Co-Founder of Seniors Junction, a social enterprise working to prevent seniors isolation. Emeritus professor, U. of Ottawa. Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Founder of Tower of Sound Waves. Author of Fiction.
Ironing, Piano, Nuns, a Psychic, and Coming of Age
I’ve had lots of turning points, but the one that marked my coming of age, I’d place that one when I was 18 and in my last year of high school. We moved a lot when I was a kid. My father was an engineer. He designed cranes, conveyors, and overhead highway says, mostly for small to medium sized companies all over southern Ontario. I usually felt like an outsider, but I don’t blame that on moving, more on being a misfit, and not trying hard enough to make friends.
The 'Idea Cat' of Seniors Junction
My name is Winnie. It’s short for Winchester. My human, Paul, said Winchester sounded too serious. Paul, my sister Daisy, and I all work in our home office for Seniors Junction. It’s very important work, and I do my best to keep the team productive every day. Seniors Junction is a startup, whatever that means. I know that we have recorded a lot of podcasts, and I have made sure that I appear in every one! Sometimes I tried typing a bit on the computer keyboard, but Paul shouted, “No Winnie, don’t walk on the keyboard.” I also make sure the webcam gets a good view of me as I walk on the desk.
“Where were you in ‘62?” That was the ad for the movie American Graffiti. I was seven or eight years younger than those sixties kids in the movie. My story starts in the fall of that year, but it takes flight in 1963.
Sestina: Home and Homing
My home is not at all a common place No well-walked way leads close at all to there No noise of traffic will disrupt the ear
Working to give Purpose to Others
I never dreamt that, at age 65, having retired from a hardly known area of the university work, I would or could get a job enriching and saving lives and preventing dementia, but that’s what’s happened—here I am, and I love it! Let me explain.
The Pear Mysteries and the Fairy Flag of Skye
I was despondent, and at the same time I was curious. To all of us in the school she was known simply as “The Anchoress.” No one had ever told me her name, and I had never seen her. She never left her cell. Cellach, her assistant, told me I had been summoned. There could be only one reason, I knew—I was being sent home. I failed the simple trial of following a path and two men saw me go the wrong way. All the other boys said that when you fail that, she sends you home. I felt I would be very sorry, but I would make the best of it. I missed my family, and I missed my cat, Pangor Ban.
A Strange, Green Light
T Bay is a medium-sized community near the head of Lake Superior. It has a terrific Finnish restaurant. There is gray market for perogies. God’s country is all around, just a few minutes by car in any direction.
My sister was impatient with my questions, but I needed her advice. I just had to know. "I don't see why you have to bring this up now. This is our weekly tennis game, and besides we're playing Paolo and his sister Francesca visiting from Italy. I want your head in the game. And can't you figure this out yourself?"