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The wonder of the great outdoors

By |August 7th, 2022|

According to my phone GPS, two of the three children are gone. I asked their mother about this. “Yes, Number Two and Number Three,” she said. “Oh,” I said. When did they leave? “Early summer.” “Yes, of course. To where?” “Camp.” Only Child Number One, the Mac nursing student who’s working in a nearby seniors home, sleeps

The road to “I’m sorry”

By |July 23rd, 2022|

My teens call me “Papi” and “Paps” these days. “Good morning, Papi.” I don’t mind. It’s from “Papa,” the origin of “Pope.” But I’m no Catholic. I’m just a dad who’s happy to find some heart and courage and brains, happy to get the kids further along life’s yellow brick road in one piece. My neighbour is a devout Catholic.

Getting to know our nation’s soul

By |July 2nd, 2022|

One summer day my eldest and I took a selfie at the corner of Portage and Main. We were exploring. I’d already  explored enough of Canada by myself. Once I took the train Toronto to Vancouver, before getting up to Tofino to stand in the Pacific with raised arms. As a dad, things are now different.

Being good at being single

By |June 18th, 2022|

Most of us have no clue what we’re doing in these matters of the heart, but if you’re looking, and if it’s any help, here’s something for a summer day. It starts with a fine young lady, Corinna. Little Boy Hopeless, that’s me, hit her with a rock. In Grade 2. Seated behind her, I’d also pull her dark, silky hair. I liked her

What, really, is in a name, after all?

By |June 4th, 2022|

It was one of those funny things. My eldest was with me at a garage getting our car checked when she said, “Dad. Look!” I turned to see a set of summer tires, ready for some stranger’s car. “Guenter,” the unknown owner’s name, was written large on the four tires that were stacked like a question mark.

My father’s final lasting peace

By |May 7th, 2022|

Peace can be a strange thing. When I turned 12, my father sat me on the cement ledge at the front of our house to tell me about it. When he was 12, he was taken prisoner by the Russians. Then his escape. And other stories. Hard stories. I needed to know, now that I was a man, so to speak.

Death. Forgiveness. Rebirth. This is Easter.

By |April 16th, 2022|

Here’s a question for Easter weekend. Here’s also a parable. And something about birds. The question came at the dinner table from one of my girls when she was younger. This is what she asked. “What did Jesus do between Good Friday

We need water like we need air

By |March 19th, 2022|

We thirst. I was reminded of it in a recent email from a Hamilton friend in Nigeria. He shared how during dry season it’s hard to find clean water, whether in towns and cities or for the masses living in bush areas. He said it as plainly as anyone can. “Water is life.” It is. We need water

What “living with it” looks like

By |February 26th, 2022|

It was on the streets of Uganda with shoppers scurrying to beat the rain when the masked woman with the colourful umbrella passed me, or I passed her, a moment, like 10 million others, that would already be forgotten if not for my handy phone camera. Later, in Kampala, reading a recent

Love and all its absurdities

By |February 12th, 2022|

Today, with Valentine’s rounding the corner, let’s talk about love and insanity. First, under the heading, “Everything I’ve Learned In Life, I’ve Learned From My Teenagers,” let me say that there are never a lack of new and exciting lessons. “You know, Dad,” my eldest said recently. “Don’t

Back to school at last — in Uganda

By |February 5th, 2022|

You’re riding on the back of a boda boda, not the safest place on the planet. Paul manoeuvres the motorcycle through some wild traffic while you talk about the school lockdown that’s finally over in this East African nation. “Are you happy?” you ask. “So much,” says Paul, and laughs. It’s a

Our life isn’t meant to be safe

By |January 15th, 2022|

So here we are in a shiny new year – Happy New Year, by the way – and what comes to mind but the darn cemetery. It’s a fine cemetery, really, historic and beautifully-terraced and a refreshing morning walk. Most mornings I’m there with the dog. There we go through the park, past the rink

Finding joy in our journey

By |December 25th, 2021|

I was driving downtown and it was courage as much as joy that came to mind. I’d just driven past a rather unpretentious display with the letters J-O-Y. The O had a nativity scene formed inside. The small, three-letter word was lit in front of a church. It wasn’t much, really.

The wonder of the great outdoors

By |August 7th, 2022|

According to my phone GPS, two of the three children are gone. I asked their mother about this. “Yes, Number Two and Number Three,” she said. “Oh,” I said. When did they leave? “Early summer.” “Yes, of course. To where?” “Camp.” Only Child Number One, the Mac nursing student who’s working in a nearby seniors home, sleeps

The road to “I’m sorry”

By |July 23rd, 2022|

My teens call me “Papi” and “Paps” these days. “Good morning, Papi.” I don’t mind. It’s from “Papa,” the origin of “Pope.” But I’m no Catholic. I’m just a dad who’s happy to find some heart and courage and brains, happy to get the kids further along life’s yellow brick road in one piece. My neighbour is a devout Catholic.

Getting to know our nation’s soul

By |July 2nd, 2022|

One summer day my eldest and I took a selfie at the corner of Portage and Main. We were exploring. I’d already  explored enough of Canada by myself. Once I took the train Toronto to Vancouver, before getting up to Tofino to stand in the Pacific with raised arms. As a dad, things are now different.

Being good at being single

By |June 18th, 2022|

Most of us have no clue what we’re doing in these matters of the heart, but if you’re looking, and if it’s any help, here’s something for a summer day. It starts with a fine young lady, Corinna. Little Boy Hopeless, that’s me, hit her with a rock. In Grade 2. Seated behind her, I’d also pull her dark, silky hair. I liked her