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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.

The water of Northwestern Ontario

The lakes of Northwestern Ontario have the power to restore a soul.

And if scientists should test that hypothesis, they would concur—and it would be documented and written up in medical journals and the like, and everyone would know what Fort Frances residents (and those in surrounding communities) have known for a very long time; forever, in fact.

It is the water that calls us home.

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a couple of days with my precious “old” friend in Red Lake, where we spent time on the water.

Shifting my celebration

I was recalling memorable Canada Day moments from my past, from childhood.

The July 1 parade always was a big deal and as a family, we came to town to join the throng lining the streets to see the floats and horses and kiddies, as well as those tossing candy to us from inside old and different vehicles.

We also lined up for tiny tubs of ice cream with wooden spoons from the dairy.

I rode in the parade the year I was 10 with my brand new CCM bike from Law's Hardware. I wound red and white and blue streamers through the spokes.

Learning the art of relaxing

I'm trying to teach myself the art of relaxing; to live in the moment.

It is an acquired skill for me, doesn't fall under my list of natural talents the way eating at the speed of light seemed to jump on to the list with no effort on my part.

It's an old-dog, new-trick sort of thing, I suspect, but certainly worth a try.

I relish opening my arms to time

I'm well aware I have passed my “best before date,” though I'm not exactly certain when that happened.

I still, with surprising frequency, wander around feeling unchanged from my 20-something self. But when I least expect it, my reflection in a mirror or window changes all that.

When I glance at the current version of myself, I'm surprised—not in a birthday party kind of way, where those I love jump out from behind the sofa, but more of a someone broke an inflated balloon behind me kind of way.

Come sit with me a while

When I was little, I desperately wanted a house with a veranda—the kind of veranda that wrapped around the house like a giant hug, keeping everyone safe. You know, an inviting place to spend time.

I imagined sitting in a large wicker chair or in a big swing, or maybe a soft, enveloping hammock, while sipping lemonade and waving to neighbours as they strolled past.

“How are the grandkids, Janey,” I'd shout, waving my arm over my head like I'm flagging down a train.

Mother and child

Mother's Day has just passed and I now have a new self-propelled, lightweight, battery-powered lawnmower in my shed in honour of being a mother.

I can't wait to give it a go when the rain stops.

I look forward to not dragging and pushing the old Toro around, whose air filter fell off last year just in time for me to drive over it and watch the mower's blades tear it apart and spit it out the side.

Oops. Good riddance, I say.

Time to tackle all that waste

To say I find the number of those living on the street in this country, in any country, alarming and upsetting seems an obvious statement to make and somewhat trite.

I heard someone in political authority once say there is no solution to poverty; that poverty begets poverty. I think the latter part of that statement is true. How does one break from the chains of poverty when the weight of life is so very heavy, the opportunities so limited?