Family Lifestyle

This ain’t no walk in the park….

It’s been 6 weeks and 4 days since schools closed and we have been practicing social distancing. I have forgotten what McDonald’s french fries taste like and my sleep schedule is fucked up to say the least and this morning I couldn’t find the will or desire to get dressed. To top it all off I feel like a jerk for being upset about these small things. People are sick, grocery store clerks are exhausted, our kids are learning how to learn for themselves and the healthcare workers I’m sure are at their wits end.

I love my job as a school secretary at my son’s high school. He probably doesn’t love it as much as I do but he has been a good sport about it. The schools closed the Friday of the March break so the first week didn’t really feel like anything other than a much needed break. I began to pay more attention to the news. My envy for those who were abroad on vacation gave way to growing concern that they would all make it home safely and healthy. Then the trip to the grocery store became a mission. Toilet paper became a precious commodity, so much so that people actually fought over it. All of this still didn’t really disrupt my life. I took long walks on the beach with my pup and my head in the clouds. I collected beach glass and thought to myself this isn’t sooo bad. I laid down in the sand with my face turned up to the sun while visions of my family and I spending some quality time together, learning to bake bread, playing board games, taking long walks and eating dinner together without feeling rushed danced in my head.

Beachy Vibes

Then the days started to blend into one another. My husband and I had to explain to our son, Tristan, that he could no longer visit his girlfriend. If you remember what young love feels like then you might be able to understand how sucky this is! Instead of making prom and graduation party plans, Gr 12’s are now worried about summer jobs that they need to pay for post secondary education that may no longer exist and how they will be able to tolerate their parents without being able to escape to their friends house until this is over.

The week after the March break my beach walks came to an end when the gate to the beach was pad locked. Then came the school closure extension and all parks and playgrounds were sealed off. At this point I was still feeling pretty good. I went to an outdoor flower stand and bought flowers for my family and neighbors and made porch drop offs. Amazon became some sort of lifeline. Bread making cookbooks, colouring books, crayons, shirts and a hammock were delivered to my doorstep. The packages remained there until my husband grabbed them and put them in the basement for 48 hrs, where they were washed and finally opened. The joy from the packages lasted 24 hours…… with the exception of the hammock….I fucking love that thing!!! When I wasn’t cleaning packages I was folding laundry, planning meals, doing some work from home, reading, watering the plants that had been neglected in busier times and learning to make bread while rationing the yeast I had bought. Then our hot water tank broke and was fixed in 24hrs, thankfully!

Online learning is now in full swing and Easter wasn’t filled with enough family or chocolate. I’m now in this weird phase where I no longer wake up with enthusiasm. I wake up wondering if I should bother getting dressed. the answer is ALWAYS yes! I can’t stay in my PJ’s I need to separate the day from the night. I make my bed. This is a new necessity for me. Making my bed has become a ritual that prevents me from crawling back into it and forces me to get dressed, brush my teeth and comb my hair. At this point I have started to get anxiety about going to grocery stores and seeing people walking on the same sidewalk as myself. This whole thing is messed up. I’m the type of person that is ok being alone but I am NOT ok with having to stay in one place and if I have to for a prolonged period of time it needs to be in a place that changes. A place like the lake or the up North where one day there is a loon on the small lake then the next day a deer walking in the forest….. or sailing on Lake Erie where one minute everything is calm and the next the wind picks up and we are flying! This staying in a small Ontario town where the beach is locked up and where my walks are just a means to get my body moving are driving me crazy! The things that felt like a luxury such as lighting a great smelling candle, wrapping myself up in a cozy blanket to read a book, putting my creative juices to work my making a bracelet, colouring or taking photos no longer hold much interest. Now they are activities to pass time. Ugh, I really don’t want to start wishing days away. My husband takes me for drives and I always ask him to take me down to the marina. We get there and then I realize I can’t just unlock the gate and stand under the boat on the cradle to fantasize about wind and waves. The next realization hits, that we might not be able to launch the boat this summer is what makes the tears pour from my eyes down my cheeks and land on my shirt.
Facebook is something I have come to avoid. It seems to be a place where finger pointing takes place, where we criticize others for how they are handling this new way of functioning. I’m just not that interested in being a part of that. Not to say that we all couldn’t be doing better or haven’t made mistakes. Also I think I will end up saying something I shouldn’t…… I really just want to yell shut up! Stop telling me how to think or feel and what I need to buy in order to be happy. I am happy to say that I am learning to be happy with I have. I’m healthy, my family is healthy, we have food, water and a cute lil house to keep us warm. All of the amazon orders can’t beat any of that!

My issues/problems are very small potatoes but they are my potatoes and everyone has their own bag of potatoes that they are dealing with. Being able to adapt to changes is something we all need to work on and I had thought I was fairly good at adapting! I really hope that something comes out of having to go through this. Maybe people will start respecting our planet more, maybe our priorities will change, maybe the bottom line will have nothing to do with money.

I hope this blog finds you happy and healthy and if it doesn’t I hope for better days!

Leslie

xoxox

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Lifestyle Uncategorized

Socks and Underwear

Our mothers always made sure to remind us of the importance of wearing clean underwear and socks. I followed that rule and passed it on to my children and I am sure that they will do the same when they have kids of their own.

No one ever explained to me that new socks and underwear were also important. I always thought as long as they were clean I was good! I would wear socks until they were stretched with holes…. and depending on where the holes were I wouldn’t get rid of them until absolutely necessary. I even took it up a notch and would only toss the sock with the unfortunate hole in it. The matching socking was still usable. I didn’t buy new socks until all of my socks were mismatched and totally worn out. Yup, I wore mismatched socks…. like a lot. My underwear situation wasn’t much better. Over time they would lose their shape and colour. I’ve been with my husband for almost 24 years so it not like I am worried about impressing him with my Costco pack of underwear.

What I didn’t realize was what this said about me. It said that I didn’t care. I didn’t care about myself. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $14 on a new package of socks? I have let me body go and that to me is also a sign of not putting myself first…. and I have known this for a long time. I was busy raising kids I told myself. That has been my excuse for the past 22 years! I have developed IBS which is believed to be caused by anxiety which stems from me worrying about everyone else and trying to control things that are totally out of my control. All the while I thought I was doing the right thing by putting everything I had into my kids and my husband. Never was their a time when my husband said “no don’t buy socks” or “do you really need another bra?” I did this to myself. There is no one to blame but me. I’ve been a poor example of how to take care of yourself! I have been a great example of how to take care of others…. but it should never have been at the expense of my well being. With this new found revolution I think I have decided on my new years resolution. Currently, I own 2 bras I plan to amp that up to 5 to keep in rotation and I will replace underwear and socks on a regular basis.

socks!

Who knew that buying a simple package of socks on Thursday night after work at Costco would be such an eye opening experience. The day after I bought the coveted pack of socks I slid the soft warm material over my foot. It hugged my foot so perfectly and so did it’s mate. I looked down at my feet and took a breath and felt sooooo good!!! I thought lighting a candle and putting on a face mask was self care. While that is a part of self care, so are socks and underwear and not just clean socks and underwear, but fresh and new ones.

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We found what in who’s pocket?

Saturday mornings are for laundry. We don’t love doing this task on the weekend but rarely have the time or ambition to get it done during the week. Before the clothes hit the washing machine Matt checks the pockets of all of the pants to make sure there is no lip gloss, money or pieces of paper in them. In the past we have found many items in pockets from notes, to coins, beach glass, hair clips and garbage. So when Matt reached into our sons pocket and felt a wrapper he wasn’t surprised thinking that it was a candy wrapper. When he opened his hand and saw that he was holding a condom wrapper he was a lil shocked. He shared what he found with me and almost at the exact same time we looked at each other and smiled. We smiled because when we thought our son wasn’t listening to our many safe sex talks we had just learned that he was in fact listening.
Matt and I started our family at a pretty young age. I was pregnant at 18 and my husband was 21. While this life choice wasn’t easy we would NEVER change a thing….. but we are somewhat relieved that our kids are being responsible.

Hard to grab a photo with a bird and a bee….. so a bee and a flower it is!

This happened about a week ago and I’m still shocked that our son who replies with a nod of his head or roll of the eyes was actually listening. Now if I could get him to study for just bit and clean his room we would really be onto something. Then maybe I could write a parenting book and call it……. “Smart kids wear condoms and have clean rooms” Given that the average age that kids lose their virginity is around 16 years of age I am glad that we had many awkward talks!

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Land Ho!

Hello friends!
Thanks for stopping by. We have a lot of catching up to do. My goal is to make a post weekly. I haven’t fully committed to a date but I think Wednesday’s are looking pretty good. As promised I’m going to fill you in on our recent aspiration? I don’t know what to call it….. we are looking for property. We found a lil chunk of land near my husbands aunt and uncles place up north. It was a good price at $40k. the land size was small but we just wanted a space in the trees to regroup and gather out thoughts. There was a tiny shed on the property that we thought we could turn into a bunkie. We called our local real estate agent, she refused to put an offer in for us, because there was on offer already on the property….. which had not been accepted yet. We scrambled to find another agent who submitted an offer for us. We were too late. Whatever, there would be other properties. This was the first offer we had put in on a piece of property in early spring. Our count is now 4. 4 offers and 4 losses. All for different reasons and every property was so completely different. I’m not sure why we have found this process so emotional but we have! Sometimes I wonder why we keep trying. Our price point that we were looking at has gone from $40k to $170’s. 1.5 acres to 15 acres, waterfront to no water and oodles of privacy. Some vacant land others with a cottage. The only constant is the area that we are looking to buy in. I think we have lost perspective on why we wanted to buy piece of land and got sucked into this feeling of we just HAVE to get something. Like a really fucked up competition. More often then not we felt like our offers only resulted in driving up the competing offer and we would then lose. Some properties that we had offers on we hadn’t even seen in person. If you waited to see it you were for sure going to miss it….. it would sell. The agents up north couldn’t be bothered to show you the property. One of the offers we put in was on a totally different lot then what we had seen. Another one was 90% environmentally protected, meaning you can not build or alter the land in any way…. this property was our only accepted offer and the only offer we have ever pulled out of.
I can’t help but think maybe all of this is a sign. I love the idea of living on a boat. Not being tied down to one spot. Seeing new things. Maybe we should buy a boat! Matt thinks living in a forest up north is a compromise, because I’m looking for an adventure now that my kids are adults…well almost. It goes without saying but I’ll say it….. what ever adventure we decide to take we hope our kids will be a part of it! I’m just not seeing how this is a compromise and why am I the only one who has to compromise?

Matt and I have had many arguments/discussions about the boat vs land debate. It’s a pretty dead issue. Matt wants to keep his feet on solid ground. I’m 50/50. I love being in the water and feeling so insignificant and small, but on the other hand I love being surrounded by trees, the smell of pine needles and all of the sounds the trees make.

Our Quest For Space

Our most recent loss was a waterfront property…this one stung. We lost it because we hesitated. Asking price was $125k we had a verbal from the sellers agent that he would accept $115k. We hesitated and another offer came in. It sold for $133k. We were stupid! Matt and I are constantly questioning if the other really wants this. So are we just looking for a WIN? Or do we really want this? 5 months, 4 offers, so many weekends devoted to looking, countless hours hunting the web for new listings. I secretly wish that I could be content with what I have…. and I am until the next amazing property pops up.

My head hurts just going through all of this and putting it into writing. All I have learned is if you want something just go after it! I’ve also learned that I have absolutely no clue what I want!

Unless we put another offer in on some land next week I promise not to talk about this again. If anyone else has gone through anything like this and has some advise toss me a line!

xox
LB

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Didn’t even look back

Hello Friends!

Last time we spoke I mentioned that I was quitting a job to commit to a new career path. While I was nervous to leave a good paying job for a not so great paying one, I wasn’t really worried about learning a new role but I was scared shitless that I would have regrets. My hubs was supportive as always but I felt pressured to “love” my new job or he might think it wasn’t worth the pay cut.

Turning a new leaf

Well colour me happy cause I have not looked back on my decision for even a second! While I was deciding to make the switch I kept in mind why I had ever been looking for another job in the first place. I had decided that I needed balance in my life. I think balance means something different for everyone. For me it meant only day shifts so I could see my kids and have normal eating habits, weekends off, less hours so I could focus on myself and those I love , I also wanted to use my brain so I don’t get bored and I want to be happy and proud of the job I had. Not a tall order but I didn’t have much faith that I would find a job that checked off all of these boxes. Even on my bad days I am still grateful and extremely happy at my new job that I have now been at for 1 year! I feel like I have the balance that I had been searching for and I am a better person, mother, friend, daughter and wife for it! I have since turned down a few other opportunities that came up because now that I have this balance it will be hard for another employer measure up.

With some new found freedom Matt and I have been looking to start another adventure. I will start talking about that in my next blog. It involves fresh air, trees, a ton of confusion, a lil stress and a lot of decision making about how we want to live going forward.

Love you all a bunch and thank you for reading. I appreciate all of you so much and love hearing from you.


Leslie

xo

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Lifestyle What I am listening too

finding the in-between

Time for something new

Working two part time jobs for the past few months sucked a big bag of balls! When I started my job search it was out of spite. They say people don’t quit jobs they quit bosses/managers and I wanted to quit my manager in a bad way. The problem was that my job at the LCBO was a decent job for someone without an education. So leaving the LCBO for just anything would have been pretty dumb. I put up with crappy hours, some weeks as little as 4 to 8 hrs, weekends is where I was able to grab the most hours but hated to because that’s when my family was at home. When customers would tell me to enjoy my weekend on Friday night I wanted to put my foot in their ass because “Friday” was actually my “Monday”. I felt bad that I could no longer fake a smile and say thanks. I don’t drink and I hate the taste of alcohol but the worst part about selling it was watching addicts buy it……. multiple times a day for some. Digging in their pockets for change to buy one more four pack of “Fords buck a beer”. Seeing a young kid head straight for the bottle of vodka that mom/dad likes and hearing them say “this is the one you always get right??” Would drive me crazy. Kids pick up on habits and sometimes they inherit them. In one case I saw a mother die clearly from liver damage, and a year later so did her daughter who was in her 20’s…… she had a 2 year old son she left behind. Both women were incredibly nice and looking back I wish I would have said something or offered help. I think of them often! Watching someone go downhill even if they are no more then a customer tore me apart. To make my job even harder I had a manager that went out of her way to make me feel inferior. At this point I started looking for another job.

Making more time for my peeps!


One night while soaking in the tub I was listening to “The Naked And Famous – Young Blood one line in their lyrics struck a cord….bahaha I am so punny!!!! The line was “finding the in between” Fuck yeah i just hit the nail on the head! I was looking for a way to fill the space between sleep and work with happiness. So I made a mental list of what I wanted to do in between work and sleep….. family, I wanted to be home for dinner, I wanted time to make dinner, time to be active, to explore outdoors, to read, listen to music, to go to antique shows, weekend markets, maybe take some sort of a class and the list went on and on……. sailing of course made the list. Then my job search began. I only applied for jobs that would accommodate ” the in between” When I actually found a job that fit the mold I jumped at it. Not ready to let go of the LCBO cause now my Medusa of a manger was transferred out of my store and the pay at the store was better then the new job……. but only if the LCBO gave me more then 8hrs a week. It took 4 months to finally hand in my notice. I chose happiness over money and my husband had my back. I am in love with my new job and I can’t tell if it is a result of my “in between” being more satisfying or if it’s because I just love the new job so much! I am so much more fulfilled in my new roll. Being surrounded by people who love what they do is inspiring. Even the bad days are still pretty good.

I have an obsession with moss
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adventuring Family Lifestyle

Getting out of my head

I suffer from anxiety and have for a number years now. Unable to hide it when it rears its ugly face everyone around me can usually see that something is a lil off. Sometimes it comes with tears running down my face, other times it comes with binge eating, mood swings that can include anger and sometimes more often then not it turns me into a hermit. When I was first diagnosed I was given meds and I took them. Then once my system got accustom to them I was told that the dosage needed to be increased. Thinking that this would be a never ending cycle and it wasn’t really solving anything I decided that I was no longer going to take them. Things are going well without the meds. I have learned some of my triggers and do my best to stay clear of them. Sailing became my medication every summer. Hoisting up the sails made my heart stop racing and cleared the fog in my head. The boat would pick up speed and my smile would grow. I would find myself thinking of how grateful I was for everything in my life rather than focusing on the stresses. Sailing was my remedy and I really didn’t know it until I found myself in the emergency room of my local hospital the 3rd week of October for 3 years in a row unable to catch my breath. That’s when the Dr asked me what happens this time of year every year. It took me a while to figure it out but this is around the time the boat gets pulled out of the water for the rest of the year. Needless to say managing my anxiety was easier for me in the summer! This winter has been long with too many days spent inside. That being said that nasty thing crept it’s way into my brain this past weekend. Tears flowed down my face as I told my husband that I either need to live on a boat or in the middle of a forest. I am working two jobs one I love and one that makes me hate myself. Well maybe hate is a strong word but it is pretty close to it! I pleaded my case between sobs rambling from one thought to the next as Matt put his arms around me and squeezed me tight. We have learned that squeezing me tightly can pull me out of a panic attack…. I have this dumb idea that life shouldn’t be so hard. That if we owned less we wouldn’t have to work so hard, we wouldn’t be bogged down with stuff! We could spend time with our families. We could find our passions and chase dreams and adventure. We could dare to live if we just gave ourselves that chance. At this point I’m gasping to catch my breath because now my mind has switched to the planet and how we are destroying it and I don’t know how to stop it but I have too!!! I think about sea turtles snacking on plastic and how I can’t buy grapes that aren’t wrapped in plastic. Then I cry more because the thought of being trapped here with a mortgage to pay unable to spend more time to with the people I love because I am so overloaded with STUFF. Stuff all I want is to go back to basics ….. whatever that is. My words hurt Matt as they slap him in the face taking in the harsh words I use like “trapped” I can see the sting they cause and yet I can’t control my words, my breathing or my tears and yet he still holds me. In the middle of my melt down my Mom stopped by to take my son out for breakfast. I had plans with her later in the day and I tell her I can’t keep our plans cause I have to yet to find a way out of the grip that anxiety has on me today. Matt tries to find a solution, today he has to be my medication. He suggests that we go for a walk through one of my favorite trials. Slowly I begin to pull myself together enough to pull my pants on and make my way to the car. The second I open the door I feel the grip loosen as my face meets the cold and my lungs inhale the fresh air. Matt and I get in the car and we both start to unwind. I hate that I do this to him….. but if I keep thinking about it I’ll just crawl right back into my hole. Instead I turn the radio on and choose to smile. Matt and I hop outta the car and hit the trail. Bundled in hats and mitts we lift our feet over rocks and tree roots.

When everything else seems to be asleep moss is always awake

Our eyes feast on moss that has found a home on rocks and dead wood. We take in the sounds of the forest. It’s quiet and finally so is my mind. My eyes are open and my heart is full again. I snap pics of the ice formations on the rocks and the fungi that is growing on the downed trees.

I would adventure down any path with this guy!

My breath is steady and now I squeeze Matt not out of need but just because I love him so much and I am so happy that we get to enjoy this moment in nature together. We chat and laugh and take some photos together. We smash brittle ice with our feet and make plans to get Pho soup for lunch. For me it’s being out in nature that pulls me out of anxiety ridden state. Away from the STUFF I find my footing again and my heart is full and gratitude seeps from my pores.

Things coming into focus


Two long hours in the morning could have ruined our only day of the week we had together but with Matthew’s help we turned it around. No prescription required I just needed to get out of my head.

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Lifestyle

Set your Intention…….

How many times have we all heard this? “Set your intention”. That’s how most yoga sessions begin. While laying on my back with my eyes closed those words play over in my mind. Being that I am not really a person who looks too far into the future I assumed it meant, what did I intend to get out of the class. It was fairly clear to me what I “intended” to get out of the class….a clear mind, to catch my breath after a long day or week and to get a good stretch. So, when I attended this thing last week where I was supposed to find my vibration, I was confused why the phrase “set your intention” kept being tossed around. The event had me confused from the beginning. A friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in awhile invited me, so I thought what the heck. I read the description of what to expect at the event on FB and was totally at a loss. When my husband asked me what the event I was going to was about I had no clue how to explain it? Trying to tell him I was going to find my vibration just made him and my son laugh, mainly because none of us knew what hell that meant. After attending the event I still had no clue. 3 women spoke in front of a group of about 20 people. One told stories about how she left a high stress job to find happiness and then described her life as mother and bits of her birth stories. Another one was from out of town and I think she said she was a nutritionist. This is where I thought I would find some value in what was being said. There was some discussion about things to avoid and what manufactured supplements to take and how many toxic chemicals could be found in the makeup that most woman put on their face…by the way, she was wearing makeup. In the middle of these two there was another woman that was speaking and I feel bad saying this, but I have no recollection of anything she said…not a word. Trying to figure out what I was supposed to get out of this event had my thoughts swirling around and I guess I missed out on what she saying. I tried to listen, I brought my camera and attempted to take a few pics and I sipped on water. I kept hearing the phrase set your intentions and was wondering what the fuck does that actually mean?? Like for real!!! I am getting bored listening to people try to explain how they found happiness in working less. Well no shit! Wouldn’t we all be in a happier state of mind if we found our toes in the sand rather than under a desk or had the ability to spend more time with our family instead chasing money. This particular time I paid to hear this…I had to spend time away from doing things I like to earn money to be told that “my vibe attracts my tribe”…another what the fuck/no shit statement. Did I learn how to set my intentions and why I need to have intentions at all or how to alter my vibe because that phrase your vibe attracts your tribe implies that I need a new vibe and possibly a new tribe??? Or, that my vibe is better than your yours! Why are so many of us looking for other people to tell us how to find happiness and health? Why are we paying to be told some catch phrase that can be found on an Old Navy t-shirt?

To be 100% honest I was happy to have a night out with my friend. I went in confused but open minded and came out slightly enlightened. Finding clarity in knowing that everyone has an opinion on how to be happy and even more people have ideas on how to be healthy and so many of these affirmations contradict each other. So the clarity that I gained was that I don’t need to be told how to be happy. Health and happiness go hand in hand which I have always believed and I know my body I just need to listen to it, not someone trying to sell me on the next big fad. No one can tell you how to be happy you just have to be brave enough to make the choices and sacrifices that will ultimately bring you joy. There is also something to be said for allowing yourself to be happy…and loving yourself enough to know that everyone deserves to be happy and not the expense of another person or tribe.

?



So I’ll leave you to mull this over and I hope it provokes thoughts on what brings you happiness. I really don’t think you need to attend events and listen to strangers to find what makes you happy.

For me, I find happiness in being one with nature. Surround by trees and fresh air alone, or with my “tribe”. Maybe a good book is more your speed or pizza loaded your favorite toppings whatever it is…go and enjoy it!

My next post I’ll tell you about my Winter blues and how my husband helped to pull me outta my funk…cause happiness escapes all of us sometimes!!!!

Leslie

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Family Lifestyle

Snow Days and Cabin Fever

Anyone living in the Niagara Region can attest to just how yucky the weather has been over the past few days. The amount snow that has been shoveled off of my driveway and sidewalk can only truly be measured by my sore muscles. Having one snow day is fun. Climbing back into after checking the school board website feels like a dream come true! Today is snow day #2 and the going back to bed part was nice. The digging the car out became a source of frustration….. and I have never loved my neighbors so much as when they showed up at the end of our driveway with their snowblower offering to clear the mess the plows had no choice but to make.

Day 1 I relished in the fact that my work canceled my shift and we had plenty of wood stacked waiting to warm me up in the wood burning stove. My husband wasn’t so lucky and had to go into work for an afternoon shift and my son spent the day with his girlfriend. I busied myself by trying out a new cake recipe, had a long bath, watched a movie, read a book, went through old emails, did some edits on a few pics I had taken out in the snow and made a really good Buddha Bowl. I shoveled the driveway a few times and practiced some yoga. All in all it was a pretty great unexpected day off.

I Love Trees!!!!


Day 2 Once again started off with an extra hour of sleep. My Mom had just returned from Florida where my Dad is currently sailing with a friend, so I paid her a lil visit. My parents live right along the shores of Lake Erie and let me tell you the wind coming from the Lake whipped the snow in every direction with force, causing whiteout conditions. After hanging out with my Mom I headed home to have lunch with Matt before he had to go to work. So far snow day #2 was going well. Matt left for work and Tristan once again went over to his girlfriends house. Today I wasn’t so excited for the alone time. Instead I found myself talking to the dog more then usual. I folded the laundry then headed into my sons room with his clean clothes. His room was gross to say the least. I couldn’t leave it like that so I hung up all of the hoodies that were piled on the closet floor and grabbed the dirty clothes off his bed and desk chair. While cleaning his room I couldn’t help but think how much I missed him and his sister. Time as we all know goes by so fast. While I miss elements of the past I generally don’t hold onto the past. I enjoy the moment that I am currently in and try not to look to far into the future as I believe it takes away from the present moment. Being in this house empty of people but full of things I was lonely. I let Nixon our dog out for a pee gave him a treat and tended to the fire before grabbing my book and hitting the couch. The thought crossed my mind that I am less lonely when I am alone in nature. Surrounded by trees or water I feel full and content. At home surrounded by other houses, cars and people in other houses I feel empty and alone. I feel the absence of my family and I can’t shake it. I long for them and my heart beats picks up pace and my thoughts are consumed with their not being here with me. Even when I’m alone in nature I think of them constantly but it’s different it doesn’t make me sad. Cabin fever is clearly creeping in and I have a feeling with the cold temps that are expected to hit us, tomorrow could be another snow day. So either I talk Nixon’s puppy ears off or I get my ass outside and breath in the frigid air and chose to find joy in this winter weather. Oh and I have plans to attend a wellness seminar with a friend tomorrow (I think that is the best way to describe it) where we will learn how to raise our vibration. I’m not really sure what that means but I’m totally into figuring it out.

Hope everyone is staying cozy!

Thanks for reading,

Leslie

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adventuring

Finding Winter

Living in a small town along the north shores of Lake Erie we hadn’t seen much winter until recently. Craving cold fresh air and a change of scenery, I pushed Matt to pull our 70’s vintage Boler out of the garage. We had been winter camping once before in Grand Bend, so Matt and I considered ourselves experienced winter campers. Our son, Tristan, claims he was not able to get Saturday off of work and was thereby unable to join us. I’m pretty sure he didn’t try very hard to rework his schedule.

The plan was hatched, the Boler was packed and hitched to the car. The night before we left I decided we should try a new Provincial Park that we hadn’t been to before. Matt plugged “MacGregor Point” into Google Maps and we were off. I love adventures of all sizes and this one felt over due.

Hitched



The roads were clear and traffic was non-existent. Our first stop was “Grasshopper Imports” or the Hippy store as I and I am sure many others call it. I picked up a mug and throw pillow. We ended up driving through Guelph where our daughter, Taya, just happens to go to University. Rolling up to her front door, Boler in tow, we tumbled out of the car Nixon (our dog) and all for a quick hug.

90 minutes after saying goodbye to Taya and her boyfriend Devin, we found the park. Unfortunately when we arrived the main office had closed. Winter camping isn’t crazy popular and staff is limited. To the left of the main office door we saw a note and a map of the park for us. The park is rather large maybe even huge….. but we managed to find our site with ease.
The Boler requires very little to get it set up. Matt quickly plugged us into the electrical outlet and got our portable heater going while I fired up our camping stove. When we had left Port Colborne the temperature was -4 and in the woods of Port Elgin we were sitting at a balmy -14. Fueled by excitement I stood outside making taco bowls. Matt, Nixon and I sat at our little table with our feet off the ground as the floor was freezing!!! Our dinner warmed us up and after cleaning up we organized our small space then settled under the covers and quickly fell asleep.

Morning Light



The morning light slipped through the crack between the window and the curtains as the tiny heater hummed. Eager to get a better look at our surrounding we started our day. Matt started with a hot coffee that took forever to make in the percolator because it was now -17 outside and I started by shoving a carrot muffin into my mouth. With hiking boots, winter coats, mitts, hats and snow pants on we headed out into the woods. After a short walk that our pup was only able to take a few steps due to the cold we found the beach. One minute we were surrounded by a forest that was so dense and the next we were looking out into the vast horizon over Lake Huron. It was a thing of beauty that took our breath away even more then the cold air had. Layers of ice clung onto anything that got into its path. I had my camera strapped around my neck and began clicking away at everything that I found beauty in. I tried my best to do this beautiful place justice. My camera felt good to be back in my hands and my eyes scanned everything finding colours and textures in the frigid air. The ice rolled with movement from the lake while the cloud from my breath hung in the air. Nixon tried to become one with the cold and got some runs up and down the beach before needing a snuggle. Matt and I ate a quick lunch of KD shapes and headed back out into the park. We found the trials that the park had flooded so visitors could skate the paths. It was so beautiful and for the first time ever I wished I could skate! Following the trials we found paths that lead to the waters edge. I was drunk on fresh air and mesmerized by our surroundings. It’s overwhelming to be surrounded by such splender. I was giddy and couldn’t stop spontaneously laughing.

Trails ready for skating



Matt and I played Skippo, read books, enjoyed a bonfire, watched a movie on my laptop, ate and played guitar. We held each other extra tight to create as much warmth as we could muster and just because we wanted to. We laid in bed staring out the window looking at the trees. There was so much stillness and it was refreshing! On one of our walks we had met a lady that lives in the park in a small trailer with her dog. She is a park host who is there from November until the spring. She amazed me. I totally admire her ability to enjoy her time to herself and her bravery to live in a park when the conditions are harsh and the park is fairly quiet.

Bundled Up

What Matt and I discovered is one winter camping trip does not make us experienced winter campers, hiking boats are not warm, thick socks are a necessity not a luxury and we need to do this way more often.

Matt and I set out to find winter and we found it covered in snow, lined with trees, surrounded by water and ice and inhabited by few. It was freezing, like really fucking cold, but it was magical and re-energizing. I am truly lucky that Matt will come along with me on these little adventures that I love and need so much…. even when he thinks I’m crazy. We were only gone for two nights and three days but I think the memories will last us a long time!


Leslie


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