It’s been awhile since I posted to my blog! With the recent passing of my stepfather, I have been super busy wrapping up my mother’s affairs in Montana, packing her up, and moving her to Calgary. My sister and I have been running around taking care of getting her Canadian ID, telephone service, and a million other little tasks that need to be done. Slowly we’re gaining on it! :)
The residence we found for her is called Westview Lodge. Our business with them was handled smoothly and professionally and the residents look happy, well-fed and very friendly. As my bro-in-law and I were moving things in we were chatted up by a handful of them and all seemed very glad to be there. So there’s a little plug for Westview Lodge!
Seniors and their care and consideration are are near and dear to my heart and I have started paying more attention to what goes on in their world.
So I was surprised and tickled pink when I saw this video about Canadian Olga Kotelko: The 91-year-old track star. My goodness – she’s in better shape at 91 than I am at 50-something! Go Olga. You are an inspiration.
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.