happiness

Little kindness

We spent the afternoon down at the creek. This is one of my all time favourite things to do. I wait all year until it’s once again creek season – which here can last a week or two months depending on how Mother Nature is feeling. 

I consider it such a blessing that my kids are able to spend part of their childhood living this life of freedom and family. They are thriving while learning what it means to be part of this family and part of this community. 


On our way back home we passed our neighbour and the kind soul who lets us swim at his spot on the creek. We were driving up to the gate and he dropped what he was doing and ran over to get the gate for us so we didn’t have to get out. 

These simple acts of kindness are so fantastic. Think how great our world would be if we all went a little out of our way to be extra kind to our neighbours. He did it with a smile and made us all feel so happy to have encountered him. It made me realize I want to focus more on bringing smiles to those around me. I am in a pretty happy place right now – why not share that bliss? A happiness moment that can be shared. 

We drove through an amazing rainbow this afternoon leaving Cochrane. A powerful reminder of God’s promise to us. 

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happiness

After the storm 

I drove through an intense rain/hail storm this afternoon on my way into Cochrane. For a while I couldn’t even see the wipers on the other side of the windshield. Fortunately I got to my destination safely (albeit a little late) and picked up some girls eager to start their summer vacation. 

Jenna is having an end of the year sleepover with 3 of her girlfriends. I am so happy for her that she has finally reached that point in being settled here that she has begun the  formation of her own tribe. 

On the way home we drove through the hay valley and pulled over to see how much damage there was from the hail. It was like driving in the winter there was so much ice on the ground. 

The girls got out of the car and had an impromptu hail fight on the side of the road. Watching them enjoy themselves in a moment of spontaneous joy was my happiness moment for the day. 

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The change room. 

I have a love/hate relationship with Dad’s change room. When I walk in there it’s like time has been suspended. All of his things are still there – waiting for him to come use them. Well, except for the fact that some of his ashes are also there. That kind of ruins my fantasy that everything is normal. 

I like to go into his room and talk to him. It makes me feel safe and feel close to him. After I’m done chatting away I always stand and sigh and look around the room. It always seems so strange to me that all his things are still here exactly as they were, but he’s not.  

He wasn’t a man who was all about possessions, but you can’t reach a certain age without collecting a certain amount of stuff. It makes me happy to see his stuff, it breaks my heart to see his stuff. It’s just sitting there waiting for him. 

This morning my mom sent me a poem that described very well how I feel: 

The Sadness of Clothes

 Emily Fragos

When someone dies, the clothes are so sad. They have outlived their usefulness and cannot get warm and full.

You talk to the clothes and explain that he is not coming back as when he showed up immaculately dressed in slacks and plaid jacket and had that beautiful smile on and you’d talk.

You’d go to get something and come back and he’d be gone.

 You explain death to the clothes like that dream.

You tell them how much you miss the spouse and how much you miss the pet with its little winter sweater.

You tell the worn raincoat that if you talk about it, you will finally let grief out. 

The ancients etched the words for battle and victory onto their shields and then they went out and fought to the last breath. 

Words have that kind of power you remind the clothes that remain in the drawer, arms stubbornly folded across the chest, or slung across the backs of chairs,or hanging inside the dark closet.

 Do with us what you will,they faintly sigh, as you close the door on them.

He is gone and no one can tell us where.

 I know they’re just things, but they’re his things and besides memories that’s all we have now. It’s why I love the room and hate that room. So many emotions in there. 
Happiness moment was racing around the yard this afternoon with Jacob watching a tornado drop in and out of the sky. This only ended up being a happiness moment of course because it passed us by. But as soon as we knew we were safe, we had fun watching the storm clouds. This was followed by a trip to town with my cousin for ice cream. Mmmmmm

  

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The thunder rolls, and the lightening strikes….

Earlier this evening I had the unexpected pleasure of being alone in the house. I celebrated by happily enjoying a big ole piece of chocolate cake in front of the TV. Because sometimes such things need to be done. 

Suddenly the house felt like it was lifted up off it’s foundation and then dropped and shaken side to side all the while being completely lit up. Thunder and lightening hitting at exactly the same time. I could feel it right in my heart. I rolled off the couch onto the floor shaking, Ella’s eyes were bugged right out of her head and she was literally climbing the walls screeching rawwwwarrrrr over and over, Dottie was running wildly around the room whining so loud it was like a scream. 

I was lying there thinking what do I do? I’m going to die, what can I do? Oh right – Grandma would be furious with me for being so stupid as to have the TV on. I managed to turn it off and then looked outside to check the buildings. My cousin’s house was ok as was the barn and the other buildings. I tried mom but she was not answering. It was pouring rain by then so I didn’t run outside. The kids called from up at my cousin’s to say they were ok – shaken but ok. So I figured we were fine. 

Fortunately a neighbor was driving by because the lightning struck a fence post at the end of the yard. In the opposite direction of where I had been looking naturally. I was looking at buildings and tall trees – it decided to hit the fence post. The neighbor came in and started putting out the  fire. At the same time my cousin was coming home and saw the smoke. So it was the CL fire truck and fire fighters to the rescue. 

See that person in brown holding the hose? Same cousin I wrote about a few days ago who carried herself so elegantly at the Stampede. If I’m ever in crisis this is a person I want in my corner. 

The CL fire truck.  
 

My happiness moment today: the kids and I went and saw Minions. It was funny but no where near as good as Inside Out. Obviously I’m not used to going to movies in Calgary. The theaters were always almost empty in Roanoke, and they’re also pretty quiet in Cochrane. We walked into the theatre in Crowfoot a half hour before it started (very unusual for us. We usually arrive when they’re playing the commercials) and the only spots left were front row. We sat down in front and I looked back for Jacob – he had plunked down in a solo seat half way down – and a lady about a third of the way up started beckoning to me. She was there alone with four kids – bless her- and she pulled her kids up onto one row – so the 5 of them were sharing 3 seats- and gave us her other seats. I thanked her and we chatted a bit. She was from Cochrane and was waiting out the storm before driving home. This was the afternoon storm, not our electric explosion. 

I realize I get caught up sometimes by the jerk that cuts me off, the person who speaks rudely to me, or any number of other wrongs that can happen. But the world is full of wonderful, kind people and I am so much better to focus on them. Random acts of kindness are like rays of sunshine on a dark day and I’m grateful I got to experience one today. Happiness on a thunder storm day! 

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