I have a hard time peeling myself away from the book I am reading to focus on this column. The book is called From the Ashes, and it is written by Jesse Thistle, presently an assistant professor of Metis Studies at York University in Toronto. The path that led him to where he is today though… OK, I will not spoil it for you. I am three quarters done and have shaken my head and winced more times than I could count since I started reading it. I had heard him sharing his story on the radio a couple of years ago while driving with my eldest to Harper Mountain. I wished then he’d write about it. He did.
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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.
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.
Some people eat too much sugar and others watch too much TV. I read news and get too involved with it. It is good to stay current, no? Yes, but there is a darker side. Many of the stories are upsetting and often times there is no closure after a particularly heartbreaking one. I cover many in my columns, and then I keep on hoping that there will be some resolution, closure for victims and their families. Sadly, that is not the case. Oblivion is a horrible mistress and our faulty justice system enables it.
Many are welcoming the proposed new measures on vaping products. Others are resenting the tax hike (money grab, they say) and the reduced nicotine content might just drive them back to smoking, they argue. Let’s hope not.
Either way, it will be interesting to see if young people will vape less, or at all. Many still do, and age makes no difference. Nor does the location, as some kids vape right inside schools.
Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops on Tuesday November 12, 2019.
It was loud. And it was crowded, way more people than last year. For once, I got there early enough to stand in line, get tickets and go inside with time to spare. Once in, I looked around and everything felt familiar.
I am not a hockey person by any means, though by now I know how a game runs and what this or that means. I did not grow up with it, and when the time came for my boys to choose the sports they liked to try, hockey did not make the cut. No matter.
I remember the first snowfall with our dog. Not because my memory is exquisite and able to retain every detail of my time with the pup, but because this one thing stood out: I could see what her nose was smelling. The many sudden yanks of the leash I had experienced while walking together (and been at times frustrated with) suddenly made sense. The world that I could not see until then had been revealed by that white cover (it sounds a bit backwards and ironic but it is not at all.)
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