First I was a big sister, then a babysitter. This led to volunteering in educational settings (elementary school, Brownies, Cub Scouts, music, drama, library, storytelling, tutoring, reading aloud). When our own four children arrived, we homeschooled. This led to developing seminars for parents, volunteers and educators: Seven Predictable Patterns®. Public speaking brought travel.
Meanwhile, in the springtime I was learning how to raise a garden and chickens. In the summertime, I learned where to gather fruit. In the autumn I learned how to store huge amounts of food for the winter by canning, freezing, pickling and making jam. In the wintertime I bake bread and make patchwork quilts.
I have been writing for the Clearwater Times newspaper for nearly 30 years, mailed out my own Seven Predictable Patterns® 7-part newsletter, locally published Mountain Wellness Connections coffee-shop-style newsletter. I also have a column in the Valemount Sentinel, and have published a few homeschooling articles in magazines.
Now I have published my first book, 10 Days in December...where dreams meet reality... which has been my dream since I was 8 years old.
Yes, I intend to write one memoir for each month!
My husband and I continue to live the lifestyle we first dreamed of when we were 16 years old.
Kevin took early retirement from a 33 year career on the railroad. He volunteers with Search and Rescue, Ham Radio, Tracking and First Aid. He has been a huge support through this book project.
I recently became a Canadian citizen, continue to volunteer in several communities up and down our river valley, write for the newspaper, and keep the freezer and pantry and root cellar full of homegrown food.
I took a detour through breast cancer in 2015, while my book was at the publisher. Again, my husband took good care of me, driving me to the treatment center 5 hours away. Learning became a part-time job. Some days we were resting with 1960's TV shows on you-tube. He also listened to my concerns and tears. I am so glad I found him that winter day 41 years ago.
The doctors have gave me the “all clear” and right away I began writing 10 Days in January… 1 Husband, 2 Brothers, 3 Sons, 4 Dads...
As you can guess, this book brings bright and dark portraits of family members, and how each relationship shaped me as I grew from earliest childhood to the present.
During the winter of 2017-2018 I focused on writing 10 Days in February… Limitations & 10 Days in March… Possibilities…
February feels like the longest month in the year for. The highway is icy, snow fall continues and I have to cancel outings, volunteering and fun. The sky is dreary. The limitations press me down.
In March I can return to the volunteering I love. Thriving on interactions with children and their parents in educational settings, each chapter describes an assortment of activities. As I was writing, I realized how much volunteering over 40 years has homed my skills, strengthened my confidence, and expanded my horizons.
I decided to publish February and March in one volume, contrasting the gloomy fog of late winter with the bright springtime.
Could I dare to share my cancer story?
10 Days in April… a detour through breast cancer is one person being utterly transparent. There is the physical endurance test, the logistics of the many appointments, tests and procedures, the emotional roller-coaster, the supportive voices and words of wisdom, the faithful husband, the spiritual battles and at last, the peace of mind.
Yes, more writing is happening! Stay tuned!
Life is grand!
May you take a step today to reach towards making your dreams into reality!
Enjoy the Journey.