Monthly Archives: November 2010

Warm hugs melt even the coldest of Winters

The last week of my time in Edmonton was jam packed with visits with my loved ones. It was the first time I really made a solid effort to see people and say proper goodbyes before I left. And somehow it really made a difference. When I actually got on the plane, I felt really like I had closed up shop and that niggling feeling that I had forgotten something (that feeling is ALWAYS there when checking in at the airport), was a mere shadow of its former self. I guess all this time, it was not an item or a errand that was lost in my scattered brain. It was more so the incompleteness that veiled me having not gotten apt closure from the people at home who I would be likely to miss. Well, this time, I did  it right.

I enjoyed so much all the well wishes, warm huggles, and dinners with my favorite people. I especially liked staying with my sister for a couple days and having some quality time with my nephews. We played Monopoly a lot and I won’t forget that competitive fun for a long time. Trina won even though she was reading a book half the time and not *really* paying attention. I really treasured our heart to heart sister time watching chick flicks and treating her to a yummy early Birthday brunch. She made me a huge going away party complete with turkey dinner. My mom and dad were there too which was a special treat for me. I can’t remember the last time we all got together like that. All us kids and grandkids got to play an awesome Scavenger Hunt my mom had created where everyone who played won money! My sister won first prize…she’s quick like that. I was really blessed to be able to have Xmas dinner early with my brother and his family but I confess, I really overate. I think I was full for three days so we must have done it right. I suppose I could have done with out that last gingerbread man.


After leaving my sisters, I stayed with my parents for the last few days in Canada. I got to absorb lots of love from them and even got to relish a tasty vegetarian dinner at Padmanadi. Haley joined us and we four dined on healthy Asian fare. I was so touched with how many people made an effort to wish me well on my way.

As if I didn’t have enough to do, I also managed to fit in a couple of classes. I learned how to make all natural bath truffles, body lotions, salt scrubs, and lip balm. It was so gratifying to create my own line of body care products. I was really in my element and I can see myself doing more of this in the future. I felt a cross between the Swedish Chef from the muppets and the absent minded professor. But what I ended up with was a lot of yummy treats which I was able to gift around before leaving. So basically my last week was spent eating, watching movies, playing chemistry, and doing a whole lot of laughing. I admit, there were even a few emotional tears that found their way down my cheeks. I will miss my peeps. Somewhere deep inside, I have a feeling I won’t see them again for a while.

One thing that I was really happy about was how bitterly cold it got for a few days in that last week. It was so bad I almost cried almost freezing my fingers off. Ok so maybe I am a little dramatic but come on! Minus Fourty Two Celsius with windchill! Who lives  like that? I shook my fist at  the frostbitten sky and let the weather gods know in no uncertain terms that I would not play their wicked game much longer. I wilt so quickly in the cold and it just made me even that much more appreciative of my impending trip south.

“Where are you going?” they asked.

“I dunno” I shrugged. “Anywhere warm.”

“So anywhere but here,” the nodded enviously.

“Yeah, basically.”

Grateful for closure.

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Happy to be Homeless

I feel so tired. I just finished packing up my place and storing everything. I turn over the keys tomorrow to my new tenant and then I am officially…well, homeless. That’s an odd thought. But oddly freeing. In exactly a week I will be wandering South Beach Miami and hopefully enjoying Joe’s Stone Crabs. After the last couple days of  lower than normal freezing temperatures, I am ready. I am more than ready really but I suppose it will be nice to chill (sorry, I had to) with family. Who knows when I will see them again…certainly not I. So I intend to soak up every bit of them and their love before I head off on my next big adventure.


I have been checking off my do-it-now list. Its been a lot easier than I make out in my head. It seems to always be that way. I generally stress myself unnecessarily for as long as humanly possible before it becomes so absolutely uncomfortable I just race through the task like a bullet on a mission. But I don’t know what has changed because now I am much more relaxed, systematic, and am even (dare I say it) having fun getting stuff done. I guess I realize that it is a privilege to have these errands and I focus more on the fact that I am just that much closer to hitting the road.

One really amazing thing that has never happened before and I never would have guessed in a million years would ever be my reality was the completion of my taxes early. I mean REALLY early. In the past, I am that person who dreads the piles of papers which I never seem to be able to file in any kind of organized manner (yes its an Aquarian thing). I let myself get thrown into a full out panic attack until two days before the deadline when finally I go nuts and plow through it in a day. Last year, I managed to do it a month early and that was a bizarre feeling that I thought was an anomaly. But, now because I will be gone for the year,  I have done it five months early and it only took three hours. I don’t know who this new person is who has taken over my body but I like her. She can stay.

So I seem to be more organized  and efficient these days. I even hosted a going away par-tea at my condo last night to get some last minute love from my friends here in town. I was touched by how emotional I felt that I have such good support. I really do love my friends and its so nice to know they love me too. So after about 23 cups of tea in less than 5 hours I was pretty wired. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep all that soundly and was wide away at 6am.

I decided to read the paper by my favorite window and watch the morning traffic. I always find myself mesmerized by the stream of cars slowly (and some not so slowly) making their way down Walterdale Hill. I love to study the cadence of the bundled up people walking to work or university or going for their morning jog. Oh yes, we Canucks are a nutty bunch. There are herds of diehard runners who love to get their fitness on, no matter what the weather conditions. I get the best view from my bedroom window which faces the intersection south of the High Level bridge, a favorite route for these dedicated athletes. It never ceases to amaze me that pretty much any hour of the day or night there will inevitably be some lone soul sprinting down the river valley paths. Who trains at 3:45am in the dead of winter during a snowstorm? Edmontonians do. We are hardcore. (See photo in today’s Edmonton Journal of two girls jumping in freezing cold pool as part of a fundraiser…*love* the facial expressions. One screams in fear “OMG, what was I thinking!” and the other bellyflops yelling “F*ck Yeah! Bring It!” When faced with the icy waters of life, which one are you?)


One of my favorite games is to find one person who is coming down the street  then training my eye on them to follow them, guessing which way they will go and making up a story about their final destination. I always get quite a kick out of the funny little dances they do at the crosswalks to keep warm while waiting for the light to change. I was really moved the other day when I watched two ladies come out of the HighLevel Diner and hugged goodbye for just a second longer than would be considered normal. As they parted and took off in opposite directions to their cars, I decided they were long lost sisters that had finally reunited. It made me smile.

Well its my last night in my bed, my beloved king size cloud of luxury and contentment. I will miss this space the most, as it is where all of the best magic happens. Oh get your head out of the gutter, I mean my dreams. I have been having some fantastic ones lately and I know its because I am so very comfortable. Its getting late, almost midnight so I will not delay my final indulgence of this wonderful pleasure another moment. Good night.

Grateful for comfort.


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Endless Possibilities

So here’s the thing. It’s really hard to pick up blogging once you have let a lot of time lapse. It’s much like getting back on that proverbial horse. I also used to get this feeling with work, when I used to be stuck in a cube in front of a computer screen surrounded by towers of papers screaming deadlines at me. I never felt I could get ahead as there was always, ALWAYS more to do. Catching up was some mythical place I had never been to and it seemed the harder I tried, the more work would come. How did that happen? I see now in hindsight that it was almost like an addiction…work. I guess as an over-achiever I felt important and useful but that was not worth the well being and balance I sacrificed. Anyway, this feeling of never doing/being/having enough overcame me and caused my eventual downfall. These days, I am so glad of that. I am lucky to have had an internal failsafe switch which manifested in a somewhat nervous breakdown. It was the only  way I would stop and realized this ridiculous race I was running could never be won.

Though catching up my writing is not nearly as high pressure, I realize that there are a lot of details that will forever be lost in the cracks and crevices of my mind. Oh well. It happens. And perhaps its for the best this time. These past six months have been quite awesome in so many ways and I think that time has been an integral part of the understanding of just how awesome. I mean, there has been an undertone of mystery that has played a role in my recent travels and much foreshadowing that could only be explained much later. So perhaps I will go back there and delve into some of these phenomenal stories. Maybe I won’t. But what I will do is start now. Because I am at the beginning of a new book. And I finally feel ready to write again.

I am leaving in a week for another great adventure. Back in August I began a roadtrip which included pulling my little 13 foot Trillium trailer from Canada through Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and California. I flew over to Colorado for a week and have now stashed my car and trailer down on the California coast to have a short month in Canada before heading back down to the warm. I have had a magical time at Burning Man, made oodles of new friends, and had some of my most serene moments with Mother Nature herself. Its been a wild ride. And its not over yet.

I came back to Canada to see if I could rent my condo out for the winter. In all honesty, I didn’t try very hard. I placed an ad on a couple obscure rental sites and then forgot about it. I then busied myself with visiting friends and family whom I have come to realize, are a very important part of my life. I mean, I always love them from afar but I think its important to reconnect regularly. I am beginning to understand the value of relationship maintenance. Best investment ever.

Suddenly when I had all but conceded to having to dodge the snowflakes for the next few months, I got a phone call. It was pretty much the perfect tenant wanting to rent my place for the winter. I had had minimal interest up till now and noone had passed the initial screening process. But my gut told me this one was different. I was in Calgary making my rounds, but something inside me told me I had better scurry back up north to show this prospect my pad. It was a good choice indeed and within hours of him viewing the condo, we were signing papers. It took me a day or so to realize…I am free. I canceled the belly dancing and pottery courses I had signed myself up for to get my through the Canadian deep freeze, and began sussing out my options. London, Turkey, New Zealand, Oz, South Africa…those few are prominent at this moment.

The last time I had this feeling was back in 2002 when I really didn’t have a clue. This time I understand the gravity of my position. And I am not only extremely grateful but super excited. In a week,  I am heading down to Miami to jump on a ship which will take me to Grand  Caymen, Mexico, and Honduras. Hopefully I will get a little sun and scuba which can thaw the impeding chill. As I write this, I am watching my first major blizzard of the year out my window and a trillion icy reminders of why I am so lucky.

Grateful for freedom.


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