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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.

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.

Let me remember

I am grateful for Darce Fardy.

Is he an acquaintance of yours? A friend? If so, you are the better for it.

Darce Fardy is a former CBC journalist. Let me rephrase that. I would declare that when we write, we write until we no longer can hold a pen, so I would rearrange the words in my earlier statement with a slight adjustment.

Darce Fardy is a journalist, who formerly wrote for the CBC.

Mr. Fardy has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (dementia he calls it), and he has decided to share his thoughts and experience until he no longer can.

Animals don’t belong in captivity

I took my children to Marineland in Niagara Falls when Aimee and Samantha were little.

We watched the orcas and the dolphins do their circus act, and we got wet when a huge wave washed over the aquarium wall.

We laughed and were amazed by the romance of these intelligent animals, and wished we had one of our very own; that we could dive into a pool and be one with these intelligent animals.

After they’ve gone

I usually don’t tune in to watch the Academy Awards.

I sometimes take a peek at the red carpet gong show, and every now and then I watch the opening montage—except last year’s Seth MacFarlane and his particular brand of bullying in the name of entertainment turned me off completely and I vowed never to tune in again.

However, this year I knew Ellen would add a spirit of fun and she didn’t disappoint me.