Monday, July 17, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Olds Me Edition

Yesterday a memory floated into my awareness during one of my many daily unguarded moments. It made me laugh, and for a variety of reasons I am grateful.

Back in the mid -1980s I worked at the newspaper in Olds. I'd been away from reporting a few years when I got the job, but I got the work done each week. That's what matters.
Deadline was Tuesday afternoon. The paper had its own printing press so that left some flexibility in when things got done, but I preferred to get done earlier rather than later so that meant getting as much done on Monday as was possible. Monday was also the day I got the police report from the Olds RCMP detachment at 1:30 p.m. and then made the 10 minute drive to Didsbury for the report from that detachment.

Usually I'd get back to the office a bit after 3:30 p.m., slip down the alley to The Beehive, a convenience store, for a solid pick-me-up snack and then settle at my desk.
And that's when it happened.
I'd look down at my notebook, swing my vision to the blank paper in the electric typewriter and think:"What am I doing here? I can't write!"

I had a good chuckle yesterday when I remembered this bit of silliness. Of course I could write, but it didn't stop the occasional bit of panic.

I got over it at some point. I don't recall when I stopped thinking it, but I am grateful that I did. I am grateful that I saw through the absurdity of it. I am grateful that at some point back then thinking I wasn't qualified for my job suggested the people who had hired me were easily fooled. That was both insulting and silly in the extreme. It made me flip my insecurity over and tickle its tummy until it spilled its secrets.
I'd been looking at the world all wrong. Once it righted and I admitted my ability to write everything went well.
I am grateful I came to that realization three decades ago, and grateful for the memory and the laugh it gave me.



Monday, July 10, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Full Cirque-l Edition

Warspite Lake with Mt. Black Prince.




Enjoying myself on the shore of this beautiful tarn.

We went hiking in Kananaskis on Saturday and I am very grateful. We found a short, fairly easy hike that led to the shore of beautiful, peaceful tarn. I found it difficult to leave.
The hike is Cirque Black Prince and once you get to the lake you can walk back on a parallel path for a bit until it joins the main path.
The loop makes for a delightful walk.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Sticking To It Edition

Last week I started acupuncture treatments and I am so very grateful I did.
I noticed significant improvement after the first treatment.
It occurred to me about 10 days ago that acupuncture might help my heart. I'd taken these treatments for asthma about 20 years ago. Today I do not use any medicine for asthma and have to remind myself I have it.
Dr. Kenneth Wu treated me then and he is treating me now. He is an acupuncture specialist and a Dr. of Oriental Medicine. I am grateful he is in practice only an hour's drive away.
He told me why my heart is irregular and that I'd come to the right place. He did not guarantee it would revert to a normal heartbeat because I'd left it too long although that does happen.
I told him I hoped to get rid of the fluid in my legs. He said that was kidneys and bladder and the whole body will get treated.
After four needles stuck in my back for about 25 minutes I drove home, very relaxed.
The next evening Mike and I went for a six mile bike ride. In the more than 20 years we've done this route I have always stopped at the three mile mark to rest a bit before heading home.
That evening I did not.
The second treatment was Friday.
Saturday we went for a short, steep hike as I wanted to test how I was doing.
In the past I have to rest during steep pitches because the blood pounding in my ears sounds like partridges drumming.
On Saturday there were no partridges.
That evening we went for another bike ride.
I am to go twice a week for two months for these treatments.
You can bet I am sticking to it.




Monday, June 26, 2017

Gratitude Monday -Goodsoil, Good People Edition

We spent the night in Meadow Lake Provincial park, SK, recently and ate our dinner and breakfast in the village Goodsoil.
We ate both times at The Little Brown Jug, one of three restaurants in the village of maybe 300 people.
The food was pretty good, but the atmosphere was wonderful and I am grateful for the moments I spent there.
When we arrived there was one old fellow eating. He was cheerful enough, but when locals came in and asked him how he was he'd say, "Waiting to die."
But he smiled as he did it. While it carried an edge of seriousness, it was offered lightly.
When I got up to look for the washroom and then made an oh, there it is gesture, Charlie, if I recall his name correctly, called over "You should have asked me."
 A few people began to drift in. One woman in her forties bundled over to the coffee machine and made a fresh pot. A fellow when to the fridge, got a soft drink, and called to the kitchen saying what he'd done.
It sounded like a few of them were Charlie's family, one a grandchild.
Within in a few minutes about eight people had either joined Charlie or sat at the table beside him. A few minutes after that the meeting of the Goodsoil branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation came to order.
It was a delight.
The coffee-making woman read the minutes of the previous meeting. I heard how the steak fry was mostly a success, but not enough people brought food and something was going to be done.
I don't recall what they decided, but I am confident it will never happen again.
It was hard not to hear their business, but I didn't make a point of listening in.
These are good, hard-working, decent people who care about wildlife in the area and are giving back to their community and the province and, for that matter, the world as a whole.
It reminded me a great deal of where and how I grew up, and I am grateful for that, too.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Gratitude Monday --Saskatchewander Edition

We arrived back home late Friday after two wonderful weeks in the province next door.
Saskatchewan has a great deal going for it with respect to nature, especially birds, and this was our two week birding tour.
We saw owls and ducks and geese and lark buntings and horned larks and pelicans and many, many others.
I am grateful for all of it.
One of the best things to do when away is find the little places, the restaurants in the small towns where the locals go. Part of that is discovering menu items unique to the area, even to the eatery.
One such delight was the Harvest Moon Cafe in Val Marie, SK. One of the desserts on offer was fried saskatoon perogies served with ice cream.
Who could pass that up?
Not us.
It was very tasty and for it I am grateful

Monday, May 29, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Walks On The Wild Side Edition

We went hiking on the weekend and for it I am grateful. But what I am even more grateful for is that hikes exist.
It's struck me the last two hikes we were on that someone went exploring, decided a route would make a great recreational hike, and that work got done to make it a physical reality.
It was never anything I gave much thought to until the other day.
Well-signed, well packed mountain hikes, or any walk for that matter, should not be taken for granted. They need to found and decided on. Trails need to be made and kept up, and the people who do it dedicate time, money and resources so others can walk through the bush safely.
So thank you to everyone who ever had anything to do with any hike anywhere that made it so.

The hike to Silverton Falls, Banff National Park, Alberta, looking westward.
The light portion between the trees and mountains is the Trans-Canada Highway.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Gratitude Monday--Checked Out Edition

We went through a police CheckStop Saturday and I am grateful for it.
Peace Officers from the County  and RCMP were set up on Highway 11 just past the Nordegg turnoff stopping all the traffic.
This is good.
County and Town Peace Officers, the RCMP, and Fish and Wildlife work together on these stops on all long weekends and most other weekends, too, if memory serves.
The May long weekend is the kickoff to their enforcement partnership.
It's been years since we were stopped at one of these. I am glad we were, because it means they are out doing their job, people are caught if they deserve it, and it is all good.
The nice man checked Mike's driver's license and the insurance, registration, and plates on my car and everything checked out. He asked where we were coming from and did we have any alcohol in the car? (We didn't.)
He was friendly, kind, and seemed happy in his work.
Both of us said afterward we were happy to have been stopped.
Thank you police and peace officers. You do fine work, and for it I am grateful.