Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My Dad died at the end of September last year. He had brain cancer.

I spent most of August and September back in Nova Scotia, visiting him every day in his palliative care ward. On his good days I would take him for a walk outside in a wheelchair, and we talked, or listened to music. He loved Mozart. And Patsy Cline.

On worse days, near the end, he lay in bed, desperately gasping to stay alive while I read to him and held his hand, hoping, or pretending, that he knew I was there. I silently wept.

I have written about my Dad here, and the beginning of his illness here. Those words give only a glimpse into the complicated love of our relationship. Now, thoughts of Dad smack me many times a day, leaving me sometimes smiling, sometimes aching, sometimes anguished. I can't write about them. Yet.

I didn't know that losing my Dad would be so hard, or that the pain would still be so dense. I miss him.

Above photo: Dad in 1988 (with my son).

Top photo: Dad in 2000 at Machu Picchu, Peru. He gave me my love of travel and of mountains.

Monday, February 22, 2010

She just couldn't stay away

You thought she was a goner, but...

Apologies to Fred Penner for abusing his lyrics.

Yes, I am back. I missed you all. And I was recently given an irresistable reason to write my blog posts again. A reason I could not ignore, that just set my typing fingers a twitchin! I've been banned from blogging. By my work. Well, not exactly banned, but my employer has commanded said that we should not participate in blogs, facebook, twitter, or any other social networking activity. Even on our own time. This is supposedly for our own safety, as my job has somewhat of a public recognition factor, by people who are not always happy with the result of my labour. Which does not explain why the edict applies to everyone, from the virtually anonymous file clerks in our records department to those of us in the public eye. I think the real reason for the ban is so the Minister does not have to worry about one of us flashing boobs or balls on facebook. Which makes me want to open a facebook page and...

I have been busy, as my last post whined about. Much has happened since then. But I have been writing, (just not blog posts) and I may even receive a little coin for some of my scribbles. More about that later.

Thanks to the Olympics, downtown Vancouver is virtually shut down for all but the revellers. That means many of us downtown worker drones are teleworking from home walking the dog in the middle of one of the most glorious stretches of spring weather I can remember. As you can see:

These beauties are blooming in the traffic circle on my block.

Who knew azaleas, daffodils, crocuses and cherry trees could all bloom at the same time? I've never seen that before.

I enjoyed watching the kids play at recess at the local primary school. Until I got kicked off the school grounds because dogs are not allowed.

Some spring blossoms are not so welcome:

Here is a photo from the weekend. I had a lovely long paddle in the kayak in shirtsleeves! Is this the result of global warming? Bring it on!