Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Kanalima: Hawaii makes 50 sound so festive.

When I was looking for a name for this blog, I went looking in Google Translate.  I already had landed on the Journey idea, because most of where I am now has been a portrait of the journey.  Now I am heading towards this place called Fifty, I wanted to find a name for it... you know... other than Fifty.  Fifty sounds... old?

I perused the translations for the word fifty in over twenty different languages and landed on a word that sounded more like a tropical destination than number.   Kanalima is the Hawaiian word for Fifty.  

Journey to Kanalima... sounds like a trip worth going on.  Like a trip that's going to land you somewhere with palm trees, white sandy beaches, lots of water and dancing orcas. I figured that would be a journey worth going on.

So here is the thought for perusing...  How do I make the next ten years something to look forward to?  (Much like someone waits for a tropical getaway).  I am more reluctant  of the scary possibilities that await me, than I am anticipating the journey with joy.  

"It's just a number!" 

Is it?  Is it just a number or is it a period of transition?  If it was just a number, people wouldn't spend so much money on big fancy parties.  There must be something significant about the jubilee year.  I know I am past mid life.  I had my mid life crisis when I turned 40... and I solved it by getting married at one day shy of 41.  

Significance... now there is a word to sit on for a bit.  Am I still looking for significance as I "Journey to Kanalima"?  (Now my new code word for turning fifty).  At forty I had published my first book.  Its kind of hard to beat that milestone.  Now it's ten years later and I am wondering what lays in wait for me, at Junction Highway #50.    

Saturday, July 8, 2017


2011 - Ruby (43) and Aunt Agnes (104) 
2013 - Aunt Paula (100) and Ruby (45)

In this post, I want to talk about two amazing women I am honoured to call family.  What do both woman have in common.  I am sure that when they were 49... counting down to their own 50th birthdays, they weren't thinking.... "I'm not even half way home. "  

My Dad's Mom,  Oma as she was to me , was the fourth child in a family of seventeen children.  This reality  has blessed me with a wealth of family love over the years.   

Aunt Agnes
Aunt Agnes was the eldest of the seventeen children.  Together with her sister Paula (#6), both have lived the longest of their siblings.  How does one reach...

That's right... Both of my aunts reached 104... that  is more than twice my lifetime... five years more to be precise.  At forty-nine I feel like most of my life is behind me already.  What is with me?  Looks like I'm not even half way home yet.  

Aunt Paula 

Aunt Agnes made it to 104 yrs and 10 months before she passed away.  Aunt Paula is still with us... She turned 104 in February.  Both women have seen a lot of life in their years.  Aunt Agnes spent a lot of her years in Saskatchewan on a farm with her husband raising seven children.  Aunt Paula saw quite a bit more of the globe in her travels with her husband and two daughters.  Both women left an amazing legacy for their families.  

So where does that leave me???  If I get the same fulfilling journey as my aunts... 


I think I am more scared at that possibility than elated.  I don't think I can afford another 55 years of life.  I really want to be on the down stretch by now.  Coasting toward the finish line.  That is where I see myself at forty-nine.  Aunt Agnes and Aunt Paula have had a legacy to pass along, children to walk them through their aging years, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great, great grandchildren.  

As of me, the only thing I have out of that list may be a legacy.   I think I am coming to the conclusion that my legacy is the life I am living now.  There will be no children or grandchildren left behind when I go, so what I have to offer is the life I have now.  

I was serious when I said I couldn't afford another 55 years.  I have treasured my aunts and the time they have had, but I'm not sure I want to follow in the same path.  I don't know how long I would like to live... if it becomes my choice down the road. All I am certain of is that I want to be useful.  I want to contribute to life as long as I draw breath.  My Aunt Agnes got to dance at her 100th birthday celebration and play dominoes with me when she was 104.  I want that spirit in me until the end.  That is all I can hope for.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Menopause was supposed to come at 50!

That's right... a women's journey to oldness starts with menopause.  Hot flashes, not fireworks, announces the dawn of a new era in a woman's life.

And it was supposed to start at the "old" age of ...
So why did it have to come at forty-two?

Here's a story:

Hubby and I got married the day before I turned forty-one.  I had already secured the tube clipping operation that gave me the confidence that I wasn't going to  get pregnant for the first time in my forties.  So I was very concerned in the first year of marriage when I missed my period... not the first month, but the second month in a row.  I had missed before on occasion, but not two months in a row.  I went to the doctor, but not before my co-worker increased my panic.

"It is possible for you to have a baby...  I have a friend that had a baby.. She had her tubal and her hubby had a vacectomy and they got pregnant."

Not funny!!!   I was convinced I was past the age of safely having children.  That is why I did the operation when I was single and thirty-nine.  I wanted no option, should I find "Mr Right" around the corner.  I didn't want to get pregnant in my forties.  Way too many risks and I just didn't have the energy of a twenty year old to run after a toddler.  That ship sailed in my books... so I got "fixed".

 It was a day surgery scheduled in July of 2007,  Mom even came down to Calgary for my operation and stayed at the hospital waiting for me.  I took a few days off of work to recover and she drove me back to the farm.  What a woman!

" I am not cashing my pension check in on my kid's graduation present."  That is what I told people when they asked my reason for getting the operation.

So there I was...  a newlywed and missing my periods.  I didn't go to the drug store for one of those "Made in who knows where"  pregnancy tests.  I wanted a requisitioned urine test from my GP. When I went in for the test,  I asked my doctor..

"Could it be menopause?"

"You're too young for menopause."  In her mind she had the magic number in her head... I was only forty-two.. not fifty.  Menopause was too far away, medically speaking.

I went for my lab test and got on the waiting train.  A phone call to my mother confirmed my suspicions about the possibility of menopause.  Mom went early.  Maybe it was genetic.  I started to feel a glimpse of hope.  No periods, no kids... sounds doable.

The morning I was to get the news of the pregnancy test... I got morning sickness.  Go figure.  Mom says I was worried about the outcome and the morning sickness was a manifestation of my fear.  It was fear.  Fear of how my life would change, how our lives would change.  Hubby was encouraging.

"What every happens... we will be okay."

Or something like that.  It didn't seem like a big mountain for him at the time.  I am sure the mountains would have come, because neither of us were prepared in our forties to have any family other than each other and our cat.  But he didn't seem overwhelmed at the thought.  Later he confided in me that he wished we would have met twenty years ago and had that family together.

Long story made short... I wasn't pregnant... and at forty-two, the journey of menopause started. The doctor still wasn't quite convinced that I should get on the menopause train, so she tried slowing it down by prescribing birth control pills to regulate my periods.  I took her advice and for the first time in my life... went on birth control.   I was fine for about three weeks and then when time came for me to cycle... I bled for twelve days straight.  I freaked.  I talked to my husband and he reassured me again.  If nature was speeding up the train, then let's ride it out as nature decides.  So I stopped the pills and eventually the periods stopped as well.

I guess for a woman who has wanted to stay a girl all her life, menopause was another kick in my kiddy pants.  It was like the first time I had my period.  It was a sign that I wasn't a child anymore.  I was growing up, becoming the very thing I feared becoming... a grown-up.  From fourteen to forty-two... now I felt that fear again, because something in me still didn't want to "grow up".

The journey continues. My body is growing up faster than my soul is.  I ride the train of life and it takes me where it wants me to go.  But my soul, my soul still wants that freedom to be young even though my body tells a different story.  Maybe these next nine months,  I will listen to my body and  it will convince me, so I will believe it when I turn fifty.  Or I will listen to my soul and fly as long as the wind will carry me.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Canada is 150 and she still looks good; what am I worried about?

Happy Birthday Canada!  You are looking good.  God has taken care of you.

I love taking pictures of this beautiful country.  At 150 years of age (and physically a lot older than that), she has given me some amazing memories to treasure in the last 50.

From the coast of Vancouver Island...

To the waters of the Great Lakes.

Canada, you are still beautiful.  I really have nothing to worry about. We both are feeling our age, it's true.  We have seen the "less than beautiful" in our lives.  But as we celebrate the turning of a new page, lets look at what shines about us and give thanks to our Creator for his awesomeness.  


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Conception Day


10 years ago today... I had a party at my place in Calgary.  It was my 40 years from conception party.

My birthday is in March... and still kind of cold for a good party, so I decided to have one nine months early.  I invited my parents down to Calgary for the weekend and had some friends over for a early birthday bash.  It was a weekend to remember.

What was so significant about it was that my Dad didn't make it to my real fortieth birthday, he passed away from cancer two months before.  So as crazy as it may have sounded at the time, I have an awesome memory of hanging out with my parents for my 40th birthday.. nine months early.  

'After all... life begins at conception!!!"  That was the quote of the evening. 

Today I was thinking of this event of my life that happened on this day, ten years ago.  I have already been counting down to fifty.   273 days to go.  So what better way to count down then to write about it.  

I have nine months to go before I am officially "OLD".  

I don't really feel old... well, some days my body feels old, but my soul, my spirit... they are very much still enjoying youthfulness.  I don't know if I am ready to accept fifty yet.  What does that really mean?  I have friends and family hitting the big one right about now and it doesn't seem like it has changed them all that much.  

Maybe I am making a big deal about this, but that is me.. Mrs "Make a big deal about everything"  It comes with being a last born child.  I want things big and bold and brilliant.  

If you want to come a long with me on my Journey to 50... I can't promise anything because I don't know what I will blog about this time... I just thought I would record my thoughts, if that's okay with you.  

Life is all about the journey... so here I go.. my journey to 50.  

Kanalima: Hawaii makes 50 sound so festive.

When I was looking for a name for this blog, I went looking in Google Translate.  I already had landed on the Journey idea, because m...