Monthly Archives: September 2013

III Perspective: Judgments

If you’ve been following along, you know where this is headed. If you’ve started here I have declared that

Perspective is everything.

Yesterday I saw some things for the first time because they were new and I saw some things for the first time because I was paying attention in a different way.

It started with this photo

A Sunday Drive 059 which I took and then scampered on down the path all the way to the car when I stopped. And thought. About the heart carved on the tree. I hadn’t been aiming to photograph it but sort of took notice in the back of my brain that it was in the frame. At the car, I wondered if it was an anomaly or if there were more. Holy smokes!


A Sunday Drive 089   A Sunday Drive 088   A Sunday Drive 082

Just warming up

A Sunday Drive 080   A Sunday Drive 078   A Sunday Drive 077

Hold on. There’s more.

A Sunday Drive 076   A Sunday Drive 075   A Sunday Drive 074


A Sunday Drive 073   A Sunday Drive 072   A Sunday Drive 071

Wait for it

A Sunday Drive 070   A Sunday Drive 069   A Sunday Drive 067

Close to the finish

A Sunday Drive 066   A Sunday Drive 065   A Sunday Drive 064

The last two.

A Sunday Drive 063   A Sunday Drive 061 

Here’s what I should do. I should go back and retake the photos so that each has a close up and a contextual portrait because all of these surround the base of the tower and pathway leading to it. Some of the etchings are eye level for me and I’m about 5’7″. Some were over my head and I held the camera up to capture them. Some were lower down.

Here’s where my thoughts (judgments) went.

Who are the self-entitled assholes who think they have the right to scar trees permanently with their names?

What is it about human beings that we feel the need to leave a “footprint”everywhere we go? Why can’t we experience a place gently and leave it untouched for others?

I wonder if these people are even still in love?

I wonder if these were people who were dating or if the person who etched the initials and heart in the trees only longed for the other person?

It must take a while to carve that into a tree’s bark so that it lasts. That’s sweet that someone would love another so much and be so romantically inclined that they took the time to do it.

I wonder if they were together on a full moon night when they did it?

I wonder if they come back every year to mark some kind of “first”? First kiss… first time he said I love you… Marry me…

I wonder if any of these people have died? Oh god that would be so sad imagine if I came across someone touching one of these hearts and they were crying and then I’d be like OH NO!!! Was that you? But I wouldn’t really ask because that would be rude but I’d be dying to know the story.

2004 … and the carving is a good foot and a bit higher than my head. Trees don’t grow super fast so let’s say that the person who carved that in the tree IN 2004 was my height or slightly taller then they were likely near or fully grown and I’m just going to make a judgment and say that youth are more likely to carve hearts and names into trees than mature adults or children as they tend to be supervised by adults who wouldn’t let them operate sharp knives. Then, it’s been almost 10 years since that person carved that in the tree. If they were 16 at the time, for sake of argument, and they’re still alive today, they’d be going on 26. 

Think of the amount of life a person lives between the ages of 16 and 26!!! Your whole world changes. I wonder if they went to post secondary school or training? I wonder if they’re a millionaire somewhere now or if they even still live in Saskatchewan. 

Blah blah blah blah blah went my brain.

Then it went back to

It’s so selfish a thing to do to the trees. These trees never asked to bear witness to puppy love or youthful indulgences.

The energy around this tower is pretty awesome. It’s been surrounded by gosh knows how many years of love and youthful optimism and wishful thinking.

Should I carve my initials and a message on one of these trees?

Nope. That would be poor judgment.

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in PonderQs


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II Perspective: Literally

I’ll say it again.

Perspective is everything, isn’t it.

Yesterday I saw some things for the first time because they were new and I saw some things for the first time because I was paying attention in a different way.

On my way home from Candle Lake, I drove north through the park on the 263 which I’ve done countless times in the last 2+ years. I realized I hadn’t climbed the Height of Land tower yet this summer so decided to stop by and do it so that I can go back now and again to see how the autumn leaves change.

A Sunday Drive 086


The first thing I enjoyed was the view of Shady Lake where I’ve been paddling this summer and have posted so many photos about on this blog already. Here it is from the Height of Land tower. And on all of those paddles when not another soul was in sight, I’m glad that I decided never to skinny dip because anyone with a set of binoculars up on the tower would have had a great view. HA! Yikes!

A Sunday Drive 052   A Sunday Drive 008

And then I started thinking about how different the whole world looks from up high and looking down.

A Sunday Drive 050   A Sunday Drive 051

And then I took a photo while walking down …

A Sunday Drive 041  Then turned and took a photo looking back up from where I’d come.

A Sunday Drive 033   And I love how the lines of the tower frame everything on the way down and nothing when you look back up although I guess the sky is as much everything as it seems like wide open blue nothing.

And half way down I realized the whole structure was alive with butterflies on the sunny beams and platforms.They were all over the place and my camera ended up on a crazy setting so it’s a bit blown out but I still think it’s a cool photo because of the shadow being cast on the sun-bleached board. Makes me think of when Batman enters a scene and the thing that tips off the Joker is the bat shadow thrown across the room.

A Sunday Drive 023

And to wrap it all up.

I looked up.

A Sunday Drive 055   And up …

                                       A Sunday Drive 056   Allllllllllllll the way up.

A Sunday Drive 058

And it was awesome and made me laugh too.

Just because.

And then I turned to walk back down the path to the parking lot and took this photo

A Sunday Drive 059   Which led to a whole other way of seeing the Height of Land tower and will be my third installment in the Perspective blog series.

See ya there in a jiffy!

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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in PonderQs


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I Perspective: New

Perspective is everything, isn’t it.

Yesterday I saw some things for the first time because they were new and I saw some things for the first time because I was paying attention in a different way.

It has occurred to me recently that I have become a bit complacent in exploring my surroundings so I packed up the dogs and made a day trip out of heading east and then north to see some different lake country. September is a gorgeous month and yet these resort lake communities are basically ghost towns because people have returned to school and work routines back in the cities.

I had an entire beach on a lovely lake basically to myself. I took each dog for a long walk and swim and waded in the water myself. I think my shoes have been off more than they’ve been on for the last three days including driving with sandy toes and wet hems and it has been strangely liberating.

I got to thinking about how people carve out a little piece of heaven for themselves just about anywhere. On the beach yesterday, I did come across an elderly woman walking alone. We stopped to chat briefly and remark at the amazing September weather we’ve been having after a less than stellar summer and then she seemed a bit choked up and said, “But it’s the saddest day of the year.”

And I said, “Oh no. You have a cottage here.”

And she replied that yes she did and she was closing it down for the year and leaving that very day. I really looked at her then. A red turtle neck in spite of the heat and long navy pants. She was well into her 80’s and while I could handle the biting wind and still be warm wading in the water, her old bones could not and then I realized why she was more than a bit emotional. For her, it could be the last summer at the lake.

I glanced around at the empty beach and imagined it in the height of July, packed with people elbow to elbow and boats and beach toys and music and then I imagined it 25, 50, 75 years ago and this woman who has probably spent all of those summers there.

I told her it was my first visit to Candle Lake and she said, “OH! You must come back! It’s the best swimming beach around.”

I think I’ve seen better honestly, but Sandy Bay beach and Candle Lake are her piece of heaven and you can’t steal that from anyone.


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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in PonderQs


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Hide, Seek and Protect

So as I type this post, a special unit of the RCMP is running a field exercise on my block that, so far, appears to be more like a game of capture the flag than it does capture the bad guys. And the fellow in the bushes behind my house is officially the


So funny! I took such pride in being good at games like that as a kid. This guy … eesh!

So I was playing in the yard with my three dogs after work and could see that the tactical exercise had been set in motion but nothing was visibly happening and all seemed rather boring. But then I started hearing this loud crunching and cracking of twigs in a regular, heavy, steady pattern.

Because I live in a national park that for about nine months of the year is quieter than quiet, (like mayyyyyyyyybe 50 residents) and I am surrounded by all sorts of wildlife, I guess I’ve gotten used to recognizing nature sounds beyond even what I realized was possible.

In a split second I ruled out bull elk, which are in rut right now and a bit sketchy to be around, and knew that it was a member of the tactical team sneaking up on the house where the “bad” guys are holed up. I looked over the fence and within another 5 seconds or so could actually see the guy in camouflage tucked into the brush with rifle at the ready and I got the giggles. At that point all three dogs stopped playing too and came and stood at the fence like, “Hey man! Whatcha doing?”

Well I wanted to play too and sneak up on the sneaker to prove how bad he is at sneaking. I wanted badly to tease the guy and “out” his hiding place but you know, for as much fun as today is, the whole point of why they are here practicing is so that they know what the hell to do in an actual event involving a disturbed gunman. And that’s no joke.

I have a brother who is a policeman, his best childhood friend is, my nephew’s mom was and his step dad is and his maternal grand-dad is retired RCMP and I’ve worked with some great RCMP members when I was a journalist and as a volunteer with young offenders. The last thing I’d want is to make light of their training in any way.

These are the folks willing to put their lives on the line at any given moment for you and me. They do it knowing full well that their jobs put their lives at risk every single day and could possibly leave their own children parentless and their spouses widowed and yet they still show up every shift willing to take on the crap hurled at them by the lowest of the low in our society. I know it isn’t all drudgery. They get to do some cool things too and meet some interesting folks and thank goodness or they might all go mad.

Police also receive a lot of negative media because of the few bad members within their own ranks, but the majority of them are in policing for the right reasons, I would say based on those I’ve met, and those folks deserve our respect and gratitude.

So, World’s Worst Sneaker Upper on the Planet, I hope you learned what you needed to learn today. I hope you get even five minutes of R & R while you’re here in this wonderous place before you return to your detachment and the community you’ve promised to protect no matter how good or badly they treat you.

And with that as the exercise wraps up and the “arrest” is made…

a bull elk has just bugled his arrival from the same wooded area that the sneaker upper was in a few moments ago, snapping twigs as it walked in that particular bull elk way compared to the sneaking man in the woods twig snapping way.  Know what I mean? Sure you do. They sound distinctly different. I swear!

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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in PonderQs


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Remember this?



Apparently I wrote a couple of poems on March 30, 2013 that were quite insightful and inspired and I only stumbled across them recently when I opened up a scribbler randomly to take notes as I listened to a psychic tell me about my future. Anyway, I don’t remember writing them and maybe I’m my own best fortune teller:


I’ve started writing in the middle of my scribbler

like trying to jump

from the armchair into the

middle of adventure.


I am impatient for the new

in a hurry to put now into the past

Life’s a-wasting

as I sit here.


The freedom of writing

here, there and everywhere

is fun.

Don’t box me in

left to right

one to ten

A to Z

I’m hopping in at M

half past whichever hour strikes

my fancy.


A government girl’s gotta bust out somehow!


It’s not about being 40   😦

It’s about being 40   🙂


I want more

I want messy

I want music

I want magic

and to master my days.


I will be the Skipper from now on.


Sole Mate

If I’m dreaming

Then it’s with you in mind.

Knowing that the choices I make today will impact



or if

I will find you.


And that’s a lie

Because I don’t believe that you exist anymore


if you did

You wouldn’t be interested in a gal who spent her

whole life pining over a mystery that might never be solved.


I dream for me

And leave the possibility of you open to the sky and gods.

If your path and mine should cross

I look forward to sharing the journey but

If you never appear

If our waymarks are lost to one another


Know that I am living life just fine

Superbly, thank you.

I’ll tell you all about

next time.


And then I just wrote one about my friend who is expecting her second baby. It’s strange to be a grown up and feel a bit of jealousy towards a fetus, but if I’m honest, there is a bit. It’s like I want to whine, “Heyyyyyyyyyy, I knew her first. Bug off!”

But then I look at her first born and remember how much I love her and how enriched our lives are with her in the world. It’s hard to remember that there was a time that she wasn’t a part of this extended family and so I look at the baby bump again and feel excitement and love and some protectiveness, like, just hang out in there little one. Your job right now is to grow strong so don’t be making any surprise appearances before the time is right.


This Time

is precious.

Little person becoming an active member of

the clan.

Little unknown one carving a space in our

hearts and minds.

We will be ready for you upon arrival

We are all growing room for you in

our lives

Just as your mother makes way for you in

her belly.

Her body is a vehicle for you now

But she loved us with it long before you were even

a thought.

And so these nine months are like being in the perpetual

first day of Kindergarten and learning that we must

share her.

And we will.

Because you, like your sister, will become an integral member of

this clan.

The Time before your existence will seem

almost inconceivable.


For now, you are still rooted in

God’s Land

God’s Hands

Stay safely there and grow, little one

Until it’s Time.

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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in PonderQs


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