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Life

Night Shining

Saskatchewan has some truly awe-inspiring skies. This summer my goal is to have my kids and I learn a little bit about the clouds. Mostly because I’m a boring Mom and I think we all need to keep learning during the summer.

There were some oddly spectacular skies the other night and I thought… “Why not start there?” What a fascinating idea.

Noctilucent clouds are primarily visible when the sun is just below the horizon either just after sunset or before sunrise. Wikipedia tell us that Noctilucent (roughly means night shining in Latin) clouds, or night shining clouds, are tenuous cloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere of Earth. They consist of ice crystals and are only visible during astronomical twilight. They are most often observed during the summer months. Too faint to be seen in the daylight, they are visible only when the observer and the lower layers of the atmosphere are in Earth’s shadow, but while these very high clouds are still in sunlight.

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
North Battleford, Saskatchewan

Anyway. It’s the end of June and with the summer months here I find myself wondering how else I can spend some good quality time with the kids while learning and having fun at the same time. I don’t remember my parents doing anything to entertain us kids while I was growing up. We would go camping for 2 weeks in the summer and then on the weekends but that was the extent of it. The highlight of every summer that I can remember is the school supply shopping that always took place while we were out camping. We would head in to the little town about 20 mins away from the lake and shop all the great sales LOL. We usually stayed at Little Loon. We always spent some time at Grieg Lake and Kimball Lake as well since we had family that owned cabins there. We would pick out a site that was always seemed to be the furthest away from them (and the beach) and would have to carry all of our stuff for what seemed like miles!

What are your plans for the summer? Do you have a favorite summertime childhood memory?

-Ang

Categories
Life mental health quotes Uncategorized

Daddy’s Hands

Keep shining your light no matter who it blinds, as long as you don’t blind yourself in the process

Salma Hayek

Some days are harder than others. That’s just a fact. Regardless of where you’re at in life, you just need to keep going.

Keep striving.

Keep dreaming.

Keep learning.

Keep loving.

Someone somewhere needs to hear that today. I know I did.

Here’s one of my favorite songs that played so many times on the old record player as I was growing up at my grandparents house. Anytime I felt lost or confused or lonely I would go to my Grandma and she would help me through. Even if she had no advice, she was a great listener and she was always great at making me feel better and stronger. Grandpa isn’t one that I went to for advice but he always had wise things to say. This is for them.

-Ang

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Holidays Life Uncategorized

Memories Of Christmas’s Past

Christmas used to mean family. Gathering at Grandma’s long, giant table. We could get about 20 people around that table! To the side of the dining area there was always another long table set up as a counter. It was always full of crackers, cheese, meat, carrots, cucumbers, celery, peppers, pickles, dips, cookies, bars, chips; everything you could possibly think of for snacks. As kids we would literally snack and play all day and no one would complain.

Lunch would take place between 1 and 2 in the afternoon to give everyone a chance to get there. Everyone lived out of town and we all had at least an hour drive. Everyone had kids to pack up and travel with as well. People were coming from all over, it was always the highlight of the year! As the grandkids grew older and moved away for college or got married it meant longer travels but we all made regardless of the weather. There was always food left over if we didn’t get there in time but Grandma would always try to hold the meal until everyone was there. I don’t know how she did it but I don’t remember anything being cold! I’m sure it was but there were never any complaints.

Each year there would be family pictures, gifts, more food than you could know what to do with, tons of laughter and the house was always so full of noise and love! It was my safe place. Holidays were my safe time. I felt loved and protected and I knew that I could just be a kid and have fun…if only just for the day.

On the other side of the family Christmas was different in so many ways. It was rare that the cousins made it. Being a military family they sometimes were stationed too far away to make it home for the holidays. I wonder if my aunt ever felt lonely at Christmas not being with her parents. We always gathered in the family room and Grandpa would read from the bible and as I got older I got the chance to share in the reading with him. We were all dressed up fancy and Grandpa always wore a funny Christmas sweater and some crazy tie. Grandma never really approved I don’t think but I always loved seeing what he would be wearing!

As a Norwegian family there was always lefse and lutefisk. The table was always beautifully set with fancy dishes and sparkling candles and we always sat with our hands neatly folded in our laps until everyone was seated and ready to pray. The entire day was much different than at my other Grandparent’s. I also knew that my father wouldn’t be as forgiving for things done wrong here. I was always on my best behavior but there were always times with Grandpa when we would share a secret giggle or he would tell a small inside joke and then give a little wink to get me to smile. I feel like he was much more fun loving than Grandma would allow him to be.

What was Christmas like for you growing up? Do you hold fond memories?

Categories
Life Uncategorized

The Grandpa I Never Knew

I received a phone call last week from Campbell River, British Columbia. One that I have to admit, I love seeing on my phone lately. A call that less than a decade ago was not something I would ever have foreseen. One that always needs to be followed by a few quiet, thoughtful moments.

These calls always contain a story or two, a tiny life lesson of sort that is followed by a short bible verse and an appreciated “I love you” at the end. They’re never longer than about 10 minutes but always 10 minutes that I can make time for as the kids run amok behind the scenes making crazy noises and messes that I allow for that short time. These calls always leave me in happy tears with many thankful thoughts. There was a time a few years ago that I had called him in Tumbler Ridge and he didn’t even remember who I was. This call comes from my Grandfather on my bio dad’s side.

This is the French side, the side that was secret for 27 years of my life. I met my bio-dad for the first time in 2013 and that’s when he reached out to his dad to tell him we had found each other. The two had lost contact for over 2 decades. I met my grandfather the next year in 2014. He had drove all the way from Tumbler Ridge BC to North Battleford SK to have coffee with all of us and headed back the same day. I was disappointed that we couldn’t have more time. In 2015 he stopped again on his way back home to Quebec to visit family for Christmas, again we only had a couple of hours. I spent time with a friend in Grande Prairie Alberta in 2018 and my bio-dad travelled the rest of the way to Tumbler to spend some time with his dad. I picked him up there and again was able to spend about 2 hours having coffee and a quick meal with him. This time though, I was able to meet his wife, Betty. She was such a nice woman 🙂 I really enjoyed my time with her. I had spoke with her many times on the phone and the only other reference to her that I had was she was the one who told my bio-dad that my mom had got married all those years ago. He claims this is the reason that he moved back to Quebec. Personally, I don’t think it would have made a difference because my family already had a restraining order against him.

Betty has been in a nursing home for the last 2 years and my grandfather had to make a 17 hour drive to see her. He was only able to go for a few days every couple of months. Her mind has been slipping for years now, she has dementia. He can see her every day now…Well, not now because of the pandemic but before the numbers were high he was able to visit for an hour each day. I would love to be able to see her again before she doesn’t remember me, if it’s not already too late but that’s impossible right now. Betty is not my paternal grandmother by blood but she was already married to my grandfather when I was born. I found a note in my baby book saying that I had received a gift from “Gilles and Betty Goddard” and I had questioned who they were long ago. I believe the answer to that question was that they were some friends that my mom had lost contact with. I have a picture of him and I just days after I was born. The one and only time he visited before everything changed. My bio dad was told no more visits unless he accompanied by an officer or his father. He ended up back in jail and I don’t really know what happened after that. My grandfather apparently said he wasn’t going to help and he and Betty moved to BC (they had been in Lloyd) and my bio dad moved back to Quebec.

I still don’t really the reason behind my grandfather talking to me now. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I love that we can have conversations now, especially since he is 85 years young. He keeps mentioning that he knows things aren’t well with my father and I and I have to wonder if that’s the reason he reached out. My half-brother still lives in Quebec and he told my half-sister that he wants nothing to do with me as long as I have contact with our father. I can understand that and I totally respect his decision, though it still hurts my heart just a little to know that. Maybe one day.

Hope everyone is staying safe!

-Ang

Categories
creative writing mental health poetry

Sunset Over The Water

Scenic View of Ocean During Sunset
The gulls cry out with shrieks of sorrow.
The waves sound softly against the shore
As the sun sets across the water.
Feel the soft breeze whisper through your hair.

One thing I always miss about the beautiful summer nights is the sunsets. My favorite place to watch them is at the lake while sipping wine on the private beach.

My husband’s family has a cabin at Jackfish Lake which is part of Meota but just on the other side of that lake. It’s the one place I feel completely relaxed and in tune with myself. I feel this way anywhere in nature really but but the water is where I’m most content. I haven’t been in the water for longer than I can remember and my anxiety gets too high with just the thought of going in. I can’t imagine why.

While I’ve been working on healing past traumas and wounds, this realization kept nagging at me. I used to love the water. I would go swimming for hours and my mom would have to bribe me to get out of the lake. Swimming pools aren’t even close to being the same thing. My family would call me a fish or a mermaid since I spent so much time in the water. Somewhere along the way something happened to cause a fear of being in the water. Hopefully I can get past this fear and enjoy some more time in the water.

Have a wonderful and safe day my friends!

-Ang