, really, that their ageing bones are beginning to dislike chilly weather because, when they're inside, they insist on being attached to me. Everywhere...the bathroom, the office where I write, the kitchen...I cannot escape. And let me tell they grow older, they have grown very gassy.

They don't mind letting those little puffs go, either. There is no embarrassment on the Dogs' part, although sometimes they will raise their heads from the floor after a particularly noisome phhhht has escaped. It's almost as if they are apologizing, when I gag and leave the room as if I was being pursued by devils incarnate...

It promises to be a long and smelly Winter.

During dark, grey days such as this, I turn to the well-lit kitchen and feel inspired to bake...something warm and very spicy...the scent of which will waft throughout the home, dispelling the scent of smelly Dog.

I don't like baking stuff which takes a long, convoluted amount of time to make. My preferences are muffins, pies, some cookies, bars and bread. And the recipes usually only include one bowl, a sure sign of a simple receipt.

Recently, I found a magazine which promised new recipes for cookies and bars and muffins. I found one for  Carrot muffins which included Apple sauce. Since I had none, it was obvious, if I intended to make the muffins, I would have to make it first.

Apples are inexpensive these Autumn days. During my last shopping expedition, I bought bags and bags...a collection of colourful Apples, intending to use them in decorative bowls as centrepieces. But within only days, the Apples became soft, mushy...and many actually split.

They were all ready for saucing.

The thought of making Apple sauce brought back a long distant memory. I was very young and pregnant with my first child. My then husband and I lived in the middle of an orchard in Naramata, a small village situated a few miles from Penticton in BC.

I was besieged with Apples of all kinds...I was beginning to dream about being buried alive by the immense crop I was expected to do something with.

As young as I was, I had little experience with cooking. It was truly by gosh and by golly that there was food on the table at mealtimes at all. I don't recall if I had any was early in my married life and we had little money for frivolous things like cookbooks. But I was told by relatives and friends if one has a surfeit of Apples one can freeze them or make Apple sauce or...

Since we had no freezer, I was left with the canner, canning jars and Apples. But I had no idea how to go about doing it. How did one make Apple sauce? How did the hard Fruit become like the sauce that came in cans?

I look back at that time and am stunned at how very ignorant and young I was. It doesn't take a whole lot to figure out that Apples become soft when cooked. So why did I not just do that?

No. I convinced myself that Apples must be grated first, in order to become sauce. I can only think my brain was befogged by my pregnancy, since I didn't realize that Apples must be peeled, either.

Of course, the grated Apples turned a disgustingly mushy brown, with red bits of peel, very soon after they were grated. I had no idea about Lemons or citric acid...Lemons and Apples? It never crossed my mind.

And then...oh, and then! I filled the canning jars with the grated, brownish mess, placed the sealing lids on them and processed them. Without sugar.

I was quite familiar with the canning procedure, since not long before this episode, I had helped a family member when they were canning Peaches. I was sure I was doing it correctly and I was just I had not prepared the food properly.

My canned Apple sauce did not turn out like the ones I'd previously bought in the store.

After the processing time (I don't recall how long I left them in the water bath) and the cooling period, I opened one of the jars and proudly sampled my homemade rusty-looking Apple sauce.

I cannot begin to tell you how sour it tasted. And the Apples had a strange, stale flavour. There was more juice than Apple sauce. Even sugar added to the mix did not help.

I remember tears, I remember feeling terrible resentment towards all those Apples I had grated. I remember vowing never to make Apple sauce again.

Of course, I learned to cook, and in so doing, I learned how to make Apple sauce. But on looking back, had I taken my pride, shoved it out the window, and called someone, anyone, for some advice on Apple sauce, I would have done much better. Being so young, so immature, I was sure asking for advice would prove to everyone how unintelligent I really was.

I would have been ousted. 

As I cooked the peeled Apples on the stove top, I wondered when, through the course of my life, I learned to ask for advice. I cannot remember. I'm not sure it was that long ago...

I only recall how much easier life becomes once I master my pride, become more comfortable within myself, and actually let others know how inexperienced I am at any given thing.

Inexperience does not equal stupidity.

And sometimes, one does not have to take the long road, when a shorter one will do.

After all that effort, I thought for sure those muffins would be lovely, moist and spicy. They weren't the best muffins I had ever made, but the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and cardamom did indeed dispel the gas the Dogs insisted on expelling with regularity...

Baking muffins and cold misty weather are made for each other, don't you think?

PS...I'll be travelling to the Island to visit my daughter, her husband, my stepson and his significant other and my beloved grandkids. I may be a little slow answering comments...but I will answer, at some point, heh.

Please remember our veterans and the troops still fighting conflicts on Remembrance Day.

Friday, October 29, 2010


It's been difficult lately to find the time...or the inclination... to write. I write oodles of essays in my head, as I go about the daily chores, but so far, none of them have been written on paper...or, I guess, these days on the computer.

I'm not sure if the Muse is taking a break, or if I'm just too busy these days to find the time to sit and listen to her, writing all the while.  Then, again, much of what I experience during the day I am unable to write about, at least publicly, because of confidentiality rules with regards to Hospice. But there is one place where she will visit, disregarding all the rules...

As I sit with patients, the ones who are unconscious or in a coma, I write what might be called poetry. The atmosphere in a dying person's room...the strong, like a powerful light. It's all-encompassing. I am completely present with the patient, then, completely focused. If the family is in agreement, I will give Reiki. I find it enhances the Light. The difference in the patient's well-being is palpable.

The Muse creeps in quietly, with great respect, during these times. She nudges my arm. My fingers begin to tingle, wanting to curl around my favourite pen. It is not long before I rummage through my tote for my moleskine, hoping all the while that there are enough empty pages left in it for me to fill. Once again, I have forgotten to change the notebook for a new, untouched one.

I rub my hand over the crenellated, worn leather of my moleskine, given to me so many years ago by Graham.  It's pages are filled with observations, sketches, reminders, essays...and suddenly, poetry.

Now, poetry and I have never gotten along. I admire others' poetry I read, wondering how so much emotion, discovery, and beauty can find their way onto the page, and still make sense.

And so, it is strange that I should now write very bad poetry in the rooms of the dying. But the urge to do so is really strong.

Before I write anything...even bad poetry...on the days when I'm sitting quietly with someone who is not lucid, I sketch a very quick drawing of the person. The drawing is only for will never see the light of day...but sketches like these remind me the personality in the bed is still alive, still with us, still here. His dignity is supremely important.

Dying people have a special glow, a wondrous beauty about them. Faces seem to relax, once the diagnosis is made, the skin becoming clear and smooth. Most are pain-free at this point, sometimes for the first time in a very long time, if the patient has been ill over a lengthy period.

My drawings, then, are simple ones, shadings and lines and criss crosses. Sometimes, the lines are jagged, torn. I will draw their hands...I love to draw the hand. Most people, by the time I see them, will have relaxed the tight fists so apparent when there is still hope left within.

Faces become a mixture of mostly lines, shadings, sharp angles and planes. I draw where the sharp, black pen leads. It is peaceful...the room takes on a certain hush when a vigil is begun. The sounds of modern living in a care home are muted, far away...I am present only with the client and my pen.

When I am finished, I feel so much more comfortable with the client. The itch to know, the itch in my fingers has been appeased.

But only for a moment. Only long enough to check my patient, who by now...has become a friend.

And then. Then I want to write poetry, of all things. It is not exactly as if I want to write it. It is what comes out. And it is quite startling to me.

Words appear in my handwriting, words that are, at times, soft and gentle. At other moments, they become lethal and angry. And there are the grey ones, the ones that hush and moderate, the ones that seek balance and patience.

It only takes moments. And during the minutes I am in the zone, during the time it takes to write, I am fighting off an onslaught of emotional energy. I am well protected; I sense it is only a little more of the knowing of my friend.

I feel at peace, then. I hold my patient's hand, rub his chest, place my palm on her shoulder...with each touch, there is more calming, soothing energy imparted and I notice, as a result, an easing of lines in the brow and forehead.

And when I leave, when my shift has ended, I don't feel hypocritical when I say to my client I am glad to know him...because I do. I know him well. 

There is a downside...isn't there always? It is difficult to say goodbye with finality, when I leave. Sometimes I want more than just a few hours with a particular client. Rarely do I get what I want, in this is out of my hands.

But. I have received a great gift. I have written long-forgotten words, I have drawn an image...a thought...of a life, the lessons, the gifts the dying person experienced.

And, never to be forgotten, I have made a friend.

It seems the Muse has not been ignoring me, after all. She comes when it is necessary.

She comes when I need her abilities to see me through the strange places I find myself exploring, these days.

The strange...and quite wondrous...World of Poetry.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Timely Holiday

Having just returned from driving approximately 900 miles return to see friends who live in the Kootenays, I have to tell you, in my opinion, at least, that I reside in one of the most stunning provinces in Canada.

As we drove, the colours from the turning Leaves became more and more startling. Leaves have mostly dropped where I live; as we drove further South, some Trees had only just begun to turn. The hues became almost psychedelic in their brilliance, along with the rays from a golden Sun in an intensely sapphire-blue Sky.

We drove to Revelstoke, in the eastern part of the province, near the Rockies and then turned South along Hwy. 23. This is a very quiet, country road where there was little traffic...but oh! what incredible views we had as we drove through Mountains and travelled beside huge Lakes.  The Water glittered in the strong Sunshine and turned darkly sullen and angry when Clouds obscured the face of Sun.

We drove through Valleys where little light ever appeared...yet even there, the golden leaves offered a gentle glow. Mountains arose straight from the road in many areas. In others, lovely shiny, black Shale Cliffs rose high.

Gorges and Canyons and high Mountain roads made me turn my face away from the edge of the road, the odd time. These roads were narrow, with few concrete barriers...when we met any kind of large vehicle on this twisty, turny road, there were times I closed my eyes.

But just as quickly as we came into mountainous areas,  Valleys and pastoral farms appeared. Coming from the brownish-shaded, arid Cariboo, seeing these luscious, flat green fields made me blink my eyes. Could anything be that green?

I was awestruck by the numerous hot Springs in the area. Some have been developed; my favourite place of all must be Ainesworth Hot Springs. One can wander deep into large, warm Caverns, with warm Water swirling around one's legs. Its walls are smooth, calcified. It reminds me of what a womb must feel like to an infant. This is Mother Earth's womb.

There were tiny, unincorporated villages dotted here and there. And the larger centres...such as the towns of New Denver, Nakusp, and Kaslo...were so endearing in their funky outlook. I had the largest, freshest hamburger for lunch I can remember having for awhile in Nakusp from a tiny, roadside stand.

Burbling Creeks and Rivers fed the Lakes,  their origins from the large Glaciers dotting the area. Small ferries trundled back and forth, taking travellers over the stretch of the Arrow Lakes to connect with the highway on the other side. One ferry, across the Lower Arrow Lake, from Needles to Fauquier, took no more than a few minutes; all ferries were part of the highways, and therefore no cost was involved.

I love road trips such as this one. On the way to Queen's Bay, our destination on Kootenay Lake, there was no lack of conversation. Graham and I solve the problems of the World, as we drive. And we are accustomed to long drives...our trips to the Coast have prepared us for lengthy car jaunts.

We drove through Lumby, a town much changed since I drove through it last, many years ago. I silently said hello to my friend Priscilla, who writes about Salmon conservation for her blog the Xpress and lives in this pretty little area.

We drove to our destination in one day; on our return, we divided the trip into two days, staying in Kamloops overnight. We spent the next morning shopping, before returning home to our two Dogs, who were being looked after by our wonderful sitter.

At times, there is nothing better to do than to go where Spirit moves me. The highways and roads we took were hardly planned, yet the reward at only taking a road less travelled was bountiful. I am not all that fond of mountainous terrain, but the Ranges we travelled through, so close to the Rockies, have changed my mind. Perhaps I have not known Mountains in their Fall finery.

And my Father lived in Nakusp for many years. I have many of his I understand why he loved the Mountains so. He was an artist. Even I, many years away from when I held a paint brush in my hands, felt a distinct urge to paint what I saw before me. How could you live here...and not somehow have the urge to translate Nature's beauty into some artistic form?

I found the populace who live amongst the tall Mountains a different that has not forgotten how to live off the Land. Quietly and at peace. In one town, for example, the people have voted for no cell phone usage.  

I noticed, as we drove through the small Villages and Towns, that there were many, many hikers and walkers about and few vehicles. There is a taste of the old days here...days when I belonged in the hippie culture and life seemed more serene and slow and self-sustainable. It seemed to be, at any rate. 
And I believe this is why I am so attracted to the area.

It feels as if I've gone back in time.

It feels like home.