Skip to content

Listen to The Grasslands

I find it very strange to hear words I’ve written read back to me by someone else… especially someone who actually makes them sound good. It’s doubly odd to get as invested in a story that I wrote… as if I didn’t write it. The experience of having a tale told to you is completely […]

Read more

The Gift of Stripes

The date was October 23rd and our house on Lake Louise Boulevard in Waterloo, Ontario was empty, the only sign of our life there a forgotten black Umbra over-the-door hanger that a real estate agent would find later. The oversized Atlas Van Lines truck had set off mid-afternoon, likely a relief for our neighbours. Three […]

Read more

The Story I Never Expected to Write

On September 8, 1928 a baby girl was born in the outport community of Ferryland, Newfoundland. Named Mary Louise Morry, she would ultimately be one of fourteen children –– seven girls and seven boys. Her father was John, her mother Elizabeth. At school she used a slate and chalk, and learned everything she could. Education, […]

Read more

My Father’s Daughter

Today marks 21 years since my father passed away. Every day before and every day since, his strength and his love have been a constant in my life. And my gratitude is without limits, for the certainty of the things I knew and know… for the love that will never end… for the gift of […]

Read more

My Own Eyes

I’ve been surrounded, this past week, by the energy, excitement and anxiety that inevitably accompany the start of a new school year. It’s probably not surprising, then, that when I decided to post a throwback Thursday photo on my Facebook page, I gravitated towards school pictures, ultimately choosing my first one ever from Kindergarten. White […]

Read more

The Place We Belong

As I mentioned in my last post, the Iceberg partners were in Gros Morne, Newfoundland again this summer. It was our fifth trip to the area in five years. Truth is, we love that part of the world so much we’ve been accused of working for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. We don’t, of course, though […]

Read more

Iceberg Chasers

The Iceberg Publishing partners are currently in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland. In addition to technically being something of a vacation –– anyone who runs their own business will tell you there really is no such thing –– this year we’re spending part of our time here shooting video related to both historical and upcoming […]

Read more

Nine

My mother died nine years ago today. Nine. A cancer diagnosis on May 5th. Surgery on May 16th to remove a mass from her abdomen. Intubated on May 21st because lungs weakened from tuberculosis (TB) were filling with fluid. Coming off the ventilator on May 23rd and rallying for my brother Steve’s birthday. Deteriorating throughout […]

Read more

Looking Good

Way back in 1980, when I was a 19-year-old Mathematics major at Memorial University of Newfoundland, I entered the Flare magazine $1000 Question essay contest. The question: Looking Good: Will it still matter in the liberated 80s?  Apparently what I wrote resonated with the editors, because much to my surprise and delight, I won the […]

Read more

A Story Tree

This is the first Christmas in a long time that I haven’t heard people debating the merits of ‘real’ versus ‘artificial’ trees or vice versa. Why that is, I’m not entirely sure. I have listened to people –– mostly cat owners –– wondering aloud whether to have a tree at all. I’ve also been told […]

Read more

My Mother’s Hands

This past Saturday morning Peter and I were at the grocery choosing a package of bacon when, at the other end of the cooler, I saw my mother’s hands reach in. They weren’t my mother’s of course, but the shape of the fingers and knuckles were so similar to the image etched in my memory […]

Read more

Friday Favorite –– Three Pink Roses

Anniversaries seem to have been a recurring theme in our Author Notes this past year –– weddings, first meetings, last breaths, and book launches have all made an appearance at one time or another. Today is another anniversary, a particularly defining one I’ve always believed. Because it was on November 29, 1974 that three pink […]

Read more

My Chief

I was always the Captain. This was not by choice, but at the insistence of another; he was the Chief Engineer, and I was the Captain. At the time, I didn’t understand the meaning of this –– just thought it was amazing that I could be the one in command, to have the responsibility, to […]

Read more

Nineteen Years

On Monday evening I spent more than an hour chatting via Skype with a student from Dartmouth College who was doing research for an oral history assignment about the Alzheimer’s caregiver and family member experience. We talked about my father –– the progression of the disease, how the time period of the late 1980s/early 1990s […]

Read more

Echoes From the Past

Over the years I’ve come to accept that the past echoes more loudly during certain months. October is such a month for me. It starts with two anniversaries –– my wedding anniversary and the anniversary of the sudden death of our first German Shepherd, Vulcan… both on October 1st. It is the month that little […]

Read more

Meeting Lionel Richie

It’s probably no surprise that today’s Author Note is about our 30th anniversary gift from Kenneth –– the Meet & Greet tickets to the Lionel Richie concert at Casino Rama. I’m not someone who generally goes to concerts on this scale –– the closest would have been The Irish Rovers tour that took them to […]

Read more

Elbows Up

Today is my 30th wedding anniversary, and if you’ve read Kenneth’s post from last Thursday, you’ll already know that thanks to his conniving and my credit card (which he has since paid off), thirty years and one-day after we danced to “Three Times a Lady” at our wedding, Peter and I will be attending a […]

Read more

Thirty Years and a Day

Disclaimer: this is a completely off-topic author note about my parents’ love story, their upcoming thirtieth anniversary, and my scheme to have them meet Lionel Richie. Regular author notes will resume next week. Only crazy people get married in the fall in Newfoundland. That’s not a scientifically-proven fact, just a common sense assessment; given the […]

Read more

Barron’s Basement

All my posts this week have been about my mother, Mary Louise Barron. I’m going to continue that trend for my Friday note, but move to a subject that’s quite a bit lighter than those I’ve been focused on so far. Because my mother didn’t like to have her picture taken, I have fewer photographs […]

Read more

The Measure of a Woman

As regular readers will know from Monday’s Author Note, my mother, Mary Louise Barron (Morry) would have celebrated her 85th birthday on September 8, so it’s perhaps not all that surprising that I’ve been thinking of her even more than usual the past few days. Truth be told, I’ve indulged in much reminiscing, and told […]

Read more