Happy New Year’s from Germany

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In 1993 I spent part of New Year’s Eve in a small mountain town near the Black Forest in Germany. The other part of the night I spent in a hospital. It was an evening to remember although not one of revelry. I was in Germany for two weeks visiting my friend who was attending the University of Freiburg on … Read More

Searching for Santa Claus

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Santa Claus was not part of my family’s Christmas. My parents decided they wanted the birth of Christ as the main focus of the holiday and not Jolly Old Saint Nick. Which was fine by me until I went to school. When the festive season rolled around all the kids started talking about Santa Claus. Of course I knew who … Read More

Christmas in South Korea

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One of my first Christmases away from my family was when I was teaching English in South Korea. It was 1997 and the Korean currency, the won, had fallen. I wasn’t making any money, but I was getting rich in experiences. I was living on my own in Puyo, a rural town. I didn’t know many people and had been … Read More

Oh ugly Christmas tree

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Since my husband and I live in a smaller apartment in Calgary we don’t have room for a large Christmas tree. Instead, we have a tiny artificial one that we hang lights on and a few decorations that will suffice for now. Still, I can’t help but remember the “grand” trees my family put up during the festive season in … Read More

Clichés and stereotypes

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I’ve been teaching a short story life writing workshop at the Kerby Centre, an older adults’ activity hub. For our sixth class, we talked about avoiding  clichés and stereotypes in our memoirs. So instead of using a banal phrase such as “calm before the storm” or “crazy as a loon” — force your mind into different ways of describing  things. … Read More

Lost without an address book

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I’ve lost my address book. I must have put it down on a Calgary post office counter and then walked away. Without my address book. Now I’m lost. It wasn’t any ordinary address book. I received it as a birthday present from my parents over 20 years ago. It was covered in a faux leather red finish and held the … Read More

Secret angels before Christmas

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November reminds me of bubble baths and angels, secrets angels that is. During three years at Acadia University I took part in the secret angel tradition that my residence organized. Right before exams the treat-filled week was a nice reminder that Christmas was coming even if we had to struggle through exams first. Everybody in Seminary House, my dorm of … Read More

Hacking websites for kicks

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This story is not a memory from long ago or a fond anecdote about a past adventure. It’s about being hacked a few of days ago. Right before I was a participant at a trade show. It makes me seethe now but it’s a lesson learned that I’ll be able to put to good use. I’ve had websites and blogs … Read More