2017: An Impossible Year


2017 proved to be something entirely different than what I’d expected. It was meant to involve simplification and reorganizing my life so I could pursue the creativity that fuels me.

It was not.

Instead 2017 was one of impossibilities. Each month contains a long list of the impossible coming to pass. From one of my worst fears – waking up to the corpse of the dog we were caring for – to my wildest dreams – finding a school that actually celebrates my children in the midst of all their challenges – this year has held it all.

Our family grew when my 2nd son joined us first as a foster child then in the process of adoption. Gabriel Branch Howden had me scrambling to find a baby carrier that would enable me to keep his screaming at bay while I went about my household duties. I bought everything imaginable then found another way to use the soft carrier I’d had since before he came. It was that sort of year – reaching for more only to realize I already have what I need.

One year ago, I never imagined I would leave the Niagara region I love so much. Yet, here I am living on Wolfe Island.

It was a year of absolute lows and incomprehensible highs. It was, in every way, one impossibility after another.

Today, I woke to the sun beaming on the winter whiteness. My 4yr old, for whom speech once seemed impossible, was talking in clear, meaningful words. His 3yr old, biological brother was listening and responding. There’s very little ragefilled screaming these days. The boys are happily talking about the horses I knit them for Christmas.

Raine and Athena are motivated to learn to read. This is something I’d given up on. I knew they’d eventually be able to but never imagined they’d want to. The island school focuses a great deal on reading. In good weather, the children spend afternoons sitting in the forest reading to each other. They’re free to climb trees or observe insects while listening and waiting for their turn. Something at last has clicked and my girls love reading!

My mind is full with lists of the impossible that occurred. Shortly after Gabriel Branch arrived in January, it became apparent our house was not ideal. That got me thinking about moving. I had a specific layout in mind but didn’t find it. The idea of building began to grow. But that seemed impossible due to cost and time constraints.

Here on Wolfe Island, I’ve attempted to buy everything in and slightly beyond my price range. None came anywhere near what I’d been hoping for in layout. But we’re committed to the Island and were willing to take what was available (which is hardly anything). Then in the midst of December, my mortgage broker called to tell me of a house that was just about to be listed. It’s newly constructed – 80% done – and EVERYTHING I’ve been dreaming of. A newly built, one story house in a land filled with ancient white farmhouses seemed impossible. But it looks like everything is coming together for us to get the sort of house that brought me to the point of selling in the first place. The impossible has happened once more.

2017 was like a hurricane. It shifted and uprooted, altering the landscape of my life internally and externally. January 1, 2018 dawns with me in a place unimaginable one year ago.

I know this is going to be a good year.





4 thoughts on “2017: An Impossible Year

  1. NOBODY deserves a better 2018 then you and the kids.
    You are an absolutely amazing woman and mom.
    Nothing but good for all of you in 2018 and always.

  2. Bobbie, you aren’t afraid to leap into the unknown and take on the seemingly impossible while believing and trusting that God IS who he says He is and He is your strength. It’s the real deal and so many times it is evidenced in your life and care of your precious kids. You have definitey inspired me not to live life in the parameters of ‘the comfortable life’. You have the ability to see the beauty in people and things that go unnoticed by most and I learn from that.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences–and I’m so sad to hear about your dog!!! When did that happen?????
    Love you friend!
    P.S. I’ve decided to bake my own bread now because of you 😉

    • Thank you!!! The dog wasn’t Captain but one we were caring for rather permanently since the owner’s work schedule had become too hectic. He was very old but the passing was rather sudden. Happened during March break. Kids took it fairly well. Raine’s prayer had been that the dog would live long enough to be there on her 9th birthday (had been preparing them for the possibility for a while). He departed two weeks after her birthday. So they took it fairly well.

      So excited you’re making bread!!!!

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