Moments of the past and the present and the future

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I recently returned from a vacation that took me to Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. It was my first time landing in Malaysia and Singapore but not South Korea. I had been an English teacher in Korea almost 20 years ago. When I was there, I wrote a bi-weekly column for a Nova Scotia newspaper about my experiences. I’m doing … Read More

Who we used to be, who we are

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I recently returned from a vacation that took me to Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. It was my first time landing in Malaysia and Singapore but not South Korea. I had been an English teacher in Korea almost 20 years ago. When I was there, I wrote a bi-weekly column for a Nova Scotia newspaper about my experiences. I’m doing … Read More

The Maritime homing beacon

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“What is it with you Maritimers?” asked a friend born and raised in Calgary. “You always want to go home.” Home. Home, to Maritimers, can be Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island. Three provinces with proud distinctions on their own, but together, together they are a tight-knit community unfurled on the Atlantic ocean. When we were born, somehow, … Read More

Golden moment

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It was 1996 and I was going to Ryerson University. I was in the Journalism for Graduates program and I had to write a non-fiction story for my course Magazine Fundamentals. The class was taught by writer David Hayes and he asked us to write about a “golden moment.” I wrote about my family dog, Jasper. He died not soon … Read More

Little snow, big snow

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When there’s a snow storm in Nova Scotia, there’s a snow storm. It’s not the full-sized, plump flakes that add up: it’s the little, wee ones that fall fast and furious. They hit the ground piling up and up and up…until the bus can’t get down our dirt road. That’s when school is cancelled and my sisters and I get … Read More

Floppy disc discovery

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While home for the holidays in Nova Scotia, I found a treasure trove: some old, old floppy discs. Not those round ones that look like records but the hard square ones. I brought them back to Calgary and wondered how to get the data off them. Who has a computer with a floppy disc drive anymore? The Calgary Public Library. … Read More

Manwich mistake

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There’s a memory going around and around in my head. Waiting to get out…or spill out. The story is about a sloppy joe. I was little, maybe about six years old, when I was invited to my friend’s birthday party. Her name was Suzie and she lived across the street in a white house a few homes over. She was … Read More

Common people

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There’s a theory that we’re connected to every single person in the world through six degrees of separation. That is, we all have someone in common everywhere and anywhere we go: a friend of a friend of friend of a friend… It’s a small world after all as I rediscovered during a recent trip to see a client in Burlington, … Read More

Shark bait

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Family Lines is my second business. My first business was teaching swimming lessons one summer. That was in 1992 and I had a tough time finding a student job. So I made my own. I lived near a lake, Lumsden Dam, and I was already a lifeguard and a swim instructor. All I needed were swimmers. Nowadays one would put … Read More

Target, Zellers and Grade 7

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I walked past some Calgary seniors last Thursday lamenting the loss of Target. It sounded like they were truly upset. However, one woman asked, “What was wrong with Zellers? I miss that place.” I have to agree with her. While Target and Zellers are only two of the many retailers fading away, the Mom and Pop clothing stores that used … Read More