Driving the train

My mother doesn’t fly.  Never has, never will. She’s afraid of heights at every level. Airplanes, bridges, ladders–doesn’t make a difference to her–they’re all the same and she can’t do ’em.

That doesn’t mean she hasn’t gotten around (well, she’s 92 now, so her getting around days are kind of removed) but she’s managed to travel all over North America.

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In lieu of gifts……

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Oh, hello….

These days it seems the thing to do on your birthday is not to ask for nor expect gifts or a party; rather, people are choosing favourite charities and asking their friends to make donations.

This is a great idea, because you can be sure you’re giving something you know will be liked and appreciated.  They wouldn’t be doing it otherwise.

There may be times when you don’t agree with the person’s choice of charity; if that’s the case, I’m really not sure of what to do.  If they’re not a really close friend, you can probably get away with waiting till their birthday and wishing them the best on social media or something.  Luckily for me, the requests have been for causes I can get behind, so it’s nice to be able to do something for someone who needs it, in the name of a friend.

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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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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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You meet the nicest people….

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This…plus a credit card, a little cash and a couple pairs of underwear…and you’re good to go.

I went on my first solo trip in a very, very long time last month.

I didn’t realize it at first, because I’ve travelled a lot of places by myself. I fly to New York to visit family and friends all the time and no one goes with me; I’ve been to Europe and all over Canada on business; I’ve gone many places, an adult alone, with a child in tow.

But as a friend explained to me today, this is the first time in a long time I’ve gone on vacation alone.

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Dreaming of the Big City on a cold weekend

It’s the second weekend of April, and it’s snowing again.

This is the part of year that’s the toughest in Canada.  Photos of flowers popping up all ny 1NY collage 4over North America, trees sprouting soft gentle buds, birds singing their little hearts out, toddlers toddling and giggling in light jackets or sweaters, puppies and kitties…..and

we have yet another dusting of snow.

And it’s cold.  It’s not forecast to go over -10—as a high—all weekend, and that’s not counting the wind chill. (In Fahrenheit that’s about 15 degrees).

I suppose that’s not so bad.  If you live up against a mountain range, north of the 49th, and maybe even south at a higher elevation, it’s not surprising to have a little snow and a little cold well into the spring; I’ve seen snow in every month of the year.  OK, well, in July I think it was closer to the Rockies and in August it might have been more hail-like, but it was still white stuff and it was accumulating on the ground.

If it’s any consolation, there’s possible snow in the forecast in New York.  And last Monday, Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, was postponed not for rain, but for snow.  Here’s what it looked like.

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