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Bearly Walkin'

So what is the story behind the free wix image - the bear?

Well it all began after a nice long sleep, in a little cabin East of Kenora, MB. (spoiler alert: I did not meet up with a bear.)

The morning started off wonderfully. The sun was streaming in through the slats of the plastic blinds. It wasn't enough, however, to prevent me from hitting the snooze button a couple more times and actually falling back to sleep for 10-minute intervals. There is nothing like a warm bed on a cool morning.

Eventually, I felt that guilt strike and knew I had to get up. With a quick leap out of bed and into cozy sweats, t-shirt, sweatshirt and, of course, big thick grey socks, I was up and ready to attack the day. By attack, of course, I mean pick up a book and attack its contents with a vengeance. We all have our things.

Coffee made. Bread popped becoming toast - day 2 breakfast looked more like my normal bread, toasted, glazed with yellow plastic and topped with some lovely jam. Perfect. Not as fibrous and iron filled, but tummy filling it was. And what better way to enjoy breakfast than out on a deck overlooking a beautiful lake with the sun warm on your body and a book in hand.

Hard to beat!

But, soon, the guilt hits again and I feel the need to do something other than sit and read. So I decide to go for a walk. Here is where my brain kicks into hyper gear and what follows is the following.

I get up, get my running shoes on, phone in hand (I need it for my cash - I am going to the Redden store - you never know what I could find. (In fact, there are two dresses there that just need me to stop in again tomorrow and try on!)

But there is another reason for my phone. I could just take the cash, stick it in my pocket and go - but then...

I won't give it away yet. Off I go. I don't think it is a very long walk, i probably have to walk on the highway a bit - not excited about that. But I am sure it is fine. So off I go.

As I head down the gravel hill I listen to the still small voice in my brain - ready? Here it is, listen carefully.

'Ok. Tammy. You need to get your phone ready.' Oh yeah, right. 'you don't need to play anything yet, just make sure your ready.' Ok. I will just find spotify, that should work. oh shoot, I am not on WIFI, hang on. 'It doesn't need to be spotify, just use your music app.' I don't have anything loaded on it except Frozen songs and a few jazz numbers. Need more options. ' well, hurry up, we are almost at the bottom of the hill.' yeah yeah. ok. I am hooked up to cellular service with spotify. I have it on and paused and volume up. Ready. ' ok. so, if we see a bear, you will hit play and hopefully the music will be loud enough to scare it away.' Right. Good plan.

SERIOUSLY? Good plan? Why am I listening to that voice? But I don't stop there.

'ok. So let's avoid the highway and take that other trail there. We might stand more of a chance of a bear encounter, but at least we won't get hit by a truck.' That is true. And I have my music to save us if we run into a bear. i don't think the music will help if a truck wants to hit us. ' Of course not, you dummy. Oh, and pick up that stick. No, the bigger one. If a bear cub is in front of us and mamma behind us, the music won't be enough. You will need a big stick.' Ok. Good plan, tiny voice in my head. Got a stick. Music on the ready. We've got this. 'Ok. we are at the end of the small road path, but not at the store yet. So let's take that little trail created by a 4-wheeler through the ditch. Yeah. That is still safer than the highway. Might still encounter a bear but now we have the music, the stick and traffic just up the hill out of the ditch. If we need to, we break through the ditch - jump over the stagnant water, climb up through the grass and out into traffic - surely the bear won't follow.' Wow, little voice, you are very very clever. You think of everything.

YUP. True story.

'Ok. Tammy. We don't want to look like a crazy girl so let's drop the stick at the edge of the grass before we hit the cement. We can pick it back up when we go back.' Good thinking, voice.

So I dropped off the stick at the edge of the roadway and walked into the world of Redden. I took a side trip down to the water past all the 'campers' - aka motorhomes, small houses. Not many people out during the week. A couple folks building a massive deck beside their motorhome. It was a beautiful day for a walk. A beautiful walk for the day. I spent some time sitting at the beach and just enjoying the moments. The book I had been reading is called, 'The Bible Tells Me So' and I was anxious to get back to reading it. I will share more of my thoughts about what I read at a later date. Today is all about the little voice.

After my short stay at the lakeside, I headed to the store to peruse their wares. Beautiful clothes - all way too much for me, but beautiful. I am still contemplating a stop to try on those two dresses tomorrow. OH, and a beautiful moose skin purse - oh, it was so soft!! Won't consider it due to the price point, but it was beautiful.

So here I am, almost the only one in the store and I have gone through the clothes, the souvenirs and ventured down the food aisles. I was hoping to be surprised by some little restaurant in the corner that would be dying to make me some unique apple pancake or goat cheese and jam and spinach sandwich. But, no. Just packaged egg salad or salami sandwiches. If you are at all like me, your voice is now busy telling you...

'Well, Tammy. You got to buy something. It would look bad if you come in here and leave empty handed. They are just a little store - home grown - trying to make a living. Not just a place to peruse and hangout. So, what a are you going to buy?' I don't know. Nothing here is attracting my attention. Minus the dresses and purse - but we are not going there today. 'well, go look again, maybe you missed something. The egg salad sandwiches didn't look awful!' No. But I did bring stuff to make lunch, so it would seem amiss if I bought lunch. Not a good steward of my money.' Fair enough. But you have to buy something. Look. Lemonade.' $2.99!!! Not even maybe. hmmmmm. how about this fish fry coating mix? I'm sure that at some point, bernie and i will make fish and this coating mix looks pretty good! I think this is a good purchase. And it is only 3.50. Good amount to spend. not too much. not too little. 'Ok. But do you think that is enough?' No. Probably not. I could get this GORP bar. I have always wanted to try it But it is $3.50 too. Well, I am on holidays. ' That's the spirit. Now we can go back to the cabin with a clear conscious.'

It is very busy in my head. Bernie. Maybe this helps explain me? It's not me, it's the voice!!!

So with my purchases I head back to the cabin. I pick up my stick (weapon) and traipse back through the ditch and down the path. I start to open the GORP bar when, thankfully, my voice says, 'DON'T open that. The bears will smell it and come looking for it. Wait until we are back in the cabin.' The whole time I have my music playing - I have chosen worship tunes. Bears are very afraid of screen songs! During my walk my voice and I continue to strategize about how we will 'outrun' the bear. (You laugh, Randy and Bernie - but remember that when adrenaline kicks in - the piano legs kick out!) My voice and I wonder how much it would hurt if the bear attacked. Could we get down into a ball quickly? Should we play dead? Is it the grizzly or the brown bear that attacks even if your dead? If I hit it with my stick and the stick breaks - then will i have time to run through the slew and get up onto the highway? Nope.

This continues until I see the garage of the cabin I am staying at. And instantly the voice changes gears and we start thinking about lunch.

Yes. That is the voice in my head. Annoying. Helpful. Constructive. Damaging. Terrifying. Kind. It can be a good thing. But it also has the ability to stop me. It can scare me. it makes me quit moving, trying, taking chances. I need to find the balance between listening to it for the good, solid, concrete, non-crazy things that it says and ignoring the whacky things - like the bear patrol.

But... had a bear crossed my path... I would have been ready!!

ps. Note that approximately a week after I worte this, a bear came onto that same cabin property looking for seeds from the bird feeder. Had I been there - 'Good Good Father' would have been playing and that bear would have scattered!! Just saying.

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