Thursday, October 28, 2021



  • what do you most want to be remembered for?

      That's a very hard question! There are many things I would like to be remembered for. It depends on what time of day it is.  Now I have to stand back and try and be fair and somewhat accurate. Anybody with a big ego could really brag about themselves. 

       Just when I think of one thing I think of something else. 

       Well, I would like to be remembered for being a down to earth person. Rarely have I been a show off. I'm not a flashy person. There are things that need to be done and you just have to do them. I don't look for an award although when complements come I appreciate them and I certainly work harder if there are complements. 

       So I would like to be remembered for doing something in this world that had to be done. 

  • what are 3 words you'd use to describe yourself?

       I'm going to get this question and the last one mixed together a bit. 

        Well, the first word I would use would be kindness. As a young person I was definitely not kind. Growing up on a farm was definitely not a place to see examples of kindness. In our district there were no girls. So when a group of young males hang out they are not apt to be very kind. We were rough.

       My kindness developed over many years.  My mother was very kind so I think that was an influence. I felt kindness from her. 

       Over the years I had many little kids who were completely lost and needed one bit of kindness from some where. I saw how it helped these kids. Along the way kindness became a bigger part of me. 

       I am mellow, easygoing and laidback. I'm going to count these three as one. I can sit back and watch things develop. Usually if you're patient ( oh that's so me Patient) and sit back you will see things happen. I find that I get along well with people .

       I met an elderly friend sitting on the bank of Piper Creek one day. She was birding and said if I sit here all the birds will fly by me. I've never forgotten Dorothy's wisdom. 

      Can I stick in a  sixth (okay seventh) characteristic? I'm quiet. I'm a listener. I get more out of being a listener than other people get from being nosy and aggressive. If you ask people directly for some information that information may be limited as they become alarmed and won't give all information. Sooner or later people will tell you what you want to hear. People will accidentally tell you things. If I'm quiet I'm less likely to say the wrong stuff. 

     I am an introvert. I like to be by myself. Some of my best days were when I was out at the lake on my own and didn't see people for days. On the farm sitting on the tractor all day was just fine. 

     I would think that none of these terms are a surprise to you. You have a very sharp sense of a person's characteristics. 

Friday, October 22, 2021


      Yesterday was my birthday. Birthdays are special. We get older! But we also celebrate and there are traditions for marking the passing of another year.

      Well, yesterday I just happened to be making soup. Since I haven't figured out how to store carrots, I try to use them up by making carrot soup. So the first day of making carrot soup happened to be my birthday. I'm okay with carrot soup for my birthday.

    Later on I had my candle with a Tim Horton's donut. 

     So some people like cake and ice cream and some people just like soup. I wonder what I'll have next year.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021


       Steve at Shadow and Light works in a Middle school library. He constantly looks for ways to get kids reading. One of the giant assignments he gave himself was to read all the books that were given the Newberry Award. What's the Newberry award you say? It's a yearly  award that was started in 1922 for the best juvenile fiction of the previous year. So starting in 1922 to 2021 is about 99 books. 

       Steve read the 1926 winner which was Smoky the Cow Horse. Steve didn't like it much, however it brought back many memories for me.

      In the one room country schools it was customary for the teacher to read for 15 minutes after lunch. This was an activity that I looked forward to every day. One of the books a teacher read was Smoky the Cow Horse. I listened to every word and it was one of the best books read to us in my opinion. Since I was a little fam boy, I liked horses and knew about horses and cattle. 

      There are only two other books I remember hearing and that was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery.

      So I got thinking About Smoky and that I had remembered this story all my life. I listened to the story in the late 40's

      So what did I think? Well I thought maybe I should read the story for myself. I read the story and  enjoyed it and was surprised by how much of it I could remember. Yes, Steve's criticisms were valid. He didn't like the cowboy language that was used. There were stereotypes. Steve is an urban type so it would be difficult to relate to many parts of the story. 

     The story received the Newberry award for 1926 so was from a different age. It was written by Will James 1892 to 1942. Will James wrote many good western stories. 


Saturday, October 16, 2021


       Incredibly difficult but rewarding job, parenting! I enjoyed reading your post, Keith. In many ways you were a father figure to all us first year teachers back in the day :)


           I received this comment from Mr S. on my last post. The comment brought back many good memories and it's surprising how Mr S worked in  our experience as colleagues.

         Every once in a while you get a comment that really rocks you. 

We needed another teacher for the second semester. We picked three applications for interviews. The first interview was a guy who was principal in a rural school. One question we asked people is how would they teach a certain lesson. This guy completely blew the lesson. The second was a young woman in a graduate program. Since it appeared she wanted to make money to finish her program we thought she would leave at the end of the semester. Mr. S had just graduated. He nailed the lesson . Our head of personnel said, "Let's take the kid. If he doesn't pan out we can let him go." Mr S stayed his entire career in the system and retired this year.

          One of the other young guys always called me Dad and still does to this day even if he is retired.

      Now all those years I thought the young guys were looking after me! I told Mr. S. that I watched the young guys but I was watching for the latest strategies they came out with. 

     Those were happy days.

Monday, October 11, 2021



  • what was the best part of parenting for you, and what was the worst?  why?

               For this topic , I have to go back before kids. When we got married we had a somewhat unrealistic idea about having children. You turn on the tap and out come little children. I had an unrealistic idea about parenting and parent responsibility. I had a lot to learn and I didn't know it.  

              Then surprise surprise we found out that we weren't going to have children . Oh! So what do I do now? Mom said right away "Let's adopt." I wasn't that keen about adoption and said ,"There are other things in life that can be fulfilling. " Well, you know who won that issue.  Adoptions were somewhat common at that time. Since we were northerners we had the idea of adopting aboriginal kids. 

               However, we applied in Red Deer and were very surprised  to receive a placement . They had told us that it might take two years so it was a big surprise. . 

               Here's my first point. The adoption procedure is thorough. That is there isn't anything they don't ask so there isn't anything that you aren't made to think about. I've often said that all parents to be should have to go through the rigorous screening of adoption.

              So one of the good parts about parenting was having to be prepared physically and in my own head. 

             The best part of parenting? Well as with many things in my life I don't pick one particular thing. Parenting was great. The most important thing was to love two little guys to death and to receive love in return. Well, there I went and said what was best about parenting! Watching two little munchkins grow and learn was fascinating. I noted heights and weights. I noted first teeth and walking and all the other firsts.  It was fun to do things with kids like sledding , travelling and many more activities. 

             Personal characteristics that were discovered and grew were interesting. You were stubborn from a very young age. I asked you to put your toys away when you were about a year and a half old. You refused. I gave you a swat on the bum and that brought about no change. What I did do was distract you for a minute and then asked you to put the toys away and you put them away just like magic. It's one of those times that I wish I knew what was going on in your head. I learned something. 

              Parenting was a lot of work, particularly when you were infants. However , when you are in the middle of parenting infants, you are so busy that time goes by in a hurry. 

                One of the worst parts of parenting was to let go. It was hard to see you leave home. Some of the hassles in teen age years weren't fun but they come with the territory. I can't really think of any big fights or disagreements. 

              I'm sure this leaves more questions so fire away. It makes it more fun. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021



  • what advice would you give your younger self if you could go back and be 25 again?

              Advice? Well, I can think about things I'd like to give myself if I had the information.  I would like to tell myself to aim for 100% in marks in my subjects. My Dad emphasized to get 50% so at times I didn't get 50% or just a little over 50%. This was something that really limited my achievement in many ways. 

             I would be rather vain if I said I wouldn't give myself any advice. It's the same as the above. I did not work my best. So I would advise myself to aim for a higher rate of success. 

  • do you wish you'd moved out of the house in Red Deer before now?  do you wish you'd moved away from Red Deer at all?

              I have never wished to move out of the house in Red Deer but maybe I should have. I like the house and of course, the neighborhood. If I'd moved I wouldn't have all the trash stored in the house but then I can blame Mom for that.  When you move you are forced to get rid of stuff. I still have stuff you left me when you moved. The best thing you left me was the little compressor you had. 

               The first year we were in Red Deer we would have moved at any given instant. If someone had come along and said , "Keith , you can go to Yellowknife tomorrow,." I'd have been gone in a heart beat. Once we got you and Brian we never thought of moving again. 

                I did have in my mind to go back home and farm with my brothers for a few years. Once it go closer to the time to make the move it didn't look so good. I'm glad I didn't make that move. 

               So in reality I have never wished to move. 

               Well, now that I think of it, when uncle John moved to Salmon Arm we did think about moving there. 

  • if you could meet a famous person (living or dead) who would you want to meet, and why?

  •      Well I'm really no fun on this one. I don't have any famous person I would like to meet. I think that many ordinary people are fascinating. I wrote about Johnny May , our GG's brother. Johnny was a fascinating bush pilot  with a million stories. Now would I like to meet his famous sister? Only if I accidentally bumped into her. I don't really get it about meeting famous people. I don't think anything would rub off on me. As I said before many regular people have done interesting things and have much to teach you. 
  •      Maybe , I'm just sour grapes since I haven't met any famous people!

Saturday, October 2, 2021


                    Last Sunday afternoon I spent a couple of hours at the Michael Obrien Wetland in Red Deer Alberta. This is a man made wetland which takes street runoff and runs it through a number of ponds which have plants which help to clean the water before it enters the river system. It's a very successful natural system. 

                  It was a very beautiful fall afternoon . I walked for the two hours and the Micro Manager sat on a bench.