I turned around just now and glanced out my office window and did a double take. There, on the stucco of the neighbor’s house, were two squirrels enjoying the sunshine and each other. Enjoy this brief little hint of spring to come. Some day…
I was browsing Youtube when I came across this sprightly piece and I just had to share. If you listen carefully, you can make out a hint of the “Danny Boy” melody here and there. The song was written by Andrew Boysen and has been used for Kirkpatrick special events from time to time. Maybe I’ll have to share it at the next family reunion!
Every day I am so grateful for my family. The Kirkpatricks are known for their solid support of family and friends, through thick and thin, and here in our little Calgary branch we are rallying the troops again.
My beautiful niece Krista is working hard to raise some funds for a marvelous, life-changing trip she plans to take to Ghana. It is an educational trip – an opportunity for field study extraordinaire - but the learning will be much more than academic. I know from experience how travel not only broadens the mind but educates the heart.
That is why I am one of Krista’s biggest supporters in this venture and, to that end, I am helping her ramp up her fundraising effort. We have designed a page with her story on it and I would be ever so pleased if you would drop by and have a look. Even a $5 contribution could make all the difference if enough people do it.
Again from Records of the Closeburn Kirkpatricks by Charles Kirkpatrick, this fun little tid-bit:
“Amongst the Kirkpatricks, from earliest times, ‘Roger’ and ‘Ivone’ were favourite and common names. In our family there were only two ‘Johns’; one lost amidst the mists of the past, though figuring in the Ragman’s Roll.
“In later generations, few of the eldest sons escaped being called ‘Thomas’, thereby causing confusion amongst their descendants when trying to distinguish them.
“These ancestors of ours not only married two or three times, but in those days of large families, there were often two of a name, where one child having died, the parents christened a later arrival with the same name.
“In Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe’s family, there were two Isabellas, one John William and one William John!
“He has pointed out that a ‘nephew’ was frequently alluded to as a ‘grandson.’
“All these complications seem designed to tease antiquarians.”
I’m just reading Records of the Closeburn Kirkpatricks (Charles Kirkpatrick) and came across this interesting tidbit.
“Finally, a theological authority has pointed out to me that the big Oxford dictionary has a long article on the derivation of the word ‘Kirk’; and it decides that it must come from the Greek word ‘Kyriakon’, meaning ‘the Lord’s (house)’. Jameson’s Scottish dictionary states this is generally accepted.
“In our earliest charters the name is often spelt Kyrkepatric.”
After a long, warm fall, winter has blind-sided us full blast. The wind is cold, the snow is falling and the temperatures are low. They say we should be preparing ourselves for a winter as we remember from childhood – endless snow drifts and endless cold. Bah.
Chickadee in Fish Creek Park, Calgary
Round about the time I got this gem of news, I heard of a fellow who loves winter. He is involved in winter sports and can’t wait to get out in the snow. He wears his frostbite scars as honour badges and raves enthusiastically about his adventures. Wow.
All of this got me thinking about how perspective can change what is. For some, winter is a hardship that we “get through.” We avoid going out. We bundle up and hurry from the house to the car. We fuss and complain and count the days until spring.
But to some folks, winter is a miraculous playground. They relish the cold and snow and dive into it with gusto. They ski and snowmobile and toboggan and snowshoe. Some enjoy running in the winter (though I tend to fall a lot when I try). Some even go camping!
After mulling this over, I’ve decided it is time to change my attitude. I can’t change that we’re having winter – but I can transmute it into something pleasurable. For that reason, starting today, I’m going to embrace winter. I’m going to take gorgeous pictures of it and feel the bracing cold on my face, invigorating my body. I’m going to close my eyes and feel the biting kiss of snowflakes on my skin. I’m going to invite winter into my life and love and nurture it, grabbing every bit of joy and beauty that I can from it.
I haven’t really been paying attention to this whole body scanner thing. You know, the one that takes transparent, real-life looking images of your personal body parts, allegedly to spot any contraband you may be carrying. After all, I haven’t flown much lately.
But I just found this article and it has given me pause for thought. Stepchick has been stewing about her upcoming flight plans and worrying about just accepting the imaging or subjecting herself to a “groin grope and feeling up.” And maybe she has good reason to worry?
Read Stepchick’s article here. As she says, “For my friend with a colostomy bag. For my sister with a partial breast reconstruction. For the oh-so-many other women who have been raped or molested. There has to be a better way.”
I wrote this three years ago on an old blog. It still holds true for me today.
Before the word crone became a derogatory one, being a crone was actually an honor. The word comes from the same word as “crown” and the crone was afforded a certain amount of prestige and respect. She was looked up to as an advisor, a teacher, a matriarch.
Apparently, many cultures have a “crone” kind of position that is filled by the wisest, most experienced “mature” women:
When our elders step across the threshold of the Grandmother Lodge, leaving their bleeding behind them, they become the Keepers of the Law. No longer is their attention consumed with the creation and rearing of their own family… Thus their attention turns to the children of all Our Relations: not just their own children, or the children of their friends, their clan or tribe, but the children of all the hoops: the Two-Leggeds, the Four-Leggeds, the Wingeds, the Finned, the Green-Growing Ones, and all others. Our relationship with this great circle of Life rests ultimately in their hands. They must give away this responsibility by modeling, teaching, and sharing the living of this law — in everyday life — to men, women, children — that all might come into balance.
– Brooke Medicine Eagle, Women Of The 14th Moon
Anyhoo, I’m starting to feel like I’m heading toward crone-hood. It promises to be quite an interesting and fulfilling phase of my life.
Nana lived to be just one month shy of her 103rd birthday. My dad (her nephew) tells me she was already over 100 when he saw her at a family reunion, eating and laughing and yakking it up with kin, happy as a clam.
Her great age, which she attributed to taking a spoonful of kerosene every day(!), was impressive by itself, but her start in life is even more interesting. Born in a time when incubators and neonatal ICUs were still far in the future, she was a preemie twin who miraculously beat the odds.
When I was at the Ashcroft Museum recently, I was amazed to find this undated article, possibly from the Ashcroft Journal:
A kitchen oven was turned into a makeshift incubator when Annie Salter was born more than a century ago, several months premature and weighing a little over one pound.
Neonatal technology was still decades away when her grandmother wrapped tiny Annie in cotton cloth, laid her in a cigar box and popped her in the warm oven with the door open.
“It was quite the miracle,” said Salter’s daughter Kae Larson of the remarkable survival in a rural home in 19th-century Dog Creek, BC.
Incredibly, Salter’s mother had miscarried a twin about three months earlier.
Nana as a young woman
The oldest of 11 children, Salter, now 102, was born March 23, 1896 and spent much of her life caring for and feeding others.
First it was her siblings. After she married Frank Salter Dec. 25, 1917, there were her own two children and often several young members of her extended family all living under the same roof.
Sometimes Salter worked as camp cook in the southern Alberta oilfields where her husband toiled.
She couldn’t stand to see anyone go hungry. During the ’30s Depression, she would cook up a huge, hearty stew every Sunday and invite in a dozen or more unemployed oilfield workers, recalled Larson.
“She always said the reason she got married on Christmas Day was that was the one day of the year she knew there would be plenty of food on the table,” said Larson, sitting beside her mother’s wheelchair in the Capital Care Grandview nursing home, 6215 124… [page cut off].
What a gal. Over and over I read stories of the hearty, hard-working, humorous Kirkpatrick women and it makes me so proud.
Nana’s obituary was also included on the photocopied sheet I found:
March 23, 1896 – February 21, 1999
On February 21, 1999 Annie Salter of Edmonton passed away.
Leaving to mourn her loss her daughter and son-in-law, Kae and Ken Larson of Edmonton; daughter-in-law, Pat Salter of Calgary; eight grandchildren, Alec (Anne) Deeves of Calgary, Ronald (Dede) Larson of Singapore, Melody (Dave) Livingston of Grande Cache, Mavis (Ray) Berard of St. Albert, Donna of Edmonton, Dawn Giles of Cobble Hill, B.C., Darlene Bell of Blackie, Alberta and Denise (Darcy) Anderson of Calgary, along with 21 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Frank in April 1983; grandson, Barry Deeves 1988; son, Jim 1994; parents, Jim and Emma Kirkpatrick; five sisters and five brothers.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 27, 1999 at 2:30 p.m. at Evergreen Funeral Chapel, 16204 Fort Road, Edmonton (1/2 mile east of Manning Drive on 167 Avenue – 1/4 mile south on the old Fort Road), with interment in Evergreen Memorial Gardens. Reverend Hart Cantelon officiating. Special thanks to the staff of Capital Care Grandview. If friends so desire, in lieu of floral tributes, memorials may be made to Capital Care Grandview in care of the Capital Care Foundation 500, 9925 – 109 Street, Edmonton, T5K 2J8. Evergreen Funeral Chapel (Telephone: 472-9019).
Nana was quite a character and I do have more things I plan to post about her in future.