Day one of my eightieth year

Image by M W from Pixabay  Another birthday, this one is number 79. That many candles on a birthday cake would set off the smoke alarm; perhaps I should feel more alarmed than I do. In my younger days I couldn't comprehend the world being able to withstand the impact when all those 9's in 1999 would rotate … Continue reading Day one of my eightieth year

I want to live until I die

Age segregation begins in schools. As schools get bigger and bigger it is more and more difficult for a child to relate to those outside her own age group. At the other end of life, retirement offers freedom, but it is freedom with no purpose. Retirees associate with other retirees and strive to keep themselves … Continue reading I want to live until I die

Nursing home blues

The pandemic is winding down, businesses are reopening, yet normalcy is hidden by a mist of uncertainty. Some day we will know if the measures taken during the pandemic were the right ones. I don’t believe I am qualified to comment on that. All levels of government did what they thought was best, according to … Continue reading Nursing home blues

The problem of age

I was sitting in the food court with my 95-year-old mother. A young oriental lady rushed up to us, on the verge of tears, and wanted to meet and hold the hand of this old lady. I was startled at first, but as the young lady talked it warmed my heart to see her love … Continue reading The problem of age

A step forward, a step back

We found a house to rent just a few miles from church. I started working for Ed Klassen’s carpenter crew. Things were working out well for me; I wasn’t so sure how this was going to work for Chris. I was still a young Christian, trying to sort things out for myself and didn’t know … Continue reading A step forward, a step back


My mother wasn't able to look after herself anymore and had come to live with us. One day a conversation with a visitor went like this: —How old are you? —What year is it? —Two thousand and four —Then I am ninety-six. That was my mother; she couldn't remember how old she was, but she … Continue reading Dementia


There are things that I wish that I would have understood better when my parents were suffering with dementia.  Above all, I wish I could have understood that even though their personalities had changed and their memories seemed to be gone, the father and mother that I had once known were still there, though unable … Continue reading Dementia

In memory of Mauvereen

Uncle Gary is my mother’s second youngest brother, the last one still living of a family of fourteen.  He will be 90 in August.  My grandparents were members of a small congregation of Sommerfelder Mennonites in southwestern Saskatchewan that was somewhat isolated from other Mennonite communities.  They spoke Plautdietsch and English at home; the church … Continue reading In memory of Mauvereen