Small Blessings

Small Blessings

Our day driving from Missoula to Billings in Montana did not turn out as we had hoped, though it reminded us of how lucky we are to live in Canada. We enjoyed a full and free breakfast at the Staybridge Suites in Missoula – a property that we would recommend strongly for families  – then
+ Read More

Tackling the Turtle and the Going to the Sun

Tackling the Turtle and the Going to the Sun

They had decided to tackle the north peak of Turtle Mountain, “they” being Michael and Kathryn, my brother- and sister-in-law.  And they were intent to bring Heather and Ben with them.  I’m sure I would have been invited along for the hike but I had ironically ripped my heel open wearing a pair of new
+ Read More

John’s Barber Shop

John’s Barber Shop

Dylan wanted to get his hair cut.  For the record, it was not my suggestion, though I was very accommodating and excited that he wanted to lighten his load.  It had been all the way back in October, shortly after his leg surgery, that we last had his locks cut. Crowsnest Pass, where we are
+ Read More

interPLAY turns a corner

interPLAY turns a corner

I have a confession to make: I’ve never been one to enjoy watching plays during the interPLAY Festival.  I always found it incredibly hard to sit through a show without thinking about the million things that needed to happen outside on the street.  Or, I would find it disarmingly exhausting to stop my body that
+ Read More

interPLAY at Keyano and King

interPLAY at Keyano and King

Outside of the one year that it was held up at the Thickwood Heights Community Centre (1996), the Fort McMurray interPLAY Festival rose from the pavement on Franklin Avenue between Hardin and Main Streets. For 17 of those 19 summers, it went up and came down in a magical flurry of activity on the second
+ Read More

The Pike Fight

The Pike Fight

I was talking on the phone, gripping the BlackBerry to my right ear (as the left one is pretty much useless) and watching the tip of my rod with the pickerel rig and minnows floating just past the spot where the Snye flows into the Clearwater River.  A spotty evening with the odd rain shower
+ Read More

Your computer has been hacked!

Your computer has been hacked!

We get a lot of funny phone calls these days.  From political surveys to unwanted sales calls to unsolicited offers of free air miles, we’ve arrived at the point where we just hang up before anyone speaks. This morning’s call was a little different. “Sir, we have reason to believe that your computer has been
+ Read More

The Other Side of the River

The Other Side of the River

The little black dot emerged from the canvas of green that lines the other side of the Clearwater River, opposite our perch just to the right of the river’s confluence with the Snye – the 300-yard stretch of now stagnant water that resides  between the lower townsite and MacDonald Island in downtown Fort McMurray.  The
+ Read More

The Bag Bylaw

The Bag Bylaw

Back on September 1st, 2010, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) started enforcing the Single-Use Shopping Bag Bylaw.  It has been a contentious piece of local legislation that has supporters and detractors firmly planted on their respective sides of the fence. For those not from Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray, Fort McKay, Fort Chipewyan, Fort
+ Read More

Countdown to interPLAY

Countdown to interPLAY

My summer clock revolves around interPLAY, and has since I moved to Fort McMurray in 1996.  The annual celebration of the visual and performing arts has become part of my circadian rhythm, a piece of my DNA. In less than two week, the festival, which has been staged on Franklin Avenue between Hardin and Main
+ Read More