Is winter going out like a lion?

It took a long time for me to understand about seasons going out or coming in like a “lamb” and “lion.” Is it for real?

If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.

Sandi Duncan, managing editor of the Farmer’s Almanac explores this saying. She asks if there’s any truth to the saying and states, “Weather sayings are as colorful as our imagination. ” She closes by declaring that the saying is “more of a rhyme rather than a true weather predictor.” Then she offers a few more of those sayings to consider. You can explore it further in her short article..

Pondering what happens, I think about the metaphor. It might come in like a lamb, that is gently. That it just slips in or out without any fuss. Or does it have to “roar in” like an angry beast, that is like a lion, and make people take notice. That may be the case for this winter that’s been rather unusual and at times quite dramatic.

This week we had an ice storm, one in which the rain and freezing rain coated branches of trees, driveways, and all the little flower buds. Yesterday as we drove across town to our family Easter gathering, we noticed ice-coated branches lying on the ground under their equally ice-laden trees. Deejays on the radio declared that hydro crews were concerned about power interruptions once the ice on the lines starts to break off. Indeed, the ice falling from the lines nearby startled me when I was out taking pictures and some people were without power for hours, including members of our own family who came to our house to warm up and have breakfast.

In spite of the dreary skies and broken branches, the freezing rain left behind some rather interesting sights in my garden and other places once the sun came out.

 

DSCF9759

bearberry submerged

 

 

DSCF9758.JPG

last season’s stems of gaillardia

 

 

DSCF9765

a crystallized arc of bearberry

 

 

DSCF9756

frozen daffodil stems

 

 

DSCF9768

It even froze the water coming out of the downspout mid-pour

 

This may well be the last of winter, now that one hint of spring has already shown itself. I’m hearing and feeling that we’re ready for spring to come to stay.

 

 

 

 

Photos © by C. Wilker, unless otherwise noted.

March 26, 2016 at 12:23 pm 2 comments

Dreaming of spring but living in the now

We can well dream of the season ahead when plant life begins to poke its head above the soil and the sun warms them and helps them grow, yet we must live in the now and not in dreamland. For as Janice L Dick says in her post today, then we have material to write about. She wrote:

“No matter who we are, we will experience uneven roads on our respective journeys. Writing is living out our thoughts, dreams, fears..

 

 

DSCF9018

some of the gaillardia from my garden last year

 

Canadian Networker Fall Business Expo photo courtesy of KW Snap 2015

March 1, 2016 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

Winter is back

Although winter seemed to have left us, we’re still in February and in that month we can have anything from thaw to heaps of snow. The snow started falling last evening,  following up the rain we had during the afternoon, and so it was no surprise this morning to see a thicker covering of snow on the roofs, the cars that sit outside as well as on the ground and filling in the crooks of the trees.

 

DSCF9620

blanket over my garden

 

DSCF9621 - Copy

little caps on the sedum blooms of last summer

 

DSCF9623

Garbage morning, can you tell? And we know which way the snow came from.

 

 

DSCF9624

I like how the snow clumps on the ends of the branches

 

 

DSCF9625

I think some small animal was up earlier than me.

 

 

DSCF9627

Snow fills in some of the spaces on this chicken wire where my morning glories climb in summer.

 

 

 

All photos, unless otherwise noted are copyright of C. R. Wilker

 

 

 

February 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

Tax Time–oh the woes of it

Wrapping up the end of a  year financially can be an extra busy time, different than Christmas, but busy all the same. And here’s the time that accountants, and bookkeepers who help us get our books in order, move into an extra stressful time. So much to do and the same number of hours in a day to do them.

I looked up some sayings people use that are pertinent to February, March and April when they’re at their peak of work. Some quotes may be amusing and others more serious:

 

A fool and his money are soon parted. The rest of us wait for tax time. -unknown

The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it’s just sort of a tired feeling.   ―Paula Poundstone

…but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
―Benjamin Franklin

No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity.
―Rush Limbaugh

The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.   -Albert Einstein

Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax.    -Charles Kettering

 

Being serious about this business, I know several bookkeepers and accountants who work very hard and do their best, so appreciate those who do the task for you.

February 8, 2016 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

Turning us upside down

Gayleen and Frank, 25th anniversary - Copy

Two years ago today, we were preparing to attend the funeral of my childhood friend, Gayleen. Since then, I’ve endured the loss of friends— Kathy, Susan and Pat— this year, and others, and of course, Samantha, who died much too soon at the age of 16 years old. Today I dedicate this blog post to anyone who has lost a family member or friend in the past year, because I know I am not alone.

Turning me upside down

“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Life is a strange thing. Just when we think we’ve got things sorted out and life is ‘humming along,’ there comes a change. A boss says, “We don’t need you anymore” or a change in economic times makes us reconsider our spending, and even where we live. Along with that sorting and packing up of our belongings come feelings of bewilderment and sometimes anger and a lot of sadness.

Big events change things and force us to make new decisions that we might not have made otherwise, such as when a tornado turned the barn on our family farm into a shambles of wood and cement and broken beams. We were fortunate that no one was in the barn at the time and that the animals were in the field that August day when the storm passed through. It was clear that the barn had to come down afterwards for safety reasons, but my parents had to decide what to do next for their farming operations.

There was no death on account of the tornado, but there was some trauma for the house got a good shaking too. Everything my parents had worked for had changed. If there were any blessings, it was the way people in the community worked together to help out those affected by the storm.

Grief, as a part of life, is even stranger. We get settled into a lifestyle, while knowing we won’t have forever, but someone close to us dies and it sets everything we know on end. Time is marked ‘before’ and ‘after’ the event. Before the tornado, before the cancer diagnosis, before the accident… and after.

When friends offer their condolences or bring a meal for a family upended without their beloved, those are difficult times, but healing begins with those comforting hugs and help.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying, named the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. What was once was believed to be an orderly pattern, people soon learned that there’s a back and forth, not necessarily in that order. Still it’s helpful to know what feelings are part of the terrain.

I don’t pretend to know how it feels to experience the death of a child or spouse, but I do know it in relation to the death of a good friend or close relative outside my single family unit. There’s an empty place where that person once was, and even when we know the person has believed in God, and whom we presume to have gone to their heavenly home, there’s the ache that’s left—an emptiness.

In a conversation with a fellow church member this past year after yet another death of a friend, I said, “We’re never ready.” She was quick to agree and cited two examples from that very week, one of them being Samantha, who at 16 had already shown much promise.

We cry ‘too soon’ or ‘it’s not fair.’ We may plead and bargain, but this is our new reality and our life is thrown out of its routine by something so large that’s beyond us.

Society, at least in North America for the most part, would have us rush back into living, to try to forget our trauma, to keep busy and move on. While there is a comfort to routine, even that has been upset, whether in job loss, tornado’s destruction or the death of someone close. The grief moves with us. Ross says:

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

Christians believe that the person, loved by God and accepted as his child, will go to that perfect home where there are no more tears and where Jesus wipes away those tears. Hard as it is to go on without the beloved, we believe that Jesus walks with us through that grief and that if we’re crying, it’s quite likely he sheds tears with us as he did for his friend Lazarus.

This may not be overly theological, but I’d like to think of Jesus as having one very large handkerchief that he uses to wipe away our tears, as well as a big warm hug to help us along the way. He`s gone to prepare a place for us, a place where there will be no more tears.

The ‘hanky,’ as my grandmother would have called it, may very well belong to a friend and the hug from those around us, in his stead. And I might ask, as I did in this part of a poem I wrote this fall for another storyteller whose grandson died in October:

 

“Is that handkerchief big enough

for our tears too?

for Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandma’s and Grandpa’s

my tears

and those of all our friends?”
May you be comforted this day by someone’s love and not be afraid to call on God for his love and peace as you grieve.

 

DSCF8937

a bouquet for you today

January 31, 2016 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

Bringing in the New Year

Once a month I post over at the Canadian Writers Who Are Christian blog. Here’s a taste of what I wrote this month, so early in 2016.

22581694128_cdbe97abd6_z                                                                                        At the Fall District 86 Toastmasters conference in Blue Mountain

 

Bringing in the New Year—Carolyn R. Wilker

 

We’re nearly two weeks into 2016, but for a few moments I want to reflect on the old year that we’ve just put aside.

This past year was momentous in so many ways and sad in others. Three people in my circle of acquaintances and friends—some for as long as 30 years—died in 2015, plus one young teen who attended our church. As I mourned the loss, I also felt grateful to have known Kathy, Susan and Patricia, and Samantha. I reflected on the blessings they brought to my life. Susan was part of my early writing life and edited my first book, Once Upon a Sandbox. Kathy had invited us to her place when we were new members at the church and then to the Bible Study she often hosted. Patricia was a kind and generous neighbour who became a friend, and Samantha is gone too soon at the age of 16.

Even while I mourn the loss, there were good times aplenty. My husband and I gained a new granddaughter, an addition to the two small grandchildren we already have. I had new publishing credits (Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon and Tower Poetry) and requests for a column in our national denominational magazine, Canada Lutheran, and publication therein, but also invitations to do my memoir workshop in new locations to new organizations. There have also been new friendships in the making and a fabulous writer’s critique group in my corner.

Read more here.

 

 

Canadian Networker Fall Business Expo Fall Business Expo in Kitchener, Ontario

January 12, 2016 at 12:37 am Leave a comment

Happy birthday, Dad

img060

 

Dear Dad,

Did you ever think about one day being a parent,  how  different life could be?  Did you plan for all the activities you would introduce to us? And might you have guessed you’d outlive your parents by this many years?

We celebrate you for who you’ve been to us:

A kind father who made time to play with us, build sandbox and swing set, teeter totter (and replace those boards later), not to mention teaching us to skate and play baseball, two of your favourite activities. We had fun doing it too, and it was always good for an activity when we had certain company.

A father who taught us many things such as the names of trees, plants and flowers and who made a celebration of going to the bush each spring to pick flowers (the abundant ones we could pick) for Mother’s Day.

A hero who taught us it’s okay to make time for fun, to laugh and that crying is not shameful but a very real part of life sometimes.

A father who taught us to drive the riding lawnmower, the tractors, the truck and a car, and who taught us how to operate machinery safely because you wanted us to be safe and around for a long time.

A father who was a good role model and loved our mother. He was faithful and showed us, as Mom did, that it’s sometimes good to put others first and help them out in need. We saw the results of that later when the tornado hit, how neighbours worked together to help each other out, and Mom and Dad received too.

A person with a good sense of humour but who also valued who we were as individuals and never asked us to be anything but ourselves. And a person who can now enjoy seeing his grand and great-grand children and can enjoy a good visit, jig saw puzzles and a good show on television.

Happy Birthday, Dad. We love you very much. I hope you know just how much.

IMG_6814.JPG

 

January 8, 2016 at 3:41 am 2 comments

Older Posts


Top Canadian Blogs - Top Blogs

Book title


Shot By Sarah

Photography

Janice L. Dick

Tansy & Thistle Press: faith, fiction, forum

LEANNE COLE

Fine Art Photographer

SIMPLY LIFE with Kathleen Gibson

Just another WordPress.com weblog

I Like It!

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Whatever He Says

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Baden Storytellers' Guild

Continuing the Tradition of Oral Storytelling

Tenacity

thoughts on faith and fiction

gardenchatter

Garden adventures and advice...

Promises of Home

Stories of British Home Children, written, compiled and edited by Rose McCormick Brandon

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 901 other followers