"Aging seems to be the only available way to live a longer life." ~D.F.E. Auber

I found this quote on one of my calendar pages recently and while it made me laugh at first, it kind of struck a chord with me. My dad will be 88 on August 3 and my mom is 86 and they are not enjoying aging because of all the things that go along with it. They both use walkers now, Dad is in pretty much constant pain and has a hard time getting around. Mom is on oxygen 100% of the time and has a pacemaker along with other physical limitations. Neither of them is loving this season of their life, as it's frustrating to them to not be able to do everything they'd like to do.

I really hate seeing them be this restricted at this point. After all, they were (and are) wonderful parents, active, responsible members of the Church and always made a great contribution to whatever they were involved in (and it was a lot!). I wish for them that they could do more of the things they'd like to do.

But on the other hand, I suspect (just from my own personal experience in this area!) that what they are experiencing is exactly what comes of living a long, full life. And the alternative is not a great one.

It makes the reminders my mom gives us very real: "Make sure you do everything you want to do and see everything you want to see before you can't do it anymore." She is grateful that they did go and do a lot of things while they still could.

I intend to do that, and for now, I'm grateful that I have both of them still here on the earth with us.

*picture by Mary Engelbreit



I'm consistently amazed at how much I hate fixing dinner. Really, though, the actual fixing isn't my biggest problem {although it definitely is a problem!} -- mostly it's deciding what to fix that is my biggest problem.

To be fair to Mark, it's not his responsibility to fix dinner {he does go to work all day, every day!} -- but this little cartoon is a great illustration of how we both seem at dinner time. Mostly we'd rather eat nothing than have to fix something {anything!}.

Lame. We are lame.


Home is Where the Heart Is

I just returned from a week up in Alberta {or as Natalie calls it, being called back to the mothership!} with my family. I had a wonderful time visiting with my mom and dad, my sister, brother-in-law, nephews and niece-in-laws and even got to help celebrate baby Oliver's 1st birthday.

I know I've said it before but there is truly something that draws me back to that area and it's not just family although that is without a doubt the most important thing. As I drove around Lethbridge with my parents and saw the change and growth there, I realized that that area is my heritage. There is a part of me there and always will be, even though I know I will never live there again.

And when Val, Keith and I spent a day and a half in Waterton I realized even more {despite the fact that Billy the Goat and his family, the mountain sheep as well as their deer friends had invaded the townsite} that there is something of me there as well.

So today, on Canada Day {Happy Canada Day!}, I am grateful for the heritage that I have, the family I was raised in, the love that I feel for them all and from them all, and the fact that I have now two wonderful countries to call home.

Here's Billy!! The sheep were everywhere -- places I'd never seen them and they were pretty aggressive. Made me quite nervous!

Looking down on Waterton from above -- as we drove back down from Cameron Lake.

Gorgeous blue water.

Val and Keith - my cute sister and her husband at the still {surprisingly} frozen Cameron Lake.

See Old Chief Mountain? Lovely!

Clearly I can love both the US and Canada.

Again, just lovely.

Prince of Wales Hotel in the distance, where I worked, more years ago than I can believe.

Val and I. Isn't she gorgeous?

More of us. I love her!

Me, standing by Cameron Falls in the Waterton townsite.

Keith and I, with the mountains in the background. He's the best.

**all pictures taken by my sister, Val Walker