$25 LiveÂ Life Inspired ISSUE 19/ JULY 2020
Strip Down Summer with Style Muse Megs Aylward
x a J f e h Breakfast Summer C Wrapped up
The Traveling Gypsy
Take the road less traveled, but don't get lost!
Pandemic Grad: An intimate conversation with two highschool students who missed out
by: Tara McDermott
From the Table to Life by: Ang MacDonald
Cover Art by Birgit Raduenz Subscribe @ www.thevintagegypsy.ca
Love Note Our Cover Story Birgit Raduenz wears many hats ! She is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, gardener. She is a lover of nature, the healing arts, music and dance.
Art By; Birgit Raduenz
Welcome to the COVID edition of the magazine, although not intentional, these are the times we are living in. Navigating the summer months is an interesting undertaking. There are no oncerts, no festivals, no family gatherings to take up space in our short summer, so what are we doing? Personally, I am embracing this simple summer. Spending more time in nature and by the water are my goals. Small gatherings with close family and friends and of course spending time with my new grandbaby are all on my summer agenda. I believe we are invited to take a step back and really soak up these days of summer heat, gaze over the fields of green and gold and take in the beauty that Mother Nature provides. An invitation to stop and listen to the sounds that we rarely hear over the busyness going on in our minds. An invitation to see the true beauty of those closest to us,
the sounds of laughter and facial expressions that we sometimes miss. Perhaps this is also an opportunity to see ourselves in our truth and divine light. A chance to reflect on how far we have come and what else we would like to experience during our short time here in this life. Maybe it is a time to just BE! And be perfectly ok with that. Whatever your simple summer plans are, I hope you live everyday with unapologetic intention and joy Hey! Maybe the “lazy dog days of summer” really is a thing!
Shannon Kelly is the Chief Editor and creator of the "Vintage Gypsy" Mag. She is a storyteller, a community builder and a humanitarian. She believes that we all have a story to tell and that each story is unique and important. check out the full story @thevintagegypsy.ca
Drawing and Painting is a passion for Birgit, that can be seen on every cover and colouring page of the Vintage Gypsy Magazine. Her love for painting and sculpting started at the age of 16 when she started her apprenticeship at the Royal Porcelain Manufacturer in Berlin, Germany. Her love for Celtic lore and design inspire her to transform clay into art. No Matter what hat Birgit wears, she always finds inspiration to create beauty in the world. “It is all of these hats I wear that make it possible for the art to flow from my hands into form and shape.“ -Birgit You can see her work at the Mann Art Gallery gift shop and Shananigan’s coffee and dessert bar in her home city of Prince Albert, SK. or view it online on Facebook and Instagram at: FinxiArt by Birgit Raduenz Contact her at email@example.com .
In This Edition You are a Fuckin Warrior Coach Jennifer Ehrmantraut...............................................page 7
Pandemic Grad Tara McDermott................................................................page 11 Jump in with both Feet Amanda Aussant .............................................................page 17 Lilacs Myrna Richter...................................................................page 19
Breakfast Wrapped Up with Chef Jackie Thoms...................................................page 22 From Table to Life Ang MacDonald................................................................page 25 The Summer Strip-Down Megs Aylward...................................................................page 29
Take the Path less Traveled Lorna Boryski....................................................................page 34 Element of Fire Coloring Page Birgit Raduenz...................................................................page 41
Copyright ÂŠ 2015 by Vintage Gypsy Ent. All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher. Printed in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Canada ISSN 2371-8749 (Print) ISSN 2371-8757 (Online) Contact US: Vintage Gypsy Ent. 338-15th Street West Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Canada S6V 3R2 www.thevintagegypsy.ca
INTERTWINED Here we are, you and I, sitting at a precipice, You seemingly unaware of my current state of crisis, You always wanting more things, more money, more highs, Unfortunately, the cost of your pursuit is my demise. We may have a chance now to reconcile, I hope, As you confront a virus, and learn to cope With a new way of managing in your life I, Mother Earth, have had a little less strife. A virus so small, just tiny and wee Has had an immense impact on both you and me, It’s ability to spread so silently and so fast Has left you feeling completely aghast. Please listen to the science, and do what you are told, To stop and pause, to prevent the virus from taking hold, This creates a space in the exhaust of the wealth machine, Giving me a chance to breathe, to begin to feel clean. We need each other, this should have been clear, There may be some struggle, but no real need to fear, The changes you make will allow me to flourish So all the creatures I have within, I can be allowed to nourish. Arlene Burke
ith all that is going on in the world know that this energy is here to both disrupt our thinking and to help us determine what is important. What a crazy year it has been, and trust me, it is not over yet. If you are feeling off kilter, if your energy is buzzing, if you are feeling like you have been suffering, this is the call to find what is important to you. Every person around the globe has been impacted by this virus and it has created fear, uncertainty, and pain for so many. When this exists, it is time to burn the structures that bind us down. It is time for the phoenix to rise. It is up to each of us to come together as a collective and determine how the new world needs to be
created. It is time for women to take our places of leadership, it is time for diversity to be more than a conversation but to be a full integration. It is time for each of us to see the world as it is not as this energy has wanted us to see it. The world has balance, there is pain and joy; there is destitution and hope, there is anger and peace. It all exists at once. This veil of fear and uncertainty keeps us from seeing the truth. The truth is that each one of us has a purpose on this beautiful planet and it is our calling to find out what that is and take action to live into it. This sounds so simple, but I know that it takes effort, it takes grounding and it takes intention to create from the fire. Rising out of the ashes of this ineffective system and build a new one.
The system is not broken, it is working exactly as it was intended, but it does not fucking work for this time and this age. That is why it is so important for us to raise our vibration, to soar from the ashes and claim our rightful places as seekers and healers in this world. This mission of seeking and healing starts within ourselves, it always does. We must go in to have the biggest impact when we go out. Our energy needs to be strong now. It is the collective energy of love and compassion that will lead us out of this moment that seems like it will never end. A new world is upon us and we are asked to step into the new world with fresh eyes, with healed hearts and with unwavering optimism. When I say this I do not mean that we will never hurt again, that we will not feel pain or anger; what I mean is that when you heal you let go of the baggage and shit that has kept you broken and write your new story. The story of hope, the story of compassion, the story of harmony. Where people, the planet and the animals work in harmony. Where the wounded acknowledge that they are enough, and in that that they have enough. This acknowledgement can shift the vibration of the world. Each one of us has a responsibility to spread this love, compassion, and hope. There is no right and wrong way to do this, if the intention is coming from a place of the collective good. We are called to build people up and not tear them down. We are asked to use our voices in a way that is in alignment with our souls. There is so much crap out there saying if you do not speak for a specific issue then you are part of the problem. I can get where people are coming from in this but be careful not to get disrupted by your own intention. Our voices are powerful, and it is our obligation to be informed before we use our voice.
Jennifer Ehrmantraut is edgy, funny, and a little sweary. With over 20 years of leadership in public and private organizations, she climbed the corporate ladder to discover her passion in coaching and leadership development. She is a professional accountant by trade and an inspirer of intentional joy by passion. Her biggest lesson has been that when we lose the connection to ourselves then we can no longer connect with others. In finding her connection to herself again, Jennifer is redefining what success looks like through her company, Intentional You. There, she challenges individuals to question their stories, their capabilities, and their judgments of themselves, to give them the platform to jump beyond what they thought was possible.
Informed means healing, connecting with our higher powers and the wisdom of the world. Trust in your intuition, trust in your highest purpose and know that to build a new world we must let go of the one that no longer serves us. It is time my gypsy sisters to rise, to spread your wings and to open our hearts and our mouths to invoke the hope of the new way.
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JUMP-IN WITH BOTH FEET
I have always known I was supposed to help women. To guide them in any way that would help them feel whole. I knew that was my calling, but for so long I was oblivious to what that meant. I went to school, I learned all about nutrition and how to move the body in ways that would lose fat and strengthen muscle. With that information I started coaching, helping teach people how to properly fuel their bodies. Helping to build and shape them physically. But I realized I wasn’t doing enough to help them get stronger mentally, and spiritually.
I began doing some soul searching. This lasted years. It is something I continuously work on as I feel everyone is constantly evolving and changing. Now I am not a religious person by any means, but I do consider myself very spiritual. I meditate daily, I am careful about who I surround myself with, I am mindful, grateful, and try to be as forgiving as I can manage.
for so long I was oblivious to what that meant
So why not help others to do the same. Teach them small ways to show gratitude and raise their vibration. To work with the universe, instead of feeling like things are working against you. I have done it my whole life, so how do I show others? Then Shannon Kelly reached out to me. She saw my gifts and knew how to motivate me to use them, long before I did. We started working together. A couple months ago it was confirmed, my contract with the company I work for was not going to be renewed. Initially panic set in, and the normal “What the fuck am I going to do now” reaction, was all but terrifying.
"why are we not all jumping in with both feet?" I am not only still coaching and helping, but I am doing it in a way I am so insanely passionate about that it lights my internal fire every single day. Helping build stronger women. So why are we sitting still and watching life go by? Why are we not all jumping in with both feet? If there is something you want to do and it hurts no one in the process, jump.
I reached out to Shannon and told her how I felt, she responded with, “This is the universe telling you that you are supposed to be coaching and leading full time. Fuck your job, and fuck thinking you cannot do this. You are ALREADY doing it. It’s time to go all in.” No one has ever been more spot on.
Take the leap and trust your gut. Trust yourself. Go all in. Clichés or not, it is all true. Find what you love and let it kill you. Find your life’s passion, because you only get one life, and it is short, and it is precious. Start living it!
Excited and scared as I was (I hold onto the idea that I do not get nervous) I knew she was right. I launched my first program on June 21st that had nothing to do with nutrition or physical training, completely out of my comfort zone. Which I also believe is where you grow. I teach women how to work with the Moon and its cycles. Which is not only a brand-new concept for me to teach but honestly something I have known how to do my entire life.
Amanda Aussant is a free spirited wild woman who loves to write about the things that people are scared to talk about. There is nothing taboo with this woman. Life and love or addiction and depression, she covers it all. Her passion in life is to help women get their confidence back and stand in their power. Whether it be through helping tell their story or working with them one on one. -18-
Lilacs By: Myrna Richter The lilacs still bloom every spring Along the road where gravel once lay Little birds fly by without a downward glance No one’s home -not yesterday, not today And if I stand near the tiny flowers Whose purple outshines the green A familiar sweetness lofts through the air I am not alone, though she is never seen And though she’s been gone for many years She’s always near me, this I truly know Her sacredness resides in me For the lilacs told me so
This poem was written for my great grandmother, Mary Jane, who left this world while I was still a small child. While I have no living memories of her, I think of her often and look upon the few mementos I have from her life. In recent years I have been able to read through different writings and poetry that she composed during her time here on earth. I’ve seen photos of her both young and old. My great grandmother has become a memory of imprinted images and words to me. However, none are so vivid and lasting as the little house she lived with the lilac lined driveway. As a child, I would see the little house where she used to live. Though I only remember it being vacant and abandoned, I could always feel her presence near. It was a tiny house with siding of blue and white, and a brick chimney overhead. I remember the lacey white curtains that hung in the little window frame which were always closed up tight. Nobody was home to open them. The short driveway that led to the house was lined with lilacs that blossomed every spring. When I was young I lived a short walking distance away from the tiny home. I remember walking there or travelling by bike to the old road lined with those little purple flowers and cut their branches to take home and place in a vase of water. This, more than an in person memory, has become my living memory of my great grandmother. The little house whose lilacs were always blooming bright. It is a sacred spirit and precious heart our ancestors send to us through the blood lines that we share. Their strength, courage, and tenacity runs through us to guide us as we try to make our way through this ever changing world. Our connection is greater than any worldly turmoil and our love is everlasting. In times of joy our ancestors will celebrate with us from the heavens above. During unsettling times in our lives, when we are unsure of what’s up or what’s down, we must draw on the strength of ancestors to carry us through. So as I watch this world change on levels I cannot control, I draw upon the strength of my great grandmother, Mary Jane. A woman who continues to give such precious gifts through her spirit and the legacy that she left behind. And because during every winter storm I know that the sweet scent of lilacs in the springtime is never that far away.
Myrna Richter lives in a small home full of love in Blackfoot, AB with her husband, two children, two dogs, and two cats. Myrna studied English Literature and Sociology (and a little this and that) and received a Bachelor of General Studies in Arts and Science Degree in 2007 from Athabasca University. Today when Myrna is not fulfilling her role as “Richter House Manager”, she enjoys painting, writing, and gardening.
From the Kitchen with CHEF JACKIE THOMS
JACKIE THOMS IS A REBEL IN THE KITCHEN. SHE LOVES IN YOUR FACE FLAVORS THAT EXPLODE IN YOUR MOUTH AND HAVE YOUR TASTE BUDS SCREAMING FOR MORE. SHE BELIEVES COOKING SHOULD BE SIMPLE, SPICES AND FRESH HERBS CAN TURN ORDINARY INTO EXTRAORDINARY
Breakfast Sandwich I love breakfast especially a nice fat breakfast sandwich. I especially love going out for breakfast or brunch, but now that we are eating at home all the time, I have been making my own breakfast sandwiches. This sandwich will blow any drive thru sandwich out of the water. I buy whole bacon chunks from Costco and slice the bacon myself, so it is really thick cut, and I roast it in a 400-degree oven until nicely browned and crispy. The eggs, I whisk in a bowl with some hot sauce and black pepper. No need for salt as the bacon is salty. I like to add fresh tomatoes to my sandwich and pickled jalapeno, but I am just crazy that way. It also helps to use a nice, toasted ciabatta bun.
For 2 sandwiches you will need:
over medium heat and add a dab of butter. Whisk
3 eggs, whisked in a bowl with or without a few
the eggs in a bowl with a fork and add to your pan.
dashes of hot sauce and black pepper
Move the eggs around, pulling from the sides
6 pieces of cooked bacon
inwards until just barely cooked and level them out
1/2 cup grated cheese your choice
into one flat, thin layer. Top with the melted cheese
and remove from the heat. Flip half of the egg
6 or 7 pickled jalapenos
mixture over onto itself as if making an omelet and
2 ciabatta buns, lightly toasted
allow the cheese to melt.
Add your bacon slices to a large sheet pan lined
Take your toasted bun, add tomato slices (ketchup if
with parchment paper and roast in a 400 degree
you want to ruin the sandwich) and half of the
oven until cooked and crisp. I usually flip them once
eggs. Top with 3 slices of bacon and as many
during cooking. Set them aside on some paper towel
jalapenos as you like or leave them off if you are a
to absorb some of the fat. The cooking time will
sissy (just kidding).
depend on how thick your bacon is.
Grab a coffee, enjoy, and prepare for a nap shortly
To scramble your eggs, heat up a non- stick skillet
Breakfast Wraps My partner Blayne works away all the time so I always like to send some food along for him so when he is done work, all he needs to do is heat up a nice home cooked meal. I started making these breakfast wraps and freezing them so he has a nice hearty meal to eat during their first coffee break. You can switch up the proteins, and because these are frozen, I try and not add anything that is going to go soggy once it has been frozen and reheated, so basically no veggies. I also put a piece of paper towel between the wrap and the tin foil to absorb any moisture so the wraps don't end up being soggy. I make big batches and keep them in for freezer. This will make 8 large wraps.
12 eggs scrambled 1 package of bacon, cooked and cut into chunks 2 cups grated cheese of any kind 4 cups sliced, roasted potatoes Wraps of any kind This is an assembly job, so cook all your ingredients and allow them to cool. Place a wrap on a piece of tinfoil with a piece of paper towel under the wrap. Add a bit of cheese first, then potatoes. Next add your scrambled eggs and meat of choice topped with a bit more cheese. Fold in the sides, and tightly wrap. Fold the paper towel around the wrap and finally the tinfoil. Add to a freezer bag and freeze.
I know Blayne takes one out of the freezer the night before work and puts it in the fridge, then at work he heats the wrap up in the microwave for a minute and he has a hot, delicious, hearty wrap that lasts him throughout the day.
From Table to Life In Loving Memory of Terra Kazakoff-Bowden It was a warm September day in 1991. The breeze caressed my cheeks and the sun gave some comfort as I trembled - waiting for the city bus that would take me to my new high school, in a new city where I knew no one and where I would begin my senior year without my people, my support system. The people I had gone to school with since Kindergarten were stepping into their last first day of high school together and I was stepping into a myriad of unknowns. That first morning I walked those halls alone; my footsteps echoing loudly - almost mocking me on my solitary journey. With a mask of feigned confidence, I found my classes and in my English class a young lady with teased out blond hair introduced herself to me. She had a soft voice (a soothing voice) and a kind soul. After class she grabbed my arm and dragged me to "the table under the stairs" in the Commons Area. It was full of the many faces who did not fit into the wealthy atmosphere of our school. That was almost 30 years ago yet nostalgia holds it as close as yesterday. Thirty years later and I'm still actively in the lives of several of those faces. We were, no, we are an eclectic bunch.
Recently, the woman responsible for me meeting that terrific group of people passed away after a fierce battle with cancer. She was a frigging badass as she battled and a constant source of encouragement for all her friends and family. As one of my biggest and loudest cheerleaders, she helped me get through some of the difficult aspects of life; she applauded my journey of healing as I continue to trudge through the muck of PTSD. She delighted in my photography, writing and painting. During her second to last hospital stay she tasked me with an art project - a difficult one at that. I didn't finish it in time, and while that breaks my heart it also drives me to complete this final gesture of love for my friend.
As I have been reflecting upon her life, and the impact she has had on mine, my thoughts are of ripples of water. How that small gesture of kindness from my dear friend has continued to have a ripple effect on my life even 30 years later. Her death has put an exclamation point on a thought that has been resonating in my spirit these past months of lockdown/social distancing. Slowing down, purposeful living and connections. Before social distancing, our calendars were incredibly full of appointments, obligations, and meetings in a rainbow of colors to keep us all organized and all pointed in the appropriate direction. We were living in chaos. Please, allow me to share this musing - bolded and highlighted by the legacy of my beautiful friend Terra Kazakoff-Bowden.
Embrace this moment Be courageous Simplify your day and your home Surround yourself with beauty and good friends Feel the music and sing, even if it's badly Connect (or reconnect) with nature Live on purpose and s.l.o.w. down Love more and purely Find peace in the chaos Expect nothing - appreciate everything Embrace your differences Live a positive life Be gentle with others and yourself Laugh until you cry and cry until you can laugh Give things, people, and yourself time to breathe and grow Savor good moments, great connections, and delicious foods Rediscover the big magic in small moments Ang MacDonald is a 44-year old wife, mother and grandma. You may remember her in such roles as “Sorry, we’re restructuring”, “Welcome to your summers off”, and “Gilmore Girls – the real life edition”. Known for announcing “Plot twist” more than she would care to, Ang has found her life building a throne out of the brick’s life has thrown her way. Growing up north of Prince Albert, she has nurtured a love of the outdoors, adventure and wide-open spaces. Ang feels most at home outdoors or snuggled into the sanctuary of the home she shares with her husband and their blended family. She has grown through life looking through a camera lens, with pen and paper in hand and her heart on her sleeve…
I write to give myself strength.
I write to be the characters, I am not. I write to explore all of things I am afraid of!
THE SUMMER STRIP-DOWN By Style Muse: Megs Aylward
I wore the same outfit almost everyday. I called it my pandemic armor.
the sweet sounds of summer have never made such a beautiful melody. Generally summer is a time that we naturally shed some layers. This year, specifically, I invite you to really shed those layers internally, as well. I don’t know about you but this past March I wore the same outfit almost every day. I called it my pandemic armor. April came along and I needed a new outfit to break in for that long month. By, May I needed a switch up because this had me feeling pretty stale from the effects of the lockdown. In times like these we find ourselves in, it is important to find a balance of comfy but, not to the point where that it is our new comfortable. It’s a tricky ying and yang act and with the weather heating up and coming in hot I think it might be the time to perfect this balance.
I have found it hard myself to think about what is trending for summer or to even purchase new clothes for the season. With that there is also the boredom of years previous summer attire and already feeling stale with everything else. What is a womxn to do? One thing that I found helpful is committing to once a week getting dolled up in your go to pieces. Try getting made up from head to toe. We should do this even if we have nowhere to go or anyone to see. It brings a smile to your face and a little shot of endorphins while we are at it. Incorporating colors into the outfit is also vital. As I have expressed in most of my articles color has so much power on our moods. We should be avoiding neutrals from head to toe but, a little for a base. If you find yourself feeling ungrounded grey is said to bring calmness so adding an article of clothing in that shade would be most therapeutic.
One thing I have learned this year is anything is possible and anything can change in a second. Stripping layers inwards and outwards can bring peaceful insight to a situation and to what we hold dearest. What we show the world outwards helps define our inward feelings. It might be one of the only things we can control in even the most uncertain of times. I have learned best from my toddler. She has two ballerina dresses she wears all day every day. She would wear them for bath time if she could. Who am I to argue? When she is wearing one she is her finest spunky self whether we are at home or out in the world. This is proof that when you are wearing something comfortable and has something you treasure in it nothing stands a chance.
On the flipside, embracing the grunge or even just hanging out in your cozies is completely acceptable and is considered self care. Sometimes we really need to sink into our feelings to peel the layers. This is internal work but it is from the inside out that we have breakthroughs so it’s just as important on the outside to be in the same state to properly assess the feelings and expel them. Investing in some quality lounge clothes also helps the psyche. I am talking textiles. Soft breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, and silk are ideal for the perfect cozies. Also making sure they are either preshrunk or that they aren’t made up of just one material 100%. For example items with 100% cotton will always shrink with every wash unless they have been preshrunk. It’s always best to go with a blend. This works even if it is uneven like 98% cotton and 2% lycra. My personal favorite is recycling old well loved clothes that are no longer appropriate for public viewing. This works amazing with your oldest dresses. I personally live in them day in and day out in this season. Dresses are easy to throw on in the morning and still look nice with no effort involved even if they are past their prime. My first month of mat leave I had a couple of people comment on how nice I was dressed when they came over. I kept thinking to myself, “Funny, I am just wearing a ragdoll dress with no other effort such as jewelry or make up. I don’t know the last time I showered even.” They also have a cooling effect which gives them extra appeal. An old kimono is another way to incorporate some of your day clothes into your home apparel and feels so elegant against the skin. Investing in a silk robe is another great investment piece option.
Megs is an eclectic and eccentric fashion enthusiast with both city and country roots, wanderlust feet, a tastemaker heart, and a bohemian soul. She believes we are all blank canvases ready to be decorated everyday and express how we are feeling without words but through our wardrobes. Her calling is in educating women of all ages how to dress their figure based on individual body shape, coloring, lifestyle and personality while uncovering their own style or “inner muse”. She is the creator, fashion stylist, wardrobe advisor, and a freelance style writer at Miss Nicks and Muse Collective, board member and blogger for Saskatchewan Fashion and Design Festival (SFDF), and member of SFA (Canada’s first Fashion Association)
Instagram: @missnicksandmuse Facebook: Miss Nicks and Muse Collective
TAKE THE PATH LESS TRAVELED
But Don't Get Lost -34-
Take the path less traveled, but don't get lost.... This is the message on a rear-view mirror ornament that I received from a friend many years ago. It has travelled with me ever since.....if I am not in my car (where it has lived), the words still resonate as I go about my days, my years and my life. We are all individuals on our own special journeys, some of us choose to explore distant lands while others like to simply stay home. Throughout my written journey here in The Travelling Gypsy, I have tried to show you things that you may not have the chance to see in person. A step into worlds or lives of places and people that you may never experience for yourself. This past couple of months have been a bit unusual on this rock we know as earth as we have been faced with the unusual opportunity of staying at home. It has given many a chance to get back to the simpler things in life. No more hustle of entertainment and sporting events, no planning of extravagant
celebrations, some of you haven’t even had the need to get ready to go to work as you have been working from home (I am fortunate that I have been in this reality for a few years now). During this experience, I have taken the serenity of my home and not having to BE anywhere, to look a bit deeper into myself and just BE. I have spent some time reflecting on the things that truly make me happy. And.....of course, travel is definitely near the very top of the pile of things that bring me joy. But staying close to home, enjoying Mother Nature and the quieter side of life also brings me an immense amount of pleasure. With the planet the way it is, we are uncertain as to how much travel we will be able to do in the coming year so I thought that I would share with you a simpler time when I spent wonderful times at home and was first introduced to travel and far off lands!! Maybe it will inspire some of you to try your hand at a simple picnic or camp out in the back yard or maybe a week or longer tenting trip!
"WE TOOK BLANKETS OR SLEEPING BAGS AND CAMPED OUT UNDER THE STARS" As kids growing up in small town Saskatchewan, we had many advantages. We could throw a 22 or a fishing pole over our shoulder and head across the fields to the north and shoot squirrels or rabbits and catch fish for entertainment and food, or we could simply enjoy the silence as we sat on the river bank to draw or meditate (one of my favorite places in the world to this day). Once we had finished what was expected of us at home be it weeding the garden, attending the lawn, picking raspberries or cleaning house we could head off to the lake and spend the rest of the day swimming and roasting wieners and marshmallows over an open fire with our friends. We took blankets or sleeping bags and camped out under the stars in our back yard telling ghost stories and learning the constellations until we fell asleep. On any given day we could jump on our bikes and ride to a friends or the churchyard for a riveting game of kick the can!! In the winters we could go across the street and slide down the gigantic hill (it is pretty tiny when I see it now) from the back alley into the neighbor lady’s garden. Sometimes if there weren’t too many of us, she would make us hot chocolate and we would drink it on her back step. We could walk to the outdoor skating rink and huddle around the barrel stove in an old wooden granary (the change house), strap on our skates and after we had shoveled the snow off of the ice (I was lucky I was still a bit young for this job) join in with the rest of the town kids until well after dark (sometimes the single light at the rink worked, sometimes it didn’t) playing Crack the Whip, Simon Says or Hockey with a ball and makeshift sticks. In later years, the community men went and cut wood and built an indoor arena where we enjoyed (I took and taught) figure skating lessons, league hockey and rodeos in the summer.
I have shared in previous articles how my Mom and Dad always took at least a weeklong vacation every summer. A break from Dad’s garage “Simonar’s Repair” that was impossible to achieve if my Dad stayed in town as people’s vehicles and machinery didn’t respect his vacation time and he ended up working anyway.....we experienced this when we rented a cabin at the nearby lake one summer for our vacation and customers ‘found’ my Dad and took him away from us for tow jobs, parts, small vehicle or tire repairs... needless to say, we never vacationed close to home again. These family vacations were not very extravagant by any means, but we were the lucky few in our village that experienced anything so grand! Five kids in a sedan with a wooden box strapped to the roof full of camping supplies. Hot road trips with no air conditioning and countless games of “I Spy”, “Road Bingo” and poor am radio may not seem like the ideal vacation, but that was what we did and I felt like we were the luckiest family in the world to be able to ‘travel’. I treasure each one of the memories that I have of these trips which, at the time were a privilege and thrill beyond anything that I could experience at home. Before I was old enough to remember, my parents purchased a large, brown canvas army tent similar to the one in the picture. As I recall, they said it came with a cooler, a camp stove, and a couple of cots (which were quite tippy as I recall). The tent took about an hour to set up (if you were experienced) and it took two adults just to carry it (and that was when it was dry). There was also an additional box that held the poles, and the vast entanglement of jute ropes that held up the walls and stretched the roof tight so the rain would run off. That tent shared many adventures with us as a family. Campgrounds in Waskesiu, Candle Lake, Manitou Beach, Hinton Alberta, down into North and South Dakota, Montana. In later years we upgraded to a hardtopped tent trailer and revisited most of these places and also as far as the beaches of the Shuswap Lake in British Columbia!! By today’s standards, we never went all that far, but to me we had gone to the edge of the earth. It took us days to get there and what felt even longer to get home again.
I remember stopping along the road for bear, mountain goats and massive antlered elk, running down the ditch and poking my head through fences to look at Buffalo and chasing after groundhogs, drinking from a natural water fountain that was flowing out of a mountain and being told to get out of the car and walk when we were too stubborn to stop our bickering in the back seat. With nothing but a canvas wall between us and the elements of nature, sometimes it got pretty cold, and at other times the heat and smells inside of those heavy canvas walls were almost unbearable....but we always endured. Huddling around a campfire to get warm or jumping in a nearby lake to cool down. Mother Nature embraced us in her beauty and always provided exactly what we needed to make it home safe and secure at the end of our adventures. Life was simple but exciting, we shared food and spaces and most of all we shared love. The love of each other, our fellow humans, animals, and nature. We took roads that nobody else in our community had taken and we shared our stories with them when we returned, we enjoyed the travels and the company, and we always came home. We may have gotten sidetracked from time and we have all gone off to other communities and have our lives there. We can always come home to visit the community, the people, the land and nature in its simplicity and the memories of the grand and exhilarating times that we had as kids will always live in our minds. I hope you have enjoyed my little trip down memory lane....and that it has inspired you to create some of your own amazing memories, even if they are incredibly simple they can be grand!! I have taken my own individual road - the path less travelled, but I know where I belong and where I came from. And although at times I may have not known geographically where I was and a little confused, I have never been lost.
"We took roads that nobody else in our community had taken and we shared our stories with them when we returned"
Lorna Boryski lives on a farm with her husband Ted and dogs, Biggar and Siyah near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. She is a true Lover of People, and the Adventure that is Life. She says, “I have sat through leg numbing tea ceremonies, 100 man acapella humming concerts, Buddhist weddings in 40C heat and no A/C. I have been robbed, missed flights, and have survived some of the worst 'bathrooms' and 'hotels' in the world, yet I have never had a bad vacation.” Whether it be traipsing through a tropical jungle at sea level or hiking 4000m high in the Andes, Lorna always tries to admire and understand her fellow beings for who they are and what they stand for.
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ABOUT THE COVER THE ELEMENT OF FIRE
The element of “Fire” is this years summer cover image and colouring page theme.
POSTMODERN PAINTING. Stella alternately paints in oil and watercolor
Fire! To me this element is associated with the direction of south, the summer season, with energy, assertiveness, productivity and passion! Summer is my fire! In the summer I wan to be outside ! Enjoy a swim or paddle in river or lake, garden, go fishing, go for walks, bike rides and hikes. I want to be creative outside and be active! Loose myself in my passion for garden and nature. There is so much to do and no time to waste! Isn’t it so amazing how this fire of the sun helps our earth to grow and flourish, and likewise the fire inside us helps us accomplish what we set out to do? The passion and energy you feel, when you are doing a project you love , whatever it is, that excitement and joy gives you the energy you need to accomplish what you set out to do .That is the element of fire at work ! The element of fire, it creates earth, is feed by wood and air and tempered by water, that is its nature…. as you contemplate fire remember there is relationship with the other elements ! Water, air, earth and spirit…together creating balance. How do you relate to fire? How do you balance it? Google the fire element and find out more amazing facts and lore. There is so much interesting information out there! Yet in all this fiery flurry of contemplating, accomplishing and achieving remember to take some time! ; ) Personally, I recommend: Grab your makers and go to the colouring page ! What colours do you associate with Fire, summer, heat, passion and energy? As you colour let your thoughts flow freely! Let the fire in your mind guide your hand. And remember no matter what state the world is in … enjoy a wonder filled summer! Please look me up. Birgit Raduenz -Finxiart: on facebook, instagram and find products with my art in my finxiart redbubble.com shop Birgit Raduenz.
Fin d Y ou r W Joi ild n t he Ca ra va n
e s a Ple le c y Rec
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