Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Stormy Weather

It's been a very wet Fall. After the most dramatic summer drought in Vancouver's history, this is welcome and odd.

Vancouver has a reputation for rain. Just as polar peoples are understood to have many, many words for snow to describe its many forms, true Vancouverites know that it does not always rain here because for us, rain is falling water that lasts for hours. We mostly get showers, but for the past week almost, we have had rain.

So I stay home, comfy and warm, reading, baking, fussing with my aquarium and Netflixing.

I have a sixty-gallon aquarium and it has a lot of things in it that are there to eat the algae that builds up on plan leaves. Amongst my arsenal of algae eaters are shrimp—most are dull brown and quite large shrimp but recently I got a bunch of tiny coloured shrimp like the red one pictured above. Its a cohort of little algae eaters that really do a great job on the long grass that covers the floor of the tank.

Without a parent to teach me cooking, my gastronomic history begins very poorly. Almost everything I ate came out of a can. My absent father left cupboard full of tinned food for me to heat and serve myself for all my dinners beginning at roughly age nine. Our housekeeper made me sandwiches for lunch, but someone taught me how to make French Toast. I had forgotten that, so this morning, I made myself a glorious retro breakfast. It was so good in my mouth and in my mind.

Susan grew up down the street from me. We have never lost touch and so I was not surprised to get an email from her—we have a grad reunion lunch coming up tomorrow—but I was surprised by what she said. She found out grade four teacher, Miss Polischuk, whom we both greatly admired.

Susan found an inspiring article about our Miss Polischuk, Alice, who became Mrs. Judson Wilcox. Alice and Judson Sr. had one son who was born with a birth defect. The surgeons corrected the problem but warned Alice and her husband that Judson Jr. would never walk.

Alice would have none of that and the newspaper article Susan found recounts her victory with Judson Jr. who works and lives relatively independently in a group home.

I wrote to the journalist, hoping that through her, Susan and I can relay our thanks for her work with us so many decades ago. We loved her. You can see why in the tailoring of her clothes in this picture. I am circled in red, right beside her.

Click to enlarge.

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