Canada Day – Our National Holiday

Fireworks! Wear your red and white!

H0018807_crop-Canada_400It’s already 149 years since Confederation, when the British colonies of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick negotiated to form the Dominion of Canada. That fledgling nation of four provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario) formed the core for our modern country. The rest, as they say, is history– literally. Continue reading

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Why Try to Describe Nature?

I love walking around in nature– out in the open or in gardens– breathing fresh air. Well, I mean I love it when there are no mosquitoes, and when it’s not too hot, too humid, or too cold! Under those circumstances, I still love viewing beautiful scenery through a window or from behind a mosquito screen, or barring that, vicariously through poetry, prose, photography, or art.

The Solitary Tree. “Caspar David Friedrich – Der einsame Baum – Google Art Project” by Caspar David Friedrich – VgEo9JDzFjfGGg at Google Cultural Institute. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –

It would be easy to leave it at that, but then Continue reading

Time, Travel, and Trepidation

Timing it Right

A vacation some time ago, across one of the oceans bordering North America:

IMG_9434I’m having a lovely relaxing time, watching a round moon spilling molten silver on the sea. A glass of  wine in hand, I’m in a relaxed frame of mind…
Wow, I wish the kids were here to see this! Why don’t I phone and say hello? Six hours difference… ok, the timing is right, 4 p.m. at home– #1 grandson should be home from school by now.

Rrrring. A low voice croaks “Mom?” Then an intense alertness: “Mom! What’s wrong? Are you guys ok?” Continue reading

To My Homesick Immigrant Mother

You described it well,
That homeland you left behind.
Over and over
          Your words heaved like waves
          That tossed your ship towards us:
          Hopes rose as tears fell.

Describe it once more:
Those hills, their green heads dreaming
In pink haze of dawn,
          Your village snuggling
          In sleepy shadows below,
          Unscathed— yet— by war, Continue reading

After R comes W: What Came Out of the Woodwork!

Another one-room log schoolhouse, dated 1865, now at Calagobie Pioneer Museum, Ontario. My own school, originally built in 1845, would have looked like this back then, but was destroyed by fire in 1854. Its successor was replaced in 1885 with a yellow-brick building that remained in use until about 1965.

Another one-room log schoolhouse, dated 1865, that we enjoyed “playing school” in with our grandson, at Calabogie Pioneer Museum, Ontario. (My school in Wellington County, originally built in 1845, probably looked like this too, back then, but was destroyed by fire in 1854. Its concrete successor was condemned, and replaced in 1885 with a yellow-brick building in use until 1965).

Country bumpkins? Humph!

In response to my previous post about “R” and my one-room country school, it turns out that friends from my progressive District High School in the big town also had attended these quaint elementary schools, not noteworthy to us teenagers then, except that they had just closed. No sugar-coating my early education here, in the stereotyped manner of “old folks”– You want just the facts? They’re confirmed here by reliable witnesses: Continue reading

It Started With an R – and Then There were Three!

It started one morning while I was waking up slowly, groggily. Ruminations about my blog rumbled around in my brain, (i.e. no writing recently, even though the left sidebar claims there’s “writing, picture-making, ruminating” going on here). Ruminating, mostly. Murmurs of R— ruminating, writing, ruminating, writing— kept rippling along my stream of (semi-) consciousness, until this sloshed in: Continue reading