Lost and Found

You know that feeling of frustration when you’re looking for something and you can’t find it? How about the frustration of not really being sure what you’re looking for . . . only that you’ll know it when you find it? 
 
Well, I’ve have that feeling for more than six months now. Only it wasn’t a thing, it was a title. My upcoming novel has had a working title, but like an unborn child, it’s now needing a real name. 

I’ve wracked my brain, traveled far and wide, let it rest, and continued the search again—sometimes losing sleep over it. And wouldn’t you know it . . . two days before Christmas, when my mind is overflowing with a myriad of details about gifts, meals, schedules, etc. . . . out pops the right title. 

Like a stone on a beach, it’s suddenly the perfect treasure and I’ve stuffed it safely in my pocket, to be revealed when the time is right. Such a good feeling to find something that was lost. A good feeling indeed. 

Now where did I leave the scotch tape?

Snowman Art

What fun we had with the EAL class where I volunteer once a week. My friend, Mel, led this spirited group of refugee women in a paint 'afternoon.'

They've been so eager to please, to follow all our Canadian rules. But this time around we wanted them to channel their inner child and have fun with it. Easier said than done, but the results were worth it, wouldn't you agree?

December Gratefulness

Aspen woods in Charleswood
This is my sixth December of not working for the post office and it definitely puts a different spin on the whole season. I mean, snow? Looks pretty from inside. Cold? Just have to warm the car up first. Parcels? Instead of dragging them up to third floor apartments, now I'm just clicking on the internet for my own gift-giving. Yeah, it's amazing how my Decembers have changed.

But I appreciate the cold, the subtle nuances of what cold really is. Minus thirty in the sunshine can be balmy compared to minus ten in on a grey, windy day. Fresh snow looks great but can really impact walking conditions. The timing of snowfall matters. A Friday night snow means homeowners have all weekend to clear their steps and sidewalks.

Physically, it was a tough job. Mentally, it was awesome. And now, six years into retirement I'm grateful to—so far at least—having some stamina in my aging body. I have a dog who keeps me walking in all kinds of weather and I've learned my lessons. Dress for the weather and keep moving.

The hardest part was convincing my mom that delivering mail in Winnipeg was not as bad as working in a Siberian gulag. I don't think she ever believed me.

Anyway, happy December to all. Try to resist the click on the online retailers. Shovel your walks and dress for the season. Enjoy.

Socializing

December—the month of socializing—makes me grateful for the gift of friendship. We’ve come a long way as women, haven’t we? I don’t recall my mom going out and having a social life of her own.  

High School friends, getting into festive mode
Social life? She was part of a couple—her life was enmeshed with my father’s, and his with hers. Their senior years were limited to and by each other’s. She crocheted, baked, watched the Young and the Restless, and cleaned. He grew tomatoes, golfed, watched sports, and puttered. That was how I saw them. But perhaps. . .after a rather tumultuous life, this was good enough. I wonder . . . how will my kids remember me?

Determined not to be house-bound like my mom, I’ve made an effort to maintain a social life outside of the house. Of course, being a writer shapes my days and has always been the motivator behind most of my interests. For a writer, even difficult relationships or situations are just food for the mind’s compost pit.

I’m grateful for friends, old and new, who continue to inspire me. I don’t want to ever take any of you for granted. Thanks for sharing in this adventure called life. 

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