Category Archives: Linda Hoye

March 1 – It’s Winter Now

by Linda Hoye

Gerbera Daisy image by Linda Hoye

It’s winter now. On some days the snow falls like feathers, on others it glistens like diamonds in the late-winter sun. Today, the sun shines bright, tricking me into thinking it’s warmer out there than it really is. From the sanctuary of my woman cave, where the hum of the heater and the clicking of my camera shutter are the only sounds, I look out over the back yard where fairy dust glistens in the frigid afternoon air.

I’m shooting Gerbera daisies. Life’s been busy since I brought them home a few days ago and they’re starting to fade; I haven’t had an opportunity to capture any photos of them yet. Today’s the day.

As I work, this blog is in the back of my mind. I’m remembering another day, eight years ago in a different season and a different country, when a different me sat swaying in a lawn swing on a sultry summer afternoon reading the stories of women’s lives and a vision for One Woman’s Day was conceived.

I shift position and change camera settings and imagine women going about their day not knowing that everything will change before the sun goes down; and others, who will come to the end of it filled with gratitude and peace and an expectation for what comes next. I wonder which way it will turn out for me. I wonder if someone will write a story about this very day.

Somewhere, a woman is sitting at a desk, or curled up under a quilt, or sitting on a beach, playing with words and crafting the sweet complexity of her story—a generous gift for another who will be touched by the telling in the future. That’s what One Woman’s Day is all about.

Satisfied that I’ve taken enough photos for now, I return to my desk and pop the camera card into the slot in my laptop. While the photos are downloading I glance over at my second screen where One Woman’s Day is up and reach for my mouse. I scroll down the list of contributor names and think about the women I’ve had the privilege of meeting in real life, and others I’ve met only through their words that have touched my heart.

Images of Gerbera daisies come up on my main screen and, for now, I turn my attention to the story I’m telling there.

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What an honour it has been for me to coordinate this space all these years. These stories have touched me and reminded me of all that we have in common, regardless of how different our lives appear on the outside.

Today I hand the One Woman’s Day Coordinator baton to Kali’ Rourke: grateful for her willingness, knowing she will add her own unique flair to this space. Please join me in giving Kali’ the warmest of welcomes.

Linda Hoye is on the other side of a twenty-five-year corporate career. A writer, photographer, gardener, and somewhat-fanatical grandma, she lives in Kamloops, British Columbia with her husband and their doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier. Find her online, where she posts a few words and a photograph early every morning, at http://www.lindahoye.com.

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January 8 – Traffic Stop

by Linda Hoye

I’m sitting in traffic, stopped, as the city workers tend to yet another thing on the only street leading into our neighbourhood. The work has been going on since early summer. They’re painting crosswalks now; I think that means it’s almost finished.

A man in a vehicle two cars in front of me steps out of his car and tries to get a look at what is causing the delay up ahead. I glance in my rear view mirror; the line grows longer. I shift into park.

I see a young woman strolling along the sidewalk toward me with two young children, maybe two and three-years-old, in tow. She pauses every few steps to look behind her at the little one who is lagging behind and is, in fact, seeing something of great interest in the low cedar bushes that line the sidewalk.

She doesn’t attempt to hurry the little one along and I’m struck by her patience. I wish I wasn’t. I wish it was the norm for people to take meandering walks with children and allow them to explore the world they are growing up in. It often isn’t though.

The young woman glances unseeing at me for a moment then turns her attention back to the straggler who is now reaching into the cedars and plucking berries from the branches. The second child toddles back to join the berry-picker and, together, they pluck treasures and begin filling their pockets with them.

What fun. For the briefest of moments I’m transported back to my own childhood when we ran unsupervised through the neighbourhood using our imaginations to conjure all kinds of scenarios in which to fill endless days. Time shifts and I’m thinking of my own children and the games they made up that occupied them hour after hour with nothing more than a yard and sticks and branches and a faithful dog named Bobby.

Such richness there was, and is, in a world without electronics and constant stimulation. I applaud this young woman for her willingness to take the long and slow way and to allow these children the priceless gift of gathering cedar berries on an autumn afternoon.

Ahead, the flag person turns his sign from stop to slow and cars begin inching forward. I shift into drive and move past the berry-gathering activity toward my destination for the afternoon, taking with me a measure of simple peace and a belief that moments like this can change the world.

Linda Hoye is on the other side of a twenty-five-year corporate career; now a writer, photographer, gardener, and somewhat-fanatical grandma. She lives in Kamloops, British Columbia with her husband and their doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier. Find her online, where she posts daily, at http://www.lindahoye.com.

This post was first published on her at http://lindahoye.com/saturday-october-28-2017/.

 

January 2 – A Very Special Lunch

by Linda Hoye

January 2, 2009

 My daughter is sitting up in bed, smiling and crying at the same time. There is an indescribable glow about her

“Congratulations, Mommy!” I embrace her and kiss her forehead.

Satisfied that she is okay, I turn toward the baby warmer. The nurse is bustling about but steps aside to allow me to get closer to the warmer. My granddaughter, eyes wide open, is looking around as if to take in the sights of this new world she has arrived in.

I reach over and gently take her tiny hand in mine as I lean over and whisper so only she can hear. “Welcome! We’ve been waiting for you!”

Excerpted from, Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude by Linda Hoye, Benson Books, 2012

 December 2016

“I’m a big girl, Grandma,” she reminds me as I move to help her grate the carrots. Makiya is making wraps for the two of us for lunch–the same wraps I once made for her mommy not so many years ago. “I can do it.”

She can, of course, but maybe it’s the part of me that still gets misty when I remember the day she was born that causes me to forget that this strong-willed, intelligent, and beautiful girl is capable of preparing lunch for the two of us.

“Hang on, let me take a quick picture.” I reach for my phone and move toward the counter where she stands working.

“Grandma!” she’s exasperated with all the picture-taking around here over the past couple of days while she’s been spending a week with us.

“Just one,” I promise. “Look over here. Smile!”

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Makiya turns toward me and instead of smiling, flashes a look that reminds me of her mommy. She allows the photo to be taken—with only a slight rolling of the eyes—and returns to the task at hand. Lunch.

When she’s grated the carrot as far down as she dare go, she sets the remaining chunk aside. Then, she opens the jar of Miracle Whip and spreads a thin layer on each of two tortilla shells, spreads the grated carrot on top, and covers it with alfalfa sprouts.

“Do you want me to help you roll it up?” I can’t resist asking as she pauses to consider her next move.

“I can do it, Grandma,” she reminds me, but after trying to roll them herself acquiesces and requests my assistance, then firmly directs me to return to my chair while she serves lunch.

She hands me a plate with the wrap in the middle and one of the Christmas sugar cookies we made the day before on the side, and a napkin.

“What would you like to drink?” she asks in her best server voice. “Water? Okay. Ice? Would you like crushed or cubed?”

She returns with a glass of water for me and eggnog for herself and sits opposite me. We munch on our wraps and chat; she brings the dolls seated beside her into the conversation making for an interesting time all around.

How I treasure these simple days with her.

January 2, 2017

Today is Makiya’s eighth birthday and even this grandma can’t deny that she is, indeed, a big girl. Happy Birthday, Ladybug Girl. Grandma loves you to the moon and back.

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Linda Hoye is a writer, editor, adoptee, and a somewhat-fanatical grandma. Retired from a twenty-five-year corporate career , she lives in British Columbia, Canada with her husband and their doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier where she finds contentment in her kitchen, at her writing desk, behind her camera, in her garden, and most especially in her role as grandma.

March 31 – Ghost Story

by Linda Hoye

Benson and beyond-1 (600x429)

The ghost lets me know she needs to stop again; I’ve momentarily forgotten her. I pull over and get out of the car to listen to the silence again, but I’m surprised to find that it really isn’t silent at all. I hear the click click click of grasshoppers flying and birds singing. In the distance, where the sky is now dark and angry, a fork of lightning reaches down to touch the prairie. Like me, it can’t resist just a touch of the land. The boom of thunder follows.

“The giants are bowling!” the ghost calls back to me as she runs across the field.

I smile at her exuberance.

Saskatchewan’s warm wind wraps around me. You are home, she whispers. I’ve heard that one can’t go home again, but I don’t want to believe it. I want to be home; I need to be home. The sky opens up and the rain starts; I look out in the direction where I saw the ghost running. Her face is turned toward the sky and her arms are waving above her head; she’s dancing in the rain. I can hear her laughter faintly in the distance.

The same rain the ghost is dancing in falls on me as I watch her carefree movements. I lift my own face toward the sky, and the cool rain mingles with the tears I am powerless to hold back. I close my eyes and let the rain wash the tears from my face as I breathe deeply, the scent of the summer rain like aromatherapy for my bruised and broken heart.

I should call the ghost back; I should get going; Aunt Edie is expecting me.

But I don’t move; I stand still and let the raindrops mingle with my tears and allow myself to let go, to weep deeply, to feel the anguish I’ve held in so tightly for too long, the grief to which I’ve been afraid to surrender. I grieve for the deaths of Mom and Dad, for the pain of not having them in my life, the sorrow I feel at having had them so briefly. I grieve for the death of my dreams, the breakdown of my marriage, the emptiness I feel inside, the mantle of responsibility so heavy on my shoulders. I grieve for my children and the mistakes I’ve made and the mistakes I see them making. I grieve for the loss of my birth mother. And I grieve for myself.

When I am spent, I open my eyes. The rain is just a drizzle now, and in the distance there is a break in the clouds. I turn my head, prepared to call the ghost back, but I’m surprised to see her standing next to me. She is simply standing there, looking up at me with eyes as big as plates,  her hair like long wet strings. I squat down and gently take her face in my hands.

Thank you for coming with me today, I tell her.

She smiles, and we get back in the car; this time I invite the ghost to sit in the front, beside me. I pull out onto the prairie road and turn the car around in the opposite direction from the way we were traveling before.

“What are you doing?” the ghost asks. “Stoughton is that way.”

I know. It’s not much farther, and we’ve got plenty of time.

“But where are we going?” she asks.

We’re going back to get your tadpoles.

Her face lights up with a big smile and I reach over and take her hand in mine.

 

(Hoye, Linda, Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude, Benson Books, 2012)

Linda Hoye is a writer, editor, adoptee, and a somewhat-fanatical grandma whose work has appeared in an assortment of publications in Canada and the U.S. Her memoir, Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude, is the story of her journey through the abyss of grief and coming out the other side whole, healed, and thankful.

 

Retime-1 (179x269) (2)red from a twenty-five-year corporate career , she lives in British Columbia, Canada with her husband and their doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier where she finds contentment in her kitchen, at her writing desk, behind her camera, and in her garden. 

August 6 – Retreat

by Linda Hoye

Canning Soup

Once a year my husband goes on a salmon fishing trip with a few of his friends. It’s as much of a pleasure for me as it is for him. While he looks forward to fishing and fellowship, and anticipates the salmon, halibut, and crab he’ll bring home, I look forward to time at home replenishing my soul with silence, simplicity, and solitude.

In recent weeks I’ve been planning how I wanted to spend these precious days. I decided that this year I would have a writing retreat and get back to a piece of work I started on last year. I’ve been rereading my outline, making notes, thinking about the premise of the story, and planning where I wanted to take it. I felt inspired and eager to spend a few days with no commitment but to write.

I’m the type of person who likes to make a plan and follow through with it. No one could accuse me of being carefree and spontaneous on a regular basis. So, it was with mixed feelings when I decided to buy fifty pounds of tomatoes, twenty-five pounds of peaches, and twenty-five pounds of pickling cucumbers yesterday–the day before Gerry was leaving, the day before my personal writing retreat was scheduled to begin.

As Gerry hefted the large boxes of produce onto my kitchen counter so I could survey the bounty and snap a photograph I understood that I would spend the next few days, not working on my novel, but in the kitchen canning fruit and vegetables. I realized that I would fall into bed at the end of the days bone weary, with sore feet and a sore back, and that I would sleep well. I knew that I would spend my time creating canned goods instead of chapters.

In reality my plans changed as soon as I saw the flyer showing the produce on sale at the green grocer.  Perhaps it was because the course change was my own doing; or maybe it was because I might be as passionate about canning as I am about writing; whatever the reason I was out of bed before dawn this morning bidding farewell to my husband and chopping tomatoes, eager for my counter-tops to begin filling up with jars full of canned soup. The change of plans didn’t bother me in the least.

As I write this I’m tired and my feet are sore. Maya, my Yorkie, looks at me from her bed across the room with a look that seems to ask why we didn’t get to spend much time outside today. Ah, but there are eighteen quarts and thirteen pints of tomato soup on my kitchen counter, I’m thinking ahead to tomorrow’s canning plans. And I am writing.

It seems I will be able to have both–a writing retreat and a canning retreat—after all. Bliss.

meLinda Hoye is a writer, editor, adoptee, and somewhat-fanatical grandma who recently retired from a twenty-five-year corporate career. She lives in British Columbia, Canada with her husband and their doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier and finds contentment in her kitchen, at her writing desk, behind her camera, and in her garden. She is the author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude and blogs at A Slice of Life.

May 31 – Morning Moments

by Linda Hoye

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One of the great gifts of retirement is the opportunity to wake naturally in the morning when my body is ready. After so many years being jarred awake by the clamour of an alarm–too often after a mostly sleepless night and with my mind in go mode before my feet even hit the floor–to wake according to the rhythm of my body is a precious luxury.

These days I wake gently, often with the dawn in these late spring months. With the windows open, morning air fresh in the room, and the sound of birdsong filling the room, I surface slowly to a wakeful state. I stretch, perhaps holding lightly to the remnants of a dream, and listen to the calm cadence of my Yorkie Maya’s snoring and the peaceful resonance of Gerry’s breathing. The day stretches in front of me rich with possibility.

I take time to pray for those who are on my heart. I think about the day ahead–not in the hurried stomach-churning way I once did—instead making plans with gratitude and anticipation. There is work to be done: gardening, things around the house, and errands to run; there are also creative pursuits like photography prompts, writing projects, and even some quilting projects I’ve been thinking of getting back to.

There is satisfaction in knowing I have the gift of time and I can choose which activities to focus my attention on that day. I find deep satisfaction in living, not according to unrealistic deadlines and unrelenting demands all too common in the corporate world, but instead moving to the ebb and flow of this simple life we have chosen.

The June garden calls to me like a siren and, on those days when I can tell from the early morning air that it’s going to be a hot one, I make plans to head out early to work. On other days I consider the harvest that is already beginning: the canning, freezing, and dehydrating projects that are ahead of me; and I plan how I’ll fill the pantry this year. There is always something to think about; something to work on. I am busy according to my own schedule and pursuing passions that fulfill.

There are still challenges in this life: concerns about situations that cause angst; circumstances I can’t control; burdens that, at times, feel too heavy; but in these early morning hours when I linger in bed listening to the sweet melody of the finches waiting for the first rays of sun to come through the window, I am at peace and filled with gratitude.

These still morning moments strengthen me. I am blessed.

meLinda Hoye is a writer, editor, adoptee, and somewhat-fanatical grandma who recently retired from a twenty-five-year corporate career. She lives in British Columbia, Canada with her husband and their doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier and finds contentment in her kitchen, at her writing desk, behind her camera, and in her garden.

She is the author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude and blogs at A Slice of Life.

July 4 – A One Woman’s Day Thank You

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by Linda Hoye

Three years ago I was sitting in my lawn swing on a sultry summer afternoon reading the stories of women’s lives. I was honored that year to be one of the second-round judges in the Susan Wittig Albert Lifewriting Competition sponsored by the Story Circle Network and was captivated by the stories I was reading. The topic that year was “Letting Go” and, as you can imagine, the stories were as diverse as the talented women who had written them.

As I read these stories and experienced a glimpse into the lives of the authors I wondered about stories my mother or grandmother might write about a day in their life and what a treasure it would be to have those stories written down to be cherished and shared.

I conceived an idea for a blog where we could give opportunity for women to share the stories about a day in their life and, after a time of refining the idea, getting input from others, gaining the necessary approvals, soliciting posts, and developing the site, on January 1 2011 One Woman’s Day published its very first post by Stephanie Barko.

Today, two and a half years later, One Woman’s Day has been honored to give voice to sixty-five Story Circle Network members in a total of 142 posts! And the stories! Ah, the stories they’ve told.

We’ve laughed at tales of mishaps like that of Sally Jean Brudos; we’ve been awe at tales of medical miracles like the one shared by Mary Jo Doig; and we’ve wept at stories of loss like that shared by Patricia Roop Hollinger. We’ve been privileged to introduce readers to Story Circle Members and link back to their own blogs like Cathy Scibelli’s The Iconic Muse and Letty Watt’s Literally Letty.

Mostly, we’ve just enjoyed reading the stories about a day in the life of another women. The blurb on our submission page reads:

Today a woman somewhere is laughing, weeping, grieving, or celebrating. Someone is giving birth; someone is losing a loved one to death. Relationships are forming, others are ending. For some this will be an ordinary day filled with many of the same activities as yesterday. For others, something unexpected will suddenly make this day unforgettable, one that they may tell their children and grandchildren about in the future. In the same way that we are curious about how our grandmothers lived, future generations will be interested in learning about what an ordinary day was like in our lives.

It has been a pleasure for co-coordinator, Laurinda Wheeler (my daughter!), and me to present these stories and we thank you for sharing them with us and the readers of One Woman’s Day. We hope you’ll take some time over the summer to write about a day in your life and send it to us so we can share many more!

Linda Hoye is a writer, editor, adoptee, a somewhat-fanatical grandma and author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude. She currently lives in Washington state with her husband and their two doted-upon Yorkshire Terriers and is counting down the months until retirement, when they plan to move back to Canada to be closer to their grandchildren.