matts concert

Did you go to church as a child? Have you ever been in church and been racked with those chest-heaving laughs that you just cannot let out, because you are in the dome of silence, also known as church? I have specific memories of sitting in the pew with both of my sisters and my mom shooting us dirty looks trying to telepathically scold us and let us know, without saying a word, that we had better start behaving.

I like to blame sister #2. (Ha! It’s my blog and I can blame who I want to!). I think sister #3 was a bit too young to initially be the cause of trouble in the church pew… at least according to my memory, sketchy as it is.

What is it about being in church that just makes you want to laugh when you shouldn’t? It seemed that all it took was one partially funny remark, and that would be it – you’d be biting your cheeks trying not to get noticed, eyes watering and shoulders jumping with internal giggles.

Tonight my son had his school music concert at Cochrane Street Church and I was sitting in a pew with my Mom on my left and sisters 2 & 3 on my right. I’m not even sure what started the laughter, but it began the millisecond we sat down. Once again I found myself attempting to behave in a church pew… and this time my mom was at least partially to blame! Instead of getting the evil eye from a parent, my husband was gazing down the row at the four of us with a confused face, not wanting to even know what was so funny.

We did manage to behave while the students were performing, though it was touch and go there for a while. The concert was lovely. And so much better having my mom and sisters with us.

Happy Sigh <and lots of happy giggles>


dealing with disappointment


For dancers, injuries are a part of life. Every dancer knows this. But knowing intellectually in your head is an entirely different thing than knowing in your heart. Especially when it happens right before a performance.

Our youngest is smack dab in the middle of dealing with this disappointment right now. A partnering injury recently has left her in pain and sore and not able to dance.   So the show this weekend is just not going to happen for her. When you have worked so hard and are so pumped for something, it is like someone letting the air out of your balloon. No fun.

Don’t get me wrong, we are counting our blessings that nothing more serious happened. And she will recover and be fine (thank goodness). But we are all a little sad about it. In the big picture this is really only a blip, we know. But honestly it is still a drag.

I heard this quote by Eckhart Tolle and it seems so fitting right now for so many reasons.

Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is Life itself, it is an insane way to live.

So injuries (and disappointments) are part of life itself. And in the big scheme of things, this one is pretty minor.

Thank heavens for that.

celebrating a life

Hett in seal skin,'59

When I think of my mother-in-law as a younger woman, before she became too sick to enjoy life properly, I think of a force to be reckoned with.  A strong woman who knew her mind and loved her family and didn’t wait for things to happen for her.  She was so proud of her children and in those healthy days, travelled around to visit them, going so far as London, England.

As a mother-in-law, Hettie was initially a little intimidating for a young bride like me, entering into marriage with her only son.  My first time meeting her was when she and Eric came back from a winter in Florida to find me, having spend most of the winter with Chris,firmly situated into his life as a girlfriend.  I was so nervous meeting Chris’ parents that day.  And when we all walked in the front door at Lloyd Crescent, the first thing she did was scan the house to check out if it was clean, keenly running her eyes around the rooms and then taking a finger to run it along the top of a picture frame to see if there was dust, thereby checking to see if Chris had taken proper care of the house in their absence.

 She and I had our moments of typical in-law struggle in those early years for sure, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that she was a strong woman who fiercely loved her family and had only kindness in her heart.

 It wasn’t too long into our marriage that Hettie started to get really sick and from then on it has been a long road for her and her family of hospitals and sickness and pain.

 Instead of focusing on all that, I like to think of Hettie coming into St. John’s for her nursing training from a small town.  I would love to have a glance of her in action back in those days.  Hettie was so proud to be a nurse and loved her nursing friends.


 I like to think of her and Eric as a young couple moving around from Labrador, to Corner Brook to St John’s with Eric’s job as a radio operator.  Hettie acted as a midwife in Labrador and delivered her share of babies, getting around on a snowmobile.  Not for the faint of heart!


 I remember meeting one of the Montreal cousins many years ago, and she recounted to me how she would come to Newfoundland during the summers and she appreciated how loving Hettie and Eric were to each other.  She recalled how sweet they were together cuddled up in bed together in the early mornings.  I love to think of that.


 I like to think of her as a vibrant member of the Hants Harbour seniors community, dressing up in costume and putting on pageants, walking around the harbour with the other Hants Harbour ladies and heading into the seniors center for a sale or organizing the Willow Tree Heritage Museum.

Hett & Chris

Hettie thank you for raising a wonderful son who is an incredible Dad and wonderful partner. You are finally at peace, hopefully having a cup of tea with those who have gone before you.

Much love and respect.

yeah spring!


Honey asked me what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day and the first thing that I thought of was the North Head Trail around Signal Hill.  I haven’t done that hike since the fall – it would be a treacherous place to be with all the snow and ice we had this winter.


I was prepared with many layers and a hat and mitts, but it was surprisingly warm!  I had my jacket around my waist the entire hike. I know my Ottawa friends are lounging on their decks wearing shorts with drinks in hand – however it has still been pretty cold here.


I am always in awe when I do this hike! I just can’t stop taking photos and breathing in the salt air.  Although there are a few places on the hike where I need to put away my phone and concentrate so I don’t go careening down the cliff!


The rich shades of brown are so intense – it is stunning during each season in totally different ways!  You can check out a summer hike I did here and a fall hike I did here to compare.


Even the neutral colours of the rocks stop me in my tracks to spend a few moments admiring them.


The Rockstar came with us – I think he loves this trail too!


We could even see a couple of icebergs but my iphone camera does not do them justice.


I love looking over at Fort Amherst.


I was huffing and puffing by the time I got up all the stairs at the top of Signal Hill!  I have some work to do obviously!  I can’t wait to head back there again! Yeah spring!


out of the mouths of babes

As you know, one of my favourite parts of being home in Newfoundland is spending time with my nieces and nephews. I love watching them tap dance (like Sara did here) and when they entertain me with their shows and everything else in between.

Mostly, I love watching them interact with my kids, who are the beloved “older kids”, meaning they are HEROS to the little kids. The downside of this hero-worship, is that whenever I show up with my children in tow, I basically get ignored. Last weekend I popped by my sister’s house with my daughter. As we entered the front hall, two little girls came tearing down the hallway towards me. So I dropped to my knees, whipped my arms open wide and braced myself for the running hugs I was sure were coming towards me and WHOOOSH! They both ran right past me, making a beeline to their idol.

Well, I won’t pretend I wasn’t a little disappointed, although I did manage to get little side-glances of glee as they both knowingly rushed past me. I promised to steal my hugs from them later and managed to get myself up off the floor and dusted off my knees (and my dignity).

Speaking of dignity…. I have managed to cancel two (desperately needed) hair appointments recently because of kid activities/events. This may seem unrelated to the story but as my son would say – “Wait for it!” I got home from work early today and my daughter was babysitting my niece and nephew at our place. I guess the novelty of spending time with my daughter had worn off enough, that my six year old niece crawled onto my lap and then helped me brush the dog. Now this is the same niece who recently made herself a popcorn sandwich with a dinner roll and Smartfood popcorn (ewww!) and is full of twinkling eyes of mischief and love for everyone around her. So I was really appreciating getting to enjoy some time with her as we chatted and cuddled and brushed Rocky. So nice and peaceful!

Until she gazed up at me and started staring at me with her intense squinty eyes, analyzing something to herself. And then she looked at me directly and simply said, “Aunt Marlayne, you have some gray hair. “

Maybe it’s better when they run right past.