Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

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Love changes the world – yes, really, and by a lot!

My (now) occasional columns are originally published on the Armchair Mayor News, this one included.

I saw the tiniest hummingbird the other day, while on the morning hike. No bigger than a (small) dandelion flower, it was hovering around a Saskatoon bush. I got home and promptly put up the red hummingbird feeder in the backyard.

March 8th – Of Motherhood, Boys, and Redefining Strength

I wrote this back in 2016 and it’s just as relevant today. Of course, little boy was being dropped off to Forest School back then, and now he is a teenager taking himself places. But the rest is all there…

It’s only fitting that the robin came flying by the side of the car as I am driving slowly on the dirt road after I dropped little boy off for Forest School somewhere in the grasslands for a day of exploring.

It is March 8th, and that’s Mother’s Day back where I was born.

No bells and whistles, no marketing campaigns to make you buy this and that for mom. Flowers, yes, the grownup men bought flowers for their wives, and kids like me picked snowdrops, tied them with a nice little ribbon and presented them to Mom. No Hallmark cards, but carefully hand drawn cards featuring snowdrops as well. They were easy to draw and the earliest of all flowers. I always thought that was quite a feat for how fragile they looked.  

The Quest for Slower Times

I will tell you why the 13th is not unlucky.

Take February 13th for example. It’s early morning and the sun is shining. Pup and I start on a morning hike with the intention to get to the top of a particular hill above the woods. I mean, what better day?

These days the trails are a mix of ice and crusted snow which makes for a good challenge in some parts, but if hikes are to be likened to life, at least occasionally, then the tougher sections are but good reminders of what our journey is about.

After stopping to take in the view, again, (and to roll on the crusty snow, again), we make it to the top. On the day that bears the number deemed unlucky, pup and I find ourselves in sparkling morning sunshine and with front seats to admiring birds in flight from above (the ultimate ‘bird’s eye view’ one could say, pun and all).

11 lessons from the year we are bidding goodbye to

I saw this cartoon the other day. A group of people were cautiously opening a door by pushing it with a long-handle broom. The door had 2022 written on it and the caption read ‘2022 – We’re all gonna walk in real slow…’.

It’s funny in that way that we have learned to laugh at since the first wave of the pandemic. We have now entered the fifth wave and I remember the initial predictions of the health officials about the light at the end of the tunnel becoming more visible as we were riding that first wave. The light, we have since found out, keeps going out and tunnel’s end keeps getting farther and then closer again.

Weekly column: Why wearing the poppy is not a political statement

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

It is Sunday afternoon as I write this, and we’re three days away from Remembrance Day on November 11. A long-overdue and overlooked commemoration has also been recently rectified by our government. November 8 has now been marked as Indigenous Remembrance Day. Their contribution was significant and the stories are emerging one after another.

A few days ago you may have heard about the poppy-centered short-lived but powerful storm that surfaced in the news and social media.

Whole Foods forbade their employees to wear the Remembrance Day poppy, but following the above-mentioned ‘storm’, the decision wilted, no pun intended. It was heartening to see how Canadians across the country, our premier included, responded to the initial ban.

Yes, we care about the poppy.

Weekly column: Thank you to the military and let’s restore old-age dignity

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, June 1, 2020.

When I think of ‘aging gracefully’, it is not the wrinkle-free skin and perpetual youthfulness that come to mind but living independently and enjoying every day until the final goodbye.

Growing up, I got to see that a lot. Many of the elderly I knew lived on their own managing the best they could and getting occasional help from family, and some moved in with their loved ones when they became too frail.

I lost my grandparents at a young age, but we had many elderly neighbours who were part of our lives.  

Weekly column: One step at the time – Reminders of hope and resilience

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday May 11, 2020.

When I grow old and wise, and if I ever get to be 101 years old, that is, I want to be like John Hillman. You may have seen the news about this gentleman, but if you haven’t, well, this story will warm your heart in a special way.

Mr. John Hillman is a veteran, British-born and Canadian by marriage, decorated with four World War II Campaign medals, including the Burma Star, and presently a resident of the retirement home Carlton House in Oak Bay on Vancouver Island. You can read about his life and outstanding service here. Mere sentences in that abridged biographical note can easily become entire chapters in a book.

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