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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.

A Laugh Will Help

I sometimes, okay often, actually just a hair above always, beat myself up about my introvertedness. I don't think that's a word; it should be. I wilt in friendly gatherings. I have no genetic predisposition for small talk. I struggle to breathe in large crowds. Turns out, I was just in training my whole life for a battle with the coronavirus. I'm very busy patting myself on the back.

Keeping On

I was reading the words of wise women today in honour of International Women's Day, March 8 as I sit with pen and paper to record my thoughts. The internationally recognized day has mostly been a day of celebration, though the day has been marked with protests demanding positive change and for the focus on equality to be strengthened. March 8 has been the designated day since 1914. The United Nations didn't climb on the bandwagon until 1975.

Let's Call The Game

I know I don't speak for everyone and perhaps it is quite likely that I speak for very few, but some will agree with me when I say I'm not a real fan of winter. I used to be. I suppose every kid on the planet would be a fan of winter given the choice. I played outside until I could no longer feel my toes and fingertips, until my eye lashes were frozen to my cheeks. I built snow forts and swam in the snow the entire length of our long lane, practicing my imagined front crawl in the snow along the snow fence, snow that resembled, in my mind, the ocean.

Dianne Deeds

The expression “it takes a village to raise a child" has always been true, but recently I was reminded that it takes a child to show us what truly matters. My six-year-old grandson has "lost” someone very precious to him. Linden didn't misplace his special friend; she didn't move away and not tell him. She died, suddenly though not easily, understandably but unexpectedly. It seemed to happen so fast, as death tends to do, leaving us unprepared. Her passing has been Linden's introduction to grief, that first difficult lesson of what life is all about.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Be careful what you wish for, was a common recitation of my mother's while I was growing up. She also said bad luck was as easy to find as good, so hope or ask for neither. I was thinking this morning of her stance on too much of a good thing while I was locked in a morning sneeze. I love a good sneeze, my eyes closed, the uncontrollable reflex welling up and filling my eyes until it is all released in a single achoo. A sneeze always seems like a good deal of fun to me.

His Legacy

I find myself, this morning as I sit at my desk, thinking about those people who helped shape my character when I was growing up. Not the idols whose pictures I taped to my bedroom walls. Not the athletes who inspired me to run faster and jump higher. Not the movie stars whose imaginary characters made me swoon, but those men and women who led by example, who quietly went about their day-to-day lives, their decency and integrity leaving a swath of goodness for those of us coming behind to follow.

What's in a cookie

I love oatmeal. It speaks to childhood and grandparents and all manner of remembering. I had oatmeal this very morning for breakfast. It's a happy start to my day. This wasn't so much a bowl of oatmeal; the method of cooking differed slightly. Instead of boiling it on the stove, it was baked in the oven in a shape roughly resembling what you might call a cookie. I didn't exactly need a spoon to eat this version of porridge, but I did have milk with it. It had oatmeal and eggs and chocolate chips, a bit of flour and sugar.

Who will evoke change?

I was reading, the other day, about Mary Wollstonecraft, a British novelist. She was considered radical in her time, leading the way in what we would later call feminism, but her views at that time had no title other than madness.

“I do not wish [women] to have power over men; but over themselves,” she wrote.


I was reading over the holidays about a Christmas tradition in Iceland and though we have packed away our decorations and memories for another year, I couldn't help be fascinated and envious of Iceland's idea. It is called Jolabokaflod, which means, to you and I, “Christmas book flood” or the exchange of books on Christmas Eve. The Icelandic people settle in on the night before Christmas, under a warm blanket, in their favourite chair by the fire and open their gift of a book and read the night away. I can't imagine anything more delicious to all the senses.