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Monday, January 02, 2012

Walking in a Winter-Wonder Land

Nana usually visits us for Xmas. But, this year she couldn't. So the thought of visiting her started brewing in our heads. And over winter break, we headed northward, ready to satisfy our snow fix.

This is the kids' third visit to the Kootenays, but first one in mid-winter. It is a breathtakingly beautiful place, no matter the season.

D and I loved it in the summers we went before the kids were born. Spring time is lush with new life, the winter snow receding, bringing out the animals. We haven't been there in Autumn so far.

But, the winter trip this time was nicer than expected. Maybe because we didn't pack it with any agenda. We just woke up in the cabin whenever it suited us. Ate whenever we were hungry, thanks to Nana's wonderful cooking (she used to run a restaurant).

Went tobogganing. Played in the snow as much as our toes and noses would let us even with the 4 layers of clothing.

Enjoyed the animals - alpacas, a rescued dog, a few rescued cats that live with Nana; we even met a cow Daisy and her calf Meatball (yeah, the calf is a male) at the lovely and gracious Kathy's home.

How many Nanas get to drive the snow plow with their gradkids?! Probably many way way up north, I'm sure. Kids had a blast pushing, gathering and dumping snow with the snow plow machine to clear the way. The machine had a small digger/backhoe which I am sure Og wanted to test out.

We left the snow and the simple life behind to get back to the place we call home for the New Year.

My one take-away message from the reflections I got to do in these serene surroundings is to Simplify Life, which chimes sweetly in my head as the mantra for 2012.

Seems rather vague and mighty lofty when put that way, not to mention New Age-y (not that there's anything wrong with that), but all it is is more of what I've been trying to move towards over the past few years:

  • incorporating more healthy foods and way more exercise than I've managed so far
  • worrying less about kids' education or extra-curricular activities
  • getting further from the rat race yet be productive
  • de-cluttering and organizing not just the house but my mind as well
  • minimizing the material things in the house - utilitarian and functional is the key
  • focusing on creative pursuits to lift the spirits and indulge the soul
  • making conscious effort to be less irritable - esp., during the hormonal roller-coaster ride that stress brings on, and especially trying hard to be patient with the kids
  • practising the Law of Conservation of Material Things In The House: a new thing in kicks an existing thing out of the house, always mindful of reuse/recycle/reduce waste

Putthaandu Vaazhtukkal!
Bonne année!
Felix sit annus novus!
Feliz año nuevo!
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!
Happy New Year!

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