toe, heel


We walk home toe, heel now. Our backs facing the harsh and unforgiving prairie winds, just as we did last year and each one before. It's funny walking past our neighbours; facing each other, but only after we've passed. Like a film played in reverse. It's this or choking on air, though. Luckily, we've become skilled in the art of toe, heel.

We picked out our tree at the backyard tree lot, two weeks before last on the cusp of November. Half the battle is convincing Mom to opt for a real one. The other half is conquering the battle of tree vs. small door frame. It's all dressed up in the corner now, in knickknacks from and before my time. I like our ornaments and how each one brings to mind a certain feeling or a certain day or a certain person. Buying a proper set of ornaments is probably something I'll never do.

December hasn't been too generous with time to think or write or sit (I've been meaning to write for two weeks now). But she's been generous with time. Time for tests and work and preparation and overwhelming decisions. It'll all be worth it come Christmas break. I'll be thankful for it, even. It's a chop your own wood and it will warm you twice sort of month, and this week is the final swing of the axe. 

Warmth is on its way. 

some moments are just moments.


I haven't written in what feels like forever. I scratch out whatever's on the surface each night, almost subconsciously. But it's been too long since I've given myself the luxury of just sitting and writing and actually grasping my own thoughts. And even though there about forty seven other things I should probably (definitely) be doing, I'm going to put my sanity at the top of that list, and tonight, I'm just going to write.

Whenever I get an idea I scribble it down wherever I can find a piece of paper and sometimes I'll go back and read it and think to myself "I just can't go back to that moment. I can't feel what I felt when I wrote those exact words." That's the thing about being a writer, you can try as hard as you want, but sometimes there are just some moments you'll never be able to put back into words. Sometimes moments are just moments, and memories are all you'll ever have.

My beautiful friend Katie interviewed Alexis, the wordsmith behind Twelve Odd Months, and her words adhered to my heart. There are so many good experiences, so many struggles that I've been trying to make stories of, and having a good memory just isn't enough. Life happens and then they're too far away. We try to feel what we felt before. We write what we remember and we make up what we don't and in the end, all we have is this puzzle with all the wrong pieces forced into all the wrong spots. 

Some moments are just moments and that's all they were ever meant to be. I'm playing the piano more often. I have a new job. It's Winter now. My grandparents made my week. An application went in the mail. I met someone at my favourite coffee shop and got to tell them something I never had the chance to before. There's a million little stories. A million little reasons, morals, uncertainties, seconds of bravery, laugh lines, tears that coexist with these moments. But some moments and just moments. And sometimes, we let them be. 

Some writing from last week.


I've cried twice this week and it's only Monday. This kitchen table is more of a university pamphlet/application form display case more than it is a kitchen table. I biked to school in the dark and I biked home in the dark (such is almost winter prairie living). I've fought with my parents, I've scrawled viciously into my journal, and it almost feels like there's no weather at all. 

So I left everything, even if only for a few minutes. I lit a paper lantern down at the lake tonight. It was zero and windy and it didn't fly. Still, I left my discontent there on the beach. In the dark I started anew. 

But some things, I kept. Because I didn't want to forget the good in the bad days. My bike rides, as dark as they've been. They mean a thermos of Oh Canada in my backpack pocket and the Vinyl CafĂ© in my ears. The prayers I scrawled out so viciously, but were answered the next morning (He is so good). Standing out on the deck in for no other reason than to feel alive; to feel Winter coming. Sidewalk chalk palms and late night filmmaking. That one city evening when we had Mexican breakfast for supper at Stella's. Sweet Rayvn, who lay with her head on the small of my back and let me cry. She said nothing. It was exactly what I needed to hear. 

Something I wrote yesterday.

a thanksgiving fete.


The morning of, we gathered our passports and you made oatmeal in that particular way that you do. "Bales on the bottom" (mini-wheats). Porridge on top. A spooned-out hole in the middle for milk. Brown sugar and raisins like freckles on your always warm skin. A cup of coffee in a clear mug. "I like to see what I'm drinking," you say. And you don't let me help you, because you're the sweetest kind of stubborn.

We crossed into America in the late afternoon, to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. Mostly because 1) we have family there, but also because 2) we're a little strange and we take pride in not making a whole lot of sense.

"Is that a bathtub?"
"We should pull it behind the tractor."

It was then that I realized (for the umpteenth time that evening) how incredible and slightly redneck my family is. And somewhere between the first flame and the second serving at the tailgate and the third bathtub ride and the fourth firework and the eighty-seventh little I love you more, my thankfulness multiplied. 

And today, I'm back to being a stressed out senior. The sky is a white grey and the leaves that were ablaze just last week are now saturated in snow puddles, ceasing to crunch underneath my weight. It's a far cry from the fete that was Thanksgiving weekend. Still, I am thankful.