Friday, May 18, 2018



I see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose the 19th of May this year to get married. We chose the 19th originally for our wedding, which was Monday of the long weekend, then realized if we chose the Sunday instead it would be better for people who were driving in for it (a lot of our friends still worked back then). So we got married on the 18th, and to this day neither of us can ever remember which of the two days it was. 

Happily, Ted made us a huge yellow cedar salad bowl to commemorate the occasion and the date is etched on the bottom so we can easily check!
We met in Tom Wayman's creative writing class in 1991. That's our friend Barb Little sitting between us in this snapshot. Both of us had more—and darker—hair.
We started dating in 1995. Before long, I was coming to visit and bringing Scarlett, my cat who was older than Jesse. Love me, love my cat (and my kid)...
...and my dog, Lily.
The morning of our wedding Ted sat under the old apple tree and attempted to write his vows. He got writer's block, ended up just winging it, so none of us have any idea what he actually said. Mine got written I think the day before. You can read them in the first photo above (thereby covering my self-imposed rule about making every post poetry-related).

Friends came from near and far. A few Torontonians arrived. That's Pegi and Rhonda.
Dee drove in from Vancouver.
Kate, Doug, Toni and Pegi came from Toronto.
Jesse with an armful of Toni and Kate.

There were children galore. Here's Andrew. 
The wedding party. Ted's groomsmen were Greg and Peter, lower right. Ted Hicks, an old friend of my Ted's, came from Winnipeg to marry us, and my boy the minstrel, Jesse Lee, gave me away.
My Ted requested and Ted Hicks played 'Tis a Gift to Be Simple.

Granddaughter, Amber was there. All six months of her. Here she is with her dad...
...and Sarah, her mom...
...and Lolo
Ted's daughter, Shannon was there. Anthony wasn't, as he was busy doing hair for Vancouver brides and is booked way in advance for that sort of thing, but he and Jim made the hemp suit Ted got married in!
Lizz, dancing with a really tall guy and Brittney rocking her cast.
Jesse signing said cast. She scored lots of signatures that day.
Some of the bigger kids—Bronwyn, Jesse, and Matt

Me and Lynne, best old friend since the sixties and my maid of honour.
A couple of weeks before the big day I went all bridezilla and decided my wedding outfit, which was made from a sari I'd had for decades, wasn't at all right. My sister and I went out and got this delightful ensemble, known ever after as the "alternate wedding dress". Alan, my other bridesmaid, would have worn it, had I but asked. At least he got to model it!
We all tidied up quite well, I think.
For a minute, anyway.

There were cousins...
...and aunts and uncles and lots of old friends...
...and sisters (and that Lizz again!)

I was hugging my Uncle Tom. I believe it was right after I told him how, when I was a kid, I was so astonished when I realized that he and Aunt June were hot for each other!
That's Lisa from Montreal on the right. She took most of these pictures and she wasn't even the official photographer.
There was impromptu music thanks to Roger and Judy...
...and Gwen on violin, and Eleanor on mandolin. 
We had a potluck dinner that was truly amazing...
...thanks to Heather, in the centre, who organized it so we didn't end up with all salads or desserts (like that would have been a bad thing!) 
Speaking of dessert, the cakes were divine. Hazelnut. Wish I'd had more than a mouthful!
After the obligatory first dance (to Leonard Cohen singing Always from his album, The Future. Word to the wise: never use as your first dance an eight minute song!)... 
and the we-thought-it-would-never-end song was over, everyone got into the act.
I can't possibly write up this whole wedding extravaganza without at least mentioning our wedding night. The first people to RSVP to our invitation were Dan and Judie, Judie being the first Mrs. Crosfield and mother of their three gorgeous kids. Not only were D and J keen to attend, but Judie gave us a brochure for a B and B she thought we might be able to take advantage of as it wasn't far from the Vallican Whole, where we got married. As both our houses were crammed with guests, we quickly booked the place, for our minister and his wife the night before the wedding, and for ourselves the night of. We kept meaning to check it out ahead of time, but never quite made it until we arrived, newly wed, after an eight hour party. Suffice it to say, it was unique. In fairness to Judie, she only picked up the brochure; she hadn't actually been there, either!
Not surprisingly, there was even a banjo. And fox stoles. And red shag carpeting. And guns. And a scythe. And...stuff. Everywhere. Lots and lots of stuff. Tchotchkes galore. And a bed that sounded as if it might be trying out for a part doing sound effects for a rusty gate in a grade B psychological thriller. (When I tossed my purse on it, it squeaked!) And a bathroom we immediately christened "Seaworld". I'm just sorry this all happened before digital cameras were ubiquitous; by the time we got there I was almost out of film. 
The next day (after we escaped the B and B) we had another party at our house. 
Me and my mom
The Linteds

Happy Anniversary, Ted 
And yes, I'd marry you all over again! 


Wednesday, May 16, 2018



We've all been there, we TABs*. We see someone in a wheelchair, or walking with the assistance of canes, or making do with a prosthetic arm or leg and we think "oh, look how well they get on" without really considering just how challenging that getting on can be. If you want to get more of an idea, go find a copy of A One-Handed Novel ASAP. 

Nanaimo poet and fiction writer, Kim Clark's new novel takes up where one of the stories in her 2011 collection, Attemptations: Short, Long and Longer Stories leaves off. Her protagonist and narrator, Melanie Farrell, has Multiple Sclerosis and has just been to see her neurologist who tells her that among the many dubious adventures her body is likely to take her on, she's only got six orgasms left! 

Six! What to do? How to get the most bang for her buck, as it were? "Every body failure, even a genital one, is a niggling concern when you have a progressive disease." Bet you never thought of that when you were observing someone in a wheelchair trying to negotiate an uneven sidewalk, did you? 

A One-Handed Novel is so many things it's hard to decide in what order to put them. 

It's a examination of the way TABs see the disabled. 

It considers the issue of alternative forms of medicine and how, when one is desperate, those alternatives may demand exploration and hang the expense when it becomes a travelogue, in that it takes the reader to Costa Rica with Melanie when she goes for a controversial medical treatment called liberation angioplasty and meets the homonym-inspired physician, Dr. Falik. 

It's a study in personification when Melanie's left hand goes AWOL on her, is given the name Dick and provides some of the best conversational passages I've seen in yonks. After Melanie meets Leo Moss and decides she'd like to get to know him a little better, this ensues:

     "More is better, right?" I ask my bad hand, parking it on my desk. "You'd feel      better, wouldn't you, if there was a little hand-to-hand—"
     "Combat?" asks my alarmed hand.
     "No. Contact," I reassure it.
     "A hand job?" asks my suspicious hand.
     "No! Just a little shake."
     My bad hand makes a scrunchy "eww" face.
     I tell it, "No, not that! Hand-to-hand, a quick grasp, a warm...oh, never mind!" I pull my sleeve down over it to shut it up. It keeps humming. I try the Napoleon pose. When that doesn't work, I begin telling the apotemnophiliac fairy tale, "Once upon a time there was a very very bad hand..."   (p. 129)

It looks at the difficulties to be found when it comes to the disabled seeking employment and how providing a service such as being a one-person sex-work call centre can provide income and even a roommate, to say nothing of belly laughs for this reader. 

There are times, too, when both Dick and I have to work hard and fast, especially on the special effects. Caro—my first female—is turned on by the sound of my KitchenAid mixer, especially the whisk attachment. Ernie likes to listen to me pee, which means Dick pouring water into the toilet from an impressive height while I giggle and sigh on speaker phone. Shy Paul Two—I have to keep my Pauls straight—gets wood, as he puts it, the size of a banyan tree when I snap my bamboo back-scratcher across my palm—the inside of Dick's head.  (p. 177)

This is followed by a deeper look into what makes Mel's clientele tick. We find out that mix-master Caro wanted to be a chef but thanks to Parkinson's disease can no longer cook for herself. 

There's even a recipe for a scrumptious-sounding dish called Chicken in Mourning that involves the insertion of truffles under the skin (the chicken's, that is); Caro really likes that one. Clark can make anything sound sexy! 

A One-Handed Novel is funny and wry and always intelligent, with a didn't-see-it-coming ending that just begs for a sequel which, I understand, is in progress. 


*Temporarily Able-Bodied