Sunday, October 17, 2010

Holiday in the Fall

This fall, I took almost two weeks of vacation.

A few people asked me if I was going somewhere hot. No, I'd reply, just planning on sticking around here. 

I stayed in Ontario, and although the air was crisp and chilly, my holiday was warm and cozy. Many hundreds of miles were covered as I traveled South, then North, then South again to make sure I got the most amount of lovin' I possibly could. 

Between family and friends, I had the absolute best time. Here's a recap. 

NOTE: I know my nephew Leo's basically the star of this video but just look at those cheeks! Look at those curls! And that smile! How could I resist? 

Soundtrack is Lovers in Japan by Coldplay

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Last Thursday, 7 p.m. I'm driving home after a long day in the newsroom. I'm exhausted, frustrated. My eyes are fighting to stay open and I'm kind of dreading the hour-long drive ahead of me.

I drive along the highway, thinking about what I'm doing. What direction I'm headed in. What the next week, month, year holds for me.

The sky glows mellow orange in my rearview mirror. As always, the Fall season has made me nostalgic and pensive. Thinking of the past, I take a deep breath.

Up ahead, I notice two cars stopped on the side of the road. As I get closer, I see a man taking photos of something I can't see yet.

I slow down, brake, and turn to look at the roadside attraction.

Standing in a clearing among the cattails is the most regal looking bull moose I've ever seen. Just as I pull off to the side of the highway, he looks up, his massive rack throwing his head slightly off balance.

This moose is healthy, strong. His coat is black, shiny, beautiful. He doesn't run or even turn away when more cars begin to stop. He seems to enjoy this paparazzi-like attention.

My Dad always said moose were good luck. A sign that everything's going to be ok. I remember him telling the story about the night I was born.

It was a cold night in February, and I was refusing to make my grand entrance into the world. Which, looking back now shouldn't have surprised anyone because hello? Have you TRIED getting me out of bed in the morning before I'm ready? I like warm and dark and cozy places.

Anyway, being the drama queen I am, my mom was rushed to the hospital an hour away to have me. My dad flew along the highway to Timmins (to this day he swears he beat the ambulance), nervous and anxious about the arrival of his first daughter. When he tells the story of my birthday, he never leaves out the part about the moose. Racing down the highway in the dark on that winter night 27 years ago, Dad saw, like I did last week, a big, beautiful bull.

"I knew then that everything was going to be ok," he says, a faraway look in his eyes.

First Nations people believe moose are a sign of hope.

I remember my cousin telling me about her granny's last moments. After her husband died a few years earlier, her family said goodbye as she slipped away. Leaving the hospital, my family saw a bull and cow moose standing together in the early morning light. This confirmed for them that their Granny and Grandpa were together once again.

Seeing that moose on the side of the road the other night served as a confirmation for me too. A reminder that life, despite all it's complications, darkness, and truly beautiful.