Thanks, Stuart

stuart-mclean

Stuart left me a message on our answering machine once.

We had been back and forth, trying to figure out how I could use one of his stories that involved a character with a disability. I offered to edit, he agreed. He wasn’t sure. He fiddled. I fiddled. Back and forth. He was gracious, but concerned. I was just hoping for the story. As was Stuart’s way about telling the story right, he called and said “I’ve been reading this and it’s one way to read it in print, one way to say it out loud. I could do it, but I…. I just won’t.” Ultimately, we couldn’t come to an agreement on editing it for print, so he offered tickets to his Christmas show in Saskatoon as an apology for how it didn’t work out. We loved the show. And we loved him.

Rick and I have lost count of the times we have listened to Stuart on CBC Radio on our drive home from shopping, errands or some trip. If it wasn’t quite finished, there were times we sat in the garage, the engine off but the battery still pumping juice so we could listen to the rest of the story he was telling that week. He had a perfect mixture of anticipation and familiarity, the knowledge of the characters and where they were going that made his storytelling so wonderful.  His audiences would start to murmur and laugh when they could see what was coming; he’d say, “Wait for it!” Brilliant and authentic. We think Stuart knew that it was better to go to your grave being beloved than being famous. He didn’t tell chest-beating Canadian stories – he didn’t seem to be that kind of guy – but the stories he told were a celebration of gentle Canadiana. He didn’t tell you this was a story about Canada or Canadians, you just felt it. The stories were real, his characters were warm, flawed and believable, and funny as hell.

My god, how we will miss those times we sat in the garage to wait for the end of the story.

Sundays will never the same.

We are so smearing turkey gravy on the lightbulbs this Christmas.

How about you?

Nominations are open!

The YWCA’s Joy-Ann Allin and I appeared very, very early this morning on Global TV with Lisa Dutton. We had a chat about the upcoming Women of Distinction Awards. That was fun. Did I mention it was very early? Do I look like I had a cat sleeping across my face most of the night, because I did. I believe I was relatively coherent and Joy-Ann and Lisa were wonderful. And I got to enjoy a beautiful sunrise on the way home!

Nominate a woman you respect and admire for her contributions to her profession, to community, to family. Nominations are open until March 3. It’s like donating blood; very good for you and makes a big difference in the life of the recipient!

Nominate a Woman of Distinction

Save the date! The 2017 Women of Distinction Awards Dinner is Wednesday, May 31 at TCU Place. 5:30pm Cocktails, Silent Auction and Raffle 6:30pm Dinner and Awards Program

Nominate someone you respect and admire; it’s easy, and a memorable way to recognize and honour someone for her contribution to our community. The nomination deadline is Friday, March 3rd, so you’ve got time to get it done!

The Annual YWCA Women of Distinction Awards® are a celebration of the best in women’s achievements, across industry, culture and public service, honouring ordinary women for their extraordinary contributions to the Saskatoon community. The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards® are proudly presented by PotashCorp. Funds raised every year through the Women of Distinction Awards® Dinner continue to be a major source of financial support for YWCA Saskatoon services, touching the lives of thousands of women and children right here in our community.

In 2013, I was dumbfounded to first be nominated, and then to receive the award in the Arts, Culture and Heritage category. To meet so many creative, caring, talented and down right smart women was the big honour, and it moved me to nominate someone I admire in 2015. Whether given to someone out there or someone who contributes quietly, these Awards recognize the wide array of contributions that so many women make in Saskatoon.

and then this happens

The men are off to a University of Saskatchewan Huskies game tonight on campus. I put a nice venison loin steak on the barbeque and in the oven go some stuffed mushrooms I made yesterday. A small baked potato with a little homemade pesto. I sit down at my computer to edit some Saskatoon HOME articles for the upcoming spring issue….and then this happens….

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How can you ignore faces like that? Gracie at front, Ed at the rear. They were like that for 20 minutes. It’s either adorable, or creepy.

On the march

Rick, Jim and I were part of the Women’s March on Washington, Saskatoon edition, on the weekend. Estimates of 500 to 800 people. It felt like a positive way to get out, talk to people, listen, and do something about feeling slightly nauseous and worried by the U.S. election. It was a big thing worldwide that left Trump wondering, “If they’re so unhappy, why didn’t they vote?”  ??  Right. We’re just “sore losers.”

Two recent articles by Andrew Coyne resonated with us (the comment section, not so much). These National Post pieces are worth a read:

Trump speech signals an America now looking inward

and

Trump takes lying to whole new dimension