Archive for May, 2009
Just recently, the world as I know it, became a little smaller. My good friend, Bill, has passed away. As well as being my friend, I often thought of Bill as my “second dad”. We first met in autumn 2000, about a year after my own father died as a result of kidney cancer. I was traveling in the Pacific Northwest for a month, as a break after caring for my dad until his death and then keeping our family’s business going for the ensuing year. A friend and I had taken off to camp and shoot photos in the redwoods and along the California coast. We stopped off at his parents’ house for a visit on our way south. At the time, his mother was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, and his father (Bill) was caring for her. They were both in their mid-eighties at the time.
After our visit, my friend and I continued south into California. On our way back north, we stopped at the house again, only to find that Bill’s wife had taken a stroke and that he was caring for her at home. After a short deliberation, I cancelled my flight home and we stayed on an extra week to help get home care set up, and a few other things organized. That’s when I got to know Bill, and to know him was to love and admire him. His dedication to caring for his wife was truly remarkable. For a man of eighty-four, he did an astounding job as caregiver. Having just cared for my own father, I knew how difficult it can be to deal with the grind of caring for someone you love, watching them go into decline with each passing day. He managed much better than many people half his age might under the same circumstances. I was always amazed at his strength, energy and fortitude.
Bill’s wife passed away soon after I returned home, but he and I kept in touch over the next few years. We communicated by email and snail mail. I would send him prints of the nature photos that I’d taken, and he would send me amusing newspaper clippings and his favourite comic strip. On each of my subsequent visits to the PNW, I would always work in a visit with Bill. In autumn 2006, when my late husband, Don, came west with me, I had the pleasure of bringing him to Bill’s for a visit. Below is a photo of the three of us together. On that same visit, my friend and I took Bill to a rock-strewn shoal on the Rogue River one evening. We sat on the shore together, studying the interesting river-worn rocks and seeing shapes in the pink-tinged clouds just before sunset. The above photo was taken that evening.
I last visited Bill in November 2008 on my solitary trip down the west coast, enroute to the house I had rented in Arizona. I stayed overnight and we talked about Don, and how it is to lose your partner and have to go on, and just about life in general. When I left the next morning, he came out to see my “camper van” as he was amazed at how I could fit a bed, camping gear, clothing, and my dog, Sabrina, into a little Windstar mini-van. As we said farewell in the laneway, little did I know that it would be our last. Godspeed to you, my friend.
Sage helping out with packing up for our move
If you’re reading this, you’ve managed to arrive at the new location for Journey to the Center. About a week ago, I noticed that the “comments” feature on my blog wasn’t working properly. The most recent post that had a dozen comments, was now showing “0 comments” and even posts that did show that they had comments, could not be accessed. Further, navigation between posts was almost impossible. I spent all of my spare time on a couple of days trying to fix the problem, but I don’t seem to be able to get everything working again. My guess is that my server host may have changed the version of WordPress on which Journey to the Center was running. All of my other blogs seem to be working fine, but they are all running on different versions of WordPress. So, I came up with a rather radical plan and that was to export the files of JTTC and create a new blog to import them into. I gave that a shot and sure enough, the blog worked fine and the comments reappeared! That’s a *good thing* as your comments mean a great deal to me and I’d hate to ever lose them or not have them displayed with my posts.
Now, if I knew more about the nuts and bolts of WordPress blogs, I imagine I could fix the original Journey to the Center, but to cut to the chase, at the moment, I just don’t have enough time to mess around with code, uploading and testing files, etc… This method-of-almost-last-resort will have to suffice for now. Later on, maybe I’ll have time to sort things out and solve the mystery of the missing comments, but it will have to wait. As many of you know, I’m in the midst of packing my stuff, painting my house, and trying to get the farm ready to sell. Fiddling with a dysfunctional blog doesn’t contribute anything to my general well-being, so I’ve resorted to the quick-and-dirty solution. So, please change your bookmarks or your blogroll and make the jump to this URL. If you’ve been using http://journeytothecenter.magickcanoe.com, you may have arrived here without even knowing that anything was amiss — if all went according to some of my fiddling around.
Okay, so that’s what has been happening with my blog. I haven’t been posting because I was so vexed over the “missing comments” problem. In other news, I’m doing okay at getting the place ready to list for sale. At times, it seems like I’ll never get finished, but I’ve made a terrific amount of progress considering that I’ve only been here at the farm for a little over a month. On other fronts, I’m managing okay, but finding it very difficult and weird to be here at the farm without Don. Packing our belongings is often a challenge. I left our clothing until almost last as I knew I would find that very hard, and it was. Although I packed a good percentage of Don’s clothes to send off to a local charitable organization, I kept quite a few things too — his favourite coats, jackets, jeans, t-shirts and hiking boots. The grocery lists, notes, pens, and other objects that were in the jacket pockets, will remain there, archived for me to revisit from time to time in the future. I am not, and may never be, ready to part with any of this stuff, and that seems okay.
Meanwhile, Sabrina is well and Sage continues to grow like a weed. Now that I’ve got this new blog up and working, I’ll try to post some photos and/or video sometime very soon.
Well, back to work here!