What a Beautiful Morning!

IMG_20180805_084205.jpgOh what a beautiful morning! I woke up to the best possible news…a child has been born. My child’s child. My grandson.

The birth of any child is a miracle. When it is within your own family, your heart expands even wider with love to welcome this newest member into the fold.

Such joy! And heartfelt thanks for the safe and healthy delivery of this precious being into the world.

And so today, I offer this blessing to my new grandchild, and all other children in the world.

“May joy and peace surround you,

Contentment latch your door,

And happiness be with you now,

And bless you ever more.”

(Irish blessing)

 

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Post Navigandum

After any big event, there’s the letdown. So much energy has gone into planning and anticipating, the experience flies by in moments, and then…?

I don’t think we realized how many major life transitions we were going through in the months prior to the sailing trip. We sold our apartment and almost all the furniture, gave away books, paintings, clothing, and dishes, we both retired, and in the midst of it all, we were planning our grand sailing expedition.

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The weekend before the sale of the apartment closed, we made one more trip to the new place (about 400 km or 250 miles one way), the car jammed with boxes. Then there was one more trip to drop the car at the new marina so it would be waiting for us at the end of the trip, and a train/bus ride back to the marina where we would start our travels.

So lots to organize. Lots on our minds.

Now, the sail is history, part of our personal lore. We’ve had a few days to settle in to our home. And the question that keeps coming up is “Now what?”

The reality of being retired is starting to hit. There are no deadlines, schedules or routines  (even on the boat we had routines). We can do what we want, when we want, and while that’s a novel experience, it is going to take some getting used to.

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Friends who have already retired warned me that it’s an adjustment. I now recognize that, in spite of all the other changes we’ve gone through in the past month, retirement may be the biggest transition yet.

So far, we’ve been doing a lot of puttering, watching waves and clouds from different vantage points, and snapping photos of birds and butterflies.

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Hey, maybe it won’t be so hard after all!

 

Joy, Magic and Wind

Yesterday I didn’t post because so much happened. It was a fun day with much unexpected pleasure.

Belleville has an extensive bike trail system. Part of it runs along the lake and another along the Moira River, parallel to the main Street in downtown.

We followed the bike trail along the lake to the grocery store, past beautiful gardens, winding paths around lily ponds, and benches tucked under shade trees. On the way back, we stopped for ice cream.

Later in the afternoon and again in the evening for supper, we took the path along the Moira River, under overpasses, past ornamental grasses and tiger lilies, and over a cobblestone walkway into the heart of the town.

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Last night, we had the unexpected pleasure of being invited to sail on a dinghy – an international class 420 dinghy to be exact. It is quite a different experience from our boat. It’s small, basic in structure and very responsive to the wind. It was a lot of fun.

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And before bed, we were treated to an impromptu concert. One of our new sailing friends sang Celtic songs while her husband played the guitar. To hear such lilting music as against the backdrop of moon and stars was pure magic.

Today was our longest day yet – about six hours en route. The wind was strong so we did get about 3 hours of sailing in, but it was coming almost straight at us so we had to tack a lot. Tacking is like zigzagging up a bay – much slower than going in a straight line. Eventually the winds became so strong, gusty and unpredictable that we decided to take down the sails and motor in order to reach our destination for the day.

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Tonight, we’re close to Picton, anchored off an island in a small bay.

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And tomorrow? We’ll see!

Rain Day

Into every adventure, a little rain must fall. We deliberately chose to stay put today because of the forecast. We did get some thunder and lightning this morning and it rained on and off, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our rest day.

It was a good opportunity to do some needed repairs and cleaning. The speaker in the cockpit has been getting quieter so we took it apart today. It turns out that it’s falling apart inside. Time for a new one. Our marine radio still works but we can only hear it from inside the cabin at the moment. When sailing, you need to be able to hear the calls from the coast guard and other boats, warnings about freighters coming in to a harbour, and weather updates, so getting a new speaker is top in the list at our next stop.

The ice chest had developed a rank odour so it had to be thoroughly emptied and cleaned.

But it wasn’t all work and no play! There was time for an afternoon nap and…a swim in the pool at the clubhouse. Priorities 😊

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Connections

One thing I enjoy about travelling is all the interesting people you meet along the way. Whenever we tie up at a new marina, we chat with the “neighbours”. People are usually friendly and welcoming and curious to know where you’ve come from.

However, it’s not just about the people. As you can see in the two photos, we made friends with a few other creatures.

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The duck sat for a long time on the wall beside our boat yesterday and waddled back through the grass today to keep us company.

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And today, this butterfly landed repeatedly on our legs aad feet while we were sitting in the cockpit having lunch.

You never know who…or what…you will meet when you’re on an adventure!

 

Play Day

All adventures need some quiet time built in. Today was a play day for us. We spent some time ashore (ice cream was a big hit!) And sailed for a few hours in the bay just for fun.

There were several sailboat races going on at the time (small one-person boats) so it was an interesting challenge to get a good sail in while staying out of the way of the racers. At one point we sailed alongside a docked lake freighter and waved at the crew way, way, way, way above us.

We’re anchored in the cove again tonight. About six snowy egret did grace us with their presence just after sunset last night. So we are settled in a bit closer to their nightly perch, waiting for them to soar over the horizon in the orange glow of dusk to roost for the night.

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A Birth Day – September 24, 2017

A child is born.

My child’s child…my granddaughter.

She is precious and beautiful, as are all children. And a joy to behold.

Each child is a miracle – a miracle that takes your breath away, brings you to tears, and fills you with unspeakable awe.

For her, and all the children in the world, I offer this blessing:

May you know peace,

May you have joy in your heart,

May you be surrounded by love and laughter,

and may you always feel at home in this world

no matter where your journey takes you.

Welcome to the world, little one!

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Sunrise on September 24, 2017

 

Joy Is All Around

Have you ever been surprised by joy? Picture yourself loading up a canoe with folding chairs and a picnic, and paddling off to a small island.

You arrive, unload the canoe, and set up your chairs. Lo and behold…attached to one of the folding chairs is the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly!

Just look at the perfection, and the detail, the tiny decorations of gold on the soft green. Only in nature can you find such beauty and magic. And be moved to tears of joy at the wonder of it all.

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The perfect design of a Monarch’s chrysalis ~ photo by Julie Wise

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
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Into The Woods…photo by Julie Wise

And I’m Back!

I haven’t posted here for a while, although that doesn’t mean I haven’t been out there finding joy 🙂

Last night, for example, a friend and I went to a Paint Nite, an event where a group of people spend a couple of hours painting, guided by an artist. We all work on the same picture although we have our own canvases. It was a lot of fun.

I used to paint with watercolours but I’ve never tried other media. We worked with acrylics which, to my delight, are far more forgiving and easy to work with than watercolours!

And here’s my “masterpiece”.

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Desert Night ~ by Julie Wise

What matters to me most is that we had fun – no pressure and lots of laughter. Definitely a night to remember!