Too much stuff

Have you ever felt that you have too much of everything?

Have you ever felt that you have too much of everything?

I looked around my humble abode the other day, my eye catching the various objects that I hold near and dear, for either aesthetic or sentimental reasons, and, while emptying yet another wastebasket of paper, the thought came to me: We have so much. My conscience whispered, Why?

Like some of you, I don’t consider myself a particularly acquisitive person. I am not a compulsive shopper. I only purchase, I thought, what I needed. Hmmmm. Could this be a delusion?

When we see other parts of our 70 per cent blue planet on the tube, and the rest of it is in dire straits because of poverty, crop failures, floods, earthquakes, – what can we surmise? About our own condition, I mean? How can we possibly, as thinking persons, consider that what we have is a natural distribution of the wealth and potential of this planet? Well, of course, we can’t.

What happened to all the money?

The above reflection led me to the question – what, in heavens’ name, happened to all the many millions, yea, billions, that were said too have been given to Haiti after the earthquake? The media in Haiti tell us “nothing has changed.” It is a year since the devastation. But the buildings stand in rubble, the roads are not cleared, nothing is working. And bodies are still under the rubble. It doesn’t make sense. Did even some of the money get to Haiti? Why aren’t the bulldozers and fork lifters at work? What has happened to all the money?

Something more cheerful

My favorite haunt was closed for a couple of weeks after Christmas. They were painting and decorating and rearranging. Like the other regulars, I missed the place. Sitting in the Buffalo Station coffee house alongside a table of muscular stalwarts (I hope they don’t mind me referring to them as this), someone came in and asked for help in moving a heavy item in the Bakery, which, as everyone knows, is just down the street. The four men rose as one man, told the proprietor, Darryl Starbucks, “We’ll be back.” They left their half empty coffee mugs and went out of the door. Sure enough, about five minutes later, they returned. Resumed their places. Finished their coffee. And left. Only in Ashcroft?

Snow and ice

There is nothing prosiac about snow and ice when you are shovelling, breaking ice with the shovel, sweeping walks and decks day after day. Sure, I love the first snowfall when everything is pretty. But I’ve had enough already! There’s been talk that our winter this year will be a short one. Someone has even noticed some flowering buds on the trees. Is this wishful thinking?

Politics

BC politics, always a wonder to the rest of the country, remains without leaders for both of the prominent parties. How weird! Only in BC, they say. Has the NDP shot itself in the foot? Have the Liberals, likewise? I’m sure both parties, now in their toppled state, will soon resurrect themselves. I am reminded of one of those wooden Russian dolls within a doll. They look so solid. Yet, an accidental brush of an ellbow can….well, you know.

Who’s a hippy?

In the Bakery some time back, someone called me a Hippy. I thought it was kind of funny. Then I considered that the person was too young to have experienced the Kitsilano 4th Avenue 1960’s scene. Kits was a hotbed of half starved artists, poor university students, and a couple of iconoclasts – poets who wrote under the unprintable name of a style. Okay, I’ll give you a hint, “Cement F…” (Don’t laugh, they got a Canada Council grant!) Now, 40 odd years later, these persons have become university and college profs, and a number of them have become well-to-do Yuppies. While all this was going on, I was employed at U.B.C. as the personal secretary of the head of the Chemistry department, and later, as secretary of the Associate Dean of Medicine.

The hippies of that era were quite identifiable. The gals wore all their clothes on their backs, and most of them were Salvation Army. The guys wore very long hair, baggy jeans, none too clean. Hippies sprawled across the lawns of Kits Park listening to Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck from San Francisco. And the air was thick with the odor of “weed” and hashish. It was an interesting time to be alive. Well, isn’t any time?

International Women’s Day

Val Carey of Walhachin (she puts that hamlet on the map time after time), tells me that she is planning International Womens’ Day to be held in March. Nadine Davenport will be handling the music end of the program. The event attracts hundreds from all over the region. Watch for it.

One last word

We (Sherman and I) have recently connected up with some of the persons involved in the senior’s social activities at Thompson View Manor. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate the warmth, the caring, the wit and the genuine interest the staff have for their seniors. We are so fortunate to have these resources! I was recently talking with a former resident who now lives in Nanimo, and he remarked how fortunate we were. So, I tell them all through this column, – You are appreciated. And we are grateful!