She’s my Connection

She is my mom. She’s 85 years old now but still a child in her mind. She has always been there for me. She is my connection to my identity. She is the hand that guides me to my ancestors. She is the bridge that leads me to my Anishinaape me. She is all that I have left.

My mom has shared her stories, her teachings, her culture and I still love to hear her stories. I can picture my grandmother cooking over an open fire. I can picture my great-grandmother setting a net from a canoe. I can see my mom cleaning fish and making bannock. I can see it and feel it.

As each day goes by she gets older and her memory slips away from her. Someday I won’t have her. I won’t have that connection. Will I be lost? Will it be inside of me to connect my children and grandchildren?

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Inflatable boating; you can do it

A rubber dinghy, it was called back in the day.  It is now called an inflatable boat!  We bought one at Cabelas this summer so that we could pack it up and take it with us when we go camping. We thought it would be fun and give us a little adventuring. It was not easy to row with the oars so we decided that in order to get to more places, we would put an electric trolling motor on it. And, it works wonderfully.

We can now pack up our boat and motor and throw it in the SUV and off we go to adventures on the many lakes and rivers in our area. We can use it anywhere that we can get into the water easily because you have to get your feet wet to get into it.

Because the motor is electric, charged by the battery, that we also have to bring, it is silent. When you are on the water the only sound you hear is the lapping of the water against the side of the boat. Three ducks flew right by my head when we were on one lake. We have taken it to lakes where we were the only people on the entire lake!

Absolutely beautiful. A little bit of effort is needed. Not for the weak and weary. But so worth it when you are out toodling around in the wilderness. You don’t have to get gas, bilge, dock, and haul a trailer.

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Summer is done

There were highlights and lowlights for sure. Summer goes by quick here in Northwestern Ontario and we northern(ish)ers have to make the most of every moment that we can when not working.  I think our summer started off questionably with cooler temperatures but warmed up and turned into a beautiful summer. Well until the horrible hail storm event. But aside from that, it was fabulous.

My son, Andy, came home to work for the summer which I was really excited about. I didn’t get to see too much of him because he was busy working and having a social life, but still, I knew he was close by.

My son, William, came home at the end of summer and will be in the general area for at least a month and his girlfriend came to visit Red Lake for the first time!  I’m sure she was wowed by our beautiful scenery and friendly people. And of course by the Thirsty Moose Bar & Grill!

Rick and I spent a lot of time out of doors walking, camping, golfing (him), caddying (me), swimming and boating with our inflatable boat. I really had a lot of fun this summer.

Our loving, faithful dog, Maggie went to doggy heaven this summer which was really hard for the both of us. She is still missed at our house. Funny how a dog can be such a big part of your heart. So that was the saddest part but we have wonderful memories of her and she lived a good dog’s life with us. Our house was her dog house.

The most amazing thing that happened this summer was what happened inside my brain. Something clicked and changed in my brain, spiritually. I was able to let go of some regrets and pain of the past. A feeling of peace came into me, inside me, down deep and stayed for awhile.  I slept really well. I still feel it but I have to keep it there and not let it slip away. It happened when I was reading a book that I bought at the thrift store; an old book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, called “There’s a spiritual solution for every problem”. I think I read that book years ago when it first came out. This time I was just ready to receive some words from it.

Progress has been made, but life continues on and continues to throw new things to you so all we can do is keep on trying.

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Red Lake’s first Pride

It was an amazing day! That’s about all I can say about our first Pride day! I felt totally happy and free all day and I hope everyone else felt the same way , whatever you identify as.  It was like I was able to just be me for the day and to just love and be with other people who felt the same way I did. I’m trying to hold onto that feeling but it’s like trying to hold onto the feeling of Christmas.

Our mayor made us hug the person next to us. Wow.

 

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Motivational stuff

I like a good motivational saying, something that is witty and wise and that might stick in my head for awhile to give me a push when I need it. These days with Facebook, it seems that there is motivation galore out there, total websites and blogs about it. I wonder if we need it more these days than we did back in the day or if it just more accessible. I can’t remember any of them from the top of my head, but I know I can find one when I need one.

When I was a kid, back in the ’70s, we had a few plaques and posters and t-shirts that we got our motivational mantras from. Remember the kitten hanging from a tree branch that said, “Hang in there baby”?

Others I remember having hanging on my walls at times were: “If you love something set it free, if it comes back to you it’s yours, if it doesn’t it was never meant to be”,

“Keep smiling”,

“Peace”,

“Keep on trucking”,

“Take time to smell the flowers”,

“Never give up”.

I also had a t-shirt that said, “You have to kiss a lot of toads before you meet the handsome prince!”

Today I read that Mother Teresa was once asked if she would be part of a march against war and she refused but said that she would be part of a march for peace!  That has stuck in my  head all day.  Can we have some peace? Some love?

What’s your motivational saying?

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My Trip to Fort Severn, on Hudson Bay

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This week I was privileged to travel with a co-worker to Fort Severn First Nation which is at the mouth of Hudson Bay, way, way up north from Red Lake.  It is actually the most northern community in Ontario. Check it out on google maps!! It was a two and a half hour flight on a caravan (Superior Airways) from Sioux Lookout. This was another life changing, spiritual experience for me in my life journey.

I thought I was a northern girl. Ha! Not even! The people who live there are incredible! It was 7 degrees with a wicked icy wind when we landed. About 18 degrees in Red Lake when we left. Our guide, Sinclair, told us that it had been hot the day before, but the fog had come in and we were lucky because there were no mosquitos. Umm, Sinclair, isn’t that a mosquito by my head?

It is far enough north that it doesn’t get dark until midnight at this time of the year and they have the fantastic northern dancing lights. I would have loved to have seen them! But alas we were on a charter flight and had to return that same day before dark.

Why was I there? Well, the Red Lake women’s shelter and the Sioux Lookout shelter have received funding to travel to communities in the north that are in our catchment areas. We are able to connect with the people we serve. It is a fantastic opportunity! It allows us to see how the women we work with live and also for our two shelters to get together and support each other.  Fort Severn is not in our catchment area but we traveled with two staff from the Sioux Lookout shelter as it is in their area.

We met with the Chief and council and community, shared food and talked about the issue of violence against women. We were also able to visit with the two police officers who are there. The community consists of 400 people and have two officers who work for two weeks around the clock and then leave for two weeks while two other officers work.

The air was the purest air I have ever breathed down by the Severn River! It felt like it was pure oxygen that could heal all of your problems and give you good skin at the same time! The tundra was incredible! You are one with the creator when you stand there and behold the creation.

The people were quiet, friendly and so, so nice! I would go back in a heart beat. So on this Canada Day, it has made me feel more like a person of the planet.

We are all one. We are all spirit. There is no you or I. There is we. And the most important thing is love. Love each other. We’re all related.

Healing with the Earth

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When Ryan died I was in a Godless vacuum. I was alone. I felt totally abandoned. It was a hell. It has taken a lot of work to find peace in my life once again.

It is the beginning of a long weekend here in Canada and many people will be out enjoying the beautiful area that we live in.  I look forward to starting my little flower garden and filling my flower pots with flowers and vegetables. And watching them grow! This is one thing that makes me feel good.

Touching the earth and the water brings God to me.

Put your hand in the soil, caress a stone, some grass and dip your fingers into the cool waters of a river, a lake or an ocean. Can you feel God?

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