Cedarwood and candy cane

Its been a busy few weeks as we settle into our new routines.  After downsizing and moving two, rather sizeable, households to the mountains and landing a chance of a lifetime job to own and operate a restaurant on the beach of a busy BC ferry landing, we have been unable to take in an actual real breathe. Not to mention all the paperwork and hoops and red tape and bumps and bruises of starting a business, almost from scratch, throws at you.

Dan and I have been in these mountains so many times together as you probably have read in past posts.  He brought me here, first, because he wanted to introduce to me to his favoured childhood memories.  Mostly though he loves this place with every fiber of his being and we soon realized its calm beauty had the necessary power to sooth my broken spirit back into a semblance of a walking, functioning human.  Each time we came we loved more and when we left, we left bereft.  The hours driving back and forth from the dry, windy foothills of Alberta to fresh, clean, headache free BC just to stand on our familiar sandy beach taking in the smells and sites had us wondering why we didn’t just live here.

Well, DANGIT, now we do and though the beauty of the Purcell mountains, the lure of the star spangled lake, and watching my Nala chase ducks free with glee makes me deliriously happy, there are stresses lingering.

Not only have I caught a wicked chest cold, that I cant seem to kick, which I have not experienced for over 20 years, but I am also terrified.

The mental stress of getting a business going is not something to take lightly and there are blogs, articles and books about what to do and what not to do in abundance, it is a real thing and we are currently living it, checking off the boxes and making it work on a limited budget.  This is all good.   But when you mix some physical, some emotional into it it starts to tear at an already fragile system.

I heard, from some birds that a related ‘person’ in my life has told them I have ‘changed’.  And from a particular tone, not for the better.  Irritating but not surprising. What does boggle me though is how one does not see the affects of their actions that ultimately pushes another in certain directions.  Alas, a blog piece I cannot find words yet to write.

Now you, my few loyal readers, all know from reading my blogs that my life took a spiral that began in 2014 and every step since was an uphill, 7000lb battle, even up to just recently.  Well, I’m here to say, they are not wrong. I have changed.  How could I not. I chose to go where I felt comfortable, for me.  It was no longer where I was. A challenging, bottom of the pit of hell, soul searching change but an absolute necessary one.

None of these emotions singularly puts me off.  I can do all of it and I can do it all very well, whether results are pass or fail, good or bad.  No matter, as that is life.  But when stupid backward things come at you at the mock speed of light.  Pffft.  You want to just say f*$& it and walk away from it all.

This morning I woke a tired, miserable, crotchety, phlegm curdled curmudgeon. Every word spit from my mouth became a stinging dagger and though I knew a blow up was inevitable, I postponed it… by walking away.

The leash clicked into place loudly, the snow spikes on my boots clacked on every nerve ending.  It took an exaggerated, irritated breath to help get the sticky gate to unlatch but Nala bounded happily, eager to be setting off on a walk in the early darkness.  Usually we wait, until a bit of sunrise, as we live with wildlife of all kinds.  But I had to go.

Nala tugged me and I allowed her nose to be the lead today while I grumbled nonsense to myself, pulling apart scenarios and allowing my bruised ego to lament over the full plate of crap it was holding.  I didn’t care if the early risers could see me through their frost crusted windows marching and mumbling through the slush; angry and sullen.

Nals guided me to one of her favourite places, a large soccer field, nestled in the surrounding woods only to be seen if you follow the paths made by locals and animals.  Some wonderful human made a path in the snow with a scrapper.  It circled around the full perimeter of the field and when I can scan the whole field and see no predators, Nals gets to run loose.

Today, it was early still, foggy and dark, so she remained on leash and I had to stop the inner damned dialogue to pay attention to my surroundings nevertheless.

I moved through a path, pushing aside a dark green brush of junipers, laden with heavy, sticky snow, stopping carefully to check the depth of the snow at every step, when the smell hit my senses full on. It stopped me so suddenly Nala’s leash tugged, almost pulling me into a drift and Nals, slightly impatient though tail still wagging, came back to investigate.

She watched as I turned.  Sniffed.  Turned again.  She played with me, sniffing around as I tried, not so daintily, to clear the sinuses to get a deeper smell.  My mind zipped through the various scented oils I have lined up in my medicine cabinet to see if a name would pop out.

One did.


I searched about a bit, then bent close to the greenery I had just brushed up against, giggling a bit as Nals followed suit and ohhhh the smell was delightful. But there was something else.  Something familiar. Recent.  What was it?

Nala wanted to move on so we did.  I could still smell it as we walked the path.  Though alert and careful, scanning the woods and dark patches of the area for any danger, paying close attention to Nala as her more delicate senses would catch something sketchy in the air if there was one, I moved my own nose in a direction of anything resembling that fresh, delicious smell.

Then it came to me.

Candy cane. 

Ahhh that sweet, white minty smell.  Mixed with the heady scent of cedarwood my mind went instantly to a familiar scene. A crackling fire in the large brick fireplace, most likely wood pieces left over from one of my dads latest projects and branches from trees he had trimmed just before the first snow.  Fresh bows of greenery, thickly placed on the mantle twinkled bright with tiny lights and colourful merry knickknacks.  My mom, chatting with my girls as they danced, eagerly, in anticipation of helping ‘trim’ the tree.   As each box of bright, cheery ornaments, trinkets and tinsel opened, that sweet festive scent would permeate the air.

The scene was over as fast as it had zipped through my mind but it left me feeling comfort again.  It brought my feet back down to the ground and I was able to enjoy that jolly scented walk without all the grumbles.

I was still tired and grumpy and I knew Dan and I would be at odds today.  I also knew, not only was I in my personal paradise, and was NOT to forget the sacrifices endured to get here, but mom and dad were here too.  They had my back, kindly reminding me that ALL things, yin or yang, have a proper and necessary purpose…

…even the smell of Cedarwood and candy cane.




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