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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.

Decency is all around us

In light of what is going on in the world, I have the distinct urge to crawl under the bed and live out my life oblivious to mass shootings, animal cruelty, voters who have forgotten the children, and governments that have misplaced their humanity.

But if I am under the bed, then I become part of the problem rather than a participant in the solution.

When I hear the endless “bad” news on the radio, on television, and in newspapers, I first cringe and wince and try to block out the sound, then ready myself to run for cover.

Some fashion sense

I give myself no credit for having any fashion sense, and I should qualify said confession with an I could not possibly care any less.

I’ve had such a steady diet of jeans and sweatshirts that when I do emerge in a dress or other garment from that category, I feel very much a fraud.

When I wear high heels, it creates great cause for laughter for those around me; my feet shouting out in protest.

We only pass this way once and I can’t quite get my head around the rationale behind wearing heels on this one-way trip.

Spring is nature’s finest hour

Spring is a great time of year; it may very well be the most expressive season.

It’s certainly the most hopeful despite spring’s tardiness, besides its awakening of biting insects and crawling vermin that may very well desecrate the trees and their leaves.

But for now, in this moment, Mother Nature is celebrating one of her most beautiful displays of wonder. Perhaps spring is her finest hour.

What I wish I had taught

I doubt very much if there is a mother on Earth who doesn’t think from time to time, if not regularly, that she could have done a better job at parenting.

I know I wish I had done better.

After spending time with my four daughters and celebrating the wonder that they are, the people they have become despite my flaws and missteps, I am reminded of what I wish I had taught them.

Saying good-bye to my mother

My family and I celebrated my mother’s life on May 17.

Family and friends gathered together in one place—each of us taking our last steps with my mother; remembering her bright light, remembering her smile and her enthusiasm.

I think the celebration of my mother’s life was perfect, as perfect as saying good-bye to someone you love can ever be.

Not all soups are created equal

Everyone likes soup. Right? Well, not everyone, it turns out, but I’ll get to that later.

Personally, I love a bowl of soup on a cold, rainy day—soup that gets into your cells and warms you up from the inside out.

But not all soups. Oh my, no. There are soup rules.

I don’t care for vegetable soup; Campbell’s did me in for vegetable soup when I was a kid (the lima beans got to me).

The power of protest

I protested almost a year ago, on May 25, 2013. And I plan to protest again this year.

I had made my placards, laminated them in case of rain, and stood with more than 500 others clad in raincoats, holding umbrellas, or wrapped in plastic under the threatening sky.

I read clever slogans and wished I had thought of them, and was deeply moved by so many of all ages gathering to express their concerns, their fears, and their anger.

Memories of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a day when I feel more like a daughter than a mother.

This marks the first Mother’s Day without my own mother. Despite her not knowing me for more Mother’s Days than I care to count, it feels strange to know that remembering her this year will take on a new feel; a new reality since her death this past October.

I like to remember all that my mother was rather than what she wasn’t; what Alzheimer’s stole from her a bit at time at first and then seemed to gallop off with the rest of her.

Can’t kick my love of bread

I don’t have many vices, just a few really.

Running shoes. Sweatshirts. Storage containers. To name a few. Not that many.

I don’t smoke. I only pretend to drink, having a glass of wine every now and then. I don’t steal cars and go on joy rides, or sell them off for parts.

I also don’t play knock-off-Ginger. Well, not anymore; not since the time I got caught when I was eight—my first and last adventure into being a juvenile delinquent.

Wishing time would slow down

I recently watched a video created by a Dutch father that captured his daughter’s first 14 years in slightly more than four minutes of continuous images of her developing face.

The video appears on Facebook and has done the rounds, I would suspect.

The idea is a fascinating one—one I wish I had thought of. But the watching of the video made me feel very sad. The truth is time passes much too quickly and this video heightened my awareness of that fact.