The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Excerpt from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
path into woods

Into The Woods…photo by Julie Wise

Stuart, Dave and Morley

Yesterday, I lost a beloved friend. I’d never met him, but his voice and his stories had been an integral part of my life for over 40 years. Stuart McLean, like Peter Gzowski before him, had a remarkable ability to weave together all the diverse threads that make us Canadian. Peter accomplished this through his Morningside program on CBC Radio; Stuart through his stories of Dave and Morley and smalltown Canada.

Many times, I remember driving home listening to CBC and The Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean, tears streaming down my face, laughing hysterically, and nearly having to pull over as he told tales of Dave cooking the turkey, or Dave and his neighbour’s bike, or Dave on the roof.

One year, we went to his annual Christmas show. He would tour the country, sharing old and new Dave and Morley stories with audiences young and old. He’d also feature Canadian musicians, and that’s where I first heard the lilting music of bands like The Good Lovelies and many more.

Yesterday, I drove home, listening to CBC, tears streaming down my face, nearly having to pull over, as I heard that he had passed away at 68.

Thank you, Stuart, for the stories and the memories and, above all, the laughter.

Stuart McLean book cover

Thanks for the stories, Stuart. May you rest in peace.

Giving Thanks

This weekend in Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving.

There are so many things to be thankful for…family, friends, good health, the beauty that surrounds us, walks in nature, a country at peace.

And this weekend’s weather: picture perfect!

trees changing colour

A Canadian Thanksgiving postcard moment!

Define Joy, If You Can

What does joy mean to you?

Is it a feeling? How do you know when you’re experiencing it?

For me, joy is often a quiet inner knowing; a feeling that bubbles up from deep within and expands until it bursts out all around me. The whole world seems brighter and lighter in that moment and I feel like I’m being carried on the wind.

Sometimes I experience joy in certain places, or with specific people. Other times, it comes upon me unexpectedly. I find it’s elusive, hard to define, yet unmistakable when it arrives.

What brings you joy?

sailing

Flying across the water, wind in the sails … that’s joy!

Joy is…

One my my many joys is driving my Mini. I smile every time I see it. It makes me feel happy inside. Plus it’s so much fun to drive (especially on roundabouts)!

Another joy is having matching black and white accessories 😉

Mirror covers and car by Mini Canada; capris and clutch by escherly design. Such joy!

me and my Mini

Mini me!

Play Time

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. I’ve been playing around with markers again. 🙂

Yes, I know I “should” be working. But all work and no play makes for a dull life, doesn’t it?

Here’s the latest result of my joy-filled, playful pastime.

black and white abstract art

Joy in Motion ~ escherly design

What do you see?

A Star Is Born

I discovered this beauty a few days ago. At first I thought it was a morning glory flower because I noticed it first thing in the morning.

Last evening, however, I saw a second one, unfurling slowly. Within an hour, it was completely open, and remained so all night. This morning it is gently closing.

It’s called a moonflower because it blooms during the night (and probably also because it’s white). However, for me it’s really a star flower. The star design at the centre reminds me that I am a star at my core (as are you), and it’s important to let that star quality shine for everyone to see!

moonflower blooming

A star is born! ~ photo by Julie Wise

It Takes Two

It may take two to tango, but apparently in the world of the red-necked grebe, it also takes two to sit on a nest.

This pair of grebes has been building and rebuilding their nest for several months. Although they do leave the nest periodically, they both seem to take their parenting responsibilities very seriously. To the point where they sit on the nest together.

I guess it’s true that it takes a community to raise a child, even in the bird kingdom.

2 red necked grebes on nest

Somewhere under there lies an egg. ~ Photo by Julie Wise

Still Learnin’

Last week, as we were out enjoying a lovely sail, the wind began to shift and pick up. We took one sail down and the wind got stronger, so we decided it was time to head back to the marina.

As my partner reached down and over to pull the cord to start the motor, a rogue wind caught the main sail and sent the boat onto its edge. I was at the helm and the tiller flew out of my hand. I had the sudden image of my partner going headfirst into the water with me not far behind.

In my panic, I said some unprintable things very loudly, while he calmly reached over and let out the main sail. The boat righted itself with ease.

Under normal circumstances, I know to do that. But in the midst of momentary chaos, apparently my mind takes a leave of absence.

Guess I’m still learning! Aren’t we all?

And isn’t that the joy of living? So much still to learn 🙂

Sailing, sailing...

Sailing, sailing…