Thursday, February 26, 2009

Winter is a big stick.

-32 or some such nonsense this morning, but hey, the sun's shining, and that's all I need.

I want to say something about friends: they are hugely important to me. Always have been, always will be. I'm the girl from Meadow Lake's Carpenter High School, class of 1981, who still keeps in touch with the old gang, scattered now, as they are, across the country.

I'm still on a "call anytime" basis with my first love, Robbie Hayashi. Hi Rob! Hope the hand's healing.

I still connect with travellers met in the Dominican Republic in 1987 (hello Martens family, in Massachusetts), and in Venezuela in 1993 (howdy to Ron and Jean Koopman in Ottawa), and those met just recently (selamat pagi to Donna Conrad in Sanur, Bali ... and Mowgli in Kuta, Bali ... Sami Rashidi in East Malaysia .... and the BC'ers (ie: Flo in Sechelt ... a crazy-funny body piercer).

Did I meet you at a writers\artists' retreat? Work in retail with you in the 1980s or early 1990s?
Meet you in a church, in a bar, on a beach, in some small town I lived in as a kid (Kyle, Turtleford, Wilkie, Meadow Lake), on a volleyball court, or in university? Did we live on the same block once upon a time? Hey, I still think about you.

Similarly, I try to keep track of my family (hello Ron Meetoos, and hugs to Susanna and Kyara, in Aarau, Switzerland; hey sisters Crystal Herrod and Heather Rutz in Meadow Lake, SK; hi brother Kirby and lovely Laurel in High River, AB; and hello to my parents, Jim and Helen Herr, in Watrous,SK, a mere 1.5 hours down the highway.

It's a big job. It eats up time. I'm not one to let an e-mail sit unanswered. And it's damn straight one of the most important things I do.

Today I want to say hola to a few friends in particular:

Hello, Jeff Reid in Fort McMurray, AB. Can't wait to go for a few runs again this summer.

Hiya to Lynn Cecil in St. Catherine's, ON. Thanks for catching me up on your life.

Hi five to Jeanne Marie deMoissac, in Biggar, SK. I see they've charged the killer.

Rosemary Nixon, in Calgary, how's it going? You work too hard, girlfriend.

Lonnie Starnes, in Saskatoon; it's getting to be too long, my friend (since we were five).

Olga Montes, in Montreal. Beautiful actress and mother, I look forward to raising a glass with you and Johnny soon.

And I'm looking forward to meeting a whole whack of new friends at the Fundacion Valparaiso retreat in Mojacar, Almeria, Spain.

Greetings, American filmmaker Corrie Francis.
Salaam, Hagit Bodankin, Israeli playwright.

Ah, dear friends. You're better than bowl of fresh berries
on a cold winter day.

(These ones are from mein own garden and the local woods:
I'm working on a berry picking\production article for
the Western Producer .. . spent a good hour photographing these beauties yesterday)

To borrow a phrase from a bad American movie: Friends ... "you complete me."

Over and outside (in numerous layers).


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