With the New Year's family retreat at Gardom Lake over, there were lazy days at home to curl up with a book and forget about the dust bunnies gathering in the corners of my house. There were days too cold and streets too icy to venture out on walks outdoors so we took to doing laps in the mall followed by a Tim's coffee or hot chocolate treat.
And, there were birthdays to celebrate! A daughter-in law, two sweet grandchildren, and my very own. With a family of 20, birthdays come often and often in clumps.
What a fun breakfast date with these two cousins, Lauren who celebrated her 4th and Cole his 9th. There was constant chatter, gifts to open, cards to draw for each other, food of course, and then a visit to the toy store and the pet shop. Just looking!!!
"The first fact about the celebration of birthdays is it is a good way of affirming defiantly, and even flamboyantly, that it is a good thing to be alive. "
"Our Birthday " 1935
"Short, cold days, low clouds, dreary days. When the sun does appear and the windows of heaven turn blue, if only for a few hours on random days, I will celebrate colour, and sit at my kitchen window with the dazzling sun refracting through the dull branches of my 'Gratitude Tree' and allow my soul to be refreshed. I will keep flowers in my home - apricots, pinks, exotic tropicals - opening to the light which is incrementally seeping back into the emptied cup of the sky. A river of joy runs deep in my soul even when my happiness and well-being are a little foggy."
These are words that I penned in my journal the last week of my 60's. I was struggling with the thought of turning 70.
One day the snow came down like huge feathers, and in the moment I captured the first photo being quite puzzled with the selfie stamp. Well, I learned something new about the camera app on my phone which may prove to be fun.
I got mail, FB greetings and personal, paper mail in the mailbox, which is rare and usually seems to come for me in January. Beautiful birthday cards with sweet wishes, and then this one which caught me off guard in the gloom of the pending big 70, but since it was from my oldest sister I read on and grew to cherish the words of encouragement and wisdom she shared:
"Winter - 70 seems to be the doorway into the season of life called winter.
Winter is a season of rest, reflection and remembrance ... a season of gratefulness for accomplishments and appreciation for friends and family.
Walk through the door with Joy and Confidence."
My sister Edie submitted "Sister Time" and photo to 'More of Our Canada 'magazine and it was published!!
Four sisters sharing very special times together over the years since our mother passed in 1998.
And so colour - lots of colour came into my home in January through the cards, magazine, and flowers in apricot, yellow, pink and purple hues, and lovely gifts to pamper myself in this winter season.
Original paintings from a sister, a daughter ( even the envelope is a keeper) and grandchildren ( so fun too have the cards interpreted with their sweet voices)
An original poem from 9 year old Avery: ( so appropriate as I had just bought 8 used books at Pandosy Books that morning, and then the gift of two beautiful books from her parents, the ultimate bookworms!
So many pages
So many words
The smell of thick leather and coffee with buns
the sound of the bell
and the cash register."
Books to cherish and my first aromatherapy mister, all to relax me and enrich my senses.
So I have stepped with confidence into this new season of 'winter '
I can walk with confidence because God has been with me through my lifetime and
He will carry me along this journey.
"How blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel. They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! God - travelled, these roads curve up the mountain and at last turn - Zion! God in full view."
from Psalm 84
" Your remarkable life is happening right here, right now."