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Prince Albert Voice

Janice DePeel

Admiration for Those Learning

The third wave of COVID is threatening the health of our youth as outbreaks occur throughout the province in local schools.  As much as people are protecting themselves through vaccines, self isolation and taking care to be aware of potential hazards where there is increased risk, all of us have felt the sting of COVID.  And it is distressing to see some people out rightly balk at taking care at all, relying on conspiracy theories to support their ill-advised decision to not wear masks or keep themselves from others who may be susceptible to the virus, if they’re exposed.  While all of this is taking place, there are those who are diligent about keeping themselves, their family and their neighbours safe.  I certainly appreciate the innovative and creative ways people are finding to meet together while staying safe at the same time.

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A Drive In The City Reveals Wildlife

Growing up at Candle Lake there was never a question as to whether we would encounter wildlife in our daily life... it was only a question of what we would see and when.  In the summer, one of the common visitors to our home was a red-headed woodpecker.  Somehow Dad finally deterred his visits as he spent a lot of time drilling into the wood siding of our house.  Looking back, I wonder if the Woodpecker thought our home had termites.  I can’t imagine any other reason he’d have such a determined interest in personally dismantling our home, one hole at a time! Fortunately for all of us the house had good bones and it never did implode despite the best efforts of the Woodpecker.  I still enjoy watching these birds hunt on trees and find comfort in hearing their beak drilling against the wood as they hunt or make a home.  Until recently, I never realized what a big and mighty bird a Woodpecker is.  Unfortunately he’s also incredibly shy so I will have to continue to practice patience while I wait to capture the ever elusive photograph with a camera instead of with my heart.  There were always a lot of animals around and in the community at Candle Lake; deer, all types of birds, insects including moths as big as an adult hand, bats, bears, fox, coyote, skunks and squirrels, rabbits and lynx, just to name a few.  One of my favourite childhood encounters was watching lightning bugs on the dark summer nights when it would be too hot to sleep and I’d press my face against the clear, cool glass of the window watching the bugs light up the night for a few seconds before darkness prevailed again.  Watching them made the night feel magical and surreal to me.  I didn’t even want to move as I watched them, afraid that if I did I’d scare them away.  And I think I really hoped they’d bring their bright little butts closer to my window so I could observe them more clearly.  I always figured if lightning bugs could exist maybe fairies could too - alas some flying creatures really only thrive in our imagination.

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Germinating Unknown Seeds

I have diligently been collecting seeds.  Each time my family enjoyed “seedless” watermelon, grapes, peppers, cantaloupe, bananas, strawberries, tomatoes, avocado, sweet potatoes, pineapple and pit fruits we have saved and planted it all.  Part of keeping organized has been labeling everything so we know which seeds are which.  This helps us to know the colour, flavour profile and size of whatever we are growing.  Things were going very well.  My seeds were meticulously labelled and placed on a moist paper towel inside a clear plastic container I had recycled from some mixed fruit we’d purchased.  Everything was going so well.  The seeds were germinating – I had tiny red and yellow tomatoes, strawberry seeds and banana seeds as well as some peppers and one black watermelon seed we’d discovered in a seedless watermelon.  Life was good and I couldn’t wait to have the seeds grow into their second stage of leaf development and transplant them into individual pots.

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Hope Springs Eternal

We made it!  Somehow this past winter seemed a lot colder and more harsh than it actually was.  Maybe my perception is a bit jaded since I had some things weighing on my mind and I was having a tough time seeing a silver lining no matter how I looked at the situation. Finally I just put my faith to the test and believed that everything would work out.  Trusting in God is a powerful tool in helping maintain a level of sanity and order in my life.  It is where I find happiness and joy.  And as life’s load got lighter, I found my mood and outlook has improved as well.  I felt the bounce in my step on the first day of Spring.  I’ve started cloud gazing while taking my daily dose of Vitamin D while sitting in a sunbeam or outside on the deck.  I’m learning to stop taking myself so seriously and to laugh instead of become upset when I do silly things like spill a gallon of milk on the floor.  Seriously. The whole gallon - and I only managed to save half of it.  But now the cats come running every time I open the fridge.  They must think I’m going to make a habit of dropping things on the floor.  The truth is my arthritic hands and wrists couldn’t hold the gallon, so now I know to use both hands when the gallon is full.  I’m also in the process of learning to become less critical and more forgiving of myself.  I think my children need to see more of this side of me.  Over the last few years I’ve forgotten how to tap into my inner child... but I’m beginning to remember.

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

I was doing a little retail therapy online the other day and found someone selling vintage Pyrex mugs that took me back in time.  The picture on my computer screen had my mind racing backwards to when I was a little girl living at Candle Lake.   By that time I was a third generation DePeel living in the small resort village and some of my best memories were made while we lived there.

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Current Flyers

Wednesday November 17, 2021