Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

Category: Environment Page 1 of 18

Weekly column: Wildlife should not pay the ultimate price during the pandemic

Originally published as a column (and caused a backlash on social media) on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, April 27, 2020.

Do you remember the first couple of weeks of Covid-19 and the toilet paper shortage? Then came the flour and other dry supplies, followed by yeast. Next came the seed shortage. Suppliers in town could not refill the shelves fast enough, so most grocery stores and points of sales have restrictions on how much a person can buy.

Not to forget, we went through and are still occasionally witnessing a shortage of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves and masks. Things got better with restrictions, yes, but what a jittery bunch we are.

Weekly column: Celebrate spring with simple but essential offerings – food, smiles and no judgment

Originally published as a column on CFJC Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on April 20th, 2020.

On Saturday, our neighbourhood was speckled with yellow all over: bags of food donations for the Foodbank. To say that the Kamloops community gave generously would be an understatement: 70,000 pounds of food, which should be ensuring the supply for the next six months, according to their Facebook page. Thank you to everyone who did not forget to stuff the yellow bags and big thanks to the volunteers who collected it all!

Weekly column: No, we are not making too much of it

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, March 23, 2020.

The verbs du jour alternate between ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolating’, but in order to remove the negative connotations of the first, we are advised to call it ‘physical distancing’. Because we are, in many ways, closer than ever. Whatever you call it, please make sure you abide. Which brings me to the question that pops up a lot in social media circles: are we making too much of it?

Short answer: no.

Weekly Column: Gratitude makes everything a lot better

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on December 23, 2019.

Most days the boys come home from school saying the day was OK. Every now and then something more than ordinary happens and the usual non-descriptive OK is replaced by stories, good and bad. A couple of weeks ago our youngest came home with such a story – a good one.

That day, their Career Planning teacher told them, among others, that gratitude makes life better. He told them stories about people who went through hard times and became that much more grateful for what they had even when almost everything had been taken away from them.

Another time, the woodwork teacher told them that they are fortunate to be able to go to school and have access to so many learning resources. We often talked about this in our home. It is hard to put in in words how good many people have it here. And having it good comes with moral obligations, I believe.

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: Why we ought to see more of the world

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News, on Tuesday November 5, 2019.

This column was to be about fish. Herring to start with. A few reputable conservation groups, including Pacific Wild, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Conservancy Hornby Island and the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewarts, are urging the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to rethink the roe fishery quotas for the herring in the Straight of Georgia (the plan is expected to be finalized in early December.) The stocks are almost 60 percent depleted, their press release said, and that’s happened in the last four years. Shocking isn’t it? Albeit not a local issue, it is a provincial one and a sign of a pervasive and challenging issue.

October 8, 2019. Noon. Snowing.

I had to look twice to make sure; OK, three times. It was snowing. The wind had been blowing since yesterday when it was 18 degrees Celsius in late afternoon. All degrees but four got scattered by bedtime. We lost two more overnight.

Today at noon we got snowflakes. A first this time of the year by everyone’s account. Dog and I took a walk in that swirling mad snowflake dance and I realized this sad fact: first snow always had my heart flutter with joy. Always. Today, this year, the flutter is missing and instead I feel sad and worried. The world is changing and I do not care about making yet another point about climate change (yes, it is real, and yes, I am shaking my head knowing it is still debated; seriously!). But.

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