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Wendi Stewart - Wendi with an 'eye'

Wendi lives in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, but the farm on Rainy River in Crozier will always be her home. MEADOWLARK, her debut novel released September 15, is published by NeWest Press of Edmonton. She is the mother of four daughters who did the unforgivable: they grew up.

Reasons why I shouldn’t travel

Travel isn’t the best colour on me.

I don’t mind the airports because I enjoy watching people. I immediately conjure up stories for the sad or vacant face, for the muddy shoes beneath the well-pressed suit, for the madness behind women walking in shoes that resemble stilts.

I’ve noticed that very few faces rest with a smile posed, but rather tend toward a blank or even severe resting face, when we are lost in thought or concentrating on getting to where we are going.

Spring is season of surprises

I like surprises, the good kind—like the toy inside the pink elephant popcorn box or a bouquet of yellow and orange balloons—but not the kind of surprise like popping an inflated paper bag behind me or jumping out from behind the couch to scare me.

I like happy surprises.

Spring is the season of surprises. Before the snow hardly has gone the crocuses bravely are pushing through the frost and soil—the first colour we’ve seen in many months.

We point and smile and nod our head knowingly at winter, bidding it a grateful goodbye.

Grab each day

I was reading Dr. Seuss the other day, looking for the meaning of life or, at the very least, looking for words that would help me understand life with a little more ease—a tall order on some days.

Dr. Seuss wrote: Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

That very well may be true for a lot of moments, but I knew the moment I met Albert (Al) Ward that he was a special kind of person—and I wanted to pull my chair up close to his and hear what he had to say.

Happy birthday wishes to Ken

It is my birthday on Friday (April 29). As I write this, another year has gone, slipped away overnight never to be retrieved, and I find myself remembering birthdays past (as I am inclined to do), where I wander around in my memory searching in corners for treasured moments.

Birthdays that included new skipping ropes and marbles and baseball gloves, a blue CCM bike with white streamers on the handlebars from Don Law’s hardware store when I was 10, a pony, and ishgy-gishgy cake that became the symbol of birthdays for all time for me.

Thanks for wishing me more

I have a new favourite book. I stumbled upon it while visiting Linden.

I encouraged him, on to my knee, to help me read this fine story with the beautiful illustrations.

We shared the message of this book over and over, and I will never tire of the thoughts that Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld put on the page.

Finding our way ‘home’

My heart has been busy with a bit of longing lately and I’m wondering from where that comes.

If I could describe the ache, I would have to say I am homesick, but I’m here in my home so how is that possible?

Some years ago, I came upon the Welsh word “hiraeth” when I was searching for a prefix for my Welsh ponies. I settled instead on “plentyn,” which translates quite simply to “child”—an obvious good fit for my childhood dreams of Welsh ponies, my Plentyn Ponies.

But “hiraeth” stuck with me and became a fixture in my book of words; words that I cherish.

The frogs are still singing for me

The frogs were singing in my pond last week—despite the chilly temperatures and frigid wind.

They were singing with their big voices; a whole choir, one trying to outdo the other.

“Listen to me,” one croaked. “No, me,” croaked another. It is the official song of spring, even though Mother Nature is displaying her hesitation to declare winter over.

Not easy being two

“Kermit” told us it wasn’t easy being green, but it’s even more not easy being two (if you’ll pardon my grammar).

Perhaps that is why we have little memory of being two when we reach my age, though I must confess a lot of things fall into the category of “forgotten” these days.

I spent Easter with Linden, and he and his mother and me went on a happy adventure. There were moments when Linden made it perfectly clear I was encroaching on his mommy-time and he wasn’t exactly on board for that.

‘Dancing Sam’ an amazing teen

Many of you will have heard of Sam, the dancing Starbucks’ barista from Toronto.

He is a YouTube sensation, has appeared on “Ellen,” and made the CBC News, as well as news coverage around the globe.

He is an amazing young man. But the truth is he was an amazing young man before he gained celebrity status.

You see, Sam is 17 and he has autism.

But the story is a happy one. Sam, together with his Starbucks’ manager, created dance moves that would smooth out the jerky symptoms that autism inflicts on Sam’s body.

Writing out truth

Pat Conroy has died.

He was a writer who had “great command of the language of the heart,” having penned many books, including “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini,” and always writing the truth of life where childhood is fraught with parents who do harm.

He wrote and wrote, and continued to write, about a past that wounded him—hoping to find some understanding in the violence he experienced at the hand of his father.

Conroy said he wore the wounds of his past “on my back like the carapace of a tortoise, except my shell burdens and does not protect.”