Summer is here!

There's nothing like a few days at the lake to really know that it's summer here on the prairies. Too early for the swarms of fish flies, but not for the invasive zebra mussels. The west shore of Lake Winnipeg in the Gimli area is littered with them.

I spent some glorious time watching clouds above the water. Who needs mountains when you have this ever-changing cloudscape?

And then there's the ice cream. I can't do summer without this guilty pleasure. BYOB? Bananas don't travel well . . . so much for that deal!

Poppies for Father's Day

My dad painted this still life of poppies back in 1954, the year after arriving in Canada . . . the year I was born. I’m hoping to someday recreate this painting with a real-life photograph. I’ve got a couple of poppy plants growing in the garden . . . but haven’t been graced with seven beautiful blossoms—not yet. 

Every six years I get to share my birthday with Father’s Day and it’s a great way to remember my dad. He’d turn 101 this year if he was still around, but he died twenty-six years ago. I can easily remember how long he’s been gone, because my youngest was still a babe in arms. He was a great grandpa . . . but for too short a time. 

Instead, Dad was many other things. Short, humble, funny, tough. He could fix anything. Being my dad was only one of his many roles. Now as I get older I’m beginning to appreciate the complexities of the man I called Papi. 

He was eighteen when he joined the Luftwaffe. Twenty when he married his first wife. Two children soon followed, but neither the marriage or the two boys survived the war.  

There was a plane crash. There were five years in a Soviet prisoner of war camp outside of Moscow. There was the home-coming to a home that no longer existed.  There was the divorce. 

Then there was my mom . . . a new wife. Soon after that, a ship to a new country. New children. New job. He was a busy man. And yet . . . he had time to paint poppies, to read fat books (which I’m trying to read). He had time to grow tomatoes, to go fishing and boating. He had time to not just buy a cottage, but to build a cottage, and even, to decorate the mocha tortes he was famous for.  

This was my father. Happy Father’s Day. For you, I grow the poppies. 

Catching up to Spring

I’ve spent the last six weeks focused on edits for my upcoming new release, Finding Amber. There weren’t a lot of edits, but you know about the butterfly effect? Let me quote Wikipedia:  “. . . in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.” So I needed to be sure that a slight character adjustment stayed consistent with everything else in the novel. It was a deep dive back into Katya’s 1937 world. 

And now I’m back here, in June, 2019, and the hostas have leafed out, the forget-me-nots blaze with dainty profusion, the peony’s actually got buds (first year!) and the lilacs are magnificient. It’s great to have a perennial garden that insists on emerging, whether I’m paying attention or not. Then there’s my collection of stones and driftwood pieces, that don’t need any of my attention at all. I love it. 

Now I’m ready to dig in the garden, to weed, to bike, hike and to otherwise indulge in this amazing weather . . . until I reach the next step in this publishing journey. But first, I need to get out my box of summer clothes . . . it’s time to put away the mitts and the togues. Seriously, that’s how far behind I am. 

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