About the Author
Photo by Don Craig
I was born in Alberta (1961) and I grew up on a farm perfectly located for a fabulous view of the Rockies when we were homeward bound from Carstairs or Didsbury. Big sky country. I had loving parents, a sister and a brother, and a grandma living right next door. The homestead was right beside a creek that looped in such a way that if you dropped the canoe in the water down at the ford beside the barn, you could paddle with the current for about fifteen minutes, portage, paddle some more, and end up right where you began. Silver willow, mint, beavers, deer . . . it was wonderful.
In spite of that, I was a square peg of a child (I think most children are) and what I remember about school can be summed up as acute discomfort most of the time. Does anyone enjoy school? I suppose some people enjoy bits of it.
When my dad died in a farming accident (1980) I went off the rails and spun around in a restless way for about a decade. I did a lot of interesting things, I guess: I spent some time on Haida Gwaii, went to Red River, Saskatchewan and Malaysia with Canada World Youth, settled in Tuktoyaktuk for five years and ended up in Victoria doing an English degree.
Getting pregnant in my last year of university changed everything. Finally my bones knew what I was alive for. My partner was bartending; I looked after our son and three years later, we had a daughter. I had a couple of house-cleaning clients, and a filing gig once a week. We lived as cheaply as possible (with the help of the library), and for a long time the answer to every question was “because it’s good for the family.” Even when I did something creative, I was thinking, “Here I am, role-modeling quality of life and self-respect.”
I ended up doing the Care Aide course in 1999 because it was a quick solution to a bad financial problem. By accident, I found my calling. I am one of the lucky ones: I love my job.
For the last twenty years, I’ve had a casserole kind of a life. My partner went back to school and threw a teaching degree on top of his Physics BSc. I’ve been busy: work, writing, growing children, aging parents, sewing projects, teenage children, fitness routines, reading, coffee with friends, adult children, change, change, change. All the ordinary stuff. The components of my life, big and small, have jumbled together. Always with the feeling that time is flying. Always thinking, “I am so much older than my dad was when he died.”
Life is still sweet. I am one of the lucky ones.
About the Playlist
Most of the music in the playlist at the end of my novel is readily available on Youtube and Spotify, but you can listen to the music of Quote aka Ueda Kurou here: