Monday, October 19, 2015


There are only a few Mondays left before our newest grandson is born....we've been told that the baby is doing well, growing well, good heartbeat.....

Two weeks ago, this baby's father died....he was in the local jail, on many charges...he'd been there since June...his court date was scheduled for October 30. He died of a drug overdose.....he was twenty years old.

Before you feel any kind of sympathy feelings toward him or to his unborn son, you should know that this wasn't his first time in was at least his fourth, that I'm aware of. He was a young man with a volatile, explosive temper....a temper that he took out on our daughter...many times ...and on our unborn grand daughter...last year...before she also died, as the result of a terrible fall her mother had.

I will admit to not feeling sad when I got the news two weeks ago, but when I attended his funeral with my daughter, a week later, I felt sadness....sadness for his father, who stood at his grave site..looking bereft.....I felt sadness that this young man, foolishly threw his life away before he really experienced true life.

Before you feel sorry for his unborn son, growing up without his father....don't.

Last year, he was a terrible father towards his unborn daughter...a wee tiny baby who was born covered in bruises....and they weren't all from the doubt, this young man had severe mental and emotional problems that caused him to have absolutely no respect for human life, caused him to render blow after blow to the pregnant belly of our daughter that resulted in bruises on his own daughter.

If you feel anything for little Malachi, for that is what she's chosen to call her son, feel concern for his life as he grows up with a mother that is far too immature to parent a baby, a mother that can barely look after herself, a mother who is quick to blame others for her sorry, messed up life. If you pray to God, then pray that Malachi will be safe, that he will be fed properly, that he will be sheltered , that he will be loved.

His grandfather and I will do the best we can......but with the responsibilities of three intellectually delayed adults still living in our home, the amount and the frequency of how and when we can help is questionable.

We pray for him, we pray that he will be safe.......

Little babies deserve so much much more.

Malachi's delivery date is set for four Mondays from today, on the sixteenth of November at 2:00pm.

May God have mercy on him.

~ Marie

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Another Thanksgiving has passed.....Don and I were grateful for many things....we were grateful that six out of our nine children were able to come to Thanksgiving dinner.......we were grateful that the weather was so absolutely gorgeous that you couldn't have asked for better...well, maybe a little less wind, but other than that...perfect.

We were grateful that we chose to have Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday, that meant that we had a semi relaxing day for Monday....perfect.
We were grateful that when we figured out the timing for cooking the turkey that we realized that we needed to stay home from, that wasn't the grateful part, but....after we got the bird in the oven, we were able to sit out on the deck, enjoying a cup of tea, relaxing and just chatting about a myriad of things.....a perfect moment in a day that became wonderfully noisy when all the grandchildren arrived.....

We did miss Paul, who was away receiving and taking more training with the Canadian Army, but our new daughter in law Sara felt comfortable enough to join us and I was so pleased...guess she's gotten used all of us! :-)

As a mother, this was probably not what you would expect me to say....but I was glad that the remaining two absent children were unable to attend....I know!.... Did you ever think those words would come out of my mouth.....have you ever had people that just carried too much drama with them and make everyone around them just feel on edge? Well, these two kids are like they chose not to come I will admit to feeling relief.

Don and I were very pleased to get to know this little one a tiny bit better....

She's our youngest grand daughter....a few times she looked at Don and I with that look of 'I'm not so sure who these people are...where's mommy or daddy' look....but we did get some big smiles, and cuddles.

So, all in all, it was a lovely Thanksgiving.....soooo much to be grateful glad that we could all get together before the snow starts to fly and travelling becomes difficult for eldest son and his family who,we jokingly say , live in the northern tundra.....

So, now we just have to get through the birth of our newest grandson, Malachi.....he's due to be delivered on the 16th of November....have absolutely no idea how that will all end .....I just pray that it will be the right decision for this wee babe and for his life....
( it's unclear to all of us if our daughter Emma is going to be able to handle being a new mom, the decision is not in our hands and we don't have any control over the's all a big question mark for everyone)

.....and then on to Christmas! ......and that's a whole new set of problems.....but....lets just dwell on our amazing Thanksgiving and all the goodness from the enjoyable time we had.

Yes, let's!

~ Marie

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The First of September

Today is the start of a new season. Even though the weather is still very warm out there today, and shall continue the rest of the week, we are's September....the beginning of a new season, when summer is always goes so quickly , and the fall or autumn season has begun. Now, it doesn't officially start til the 21st or 22nd of September...they always seem to be changing that day...or maybe it's just me and I can't keep track...I could google it but then some radio or TV person will talk about it closer to the date....I just know that it's around Lauren's birthday.....before that, definitely still in summer is Leslie's birthday.....the day before Lauren's is Pettis'birthday....he's Lauren's significant other....I was figuring out the years that all my kids were born in at 3 o'clock this morning....yes, it was a bad night for sleeping .....

Yes, it was a busy household....although I think the largest number I had in the house at one time was that's not too bad, although at the time I , and many others, thought I was crazy....still do.
( the worst will be if any of them read this list and tell me that I got there year wrong) :-(

It's still a busy household...partly because the three kids still left in the house, are each at their own level of being developmentally/ intellectually the fact that I'm much older myself...MUCH the government sent me notification the other day that in honour of my sixty-fifth birthday, this November, that now, instead of being covered under my husbands work benefits for prescriptions, I'm now under their thumb..AND....I have the privilege of paying them $100 annually to be under this of course the dispensing fee...which, up until now was minimal....AND...don't forget the and....perhaps, some of the drugs that are required to keep me comfortable and breathing into my old age...just might not be covered by them.....

Well, Happy Birthday to me!

So, this month some changes are happening....after having my teenagers attending the local high school for over 27 years!....can you imagine that! After 27 years we've finally come to the last Wettlaufer, attending Orchard Park high school, for their very last year. After this last school year is completed, I will no longer have to call into the school when someone is sick, write notes to excuse someone for an appointment ( or as I've found out...have my kids write the notes, unbeknownst to me) , and teachers conferences,...oh, the teachers conferences......make sure somebody has caught the bus in time so I don't have to drive them 5 Kms away.....yes, THIS IS THE YEAR, people.....can I hear a cheer....well, actually I'm too tired to cheer so I'll just give a big sigh....

This year, Megan, my youngest is going into her Transition I could make a lot of jokes and wise cracks about that but I won't....suffice to say, it's the year that they try to get a developmentally delayed young adult prepared for leaving the safe cocoon of their classroom that they've known for the last eight years and go out into the big, dark scary world. Also, in preparation to this end, and because Megan was granted something called Passport funding....we have been getting her involved in programs....programs to develop social and sometimes employable skills for DD adults.
Right now she's involved in these programs on Tuesday and Thursday' she will not attend school those, she's been taking a bus training, silly, not to drive a bus but to hopefully teach her how to independently get herself to her programs....then I don't have to drive her...cause I'm getting old ya know....the government sent me an official letter telling me so....

Anyways, so that has changed for this momentous season changing time of the year. Ben, has also joined more programs with the help of his passport funding...yea! He's busy every day of the week now and not vegging out in front of the tv watching cartoons all day, and Maya....well Maya still has her two afternoons a week that she volunteers at the retirement home and she's trying to get employment...nothing too straining but just a little something to get her out in the community and give her a few extra bucks in her pocket. Unfortunately, Maya's passport funding has not come thru yet so she's unable to join in on the activities that are afforded to by Ben and Megan....but hopefully her funding will come soon....

So, it's a full month and it's only day is starting for the last time...yea! There are three birthdays to celebrate....we have to figure out when we can get 'up north' and get our trailer closed and winterized, hopefully fit in a trip further north to visit with eldest son and his family...I fear his youngest is never going to know who nana and papa are....

So, here we go....the roller coaster has begun....

~ Marie

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Take Two

So, I will try this again.....sometime, early in June ...I spent about an hour on a blog post.....( it usually takes about an hour to write one)( I'm a slow typist)... And just when I touched the words that said to disappeared...ALL of it....never to be seen's somewhere in cyberspace...just bouncing around....I was discouraged and so, it's been a while since I've written....but I will try again....

It's been a very busy few months....our son Paul got married to his long time girlfriend Sara....there were festivities leading up to it, and then the big day...the weather was perfect and the day went off without complaint!

Then, Don and I were deep into the nitty gritty preparations for our big trip....a trip that we had kept under wraps for two years, while we scrimped and saved. For about three years, we had wanted to go on a river cruise over in Europe....but they are very expensive.....very I had never been overseas before....Don and I talked about it and decided that if we were going to go to the time, expense and trouble of going all the way to Europe that we should really try and see something other than just one know, some of those places you always see on TV but never dreamt that you'd ever get to narrowed it down to two areas in Italy.....Positano and Amalfi....

Before Don and I can even book a holiday we have to make sure that the caregiver care for our three adult children, who live at home is taken care of....these three are all at various levels of needs due to there intellectual delays. So, our go to person for care longer than a day, is our church secretary. A woman in her forties , who is on her own and the kids like and get along with fact it could have been last fall, we checked with and booked her for that time frame.

Then, because we were staying in Europe after the cruise...we had to book other flights and accommodations for the two weeks that we wouldn't be on the cruise. Don loves doing that part...really, I think he should become a travel agent when he retires. So, he looked after all that kind of thing to do with the trip....and I looked after the things to do with the house and kids. Detailed lists and schedules were composed.....necessary people were notified....we told our kids that didn't live at home....they were quite surprised!

Why all the secrecy? Well, it was mostly because of our kids that still live at home....our son Ben would take it in stride....but Megan would tell the world ....she has difficulty not sharing with everyone she meets and since Maya had her first breakdown 2-1/2 years ago, we've been extremely careful to shield her from stress and anxiety. Her security is tightly bound up with Don and I , so this makes it quite difficult to get away for any length of time. This was going to be the longest that we'd ever been away...three weeks!

So, we managed to make all preparations in going away....except for actually putting everything into the suitcases ....without the in house kids knowing. The caregiver Shelley, was all set to come. Maya was going to stay at her oldest sisters' place, the lists were printed off and all we had to do was tell the kids.....which we did....the night before....they each reacted differently .....Ben was quiet, as I expected him to be....Megan was excited, thrilled and happy beyond belief! see there are certain things that she's not allowed to do that as soon as I'm not home, she does....she was thrilled to know that all this opportunity was being handed to her!....and Maya....Maya was immediately concerned, we assured her that she was going to Leslie's and EMPHASIZED that she would have the use of Don's car, for three whole weeks to go wherever she needed to go.....we kept on emphasizing that because we knew that would please her.

So, the next day, we hurriedly packed, my sister drove us to the airport and our European Adventure was about to begin!

We had an amazing trip...a once in a lifetime trip....although we were so thrilled at the river boat cruise that I'm thinking that if we start saving now that maybe we could go on another one...a different river...maybe the Danube this time...maybe , just maybe we might be able to go, Lord eight years for our fiftieth! I may be dreaming in technicolour cause in the next few years Don will be retiring and we've already figured out that funds will be rather scarce.....but, who knows...only God does we'll see.

If this blog post, actually posts this time...well, then maybe I'll do a post on our actual trip...what we did and where we went.....

A trip of a certainly was.

~ Marie

Monday, May 25, 2015

....And so it is......

Yes, I's been awhile, but since not very many read my blog, I figure that that's okay.

My blog is really just a means to sort out all the things running around in my, today is just my ramblings....

Too many things have happened since the end of February when I last posted, so not everything will be covered.....

One most excellent thing to report is that it's 'so far, so good' in regards to Maya and her emotional's been fifteen months since her last illness and we are pleased...not relaxed yet but pleased.

We've navigated through all the preparations for Paul and Sara's wedding, and we got through it! Everything culminated in a picture perfect wedding day that ran off with out a hitch.....people seemed to have a good time and we're pleased that it's all done ....although I'm not sure what Paul's new mother in law will do with all her spare time....the wedding seemed to become a full time job for her but I remember when our eldest daughter got married and I did most of the work( daughter was attending college in Chicago) that I also thoroughly enjoyed doing it all , even though it was a ton of work.

Now, onto the next big thing.....which is starting, at times, to have flashes of overwhelmness ( I don't think that's a word but I just made it up!) to it.

You see , two years ago husband Don and I were preparing to celebrate wedding anniversary number forty....we had been seeing those TV ads for river cruises over in Europe....we both thought that that would be a great way to celebrate this significant, Don got to work and researched it all. Well, it turned out that it was going to be fairly expensive....such a disappointment but Don suggested that he'd rather have a two week vacation to celebrate instead of just one week, in Europe on a river cruise. I agreed with him because I figured that if I ever flew overseas....( the longest that I've ever flown...and over all that water...oh my).....that I'd rather have a longer time over there so that we could see more of the sights.

Since we're so close to retirement, when they'll be less income coming in, less benefits and less ...well less of a lot of things....and since we were working under a tight time constraint in regards to Don's Crohns flaring up,.....then we decided on a different holiday for our fortieth....we chose two Hawaiian islands that we hadn't been to, and decided to spend a week in was a lovely holiday..we really enjoyed it.
When we returned, hubby Don said, 'well, now we're going to start saving for our river cruise', two years later, that's where we're at...we've saved and saved while still trying to balance out other expenses two vehicles that keep on needing major repairs, three developmentally delayed kids that always need things last summer we used up the remaining small available space in our basement and built them an entertainment they can watch tv, movies, play games to their hearts content!....we also tried to contribute to the wedding preparations, and of course the wedding expenses themselves....which we loved doing ....there were other happy occasions like our newest grand daughter being born...a sad one was when another grand daughter tragically died and we covered the burial and funeral, ....I'm pretty sure that's what it's called....things happen, your money is used in so many places...

....but here we are.....according to the calendar, our forty-second anniversary is next month....the sixteenth of June....and if all goes well and Lord willing ( my grandfather always said that) we should be on a river cruise down the Rhine River! Don is over the moon excited...I haven't reached excited I said ...flashes of many things to prepare....without our in house kids knowing ahead of becomes difficult to do the preparing out in the have to be a little underhanded about it all...I have lists and more lists....things to be done, things to take care of the kids while I'm gone...right down to knowing Ben's work schedule so I can inform Ben and Shelley, our adult caregiver...what the kids have to do....Maya will hopefully go to Leslie's (eldest daughter) ....I always feel more comfortable that she's with someone who knows her well when I'm away....getting enough food in, getting enough money out of the kids bank accounts to cover their financial needs....little things like teaching Ben to water my plants, or put the dogs eye drops in so I don't come home to withered up , dry plants or a dog with a goopy looking eye.....setting up who will take the garbage out, who will wash the towels...( we'll be gone three weeks...I think ...if they shower...they might run out...:-). )'s the little things to be, for now, I'll let Don be excited for both of us!

Don was offered a 'voluntary separation' from work last other words, early retirement....but the offer wasn't very good, and he was hoping that we'd get a little more debt payed down before retirement, so he turned it did give us pause to think though that this big trip will probably be our last...oh ya, sure...we'll have smaller trips here and there, but nothing along this magnitude.....we also realized that when that time comes we'll probably have to give up our permanent camping spot at's lovely but very expensive,, we've started to fix up our back deck and back yard at home, after all you do want some summer enjoyment and we do have a good sized back yard, .....we'll have to work hard to save for new flooring on the main level of our house( the dogs have destroyed the hard wood) and of course no more dogs....when these dogs die...and we just found out last weekend that our female, probably has cancer....she has a huge tumour...that that'll happen in the next two-three years...and sitting on the deck last night, looking at the shingles started to curl....well, every home owner knows what that, ya...a few financial things to be accomplished before retirement ......

...but, I have to tell sisters husband left her far too soon due to cancer, my other brother in law almost did the same before his liver transplant, another friends husband has been struggling with the side effects of cancer and my friend was just diagnosed with brain cancer! There are no guarantees in this life and we need to keep in mind to enjoy each day that we are blessed with having together.

I met my husband in 1970.....we were teenagers....we have been together ever since. Don was diagnosed with Crohn's disease almost three years ago....they did surgery, removed about a foot of his bowel, stapled him shut and told him to enjoy his life and not that it could come back but that it would come back!
Every day is a gift....we can't squander it, we can only cherish it.....every moment, of every day.....I thank God for these moments...they are precious to me....this guy is precious to me...the Lord brought us together forty-five years ago......

And it was a good thing.....a very good thing.

~ Marie

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Megan Moment

Maya and Megan take a number of pills each morning with their breakfast....Megan takes six and Maya takes at least ten......

This is Megan's pink container that she refills every weekend, for the following week.....

It sits in the glassed door cupboard, over the buffet. Megan has had this system going for a few years now and is quite comfortable with it....she doesn't always fill the little compartments properly but she always picks up on that on the day she takes those pills.

Since Maya started taking a lot of pills......vitamins and supplements...they have been kept in a container in another cupboard.....

I thot..maya should have a container also and it would save her getting all these bottles and containers out I did.....I got her a little bit larger, purple container....

In the picture you also see Ben's lonely prescription bottle of the pills he takes every morning....

So......the first day that maya put her new container in the cupboard, Megan spied it immediately thru the glass door cupboard......she of course, assumed it was a container for her....I explained that no, it was Maya's......'but, I need a new container...I think mines beginning to come apart', she says....'not true, I said...yours' is just fine.....'

(Megan did the same thing a couple of months ago when I got Maya a new pair of boots, and all of a sudden, Megan's boots, which were just purchased last year, were 'falling apart'....actually, the extra tab attached to the zipper other words there were two tabs on the zipper....well one had come off....I explained I wasn't getting new boots for her because of that!) she could still easily zipper the boots closed!

So, now a little jealousy has sprung up over maya getting a little pill container....oi vey....

That night , before she went to bed...Megan expressed the confusion she was feeling over the two containers.....I was was pink and one was obviously purple....what could possibly be the problem..but she insisted that she would surely get confused the next morning and take the wrong container....and perhaps even taking the wrong pills....this went on for a number of minutes and in my exasperation, I said Fine! And put Maya's container on another shelf! That seemed to satisfy her.

The next day I was in cleaning mode and cleaned off the buffet, below the cupboard....when I glanced up, I really didn't like seeing Maya's container displayed thru the glass so, I put it back on the shelf with the other two.

This morning Don decided to tease her a bit....questioning about her pill container....she assured him that all was well because she put HER container on the upper shelf, and she no longer had any confusion!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

She's Here!

Juniper Mae Wettlaufer was born at 2:00am, Thursday, January 29, 2015

Isn't she just beautiful? Her papa and I certainly think so!

We were so privileged to be able to attend her birth and I was even able to be in the birthing's a marvellous, breath holding experience and one I never tire of......

Unfortunately, later on that morning, after a few very short hours of sleep, a snow storm was moving in so by noon we were suppose to be back on the road for home. Hubby had to teach his college class that evening and we couldn't leave our adult kids unattended any longer.....we had arranged for our church secretary to come and sleep at our house on Wednesday night while we were three hours away, but couldn't prevail upon her for longer.

This is one of the things I was going to point out to the perspective adopting foster parents at Childrens Aid this past Monday night.....if this huge storm hadn't come through the area and closed everything down! You see, when you have developmentally delayed young just can't leave them overnight to their own devices.....that would be like leaving a 4,9 and 13 year old on their own, since that is the comprehension level of our 18, 23, and 22 year old children/adults that we have in our home. This is something to consider as none of the children coming into care these days and are available for adoption, haven't been affected by prenatal alcohol poisoning which will result in FAS.....a terrible brain damaging result of the mother drinking alcohol or doing drugs while pregnant. The foster/adoptive parents need to realize that this is a real possibility for their lives if they choose to go ahead and adopt.

Usually, I would have also either stayed to help with the new baby or went back up there ( they live three hours away) to help out for a week or two, but unfortunately the month of February is filled with appointments and events that are cast in stone and can not be changed.....things such as cardiology testing for Megan, who was born with a severe heart condition, a needle appointment for keep her hormone levels on an even keel to help to prevent her from having an emotional break, another appointment with Megan's cardiologist , taking Ben to city hall to help a social worker with a presentation to get more funding for a bus program....Ben successfully took this program and is a positive example of how it helps developmentally delayed young adults to navigate the transit system so they can be independent to some degree.....and like I mentioned, I did have that appointment to go and talk to foster parents who are wanting to adopt.....a presentation of a very pleasant activity....a bridal shower has been planned for Sara....Sara and our son Paul plan on marrying in's an exciting time and the plans for the shower have been going on for months!

So, this is the month of February, .....all filled up with things that couldn't be changed and so staying up north, helping out with the baby, getting to know our new grand daughter ( that's the part I regret the most) will not happen this month. Fortunately for Juniper and her parents, her other grand parents are there , helping with all the things that need to be done when a new member of the family comes home.........but I do miss doing that.....a lot.

So, we will see what the month of March brings....hopefully no more snow! Then onto April.....then I feel like I can breathe......I don't like the first three months of the year and always breathe a sigh of relief when they are's to most favourite time of the year!

I'll leave you with one more little picture of Juniper with her big brothers, William and Samuel....who I think are quite pleased with there new little sister....

~ Marie

Friday, January 9, 2015

The New Year......

We are standing , looking down a long strip ahead of's the calendar can see each month....some filled with awaiting activities.....some still wonder about each month.....what will be the exciting things, what will be the things that will bring you joy and pleasure, what will bring you stress, what will bring you grief....

You think about your 'loved ones' think about their lives and how their circumstances will affect them this coming year....more importantly, you think about how it will affect you.

When you are the matriarch of a family....doesn't that sound presumptuous and glorious, all at the same time? .....anyways, in simpler terms, when you are the mother of a large family, it really doesn't matter how old your children become, active you are in each of their find yourself still intertwined in their lives....some, whether you desire to be or not.

Of course, the positive things, the joyous don't mind being intertwined at all.....the other, ....the negative, stressful things'd rather not be, you'd rather hide out even start to wish that your trailer at your summer camp ground was winterized...then you could go and hide....not to be found until the latest crisis was averted and you could return to the calm. That is not life though, is it?

Life consists of the highs and lows, ( and I'm not talking about drug effects) ...I'm just musing about the good and the bad of life in general.

As you look at this long strip in front of you, you are trying to imagine the year before you, you try to prepare yourself for what is to come......some are already defined.....a new grand baby due to be born this month, an occasion that you've been looking forward to, have been praying about, for the last nine months!.......this is a birth with all the positivities, in your mind that should surround the birth of a child.....also a surprise birthday party for a good friend, a bridal shower next month, a stag and doe in the third month...I've never been to a stag and doe....I think it should be quite interesting to see what I've been missing all these years....that takes us to April...where at least two birthdays will be March there are three.....also, in April is Easter...the most holy of celebrations in the Christian calendar but to some, it's just a repeat of Christmas with gifts, new clothes and copious amounts of cheap ( not the cost but the quality) chocolate and candy.... me...and obviously not in the official sense, but only to me, April is the beginning of spring! To me, the first three months of the year are the ugliest months, the first quarter of the year is to be endured, in my mind. I detest them!

May...a month to watch your outside world coming to life...things turning green, flowers starting to bloom and in this year a family wedding...the culmination of much planning , the reason for the bridal shower and stag/doe in the doldrum months, all comes to a head, so to speak with a wonderful celebration of two people who have chosen to publicly commit their lives to each other.....definitely an occasion in looking down the strip of the year to look forward to! Plus...more birthdays......

June brings with it a huge surprise.....something that my husband has been planning for well over a year......the details can not be revealed at this protect the innocent....but it is grand! Don takes great delight in planning these things......I believe it's one of the ways that he shows our family the caring and commitment he has towards me, his wife and thus showing it to his family. You see, if he wasn't willing or cared to show it to me, then he doesn't care about the family as a whole, does he....he's showing our children just how important our relationship is to our family as a whole because without that commitment , I feel our family would flounder. Even , when Don and I are no longer here, our children will still remember the commitment that their mother and father had for each other, the joy that they feel in each other, and it will give them comfort that they did, and even though they may all go their separate ways...emotionally or physically.....they still have that solid base in their lives.

Onto the summer months, our youth, they were the carefree months....the months to laze about, go to the beach, have picnics..( although I'm not a picnic person) ...leave the rat race behind, so to speak......but they were the months to re-energize your body, mind and a days, people seemed to be just as busy...they are truly missing out!

All to soon, September appears....if you have school aged children in your lives, it's a month of new beginnings, getting back into routines....routine isn't all's like putting all the Christmas decor up at the beginning of the season, very happy to do so, but then when Christmas is done , you're all ready to pack it all away...why?.....routine....we really crave it...we like getting things back to normal...that's why some like September when things get back into the starts, lessons and activities get programs are tried creates a routine in our also contains more birthdays, as did July and August.....

October, .... October is starting the wind down of the year.....foliage after it displays it's beautiful colours, withers and dies......( can you tell that I'm not a 'fall' some the autumn season is their time.....I've never experienced those feelings...yes, for us Canadians, it does hold Thanksgiving...a reason for families to gather together to give thanks for what, varies with the could be a very shallow appreciation or it could be fairly deep....I think it's truly affected by what your life circumstance is at that moment.....perhaps what has transpired in the last three quarters of the year...yes, we have entered into the final quarter....we can be thankful for the superficial but the older we get, we really do allow our minds to really dig deeper, not just to appreciate the everyday, although those should not be minimized.

November is one of the huge birthday months in our family....not sure but I think it must have to do a lot with the depressing, cold month of March! We also start our Christmas preparations in earnest, what should we buy, what is our budget, what would so and so like.....will there be the Christmas drama of the previous years...already our mind starts rolling in angst but we carefully keep shoving it back, trying to concentrate on the positive and putting on 'the game face'.....let's face it...Christmas is not the holly jolly Christmas that Burl Ives sings about.....( I detest that song, by the way)..... But we 'soldier' on ....

As Christmas becomes closer in the month of December, we try to concentrate on the positive, the pure.....we rack our brains with trying to keep everyone happy and content.....which is a fallacy because how many people do you know that are actually happy and content , all the's impossible because...surprise! we are human.....but you persevere, knocking yourself out and in the meantime usually miss , not the 'true' meaning of Christmas, which everyone is striving for but taking the time to really figure out what it means for us and what we can do to achieve that that epiphany in our lives...not just on Christmas Day but on each and every day of this year and the years to follow.

And now, once again, we find ourselves staring down that long strip, in our minds....visualize a long strip of photography you see it , don't you.......look ahead on this long strip of the coming year and ask yourself.....what will I do with this year.....yes, it will hold special occasions just as this year of 2015 does.....but they haven't happened yet.....we have these plans with our finite minds, but sometimes plans change....will we be ready for them....or will we just 'wing' it....take it as they come.....I am a planner by nature , an organizer....not overtly OCD but I do like things planned isn't like the beginning of last year, we said good bye to a good man...a father, a grandfather but most of all a husband to my only sister. Would we have planned this out, ...of course not, but it came none the less.....our daughter , who lived on the streets became pregnant....would we have planned it , obviously not....she did but we did not....would we have planned, 29 weeks later to have to ask people to help us bury this wee grand daughter......absolutely not! But we did.....we had never been in charge of doing something like that before......
Another daughter started out the year in a psychotic break.....would we have planned that...for her or for us.....absolutely not!

There were good things that we were apart of, some we personally didn't plan but enjoyed......a thirteenth birthday celebration for our very first grandchild .....a surprise trip to Bermuda, a relaxing respite in Florida.....a quiet spring, summer, fall and winter with our daughter being mentally/emotionally stable......what a gift that was! ....and we pray every night that she continues to be so......
.......Friday's Off.....the greatest thing since sliced bread! Don and I able to plan day outings....little things to give us some alone time, just the two of us.....great and glorious times......I pray his company never stops Friday Offs! A body and mind need, no it craves, something to look forward to......what a blessing.

So, we look ahead to this year and once again we claim the word Hope as our word ....I mentioned to Don that we should be thinking of a new word for the very wise husband, looked at me and said.....'why?....I don't think we're finished with Hope yet'.....and as I thought about it, I realized he was right.....and I don't think that it's finished with us yet either......


~ Marie