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Prince Albert Voice

Janice DePeel

What I See

I stopped by a large, unoccupied pond yesterday. My intentions were to watch the sun rise and burn the hoar frost from the trees. As my eyes grew accustomed to "not seeing", my hands reached to roll down my window and turn off the ignition. There is an old saying that suggests, "when you stop looking, then you will see". My Mom's grandfather taught her that and, quite honestly, it has been a part of my life philosophy.  Well, when I stopped looking, I saw four rather large families of ducks, I heard the 'croaking' call of a raven and listened as geese called to one another. The ducks muttering to each other as they splashed in the water made for an equally beautiful moment as the light fog began to lift.  And, as the sun rose higher in the sky, I was able to see the shadows behind round bales of hay reveal themselves to be four of the most beautiful white-tail does I've seen in a long while. They stood looking at me and I was equally as mesmerized gazing at them.  When I stopped looking, I could truly see.  This morning I returned to the same spot. The ducks were still at the pond but everything else was different. Life is like that, you have to capture the moment while you can or it could be lost forever.

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Unexpected Gifts Really Make My Day

I think I am addicted to VarageSale.  For those of you not familiar with the App, you download it onto your cell phone and you’re able to make amazing deals with folks in and around Prince Albert.  A few months ago I bought a variety of fabrics with the intention of teaching my daughter and I, through trial and error, how to quilt as the weather gets colder.  So imagine my surprise to receive a message last month asking if I was interested in some quilting batting.  For free!  Of course I was and the next day I was so pleased to pick it up.  Not only was it wrapped in plastic to protect it from the elements while it was outside, it was still in pristine condition.  The kindness this person extended to me and my daughter leaves me nearly speechless – something that should be marked on a calendar and perhaps commemorated as a near miracle as I am very rarely at a loss for words.  Ever!

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Cold Weather Brings Time for Legends

Everything has a season in the life of an Aboriginal person.  As the final preparations come together for winter with food preserved, frozen, dried and kept in other ways, fire wood has been hauled, chopped and piled and countless other chores continue to take place there is also time set aside for other details that enhance the quality of life we have as individuals and as a community.  For instance, there is time now for more gatherings to celebrate harvest and to be thankful for having made it through the life challenges each of us has seen and struggled through.  And focus is placed on the trap line and the harvest that will take place there.  Some of us focus on beading, weaving and quilting projects that will keep our hands from becoming idle.  Others of us look toward continuing with education, teaching others or finding mentors to learn from as well.

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Take Pictures With Your Heart

Driving down a lonely country road on a beautiful September morning, it is a delight to see Mother Nature in her glory as she pristinely adorns herself in yellow gold, red russet, every colour of green you can imagine and the loveliest shades of orange so stunning it's necessary to stop and drink it all in to fully begin to appreciate it. 

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Show Respect While Harvesting

Over the last few weeks, as the summer winds down, many of us have been busy harvesting vegetables from our gardens, berries from the wild and now we are just finishing up with apple (and other fruits) picking season and entering hunting season.  It is a busy time as we prepare for the coming cold weather when our preserved harvests make us especially thankful that we took the time to harvest and prepare for winter through pickling, freezing, dehydrating, preserving in jams and jellies as well as other methods of ensuring we always have the best quality of foods to offer family and friends at every meal.  And while I am especially grateful to know how to keep foods in such a way that extends their shelf life past just a few weeks in cold storage, at the same time I am reminded while I harvest I must respect the earth and the animals who provide for me and my family.

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