Treena Mielke

Treena Mielke

Family: Warm, cozy home with great neighbours

It seems like only yesterday I did my amazing once a year waterski, flying across the lake like nobody’s business right up until that one moment in time when I wasn’t!

Flying anymore, that is. I think they call it a wipeout.

But sadly, yesterday’s gone and here we are facing that dreaded season that nobody wants to talk about or read about, but only wants to get away from.


Holy cow! What’s up with that horrible wind that came up with relentless fury last week making a mockery of our garbage cans and sending them scuttling down the road to bump precariously against someone else’s house in our usually most sedate and orderly subdivision with its pretty houses and well-maintained yards.

The winds have died down now, but as we all know we can expect more snowflakes and we can be sure they will come sooner than later, so we might as well be prepared.

There is a lot to be said for living in the now and mindfulness and all that new age stuff.

In fact, Eckhart Tolle, in his book, The Power of Now says, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

Well, far be it from me to criticize Eckhart, but seriously, I wonder if he has ever been behind the wheel during an Alberta snowstorm when the visibility is zero.

Just saying!

That being said I must admit during times when I have been in the driver’s seat during an Alberta snowstorm, I find it much easier to relate to that song by Blake Shelton, Some Beach, somewhere.

But, luckily for me facing another Alberta winter is not as bad as it could be thanks to my wonderful neighbours who have endeared themselves even more to me lately because of the hot tub.

Yes! They got a hot tub.

And there it sits, right in their backyard, which is, coincidentally, right beside my backyard.

And, so the other night even as the wind howled mercilessly around us and the ground was covered with an unforgiving hard crust of the white stuff, I had the distinct privilege of sitting in the hot tub with my friend sipping a beverage and feeling very rich, indeed.

“Oh, my goodness, this is lovely, I gushed, between sips of wine and deep sighs of pure bliss.

“I feel so bad that you have to walk all the way home,” my neighbour said. “It’s so cold out.”

I chuckle. The distance from her house to my house is about a stone’s throw away. Even a very poorly thrown soccer ball could cover the distance easily.

They say real estate is good right now.

And lots of people are moving, downsizing, making changes and moving on.

And that is a good thing.

But right now, I feel so truly fortunate that I live a house that is too big, too cluttered with yesterday’s stuff and too well lived in to be any kind of show home.

It is, after all, mine and even though winter is but a snowstorm away, I have all that I need to live quite happily in the moment, at least mostly in the moment.

A warm and cozy house. Great neighbours. And, if I really need to go somewhere else in my mind for awhile, just like the song says there is always, Some beach, somewhere.

Treena Mielke is a Central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.