Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

Category: Armchair Mayor Column Page 2 of 31

Weekly column: People in Kamloops care and that means everything right now

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday March 30, 2020.

It was almost three weeks ago that I last saw Jessie Simpson, my every Sunday afternoon buddy. We parted with him asking ‘What are we going to do next week when you come?’ and I answered, ‘We’ll find something fun.’

A few days later, just like that, the world that contains him and the other vulnerable people in that long-term care facility closed its doors. Then everything happened faster than anyone could predict and here we are, all hunkered at home and wondering what’s next.

Weekly column: Personal responsibility can help prevent future tragedies

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday March 9, 2020.

On a fateful day in 2012, somewhere on Salt Spring Island, a set of bad decisions ended up changing many people’s lives for the worst and ending one. Calder McCormick and Ryan Plambeck, then 17 and 18 years old respectively, left a house party in an advanced state of intoxication due to alcohol and marijuana, got in a car that was not theirs and crashed shortly after.

McCormick survived but suffered brain trauma which left him unable to pursue further education or even ride a bicycle, while Ryan Plambeck died at the scene of the crash. He was behind the wheel but did not have a valid driver’s license. Heartbreaking and yet preventable.

Weekly column: How about the pub night?

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, January 20, 2020.

News travel fast. The controversial stories even faster, more so when they have a risqué edge. Such was the case of the story hailing from our very own ‘small town/big city’ as I like to affectionately refer to Kamloops. It was about a pub and a certain eyebrow-raising event and it got people talking.

Weekly Column: What can we understand from the darkest of times?

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, January 13, 2020.

It is hard to put into words the extent of the tragedy that has befallen the families and friends of the 176 people who died in the recent plane crash near Tehran. Worse yet was learning the latest about the Iranian surface-to-air missile that struck the plane down. Someone – human error or not – shot the plane down (yes, I know it’s not the first one, sadly.) One can hope that many of the painful questions that multiply with each day will find answers, but then again, that will not make up for lost lives.

Weekly Column: We need to keep it real – That’s where the magic lives

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News Monday on January 6, 2020.

I’d rather not drive on a day when the weather predictions call for heavy snowstorm. But we had already bought the tickets and it would have taken a lot to make us miss this unique performance. We left Kamloops by 6pm, aiming to arrive before 8pm when the show started. Near Armstrong, that is.

You may have guessed already that we were going to see a rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker by the Caravan Farm Theatre (the performance director was Manon Beaudoin.) A close friend saw one of the theatre’s performances last year and was charmed. She advised us to go if we have the chance. We knew the story but past that, we had no idea what to expect other than the fact that spectators were to be in horse-drawn sleighs for part of the show.

Weekly column: Let’s make the holidays this year about people, not sales

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, December 2, 2019.

I have this simple blade coffee grinder that I use for grinding flax seeds. It lost a knob during one of our many moves, but it still works. No points for looking pretty though. We also have another basic blade coffee grinder, which has all parts and has been fully functional for the last 20 years (OK, we had to sharpen the blade a couple of times). Donating either in favour of new ones might just mean the end of the road for both, since they look past their prime. And then again, why would we? They work just fine.

Weekly column: A story of heartbreak and hope – My time with Jessie

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, November 25, 2019.

The first question I hear every time I walk into his room is ‘What are we going to do today?’. My answer is almost always the same, ‘we can read some, or do rhymes, but first I want you to tell me my name.’ He tries a couple of letters and eventually he guesses it right. We do a fist bump and then another. I tell him ‘you are amazing,’ and he smiles. You too, he says.

I first met Jessie last year on November 24th. I did not know what to expect. I had been following the story since it happened, back in June of 2016.

Page 2 of 31

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