I didn’t make that up for World Down Syndrome Day, but I wish I had! Hard to believe, but I’ve known Jessica Rotolo since 1998, and her dynamo mom since 1978. Not surprised to see that Jessica has turned into a firecracker, too. Mom Dorlean and I lost touch for a few years; she moved to Toronto, I became the communications person for the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living, an advocacy organization making life better for people with intellectual disabilities. I gained a husband and three stepchildren, one of whom, Jim, has Down syndrome. She got married to Joe, and had two girls. Back in 1998, by a little twist of fate, I got a call at my office one day. It was my old buddy Dorlean. “I think there’s a reason we met 20 years ago,” she said. “I just had a little girl. She’s beautiful. Her name is Jessica. She has Down syndrome.” When I screeched and yelled “Congratulations!” the years in between disappeared, and we were reconnected by Jim and Jessica. Fast forward: Jim was just named the Saskatoon YMCA Volunteer of the Year 2017 for over two decades of steady service. That’s my old pal Dorlean and Joe with Jessica, holding the Friends Don’t Count Chromosomes sign. Brilliant. Take a look at Jessica, appearing on CBC’s The Goods morning show and CITY’s Breakfast Television in Toronto to make everyone aware of World Down Sydrome Day last week (the whole wearing odd socks was part of the campaign). Jessica is hitting the Big 2-0 soon in April. Happy Birthday, Jessica! Keep it up; you’re becoming a great ambassador for people with and without disabilities, and I’m proud to count you among my homies with extra chromies!
At the recent 26th Annual Bridges Awards, sponsored by the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders’ Association, Decora Homes of Saskatoon swept four categories, and took trophies for Best Landscape, Best Custom Home (over 2200 sq. ft.), Customer Choice (small volume builder), and Best Interior Decorating. I’m proud to have had a small hand in this, writing the award nominations for them a few months ago. I’m very happy to see the multiple wins! Congratulations, Decora! (Photos by Heather Fritz)
Gracie looks innocent but she’s actually ratting out Ed, who peed on our nice wool area rug. Ed went into hiding (not very convincingly) with his Beanie Baby Kitty, but Gracie hunted him down. Anyone know a good place to have a rug cut and rebound? He thoughtfully peed in the very centre, leaving 3.5 feet of good sculpted carpet on either side.
Since I began working on a novel several (okay, many) years ago, I have learned one thing about a work of fiction. It’s not the story ideas that are hard to come up with, it’s putting the 329 pages, 2080 paragraphs and 106, 313 words all in the right order that’s the tricky bit. Manuscript off to my editor yesterday, blessed for good luck by Gracie the cat, and also by my pals at the post office, including a random guy who was in mailing a letter. With good vibes like that, I’m feeling confident. But digits crossed anyway; couldn’t hurt.
And here it is, our 40th issue. The spring issue of Saskatoon HOME magazine celebrates our first decade. I’m happy to have been part of this magazine as a writer since 2008, and editor/writer since 2013. The issue is on the racks now, so pick up a copy and let us know what you like. We’re featuring some of our favourite and most popular stories since we began. If you have ideas for interesting stories about Saskatoon people, building, renovations, decor, food, history, and other fun stuff, let me know. We’re always looking for good conent.