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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.

We are all equal

Air travel makes travellers sick. If my personal health were used in support of this thesis, it would be irrefutably proven.

I can't remember a flight I have taken where I didn't get sick and my recent all-night marathon from Dawson City was no exception. I was struck down with fever, coughing, a nose like Niagara Falls, sneezing with great frequency, and every joint in my body seemed to be providing further evidence with pained conviction.

My response: I will never fly again.

Always answer with 'not yet'

Can I change? Can any of us change?

Carol Dweck says we can, and I'm inclined to agree with her after reading her thoughts on “Growth Mindset.” Her work is changing how we teach children and how they learn, but its principles can be applied to any of us, school age or not.

So maybe there is hope for me because after spending four months in the Yukon on my own, I'm acutely aware of some personal traits I wouldn't mind discarding—or perhaps a better way of looking at it would be acquiring new traits.

Find your own 'gold'

When these words find their way into the Fort Frances Times on Dec. 27, I will be departing Dawson City.

Like so many before me, we come in search of gold in its many forms.

Many courageous and tenacious people set off to find adventure in Dawson City. In 1898, for instance, more than 100,000 set out in search of gold, with less than half able to complete the arduous journey and only a few found gold that year—and many didn't even look.

The Gold Rush was like a war, said Pierre Berton. “Those who survived it were ennobled.”

The promise of Christmas is 'hope'

What do you find inside the silence, in the dark, nestled there, out of harm's way, safe from the chaos of being alive?

You find the soft under-belly of who you are.

I ache for the silence this time of year; the still sense of peace that often gets lost in the holiday flurry—the flurry that the season has come to demand of us as we get swept up in finding the perfect gift, cooking the perfect meal, decorating the tree to become a work of art.

Helping others is a privilege

“We are all cells in the same body of humanity” ~ Peace Pilgrim

I watched a film on Netflix the other day as I hid under a blanket with my hot water bottle in an attempt to keep warm with the minus-40 temperature hurling around outdoors.

The film's title is “I, Daniel Blake.” The setting is north of London in Great Britain but it could be anywhere.

Many are listening, Garnet

I was thinking of heroes the other day while I was walking in the snow and the minus-38 C temperatures.

“Mighty Mouse” was important when I was little. He was a good guy, as most flying mice tend to be. He was always ready to save the day; he even said so in his theme song, if you remember.

Tonto and the Lone Ranger qualified as heroes, if for no other reason than the fact that a horse was their preferred mode of transportation and I so desperately wanted a horse like “Scout” (Tonto's horse).

Give your kids the gift of time

It is my father's birthday today (Nov. 29). I loved that we shared the same day number for our birthdays, as though that made our connection greater; that only he and I could understand.

I miss him and I think of him every single day. I wish we could sit together and remember, and look ahead and talk about the now, this moment, and not worry about what has happened and not fret about what might be, but truly connect in the present.

I'm not sure I'm very good at that.

Dust yourselves off

So many difficult stories flood the news today and many of them threaten our sense of well-being, or at the very least muddle our perception of who we are as members of a community, as Canadians.

As with most ostriches, I turn the television off and cringe and hope things will be different for my grandchildren.

Hoping is a lovely sentiment but is not actually participating in a remedy for those things that lead us into the darkness. But conversation helps. Listening helps.

Enjoying the lively music of Beòlach

I came all the way from Wolfville, N.S. to Dawson City, Yukon, travelled the 7,392 km, to hear the extraordinary music of Beòlach, a multi-talented group performing the magic of Cape Breton music.

I didn't come all that way just for the music, of course. But had that been the reason, it would have been well worth the trip.

I think it's rather comical that I came from Nova Scotia to hear Cape Breton music in the Yukon Territories. “That's ironic,” a few people said to me at the concert last week (I was wearing my Nova Scotia sweatshirt, just because).

Until we meet again, Annie

I heard this morning, as I write this on Oct. 29, that one of the most precious people in my life has gone.

I scarcely can imagine the sun will continue to shine without Annie Lahti; that spring will ever come again and that I will find my way home.

I write this for her.

Dear Annie:

I would have sat at your bedside these last weeks had I been able; had I been allowed to abandon my post in the Yukon. I would have held your hand, whispered my favourite stories—stories of you.