View From The Glen

Monday, October 29, 2012

Run Into The Wind

I walked out of my office just after 3 pm this afternoon. The St. Lawrence River was iron grey in colour and white caps, whipped up by the incoming winds of Hurricane Sandy, crisscrossed the surface giving it texture and making it look wild and tempestuous.

There is a path from the college along the waterfront that I often walk when I have a few minutes. Today it beckoned me to run along it, to run into the wind. I was struck by the memory of another run I took along the same St. Lawrence on a windy night years and years ago. I was teaching in Quebec City at the Naval Fleet School there, and the wind came howling up on the heels of a snowstorm. I can't quite recall why, but I threw on my coat and boots and went out into the weather enjoying every second of the wind whipping around me; the power and passion of a stormy evening.

I did not run today. Had to get home, meet the kids off the bus. But I wanted to. To abandon - just for a moment - routines and commitments and possibly even sanity, to run face into the wind.

Instead I am home. I've got the fire in the kitchen going and the old farmhouse is warm and cozy. The wind is whistling around the chimneys and tree branches are waving in at every window. Dinner is on, the girls are doing homework; I sent Erik out to get anything that might blow away; and I'm thinking after today, reshingling the old garage is going to be even more necessary than before.

It's a different kind of satisfaction, being in away from the storm. Watching the darkness roll toward you and knowing that it can come and we are ready for it. I hope everyone on the eastern seaboard fares so well.

Friday, October 26, 2012


I have a date tonight.




(Not unlike my husband)


(Well...except for the rich part)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I paused this morning. 

Faded jeans, steaming mug of coffee, and a moment of solitude. From the top of the stone steps, I see the curve of one garden, tumbled and full of faded beauty. See the tumbled rock wall that keeps the muted foliage of another garden from spilling out over the grass. One tree - a flowering crabapple, planted two springs ago - has lost all but three of its leaves and even as I stand there, one more flutters to the ground like a yellow butterfly. Other leaves, mostly maple, some poplar and oak, have started to fall and lie poetically scattered across the driveway and the steps of the veranda.

The golden and crimson splendour of Autumn's glory days has faded now to burnt ochre and orange and yellowing shades of copper, and in the austerity, there is something elemental and moving. And inspiring.

To pause is to breathe. There are days when we forget to really do that. Especially when we are busy.  September and October fly past in a blur of school and camping and work and activity, and in the race from out the door in the morning to tucked into bed at night, it is easy to forget to take some time to just stop and pay attention. 

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.         (George Eliot)

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Carved Pumpkins lit up in spectacular displays at Upper Canada Village's first PumpkINFERNO.

Word of advice: Buy tickets online. Grumble at the outrageous service fee if you must (I did), but be glad you don't have to stand in a line of hundreds to get it when you arrive.
Wedding Bells

A little Darwin

Positively Medieval

Three Wise Owls

Couple of Crocs

Little Mermaid

Friday, October 5, 2012

Love Me Do

Fifty years ago, these guys had their first hit...and rocked the world from their home in Liverpool., UK.

Which just happens to be where my family are from.

In fact, I believe my mother knew Paul, John, George Harrison and Pete Best quite well when they were still The Quarrymen playing at The Cavern Club. Today, 600 Liverpudlian school children gathered at Pier Head to sing Beatles songs long enough to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Hear their first hit (it only went to #17) at this you tube site.