It has been such a strange week. It started out like this:


Which morphed into this:


We put on a happy face, after all, the kids were all building snow forts and having a blast. The snow was going to melt, so no big deal, right?



Yesterday morning I drove to yoga at my usual early time. The snow was falling heavily and the streets were slushy. I felt a bit anxious about it, so I had an abbreviated practice and headed home a bit early, thinking I could get my husband to have a head start and beat the traffic. Soon, I realized that his car’s summer tires would never do for the conditions, so when I got home at 6:45 I told him that he should probably consider taking the train to work. He gave me the following information: giant branches were breaking off our Manitoba maple in the front yard, and there was a stabbing at the train station, so it was closed for investigation.

I turned on the news just in time to see that the stabbing investigation was over and the station was now open for the morning commute, and just as I was relaying that happy piece of news, the power went off. And stayed off. We had no power, no phone, and the route to school was full of giant trees, all of which were losing branches. My cell phone was only partially charged, and so I trudged off early with the boys, still dressed in my sweaty yoga clothes, with no makeup and dirty hair, hoping the power was on at the school so I could charge my phone, and avoiding any and all large trees on the way. We made it without being hit by falling branches, and the teachers immediately took pity on me, plugging in my phone, making me coffee, and offering to toast me a bagel. I was reminded how lucky I am to live in a neighbourhood where the kids can walk to school, and to be part of a school community that is truly kind.

I tried to be helpful in the school office for a while, and then decided I would walk back home and…read a book? I wasn’t sure what to do, exactly, when my phone rang. My two dear friends asked me to meet them at the neighbourhood Starbucks. Why not? My to-do list wasn’t exactly to-do-able. As I left the school I saw a tree fall down in the middle of the busy road, blocking traffic, and several large branches fall on the stopped cars up and down the boulevard. Once I got to Starbucks, my friends had bought me a giant vanilla soy latte, and informed me that I was NOT going home to my cold, dark house, but instead I was going to my friend’s, that had power and an extra computer in case I needed to do some work. She also insisted that the boys come to her place for a hot lunch. I was reminded how lucky I am to have friends who get me, who knew I would never ask.

After lunch my other dear friend drove me back to my house so I could let the dog out for a while. We pulled up to see devastation – giant branches littering the front yard, the sidewalk, and the walkway. My tree! My friend went to the back yard, picked up a hoe, and started knocking as much snow as she could off of the other trees and shrubs. We did this for a while and it really helped; the other front tree, the Mayday, suffered minimal damage. I was reminded how lucky I am to have friends who just pitch in and help.


All in all it was pretty depressing, although by the time the kids and I came home after school, the power was back on. The power was back on! Never have I been so thrilled to be able to switch on a light. I was reminded how lucky I am to be in a cozy, warm house, with hot water and a fridge full of food.

After dinner, my neighbours came by with a chainsaw and bandsaw, and they helped move the branches onto the lawn and off the walkways. I was reminded how lucky I am to be in a neighbourhood with heart.

This morning the sun came out. Everything looks better in the morning, don’t you think?


The thing is, there are so many great people in my life. I’m just surrounded by them. I have very little patience for people who are selfish, people who are unkind, people who thrive on making other people feel bad. We need to spend our time celebrating the good people, and to spend zero time thinking about the toxic ones. I’m so lucky to have all of you in my life, and you know who you are. xoxoxo


Happy fall with the Manitoba maple, 2008.

IMG_1707 IMG_1711 IMG_1714 (2) Jakeleaves


  1. You’re just the best, and that’s why you have such wonderful friends – because you attract and draw the kindest & most compassionate people to you, honey.

  2. Bummer about the snow and the power outage and the falling tree branches, but aside from that, what a lovely post. What wonderful people you have all around you. I feel all warm and fuzzy now.

  3. It is wonderful to have such good friends, as for the tree, it will grow again. You and your family are safe and warm, that is the important thing.

  4. Wow, the snow there is just…mind boggling. Calgary wins the worst weather award, hands down. So happy to hear you have such a great community around you, though!

  5. IS THAT BABY BARKLEY? Sorry, sorry, the snow crap sucks, your friends and neighbours rock and you’re right – what is UP with mean people? It’s so much more fun to be awesome. Awesome with a tiny bit of snark. Or a medium bit of snark. A medium bit is okay and you still love me, right? Smooches.

  6. smothermother says

    holy crap! that’s crazy. the snow and falling trees part. not the awesome neighbours part. that part is pure awesome.

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