The Circle: Completed

This space
was supposed to contain a photo
of my two brothers and me.

However, I neglected to secure permission

to post a photo of this other brother who is not a Face Book practitioner.

So I’ll brag about his gorgeous daughter who followed our mother’s footsteps by becoming an English teacher.  Talking to her about books is like having Mother with us.  Besides this delightful discovery, she fed our curiosity about her successful Alberta curling team.  Team Doyle has given many other teams a good run for their money.  She brought out a card that is given to any who donate to their travel fund.

Big Bro's chest nearly popped buttons when he saw this photo of our successful curler on the right. This is HER team! We're so proud of you, Miss Doyle!

– Back to our eldest sister

The third visit to our eldest sibling in Calgary was to be our final one for this trip.

We looked at photos, laughed about times past and tried to organize some of her clothes with limited drawer space.  She had been down-hearted about losing a sweater which we found in an obscure drawer.


My Big Bro and Big Sis - out into the hot sunshine and fresh Calgary air during our first visit of this trip. Imagine our delight that we were well recognized!


Her graceful hands, used to gardening, crafting and caring for human and animal babies, gestured with predictable familiarity.


This mother's expressive hands are not used to being still. Watch for them in the next photo.


She sat by the large bouquet of fresh cut flowers, naming them flawlessly and smelling every blossom.


"Some male nurse arrived and painted my fingernails! I've NEVER had a man put nail polish on me. Can you imagine?!" she laughed as she showed me a rather messy manicure! She donned a pink sweater to take some attention off the nails.


We connected with her eldest son who joined us for dinner on our last night in Calgary.


Our chauffeur and techno-whiz. (I know - he looks like a cowboy!) Thanks for giving us some clarity about smart phone options, our sweet Neph!


He kindly drove us to the tiny dining room where we sat with heavy silver, thick linens and apparent Italian cuisine.  We found, however, that the recipes had been significantly adapted for the Alberta palate.


After our "near" Italian dinner, I walked into my hotel room to this rainbow with a plane about to fly into its colours.


Big Bro and I left early on Wednesday, in clouds and fog after days of high, record-breaking temperatures.  I had sweltered in my light winter attire three days before, but I was pleased to have them for the rainy trip home.


Break through...nearly at the B.C. border.


Turns out we were one day ahead of a Calgary snowstorm, heavy rains, mud slides and closed highways.

– On to our other sister – the middle child –

After a quick office visit with Bro’s daughter on our way to the Coast, we stopped for another visit with our sister who had cancer surgery one week before. She amazed us!  What a trooper.


Here she is writing a cheque for a tradesman who took care of a job for her. CEO on duty!


Guess how I knew I was close to home…


This guy waited for the ferry with me.


Up early the next day, I discovered Spring had coaxed long grass and new blossoms.  Out came the lawn mower.


Home again, home again to trees in bloom.


The final touch to being home - bringing Duc home from his cat sit. The intrepid hunter took a grand tour of his home property and validated his proprietorship.


Finally – on to catching up.

Volunteer responsibilities, mail, phone messages and a great deal of computer work.

Thanks for your fabulous comments, kind thoughts and blessings.


57 thoughts on “The Circle: Completed

    • Oh oh…I’m confusing you, IC! It’s my niece who is the English Teacher. My mother wanted me to be a teacher, but I was rebellious. How could I possibly do what my mother did…you know those childish attitudes. I’m delighted a grandchild has picked up the reins.

  1. I hope, You had a great time with those people who matter to you most. This post was as if , you took us all with you on such a wonderful trip. The photo of your elder brother & sister is my favorite and the view from your hotel room was simply awesome. But Amy aunty what was that, Alberta curling team? Is it any kind of sports team or what?

    • Hi Arindam – I’ve been reading your posts! You are letting more of your wisdom shine through which thrills me. Curling is a team game yes. It is a sport included in the Winter Olympics. It is played on ice. In a nutshell, each team has “rocks” that have to be slid on the ice to targets painted on the opponent’s end of the rectangular piece of ice. Here’s a link: It is a game played in colder countries like Scotland, Switzerland, Canada and Northern USA.

  2. Thank you for taking us along with you and introducing us to your family. I loved the photo of your niece’s curling team, and the story of your sister’s nail polish. Isn’t it interesting that she could still identify all the flowers. Amazing how the mind works.

    • Yes, Rosie, she had the names instantly. I told her the Bro wanted us to buy her an orchid which I couldn’t find. She told me an orchid would hardly last and “they’re sooo fussy”. She was delighted with the sight and the scent of a variety of blooms.

    • Hey Mags! You sure do get around, Girl…I see you popping up in many blogs I read. I haven’t had the time to comment much, but seeing one of my blog buddies is like old home week!

    • Hi Raven! It sure was a great trip. I have to admit, though, I already miss my family. I really loved being with them. I felt the love of my eldest sister so much – and I’d expected to be treated like a stranger. NOT AT ALL!! The exact opposite. It was such an honour to help her out – she was such an incredible big sister to all of us.

  3. I loved visiting Canada in such a familiar way. It has to soothe your soul to discuss great reads with your niece as if you are talking with a previous generation. And that she belongs to a curling team! How interesting. Your nephew supplies such local color, just the fellow I would imagine seeing at the Calgary rodeo…I’m sure he probably attends each year. I love that your older sister thought to wear a pink sweater to tone down the nails. Her nails are gorgeous, btw. Thank you for inviting us along.

    • The darling English Teacher Niece gave me a book! I’m savouring it because I know it will be great: The Girl Who Chased The Moon – Sarah Allen. Someone mentioned it to me as a great read and POOF – there it was as a gift. The Neph? Since he grew up in Calgary, he is more likely to stay away from the Stampede. But he lives in B.C. now – is in Calgary for a temporary time. He’s giving some much needed support to his other brother and sister who have been very active in helping their mom.

  4. Just want you to know I’ve nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award. The details are on my blog — you are under no obligation to accept or follow through with the details — I just want you to know what a fantastic blogger you are!

    The family pics are great, looks like you had a fantastic time!

  5. Whew. If you didn’t publish this post, my next plan was to ask those on your blog roll about you. Got more worried when you didn’t reply on Gmail. That was a looong vacation. Wonderful family you have Amy.
    Duc looks like a fierce Black Labrador to me!

    • I must have been picking up your vibes, Poch…you’ve come to mind so often – for different reasons. Hope you got my note about Fr. Larrie. The WiFi that I managed to pick up throughout the trip was weak and disappointing – especially at the hotel. It was blotchy, splotchy and intermittent. So I entered data on a hit and miss basis. The Modem at the Lake was malfunctioning and the owner was nowhere around to do anything about it. So I took it as a sign to let it all go!

  6. Funny! Curling team! Who’d a thunk? I don’t know why, but curling always makes me giggle, although I know that for the participants it it’s as serious as tennis or white-water kayaking.

    Thanks for sharing the photos and your family with us. You come from fine, strong stock, it is obvious. The neon fingernail polish is a hoot!
    Glad you’re back, safe and sound, and feeling good about things.

    • I think it was the Scots who invented curling, Linda, and they brought it to Canada with enthusiasm and joviality. It’s really takes a lot of scientific strategy to pull off some of the moves. They have to consider the rocks, the temperature, the ice, the broom’s material and the tilt of the moon. I can never be gentle enough – I give a great heave and practically take out the decking at the other end. I golf the same way…the club is a baseball bat. For some reason, I can’t believe I only need to put out a little effort.

      • Funny…you describe my few attempts at weilding a golf club, baseball bat, or bowling ball. I’ve attributed my inability to do these things to lack of eye-hand coordination. You suppose it’s just bull-in-the-china-shop syndrome?

    • Why, thanks, Nancy Hatch…you are the best. Hanging in there – I knew I could peek at any time and you’d have something new going on! 😀 Big hug to you, my friend.

  7. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful family photos. My husband and I are both only children, and beyond our own two children, have really no other family. I dreamed of having siblings, but alas…………..It makes our ties ever more precious! 🙂

    • I am so grateful for family – and I took them all for granted for so many years. But when I understand why an older brother does or likes things a certain way, I’m amazed because I understand at a DNA level! That blows me away. I hope you have that with your children, SuZen.

  8. What a lovely peek into your trip, Amy – it’s wonderful to see how you enjoyed one another 🙂 Your gull pic makes me quite nostalgic for Vancouver, and as for Duc: you handsome fellow!

    • It was time for a re-connect, Naomi, but I had no idea how much it would mean. My family batteries were lower than I realized. Yes, that Duc…what a cat. He lives life in a state of being in love. Even his sitter commented… She knits while watching TV. Duc would push his way through the strings of yarn, balls, needles and half-finished toques and mittens to plunk himself in her warm lap. So there will be some Inuit children wearing toques with bits of Duc’s fur.

  9. Thank you Amy for sharing your family with us, it was beautiful. These are memories that will last forever. I am glad to know that you are safely back home, it feels good I’ll bet.

    • Beyond expectations, Dee. Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts. It’s grand being reminded that we are the ones who can be lovingly realigned…and fleetingly humbled. Big Bro told me his youngest son has a motto, “It is what it is.” We used it throughout the trip with amazing outcomes. It certainly cuts through tension and frustration. Suddenly other drivers are human! 😀

  10. I love it! And I’m gladder than glad……for the proud papa moments, for the nifty nephew–for the dude that slapped on the pretty pink polish AND for the check writing determination.
    And that you got to have each and every shared moment……priceless.
    You can rest in that love.
    Home is good.
    ‘It is what it is’ is good…..and it’s amazing what that mentality (and a bit of support from people who care) can carry you through.

    Welcome home.

  11. Hi Amy .. I’m so pleased you made the trip .. and had such fun – it’s been a great read, a great understanding of so much .. and hey to Team Doyle .. good for them – Curling went up here after we won the Olympic Gold in 2002 …

    But what a lovely remembrance of family time … and I loved seeing he photos cheers Hilary

    • Oh yah…there was that Olympic Gold in 2002 – won by the women’s team from Great Britain. But Hilary! I’m now prone to brag by pointing out that Canada has won more medals in curling than any other nation. You know Canadians are not respecters of braggarts! However, allow me a little pride woven through our forests, lakes and mountains! 😀

  12. Beautiful spirits can be seen and sensed from across the pond, Amy. What a wonderful trip. Your memories of your siblings painted your photographs in such lovely shades.

  13. As always, a lovely and intuitive post Amy. Funny how one can relate to some of your thoughts in a totally different context. Just goes to show how we are wired together. That is why I used the word ” Intuitive”.

    God bless.


  14. Such a joy to see what a wonderful time you had reconnecting with your family Amy…these ties of the heart are the mainstays of our lives…reconnecting like this is what makes it all so very worthwhile…to then have the added bonus of seeing the next generation carry this torch of kin and love with ease and enthusiasm is icing on the cake…am so very happy for all of you…loved the pictures, specially the one showing the beauty, grace and strength of your sisters hands…

    God bless…

    • Isn’t family amazing? At times so trying while at other times the teachers of a brand love found in not other aspect of life. Trust you to comment on my sister’s hands… Oh, Shama, all the babies they’ve held. All the soothing they’ve done. All the beauty they have created. Yes, trust you for noticing.

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