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Beth Caldwell - The View From Here

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Positive change starts with you

So goes the Universe—ebbing and flowing over our lives, swirling experiences produced of free will mixed with an unfolding set plan we often do not understand.

Or so I believe, anyway.

Many of us remain stuck in old ways that aren’t working for us, yet we are unwilling to change the one thing that would change everything.

We question what our heart tells us and keep doing what we’ve always done because it is grossly familiar and the unknown is a scary place.

Pay attention to your intuition. Follow it. It speaks the truth.

Or so I believe, anyway.

An unforgettable moment on ice

Ice-fishing. Ever since I tried it for the first time two years ago, the sport has remained my #1 favourite pastime of the winter season.

I’ve spent countless blocks of time in the fishing tackle aisle at local hardware stores—reading package specs of small bait hooks and trying out ice-fishing rod and reel sets that beg to be rescued from the store shelf and put to work on landing the big one.

I’ve watched YouTube videos on how to tie fishing knots and how to spool a spinning reel, and I’ve joined the ranks of ice-fishing websites.

Feline capers good for a laugh

My cats know the exact moment that the dogs leave my house for their trip home.

Up the stairs from the basement they barrel like steaming locomotives to form a synchronized three-abreast perch on the porch windowsill, where they watch attentively as their canine nemeses jump into the cab of my boyfriend’s truck.

After the truck leaves the driveway, the cats pile three-high—with eyes as big as saucers—in front of the kitchen door and clamour to get in before one of the dogs shows up again.

It’s hilarious.

Living ‘one day at a time’

I don’t know what to write about today. Okay, yes, maybe I do, although I’m not really sure which emotion to feed.

Okay, yes, I do. I need to feed them both.

I am content and melancholy, happy and yet somewhat sorrow-filled, mostly healed and yet reminded in a New York minute of the loved one who left more questions than even a year or four—or I so fear a lifetime of magical thinking—will ever satisfy the souls of the survivors.

Say, what’s that up ahead?

I finished my gift shopping two days before Christmas and on the evening of Dec. 23, I wrapped presents like the dickens.

At 9 a.m. on Christmas Eve, I started my holiday baking. But despite my best efforts, only my world-famous butter tarts and homemade chocolate truffles rolled off the assembly line.

I’m a super woman but I just didn’t have my super power battery pack on that day. The “best-ever” fudge, coconut macaroons, sugar cookies, rocky road, and magic cookie bars did not make it from recipe to table.

My own merry little Christmas story

“What if I choose not to believe?”

It’s a line from one of my favourite movies of the holiday season, “The Santa Clause.”

I’ve always believed in the power of mystery and magic, and the older I get, the more I understand that my attitude towards everything really is everything.

I have an old rotary dial telephone in my kitchen—not wired in but yet a direct line to the North Pole. No “elf on the shelf” in my house. I’m the elf.

I can call the big guy in the red suit at any given hour on any given day and have a heart-to-heart.

Goldfish looking pretty good

One minute I was having the best of dreams and the next, my eyelids dragged themselves up off my eyeballs to reveal the night—black as the inside of a cow.

I looked at the clock. It was 2:30 a.m. The soft jingle of a Christmas bell rolling across the floor pulled my carcass to a sitting position.

I listened. The bell rolled along, bumping into static objects, where it stopped jingling until a kitten paw knocked it back across the floor. I flat-stared the darkness.

My slant and rant

At the end of my fingertips, every day, there is a story. I see, I feel, I think, I write.

I could take the next 500 words to expound on what I feel about the media’s obsession with terrorism. I could take the next 510 words to paint a picture of what I think about the business of racial profiling that I see every single day in the news—when the media giants decide what is the most important story.

Little boat built story

Today (Dec. 2) marks two months since my sailboat was pulled off the lake for the winter.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I was on the water with that little blue-hulled beauty, yet memories of sailing her across the bay to meet up with friends at a favourite anchorage on a warm, sunny afternoon were recorded in my diary back on Sept. 27.

I wonder if “Scout” misses me—landlocked in the backyard under layers of blue tarps and a skiff of snow, frozen where she sits.

She had helped build a bolder “me” this past summer. I learned to trust and lean in and let go.

For the love of dogs, and teachers like you

No word of a lie, it was indeed an interesting week.

I’m now on a doggie hiatus, having been relieved of my duties by “Mr. P,” who returned from the north just in time to save me from “Little Miss Goes Berserk.”

And as “Pepe” and “Bear” piled into my boyfriend’s truck and took up their travel positions, a part of me wished the dogs would stay another week, maybe two.

But then I slapped myself across the face—twice—and repeated the words uttered by Cher in the 1987 movie “Moonstruck.”