Who Am I?

The question: “Who am I?”, is both simple and complex.  On the surface, I’m a retired Canadian experiencing life a little different than most.  On a deeper level, the answer requires completing a lifelong journey of discovery.  My final summation is still being refined on the Master’s pottery wheel as He molds this forgiven sinner into something of lasting beauty.  I trust He knows best, loves me completely and only sends what I need to experience in order to become the best of who I can be… And that’s OK by me. 

So far…

I spent my early years raising a family like most, but unlike most, we had a one room home that had neither running water nor hydro, but we did have six kids, elastic walls and a lot of love.  Things change with time as did our circumstances: larger home, modern facilities, new opportunities and new challenges.  

At the ripe old age of 40 I started earning my first degree: a BA, then added a B.Ed. and finally a M.Ed.  After spending wonderful, fulfilling years as an educator, our last child left our nest and my husband passed away.  Without family obligations, I went to live and teach on a reservation in Northern Manitoba for an eye-opening view of life on a reserve.  Later, I lived, and taught, in Ecuador for a few years to experience yet another culture and to learn Spanish.   Although I can get by in my new language, I am far from bilingual.  I keep at it little by little.  I have bilingual grandchildren so I practise speaking what little French I’ve managed to master.  They are very patient with me!  I hope to be truly tri-lingual someday.  Since I am a slow learner I expect to live a  l-o-n-g  time. Becoming truly tri-lingual is one of my lesser goals – maybe I should just call it a dream since it just sits there somewhere nearly dormant in the back of my mind.  

While in Ecuador I wrote my first book as a legacy for my children. I didn’t want them to forget their roots as they gained more and more material things.  “Pioneers in the 20th Century”, a memoir based on our life in Northern Ontario during the 1970’s and 80’s, chronicles when we lived a pioneer life in a modern-day world.  It sounds terrible, but it wasn’t.  It’s all about attitude and making the most about whatever life throws at you.  It was anything but boring!  Hard work, yes; but boring, never.   I also wrote and write…well… whatever: children’s books, short stories, and insights about life.

To free my mind and restore my soul, I once loved riding my motorcycle or camping in the wilderness.  An accident in Ecuador followed by a return home to Canada, then surgery to replace both my hip and knee made me rethink my exploring options. 

About eight months after my final surgery, I spent three months converting an empty cargo van into a comfortable home with the help of YouTube videos and a few re-chargeable tools. Many from the apartment building stopped by to inspect what this gray-haired granny, who only recently was using a walker, was doing in the building’s parking lot. I received a lot of encouragement from neighbours who watched my daily progress.

Now, gazing at the stars in a place not polluted by city lights keeps me humble and spiritually aligned.  I spend most days exploring and discovering, or at my computer writing.  I’ve met, and expect to meet even more, amazing people until this journey ends and the Master calls me home. 

At times, I miss the closeness of family and friends.  I knew this would be part of the cost.  Their memories sustain me and I’m thankful for technology that lets me see their faces and hear their voices in real time.  

In the meantime, as I learn about blogging and everything else that life brings, I will share my insights, highlights, not-quite-rights and hope you will do the same with me.

If this is your first visit, welcome.  If you are on your own journey of discovery, let’s share experiences and learn from one another. Tell me about your plans, hopes and dreams.  If you’re already doing so, tell me what pushed you to leave your comfort zone and how it has impacted your life.  I’d love to hear from you.

Retired Pilgrim (and loving it!)

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