Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Mother of Us All

 
 
I'm back, was away for a time because my Mum's been ill.  What was diagnosed as flu, morphed into perforated bowel and emergency surgery, late Saturday.  She's still in Intensive Care but should be allowed to move to the surgery recovery floor soon.

When a parent is ill, family dynamics launch into intense versions of themselves.  As in all families, this is good and bad.  Anxieties get out of control.  Everyone scrambles to be helpful in whatever ways he or she is able.

We are a large family, wide-spread across generations and geography.  Mum is a mother of five, grandmother of seven, great-grandmother of eleven, plus all the in-laws and ex's. 

She is "The Mother of Us All."  And in crisis, we draw near, holding Mum in love and prayers, journeying with her toward her healing.

The healing may take awhile, so I may not be here as much as usual.  For now, it is more important to draw near and to accompany Mum.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Harvey Bank Heritage Shipyard Park, New Brunswick

 
 
With relatives visiting from England, we toured the area around Harvey Bank, Albert County, New Brunswick


The Anderson Hollow Lighthouse (EST. 1889) with its wooden salt-shaker tower is an historic landmark.  Originally located on the Waterside Wharf, it has been re-located several times.  Currently, it sits at Shipyard Park, Harvey Bank.


 

Shipyard Park was built in 2006 as a monument to this area's ship building past from the 19th century.  The "Revolving Light" is a nearly full scale replica. (Click on the ship's name to read an informative article about its history, written by well-known author Deborah Carr.) 

In photos, you see Gary, his brother Ron and sister-in-law Margaret.  For information on how the replica was created, click on this link to Stone Metalworks.

 
 

We were fortunate to have had perfect autumn weather for our jaunt out to the wetlands in Shepody, and then around to the wind-blown look-off at Cape Enrage



We hope our relatives enjoyed the area, as much as we always do.  Perhaps, it will bring Ron and Margaret back again.

Words in colour will take you to another website with additional information, if you click on them.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Yellows and Browns of Autumn

 
 
 
 
 
The softer yellows and browns
are just as lovely as the vibrant reds of autumn.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

For Melissa

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For Melissa, because you always miss being home in autumn, here are coloured leaves just for you.  Love, Mum

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

 
 
As I write, the fragrance of baking apple pies fills our house; we are preparing for Thanksgiving dinner with family tomorrow afternoon.  Well, with some of the family.  Two dozen will be here and fourteen cannot come or have celebrations in other homes; homes like ours, filled with the smells of turkey, ham and the vegetables of autumn.



Today, I am grateful for family.  And grateful to be well enough to host a family dinner again, with lots of help from Gary, Kyla and Mark.  To family who are coming to be with us, we'll be so glad to see you.  To family who can't join us, you will be missed.  All of us send love to wrap you in a warm hug and the message that you are part of us and we will always be here for you.

We are family.  Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Molly Kool Centre Inc.

 
Last week, we had relatives visiting
and sightseeing from England.
 
 
We took them to Alma to look at the Molly Kool Centre Inc.
 
 
Here's Gary's brother Ron sitting on the Centre's front porch.
 
 
 
This is the view from the back of the Centre.
 
 
 
The Molly Kool Centre Inc. celebrates
the life and legacy of the woman from Alma (1916-2009)
who became the first registered female sea captain
in North America (1939), and the second in the world.
 
Ron was in the Navy, then worked for years as a shipwright in dockyards in England.  He bought a copy of the biography of Molly Kool at the Cleveland Place Book Shop.
 
It was intriguing to see the Centre with him,
and see it through his eyes.  He noticed much that we didn't 
and added explanations from his own experience.
 
I've written about the Cleveland Place bookshop previously;
you can read that post by clicking on this link:
 
If you'd like more information about the Molly Kool Centre Inc, please click on this link:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Molly-Kool-Centre-Inc/435156079850424
 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Memories of Home

 
 
This afternoon, my mother and I went for a drive through the back roads of Albert County, revisiting old haunts and old memories.  One of the places we stopped was the house where we used to live in Stoney Creek.  It is a large farm style home with a cedar shingle woodshed. 

When I was a child, there were vast stretches of cleared fields and orchards of fruit trees carefully tended, vegetable gardens and a view all the way down the hilly acres to the Petitcodiac River.  It was a century old house, sturdy, comfortable, well cared for, a warm fire and a welcome shared with people we loved.  It was our home.



As we grew up, moved away, it was a challenge for my mother to keep it all by herself, so the homestead was sold.  The new owners wanted the woodlots, hundreds of acres of them and had a family member who wanted to live in the house.



Plans don't always go the way one expects.  Life interferes, forces changes.

Today the grapevine that used to curl a greeting at the back door has grown over the woodshed roof and down onto the ground, five feet into the driveway itself.  The cedars, the high-bush cranberries, the lilacs are untrimmed and wild, growing into flagpoles and well covers and porch walls.

Mum's crimson shrubs are overtaken by weeds and golden rod and tall pale grasses.  The apple orchard stands up to its shoulders in alders and weeds, is surrounded by deer paths.  The oaks are fighting for sky with choking vines.  Maples in oranges and reds are visible from the mid point up; the lower portions buried in whatever nature sends to reclaim the lawns and driveways and gardens when humans have left them unloved.

To visit our former home was a shock, made a lump in our throats, an ache in our chests.

Perhaps it wasn't a good idea to go back.  Perhaps we should have held the memories and not searched out the reality.  But we didn't.

Still, we know, everywhere we've been, all the life we've lived remains within us, deep inside, held in memory.  Part of living is moving on; is letting go when the time comes to shed one place for another.



Sometimes looking back is painful because we want someone else to see the beauty and value in a home or a yard or a garden we have lived in and loved.  But everyone makes their own choices.  We do.  We did.  The new owners have.

We must let go, simply let go.

Mum and I spent the rest of the afternoon travelling back roads, enjoying the colours of the autumn leaves, acknowledging everything changes. 

That lives and homes have their seasons too.