I love a parade….

True confession: I was a drum majorette in my high school marching band.

For three years, I got to carry the big baton and lead the 50 or so members of the band as we worked football games and parades.

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Did I not wear gloves? I should have…it would have looked cool.

My dress was a cream color, with a backing of satiny gold material on the underside of the skirt, so that if I happened to spin or even swish my hand past my skirt, spectators would be treated to a flash of brightness.  I don’t recall what I wore for panties, but there must have been something.  Yikes.

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¿Cuba? Si!

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Shortly after I moved to Canada, I was having a chat with a new friend, and we got to talking about the upcoming winter vacation.  She referred to it as “holidays”—here, people “go on holidays”, they don’t “take a vacation.”

Of course, I knew what she meant, but to me holidays meant actual specific days—like Thanksgiving or St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s, and vacation was the thing you did that usually had a holiday in the middle of it.

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Remembering…and thanking someone I’ve never met

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Kissing Rock on Shelter Island, NY

I was five when President Kennedy died.

I don’t remember the actual event itself, exactly, but I do remember sitting cross legged on the floor of our house in a Chicago suburb, watching the black and white images of the funeral cortege, and later the funeral itself, and thinking that all of this was making my parents very, very sad.

I remember the little boy—his son—who stepped forward and saluted his father’s casket.

And I remember when that little boy died, decades later.

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Springing into Fall

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Well, here we are…..the end of another season, and the beginning of the next.

I usually find that, right around now, I begin to think of the things I didn’t do/didn’t get to do over the summer:

  • I didn’t lose weight; in fact; I gained;
  • That means I didn’t get into the handful of “goal” outfits I brought out as incentives. Now they’ll get shoved back into the back of the summer closet. Again;
  • I didn’t stick my toes in the sand. Not once, and I was near the beach too.
  • I didn’t get all the photos scanned from my photo albums (I had planned for a
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    My bro & me, circa ’63

    “Grand Scan” to be completed by now—I’d say I’m about 25% there…but I will also say it’s been a lot of fun to look at all the photos);

  • I didn’t manage to avoid the forest fire smoke from British Columbia (but can only imagine how bad it is/was there when it was at the top of the scale here).

What did I get done?

 

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I saw the light

 

(be patient and don’t blink or you’ll miss it)

It’s dusk on a steamy August weeknight.  The day had been overly hot and overly muggy—and I feel hotter and clammier than I can remember in a long time—like there’s a sheen of sweat all over me.  I’m walking across the backyard in my bare feet, and I know I’m going to regret this when I start to count the mosquito bites on my ankles in the morning. God, they’re gonna itch—but they’re better than ticks, which I’ll have to check for as soon as I go back inside.

I step on the occasional stick and the occasionally sticky thing as I make my way to the woods in the deeper shadows at the back of the yard. The moon will rise over the ocean soon, and it’s going to be full, casting a whole other light onto the night.

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By the time we got to Woodstock….

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Four days and 49 years ago, a festival dropped in on upstate New York.

Depending on who tells the story, somewhere between 400 thousand and half a million people turned up to watch three days of music, get a little high (a little?!) and wallow in the mud in a summer that had seen, just a few weeks earlier, Chappaquiddick and then a man walk on the moon for the very first time. (Later that year—a year in which Richard Nixon was serving his first term as president, the New York Mets would win the World Series.  That’s the sort of crazy year it was…)

But what’s a hundred thousand when you’re all there for the same reason?

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Elegy to a furbag

She had perfect hair, and that’s saying something.  It was medium length, mostly medium brown, with highlights of grey-black and ginger and even some light…light that could have been blond or could have been white.  And, soft?  It had the most flawless texture—hard to imagine hair so soft.

Her eyes?  The most beautiful eyes, almond-shaped and a shade of green like the colour of emeralds that sparkled in the right light.  Her eyeliner, a think black rim around the top and the bottom, was perfection.

Her feet were tiny by anyone’s standards and her nails were most always clean, neat and dainty.

Until she dug them into your knee or the leather couch.

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Yoga in the barnyard…..or…you have goat to be kidding me!

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(sorry, that was the best pun I could muster—it’s not as easy as you think)

It was late on a Sunday morning climbing towards noon as I drove up a rural highway I hadn’t traveled in years.  The sky was light blue and tinged with wisps of high white clouds, and the first hints of the forest fires on the other side of the Rockies obscured the mountain range and brought a haze to the fields surrounding the road as I headed north.

The fields themselves were mostly varying shades of green, alternating from bright to dark to something in the middle; scattered about was the occasional patch of dirt or an incredibly bright yellow triangle highlighting the canola flowers just beginning to bloom.

It was hot, and going to get hotter, but I shut off the AC, turned down the radio and opened the windows to take in the sounds and the smells of the countryside.

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He’s the Man: Watching Joe Jackson, again, for real….

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I can’t believe I’ve lived in Calgary for as long as I have and have never, ever been to the Folk Music Festival.  Not sure exactly why–time of year, crowds and the inherent hassle that comes with a big event (not that that’s stopped me before), a lineup that hasn’t stopped me in my tracks–you know–the kind of acts where you say–that’s nice, but is it worth the effort?

So this year, when the lineup was announced, I took a look, as I always do, and one of the headliners caught my eye.

Joe Jackson.  No, no relation to Michael, as I had to explain to my mother.  Joe Jackson, the British blues-jazz-new wave-all around talented musician.

It wouldn’t be first time I’d seen him…

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