happiness

Fireweed 

My dad used to take a group of his friends from church out on an annual wildflower walk in Kananaskis. He was an expert in knowing the names and legends of the local wildflowers. The group organized a walk today in his memory. It was beautiful and a wonderful way to honor him. 

Yellow lady slipper

Paintbrush

My favorite, the wood lily

The boys. My dad used to love teaching them about flowers and photography. 


One of the ladies came to me and asked if I knew the name of a certain flower they were looking at. I didn’t but I was so tempted to answer fireweed. It made me laugh and cry inside at the same time.  When dad would take me out looking at flowers and we would come across one that he didn’t know the name of, we would both shrug and say fireweed.  

It was a wonderful happiness moment to remember and honor my dad this morning. 

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happiness

I’ll wait for you under the bluebells 

I had a good friend remind me today that love never ends. Just because someone is gone does not mean we stop loving them. I remember thinking a year ago at this time as we watched Dad start to slip away that I was so grateful for unconditional love. I knew that not only did I have it here, but that once he was gone that love would stay. 

I feel so frustrated sometimes, so much has happened this year. I’ve had all these spiritual challenges and miracles happen and it’s all the kind of thing I would have talked with him about as we walked the ridge. I still go outside and talk away, andI know he’s listening because I can feel him with me, and God keeps opening doors that I’ve thought were locked. But still. I’d sure love a face to face chat. 

I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life as I have this past year, or sworn, or given thanks. I know for sure it has left me so grateful for where I am and the direction I’m heading. 

This is another one of Dad’s photos. I can imagine him sitting out in a field of bluebells. 


We had snow this morning. Gotta love Alberta – Mother Nature does what she wants. I had to send the kids out to beat snow off of our precious lilac bush. My happiness moment was warching them stand under the trees and beat the snow. Of course it all landed on them which lead to much laughing and shouting. 

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Stampede breakfast at the Hall

Every year our community hall throws a stampede breakfast and all the neighbours (most of whom are related) come out and have a long overdue visit. The kids and I have been fortunate enough the last two years to have been able to attend this community function. 

Communities aren’t the same as they used to be, or maybe it’s that we have been the new people in so many communities over the past few years that we missed the sense of belonging. But in this community, our community, most of the families have been here forever (which in Alberta terms is just over a hundred years). So, even when there are faces I don’t recognize, I can still figure out who they are by asking a couple of questions. 

I had some lovely visits with family and neighbours today. I feel like some of these people I wait a whole year to see at the breakfasts. Sad since we now live so close (hopefully this changes and I will see them more often) but it shows how important these community events are because we need to see each other.

My happiness moment today was when my Mom arrived at the Hall. She came a little later than we did, so I was already sitting at a table when she came in. I was in a position that I could see not only her, but the expressions of people around her. The smiles and love and warmth that radiated out of the family and neighbours as they watched her come in was overwhelming. This community of tough and strong ranchers also has so much tender love to give. The love and support on their faces as they welcomed her into the crowd is exactly why we need to be around our tribes. 

I had a bonus happiness moment today. My cousin and her family from the Yukon came over for a visit this afternoon. I haven’t seen her since 2007 and I’d never met her kids.  I love the family tie that can bind you together even when years and time may keep you apart. 

We went out for a walk and I saw my favourite flower, the wood lily 

   
The lily on the right is actually a conjoined twin flower. There are two complete lillies on one stem. I’ve never seen anything like that. Pretty cool. 

 

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Canada (boxing) Day in Waterton

Boxing Day is generally my favourite day of the year. It’s the day after Christmas, when we get to just relax and hang with family and enjoy everything we weren’t able to during the chaos of Christmas. 

I feel today like we took a Boxing Day for Canada’s birthday. A day just for the enjoyment of each other. 

The kids and I headed to Waterton – one of the most beautiful places on earth in my opinion. 

I woke up at 5:30 to this view from my bedroom window. When a day starts like this, you just know it’s going to be a good one.  By the way, that’s the moon hanging over the mountains. An amazing full moon.   

We arrived in Waterton and went through the bison paddock. There aren’t any shown in this picture, but the view….

Then off to the town to skip rocks. Part of our routine from last year. I love this lake.  

  

Next up: flower hunting. Last year we were too late, but this year was perfect. 

Here’s our provincial flower the wild rose
  

A stop on the way to Red Rock Canyon. I was looking for flowers, they were looking for the water to play in at the end. 

  

Yellow Paintbrish, it’s rare to find, but it was all over this meadow. Beauty. My spirit sings here. 

More of them. I got obsessed.   

  

Monsters still waiting to get to the canyon. 

At last the canyon and some water to cool off in. It was almost 30C and there was no wind. A big deal in a place where the trees grow sideways from the blowing! 

We had to drive up to Cameron Lake which was unfortunately very busy and we couldn’t rent boats. Fortunately though we came across tons of Bear Grass which is unique to this area. 

 A long drive home chasing the sunset (and being chased by the moon) and I feel like my soul has been strengthened and cleansed. I need these kind of days where we just stop and enjoy each other’s company and marvel at the beauty that is in the world. 

  
The great thing about it being light from 4:30 am until 11:00 pm is that we sure can pack a lot into a day. 

This was a much needed break.  I’m so thankful that I had this day to nourish my soul and fill up my heart with happiness. 

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