Walls of emotion


It is a very rare occurrence when my emotions take me by surprise.  I am usually fairly in tune with them.  But, tonight, driving past my mother’s old house, the same house I drive by every day on my way to work and again on my way home, the emotion stored within those walls hit me like a ton of bricks.   Tonight I glanced at the house, as I do every time I follow that familiar road, and I burst into tears.

I don’t know where the tidal pool of emotion came from but suddenly I was flooded with images of moments that became important memories in my life.  Christmases, birthdays, family gatherings and quiet nights spent as a family were at the forefront of my brain.  Lingering snapshots of magical kisses witnessed by only the walls upstairs slowly transformed themselves into moving pictures to replay the scene.  That house, the building others would only see as walls and a roof, was my home.  It was the vessel that helped create and store some of the most precious moments of my life.


And although there were many happy times, there were also moments of great sorrow.  Those walls echoed as I told my parents, hysterically through sobs, that my best friend had passed away in 2003.  That roof sheltered both my parents as they battled their illness and those walls protected them for as long as they could.  That structure that is a seemingly unnoticeable building to passers-by will forever have a large part of my history carved into its frame.

That architecture will always be a part of me.   Each time I drive by and take the time to trace the outlines of those walls there will always be an affinity to its design and purpose.  It is said that we need to let things go to be happier but I feel the need to embrace those things to stay connected.

(image credit)




Until we meet again

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 (image credit)

When I am overcome by sorrow and surrounded by an outpouring of emotion, the writer in me takes over and helps process the overwhelming feelings by using words.  I cannot express enough gratitude for those words at times when tears and despair are not adequate enough to describe the sadness of attending a funeral for a 30-year-old man who had been experiencing the best year of his life.

In the aftermath of a tragic event, two parents lost a son, a younger brother became an only son and my best friend lost her brother.  The news of his passing was felt in our small town like the shock waves recorded during an earthquake.  Everyone who knew Cam was rattled to their core.  The emotion was raw, the grief was all-encompassing and the anguish could have been described as physical pain.

We gathered in Toronto today to celebrate Cam’s life.  We shared tears, we shared many hugs and we all knew we had lost something special in our lives that we can never get back.  Cam was that guy that everyone loved to be around.  His smile will be forever etched in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to see it and his absence will never go unnoticed.

His funeral service today was a touching blend of spirituality and prayer, accented by a heaping dose of Cam’s sense of humor.  As the family left the service, the well-recognized Monty Python song “Always look on the bright side of life” played while we stood, waiting to join the family outside.

“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”  —Phillip Brooks

Cam truly was a man of character.  May you rest in peace, Cam.


An unfortunate series of events


Last night I was scanning through the social media sites, surreptitiously wasting precious moments of my life that I won’t get back, and found a collection of pictures on Facebook that I just had to scan through.  The pictures were of some unfortunate puppy dogs who had run into some bees and the photos had been turned into memes.  As much as I felt sympathy for these poor creatures, I was certainly enjoying the humor of those who wrote the accompanying words.

dog-eats-bee-looks-like-goofy(image credit: weknowmemes.com)

 Fast forward to this morning.  I let Callaway out for her usual morning routine.  I have great faith that she will not run out onto the road since she, like me, is a great creature of habit.  When I went out to let her back in, she wasn’t waiting at the door as per her normal behavior.  I stood on my deck and whistled for her and the jingling of her tags came from a direction that was out of her usual territory.

When her front paws landed on the first stair, I saw the bee on Callaway’s back.  I grabbed the towel that was hanging close by and, after the most ungraceful display of heroics, I swatted the bee away.  But I knew it wasn’t the only strike.  Her usual playful entrance to the house was replaced by a sullen walk to her doggy bed where she lay licking her wounds.  There was no waiting for cookies, only a somewhat embarrassed dog attempting to be brave through her tragedy.

The irony of my previous night’s web surfing did not escape me.  I watched the bumps on my poor dog’s body increase in size and tried to console her as much as I could before I left for work.  In a matter of minutes my dog had gone from svelte to lumpy.

I’m glad I live close to my work because I couldn’t stand the worry and came home at 10:30 this morning to make sure she was okay.  Her pride was a little bruised but her physical condition was stable.  There was nothing a bit of love and a few more cookies couldn’t fix.  As I type this post, the swelling is going down and Callaway’s sense of adventure seems to be somewhat diminished…..for now.  She seems to be content to watch the wildlife from inside the house.


The things that go quiet in the night


The time on the clock read 1:29 am.  The waning moon shared its luminescence with the corner of my bedroom and my eyes blinked repeatedly with the harsh difference between the blackness behind my eyelids and the moonlight permeating my bedroom.

The sound that woke me was shrill and I was trying to convince myself it had followed me from a nightmare.  My dog’s uneasiness confirmed the polar opposite of that thought and together we looked out the bedroom window to discern where the awful noise was coming from.

My initial thought was that a baby raccoon was lost and crying out for its mother but as the cry continued it became much more visceral and intense.  My tension escalated with the suffering sounds of nature.  There was nowhere I could free myself from the wretched sounds of terror that animal was shrieking.  I now know how poor Clarice Starling felt in The Silence of Lambs.  Somewhere deep inside you want the shrill cries to stop but you also realize the outcome of the slaughter when the night regains its stillness.

The cry did lose its intensity and that sound of terror became more and more staggered until it was replaced by the silence of the night.  It took me a long time to get back to sleep.  Between my over-active imagination and my staunch passion for Criminal Mind’s crime scene photos, I’m sure I had created over 200 plausible crime scenes by the time I finally nodded off.


I can only hope whatever predator was outside has moved on to a new hunting ground and we will not have to listen to the unfortunate nocturnal melody entitled “Survival of the Fittest”.

(image credit: onthewingphotography.com)





Juggling the balls of justice – Trifecta Challenge


The prosecutor stifled his laughter.

“Did you, or did you not state, Mrs. Bobbitt, that you would go free because the evidence would not, um, stand up in court?”

She was not amused.

“That wasn’t what I meant.”


Written for this week’s Trifecta Challenge – I’m really not sure why I chose Lorena Bobbitt and the misfortune of her husband’s manhood, but I did!  I apologize to all of the guys crossing their legs right now.

On now to our quick and dirty Trifextra prompt.  Plenty of times over the past two and a half years, we’ve given you the beginning of a story and asked for you to complete it.  This time, we are giving you the end, and we are asking you to start it for us.  We want 33 words in addition to and preceding the following:

That wasn’t what I meant.

So, to clarify, you write 33 words and then you tag on the five that we’ve given you.  Our five come after your 33 for a grand total of 38.

Of snowflakes and serial killers



The beauty of a white world all around,

but I cannot see it beyond my window.

I am entombed by reality,

gestating in the womb of Mother Nature’s swollen belly.

Her raging emotions unsettle me,

her fury becomes my anger.

My sense of peace is replaced by the need to kill.

Thousands of individual victims lay in wait

and my I raise my weapon.

I lose track of how many bodies have been discarded on my property

as my shovel throws more snowflakes to their grave.

Say “holy s&*t” to the dress


One of my guilty pleasures is to watch the TLC show “Say yes to the dress”.   I find it a perplexing notion that I can spend hours watching women from all walks of life find their perfect wedding dress when my real-life experience was so monumentally terrible.

I was never the little girl who dreamed about her wedding.  I didn’t have a clue what style of dress I wanted when I said ‘yes’ to the proposal of marriage.  I DID know I had no desire to stand in a bridal shop looking at countless styles of dresses while five pairs of trained eyes bore into my soul, annoyed that I couldn’t make a decision.  So I began and ended my wedding dress shopping online and I was thrilled with my choice.  It really spoke to the casual style wedding I desired and to the fact that I would be wearing sandals instead of constricting, mutilating high heels.

wedding dress

(image credit: alfredangelo.com)

This was my vision.  This dress, in all its simplicity, spoke to me and truly conveyed the feeling I wanted to have on my wedding day.  It was fun, it was carefree, it was casual, in essence, it was me.  I knew there would be alterations required and I did my due diligence in researching a seamstress to make the necessary adjustments.  What I failed to factor into my wedding planning was that, although numerous people gave this woman a glowing recommendation, there was a chance that this clothier would do everything in her power to derail the possibility of this dress being on my body on my wedding day.

The initial meeting gave me no foreshadowing feeling that there would be any cause for concern.  Measurements were taken and discussions were had about removing the zipper and creating a corset-style back with just a hint of green under the lace to match the golf theme of the wedding.  Everything was going as planned but the seams of this agreement began to rapidly unravel.  Phone calls went unanswered, fitting appointments were rescheduled due to her personal conflicts and time marched ever so quickly towards the wedding day.  Appointments I arrived for were met with a closed sign on the shop and a promise that she would be in touch to reschedule.  It never happened.

After one fitting and no communication for weeks from this seamstress, my dress arrived at my mother’s house five days before my wedding.  My mom called to say the dress had been delivered and I was dumbfounded.  First of all, I had no idea how this woman had access to my mother’s address.  Second, I had never had a follow-up fitting and I had never seen any of the alterations, but my dress now hung in the hallway of my mom’s house awaiting my inspection.

With trepidation, I closed the door to the bedroom and eased myself into my dress.  My mother could hear my sobs on the other side of the door.  She let herself in and did her best to lace the corset at the back of the dress.  The loop holes were so far apart that, upon tightening the lace, I began to look like a ridge-back dinosaur.  The top of the dress had been taken in but had been sewn in loops over the outer part of the dress making it look like a Grade 9 Home Economics project that had failed miserably.  The dress was a write-off.

I quickly scraped up what was left of my hope and began to make panicked phone calls to any other tailor’s in the area.   As bad luck would have it, it was the end of September and the most popular time of year for Muskoka weddings – not one person had the time to fix my dress.  The butchered, lifeless dress hung in my closet and I fully and painfully cried myself to sleep for the first time since I was a child.

The following morning my best friend arrived with a coffee in one hand and a rainbow in the other.  She dragged me out of my house, took me into town to the fabric store and there we chose a pattern and some fabric.  In four remarkable days she and her mother measured, they cut, they pinned, they measured again, they sewed and they created the dress that I wore as I walked down the aisle four days later.  They are angels.

After the wedding dust settled and life got back to normal, I eventually got the money back for the alterations as well as the full cost of the wedding dress from the “alleged” seamstress  (a few threatening phone calls and face to face meetings from my then hubby may have expedited the process).  I can only hope she is enjoying the career path she chose, the career path that led her to inexplicably close her business without notice and decimate the lives of the customers she left hanging in the balance.  After she hastily locked the doors to her alteration shop, she began her career as a Parts Manager in a plumbing store.  There has to be some “fitting” joke about her “flushing” her reputation down the toilet, but that would seem like a “common vent”.    I shall take the high road and wish that the only “snake” in her life is no longer her but the one used to clean out clogged pipes!