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Street Tales

Weighed down by the misery of winter

Three weeks ago while on a walk, it was with great joy to hear three separate flocks of geese honking their way northward to Mackenzie Park. “Surely” I cried with a hopeful voice, “spring is here — spring has sprung.”

Then last Saturday morning, once again we went for a morning walk. It’s -5C and the entire city is shrouded in ice fog and as I walk and look around, I start to feel a slight bit of depression setting in.

I usually don’t have a problem with that, but with the several false starts to spring, and now ice fog at the end of March, I definitely am starting to lose hope; especially when my brother-in-law phones to say how nice it is on the island.

What if this weather stays all summer? Will I have to buy a new winter coat before July? At my age, should I be thinking about ice cleats on my shoes? What if the Hokey-Pokey is what it’s all about?

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The heart of Alberta, right in Red Deer

It was a gratifying experience to read about Red Deer and Alberta’s generosity in dealing with Ghislane Moreault and her family after the accident that claimed Eric Cote’s life.

If any family ever needed help it was this one.

What with health issues of Eric and the mother and two daughters as well, they have had a terrible ten years, losing everything in that ten years that they had built up prior.

From what I have seen and experienced through individuals downtown; and not only them, from all walks of life is almost disturbing.

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Sometimes you just happen to have a perfect day

Tuesday was a good day all around. It seemed that everything we did just went super smooth.

Breakfast was a little slower than usual, so I was able to concentrate on our shopping list; and then shopping seemed to go very quickly and without any difficulties.

And we had the afternoon to look forward to as we would have a guest cook.

Five years ago, we would have this gentle man with a ready smile and a humble spirit come to the kitchen occasionally.

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Learning to look past the garbage of street life

When I’m not at the kitchen or otherwise occupied, my favourite place is my Lazyboy.

Believe it or not, my body has an intimate relationship with it, so it’s not uncommon for me to sit back and look out the window; observing the many birds that come to the feeder that I have hanging just outside.

Chickadees, red polls and downy woodpeckers scramble all over the feeder in order to get at the seeds, but the most prolific birds are, of course, the house sparrow.

Not too long ago, as I was headed out the door, a Blue Jay sat in the apple tree and started chattering at me.

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You can help those who are suffering

Through a round-about route, I was asked to call a person who I had worked with for 15 years. As my finger was about to dial the number given, I was blissfully unaware of what I would find at the other end of this call. My memory of this person were fond ones, but as often happens in career changes, you lose contact over the years.

I don’t know if this happens to you, but when made aware of who I was calling, my mind pictured this vibrant middle aged woman who made my job all the better through her encouraging words and actions. Of course, in my mind she was no older than when we parted ways about 25 years ago, so imagine my turmoil after the first confusing phone call.

Now I had to acknowledge that all those years may have made a change in her as well as in me. But I had promised to visit her, so this week, I did.

The physical change in her appearance was not a lot more than is normal for her 70-plus years, but that is all as I had come to expect. What I did not envision was her emotional and mental well-being. I’m struggling with words here, because I don’t want to offend someone I have a lot of respect for, but I feel that in order to make sense of it all, I can’t beat around the bush.

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