Location: Newcastle, Ontario, Canada

Born in Toronto, a degree in Psychology at Carleton in Ottawa, ran a photography business for 10 years from a studio in Parkdale, Toronto, apprenticed with a stained glass artist, and, and, and...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Needing a good kick start....

Late fall, 2005:

Unfortunately, this blog is fighting with current life. When I was entering posts in the winter I had the incentive of seeing and writing about the summer while deep in snow. But going the other way, where now we are in early summer, writing about fall and winter past is a bit of a losing battle. But not fair for the reader by a long shot.

I recognize another aspect in my extremely tardy writing. I do believe I like life here in Newcastle. The adjustment, for the most part, has been made, the quandary of whether we had made a huge mistake or not, is settled in a positive way and I am happy, we are happy. Starting this blog was contrary to my nature. To put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard and finish not one, but repeated posts was not in my repetoire of skills. Procrastination, doing things 90% and stopping is. And here, its seems, my true nature seems to be imposing itself. But I have benefited immensely from this blog, it was therapeutic, especially at the onset, and may continue to be so but on a lesser scale as this dare I say the traumatic change in our lives turns out to be a good thing for us. I battle with my innner nature of starting projects and then letting them gather dust. I have received such positive feedback and support from readers that it does make me want to rise out of my flaws and do this site some justice. But I may bring it to current time so that I am fed by the daily highs and lows when life is fresh and easy to recall.

Finnie's cart always was filled with some poor doll or animal pushed at great speeds across the floors, often to crash into the wall to gails of laughter.

But let's go back to the fall of 2005. Hardly nasty, we could not get summer to give its final bow and exit stage right. We ate strawberries in November and flowers bloomed late into October or later still. I took some pictures one frosty morning in November and a rose was still in bloom, albeit rimmed like a salted margarita, with frost. We were gently escorted by the sun and warmer temperatures to the snow ballroom of winter.

November sunflower and a margarita rose, while raspberries were dressed with frost and the color of swiss chard was breathtaking. It was also our first viewing of a male buck. We routinely saw a female and two grown offspring. Finnie outside in all her colors in November. And the stroller in our forest, Finnie asleep inside.


Waking one morning in late december to the grounds deep in snow did make us aware of change. It was lovely, quiet and deep. Think Robert Frost.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-- Robert Frost

Having sucked so deeply of the past summer, we actually felt excited to experience winter and lots of snow was wonderfully different. It is so clean here, in Newcastle. In Toronto, it was mostly of the slushy, brown sugar variety and gone so quickly. Owen and Finnie learned that this snow, in our field could be sampled, and they concluded it sweet and delicious. The breadth of it across our wide expanse was so beautiful, unmarred and unbroken. I hesitated to step out in it and blemish its perfect skin. But step out we did, to make snow angels, well me, Owen and Finnie to hesitant to get wet, and toboggan through our "front forest" a smallish but long stand of trees, mostly linden and pines, some spruce that I had cleared a pathway through. We joked that it was for the city folk that visited that couldn't get up the energy to go to the forest proper but still wanted the feel of a forest.

We had our first Christmas, almost, in Newcastle, aside from a crucial few days in Kingston to see my family. But days on either side felt very festive and wintery.

Our christmas wreath, or one of them, while outside snow filled the crevices of our land. But in the morning we would play the little carousel at breakfast. It conveniently had four figures riding the horses, soon to be Me, Tim, Finnie and Owen. The kids would joyously call out themselves when the came around.

The snow was not to last. We had some nasty blows, actually welcomed and waited for but most of the winter was fairly green and dry. Temperatures rose and dived so a rink would have been a frustrating experience. I say that but laziness may, and only may, have played a role. That made winter something to kind of get through. It was dark in the mornings and afternoons. We couldn't get enticed outside as much as I hoped we'd be and we rode through it. It wasn't excessively hard, or brutal, especially after last winter, but it lacked allure.

I had brought in six large pots of Lemon Verbena and one of rosemary that all went in the basement under grow lights in the hopes of keeping them alive till next spring. Odd reality of being able to pick a fresh lemon verbena leaf and rub it between my fingers to get that fragrant lemon scent whilst in the dark and cold of the basement in January. They seemed to take to their temporary homes quite well, dropping some leaves but new ones also emerging. Odd.

We ate jam made from Rhubarb from the spring before and ate pesto from basil in the vegetable patch. Nice links to the warmer sister of winter. We lived and waited for what came next. More snow, hopefully, for Tim to take his new cross-country skies about the perimeter of the field and into the forest. He always came back from the handful of times he got the chance, more awake and invigorated than I had seen in a long while. Winter should be winter, summer should be summer, ok?


Anonymous barbara hilary said...

So clean it is - so silent. I would love to see the place in winter.

Thank you for all the pictures - they are quite beautiful.
I hope that you will keep writing - I,who seem to have a permanent writing block,need your writing to enjoy and to feel a part of all that beautiful land and my family that is its steward.

10:05 p.m., June 13, 2006  

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