Archive | Family

Happy Dog Day

I’ve been thinking about Oliver lately. I think this is because I’ve been digging through my files, cleaning up and clearing out, and stumbling across photographs (which, as advised in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I then put into a box to be sorted through at a later date, lest they stall my process). […]

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Loving Lace

In case you’re wondering, I’m still knitting. I thought, after I learned this past April, soon after finishing my first project – a chunky wool cowl riddled with accidental yarn-overs (holes) and with sloping, sloppy edges – that I would become obsessed with socks. Turns out, though, that it’s lace that I love. Turns out, […]

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From the Depths

Just over a week ago, I had one of those mysterious, meaningful moments that seem hard to explain. It happened back home, in Ontario, the place my husband J. and I returned from on Tuesday after a fulfilling yet intense time away. We ranged far: from the Muskokas to an island out in Georgian Bay to a day-trip […]

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Roots

I’ve spent this week in Ontario, saying goodbye to my step-father at his beautiful memorial, and spending time with my family, including my cousin, C., and her kids who came all the way from Oregon. One afternoon, C. and I sat on a dock, our feet glowing golden in the tannic water of the Muskoka […]

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Where There’s Smoke

  My husband is reading The Road. You know, the post-apocalyptic Cormac McCarthy novel where the world is blanketed in ash and everything is burnt or burning. It’s a fitting setting for the situation in Western Canada this summer. To the south of us, 30-some kilometres away, a fire is burning, which a friend of […]

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Bad Dogs

Last week, J. tells me, he and Mowat were out on the trail behind our house with a few other dogs and dog owners. They were having a great time – the dogs, that is, the owners would have been hunched inside their down jackets, stamping their feet on the ground to stay warm. Then, […]

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Thanks, But No Thanks

Last week, I got rejected. It wasn’t anything personal. Except, you know, it was. I submitted a manuscript I’ve spent several years on, parts of which have won or been long-listed for awards, and the editor of the press came back to me with a thanks, but no thanks. Amid the constructive criticism, he said […]

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Open Doors: The Pas Writer-in-Residence Position

On the last Monday of my Writer-in-Residence gig in The Pas, I got locked inside the library. Not the part with all the books, but the back room, what’s called the Annex. In that space, under the humming lights, with tea made in the staff kitchen, with the sounds of snow-machines flying by on the […]

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Ashes to Ashes

Last week, the crematorium where Ulrich had been sent burned to the ground. Once we got over the shock, we said, Of course it did. That has Ulrich’s fingers all over it, my brother said. He wasn’t one to do anything ordinarily. He had a flair for the dramatic. Given the choice, he’d opt for adventure […]

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Farewell, Dr. Kretschmar

This past Tuesday, December 16, my step-father left a pot of tea steeping on his desk and went for a walk in the woods. He did not return. Out on the rocky path, under the white pines, he died of a sudden heart attack. Nobody ever thought this would happen. I mean, who does? But, […]

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