Catherine Bussiere: Surprise

a few weeks ago
I think maybe even before we got back
my son Isaac told me that there would be a surprise graduation party for his fiancé Haley
the cover was
she would be prepping a surprise birthday party for him
so just go along when she let’s you know about it

how does this work?

Haley has a cousin
who really likes Isaac
cousin will pretend he wants to host a surprise birthday party for Isaac
Haley is excited about it
she says it’s really hard to trick Isaac and she can’t keep secrets
but she’ll try her best

Most of Haley’s family lives in Cape Breton
nobody is mentioning anything about her upcoming graduation
Dad who is a musician is busy with gigs
Mom is about to start working
no time for parties it seems

Behind Haley’s back everyone has been plotting
she’s been tricked once before
for her high school graduation
she even made her own cake I was told
thinking she was going to someone else’s party
Never again she said then

yesterday was somewhat crazy
we have to make plans out loud about the day
Hey Isaac, what you want for your birthday
what should we have for supper
let’s bake a cake
the trick is not to slip
not to say too much
no whispering
make Haley think we’re going along with this secret party for Isaac
and keep a straight face

Haley has to figure out a way to get Isaac to St-Margaret’s Bay (cousin’s place)
which is 20 minutes out of town
we have a friend who is away and asked if Haley could go check on her house
then Haley will say that she needs to pick up a jacket she forgot at her cousin
You don’t have to come she says to Isaac, enjoy the day with your family
No, no, Isaac says, I’ll come with you

all of a sudden it’s time
Haley picks up Isaac and off they go
we have to hurry
of course we get stuck in traffic
but funny enough, when we get to the highway exit they are right in front of us
we slow down to let a couple cars get between us

we easily find cousin’s place
there’s lots of cars already there
we quickly unpack the car but as we are ready to head off to the house
here comes Haley and Isaac parking right in front of us
we hide as much as we can while making our way to the house
at this point Haley is breaking up and Isaac is smiling

the house is all decorated
on the table there is a big cake
two camera are set up at different angle ready to roll
we make a quick entrance
“They’re coming” we say

Isaac and Haley walk in
she has a huge smile, her face is glowing as she looks at him
I got you she thinks
she turns around
and as she slowly takes in all the people that are in the room
mom, dad, uncles, aunts, cousins
her ivory cheeks turn a nice shade of pink
her mouth widens
her eyes water
(as does everyone else)
We got you, we got you big time!
Oh the love, the laugh, the tears
Congratulation darling
and oh, Happy Birthday Isaac!




Maritime Mary: Making My Day

As I was recently opening a fresh new pack of gel pens, I found myself smiling. Really such a small thing can give a little thrill. I was reminded of being a child and getting that new box of 64 Crayola crayons (the pack with the sharpener in the back, you know the one), and looking at all those lovely pointed crayons and the beautiful colours in flawless order. Oh, the joys!

I’ve been thinking about and appreciating the little things, those nuggets that can make a day sweeter.
– a friendly greeting from a stranger
– cold hands around a warm mug
– getting just the right texture for rug hooking
– warm winter sunshine through the window
– delicious aromas coming from the kitchen when I’m not cooking
– a funny text from a friend
– peanut butter
– a quiet moment, time to think
– hearing the awaited car arrive in the driveway
– a compliment
– that first warm blast of warm water in the shower
– finding something you’ve misplaced
– singing along with the radio when alone in the car
– starting a really good book
– reconnecting with an old friend
– a glass of red wine with a barbequed steak.
And so it goes, moments, things that have made my day. What makes yours?





Maritime Mary : We Walk

My friend Margaret and I are walkers. Most days we are seen somewhere along our regular route. We have been motivating each other for over twenty years. We love to walk.

As we start, there is no discussion as to where we will go, our path is usually the same but the odd diversion is sometimes added. Some uphill, some downhill, some flat areas. We pass the same businesses, schools, homes. Our route is routine.

Our husbands always ask what we talk about and usually we say that we don’t remember, sometimes it is just chat, nothing important. We do laugh and say, ‘What is said on the walk, stays on the walk.’ Isn’t that a good cover for being forgetful?

Margaret usually comes to my house to meet me. After so many years, perhaps it’s not uncanny that I’ll open the door to discover that we are dressed alike. At one time, we both had identically coloured green jackets and we would wear them on the same day. If I decide on a grey t-shirt, chances are that Margaret will arrive in grey as well. When we both worked, we walked at night but now that we are daylight walkers, people notice and comment. We just laugh.

At times we are telepathic. We text each other at the same time or I reach to pick up the phone just as she calls.

We are each other’s walking habits. Through rain, snow, shine and even the freezing coldest days, we dress appropriately and we walk. Our mantra is ‘Just Keep Moving.’





Maritime Mary: Joy to the World

The stockings are hung and the ‘Holly and Ivy’ dishes are out. The halls are decked and ready. We need not dream of a ‘White Christmas as we have an abundance of snow.

Tonight my family will attend a Christmas Eve mass complete with pageant and then we will welcome friends for a small gathering. Simple traditions are the most treasured.

I am very thankful. Peace to you all. Merry Christmas!






Maritime Mary: ‘Tis the Season

All it took was some friends, a few supplies, armloads of fresh pine and fir, holly complete with berries and some nice red dogwood. Those were the ingredients for a fun filled afternoon to create inexpensive beautiful swags to decorate our front doors for the Christmas season.

Swag making is more fun in a group. Sometimes it takes two to wire boughs together tightly. We trade off supplies, some purchased from the dollar store, pine cones and other gifts of nature. We drink tea, critique, laugh and admire.

And by the end of the afternoon, we proudly pick up our creations and go home to deck our doors.

And so, the season has begun.





Todays visit..

My old friend Lorilei Kirby came to bisit today and she brought five friends to tour my studio. Lori and I have been friends since I moved here when I was sixteen and lived in Tidnish.

We were and remain great friends. Lori married a farmer and moved to PEI so we only see each other a few times a year . You all have those friends who feel like you never left them. She is one of those.

Today she brought all the women who work with her at the Children and Parent’s Resource Center on the Island. We all agreed it would bea great hobby for young moms , and a good activity for older children.






My friend Don

Dear Diary, My friend Don Miller is just about the best. When he was doing his Masters in Divinity, after finishing an under grad in Drama (I love that combo) I was doing my Masters in Counselling. After we left Acadia, where I only knew him a little, we both settled in Amherst. From there we became yard saling buddies and stayed friends ever since. The other day I dropped in to take his picture and he said, lets go to the balcony. He is the youth minister at Amherst First Baptist so we did. Everything he does has a creative touch to it. the idea of a head shot at a desk was just not enough.
That is one thing I have learned from Don over the years. If you are going to do it, do it beautifully. If you are going to bother, than be bothered, be engaged, make it worth something. Don has a kind of creative midas touch. He knows how to take the simplest of things and make them special. It is only one of the gifts he has.
This fall he started a little bible study on Wednesday noon. Myself and a few other women come every Wednesday and Don teaches us a little something. We are informal. I have learned though that my friend Don knows alot, and he knows how to teach it. He is good at bringing things to life.
That is what creativity is all about. It is about bring things to life, taking the inanimate and filling it with presence. So whenever I am around Don , whether he is running a youth group, putting on a play, selling a birdhouse, I am amazed at the life he brings to the event and I feel lucky that i know him and that he knows me and we call each other friend.