Lt Blake from Mash

Fishing Lures and Submarines

C/o Ronald McDonald House Calgary, Alberta Tuesday, September 14, 1999 Dear Friend, My sister Jenifer and her husband and their truck helped us move from the Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver to the Ronald McDonald House in Calgary. When winter sets in we’re really going to appreciate the underground parking. The House is in a commercial/residential area about a 30 minute walk from the hospital. On the 2nd floor, where we are, there are 12 bedrooms grouped around a sitting area with a TV and a gas fireplace. The House has three laundry areas and one is open 24 hours. I’ll be washing clothes on the nights when I can’t sleep. Frankie likes the room with the Nintendo. Nick hasn't spent … [Read More...]

hay The best season

The Best Season

I t’s one of those brilliant fall days when even people who love only summer and dislike fall just because it isn’t summer and is one season closer to winter have to admit that today is almost perfect. Not far from the campground that FH’s sister Bettyanne and her man Stan are managing we’re in a farmer’s field loading hay onto a trailer. Stan and I are walking in the stubble on either side of the trailer following rows of neatly made square bales of oat hay. I grab a bale and lift to my waist and then using my knee pop it up and onto the trailer deck where FH and Frankie are stacking. We wear long sleeves to protect us from the stiff and sharp stalks sticking out from the ends of … [Read More...]

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Judgement

It's been a few weeks since I last saw you in a hospital room.   You seemed a teenage boy, Long and thin under covers pulled to your chin, Short hair stiff and messed from lying in bed.   Then I saw the feminine name on the paper I held, And the delicate bones of your skull.   Wearing my starched white lab coat I stood in the doorway and held up a tourniquet. You held out a skinny stick-arm, and pointed with a long knowing finger. "Poke me here,” you said, “It won’t work anywhere else." Your eyes searched my face. But, I was at work and I think I’m good at my job. I’ve seen many people of your kind You abuse yourself And then you come … [Read More...]

Frankie & Miss Daisy, Nicholas & Barney

Stupid Cancer and Stupid Hospital

We’ve slept the night at Larry and Donna’s farm west of Olds, AB. Woken to the sounds of farm animals we have breakfast in the sun drenched kitchen. Larry goes off to work, but Aaron his son, takes us for a tour around the perimeters of the farm, along gravel grid roads undulating through prairie land laid to rest in fallow fields, and through surprisingly deep coulees, Alberta’s rendition of green valleys so lovely to this homesick girl missing the mountains of British Columbia. September 9, 1999 Larry and Donna have fueled their big motor home and given us the keys. We leave for Auntie and Uncle’s campground in Strathmore. It will take almost four hours to drive. The boys take turns … [Read More...]

Nicholas Olds Farm (2)

Back to Olds, Alberta

In the cafeteria at the hospital I bite into a hot dog and it goes crunch. If you’ve ever wondered about the ingredients of wieners you could understand that I was concerned and then somewhat relieved when I discovered that I’d broken a filling. I phone my dentist at home and he recommends a friend of his in downtown Calgary. The dentist is kind enough to see me today and charges me a minimal fee to fix the filling. Dr. Anderson is giving Nicholas an actual vacation from the hospital. He asks us to be careful because Nick is “fragile.” This afternoon we drove through Olds, the town where Frankie was born, where FH and I first lived after we were married to stay with Larry and Donna on their … [Read More...]

Dogs, Cats, Horses & Critters

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