A Few Warm Fuzzies

Good news and good feelings have been pretty scarce lately. So for just a little while, I’m going to focus on some feel-good stuff. Here, in no particular order, are some memories I revisit when I want some warm fuzzies.

Disclaimer: I have the world’s shittiest memory. The feelings and experiences I report here are true. The dates and times? Your guess is as good as mine.

One glorious autumn (or maybe spring) a couple of decades ago (maybe more): My sister came to visit me in Calgary, and we decided to hike in the Alberta Rockies. At the time, there was still public access to the trail up Mount Indefatigable in Kananaskis Country. (The trail is permanently closed now to protect grizzly bear habitat.) The steep rocky path started at an elevation of about 7,250 feet and went all the way up to the 8,750 foot summit, but our goal was the midpoint around 8,000 feet. We panted up there and collapsed on the bench only a few feet from the edge of a cliff, overlooking a sheer drop to Upper Kananaskis Lake nearly 1,000 feet below. The sky was flawless blue, and the sparkling lake mirrored it. The breeze gently lifted our hair and sang the soft eternal song of wind through conifers, and the clean scent of spruce and jackpine surrounded us. As we watched, a cloud drifted below us, then dissipated. I’ll never forget that moment of peace, awe, and sheer happiness.

Spring 2017: Hubby and I had just moved to Vancouver Island, and we were renting a creaky little place on the beach while our house was under construction. One night an extra-low tide was predicted, and I couldn’t resist. The sky was clear and the moon was full when I slipped out onto the beach and followed the sound of surf rolling up on the rocky shore. The moon struck bright silver off the crest of every ripple, and the fresh briny air was intoxicating. I stood for a very long time in the coolness and solitude, just listening to the heartbeat of the earth.

Spring 2020: Our irrigation pond had been in place for a year, and every night the chorus of frog-song was so loud that we could even hear it indoors. One crisp black-velvet night I stepped out onto the porch to listen for a while, then gave in to the temptation. Grabbing a flashlight, I sneaked out to the pond. Footstep by cautious footstep, I crept closer, triangulating the location of the loudest croaking. A quick flick of the flashlight, and there he was: A leopard frog with his translucent throat inflated, singing his little heart out. He seemed transfixed by the light, and I watched him for long seconds before he went silent and ducked under a branch. By the time I got back to the house the chorus was back to full volume, and I spent the evening wearing a smile.

Care to share some of your own ‘warm fuzzy’ moments?

Book 17 update: I’m on Chapter 23, and Aydan just got caught sneaking out of her Director’s house in the middle of the night. This doesn’t look good…

26 thoughts on “A Few Warm Fuzzies

  1. Nearly two years ago exactly, our whole county (at least) was shut down for COVID. Everyone was to stay at home with few exceptions.
    I was driving (alone) to quickly go to a Dr.’s appt, grab groceries, and rush back home, when I saw it.
    My down-the-road neighbors were all out walking in their pasture for exercise/ an outing. Dad was holding a baby snuggled up to his chest with one arm, while with his other, he and Mom swung their toddler son between them; getting quite a respectable height for an arm swing. The boy was giggling so hard! He didn’t know about quarantine, or worry about finances, etc. He was just stoked that Mom was baking a lot of banana bread, and his whole family was together every day.

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  2. I grew up in Southern California and I love to take long drives. My family has property about five hours up the coast in a little town called Cambria and it was my favorite place to go. I always timed it so I’d get there just after sunrise. You know you’re almost there when the smell of fresh cut sweet grass hits you and it’s so pervasive it’s like syrup. The rocky coast is on the left and the mountains are on the right. A couple of the lower mountains have craters and morning fog would spill over the edges like a giant witches cauldron. I really miss that drive.

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  3. Sorry I’ve not commented in a while I’m still alive. I’ve had to come and give you a giggle oh and feel free to move the comment to a different spot if you thibk it should be in books or elsewhere.

    I’ve just had an amazon update book 16 paperback has been dispatched to be delivered on Saturday but on the my account page the image was blurred out like they do with adult products, I know your books can be races but I don’t remember the ebook being that bad

    Love and hugs to all and my favourite author Diane, who now writes adult books according to amazon

    Hope this made you smile

    Karen xxx

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    • Hi Karen! It’s so nice to hear from you! I hope you’re doing well.
      I’m still giggling about the “adult” cover blur. Hmmm, maybe there’s a whole new career for me out there… 🤣

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  4. It was so nice to hear about your positive experiences! Good news is hard to come by these days!
    One of my favorite memories is being surrounded by a large herd of Alpacas. They were curious and friendly due to the shepherdess’ raising them. I have a Live Photo showing one of them coming up to kiss me!

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  5. Lying on my back on our haystack as a kid in mid winter, looking up at a sky full of stars with Orion rising in the east. The world so flat we could see the glow of the lights of Biggar 40 km easts south east of us.
    Looking across the Hulun Beir grasslands of Inner Mongolia. Grass as far as the eye could see in any direction, and thinking this was how the prairies looked once upon a time.

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    • Oh, wow, what spectacular sights! A lot of people don’t understand the sheer majesty of the prairie, but it calls to me just as strongly as the ocean and mountains. On the prairie, my soul can spread its wings and soar!

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  6. Right now, being in the moment is what makes me happy. And that moment looks like a Mexican beach with no other people, where we camp for free and eat breakfast and lunch in our chairs in the shade, toes in the sand. We stare at the Sea of Cortez through binoculars to watch humpback whales breach (jump), breathe (spouts), flap the water with a fin or tale, or just cruise by in the distance.

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    • Ahhh, your description made me sigh with sheer delight. I’ve watched humpback and killer whales from the shore here on Vancouver Island, but they don’t pass through often so it was only a fleeting glimpse. And our cool, rocky beaches can’t hold a candle to warm sand and sunshine. Paradise! 🙂

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  7. Several summers ago we were enchanted by a rare migration flight of Painted Ladies butterflies. In Central Alberta. We were enjoying a lovely hot day on our back patio when streams & streams of butterflies began flying toward us…as far as we could see- to north, south and east… rising over fences and houses, dropping closer to the ground above the park, rising again over us – and gone. The spectacle continued for a couple of hours. Understanding that these delicate beauties had traveled from the deserts of Mexico towards the mountain meadows of the Rocky Mountains made the moment even more spectacular. They visit Alberta about every 10 to 15 years but usually not in such great numbers. Wet, rainy weather in Mexico and the southern US sometimes drives them north towards us. A biologist friend told us they were quite faded when they got here and are brighter when they start off… but to me they were an amazingly beautiful sight. A sight I will always remember!

    Thanks for reminding me again, Diane – you’ve made me smile!

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    • I’m glad you got a smile, and thank you so much for sharing it! Now I’m smiling, too. What an amazing (and probably once-in-a-lifetime) experience! That’s something I’d LOVE to see. I keep telling myself that one of these days I’ll travel down to Mexico and see the monarch butterfly migration at one of the sanctuaries. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s definitely on my bucket list!

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  8. A song came on the other day and I was reminded of our Speechly lounge performances…you tinkling the ivories and listening to me “sing”. I hope I didn’t frighten too many people! Hugs girl.

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    • I miss those days! Your singing was always much better than my piano-playing, and now I play so seldom that I’m really rusty. But if only we lived closer, I’d love to do some more play-and-sing sessions. That was so much fun! Hmmm, can you Zoom a music play-date…?

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  9. Three days and eighteen hundred miles of riding, and the stunning scenery of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest enticed me to make it a short day of riding. I had passed a few park campground signs and chose one at random. The Meadow Creek Camp Ground had eight campsites, one on top of a small hill caught my attention. The view to the east from the top faced an open lane between the Douglas firs to frame the small mountain lake. The early afternoon sun was pleasantly warm. It complimented the whisper of scented breeze from the mountain. I felt as though I had arrived.

    I did not want to think about the ten more days, four thousand more miles, and two places I needed to be.

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    • Oh, wow, what a wonderful memory! My entire body hurts at the thought of riding all those miles; but maybe that’s part of what made your campground experience so absolutely perfect. Ahhh… 🙂

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  10. Oh, those are such great memories, Diane! And so well described, I can picture it well.

    I’ve come to realize since my husband’s death that memories really can be a huge comfort in times of sadness. Before, it was just words on a sympathy card, but now I actually understand. Because we were together for 41 years, most of my memories include him. When I’m missing him and our life in the past, I can pull out those memories: when our kids were born, when they graduated school and higher learning, when our daughter got married, even my dad’s burial had sweet moments with my husband that comfort me. As for memories made alone, they are mostly like yours, in nature: seeing a bald eagle methodically flying in loops above our town’s river and hearing the alarm cries of the birds telling other birds to take cover, having a chickadee land on my head while I was standing in a lookoff shelter above the river, and sitting on the sandy beach listening to the swish of waves. Okay, that last one was after my husband died so it’s melancholy, too, but it was at our cottage so it reminds me of my husband.

    This is a wonderful post, reminding us that here and now isn’t all there is. We still have a past with good memories, and hopefully a future with more to come.

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    • “We still have a past with good memories, and hopefully a future with more to come.” What a beautiful thought — thank you for that! I’m so glad that you’re gradually being able to take comfort from your precious (albeit still bittersweet) memories of your husband. And having a chickadee land on you is such a cool experience! I love all birds, but I’m particularly fond of chickadees. 🙂

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  11. For me, going out west to my “happy places” and spending time in the solitude is what I look forward to. I’ve hiked up a small part of a couple of mountains in Colorado, driven on unpaved roads to places in Utah where I’m surrounded by red rocks, or been alone in a few of our national parks (a rarity these days!) to just soak in the outdoors.

    There are a few roads I like driving just for the scenery. I rarely get that experience on our Interstate highway system, but I-70 through the Glendale Canyon area is breathtaking, as the scenery through the canyon is amazing, and the unique way the freeway was constructed in tiers was a major accomplishment (and the last portion to be completed). One favorite drive is Utah state road 128. After existing I-70 west past Grand Junction and the Utah border, you drive through the abandoned ruins of the town of Cisco, then continue until you reach the Colorado River, where UT-128 follows the river through the canyon all the way to Moab. It can be a long drive, as I am constantly stopping to take photos, or walk by the river or climb the rocks for a few minutes, or stop at landmarks like Fisher Towers to hike among the rocks. There is also a winery closer to Moab, along with a ranch or two.

    We sometimes get a few fleeting moments of that here in the Great Lakes, especially if we head north of the population (up the thumb area of Michigan, which is a 90 minute trip from the house). We found a quiet beach area that is part of a pull-off from the road–even when it’s busy, there are no crowds. It’s a good spot to rest along Lake Huron.

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    • Your drives through Glendale Canyon and Utah sound spectacular! I love the places where I can pull off to enjoy the scenery without being surrounded by people and cars. And I especially love the trips where I don’t have a deadline or an agenda and I can stop every few miles to explore and take photos if I want. My dad and I drove around Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia on a trip like that — it’s another one of my treasured memories. 🙂

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