A Song of Praise to White and Yellow Lines

If I were a poet I would compose an ode to the road but since I’m not I will make a list instead. Why? Because it is thanks to those white and yellow lines on the highways that I got to drive safely for 1112 km yesterday. I landed in the small and charming town of Hampton New Brunswick, where I was welcomed by my  wonderful cousins.  During the last 18 km, which seemed to be the longest, I thought about what it took for me to be able to do this:

My List

  • Those white and yellow lines, for sure.
  • The actual people who did the work.
  • The thousands of drivers I followed, passed and met, who stayed on their side of that line.
  • Signage
  • Google maps
  • Divided highways
  • Construction crews improving and also building better roads, while working in the hot sun and dust.
  • Pull off rest stops for food, water and gas and a place to stretch my legs.
  • My Toyota, which has reliably traveled 116,000 km with me.

Perks of the trip:

  • Ground mist, on the fields, early in the morning between Ottawa and Montreal.
  • Magnificent green fields, rolling hills, and stunningly beautiful skies in NB.
  • The ease and speed of correcting a missed exit.
  • The company of my son in law in the morning who was the morning driver and a great conversationalist.
  • The podcast we listened to by Lisa Damour on her book Untangled. About the seven transitions of teenage girls into adulthood. This description does not do justice to the depth, breath, science and heart of this matter.
  • The company of my daughter/passenger for the afternoon. Road trips are great places for talking.
  • Improved directions, over google, from my cousin Shannon just in the nick of time.
  • Arriving at last light – not complete darkness.
  • The warm welcome of love, food and a glass of chilled white wine from Sonya.
  • A warm cozy bed in a beautiful room, complete with hot water bottle for my feet when she noticed my hands were cold from fatigue.
  • Memories of my mother.

My Mother

A year ago on July 26th my 100 year old Mother died. And her love of the maritime provinces and all her nieces and nephews who live  here is well known. As I entered New Brunswick I noticed the landscape through her eyes and could imagine her commentary as we drove along.

Last year during her last two weeks several of these cousins longed to be with her but could not due to Covid. So it is particularly poignant for me to arrive here on her 1st anniversary.There will be many Mom stories during this time.

This is the thing. When we die, we leave people behind who love and remember us. And we remember them best through the stories we tell. I see shades of my Mother in all of her relations and I treasure them all.

While I am here I will have a lobster roll, a cone of grape-nut ice cream, wild blueberries, strawberry shortcake and with each bite I/we will remember her love of family and summertime.

What are some fun and ordinary everyday things that you do, in the summer, which remind you of your loved ones who are no longer with you? I would love to hear about them.

Stay safe and enjoy this end of July/beginning of August weekend.


Note 1:) Here is the poem I like to dedicate to my Mother. Her photo was taken a few days before she died.

The Gift of a Smiling Face

With just your being there,

The atmosphere somehow brightens.

With just your being there,

Everyone feels at ease.

I yearn to be just like you.

This is my favorite poem by calligrapher Mitsu Aida.

Note 2:) The banner photo was taken in New Brunswick a few summers ago in a garden of beauty.

Note 3:) The walking group photo  is of a crazy family paying no attention to the yellow line whatsoever. This was taken in Ottawa, three years ago, during race weekend when my 98 year old Mother flew in from Vancouver Island and we (cousins and all)walked the 5 KM together. 

Note 4:) Thank you for coming by here. I love these virtual visits with all of you who take time to read my blog. You make my life better. Warmest wishes, Trudy








16 replies
  1. Judy Bernstein
    Judy Bernstein says:

    Beautiful! Happy you arrived safely! Enjoy reuniting with family. We are all doing it this summer and it is such a joy, ❤️

  2. Janice
    Janice says:

    So delighted for you to be with your family Trudy, enjoying the Maritime treats and memories of your dear mother. Have a lobster roll for me until I can get there for my own 🙂 love you, Jan

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thanks Janice. I did enjoy a lobster roll with double lobster. It was perfection. Hope you get to have one this year too.

  3. Purdy Mavkenzie
    Purdy Mavkenzie says:

    Thank you thank you for the reminder to be in the present moment and observant of all the beauty around us. Notwithstanding the smoke from the fires in BC, here in Calgary, the rising sun was this beautiful orange ball this morning. While dog walking Otto, I noticed some fallen yellow leaves, yes, already. It’s okay – still lots of luscious green leafy trees. And the goslings are almost as big as their parents. Summers in southern Alberta are wonderful! Happy Thursday!!

  4. yoshie
    yoshie says:

    So nice to see Mother’s picture in this post. So beautiful and inspiring. With a lot of thanks to her and you, Trudy.

  5. Sabine
    Sabine says:

    Well, Trudy, thank you for asking:-) There are so many things reminding me of my grandmother, who – like me – loved to do gardening. When I search kohlrabi leaves for butterfly eggs, pick wild raspberries and blueberries, harvest rocket, I think of her. And I am so glad, that my mom is still alive and now here with me. We had so much fun yesterday, picking the raspberries:-)

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Hi Sabine: What wonderful memories. I got to enjoy wild blueberries too and they always remind me of my Mother. Some of them even made their way into a pie. So happy to hear that your Mother is with you. Enjoy.

  6. Wendy KURCHAK
    Wendy KURCHAK says:

    Tomatoes. Big beefsteak tomatoes, the kind that fill a piece of toast with just one warm, juicy slice. These remind me of my dear dad who grew them in his Toronto garden, and made me toasted tomato sandwiches for summer breakfasts.

    Thanks for reminding me, Trudy. We don’t have tomatoes like that in Calgary.


    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Yummy!I had a home grown tomato on slices of avocado toast for breakfast yesterday. Delicious. What a nice memory, Wendy.


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