It’s a tradition at our Thanksgiving dinner to go around the table and identify one item for which we’re thankful this year.

The expressions of thanks usually relate to family relationships, healthy children, job security, etc.

And so they should. These things are the closest and dearest to us. And when they’re in order, they fill our lives with joy.

I may have thrown a bit of a curveball into the mix this year but, after explanation, it hit the same theme: health. I’ve always been immensely thankful that I’m in such good health–my brothers quip that, as the eldest, I swiped all the healthy genes and left the rest to them.

But one cannot take that for-granted. At the dinner table I said I was thankful for a major face-plant I had taken while downhill skiing last Jan 29, my first face-plant in many years. Because, that face-plant jiggled loose something inside of me that, by the next day, showed evidence of substantial bleeding.

A couple of doctor’s visits and, before long, I was having surgery. We may complain about our slow and failing healthcare system, but suspected cancer and/or heart issues seem to get one immediately to the front of the line. Three minor surgeries later, I’m still not sure whether I’m entirely over the scare—I’m hoping so—but I’m sure thankful the face-plant stimulated the symptoms it did and jolted into quick action a medical system to address my health!

Did you reflect on something, besides turkey, to be thankful for in a year that was probably tougher than many? I hope everyone found something!


Another thought from this Thanksgiving weekend: I noted that I travelled to my brother’s house in shorts and sandals, not the usual attire for this time of year.

Hey, I’d live my life in shorts and sandals if I could—except for when I’m downhill skiing or curling or hiking or dancing, of course. So, I love the weather we’ve been having. A part of me wants to last forever.

But, in the bigger picture, we need variety, and we need rain now. Our farmers are crying for moisture, to keep their livelihoods stable, and to feed us. Our forests are burning—in October! Our air is stifling; on Thanksgiving day here in Abbotsford the smoke smell was strong, our beautiful mountains shrouded, and those with respiratory conditions confined to the indoors.

And in parts of our province, helicopters are scooping water from our lakes not only to fight the fires but also to replenish our municipal water reservoirs.

Maybe it’s climate change, but everything seems to have been pushed back a month or more this year. We got way too much moisture in May and June and, despite what the calendar declared, our summer started far too late. Now the record temperatures and drought are pressing us to their autumnal limits.

I’ll give up my sandals and shorts for a good downpour, but that doesn’t seem to be in the forecast.


And finally . . .

Municipal elections seldom grab much attention, voter turnout usually exceedingly low. This year, though, seems to be different, at least in BC’s two largest cities.

The race in Vancouver is intense, and seems to be focused mostly on negatives—homelessness, crime, traffic issues—and who will best be able to address the problems, the incumbent, or new blood? Where is a positive vision for the future? Where is there optimism?

In Surrey, a race that is all about controversies surrounding the incumbent mayor has produced so many credible candidates vying to replace him, that the winner will likely emerge with a small minority of the votes cast. And that may be the incumbent, himself, with all the splits that will likely occur amongst his opponents.

Maybe such races will stir a larger voter turnout than usual, at least in these two municipalities.

That would be good for democracy, and probably also for the communities!

My encouragement: Get out and vote on Saturday, even if the issues in your municipality are much less contentious!