Thirty years On … 1984 to 2014 … and Onwards

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1984 was a big year for me. I quit a very stressful job that I loathed. I packed up all my furniture and belongings and put them in storage while I scuttled back to the family farm in Eastern Canada to lick my wounds. 

view of a river and its  islands from a hilltop pasture, Douglas New Brunswick in the seventies.
View of the Saint John River from the top of the hill on the farm at home in New Brunswick

I started to eat healthy; I quit smoking; I read books; I took up knitting; I spent time with my family and took stock of myself. I needed to decide what I was going to do with my life. And then I picked up the threads of a career I had abandoned a few years before. Teaching.

Eventually I returned to the city and started my adult life all over again with renewed vigor and purpose. It was then, as a newbie English and Science supply teacher (that’s what we call a substitute teacher in Canada) I met my future husband. I was a reformed party girl, bookworm, fledgling runner, lover of shopping (when I could afford it … supply teachers didn’t make much money) and full of enthusiasm and idealism for my new profession. He was an experienced Phys. Ed. teacher, hockey player, fisherman, canoeist, skier and political pragmatist. How did we ever get together?

But we did. And that began a 30 year adventure for us both. My friends couldn’t believe that I was going wilderness camping (what no blow dryer?!) Colleagues scoffed when I said that we had back country hiked in the Yukon (Weren’t you afraid that your mascara might run?) In the past 30 years, I have learned to ski (both cross country and down-hill), canoe, and golf (although I suck at this!)

Female skier sitting down for a drink, on the cross-country ski trail, Marlborough Forest near North Gower, Ontario
Cross country skiing in the eighties.

I have fished in Algonquin Park, in the Yukon, and in New Zealand. I’ve hiked in Newfoundland, the Gaspe in Quebec, Scotland, New Zealand, and Costa Rica. 
He’s patiently toured the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Yorkshire, the home of Katherine Mansfield in Wellington, New Zealand, and Robert Service’s cabin in Dawson City, Yukon. 

woman carrying a fishing  rod and walking along a Beaver Dam, Opeongo, Ontario in the eighties.

He’s cooled his heels at the aquarium in Melbourne while I sampled the shopping delights of the city or had my hair done. We love to travel together, even though he’s a get up and get moving morning person and I’m a dreamer and a dawdler. You see where I’m going with this, right? We don’t seem like a natural fit…but somehow we are.

This year marks thirty years since I decided to change my life completely and thirty years since my hockey player and I got together. I have recently retired from teaching. And so we begin a new phase of our lives. 

This blog will be about what we do with our new phase. It will also be about how fashion and fishing can fit into the same life quite nicely. I mean I don’t really plan to wear high heels in the wilderness. But I will admit to planning my next pedicure while I’m paddling down a river in Algonquin Park. 

From the archives

books

When the Skies of November Turn Gloomy

What should one do when, in the words of the famous Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, “the …

life

On Spring, and Empathy.

How does one show empathy in the face of someone else’s pain? One way is never, ever to say “at least.”

fashion

Planning a Capsule Travel Wardrobe

I have kicked into full blown planning mode this week. Our trip to South America …

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8 thoughts on “Thirty years On … 1984 to 2014 … and Onwards”

  1. What a great start for your new blog! I know you will quickly find this becomes an important and enjoyable part of your life, and we will enjoy following your adventures in retirement. I'm heading that way in a few years myself, so it's good to see someone else charting the territory.
    Thanks very much for including mine as one of the Blogs you love — I'm honoured!

  2. So pleased to have found your blog – what a great first post. I'm looking forward to more! I can identify with a lot of what you say here, being a bookworm and dreamer, into nice things and the odd bit of blogging while my partner of 7 years is the antithesis of this, being a very active sailor/walker/caver/explorer who loves to be up at the crack of dawn, while I am still enjoying easing into my day with a cup of tea in bed! It kind of works though as we can both dip into each other's worlds. Oh, and I never have the right shoes on for whatever it is that we turn out to be doing…

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