Friday, February 27, 2009

Thoughts of a winter past...

So much for my snowshoe trail...it looks like Atlantic Canada is in for rain tomorrow...then more snow...we could get up to 50 cm in the coming 4 days. Seems like we are in for some nasty weather...not one big dump, but several days of 'flurries'.

All this snow talk sent me looking through some old photos for this image.

This was my parent's home on February 22, 2003. The snowfall, combined with high winds created this drift. The photo above appeared on the front page of our newspaper.

It took my husband awhile to shovel out the front door.

But eventually, he chopped his way through. He worked for about 8 hours that day.


When he finished, it looked like an igloo. Mom's tulips are under there somewhere...and her peonies, hostas, azaleas...all sleeping soundly...


The next day, they decided it would be best to get the weight off the roof, so my cousin came to help with snow removal. That's him on the roof. All day long, cars cruised by slowly, and people stopped to take pictures. They felt like a winter tourist attraction.

My husband commented that everyone brought a camera, but no one brought a shovel...

Only three weeks earlier, February4-5, 2003, we'd had a monster ice storm that destroyed thousands of hectares of trees, knocking out power for days...


So...now...what's a mere 50 cm? Certainly nothing to whine about....yet....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

No Thoughts of Spring...

Following every heavy snowfall, we do 'trail maintenance' behind our house, so a couple days ago, being a pleasant +2 Celsius, I set out to tramp our snowshoe trail through the woods and around a nearby duck pond.

While most of my friends have the new, lightweight aluminum snowshoes, I prefer my good ole "beaver tail" for navigating through deep snow.
After a couple of passes, the trail is 'set' (at least until the next snowfall!). It's hard work, tramping through the deep snow, but worthwhile...this will give us a firm foundation for walking later on in the spring. By April, we should be able to continue walking on the snow path without sinking. (I love the long, lean shadows of winter...)


It also makes the going much easier for Callie-dog, who is light enough to run freely in the tracks without sinking.

Of course, she does like to be the leader...and it's very hard to convince her to stay behind while I break the trail...


The snow is so deep now, that nothing heavier than a rabbit is moving through the forest....other than us, I mean...We had a feeder for the deer out back, but the snow's too deep for them now...They have moved into the village, where they can travel on roads and sleep in backyards, away from the coyotes. There are actually four in this photo. Two on the right, one lying down in the centre and the big one on the left. Thankfully, people do feed them.

Yes, the temperatures have been wonderful; there is warmth in the air, but spring is still a long way off. For now, I'm just enjoying every bit of winter.

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Dear Valentine


A year ago, I wrote a series of articles on spousal abuse for Crossroads for Women. The following is one of them; it appeared in the Times & Transcript on February 11th. I'm not sure how long it will stay online...

My Dear Valentine
© copyright 2008 Deborah Carr


My Dear Valentine:

This Valentine's Day, please don't tell me you love me with flowers and chocolates, or even a sappy card, just so you can brag to your friends that you earned brownie points. I'd rather have your undivided attention, just for an evening. It will cost you nothing but your time.

And don't bother buying me that last-minute guilt present or making empty promises you cannot keep. I'm smarter than that and my heart needs to be warmed more than once or twice a year.

Instead, love me in small ways; love me in the everyday things you do and with the words you say. Love me with a look, a touch, a gesture, a squeeze of my hand.

Love me today, like there may not be tomorrow.

Love me by encouraging me to be the best I can be, by understanding my need to be valued by you.

Love me by treating me as an equal, not a subordinate, or even a possession.

Love me by being pleased with my successes, not threatened. Love me by consciously choosing to speak a compliment, rather than voice an insult....

To read the rest, click here. Happy Valentines Day to all.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Hillsborough history lesson

I've had to laugh when I've visited other blogs lately and seen comments about spring and warm weather. Sometimes it's easy to forget in this global blog world, we don't all live in the same climate zone. Here, in Atlantic Canada...we just enjoyed a wonderful winter snowstorm that dumped about 20 cm in our yards. Spring is a long way off.

After a particularly bitter cold snap, I'm just beginning to enjoy winter! A week ago, following an ice storm that lay down a solid sheen of glass, the marsh surrounding my village gleamed like calm water. Small dips and lines of brush caught drifts of snow, rolling them like waves on the beach. I'm always amazed how nature finds ways to mimic itself...


During my walks on the marsh, I often dwell on what life must have been like for those who came before. I happen to live in one of the first villages settled by Acadian pioneers back in the early 1700's. Upon arriving on the Atlantic Coast in the early 1600's, the Acadians settled in the Annapolis Royal area of Nova Scotia, then gradually moved up the Bay of Fundy.

Three families - Thibodeau, Blanchard and Gaudet - seeking land for themselves and their descendants, sailed a small boat further up the bay to the areas now called Riverside-Albert,Hillsborough, and Memramcook. They were drawn to this place by the wide,grassy,salt marshes,similar to those of their homeland in France. Hillsborough was originally called Blanchard's Village for the family who settled here.

Twice a day, the tide covered these marshes, leaving behind algae and nutrients to enrich the soil. Like they did in Nova Scotia, as well, the Acadians of Blanchard's Village built a series of dykes along the edges of the marsh to keep out the tide, making the land suitable for crops and animals. They lived quietly here, until the Acadian Expulsion of 1755 when the British, fearful of rebellion, packed them on ships and sent them back to France or down the eastern seaboard to Louisiana.


When my German ancestors arrived a decade later, they rebuilt the dykes that today, I walk upon. The wide ridges curve in serpentine fashion, separating the high water of the Petitcodiac tidal river from the flat farmland now used for grazing cattle and growing fodder crops.


Their lives were so much harder than mine...I wonder if they ever paused to idly walk upon these same dykes...just for the sheer joy of it all.

Somehow, I am sure they did.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What if all that life asked of us was to be true to our nature?

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end to life.”
Robert Louis Stevenson


A tree tries to be nothing, but a tree. All its energy goes into being a tree. A tree that stands alone, in the place where it belongs, grows straight and true.

But, in the web of life, a tree is more than a tree...
it gives of itself...sanctuary, shade, sustenance, splendour.

It is essential.

Through the years, I have spent much time and energy searching for my life's purpose, but I've come to believe it's been right here all along...tucked away, deep in my soul, patiently waiting to be recognized. Our Creator, who made us in His image, bestowed each one of us with our very own unique creative nature.

Our purpose is simply to use it.



But how often is this incredible gift - this Unique Secret Self - buried in a tangle of lies and emotion and denial? I'm not creative. I'm no one special. I can't do anything right. I'm not this, not that...

When we clear the path to our true nature - the essence of who we are - we open a channel to the supernatural....we connect with the nature of God. When we remove the clutter and distraction that threatens to choke out our creativity - the wellspring of who we were created to be - then the magical and mysterious happens.

Energy flows.


We stop pretending. We stretch.
We stand tall and firm...just as we were designed.

What if all that life asked of us was to simply be true to our nature?