You are here

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.

So just who is minding the baby?

The prime minister of New Zealand has just gone on maternity leave, and something about that warms and calms me.

Jacinda Ardern, at age 37 the youngest female government head in the world, has a team in place who will help her do her job. But no doubt the time she will take to allow her body to recover from the rigours of pregnancy and labour and delivery, and for her infant to find her rhythm in a world outside her mother's body, won't be adequate.

Secret to true happiness

When we are young, we think many “things” will be the answer to our pursuit of happiness. A new bike, our first car, cool glasses (though when I first started wearing glasses at age 13, there was not a single thing cool about them, no matter the colour or shape).

I have adorned my face with some of the most hideous frames ever made over the 50 years I've been peering through eyeglasses to get a clearer look at life and though there were moments when I thought I might look cool, or cool-ish, I assure you I didn't.

Libraries are a place of sanctuary

I have written about libraries a few times in my last 524 columns, 385 of which have been printed here. But who's counting? I guess I am.

Libraries are the past and the future, and everything in between.

I was at the Kentville Public Library one morning last week, doing some writing while my car was being repaired, hoping the bill will match the small amount I budgeted for—money I set aside for such annoying distractions as car repairs and tooth decay.

I would much rather spend my money on running shoes and new pens and pencil sharpeners.

How well does your garden grow?

I went a little crazy with my pre-gardening plans this year. I've started seeds and no longer have a spare room. That room now is a seedling nursery, with the bed and a table covered with little pots housing plants of every variety in excessive numbers.

It's a bit like an all-you-can-eat buffet, where the eyes are bigger than the stomach and it is feared this may very well be the last available meal, ever, so the plate is piled high, too high. And as you walk to the car, your belly groaning and complaining, you ask yourself, “What was I thinking?”

Maybe trains are the way to go

If you get the chance to escape the winter next season for a warm clime and Sunwing is in charge, I suggest you forego the opportunity.

My daughter returned from a Sunwing Vacation some 15 days ago (while I am writing this) with her husband and two small children. Their expensive stroller and luggage vanished somewhere between Cuba and Toronto—jettisoned, perhaps, over the Atlantic to save on fuel.

As misery loves company, there is a very long list of sun-seeking travellers in the same boat, so to speak, though a boat might have been the better option for mode of travel.

I fell but got back up

We often hear the advice from others as the calendar turns over at our birthday—marking another year having galloped into the great abyss, out of sight.

“You're not getting any younger.” Not exactly a revelation like the splitting of the atom or landing on the moon or the discovery of insulin.

My body is more aware of that fact than I am, oftentimes complaining into the wee hours of the night, in a language that doesn't always translate well, whining about the various injuries, mostly from falls from horses.

The wisdom of a bear named 'Pooh'

My father called me Winnie Pooh when I was little, dropping the “the” so as not to be accused of violating copyright laws (I'm sure that was the reason).

When I re-read the letters he wrote to me just before he died, letters I've read at least a hundred times, he started each one with “Dear Pooh,” simplifying the name even more and willingly copying the habit of those referring to Winnie the Pooh.

The true beauty of friendship

Friendship is like a secret hide-out; the kind of place I imagined as a child to escape to from nightmares, to run away from disappointment—a place where I was completely perfect with all my flaws, some of them more noticeable than others.

My height was a flaw when I was young. I was short—the shortest in my class with the other Wendy, Wendy Cross. We were positioned on the ends of the first row for school class pictures year after year, as if we were place-holders to keep the row from toppling over or running off.

Let's all go for a car ride

Just the other day I was remembering Sunday drives from my childhood—the whole family piled into the car, only a brief argument about who got stuck in the middle. Me. The burden of being the youngest.

Erma Bombeck said never have more children than you have car windows. She was right.

Sometimes those drives would be quiet, everyone lost in their own thoughts, and other times the conversation was lively—stories spilling, one into another; everyone having a chance to be heard.

For Will and his family

I was thinking of what it means to be part of a community—a community who has known you since you were little; when they saw you on the street and were surprised at how you'd changed, how you'd grown, how you can ride a bike, drive a car, get a job.

I think when we are young, we maybe take the idea of community for granted. We feel the burden of the ordinary, wanting at some point to fly, fly alone and shed who we were to get a glimpse of who we might be.

Community can know our stories before we do, putting their own spin on the facts at times.