How Many Directions?

While I’d like to keep any number of my web spaces active it becomes a touch onerous to maintain any level of consistency in my attention to each. Facebook has it’s points, Flickr is nice for some things (photos of course), Google+ is always an option (same as FB), and of course there’s the blogs and webpages I’ve started and let wither away. Oh, woe is me….

Over the years I’ve tried a few different versions of the same thing, different methods for developing a ‘web presence’, various attempts to communicate and at the same time find an outlet for the words I want to say. Too much web presence is likely not a good thing but I’ll try to control myself, and the information I present. This is as good a venue as any I’d say, so let’s try this WordPress site for a while.

I think the secret will be to be quick and dirty in my entries as they say. Keep ’em short, find something at least a little interesting, and hey… throw in a photo or two for those who don’t want to (or can’t) read. This will be my first kick at that proverbial cat.

This site won’t suddenly switch to a ‘Dwayne’s gab fest’, heaven forbid. I will still keep it as a family site and I will continue to look for family info. Perhaps I’ll make some changes to the Galleries to make them more accessible, who knows. So here goes, here’s some pics for those tired of reading.

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Pearl Sklapsky-Holben Memoir

In April of 1989 Pearl Sklapsky-Holben began to write her memoir, a story of her life and the immigration of her family from Michigan to Brock, Saskatchewan. Pearl is the youngest of 10 children who moved with Frank and Ettie Sklapsky to Canada around 1900. It’s a captivating story, one not unlike the story of Charles Reeves, where both face the tribulations of a move to a new country. They leave both friends and family behind, never sure whether they will ever see them again, at least in this life.

Pearl writes:

I wonder as I write this, just how interesting it will be for anyone to read. I am seventy-one years old and will be seventy-two on the 24th of August this year. Time has flown by so swiftly, and yet it seems eons since I was a child. I wonder if my having lived will have made an impression on anyone, and I think not. I’ve done nothing to be remembered for. My life is like a pebble. Dropped in the lake it makes a few ripples that fade as they stretch out and eventually, nothing remains. And I guess that is how it’s supposed to be since we are, none of us, indispensable. I wonder if my having lived here on this earth will have made any difference at all. I bore five children which to me are wonderful, but to how many others? Will the Lord bless me through them? Will they make the mark I didn’t?

I think she did make a mark. I believe her life did make a profound difference, both through her family and just by her writing this memoir, the story of her life with her family.

The memoir is currently found under the menu item “Family Info”, only seen and accessed by those who have registered and signed onto this site. You will also find Charles Reeves memoir there. If you wish access you can let me know, or register yourselves to gain access. You can go to the post “Done for Now” to see what you need to do, or like I said just drop me a note. I’ve asked her daughter Linda Ducharme if she would allow me to post it on the public site but as of yet I’ve had no reply.

The memoir in it’s entirety, and a great deal of additional family history, can also be read by acquiring Linda’s book “The Sklapsky Saga – The History of a Family”. If you would like a copy of the book please contact Linda, she has copies available. You can reach her at smoochsmom(at)outlook.com, just replace the (at) in the address with @. Please put “Sklapsky Saga” in the subject line. You can also contact me and I can send you additional contact information.

Enjoy the story!

Busy Summer So Far

Many apologies for the gap between my posts, it’s been an action packed summer and there’s been either little time available, or a diminishing energy in the available time, to sit down and write. I also often feel like all I do is apologize here so I will attempt to change that. So there, I’m not sorry.

So far this summer vacation we’ve either been camping, visiting Kelowna, or out and about gallivanting to other locales. This past week we’ve had some quiet time at home and so far we are relishing it. Our original plan was to go to the GoodGuys car show in Spokane Wash. this weekend but we ran out of steam and said “Hey, let’s do something different and just stay home”. So we did.

There have also been very few calls about Dad this week, or requirements for attention, and that helps. It seemed I was making frequent trips in to see him and either take him to the Doctor or the hospital. Thankfully he is at his home now and let’s hope it stays that way for a while. He is having more and more challenges walking due to a numbness in his right leg. That could be due to a pinched nerve in his back or it’s possible he’s suffered another minor stroke. Whatever the cause it is handicapping him even more and making him prone to stumble and fall, of which he’s done enough lately, thank you very much.

As I mentioned we’ve made a number of trips to Kelowna to see the kids and while I thoroughly enjoy it I also miss the quiet and solitude of home. I think I must be becoming a curmudgeon or something, my old age (joke) is starting to show in my love of just sitting in my rocking chair and smoking my pipe. To be truthful I have neither a rocker nor a pipe but the analogy stands, I like my space and being away limits my options to write, putter in the yard, or read. And I’m not complaining either. I know I have a great life!

Don’t get me wrong, I love being with the fam and after even a week away from them I’m looking at pictures of them and wishing I were there. Ah….., the inconsistencies of life.

We have also been camping, a few times, sometimes alone and once with some friends from Japan. Our friend Yuzo brought his 13 year old daughter Lisa to Canada from Japan. It was her first time here and he brought her to broaden the English skills she’s acquiring in school. Yuzo was once one of our homestay students for a brief time, taking the ESL course (English as a Second Language) at Selkirk College. We tried to fill their visit with some memorable occasions, tours of Mission Hill winery, camping, and of course dinner at the Colander. Lisa loves Justin Bieber and at the Colander we were fortunate to be served by a Justin lookalike.

For camping we were very fortunate to get one of the best sites at Syringa, totally by luck and Maureen’s hard work (I also think Karma). Lisa thought the water in the lake was a bit chilly but it was sure refreshing on the hot days.

Maureen and I certainly had a great week as well and loved spending time with both Yuzo and Lisa. It’s been about 11 years or so since I saw Lisa last, the last time was during my visit to their home in 2001. Lisa was just a toddler then, and as evidenced by the photos below she created a new way to signal “peace”. We used that method numerous times during their trip. Yuzo has come ‘home’ to Castlegar to visit a few times.

So when all is said and done “a good time was had by all”. I look forward to our next visit, perhaps it will be there. Only time will tell.

Time Flies

I’ve made some headway with Charles Reeves memoir, as far as copying the text to this site. I’m about halfway now and with luck I get about 5 pages per day. That translates to about 20 something more days at that rate.

I think I mentioned that I went with my Mom to a writers exhibition called the Tucson Book Fair and on our layover in Vancouver I was fortunate to meet a couple of family members, albeit family members a bit removed. One of the ladies I had been emailing back and forth with, exchanging family information. Fay H., the distant cousin, invited me to her home to share with me some of her family history. She had also invited my Great-Aunt Delores to join us, the wife of one of Charles Reeves sons. What a great treat to meet and talk to both of them.

Delores has since given me the contact information of one of her nieces, Noreen, the holder of the original Charles Reeves memoir. I will certainly get in touch with her to talk family. Maybe she’ll lend me some photos to copy and put on here.

—-

I took some photos the other day of a nearby creek. I was playing with the shutter speed and trying to get the motion of the water to blur and was partially successful. I think I need another run at it to perfect. These were taken at 1/10 of a second, I think at least a second or so exposure might be better. Apparently the slower the shutter speed the better.

rushing creek, creek
Rushing Creek

The picture below is the same creek just a different location and a wider view.

creek, rushing creek
Another Rushing Creek

Time Flies

I’ve made some headway with Charles Reeves memoir, as far as copying the text to this site. I’m about halfway now and with luck I get about 5 pages per day. That translates to about 20 something more days at that rate.

I think I mentioned that I went with my Mom to a writers exhibition called the Tucson Book Fair and on our layover in Vancouver I was fortunate to meet a couple of family members, albeit family members a bit removed. One of the ladies I had been emailing back and forth with, exchanging family information. Fay H., the distant cousin, invited me to her home to share with me some of her family history. She had also invited my Great-Aunt Delores to join us, the wife of one of Charles Reeves sons. What a great treat to meet and talk to both of them.

Delores has since given me the contact information of one of her nieces, Noreen, the holder of the original Charles Reeves memoir. I will certainly get in touch with her to talk family. Maybe she’ll lend me some photos to copy and put on here.

—-

I took some photos the other day of a nearby creek. I was playing with the shutter speed and trying to get the motion of the water to blur and was partially successful. I think I need another run at it to perfect. These were taken at 1/10 of a second, I think at least a second or so exposure might be better. Apparently the slower the shutter speed the better.

rushing creek, creek
Rushing Creek

The picture below is the same creek just a different location and a wider view.

creek, rushing creek
Another Rushing Creek

Janna Olsen-Spratt – the Author

Janna Olsen-Spratt, the author.

After I re-read my previous post I think I may have been a bit remiss in not mentioning much about Mom’s books, particularly the one she was in Tucson for. That book signing was for A Path Through.

She writes under her name Janna Olsen-Spratt.  To date she’s written 3 books with more on the way, and she has a blog as well. Her books are published by Xlibris, the link to her author’s information page is here.

The books she has written so far are:

Quiet Reflections – a book on Poetry

BILLY GOAT AND THE RED NECKERCHIEF – a Children’s story, based on a tale her Uncle told her.

A PATH THROUGH – her autobiography

A PATH THROUGH , Janna Olsen-Spratt
A Path Through

You can check out all of the books here on the Amazon site:

http://books.google.ca/books?q=inauthor:%22Janna+Olsen+Spratt%22&output=html_text&source=gbs_metadata_r&cad=2

1 Holiday Down, 1 To Go

Christmas is over, that’s one special occasion down and one to go. New Years here I come.

Now this makes it sound like I don’t like the holidays, and that’s where you’d be wrong. I like them just fine, don’t necessarily love the season but certainly don’t dislike or hate it. I think it’s more the buildup and subsequent beehive of activity has leaves me now with a somewhat anti-climactic sense of blah.

Grey and overcast days contribute to the malaise, as does the withdrawl from sugar and high fat foods, and the desire to binge on the goodies and liquid Christmas cheer.  Look at me, I’m so hard done by.

It’s time now for the homesick, comfy clothes, the routine that signifies back to normal or the return to days without real purpose other than perpetual ‘do what you want’.  After all I’m retired now and my days are essentially filled with finding what interests me most on any particular day and doing it.  That could be anything from spending time on the computer, writing, shovelling, or doing laundry.  Such a range, such a life.