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Saying goodbye

One of the things that any immigrant or global citizen experiences is missing being ‘there’ for all life events that happen with family and friends. And even if still living in one’s country of birth, the reality today is that many families are scattered around a country too. So being able to say ‘goodbye’ to a loved one in person before they pass on is not always possible. I missed the funerals of both grandmothers – very different yet equally remarkable women.

One also learns to let go of things… after all how much can one really cart around the world? The alternative is to litter storage boxes in various locations and, as the years pass, the likelihood of retrieving them grows less and less. I’ve managed to restrict myself to storage at primarily two locations – my parents and sister’s homes. I harbour a dream to own a house large enough to have a library and ship all my books to where ever that ‘dream home’ will be! (more…)


Daily Prompt: Name that… You!

Daily Prompt: Name that… You!

Do you know the meaning of your name, and why your parents chose it? Do you think it suits you? What about your children’s names?

There have been many ‘Daily Prompts’ that spark an idea and an interest to write a post however invariably I’ve ended up distracted by business or pleasure.

Today caught me between tasks with a bursting desire to share how in 1969 I came to be called “Carissa Lynn” just as in 1971 my sister became “Chandra Jean.”

Chandra & Carissa

Chandra & Carissa enjoying a cousin’s wedding in 2012

As I understand the story, my mother’s first name “Edith” was a bit of a family tradition for a few generations. However… what young woman with a gorgeous singing voice and a desire to spread her wings beyond a small town wants to be saddled with a name like “Edith”? Come on, really?


Home sweet home…

My nephew the monkey - aka veteran tree climber (photo: Carissa Hickling)

My nephew the monkey – aka veteran tree climber (photo: Carissa Hickling)

We’re back in my hometown of Winnipeg, Canada to visit family, friends and catch the 40th Winnipeg Folk Festival. As it is impossible on these trips to see everyone everywhere, my sister and her partner host a “Meet & Greet”. Typically on a Sunday afternoon, the tradition began almost 10 years ago with a Facebook invite to a few folks and has grown into a lovely multi-generational gathering with an age spread of a few months to 80 plus!

It was a beautifully sunny day with a glorious blue sky typical of the prairies – perfect weather for climbing trees and a BBQ. As always, we had a delightful mix of family and friends from various walks of life. I’ve not been surprised to see a priest joking with an ex con, 80s flashbacks of punk school shenanigans shared with earnest academics, folk fest volunteers, survivalist instructor, aerial dancer, politicos, film, digital media, nanny, scientist, environmentalist, geeks to creative types of all kinds, self-made international business person, homemakers (male and female persuasion)… It’s a kaleidoscope of near and dear – each distinct characters that come together for a rollicking good time. (more…)

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