Monthly Archives: June 2011

Like a Vintage Leather Jacket

I love Hamilton.  Not just cause I grew up here, but I love the whole vibe of this city.  Real. Beautiful. Raw.  As my friend Adrian said a few weeks ago…

Hamilton is like a vintage jacket. Tattered in areas perhaps, but also boasts some VERY nice pockets. Depends on what you’re looking for I guess.


I like that sentiment.  You could choose to see the frayed bits and the scars from past wear or you can choose to see how those things make this city into a treasured, vintage item.  Personally, I choose the latter.



Posted in urban

Oma’s Story

Yesterday I was privileged to attend Oma VanderKooy’s memorial service.  My sister married into a HUGE Dutch family a few years ago, so I was able to spend some time with Oma at many family occasions.  Let me tell you interweb – she was an amazing woman.  At 94 she had wisdom and patience and loved people in a way that I can only hope to someday.   Her life story was one that valued conversation, reconciliation and love over being right.  Whenever she would see brothers and sisters fighting she would tell them about her own brother growing up which would stop any kind of fight and put things into sharp perspective. Oma said he was a pest and would tease her and bug her and was just plain mean.  They did not like each other and fought constantly.  Then WW2 happened, the Nazi’s came and took her 16 yr old brother away, never to know what would become of him.  Oma would then point to the 2 fighting siblings and say, you don’t know what will happen.  Go love your brother.  Go love your sister.  It doesn’t matter.  And that would be the end of it.

The family recounted memories of watered down soup when  company would drop in – then of burnt soup when she would get caught up visiting and forget the pot. She was a genuinely kind person with a simple faith.  She worked hard during her time here but realized that the best things of life -Grace and Love, were gifts.  She knew firsthand that horrible things happened.  Yet Oma still looked for the sweet and the beautiful in life with a simple faith because she knew that she was part of a bigger story than she could understand in the moment.  I hope that someday my story will be as full as Oma’s is.  She will be missed.


Posted in family

The Fall

We stopped at a waterfall in Iceland – gorgeous!  Mark and the kids and myself decided to climb to the top – and we did successfully!  No problems at all.

Then, we hop a little stream at the bottom – boom!  Down I went.

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I knew it was hurt, but didn’t realize how bad it was until we made it to the next town (pop. 300)  to see the doc.  He said without x-rays we wouldn’t know, but we should head back west to Selfoss where we would be closer to the capital if I needed surgery.  Surgery?!  What!?  I’m thinking it’s only a sprain, but to be safe Marcie, Krista and I head back west while the rest of the gang go east.  The plan was that we’d meet up later that night.  Well.  Turns out it was broken and displaced, so did in fact need surgery.  There goes that plan.  The doctor and nurse in Selfoss were so kind – as was the paramedic that transferred me to Reykjavik via ambulance.  My first ambulance ride.  They wouldn’t put the siren on though, so I missed out on that.  Turns out I had to have a plate and screw put in my ankle.  Thank goodness for insurance!!  The nurse knew I was going into surgery first thing in the morning, so called the Canadian Consulate overnight while I slept to make sure someone knew where I was.  Elisabet was an angel!  She visited, brought adapters to recharge my phone, helped me connect with insurance and even arranged a wheelchair for me on the flight home.  Amazing!

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The fall changed the plans for our journey a lot, so everyone came west again.  We were able to get an apartment in the capital for the next few days and just day trip out from here.  A HUGE THANK YOU to the Jeffersons and to Marcie who helped me to carry luggage, pillows for my leg, fed me, and at times even lugged me around when I needed it.  You rock.

Posted in learning

Icelandic Adventure

Currently I am in Iceland taking pictures of the gorgeousness of this land with Krista Jefferson. SO much fun! We’ve seen old viking dwellings, met great icelanders who gave us tips on what not to miss and where to go. Aside from one little incident where I fell into a stream and may or may not have broken my ankle, its been a great adventure. (which I definitely broke and had surgery on.) Don’t worry it’s fine. Here are a few teaser pics to tide you over until we get more wifi…

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Posted in fun, nature