*We continue to follow Heirloom Portraits Photographer Katelyn Krueger in Northern Canada through her pictures and thoughts.*

We have all been somewhere that we feel a connection with. A place you might even feel instantly at home, like you belong there.  Somewhere you will go back to  over and over again. Of course, the people who live there contribute a lot to that sense.  Personally I have found a couple of places like that. One is Las Vegas and the other is Glenlea, Manitoba (I know, opposite ends of the spectrum).  Rankin Inlet is that place for Kate. As soon as she lands I receive a message from her, “I am in my happy place.” (It’s on my bucket list)


Rankin Inlet

“Rankin Inlet is an Inuit hamlet on Kudlulik Peninsula in Nunavut, Canada. Located on the northwestern Hudson Bay, between Chesterfield Inlet and Arviat, it’s the regional centre for the Kivalliq Region. In the 1995 Nunavut capital plebiscite, Iqaluit defeated Rankin Inlet to become territorial capital of Nunavut.” Wikipedia

Kate’s first comment on her first image pretty much sums it up.

Welcome Home! — in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

The Big Dipper!!! NICE

Don’t think this turned out too bad using my cell phone. — in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Love its reflection. — in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

The annual photo with my favourite Inukshuk.

You can tell the star of the show was the “Northern Lights” this trip with Kate’s favourite Inukshuk playing a very strong supporting roll.

Part of my job working for Heirloom Portraits is to scout for new photographers. Working as a photographer for Heirloom is one of the coolest jobs on the planet. Literally. It envelops all meanings for cool.

The ad for the job reads like this…

“Are you looking for adventure? Do you live to photograph? Our Photographers visit towns and experience travel that the average Canadian will never get to enjoy. Every day is a new and interesting experience.”

Job Title: Travelling Mobile Family and School Photographer
Location: Northern Canada including Ontario, Manitoba, Nunavut, North West Territories, Labrador, etc.”

It’s not an easy job. Photography skills are involved (although plenty applied that had none). It involves a lot of travel to remote areas in Canada. You are away from home for long periods of time (no you cannot make it home for visitations on the weekend). Your accommodations will not be 5 star hotels (because they do not exist in these remote areas). It is usually cold. You will probably be snowed in at one point or another. It is the kind of job that you either love and never want to give up or you find out pretty quickly that it’s not for you.

Heirloom is an amazing company to work for and the people who work there are a remarkable team. Our photographers know that although they may be out there on their own, the team is just a phone call/text/message away. It’s really kind of tricky to explain to you what our photographers experience. I listen to the stories and look at the photos and I am alway in awe (and a whole lot jealous). As our 2018-2019 season has just begun, I thought it would be interesting to see Northern Canada through the eyes of one of our photographers.

Say “Hello” To Photographer Kate

Kate is now in her 5th year with Heirloom. In my opinion she was born for this job. So, I asked her a few questions…

Me: When we first hired you, what was it that made you think you would like to do this job?

“I have always loved going to new places or even returning to the same places. Travelling in general is exciting to me. Photography was something I have always loved. So to find a job where I am travelling and doing photography, it’s a dream come true.”

Me: What is it about the job that makes you want to keep doing it?

“I still love travelling and I still love photography. The connections I make with the people in each community keep me wanting to come back. I have seen children grow from babies and are now in Kindergarten. I have become “Aunty” to some of them in a few different communities. Why would I want to give that up?”

My plan is to share Kate’s season with you through her pictures and her thoughts. Her first stop was Baker Lake, Nunavut.


Baker Lake, Nunavut 

This is where Baker Lake, Nunavut is in Canada. GoogleMaps

According to Wikipedia, Baker Lake is a hamlet in the Kivalliq Region, in Nunavut on mainland Canada. Located 320 km inland from Hudson Bay, it is near the nation’s geographical centre, and is notable for being the Canadian Arctic’s sole inland community. The hamlet is located at the mouth of the Thelon River on the shores of Baker Lake.

Here is Kate’s Baker Lake…

Welcome to Baker Lake, NU — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

The Airport In Baker Lake, Nunavut

The town

Made friends with a Siksik — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

He liked getting his picture taken… — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

It’s hard being a model so he needed some food. — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.


In Baker Lake, Nunavut.

This is one way to transport myself and gear to a new school – in a grocery truck! A great way to start a morning, with bananas — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

Apparently I’m funny. The kids all wanted me to have a picture so this is what we got!  🙂  — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.


Sandhill Cranes

In Baker Lake, Nunavut.

I have been visiting Baker Lake now for four years and this is the first time I made it to the Inukshuk. Every year I’d say I will get there. I finally did it!  — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

I hope you will enjoy seeing more of Northern Canada through Kate’s eyes in future posts.

I am delighted! Now that’s a word I can honestly say I have never used when describing myself. Check out the very talented Mike Allegra’s doodle of me over at HeyLookAWriterFellow.

How could I not be delighted? Thanks Mike. via Here Ya Go! The Winning Doodle!

Family Secrets

Every family has secrets. They may not admit it but they do.

My family just happens to have more than most. That happens when you have a large family. A family that is “blended” from different parents and adoption can have some stories. Add in-laws and the secrets can get way out of control.

My birth was one of the bigger ones. Yes, I was an illegitimate child. According to “legend” my grandmother tried to pass me off as a neighbour’s kid that my Mom was babysitting. Let me just say my Mother was a great baby sitter. Don’t ask me about my grandmother.

Perhaps the longest kept secret (at least for me) was who my biological father was. I found out when I was in my early 20s and actually met him just before my 27th birthday.

Of course we have had our share of drug users and abusers. I believe every family does.

Unfortunately, we’ve also had family members  behind bars.

Pat in jail

No this one is not real. In this case we were exploring an old jail in Cobourg, ON that has been turned into a restaurant.

Yes, all of these were some of the worse kept secrets in history. There is one secret, though, that has been kept secret until just recently. It’s absolutely, hands down the best kept secret in all of my family.

Ralph’s Plum Jam. As a matter of fact when I started this post in 2014 I turned to He-Who and said, “I need that recipe for your brother’s jam to finish this post.” He looked at me with a blank stare.

He-Who: “What recipe? I don’t have the recipe. He doesn’t give it to anyone.”

Me: “You told me last week he finally gave in and gave it to Keri-Lynn (He-Who’s daughter)”.

He-Who: “That did not happen.”

I will not burden you with the rest of that conversation. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  Four years later I still do not have the recipe, Ralph has moved away from his plum trees and we are always on the search for plum jam.

We all have one of “those” relatives that are hard to explain. For me, it’s this guy. Captain America.

Even though Bruce is referred to as “My Brother-In-Law From Hell”, full disclosure, I love this man. Frequently, however, our opinions are galaxies apart. Infinite galaxies. But over the years we have found ways to work around our differences without involving any death stars. Sparring, tucking, rolling…you get the idea. That all changed over the past year. You see, my Brother-In-Law…bare with me…this is so hard…*weeping*…supports #45. In a BIG way!

OK. There. I said it. Just yesterday I was talking to Barrie Doyle , a former professor (now friend), at one of his book signings. We were talking about how this particular difference of opinion has divided long-time friends and even family members. It has brought out the worst in everyone. I was determined not to to let this happen between Bruce and I. Soooo…this is how our conversations go whenever politics rears its ugly head:

Him: He’s great!

Me: I love you Bruce.

Him: Did you see whatever very, very amazing thing he did that day?

Me: I love you Bruce.

Him: He’s making everything better!

Me: I love you Bruce.

This will go on until he either gives up and leaves the room, or I leave the room, or my sister comes into the room, gives us both “the eye” and asks what’s going on, at which point we both leave the room. My latest visit  south of the border put me in a very awkward spot. Bruce was doing something to my vehicle (no, he wasn’t cutting the brake lines) as he keeps the thing going for me. Then he took it for a spin, but within the length of two houses, turned around and put it back in the driveway. He immediately told me “there is no way you can drive that car.” It was unsafe. The back wheel was about to fall off. This resulted in me driving with Bruce in his truck to get parts for my car. I was trapped in the front seat for the duration.

Later, when I started to tell He-Who about my being a captive audience, He-Who started to laugh uncontrollably. He didn’t stop all night. Every time he looked at me he started to laugh again. He knew exactly what had happened — Bruce started singing #45’s praises as soon as my seatbelt clicked. I was like a deer caught in headlights. Now, this man was taking me to get parts for my car. Then he would take those parts and fix my car (no matter how long it took) so I could drive back home, safely. There was no way I was going to berate his hero. So I bit my tongue. I bit the inside of my mouth. I recited to myself, “I love you Bruce. I love you Bruce”…the whole way. When we got back he had a big grin on his face and I looked like Munch’s The Scream. My sister took one look at me and did a double facepalm. 

Here’s the thing. This man who makes me crazy with his politics is also kind, big hearted, generous, brave, hard working and… my family. That’s not to say that he’s a saint. He’s made his share of blunders. He’s also the first person to offer a helping hand. He would give you the shirt off his back and offer to have it cleaned first. As I said, over the years, he’s kept more than one of my vehicles on the road. He works hard at whatever he takes on. Some of his construction jobs have had him working in sweltering heat or frigid ice. He’s worked at heights that he admits terrify him. Not too long ago he had to conquer both his fear of heights and “big ass” spiders while working on the Grand Island Bridge.

Off the job he’s the first to volunteer when someone needs a nail hammered, a screw turned, or a shower plumbed. He’s a good husband to my baby sister

and a good father to her children. Raising them as his own and putting up with a lot that only a father could understand. He has kept his family safe and sound. When someone needs him, he’s there, usually before he is asked. And one of the things he does better than anyone, is making this little one feel like a real life Princess.

Not the one on the left. The little one on the right is his Princess.

He is her Prince Charming, her hero, her Papa. He calls her his Best Buddy.

All of his grandchildren know that he will never let them down. He will listen to them and embrace them with a hug that you know is genuine. I can vouch for that hug. He greets me with one of those hugs and says good bye with one of those hugs. Every time!  It makes you feel loved and cared for. One of his favourite things is to be the first person to wish me a Happy Birthday. On that day every year, long before the sun is up, the phone will ring and I am treated to his rendition of “Happy Birthday”. He is a man of many talents and quite the mystery, I might add. Perhaps a little more like James Bond than Captain America.

Although I refuse to agree with his politics, I can’t bring myself to hold them against him. Unless, of course, I get trapped in a car alone with him again.

It’s a sad day in Canada. We are still reeling from the tragedy of April 6th when a bus carrying 29 members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team crashed in Saskatchewan, leaving 16 players and staff dead and 13 injured. The next couple of weeks were filled with sorrow, tears, questions, shows of support from far and wide…and funerals. Many funerals. How does anyone make sense of such a tragic accident?

#PutYourSticksOut:Humboldt Broncos

Yesterday, April 23, 2018, will be another day we’ll all remember. Not because of “a tragic accident”, but because of a senseless, violent, intentional act.  An act that left 10 people dead and 14 injured on the street in the middle of a bright, sun shiny day in North York, a suburban district of Toronto. One 25 year old man deliberately pointed the rented cargo van he was driving into pedestrians as they enjoyed the first spring-like day at the end of a very, bitter, winter. He didn’t stop. For 2.2 km (almost 1.4 miles for our American friends), he continued to smash into poles, benches, walls and people, leaving a trail of bodies along the way.

The times in which we live make it impossible (unless you live in a cave) to not know what happened. In graphic detail. The news outlets were on scene almost immediately as most of them are based in the city. Regular programming was cancelled and countless reports told the story along with endless on-scene videos and photos from every angle imaginable. Cell phones and social media supplied images all day.

I am very close to my younger sister’s children. They are as close as I can get to having children of my own. From the moment they were born I spent as  much time with them as possible. I used to take them everywhere. When Andrew, who is the older of the two kids, was about three, I strapped him into his car seat and drove about 130 km (about 80 miles) into Toronto for the annual Photography convention. It is a huge convention at one of the largest venues in Toronto, with thousands of people in attendance each year. We had a delightful drive into the city. I parked my car, then made my usual clumsy attempt at getting Andrew unharnessed. His eyes were big as saucers. I lifted him out and nonchalantly placed him on the pavement. As I watched his face, his eyes got even bigger. He lifted his head up, taking in his surroundings. He continued to lift his face heavenward as he tried to see the tops of the buildings and the CN Tower. Higher, higher, higher! Until he flipped over backwards. I managed to catch him before he hit the pavement. It hadn’t occurred to me that he had never been out of Niagara Falls. He had never seen the big city of Toronto in all its glory. Looking at our surroundings through his eyes made every thing seem brighter and shinier for me.

That was 30+ years ago.  It’s hard for me to imagine a child feeling that sense of wonder at seeing the tall buildings now. They would have seen it all on their tablet. They would have been exposed to all kinds of experiences on their TVs. Like the horrific scenes from yesterday’s tragedy. How do they “see” those things? How do they process what they see? And how, please tell me how we explain to the children why this would happen?


(This showed up on my facebook page this morning – April 25 – and it seemed appropriate to share it here)

Michael de Adder

From Micael de Adder – Cartoon for April 24. #HumboldtStrong #humboltbroncos #TorontoAttack #TorontoStrong #TorontoMapleLeafs #Toronto


We Did!

Last week He-Who posted something that caused quite a stir amongst hour Facebook “Friends” most of whom are actually friends and family. Well, actually, all he did was change his relationship status.

There were questions. A lot of questions. Most people automatically assumed we had done this in Vegas. People always thought we would get married in Vegas. As a matter of fact, so did we.

That’s not what happened.

My long time friend, Lauren, pretty much summed up the queries for everyone in her response…
“WHAT!?!?!?!?! (making a sound only a dog can hear). That’s fantastic, you two! Congratulations! Why, where, how, ???”

What? Yes, we actually did get married on Wednesday, February 21st. After 22 years of being “engaged” we did it! Here is the proof.

As for that dog noise, you would be surprised how many times I heard that on the phone in the past week. I didn’t realize most of the people we knew could make that high-pitched noise.

Why? Like I said, after 22 years of being engaged we figured we were probably in the Guinness Book of Records (with some padding) for the longest engagement on record. Honestly, it just felt like the time was right.

Where? After some deliberation and He-Who absolutely putting his foot down against going to the Drive-Thru Wedding Chapel in Niagara Falls, we decided to do it closer to home. There were a couple of quaint restaurants near where I work that I thought could double for lunch & vows. The first had stopped doing their restaurant and the other was under construction. I ended up booking the Card Room in our building for an hour. There was a nice fireplace and room for five of us (Bride, Groom, Chaplain and two witnesses) to have a picture taken and sign papers. The night before, He-Who was in the management office for another reason and mentioned what we were planning to do in the card room. The management office flatly refused to let us use the room. We promised we only needed it for about 15 minutes and there would be no food or drink or partying…but they dug in their heels and would not allow us to use the room. According to them you are only allowed to have two outside visitors in the room. We had three. So the morning of, we had to improvise and just did it in our apartment. There isn’t really room for five people in our apartment so we stood around awkwardly until we started. We said our vows. We all signed the papers and then we went to the Pickle Barrel at Sherway Gardens for lunch.

How? We went to City Hall in Niagara Falls and bought ourselves a marriage licence. I immediately began to plot for the Drive-Through elopement thing, but as I said before, He-Who was having none of it. He did contact his long time friend Shawn from Winnipeg who is now the Chaplain at Woodbine Racetrack. Shawn agreed to officiate and volunteered his lovely wife JoAnn (who is also from Winnipeg and also works at the track). All we needed now was one more witness. Another long time friend, Sandy, from Winnipeg, now a trainer based at Woodbine (is anybody sensing a theme here?) agreed to help us out. We had a great lunch and a nice visit.

Did I mention our wedding photographer was our wonderful waitress at the Pickle Barrel? Maybe we should be professional wedding planners.



With Love

All of my kids are rentals. They always have been. Which is just my adorable way of saying I have no children of my own. Not one. It also means that I can always give them back. I can get them all wound up, feed them sugary delights, let them experience their free will and then completely drop them off at home with their not so unsuspecting parents.

I’m in there somewhere!

It’s the price one pays for having an hour or two of freedom from this…

Apparently, it’s well worth the price.

My first couple of rentals came along when I was still really just a kid myself. I loved babysitting my nephews but they were a handful. Now those two boys have sons that tower over me.
Over the years I accumulated more nieces, nephews, God children and some that just called me “Aunt”. I played with them, fed them and put them to bed. I would take them to fairs, plays and shows. We would sing silly songs. I would tell them stories and we would make things. There was a time when I spent endless hours making them gifts. I always wanted them to have something special to keep that I made especially for them. Sadly, only a few of those things have survived. They made me gifts. I still have every one. I have files of pictures drawn and painted. When they come off the fridge they go into a file. Other things, I proudly display in my home.

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I would also buy them books. I love to read and I wanted to share that with them. I’m proud to say that most of my rentals do love to read and are more grateful for those books now than when they received them.
Now that I am a Grand Aunt, things are different. The biggest change, the one that brought on almost every other change, is the computer. Everything we now own  is computerized. I like to think I keep up pretty well, but at Christmas I got a real awakening. One of my grand nephews took the hand-written card I had attached to his Christmas gift over to his father and asked him to read it to him. I know my grand nephew can read, my penmanship isn’t that bad and it wasn’t a longwinded note (I know, hard to believe) so I asked him why he’d asked his dad to read it.

Grand Nephew: I can’t read writing.
Grand Aunt: What?
Nephew: They don’t teach you how to write in school anymore.
GA: Well, I had heard that, but for some reason it didn’t occur to me that they wouldn’t be able to read it.
N: If they don’t teach him how to write it, how are they supposed to read it.
GA: How does he write his name?
GN: I print it.
GA: No. I mean how do you do your signature.
N: He prints it!
GA: So if he signs a legal document at some point in his life he will just print his name?
N: That’s right.

Then he read the card to his son, “With love, Aunt Michelle and Uncle Paul”.

Over the years I have learned to keep my mouth shut when it comes to rearing children lest I hear those heartbreaking words, “you don’t know, you don’t have kids”, or a reasonable facsimile. How has this happened? I’ve always considered my signature part of my personality. Half the clothes kids wear today have someone’s signature on them.

I guess if I want to communicate with anyone younger than me I am going to have to pick up my printing skills. I have visions of future scientists uncovering some old Christmas cards and trying to decipher them much like we do the hieroglyphics in the caves from prehistoric man.

I feel so old!

There are a lot of things that come to mind when you talk “Canadian”. I mean truly Canadian.  The beer, Hudson’s Bay Company, peameal bacon, butter tarts and one of my personal favourites…this little ditty.

The list is endless. Of course there are some things we’d rather not take credit for. Justin Bieber comes to mind. But one thing that most Canadians (not me) love to brag about, is their “Timmies”. Yes, we even have a pet name for it.

Image from Facebook captioned “You can’t get any more Canadian than this”.

Tim Horton’s, named for the now deceased, original owner and long time defenceman for the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. Ahh. Hockey. Another Canadian point of pride.

Image from Pinterest under Canadian images.

Tim Horton’s is the company that coined the phrase, “double-double”.  In my humble opinion, the reason double-double became so popular is because two sugars and two creams is the only way you can drink what they call coffee. (I can actually feel the hate mail being directed at me right now.) Every time I see a lineup at a Timmies kiosk or drive-through, I shake my head. For the record, I am not one of those fancy, shmancy $10 coffee drinkers either. I drink my coffee like my Scotch—straight up. No milk. No sugar. Just coffee! Quite frankly, one of the best cups of coffee also happens to be one of the least expensive. At McDonald’s. I have spent my share of time in a Tim Horton’s but you won’t catch me lining up for it.

Lately, Timmies has been in the news for their reaction to a recent Ontario minimum wage hike. It wasn’t pretty. Some franchise owners cut hours and benefits of their employees, which led to boycotts and protests. All in all, it has been a pretty messy couple of weeks for Tim Horton’s. It’s a mess that reminded me of a post I started and never finished and this seems as good a time as any.

First of all, I’m not even sure how “Canadian” Tim Horton’s is anymore. I’m not a business expert, but Tim Horton’s is owned by a Canadian company, Restaurant Brands International, a company created to merge with an American company, Burger King. However, Restaurant Brands International is majority-owned by a Brazilian investment company, 3G Capital.  Doesn’t that make it Brazilian? (You’d think they would have better coffee.)

So what’s my problem with Tim Horton’s anyway, other than bad coffee and not really being Canadian? This mess is my problem right here.

There’s a Tim Horton’s at the top of the road that leads to Lake Ontario, the boardwalk, trails and Frenchman’s Bay where I used to walk every day. There is a trail all the way down that road and in each of those areas…of Tim Horton’s debris.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize that the real culprits in this mess are the lazy humans that can’t walk a few steps to the garbage receptacle they probably just passed. I mean that literally. The city takes very good care of this area. There are garbage containers everywhere and they are emptied out constantly throughout the day by conscientious workers who actually take pride in the area. When I say a few steps away this is what I’m talking about…

just a few steps away.

Oddly, there is no McDonald’s, Wendy’s, corner store or any other kind of debris displayed along the same journey.

My big idea at the time, was for Tim Horton’s to hire students to just walk around all day and pick up Tim Horton’s debris. Each Timmies should be responsible for a certain radius around their shop. It would show community support, a concern for the planet and provide kids with jobs. How could they go wrong? All it would take is minimum wage…oh, yeah. That’s a problem.

Somehow, I don’t think this was the legacy Tim Horton thought he would be leaving behind.


Yes, I miss the beautiful area I recently left. It has been a huge adjustment, going from a spacious house near the waterfront to a big city high rise. I miss walking in all the beauty that was around me. Sure, there are treadmills down in the exercise rooms but it’s hardly the same. What I miss most, however, is the cast of characters I would see every day. Some I got to know—we would chat along the way until they could no longer tolerate matching my slow speed and they would be off. Some I just saw and amused myself making up stories about them.

The Black Queen – Selita is a beautiful black lady with the most enchanting smile. Even her name was beautiful. She moved with the grace and poise of royalty,  and always made a point of greeting me like I was a celebrity.

The Nun – She work at the Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre in Pickering. I swear she only comes up to my right boob (we all know it hangs lower than my boobette). And she’s so fast! There’s no way I could keep up with her little legs. She would always have to stop to talk to me. I don’t know how she did it, but even on the most hot and humid days she was fully clad in her heavy, dark brown habit.

The Celebrity – It took me awhile to figure it out but one of the women I talked to every day was someone quite well-known in the area. I had never seen her without her makeup, hair and wardrobe done to perfection. She was sweet and demure, always happy as she struggled to keep her two dogs (one almost bigger than her) under control. If it wasn’t for the fact that HeWho always had a crush on her she may have stayed incognito for ever. We were looking…ok, I was looking, HeWho was drooling…at one of her publicity shots when it clicked. She was the woman I talked to every morning. The revelation almost got HeWho walking with me.

The Nerd – We had a lot in common. We both worked from home and spent way too much time at our computers. I got to know her the best, as our chats were the longest and most personal.

White Dawg – A lovely man with a big white dog. He always showed a quick wit. He had a twinkle in his eye that you knew meant he could stir up trouble.

The Stretchers – Two very attractive young women who spent a great deal of time stretching. I never saw them walking or running, or anything else for that matter. They would stop their flexing to offer me an encouraging word or compliment on how much I was improving.

The Picnic People – When I walked along Frenchmen’s Bay I would see this elderly couple having a picnic. A full-blown breakfast picnic. They had the wicker basket and red gingham table cloth. Real glasses & silverware. He was dressed casually, but with a tie. She wore a lovely summer dress.  It was a picture right out of a 1950’s glossy magazine. They chatted, laughed and looked at each other like teenagers in love. I often felt like a voyeur watching them.

The Fishermen – There were all sizes and ages of anglers. They all had different gear and their favourite spots. Every one of them would give you a hearty, “Good Morning!” But nothing more. They were serious about their fishing.

Poke E Man – One morning the Boardwalk was just crazy with young people of a generation that are rarely out of bed at that time unless it was a school day. They were moving around erratically, holding their smart phones in front of them. It took me a few minutes but I figured it out. They were playing Pokemon Go. I approached one of them and it was confirmed that there had been a sighting. People were flocking in to capture a Pikachu, or whatever. My knowledge of the game stops there.

Frosty & Kilo –  On the coldest of days I would run into a wonderful character in a 3-wheeled, motorized chair and his beautiful dog, Kilo. It was anyones guess who was walking who. You could physically see the love between this dog and his human. The stories this weathered veteran told were well worth a stop and listen. His full grey beard would have icicles hanging off it but it never seemed to bother him. He was always cheerful and entertaining.

Nancy Boy – He calls me Nancy every time he sees me even though I tell him at least twice a week that my name is Michelle. He always looks surprised and says,  “Wow! I wasn’t even close”.

Neon Man – You could see him from a mile away. He always wore shiny neon yellow or green body suits and I would want to don sunglasses as he approached. There would be a smile (almost as bright as his suits) and a wave and off he’d go.

The Foreign Prince – I never quite figured out where he was from. He was very exotic looking and meticulously groomed. Well spoken with an accent I couldn’t place. He always had time for a chat and then he would be on his way.

It was quite the cast of characters. Always friendly, entertaining and encouraging.

The standout in this play, however, was the scenery. We all felt privileged to have it available to us and counted ourselves very lucky. Early one morning I found an arm of my route quite different. Someone had decorated the little pier in a mysterious way. The decorations were beautiful, very detailed and looked to be hand-made. As each of my fellow walkers/runners joined me, we all stood slightly stunned. It seemed almost reverent, but in this entire cast of characters not one of us had a clue what it was all about. I still have no idea. I did, however, take pictures.

Somewhere in the blogosphere I know someone can solve the mystery. I would love to know!

Scot Loyd

Thought. Peace. Love.

Tom Lucas


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