Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Weird Busy Month

From Rebecca
Juan Chioran (left) as Don Adriano de Armado
 and Josue Laboucane as Costard in
Love's Labour's Lost. (DAVID HOU / DAVID HOU)

It has been a weird busy month…. LaRue stuff ahead, a course to teach in May, a trip to Whitehorse in May, and a Supreme Court Case in May. (I won’t be going in person but I hope to watch it streaming live).

(I also too a break to take Duncan and Alex to see Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour Lost…Steve is upisland working on the hospital, so he avoided that one!)

Here is what I wrote today… instead of marking exams .

Full day!


Friday, April 21, 2017

"Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere"

... whole wheat spaghetti ...
 i tried it
I developed a taste for it.
The night before last, 3 of my siblings and their husbands and wives and I met for dinner.

One brought the salad and veggies.

Another did the pasta sauce and whole wheat spaghetti -- mmm,  tasty.

 I brought a poppy seed chiffon cake, and there was ice cream and a latticed apple pie that was warm as a second dessert.

We couldn’t have had a better time and you could tell, for we started at 5 pm and didn’t finish until 10 pm.

We love each other so and we laughed our way through many subjects

Janet didn't say a word about it, but Glen showed off her latest pottery work:  a light.   The words on the lamp - "Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere".

I wouldn't mind spending some time beside that lamp with a book in my hand.


Churches Thrift Shop

An on going adventure for me is the thrift shop in Salmon Arm.  I paid Churches Thrift Shop $6 this week.

For that I got 2 recipe books — Moosewood and Pizza by Jean Pare.

I have a Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant myself.  On the inside page I have written every recipe that I have tried and made comments on them.

There is only one recipe that I would not try again.   I transferred that information to the inside of the new book and I intend on giving it to Bonnie unless she already has one.  In that case, it will be up for grabs. though I understand most young cooks just go straight to the internet for recipes.

Pizza by Jean Pare
I thought David Camps would like to read about how many ways there are to make pizza.

Instead, I became the reader.  What is going to happen is that when I go to his house, I am pulling out the pizza pans and getting ready to make the pizza variations.

For my $6, I also bought 2 muffin tins, 2 angel food cake tins 1 zester for large oranges,  3 tupperware dishes for Richard’s kids and 3 spoons to go with them.

I consider all of the fun of searching out these items worth the $6 I paid.

The goods were free.


Alice's Wonderland - Final performance

One of the threads of my life includes going to see the Treleaven boys as they perform in community musical theatre.

Here is Gabe in one of his characters in a show called Alice's Wonderland.

The theatre is in an odd place:  at the junction of the LRT fly over and the south side of the Crowchild Bridge where there is a parking lot, a busy road to cross and then an "alley" leads you to the theatre.

Feels a lot like London.

I enjoyed the performance. Wyona tells me that there are a couple more before summer is here.

Bring it on.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Eugene Onegin at the Salmon Arm Classic Theatre

The soprano Anna Netrebko 
and the baritone Mariusz Kwiecien
in the title role in “Eugene Onegin”
CrIan Douglas for The New York Times
There are two joys this Saturday in Salmon Arm.

One is the opera:  Eugene Onegin.

For us in B.C., it starts at 9:55 am and is 3 hours and 57 minutes.

Here is the review by Tommasini in the New York Times, as of March 31, 2017.

After  you read the review, you will know why I will be watching for the white roses.  I was watching a u-tube advertizement about the New York Met.  They have 1,600 full-time employees and 1,600 part time employees.  No wonder the whole thing is so beautiful.

Then at 5 pm the Shuswap Film Society is presenting a Japanese film called After the Storm.

I am going to make a day of it.

A Rainy Day

The rain is pouring down.

Dave Wood promised us a sunny day, but the clouds have gathered and rain is falling.

 I said to Wyona on the phone, I love these rainy days.

 Rain, the gift of life. Everything around us will grow. A miracle when I look out my window into the forest and see the graceful boughs of the cedars.

 I watch the rain on the deck as it hits the puddles, little drops making a single ripple out that stops at the rim of other small dots as they fall into a pool. There is water hanging from the bottom of the white bannisters that encloses the glass of the deck panes. Water hanging in small drips that never seem to fall. I want to get the leaves off of the deck so that they don’t stain it with their rust colour. But I don’t move. I just watch the rain as it falls from the eaves, and as is slides down the panes of glass on the deck. Just beautiful. Water, the gift of life.

Enjoy a drink of it some time soon.

Mary told me that at Catherine’s on the weekend they sent Rhiannon, Hebe and 2 neighbourhood kids out to play in the yard on a rainy day. All the snails had come out of hibernation. They were all over the yard. Out came the plastic containers to gather them and make habitats. There must have been over 40 snails that they collected. Catie even gave them each a plastic glove from her first aid supply because some of them weren’t too sure about getting snail slime on their hands. It was too sweet. They must have spent almost 2 hours outside. Mary and Leo agreed to let Rhiannon bring some home – not all 40, but a good 15.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Poppy Seed Chiffon Cake

... lemon glaze on a poppy seed chiffon cake ...
Bonnie said that one of the sweetest joys of her childhood was eating poppy seed chiffon cake.

Further, she said that she wanted to learn to make it.

I went to an old recipe book to pull out a recipe from the past on this one.

In Bonnie's kitchen, she gathered the material to make the cake and went to work on the recipe.

I told her that she should make 3 or 4 cakes like this, just to be sure she has the method right.  We did cull the internet for similar recipes and we learned one new trick.  Take the eggs out of the fridge at least 1/2 hour before using them to get the best result when whipping the egg whites.

Vernetta Reed

Chateau Renoir
Wyona arranged to have lunch with Vernetta Reed.

We picked her up at the Chateau Renoir.

The three of us got in the car but not one of us had an idea of where we should go beyond the usual suggestions of Dairy Queen or MacDonalds.

I don’t know why we did just keep driving north, east, south or west. But food was on someone’s mind and we settled in to a Mexican Restaurant.

“I will have a quesadilla,” said Vernetta.

 “That is the only thing not on the menu,” said Wyona.  "That is the trouble with these Mexican fast food places.  They have a limited selection of food."

I have no idea how we could have had more fun. Vernetta took us back to show us the spacious interior of her retirement home: the Chateau Renoir. I was all agog at the sight of the hotpool at the end of the swimming pool. Vernetta showed us the exercise room, the games rooms, and the do-it-yourself laundry room, out of which her iron had disappeared. There is a generation beneath me for whom an iron is an appliance to be ignored. But apparently 80 and 90 year olds still value its use. “Purchase another and I will refund the money to you,” the manager had told Vernetta. But she still sleuthed it out, asking the cleaner if she had seen the iron. Sure enough it had just been moved one laundry room over.

We hung out in Vernetta’s beautiful suite, saw her kitchette, her spare room, her bedroom, and we hung out in her sitting room, exchanging stories that had their genesis over 50 years ago. Wyona could remember Grandpa Reed living with them. I can remember Vernetta’s sister, Audrey.

We tried to figure out what it is that keeps Vernetta young and decided it is her schedule: she watches the news in the morning and the evening. She gets exercising in, both with someone who leads the group and by walking. She knows the names of everyone who lives in the facility. She knows how to take the Chateau’s bus when she needs to get out.

Apple Peeler - Williams Sonoma
I thought that what keeps her alive is an apple a day, since a saw an apple peeler on her counter – one I have been wishing for: metal, and it both peels and cores the apple.

"I like to eat an apple that way," she said when I asked  her why she kept that piece of equipment.

Of all of the things a person has to give up when they downsize, I can see why she would keep that kitchen tool.

Next time we go back we are taking Moiya along and a deck of Rook cards.

Mud Slide -- TCH 6 miles from Canoe

Image: Laura Johnston - Facebook
Seven kilometers from home at the Shuswap, the mud slid down the Larch Hills and onto the Trans-Canada Highway.  Bonnie had been on her way home and she had to turn back to my places for the night.

Bonnie had been predicting the slide all afternoon as we that highway.  She had spotted four likely places for a slide to occur and she wasn't even taking her eyes off of the road as she was doing it.

I was taunting her by saying she was creating imaginary fears to add to her day's excitement. Obviously my taunts were not just in bad taste.  There was some basis for her fear.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Road Trip to B.C.

Wyona and I took a road trip yesterday, one of our favourites, the trip out to B.C.  I wasn't much outside of the city limits when I could feel the roll of the foothills as we climbed toward the mountains.  There are favourite views every ten minutes or so -- the mountains as they get closer, Dead Man's Flats where I remember camping with Mattie Brown and learning how to leg wrestle. Skirting the Vermilion Lakes and missing Banff is always a choice, since going down mainstreet and visiting the candy shop is always a tug.

A favourite part of the trip is now Heather Hill, since there is so much construction there, trying to keep the mountain from slipping into the valley there.

My eyes were glued to the window the last two hours of the journey, through the pass. The water was crashing down the sides of the mountains in larger than normal steams because of the melt. The sun was glistening off of the glaciers. The sides of the road were lined with low banks of snow that were covered with the gravel that had come off of the road when the snow ploughs had lifted it because of snow, then gravel laid down, then snow, then gravel.

Photo: Trip Advisor - Rogers Pass
Wyona would slow down at the foot of the avalanche paths all of them filled with detritus.

It wasn’t until we got to Sicamous that we began to see that new green colour on the weeping willows — that early light green colour that means the buds will be breaking through at any time.

Wyona rolled down the car windows as we drove the first stretch of Pilling's Road, that redolent smell of growth wafting in the windows.

She was already looking for the buds on the twin-berry bushes, hoping to paint them in real life.

That is why she is here:  for a water-colour painting holiday.

My plan is to enjoy the spring sun from a chair on my south-facing porch.


Saturday, April 15, 2017


Philip Riccio as Clark in 1979. BENJAMIN LAIRD
Marcia was the driver, the one who called and asked everyone if they wanted to go,  but it was Greg, Tonia and I who went along with her to the play at Alberta Theatre Projects: 1979

I had seen it advertized in the paper, and even cut out the blurb and put it on my wall, hoping to see it.

So no one was more pleased than I to get a phone call to join them.

It wasn't until this morning that I went out and read the review in Calgary Herald.

The show is also running in Ottawa and has been picked up by the Shaw Festival and it is also under consideration to be shown in a number of communities across Canada.  If  yours is one  such community, don't miss it.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Morning walk

I decided to walk 15 minutes away from my home and back this morning.

I usually walk West towards the Lake but today I chose East towards the TCH.

The forest on my left smelled so green and fresh. I wished I could post a "scratch and sniff" sticker of it. About 15 minutes away I spotted this creek flowing under 20th Ave NE. I hadn't noticed it before.

On my way back, I thought I could smell strawberries, but it isn't the season. Then I passed a field with a huge pile of dirt. The smell turned to fresh manure. Not the smell I wanted to share with you.

I decided to capture Mt Ida with its coat of snow. It won't be white by the time the Salmon Arm Roots n Blues festival begins. Have you bought your ticket yet?

Monday, April 10, 2017

April is poetry month

"Old people and technology,  it makes me sad."

I looked up from my smart phone to see who she was talking about, and I saw that her concerned eyes were focused on me.

I was well into my 50th year to heaven, and she a new college student.

I was bewildered at her description of me and bewildered as to how to operate this $700 hand held computer.

How did I get that old?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Twelfth Night with Mary and Arta

Just before I went to the theatre tonight, I was busy reading the review and then went out to Wiki to brush up on the plot of the play.

There I read the following:
"Twelfth Night" is a reference to the twelfth night after Christmas Day, called the Eve of the Feast of Epiphany. It was originally a Catholic holiday but, prior to Shakespeare's play, had become a day of revelry. Servants often dressed up as their masters, men as women and so forth. This history of festive ritual and Carnivalesque reversal, based on the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia at the same time of year (characterized by drunken revelry and inversion of the social order; masters became slaves for a day, and vice versa), is the cultural origin of the play's gender confusion-driven plot.
That was a good introduction about what was to come.

The theatre was only partially filled, with people I presumed were Shakespeare lovers.  In fact this is a play many people have seen more than once.  Still there was so much laughter.  It must be that each staging of the play there is a freshness to what is going on.

What was not to love about the production?

1. The costuming was appropriate and in some cases, just when the actor came on stage, either clothed in black and white or in the soft turquoise hues, or in pink, the audience took time for laughter.  Sometimes wild laughter.
2. In the bath scene, I wanted Viola's necklace.  Yowza to the colours in those beads.
3. Tamsin Grieg's Malvolia was a force in herself.
4. The five piece band worked magic on the production.
5. I was thinking a lot about the delivery, about those lovely couplets and how cleverly they rolled off the tongues of the actors.
6.  The song, "To Be or Not To Be" was a show-stopper, transvestite singer and all.
7. Mary and I got to talk about gender fluidity when we got home:  the skirt on Sebastian, Malvolia who is usually a man, and Viola and Antonio.
8. I got to remember again why I love the theatre -- giving myself over to the rollicking plot and the clever dialogue.

The Shakespeare Navigators have some great quotes.  I laughed at "Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage".  And "if music be the food of love, play on" is a quote I have heard many times.

The Encore is May 20th.

Coming up is Rosencrantz & Guildenstern (April 20), Obsession (May 11), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (May 18) and Peter Pan (June 10).


Twelfth Night Review

Here is the best I can do for a review before going to Twelfth Night, one from the Guardian.

I just had to be forewarned, since I do better at these shows after getting a back-up of knowledge before I go.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Big Ideas

How do you imprint
Heart’s desire
On the iris reflected
In your own bewildered eye

Begin with hands large enough
To cradle babe’s first breath
Voice gentle enough
To whisper first words
Arms long enough
To open wide the door to wonder

Take breath, words, wonder
Set them spinning
In endless loop of language
Let loose love
Enduring and endless

Unfettered, hope and reason soar
Released, ideas resolutely transform

Poem for Kelvin by Mary Johnson

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kelvin Thomas Johnson - Funeral - Talk by Mary Johnson


I am going to read one of my father's favourite poems, written by Robert Frost.

When I see birches bend to left and right 
Across the lines of straighter darker trees, 
I like to think some boy's been swinging them. 
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay 
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them 
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning 
After a rain. They click upon themselves 
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored 
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel. 
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells 
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust— 
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away 
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen. 
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, 
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed 
So low for long, they never right themselves: 
You may see their trunks arching in the woods 
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground 
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair 
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun. 
But I was going to say when Truth broke in 
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm 
I should prefer to have some boy bend them 
As he went out and in to fetch the cows— 
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, 
Whose only play was what he found himself, 
Summer or winter, and could play alone. 
One by one he subdued his father's trees 
By riding them down over and over again 
Until he took the stiffness out of them, 
And not one but hung limp, not one was left 
For him to conquer. He learned all there was 
To learn about not launching out too soon 
And so not carrying the tree away 
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise 
To the top branches, climbing carefully 
With the same pains you use to fill a cup 
Up to the brim, and even above the brim. 
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish, 
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground. 
So was I once myself a swinger of birches. 
And so I dream of going back to be. 
It's when I'm weary of considerations, 
And life is too much like a pathless wood 
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs 
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping 
From a twig's having lashed across it open. 
I'd like to get away from earth awhile 
And then come back to it and begin over. 
May no fate willfully misunderstand me 
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away 
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love: 
I don't know where it's likely to go better. 
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree, 
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk 
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, 
But dipped its top and set me down again. 
That would be good both going and coming back. 
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. 

Kelvin Thomas Johnson - Funeral - Talk by Richard Johnson


STORY A - INTRO / Back Ground
Kelvin was born in the 1930’s.  Which means he was a child in the depression of the 1930’s.  He was about 13 when the atom bomb was dropped.  A different world.  He grew up in a house of two rooms with a big family.  One of those rooms was the bedroom.  He married Arta Pilling at 30 and began his journey of 8 WONDERFUL children.

On His Love
Language, Poetry, Church, Family, Teaching
Kelvin Johnson had many loves.  

He Loved Poetry.  On the last day of winter, cancer finally took him.  We had a party on that day.  We celebrated his life as my father lay in his temple best.  We grieved as a family openly and deeply.  As we all rose the morning after we awoke to the first day of spring.  A time of life, birth, and chance in this world.  There is poetry in the ending of that life.  Kelvin loved poetry so I think he would have appreciated that the last breath of winter and his last breath went in unison.  A poetic ending.

He Loved \the \church.  Until his body would no longer endure the travel to and from the chapel Kelvin was in attendance.  

The Church Loved Him.  He received visits from members even while living in his apartment at Seton Care facility.   In his last hours he received the laying on of hands by Brother Clark Schow.  A blessing that gave comfort and joy to Kelvin as he passed from this world.

To me what he Loved most was family.  He worried, vocally and often about his sister an brother who lived in the same care facility.  You see, They all lived in Seton together, Sharon two rooms away and grant a short walk and elevator ride.  If you wanted to visit with Kelvin the conversation would always turn to is “Sharon well taken care of, is Grant doing alright”  Until his last moments he cared deeply about the well being of family and in fact all loved ones.  He would never hesitate to give what he had.

He also love teaching.  He taught thousands of students at his time working for the Calgary Board of Education.  

STORY B - Living two lives - Deja Vu

Kelvin was the father, and I was the son.  As a professional educator, he taught thousands of Calgary Board of Education students and even U of C PHD students.  At the dinner table over my homework I dug my heels in and metaphorically stuck my fingers in my ears.  I was not going to let him teach me.  

I have married my loving partner.  I have my own children.  Now I am the father.  I see my childhood through my children's eyes.  They struggle, they are frightened, or ashamed.  They also dig heels in and ignore when I try to teach them….  Sometimes.

As a father, I see that those were my struggles, fears, that was my shame and I was obstinate.  I am living all those beautiful childhood experiences again through my WONDERFUL children.

Perspective changes our view of the landscape.  A new point on the mountain comes with completely new scenery.

I see my life being relived through my children and I wonder, did my father watch and re-live his childhood through me?  In silence did Kelvin struggle and fear with me.  Was he ashamed and did Kelvin dig his heels in when his father taught him in the 1930’s?

STORY C - Wonderful

Wonderful. My father’s speech, his words, left him in the last weeks.  On our second last visit he could still whisper but the final word… WONDERFUL.  It was the last word.   You see my brother had written Kelvin a note.  My brother wrote him a heartfelt note full of feelings, love, joy, gratitude.  Things like saying thank you for life, thank you for birth, thank you for a chance in this world.  It was recited by my mother into his ear because his hearing had long since began to wane.  After hearing these kind words orated by my mother he whispered WONDERFUL.  A whisper could not have been so booming and thunderous.  And Kelvin was right.

A heartfelt message crafted and filled with love and intention.  It was a gift well received for Kelvin in his last days.

What does wonderful mean?  

Maybe a daughter has performed her practiced dances at the recital, Wonderful
or a son has spoken those freshly memorized poems at a Kiwanis festival.  Wonderful

Maybe it is the first turns of a bicycle pedal or the first miles steering a motor vehicle.  The first winning layup, or the walk across the stage to receive their graduation papers.  Wonderful.  

Or his child marrying a loving partner, Wonderful

Or maybe grand children doing all of this over again.  I will always thank my father for reminding me what is wonderful, and that this is truly a wonderful life.


Kelvin Thomas Johnson - Funeral - Talk by Doral Johnson


I wrote down some words. 

Kelvin loved words. 
He approved of words being assembled together.

He would have approved more
If these were in some kind of logical order

For some, Jesus is their co-pilot
For us, Kelvin was our editor

There is a song entitled, Jesus, take the wheel,
Our family’s version would be
Kelvin, brandish your pen

Just to forewarn you, my remarks today
would have benefited from the efforts of
Kelvin, our editor
Considering Arta’s recent health issues, I regret now asking her
 If it would kill her to arrange Kelvin’s funeral.

Eight minutes. 
That’s the time I’ve been allotted
 to provide some of my remembrances
on Kelvin’s 86 years of life. 
That’s one minute per decade.
 Six seconds per year.
 A half-second per month. 

To put that in perspective,
since I took the podium,
a half-minute, or five years
of Kelvin’s life have passed. 
He’ll be getting ready for his first day of school soon. 

If Kelvin were standing, here, today, at the podium,
he would tell us, do not weep. 
He would want us to be happy for him. 
He has disembarked the grey ship,
And is standing on white shores,
Smiling and embracing his mother Bessie, his father Miles,
his “not-twin” brother Beverly, his sister Nadine.
What a glorious reunion that must be for them!

Kelvin loved his parents, his brothers and sisters.
His love for them was immense.  He doted on his sisters.
 How their successes thrilled him, how their challenges broke him.
Kelvin’s children could see his love for his brothers and sisters,
whenever we attended family reunions. 
His love for Preston.  For Betty.  For Molly.
It was impossible to drag Kelvin away from his siblings.

World War II has started. 
Kelvin is 10, and will encounter German POW’s
picking sugar beets in the Southern Alberta beet fields. 
He’ll be teaching them English
He’ll be learning to play the harmonica

Near the end of Kelvin’s life, He,
his big brother Grant, his sister Sharon,
all resided at Seton Place. 
Kelvin spent all the time he could with them.

Kelvin would make a point of including Grant
whenever we came for visits. 
During one visit, we unsuccessfully
played card games with Grant and Kelvin. 
But their brotherly love meant
that Grant’s memory of Kelvin was undimmed,
Grant had no difficulty sharing many stories with us
of Kelvin’s childhood days. 

Time’s passing.  Kelvin’s into his teenage years now
He’s becoming the dreamboat of Barnwell.

Kelvin loved to laugh. 
He laughed when anyone told a joke. 
He laughed harder on those occasions
when he actually got the joke.   
He laughed harder still,
when he realised the joke was on him. 
While the joke was often on him,
Jokes played were played out of love.
Kelvin was the quintessential straight man. 
He tried to teach the importance of being earnest.
But earnestness was not a lesson we wanted.
Kelvin played the straight man so well
because he often “was” oblivious to the punch line.
Kelvin was an intelligent, thoughtful man
But had the misfortune of married into a family
whose humor was as biting as his was gentle.
Kelvin always took our kind of humor in stride.

Kelvin’s off on his Mormon mission to Washington and Oregon

Kelvin loved education.
When he brought his family from Grande Prairie to Calgary
He purchased a home close to the University
Close to schools
Close to his church
Kelvin wanted all of his children to get the benefits of a liberal education
The benefits of a religious education
For us to feel free to challenge conventional thought
To think for ourselves
To Question
Kelvin’s mother had worried that education
Would drive him from his faith
But it never did

Kelvin’s heading to the University of Alberta now,
to explore his favorite topics, literature and language

Kelvin loved science.
He saw no contradiction between the truth of science
And the truth of religion.
In Kelvin’s estimation the big bang did not repudiate religion
It was evidence supporting it
In the beginning god created the heavens and the earth
And God said let there be light and there was light
Was that not the definition of the big bang?

In Kelvin’s estimation evolution did not repudiate gods creation of man
It was merely the technique God employed to create us

We had the national geographic magazine delivered
Every month
Thanks to Kelvin
I remember poring over the pages of that magazine
It was filled with information about the natural sciences
Information about space
And the wonders of the universe.
He shared that joy of knowledge with us

Kelvin’s now working as a cook in the arctic
between university semesters

Kelvin fancied himself a chef.
While in the arctic, he cooked for dozens of men
Ordering food flown in by plane, serving meals
He brought that cooking acumen
And creativity
home to our kitchen
When Mary was born, he decided to cook
A delicious Italian spaghetti dinner
But trust me
Chinese five spice and spaghetti sauce do not go together
We were quite happy that Kelvin
was soon banished from the Kitchen

Kelvin has met the love of his life and is now married

Kelvin loved books.
He built two walls of bookcases in our home in Calgary.
Those bookcases were stuffed with the world’s great literature
He had a complete set of books
containing the classical greek writers
He had all of the plays of Shakespeare
He loved those books
and wanted to share their knowledge with his children
In addition to two walls of books in the house
Kelvin also built a study in the garage.
It contained his beloved collection of university texts
All three walls of that study were lined with old books
Sadly, they were lost during a garage fire

Kelvin has five children now. 
Three more are on their way.

Kelvin loved reading to his children
When we were young, Kelvin read to us each night
He read the Hobbit
and the Lord of the Rings
By JRR Tolkien
Each Chapter was a cliff hanger
We were horrified at the ends of
The first and second books
When Boromir died and the fellowship broke,
When Sam lost Frodo to the Goblin tower

But Kelvin was not limited to story-telling
From established authors
He made up his own tales of adventure
Tales starring his children as small animals
And their own perilous adventures
Kelvin instilled in us
A desire to share the same sense of wonder
With our own families

The title of my remarks,
And my modest collection of books,
Have both been called
Appendix D by my sister Catherine
I suppose The D stands for Doral or Dad
My book collection owes much
to Kelvin and his love of books
His love of story-telling

Kelvin’s teaching English in the Calgary High School system
He’s teaching English as a second language to immigrants. 
He is upset the government will only pay for one immigrant family member to learn English.

Kelvin loved to provide service to others.
He gave freely of his time.
He gave freely of the time of others as well.
It would be an understatement to say
Kelvin had a childhood of modest means

He never forgot where he came from
And he never refused anyone’s request for assistance.

Kelvin’s children are leaving home now,
are in university, or are getting married.

Kelvin fancied himself a handyman.
He built a massive kitchen table for the ten of us.
That table was encircled by re-purposed church pews,
And many a religious discussion broke out at that table.

Kelvin built closets and cabinets
for the girl’s basement bedrooms.
He built bedframes, with built-in storage.
He built couches.
He built an extension to our home in Calgary. 
He built a retirement home in the Shuswap,
with the help of his brothers and brothers-in-law.
He felt so adept at constructing,  
he began to fancy himself a surgeon.
Those fantasies ended when he discovered
a fingertip is not a board,
a table saw is not a surgical suite.

Kelvin’s reached age 65. 
Time for him to retire from teaching.

Kelvin loved to educate.
If you needed assistance with your homework,
You could be sure that Kelvin could turn
any one hour lesson
Into a five hour one.
Or any afternoon school project
Into a three day ordeal.
Kelvin didn’t only to help you with your homework

He learned that subject as well,
With you sitting dutifully at his side while he did so
All kidding aside, Kelvin’s assistance always converted
A solid C effort into an A+ one
We are forever
Grudgingly, belatedly
Deeply grateful
Kelvin made us all better writers, better thinkers
Even if our patience never improved

Kelvin’s retired.
He’s nearly finished building his retirement home in the Shuswap.  It, and the Calgary renovations from 20 years prior,
remain stubbornly incomplete.

Kelvin loved music.
One of our family’s prized possessions was
A baby grand piano in the sitting room.
Kelvin loved that piano
It was a piano on which many a tune was learned
It was a piano at which many a song was sung
It was a piano at which many a tear was shed
(by those not wanting to learn to play it)
Kelvin played the piano, as do many in our family
When Kelvin’s fingers were still limber, he loved to play
The song “Flight of the Bumblebee”
If you know the tune, you will understand why
He would play it just as fast as he could
It was always a marvel to watch his fingers fly across the keyboard
We spent many wonderful moments around that piano
Singing together
The baritones, the sopranos, the altos, the tenors
I’m not sure there were tenors, maybe my brother Trell?

All Kelvin’s children have moved out. 
He visits their homes, spread out all over Canada
International students, boarders,
Become Kelvin’s second dear family now.

Kelvin was a poet.
Some of his favorite poets were Walt Witman, and
Robert Frost
Kelvin loved to write poetry
Had he been born 100 years prior he might have been a great poet.
But he was born in an age that no longer appreciates poetry
Rap has become our poetry now
Kelvin would sometimes write poems for his children
Kelvin wrote a poem for me on the birth of my son
That poem is somewhere in storage
I could not find it prior to our memorial, today
I should have liked to have shared his poetry with you
Maybe you will see or hear some of Kelvin’s poetry
Or you knew of his love of poetry already

Kelvin is ill now.  The prognosis is not good.
His family set him up with an ipad
so they can video chat with him

Kelvin was my father.
He was also my friend.
I had the good fortune to see
Don Giovanni with him
Several months before he passed
I was in Calgary and I called him to see if he had time to visit
He was off to the Opera
But fortunately, there was one seat left In the theatre
After some seat re-arrangements
I sat by my father and we enjoyed
The opera together
The phone call comes.  Kelvin has passed away,
surrounded by his loving family

In conclusion, I want to share two quotes
that bring me comfort,
I hope they will provide
some comfort to you as well.

The first:

No, the journey doesn't end here.
Death is just another path,
one that we all must take.
The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back,
and all turns to silver glass.
and then you see it;
White shores,
and beyond,
a far, green country,
under a swift sunrise.

And the second quote:
I am the resurrection,
and the life:
he that believeth in me,
though he were dead,
yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth
and believeth in me
shall never die.
Believest thou this?

Kelvin believed this, that death is not the end
That death is just another path
That belief sustained him
May Kelvin’s belief sustain you
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet