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Home2017-04-17T07:03:24-04:00

Some roads less travelled in Nigeria

By |February 22nd, 2020|

EGBE, NIGERIA ✦ We're on our motorcycles — my friend Rick has offered me his for the afternoon — at a place called Prayer Rock. It's a lookout at the end of a bumpy, winding dirt road near this historic town in Kogi province, a brown patch of earth in central Nigeria that's been touched by Canada. It's my last day here. The spot seems as

Settling for only the best

By |February 15th, 2020|

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ This column is about UCU’s new, yet-to-be-named vice- chancellor. But first let me tell you about the Ugandan who was happy to tell me about his recent marriage.“ Congratulations,” I said, before asking, “How old are you?” “Thirty.” I said congratulations again. “That’s a good age.” Then, like a good counsellor

Hockey night in Uganda – remember this

By |February 8th, 2020|

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It’s hockey night in Uganda and you’re running, running, chasing that little red ball that’s, of course, (this is Africa), held together with just hope and tape. During a break, you ask a question. How old are you? “Twenty-one,” someone says. “Nineteen,” says another. "Twenty-two." Another

FaceTime during African sunrises and other musings

By |January 25th, 2020|

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ This morning I FaceTimed the family. Child Number 1, a musical girl, was having sinus pain. So I looked up there and noticed Taylor Swift and a hall of high school girls having a party. Looks like they'd moved from my daughter's inner ear. I suggested this may be causing her pain,

The children of the Nile and a rhythm of rest

By |January 11th, 2020|

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ So I'm back in this East African nation for a working visit. It's also a good time to get myself unplugged. You know, rested and rebooted. The warm days and the warm people and the children help. If you visit (and why don’t you, sometime?) you’ll know what I mean. The children of the Nile,

Once upon a time there was you, and me

By |December 23rd, 2019|

The thing about those wild once-upon-a-time stories is that the good ones are always more true than we imagine. They can touch us profoundly. So here’s one: Once upon a time there was a little girl. A lost girl. Before I share more, though, let me say, as if it needs saying, that being lost is no fun.

Waiting and living: an Advent reflection

By |December 7th, 2019|

Eat. Read. Pray. Fly out the door. School mornings this is the routine in our home. A recent reading was about waiting. Cereal went into empty stomachs. I closed the book and made a comment about slowness. The children’s mother said, “But remember, with God a day is like

So, about the lowly toilet

By |November 23rd, 2019|

There was a time when I wouldn’t think about the lowly toilet. Nor would I consider the lives that each of us are born into through no doing of our own. If anything, during these autumn days I’d think about John F. Kennedy, the former US president assassinated November 22, 1963. That was just before my time

Filling the house with the food of love

By |November 9th, 2019|

I live in a house filled with instruments. And not just instruments, but music. And while this may not be the most dramatic news of the day, it's the most reassuring news of my own day. I might live longer. I'll certainly live happier. Science confirms the truth that we sense.

This weekend, we should all wear turbans

By |October 12th, 2019|

It was early this election season and the news came on TV and it was federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh speaking. Then this question from a certain young lady, a healthcare attendant beside me. She looked at the TV and with raised eyebrow said, “Is he running

Finding your place in the garden

By |September 14th, 2019|

He’s a painter, a tradesman, who never went to university because he started painting early in life and it made no sense to stop. He had steady money while his friends, after graduating from schools of higher learning, struggled as much as they saw any benefits of their money spent. He told me about it recently.

On men, women, Red Green and a Saudi prince

By |August 31st, 2019|

Today let’s talk about men and women and everything I’ve learned about it all from Red Green. And from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. You’ll recall that Red Green ended every episode of his long-running TV show with that special moment from Possum Lodge, what Red affectionately called “The Men’s Prayer.”

Happiness is right here

By |August 3rd, 2019|

The funny thing is that it’s some of the ridiculously cold countries – the freeze the snot on your nose northern nations – that are the happiest. This is what they say. You know. “They.” I just read a report on it. I don’t know. I prefer the beach, myself. Child Number 2, the laughing boy, told me the other morning about a beach in Mexico. “I want to go there,” he said.

Waking up to the shortness of life

By |July 13th, 2019|

I’m gardening with my son, the cool, wet dirt between our fingers. I think of John, my friend, a fellow traveller, recently dead of cancer. He’s still somehow, seen. Still felt. Funny how that goes, how you often miss what’s right in front of you. Then, when you take the time to pause, the smelling salts of life get you to sit up and do what your mother always told you: pay attention!

I got a hole-in-one! (Or did I?)

By |August 1st, 2020|

It was the first stroke on the first hole of the day, a chintzy Par 3 just under 100 yards, with a 7-iron. This is how I recently got a hole-in-one. It’s why I ran round and round, arms raised – hat, sunglasses and club thrown high – celebrating with everybody and nobody in particular.

Freedom is a frame of mind

By |July 11th, 2020|

You can tell some kids just about anything, so if you’re bored this summer tell them that people couldn’t see colour until the 1960s. Before this, everything in the world looked black-and-white. I once told this to my own kids, which is probably one reason why their mother never asked me

Flying the plane of Daily Dadness

By |June 20th, 2020|

Today’s news from the Daily Dad is that if you stick around this fatherhood business long enough, you’ll feel a bit inadequate, if not like some flying villain. But don’t let it get you down because it means that you’re in the game, so to speak, and maybe even its hero.