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Wild and Precious Life

Home. Giving myself some time. Taking a few days to rest, process, walk the dog, knit, read, take photographs, sip tea and keep walking this trail… My compatriot, Pam Bustin, put this poem by Mary Oliver up on her blog on Tuesday, and it gave me peace and solace and a finger pointing towards the bigger […]

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Words Fail

It’s hard to write this, hard to be here. Most of you who read my blog might already know this from our other online connections but my brother died a week and a bit ago. I found out on the afternoon of Sunday the 16th, while I was launching my online course. I have said so […]

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Fend for Yourself

“We need a … youth complex, a youth centre, somewhere for the kids to go and hangout and have some fun,” the hockey coach in Pimicikamak Cree Nation (Cross Lake) told CBC last week. “There are no arts, music, dance or self-defence programs, Harold Nachbaur said, leaving young people with nothing to do and nowhere to […]

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Creative Calgary

I’ve been in Calgary for almost two weeks and so far I’ve been to two plays, two movies, two readings (one of which was mine, and another tonight with Ian Williams), three art exhibits, two museums (counting the Glenbow, which is both museum and art gallery). I’ve eaten gluten-free pizza, Mexican food and pho, found […]

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Oh, Peterborough

I started this past Saturday night sipping dirty martinis with an old friend under a framed map of Rupert’s Land. A bright red swath swept northwest, right over present-day Manitoba and up to where The Pas would be. A scrawled date in black ink said 17-something. From there, I walked a few blocks west on […]

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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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an end to wine woes

Just like I could never understand how equations fit together back in Grade 10, all the facts and figures of wine labeling elude me. What does it all mean? There’s the type of grape, the location and, among all that, the name of the winery (I think) and does any of it really matter? For […]

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a hometown hero’s threatened home

In the town that Honda built, it isn’t surprising to see a modern subdivision just off the main street.  But drive a bit further north on this rural road in Alliston, Ontario and the whole place takes a turn into another century. The road becomes gravel, the yellow fields open up, and a scruffy Victorian farmhouse sits back from […]

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Clive ‘Scott’ Chisholm: March 5, 1936 – June 16, 2007

My uncle died on Saturday. At the end of a ceremony with my aunt, he lifted his arm to embrace her, relaxed and slipped into peace. It was expected, it was a good death, but that doesn’t make it less difficult for those left behind. I was not prepared for the memories that came flooding […]

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