I like cemeteries. Not to the extent that I want to move in yet. Although I am always in the market for a good photo for my obituary. But I like wandering through cemeteries. Particularly historic ones. I am drawn to read the headstones with names and birth/death dates. For many of those interred therein with no remaining immediate descendants it is the only evidence of their existence. Imagine, those few words giving scant evidence of lives of love, hard work and accomplishment.
I take some comfort that there are three generations of my ancestors in Abbotsford’s Hazelwood cemetery. Someday there will be four (unless Pam simply puts me out with the compost to save money).
Many of my Facebook friends have passed over the last several years. Some of their profiles have been turned into memorial sites. Some I knew well, some not so well. I have a few times considered unfriending the two or three dozen friends who are deceased. I know it won’t hurt their feelings but I have resisted doing so. Partly out of respect. Partly because their continuing to be friends isn’t taking any space. And perhaps it’s a way of keeping some memory of people I respected.
Facebook presents a conundrum in this respect. Previous to the last couple of weeks I have never unfriended anyone and I still have never blocked anyone. I am a believer in free speech. But two weeks ago I decided to unfriend my first two individuals who had indicated unhappiness with my posts (they apparently didn’t know how to scroll). I thought I would solve their problem for them. Both are seeking elective office next week (hopefully unsuccessfully). They are my first unfriends. “Should I go further? “ I thought.
I thought again about the deceased friends. And I considered my own motivations for many of my posts on Facebook. Perversely, I have used Facebook as a diary. Recording events, reactions and thoughts over the last several years. Even including information about my childhood and family history. A diary. Certainly not a private one. A diary where my children can find details and understand me and their history. even after my eventual demise. For all of the negatives of Facebook and the nastiness it encourages, it provides a permanent record. Like the cemetery markers did and do.
I think I’ve decided to keep my dead friends out of respect. I just have to learn not to be disappointed when they don’t react to my posts.
What do you do with your Facebook friends when they pass?
Happy Thanksgiving. Of course this is a time to express gratitude for family, friends and good health. But also a time to be thankful for living in Canada, where there are no bombs falling from the sky and we are not at risk of imprisonment for what we say, think or wear.
And not only am I thankful to live in Canada but I am especially grateful to live in British Columbia, particularly the Fraser Valley. The photos are from Harrison Hot Springs where we are blessed with exceptional natural beauty and a soul inspiring arts and music scene. The unexpected extended summer doesn’t hurt either. Enjoy your day!
This past weekend Pam and I ventured up to Whistler village accompanied by our electric bicycles and no children, being the first time we have ventured out for a couple of nights on our own. Leaving our delinquents 12, 15, 17 and 18 split between Harrison and Abbotsford.
I had posted on this on our way up and I’m sure many of you were checking police reports and news media to find out how our children made out, and more importantly if Pam and I were still together.
Well, it was a great success.
Firstly our children did fine without us. I don’t even think we were contacted by them whilst in Whistler.
Bicycling around Whistler gave me a whole new perspective about Whistler. The bicycle trails are great. There are so many trails and they took me to parks, beaches and lakes that I didn’t know existed. Whistler is way more than skiing and the village stores and restaurants. I always liked Whistler. Now I love it.
And Pam and I had a lot of fun together in Whistler. We didn’t spend a lot of time talking about our children (our usual topic). No disagreements! (Although there was that tense moment of back seat driving as I was driving Pam’s van through Squamish). It’s nice to not always spend your time together focused on your children.
A great experience. A Spa in Vernon next month.
It was nice to know that the kids don’t need our constant attention. And yet in another way, kind of sad……..
Pam and I are on the road. We have left all of our cares behind us. Actually it is our children we have left behind. For the first time ever.
As we head up to the apartment in Whistler we have left our children behind in the Fraser Valley. Not an epic odyssey to compete with Homer, but a childless trip none the less. With our children being 12, 15, 17 and 18 it’s not like we are leaving infants that will be snapped up by a child apprehension officer. No chance of that. The government refused to grab them when they were younger no matter how many times we reported ourselves.
Quite simply we are cautious parents. That’s not the same as good parents. We have always worried about them being on their own. So when they have split between Abbotsford and Harrison so have we. Only this week end the family will be split between Whistler, Harrison and Abbotsford.
The reason for this odyssey? Cycling. Pam and I are taking our bikes to Whistler like young athletes do with their expensive sports bikes. We are going with our electric bikes. Admittedly not so athletic although it does take a strong manly thumb to push the throttle of an e-bike. Any way it’s a start.
Several questions come to mind:
For the answer to these and other such burning questions tune in to future Facebook posts.
Did you know that Downtown Abby Lawyers is a full service firm?
Despite the heat, we are open for all of your Real Estate, Wills & Estates, Family and Business. Call in for an appointment with our experienced senior counsel, Gerry Palmer for all your Real Estate and Estate Planning needs.
As we finally enter the lazy, crazy days of summer and try to find time to enjoy the sun and summer activities it sometimes seems that life becomes even busier. Yesterday I raced around with work commitments, a council meeting and finding time to enjoy one of my favourite summertime activities, the Harrison Arts Festival. Last evening we attended poetry and prose readings at the Harrison Corner Cafe. Very impactful readings in a very suitable venue. And a very quiet contrast to the LOUD but enjoyable dance music of two of the three previous nights concerts. A great festival.
But even though the readings were quiet and reflective, after a day of racing around trying to make my schedule work to attend the readings, my mind was still racing, even though my body was relatively still.
A brief walk after the readings brought me to this view. My favorite view in Harrison is looking up the lake at a sunset while standing in front of the resort. Looking at the sunset over the mountain that usually still has snow on it reminds me of my own (insignificant) place in the universe and puts daily concerns into perspective. It is calming. Last evening looking up Harrison Lake over the lit fountain and up the Lake gave me the same sense of perspective and calm.
The buzz of the day was gone.
That’s one of the reasons I love Harrison
As a child growing up in a small northern Ontario mining town I remember trudging through fresh snow on many Halloween nights with my pillow case filled with candy that I would never eat. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of candy I would fill that pillow case several times so that I could hoard away candy that I would not eat and that would eventually be thrown away by my mother. Obviously an early lesson in capitalism and the joys of acquisition. That probably explains why we have the garages of two houses filled with freezers and food, much of it expired. A source of frustration for my spouse, Pam, and ridicule from my friends. But they’ll be whimpering at my door for supplies when a natural disaster strikes. But I digress. I wanted to talk about snow.
Remembering that childhood snow is what has made me resolve to never live anywhere in Canada east of the Fraser Valley.
But this photo from the front of our law office in downtown Abbotsford is taken this morning. Snow before Thanksgiving, you ask? Is there nowhere for me to live to get away from snow?
Well this snow was placed here this morning for the filming of a Hallmark Christmas movie. Although I have never watched one, there seems to be a different Christmas movie shot in downtown Abbotsford every week. They have long ago lost their novelty and have become a nuisance. How many cheesy Christmas movie plots does the world need. In any event they give me a regular exposure to snow. Something that I hate seeing except at ski resorts. It’s amazing how something that was such a large part of the first seventeen years of my life can evoke such strong negative reactions in me now. Much like Velveeta cheese.
Have a good thanksgiving weekend. I’m thankful for my family and the blessings of my life including where I live.
And thankful that snow is no longer a large part of my life. Except for movie sets.
And I’m thankful that I have such convenient access to expired food products.
Count your blessings this weekend!
Firstly, let me out myself. I listen to CBC Radio 1. I love their interview and idea programs like Quirks and Quarks, Ideas and Sunday Magazine. If I’m in the car by myself it’s CBC time. If the girls are with me it’s the music of today. It is that forced exposure to modern music that has made me as cool as I am. Do they still say “cool”?
This morning I had the good fortune to listen to an interview of Lauren McNamera an education researcher who had hearing impairment as a child. She made one comment that has stayed in my mind (even to the extent that I didn’t listen to the sermon in church - like that’s never happened before).
She said of recess at elementary school that the best thing about recess was being with your friends. And that the worst thing about recess was having no friends. She detailed how her hearing impairment isolated her at school and made her the object of ridicule by other kids. And how that impacted her and how long it took her to deal with that in later life.
I always think of myself as someone who tries to do the right thing. But I can’t avoid the memory of a boy in my elementary school in the small northern Ontario Mining town in which I grew up who was ridiculed constantly for being extremely uncoordinated (dyspraxia) and having an odd smell. Did I mention that he also played the bagpipes? The word “itis” was attached to the end of his last name and he was taunted in the playground mercilessly often to tears, by many of his class mates. Sometimes including me. Not often by me, but a couple of times. Even though I occasionally played with him. Even though I could see how cruel this was. But I preferred to be one of the taunters than one of the taunted. Being part of the group that taunted was a form of acceptance. Doing the right thing was not.
I am a work in progress. I am no longer an eight year old seeking acceptance by sharing the cruelty of a peer group. But that does not excuse the impact of that shared cruelty on that boy. I sometimes wonder how his life has developed and whether he overcame that early unnecessary impediment to being a secure accepted person.
My eleven year old son Adam on numerous occasions has stood up for kids at school being ridiculed or bullied. His only fight to date was to pull someone off of his buddy Jugandeep . He is offended in hearing negative comments about the race, orientation, appearance etc of other people and kids. His attitudes are so much better than mine at his age. Not to sound like I’m bragging about him, he does apparently swear like a sailor when no adults are around. We are working on that. But I want to be more like Adam.
What is my point this Sunday afternoon? That we need to be more accepting of everyone. Even people that make us uncomfortable. We need to build a culture of acceptance. In families. In schools. In workplaces. In communities. Even on Facebook. But I compare a young Adam to a young Gerry and I see huge progress. Be more like Adam.
This post has been Adam approved so that I am not invading his privacy
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