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PROLOGUE

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April 25th; my birthday. I opened my eyes to my 65th year of living a wonderful life. Lying in bed, not yet stirring, I looked out through my fifth storey window; the reward and magic of my life was apparent in the things I saw. Below me, bordering the river, barren trees stood waiting for that first brush of warm weather, protecting their leafy buds until completely sure that winter’s frosty hand had been withdrawn. Above, a flock of gulls soared majestically, riding the thermal currents formed from newly heated patches of dark earth uncovered by the receding ice and snow. In between, dark and dusty buildings awoke and stretched, unburdened by the many months of cold, and ice, and snow; elements that would have killed any entity more human than they, over the same period of time. And stretch they did, turning lifelike before my eyes. One resembled a dog, no, was a dog, rising and stretching from his sleep on a soft white pillow.

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Good Fortune

FortuneThe lounge was quiet. Dave and I had just missed the happy hour crowd and the dinner crowd had yet to appear to claim reservations that had been made months before. The lounge was popular. Chic would be one description, pretentious another. It was a place to see and be seen by young highly paid professionals of all ilks, and while the drinks were as overpriced as the food, Dave and I deserved a short period of refined  elegance, faux as it was. Continue reading “Good Fortune”

Night Shift

11-1-2013-2-50-31-PMWorking a January 4 PM to midnight shift in rural Manitoba, one can expect little crime and few calls for service. An accident perhaps by someone rushing home on icy roads, late for supper or the six o’clock news. No cells phones or Internet in 1976, and the city paper came late in the morning on the first eastbound bus out of Winnipeg. So if one missed the television news, the next morning coffee-shop information exchange would tend to be pretty one-sided in discussing headline events. Continue reading “Night Shift”

Christmas Chorus

RCMP

December of 1979 was our first of two Christmases posted at Wabowden, Manitoba, a small community located 800 kilometres north of the Canada/USA border on the last major highway system before the North Pole. This is an exaggeration, perhaps, as the Nickel Mining Capital of Canada, Thompson, lies a further 100 kilometres north of Wabowden. There the oil and gravel hardtop road transitions to rough gravel and connects to the hydro-electric town of Gillam a further 100 kilometres north.  Continue reading “Christmas Chorus”

Bathing Gen Thong

ElephantIn a staggered line we followed the dusty trail through bamboo fields. Those of us with partners walked side by side, a few bound hand in hand. Introverts made an extra effort to walk alone, rabidly avoiding the perception that they were bound to anyone. Most were quiet in anticipation of their final destination. A young couple chatted in exuberant anticipation of their long anticipated bucket list item.  Continue reading “Bathing Gen Thong”

Patrol Cabin Cookbook

Atco

It’s 9:48 am on a bright sunny day in July, 1980 in the northern Manitoba town of Wabowden.  Home to about 500 residents at that time, Wabowden was also the regional office of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the largest whistle stop for the Canadian National Railway travelling between The Pas and Thompson. Normally if I was patrolling in town, I would park my police car alongside the tracks as a train moved slowly into the station.  I enjoyed watching the faces of tourists staring out of the train car windows, curious as to why this specific town was located in the middle of seemingly barren land.  But today, I was a waiting passenger for the scheduled northbound stop at 9:52 am. Continue reading “Patrol Cabin Cookbook”

Chasing Rabbits

Rabbits

It was nine o’clock on an evening in late October and darkness had long since fallen on our normally sleepy town. Earlier, a full moon and thousands of stars had provided natural light to a section of town that comprised the business district; a car repair shop, the municipal hall, the post office, the bank, a general store and a car dealership. It was a mixture of private businesses and government institutions that were all considered valuable to the integrity of the town; indeed the region.  Continue reading “Chasing Rabbits”