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published in Uncategorized by Maryanne | May 28, 2019 | 7 Comments

Tuckered in Toronto

 

MA & Phyl at Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, ON

“Let’s start by taking a smallish nap or two.

– Winnie the Pooh

I made my annual trek to take my Aunt Phyl from Guelph to Toronto last week…

And spent a significant amount of time sound asleep in one bed or another.

What a concept…to rest before one gets sick! But I dare say it worked. I am feeling more relaxed and rested than I have in a long time.

Phyl technically isn’t my Aunt. She’s one of my Mom’s dearest friends. They graduated together from Nursing School at the Ottawa Civic Hospital in 1949. So although I don’t have my Mom to hang around with anymore, I do still have her BFF…and how cool is that?!

Phyl is sharp as a tack. We chatted for hours on end about life, love, family, politics, climate change, religion, healthy eating…you name it, we probably touched on it.

My eldest brother, Pat, and his partner, Mary (who flew in from Finland where she is working as a geologist), met up with us at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. Over three days, the four of us chatted, drank coffee, relaxed, drank more coffee, ate, went to see the Come From Away musical at the Elgin Theatre (it was excellent), met up for dinner with a few other friends, ate some more…and, of course, slept.

Phyl & her Hummer of a walker…it was an adventure walking THAT down Yonge Street at lunch hour 🙂

 

Pat, Mary & Phyl in the Distillery District

 

Pat & Mary

Meanwhile back at the ranch (the acreage belonging to my brother, George, and his wife, Donna, near Strathmore, Alberta), Sadie was happy as a clam under their care, relentlessly squeaking her new Lambchop toy, nibbling the tops off their brand new peony plants (sigh) and waking them up at 5:30 a.m. just…because. This might explain why I was actually able to sleep in, while in Toronto.

Sadie slightly tired after training a new household

As for why I was so exhausted in Toronto, it was the wise & wonderful 93-year-old Phyl who put her finger on it. Our conversation went something like this:

“Gee,” I said after yet another 2-hour mid-afternoon nap in the middle of downtown Toronto, “I can’t figure out why I’m so tired.”

To which Phyl looked at me, incredulous, raised one eyebrow and said, “Well…let’s recap. After seven years of constant noise, you finally sold your home in Sidney, packed up all your belongings, put them in storage and then proceeded to travel and live here, there and everywhere for 18 months with an elderly dog. Then you bought a new house, are still trying to unpack AND get rid of excess stuff, whipping a new garden into shape and hosting out-of-town visitors every weekend…all the while working full-time on mentally demanding projects.”

“Well, when you put it like that,” I said, “maybe I have been trying to do too much.”

Up went the other eyebrow.

“My head does feel a bit fuzzy,” I confessed. “I can’t seem to think as sharply. It’s like my brain is tired.”

“You,” she said, “need to learn how to RELAX! You know how to have fun, I’ll give you that. But I think you would really benefit from taking things a bit more slowly. In the long run, you’ll get a lot more done.”

I reckon you don’t get to 93 without learning a thing or two about life. As such, I am going to take Phyl’s advice and try and chillax a little more often.

Now if I could just get my Retriever to sleep in once in awhile 🙂

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

 

 

published in Uncategorized by Maryanne | April 3, 2019 | 16 Comments

This Eagle Has Landed

 

MA & Sadie on possession day

“All I have is all I need.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

Actually, I have WAY more than I need…or could ever hope to use.

So…Sadie and I (and our 9000 pounds of stuff) have officially landed in our new home in French Creek (between Parksville and Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, BC). It is AWESOME (and dare I say incredibly quiet)!

Thankfully, my friend Heather and two of her girls, Paige (17) and Ella (10), were on hand to get the unpacking process started.

“Auntie Pope,” advised Ella, during a quiet moment in the backyard, “I think we need to be strategic about this. Let’s focus on the kitchen first, then your bedroom and bathroom. Then you can chip away at everything else.”

I kid you not…that’s how this kid talks. She is SMART!

So that’s exactly what we did.

Five hours later, Paige could tell I was getting overwhelmed at the enormity of the task.

“Attitude is key,” said Paige. “You need to face each unpacking session with a positive mindset. This is your stuff. If you don’t want something, don’t keep it.”

She was right. She was also an unpacking machine. Paige pretty much put together my entire kitchen in a single afternoon – supervised, of course, by Ella.

Heather, in true mom-fashion, got stuck picking up the mountains of discarded wrapping paper and breaking down boxes for recycling.

Slowly but surely, my new home started to emerge…

But then there’s the garage…oh boy.

The office and living room are also still packed with boxes. But hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. For there are also blogs to write, plays to rewrite and dogs to play with.

Smiling Sadie in her new back yard

Have a wonderful week…I will post more photos as more rooms take shape!

“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

– Ann Landers

Related Blog by Maryanne

Gypsy Caravan Slows to Halt

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

published in Animals, Change, Decision Making, Dogs, Home, Inspiration, Travel, Uncategorized by Maryanne | February 27, 2019 | 12 Comments

Gypsy Caravan Slows to Halt

 

Loading up the CRV (then unloading it again & leaving half of it behind at my bro’s, of course, because it wouldn’t all FIT), preparing to leave AB, Jan 2019

“Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers.”

– Anon

Well…it had to happen eventually, I suppose.

The Pink Gazelle Gypsy Bohemian Road Trip Warrior & her Fearless and Furry (but rather lame at the moment) Retriever Sidekick are having to, dare I say…put down roots.

Here’s how it all went down:

Sadie and I left Alberta at the end of January. I loaded up my 2001 CRV (yes, the one with 350,000 km) and staggered across multiple mountain passes. And I do mean staggered…the CRV did fine; the retriever not so much. She literally WAS staggering along on three legs, trying to keep weight off her injured shoulder. Being held captive in the back of the vehicle for a few days was probably the best thing for her.

We arrived in our VRBO in Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island in early Feb and I promptly got into a spectacular argument with one of the neighbours. This decidedly unwelcome welcome to the neighbourhood was countered by another neighbour arriving at my door with a plate of sandwiches and goodies. Life in a nutshell, right there 🙂

Then the snowstorm hit:

And I got to thinking…it might be time to revise my plans?

What the plan had been was that I was going to Australia for 2 weeks in March to visit family. Then Sadie & I were going to head to Eastern Canada to house sit for family in Ottawa.

But as the snow piled up outside my window and my wounded retriever softly snored, I admitted to myself that she was not going to be sufficiently healed by March, to be left in the care of others. Nor was she was likely going to be up to a cross-continent road trip in April.

So what did I do? I sighed, reached over and picked up a quote card from my “Intuitive Insights” quote card sets. This is what it said:

Ahhh…yes. I smiled, leaned back and had another sip of hot chocolate. And it hit me: I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The snowstorm and subsequent road conditions were forcing me to sit STILL (very difficult for a gypsy gazelle), be quiet, listen to what my soul was trying to tell me…and then act accordingly.

Two days later, I calmly made the decision to postpone my Australia trip to the fall. I then found and booked another inexpensive little VRBO for the month of March (just north of Qualicum Bay). Then I contacted the bank about a mortgage, called a realtor and started to look at homes & neighbourhoods in the Qualicum Beach area.

Within a week, I’d found our adorable new home AND a new (to me) CRV with low kilometres!

Sadie and I move in to our new digs at the end of March. No muss, no fuss…it all just clicked into place when the time was right.

Here are 5 lessons I’m taking from these transformational past 3 weeks:

1. Sometimes we just have to STOP, be quiet and make the decisions we need to make.

2. We know what we need to do. We just need to be quiet and listen to what our soul is trying to tell us what the next step needs to be.

3. Sometimes all that is needed is to make one decision or change…and then everything else just clicks into place. It’s almost like the Universe is waiting for us to take that first step.

4. The time comes when we reach an age (15 for some, 50 for others) where we finally realize that listening to the chatter of other people’s well-meaning advice & opinions may do more to confuse than clarify.

5. The only thing worse than making a bad decision is making no decision.

I hope there is something in this blog & lessons learned that resonates with you.

I will share pics of my new home & vehicle in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here are a few photos from my time here in Qualicum Bay:

Sadie (left) & her look-alike friend, Belle

P.S. Sadie is doing much better! She continues to improve, slowly but surely, and is going for longer and longer walks. Why…it’s almost as if her shoulder injury was part of the plan 🙂

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here

If you would like to order the (dare I say magic?) “Intuitive Insights for Soul-Inspired Living” Quote Cards ($7.95 per set), please visit our new store on Etsy!