Pretty sure I mentioned it before but I have a soft spot for millcreekcamp.org. If you live anywhere remotely close to Southern Alberta and you want your kids to have a stellar week you should definitely send them. And a big highlight for me last year was actually speaking at the camp during the senior teens run. I got to do something I’ve been passionate about and wanting to do for years and that’s just talk with kids about life and what’s going on and help them navigate some of the more tumultuous times of their lives. A lifetime highlight reel to be certain. And I was supposed to go again this year but I was kinda dis-invited. A couple bummers there first that I won’t be there for the first time in 4 years, and the other bummer is I have a week’s worth of talks planned out and just kinda… sitting there. So I’m going to repackage them and talk about them a bit over the next few months, because there’s nothing worse than having material go to waste.
And it just so happens that one of my talks kinda coincides with some stuff that’s been happening over the last week or so. So in the very Matt Groening way I like to do things, let’s talk about community.
I lived in the small town of Cranbrook BC for pretty much all of my life. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know where it is, not many people outside of a 2 hour radius do. But I’d never lived outside of Cranbrook. My wife did for school, but much like myself we were lifers. We were probably always going to be lifers to be perfectly honest. The area is gorgeous, no matter where you were within 15 minutes you could be in the deep woods. Within 30 minutes you could be at one of a hundred amazing campsites, fishing holes, or breathtaking landscapes. Kind of boring if you don’t like the outdoors… OK… Well super boring if you don’t like the outdoors. I’m pretty sure it’s gotten last place from Lonely Planet like a half dozen times. And the perfect Cranbrookian response was, instead of improving on obvious places of defect, to complain and start an online petition “But what about our Train Museum!?”
A Train museum!? BEST CITY EVER!
But despite being a kinda dull town that included an amazingly high cost of living… we loved it.
… And in the space of two weeks we decided to move and leave everyone and everything we ever knew behind. A congruence of things lead us there, but honestly looking back on it… I really don’t know what possessed me to move. I mean, I have reasons, and I give them often… But I turned in my notice — late — to my landlord of 5 years without having so much as a place to live, let alone a job and my wife didn’t have much better either. I’m brash, but like a low consequence brash. Like talking to strangers in line, or farting at a Chuck E. Cheese kinda brash.
But this was way beyond flatulence at a child’s dining establishment. This was starting a new life. Miraculously we found a place before it was time to move and before we even unpacked the first box, my wife had a full-time job. This just left me with my biggest concern; I don’t want my wife to be lonely. I will strike up a conversation with basically anyone, doesn’t matter with whom. My wife will take me somewhere and a minute later while she’s getting drinks I announce I’m this guy’s MC at his wedding. This isn’t my wife though, and this really wasn’t a normal situation. And you might think to yourself that ‘friends aren’t that big of a deal’ but I’d argue it. As individuals we are packed full of deficiencies but not the same deficiencies. Engineers are brilliant, but I don’t know many that can put a hammer to a nail. I’ve got a friend with a PhD in physics and another getting his degree in law, and both of them have trouble making Kraft Dinner. I would argue we were designed this way, but even if you don’t believe it was intentional, surely you can see that we need to do things together. That any true accomplishment doesn’t come from the achievements or efforts of the individual, but rather the work of the community.
A week ago I fell at work. We don’t really know why and I mean that with all sincerity. Without so much as touching me the Doctor who saw me said “Well it’s because you’re fat” and then proceeded to lecture me about how bad coke is while telling us how much he loved diet coke. Yes, well, dip-shit if you read my chart you’d know I have a history of heart disease in my family so please tell me again how I should be drinking Aspertame. But the important part of this isn’t that a Doctor did the least of his job requirements which was to make eye contact with me, the important part is my wife’s very pregnant friend dropped everything and picked up my wife to bring her to me after the accident. That same woman? She helped me plan the surprise birthday party depicted above for my wife. Another friend of mine while I had kidney stones, took time off from work to drive me back and forth to doctor’s appointments because my wife was out of town for work and the medication I was on basically wouldn’t let me dial a phone let alone drive.
Without these people, our lives would be that much harder. That much emptier. That much sadder.
Thank you to these wonderful people for our community.
Many Happy Returns GypsyDanger.
– Have a Good’er