Monthly Archives: July 2016

Happenings in Paradise – The Talent Show

happenings-with-title-boldSo this was what it’s like to be a reporter, Norma thought, as she sat in the middle of the Paris Theater, with her notepad on her lap, and her stack of pens beside her on her seat, ready to assess the local talent. She had arrived early, in order to get a good seat, and the room was finally filling up, so she wasn’t “sticking out like a sore thumb”, as her mother would say.

She had a big job to do tonight. Mr. McCaskill had gone to a conference in Edmonton, and it would be up to Norma to “put the paper to bed,” to take the brown envelope containing the display ads, the classifieds, and the articles to the bus, so that in the morning it would go on to Peace River to be printed. McCaskill had given her so many instructions, her head was spinning. Make sure you number the ads, he said, and check my articles for spelling. And be on time at the depot. They won’t hold the bus for you. read more

After the Boom – Children by Choice Not Circumstance

Mom Putting Baby In Pram

The baby boom still resonates in our society. So much has been said and written about the boomers, with constant speculation about what they will do next. With so much attention centered on them, and especially on their numbers, no one gives much thought to the women who were responsible for them—their mothers.

These were the women who grew up during the depression of the 1930s, coming of age just as WWII was ending—women who would be in their seventies or eighties now. They were in their twenties and early thirties when soldiers came home from the war, yearning for stability, ready to marry and settle down. These young women were unknowing recipients of new and constricting expectations, some imposed by a society tired of self-denial and war, and some imposed by corporations capitalizing on a nation’s desire for the safety and comfort of family. read more

Happenings in Paradise—The Paris Bulletin

happenings-with-title-boldOn Friday, Norma arrived at school late, after a frustrating morning at the Jason’s, where she stayed as a boarder, doing various chores to earn her keep. Everything seemed to go wrong. Mrs. Jason was still in bed when she woke up, and the girls were playing grown-up in the kitchen, pouring cereal into bowls and spilling milk, the baby wet and cranky in his crib. Mr. Jason had long gone. An easy-going man, he often helped Norma with the children on those mornings when his wife stayed in bed, postponing her responsibilities until the very last moment. read more

Are Millennials Questioning The Wisdom of Older People?

wisdom“In youth we learn, in age we understand”.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach wrote these words when she was seventy-five years old. It’s my favourite explanation of wisdom. I’ve gone so far as to print it out on a little card and mount it above my desk, just as a reminder that wisdom, as a by-product of age, has value.

I need to be reminded about that these days, when attitudes about us, the older generation, is eroding, and our place in the world is being questioned.

In the past, when I’ve been frustrated or overwhelmed, it helped to read the quote, and have my spirits buoyed by the idea that, now that I’m older, I have the advantage of being wiser, too. read more

Happenings in Paradise – A Journalist is Born

happenings-with-title-boldRain pelted down on the people of Paris as they entered the community hall to officially name their town. Water from the spring run-off flowed in rivulets across the street, producing a mixture of gravel and gumbo that stuck to their boots, adding a layer of mud to every step.  Norma grumbled as she struggled toward the yard light and into the hall. Her plastic rain cap flew off in the wind, and now her bangs were plastered to her forehead—she knew she looked a mess.

A quick glance around the hall assured her that no one that mattered was there, only a bunch of middle-aged business men and their wives. No one from school, thank God! Tonight she was just a high-school kid sitting at the back of the room, head lowered over a note-book. But by Friday! Different story. They’ll all know her, after reading the Paris Post. A ripple of excitement clamped her stomach, easing into the region of her bladder, and making her want to pee again. But no way was she going to get up and walk in front of everyone to the toilet, situated incomprehensibly behind the speaker. read more