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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.

Our creativity can flourish as we age

Someone said to me the other day that she wasn't creative and wished she was.

I thought about that for a minute and then a few days later I heard Lynda Barry, an American cartoonist and educator, speak on CBC Radio about our creativity. We all have creativity within us, waiting and able, should we decide to tap into it.

I love watching my grandchildren create their masterpieces.

A pretend charcuterie

We were hit by the first winter storm last week.

It was a doozy or felt like it, but it was a mere sample of what is yet to come. I know Fort Frances is all too familiar with winter storms and I remember them well from my childhood, though at that time they were exciting rather than burdensome.

My power went out shortly after the heavy wet snow fell.

I trudged out to my shed and dug out the ramp and dragged my generator the thirty feet to the house and fired it up. I had lights and heat and water and was snug as a bug.

My friend, Jim Avis

It was my friend Jim's birthday yesterday.

On the morning of his birthday I like to sit with my coffee and compile my mental list of favourite Jim Avis memories and it invariably results in laughter.

That is the gift that friendship gives us, memories and stories we can relive over and over and no matter how long the days between visits, we are never really far apart.

I try to separate out my favourite memory and it just isn't possible, the list is too long.

Is kindness on the menu?

I like to have breakfast out.

I indulge myself every few weeks with this special kind of treat and though I am quite capable of frying up eggs and bacon at home, it is more about the outing than the food, of being with friends and sharing stories and laughter and sometimes sharing worries and pain.

Since my recent move, my friends and I gather in a small village halfway between us in a little diner.

Ensure your seatbelt is fastened

I know it is a common complaint of mine, a regular sort of whining if you prefer, about air travel.

So here I go again, a warning if you wish to turn the page.

On this particular trip there was the usual cattle-herding, the cramped quarters, my knees up against the seat in front of me, the seat in front of me fully reclined so I couldn't open my table tray, the woman next to me spilling into my seat; all the regular companions of air travel.

What's a nest without a tree?

I was walking my usual walk the other day after a Nor'easter had blown through, its wind stripping the brilliant-coloured leaves from the branches, toppling trees that Hurricane Dorian had loosened and I came upon a small nest lying upright in the middle of my path.

Gracie sniffed at it briefly and then moved on to unearth other discoveries of greater interest to her, while I stood above the nest pondering its message.

Oh, mathematics, I love you

There is an artistic beauty in mathematics that both calms my soul and feeds my enthusiasm.

I don't often share my opinion on the subject of mathematics with those around me, because my words are often met with harsh contrariness.

I love mathematics, truly love it, and I cannot remember ever having not loved mathematics.

“The study of mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness, but ends in magnificence,” said Charles Caleb Colton sometime in the early 1800s and when I read that quote early on in my education I knew he spoke for me.

It's Hallowe'en, the lamps are lit and . . .

I remember when Hallowe'en was a big deal, before I worried about my teeth or my children's teeth, before I was aware of the not-so-nice people who tampered with candy to do harm.

When I was growing up, our costumes were usually created from something we found around the house, except for a skeleton costume that was handed down like a family heirloom, a right of passage.

It was made of a black scratchy fabric, like no fabric I have come across since, and which had no give to it whatsoever.

What's in a car?

I don't think I have ever had a ride in a convertible.

Don't worry, it's not on my list of regrets nor is it on my bucket list.

Technically, I sat on the back of the backseat of a convertible at the Emo Fair when I was 14. I somehow don't think that counts.

I was Miss Devlin-Crozier Calf Club, a candidate for Queen of the Fair, which is almost laughable on so many levels, aside of being one of the only girls in the club.

First of all, I couldn't be counted on to even comb my hair on a regular basis and somehow that seems like very un-queenly behavior.

We're all a little odd, aren't we?

I haven't always known myself very well.

For some of us, it takes a lifetime to figure out the intricacies of who we are, but for many years I have known I cannot listen to call-in radio programs.

I've tried, many times, especially where I might garner some various perspectives on a subject I am curious about. But my skin begins to crawl, my breathing gets choppy, I fidget.

It is a visceral reaction to whatever is at play. It sounds ridiculous even to me.