Remember and Think

Listen to this week’s column on MP3 A pile of remembering stones sits at the edge of town, in the form of a boulder encrusted cenotaph. It rises clean from the earth and points skywards, like God himself planted it. On its front the builders placed a polished granite plaque, engraved …

Good Enough is Good Enough

Home just isn’t the same anymore. And for some very good reasons. We’re living with—and growing comfortable in—the ambience of industry, the Preacher and I. People sawing and hammering, mudding and sanding, painting and varnishing. Swearing and covering it up. Our biggest project has sent us and a few others …

Grateful For the Mystery

It’s midnight in the Kootenays. As I write this, I sit in our son’s above-garage apartment, perched high above Windermere Lake. Thinking. A train whistles slow beneath me and the moon rests cozy on the sky, like a silver coin on dark velvet. Across the water, mountain shapes loom black, …

God Bless the Curmudgeons

The International Society of Curmudgeons would like to remind people that October 15th is National Curmudgeon Day in the US. As far as I know, Canada has no such day. A long-dead, grumpy hunter was the first to earn the title. In 1498, while out hunting with English King Henry …

Reflections From a Dentist Chair

The staff at my dental clinic hum, “Crown her with many crowns,” whenever they see me coming. I swear it. My mouth’s childhood pastime of accumulating massive amalgam fillings has evolved into a more mature collection of root canals and crowns. I got crowned again recently. I took notes. “Are …

Peace in God’s Arms

The wrapped-up-in-peace business started on one of my Friday afternoons with our grandbeans. After lunch, two-year-old Dinah Jane seemed tired and cranky. During a colouring session, she wanted to keep all the crayons. “No, honey,” I told her. “Your brother and sister need to colour too.”  She opened her mouth. …

Get Away Before Coming Apart

For two decades two relics have hung around our yards and gardens. They’ve followed us to three different homes. A skull, white as chalk, porous as fine sponge, and a single deer horn. The horn doesn’t get much notice, but the skull raises curiosity. “Uh…what’s up with that?” guests have …

Sunflower, Good Mornin’!

 Hum this awhile, if you remember it…”Sunflower, good mornin’. You sure do make it like a sunny day. Sunflower, fair warnin’. I’m gonna love you if you come my way.” Neil Diamond wrote that song back in the seventies, though folk singer Glenn Campbell made it famous. Mr. Diamond may …