Swan dive.

19 07 2019

We gathered down at the beach late Friday afternoon, drinks in hand, and sat with the vista of the north end of the lake set before us like freshly painted art, the mountains arced on each side, fading from greenish gray to the far off hues of deep blues. We laughed, visited and caught up with each other, setting the tone for the girls weekend before us.

I admit I was eyeing up the dock long before my sister whispered into my ear. Even though it was on the cooler side, I’m generally not one to miss out an opportunity to plunge into Kootenay Lake. None of us had our suits on, however, but when Kim subtly nudged me and suggested we jump off the dock, swimsuits were not a concern of mine. Winning, however, was.

We ran onto the dock while the girls on the beach hooted and hollered. While I ran, I stripped off my shorts and top, intent on winning the race AND launching myself off the dock in what I hoped would be a graceful, perfectly executed dive into the water. Right down to straight legs and pointed toes.

I stole a quick glance behind me and saw I was clearly in the lead. Full speed, I ran, with the edge of the dock a mere eight feet away, and the cool blue-gray waters of the lake beckoning me like a sweet lover.

That was when my left foot collided with the pointy edge of a metal boat cleat… And I went sprawling, catching my right foot under me with enough instinctual presence to flounder rather than fall. I windmilled in an attempt to prevent a full naked body skid along a very slivery aged dock and instead, launched off the edge in a frenzy of arms and legs, and, also, I daresay, bare bum in the air, and spectacularly bellyflopped into the lake.

I came up, sputtering and coughing to see my sister bent over in absolute hysterics. She managed to ask if I was okay in between bouts of guffaws. I climbed the ladder and stood in all my glory, dripping wet, gave my audience on the beach a loud WOOOOOO-HOOOO and then looked down at my foot. It… well it wasn’t broken, but it was instantly swollen and rather pinkish-red. Not a speck of toe nail polish remained on three of my toes. The polish was, as we discovered the next day, embedded in the boards as three long purple streaks, as if to say “Kris was here… and here… and here…”

It could have ended badly, but I’d rather not think about that. I’d rather think about how I provided a good laugh for my friends and I also that I WON.


Within the grace of saying goodbye.

30 10 2018

I wasn’t necessarily overly “close” to Naomi, but the reality of knowing this authentic soul is that when you knew her, when you spoke with her, when you got to hug her, you felt so enveloped in her love that you honestly felt like her best friend.

She departed from this earthly level of existence (something tells me she’d love this explanation) and left behind a rich tapestry of folks left reeling from this loss. Far be it from me to appropriate the grief from those closest to her, but let me tell you, in the standing room only space of her memorial today, I looked around and witnessed a gamut of human beings whom she touched on many levels.

In any funeral, memorial, or celebration of life there are messages from the loved ones left behind that we hear and bear witness to. And as I get older, these messages resonate more deeply, more richly. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Tell the ones you love that you do love them, deeply. Hug whenever you can. Be kind. Take that time to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Reach out and attempt healing if your souls have disconnected, because you guys… life is short, it’s so short and so goddamn precious.

Last night, as I was almost ready to crawl into bed, I got a message from a lifelong friend. In the form of a meme, it summed up the truth of connection. It came at a serendipitous time, as I was grieving for her family and thinking of today’s service. I am so guilty of not reaching out, and staying in my nice comfy hidey-hole of my life that I let opportunities pass me by to even just say hi. We get wrapped up in our crap, time slips by and before you know it, it’s been days/weeks/months/years since we’ve spoken and connected.

But thanks to the silver linings of things like today, we can breathe deep and remember what is so truly important. Not the stresses at work, not the cost of gasoline, not the argument with your partner about laundry.

It’s us. ALL of us. The tapestry of relationships that weave our lives into a rich blanket of connection. It’s dancing and laughter. It’s tears and arguments that resolve into tender forgiveness. It’s moving beyond our attachment from a desire for revenge and retribution, but rather to a humble acceptance of our human fragility and strength.

In her way of being a connection for so many, she has proven today that she has the power to unite. The message I received loud and clear this morning was that we are all here for a short and sweet time and we need to: Breathe. Hug. Love. Laugh. And dance. Don’t forget to dance. And don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. It is when you are that, that you are most human.

I love you all. I really do. And to Naomi, thank you. Thank you for your lessons we all were blessed to receive today and above all thank you for YOU (and those two bald eagles circling above the church after your service. I stood and watched, breathless and aching for your family).




You go girl.

24 02 2017

We lapped the Summit side today, my friend and I. The snow was softened up by the sun enough so that it carved nicely on the groomers, and still we found mini patches of coveted powder here and there on Sleeper and Paydirt, amongst the trees.

Anyways, I digress. There was a cutie-patootie liftie working the Summit chair for our few runs. She was Aussie, young and super beautiful. There was a bit of a delay, the lift had stopped for a few moments. We overheard her conversation with another young Aussie gal, and it briefly afforded me a teasing glimpse into the lives of the “younguns”.

“How’s your season going?” one beauty asked the other.

“Sooooooeeeeewwwww good. I’m definitely coming back next wintah.”

“Oh, soooooeeeewwwww awesome.”

“Yeeeeaaaaahhhh, and I’m heading to the Eeeyyy-land this summah. I might get a job theyah.”

“Ohhhhh, that’s sooooooeeeeeewww amazing!! Enjoy! Hey, I’ll see you this weekend?”

“Yeeeahhhhh, should be soooooeeewwww fun!”


My friend and I got on the chair, bathed in the sunshine pouring down over Ymir peak. I giggled to my friend, mimicking that sweet young girl a bit.

“Ooooohhhhh, yyyeeeaaaahhhh, lookit at ma life, sooooeeeeww gooood. I don’t have any babies or even a husband! Not a mortgage or worry in sight! Lookit at me, with my high firm titties, lovin’ life, working heeeeaaahhh, working theeeeaaarrrr, with me smooth skin and no wrinkles.”

We laughed. And then we sighed. And remembered our own wild feet and youth. We recalled our own smooth skin and lives untethered. When we were wild women.

Listen, I only said what I said, I only mimicked her with the utmost of respect. The utmost of not so much jealousy, but rather with an older woman’s indulgent nostalgia. Those long ago days, when it was our turn to be wild and free.

What I thought was this:

Fuck girl: GO. Get that job on the Island. Party, make money, surf, make love, have fun, laugh and LIVE. Come back to Whitewater another season. Ski or board your ass off on your days off. Celebrate your youth. Get tattooed. Take those trips. Kiss that person you find attractive. Grab life and do what you want to do. All of those experiences you are about to dredge out for your life, they will be a guiding force in many of your decisions that you will eventually make. Let these days be the solid foundation of a life well-lived.

Take them. Run with them. That whim that whispers in your ear? Go with it. Don’t hesitate. You with the long brown braids and bright eyes. You have an epic future ahead.

Every time we lapped that side, we’d come back to the chair, and she’d ask us how our day was going. She’d ask with a bright smile and an authentic sweetness of someone who was loving life. It filled my heart with a subtle joy. That this young soul, this lovely human was living her life to her own accord, hopefully not succumbing to the dictates of others. Her life, her rules.

It settled in me, this thought and wonder of why this brief interaction touched me so deeply. And I realized it is only because it is what we should ALL do as humans. We should all live our own lives, dictated by no other person’s demands of what we should or shouldn’t do, guided only by our own happiness and joy.

It gave me hope.

It set a little tiny piece of my heart free.

Hey kids, it’s story time….

1 04 2015

Long, long ago, I travelled to Italy to see an old high school buddy who had moved there when we were in grade 9. I stayed with her lovely family in Firenze (Florence), ate amazing food, witnessed mind-boggling art, met all of her fun friends, toured around Europe a wee bit, met my old pen-pal in France and stayed with her family for a couple weeks. I learned a few things about myself and, yeah, I admit, got a wee bit chunky from Maria’s (seriously amazing) risotto.

How fun that time of my life was…. It is, of course, glossed over in my memory’s rose-coloured glasses. I sadly realize a lot of things were lost on my red-neck 21 year old self…. Did I even try any good wine? Hell no. Did I take an Italian lover and spend long sensual nights (and days) in his bed? Sigh… nope…. I did, however, savagely learn heaps and bounds about the Renaissance and the deep and wondrous Italian heritage. I declared myself Italian in my heart, gazing for hours at the sculptures of the Masters. It ingrained in me a sense of TIME…. The house we stayed in was hundreds and hundreds of years old…. From our bedroom window, I could see the Duomo of Firenze grazed by the “fingers of God” as the sun set. The sky was different, the air was different. I was different.

When I left, they gave me some parting gifts. One was a bottle of red wine, called Nozzole. The label was a map of Firenze and the surrounding area, which included drawings of the house where I stayed. I vowed to only open that wine upon a VERY SPECIAL OCCASION. I placed it on its side in a dark dry closet and promptly forgot about it.

Special occasions galore came and went. Dan and I had our first baby. Then we got married. Then I turned 30 (but I was pregnant for the second time, soooooo). Then I had that baby…. I realized one day that I just needed to drink that goddamn bottle of wine, and that was right around the time my sister turned 30.

“Well, hot damn,” I thought to myself, “perfect excuse to crack this motherfucker open.”

We had a lovely dinner together, and I brought the bottle out.

“Are you sure?” Kim asked, feeling intimidated towards this bottle of wine. As if her 30th wasn’t good enough.

“I am so sure,” I said and removed the cork.

We let it breathe. And then we poured.

What poured out wasn’t the glistening blood red liquid of a fine Italian wine, the aromas and sensuality swirling around our heads… evoking images of piazzas, Italian cigarettes, dark eyed men, thousand year old stone villas and old olive tree orchards.

No. What poured out was a chunky, vinegary hot mess of a wine gone bad.  You guys… YOU GUYS…… IT WAS BROWN.

Kim and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. I admit we actually tried a wee bit and spat it out in the sink….

All those years stored away as a special occasion reward ended up as a candle holder in my bathroom.

And I enjoy it every chance I get.






Note to self….

3 12 2013

There’s the Drunken Facebook Posts,  the Texts You Instantly Regret, the Midnight CryFest Phonecalls and then there’s what I did.

First, a bit of a back story…. I have dealt with chronic pain for 20+ years now. I don’t like to talk about it too much, since there is a lot of Advice Givers and Naysayers out there and I have learned to just not say anything when it comes to my health: otherwise I face an onslaught of Granny’s special cure-all potion recipes to me being told that it just might be all in my (obviously crazy) head.

Anyways, I have IBS, which can be crippling when I have pain flares. Fortunately, it has been dormant for a good part of a decade, raising its nasty head rarely. But the last six months and especially the last two weeks, it has been pretty bad. I have been in bed a good majority of the time, sinking into a pit of worry and stress which only compounds my situation. Depression and chronic pain is real, you guys, and I know firsthand that you should never mess around with that shit. (Thank god I have an amazing support group around me, whom I can count on to help me out when I am in it deep. You know who you are, and I can’t thank you enough.)

Anyways, my doctor has prescribed Ativan for severe attacks, when my regular meds don’t cut it. I try to avoid that as much as possible, because:

A) I don’t want to rely on heavy drugs and


So Saturday, I took an Ativan in desperation, as I lay writhing in pain. Under the tongue, that teeny little pill dissolved and worked its magic upon my body. I felt relaxation ebbing through me. As I floated on the couch, all happy and shit, I saw my iPhone beside me…. And a surge… nay, a TIDAL WAVE of love washed through me and I started texting my undying love and complete adoration to all my friends. At some point I passed out and slept like the dead.

I woke the next morning to find several replies.

Most went like this:

“Aw, you’re so sweet. How drunk are YOU? LOL!!!! :-)”

I felt a wee bit abashed, I admit… But then I also thought, hey… It’s always nice to tell people you care about that you love them. In my case it was urged along by my good old pal, Ativan….. that devilishly wonderful relaxant that makes me super dippy. But, oddly, I had no regrets about what I texted to my wonderful friends. Because, you know what? It was ALL true.

In closing…. I love you man. I  mean, I really really love you.

These are the friends I know, I know. These are the friends I know.

30 11 2013

You know the ones. The ones you  might not talk to for months, not see for years. The ones who helped the integral sculpting of your true and innermost self. The ones that have more secrets of yours than anyone. The very ones that even if YEARS have gone by, once you settle in with a drink, you become who you always were with them. Time passed ceases to be any issue and the very comfort of your friendship wraps around you all, burying any strife and discomfort and bringing forth epic laughter, tears, and the very sweet and graceful gift of knowing, of really really knowing that you will ALWAYS be friends. Until the very very end.

They are the lifers, the friends that span childhood, the teenager years, young adulthood rife with adventure and drinking (which may or may not include knowledge of exploits best left to your diary), the journey into adulthood and responsibility. I am so very lucky to have two girls in my life that I can gift them this accolade.

I haven’t been able to see these two girls for almost two years now. This weekend, they are together though, and I am so happy for them. I admit a surge of jealousy frothed a bit, but this fucking life of ours has a tendency to take us where we need to be, not necessarily where we WANT to be… and I chose to just be glad for their experience instead of hosting a pity party for one…. I do hope that we can figure out a way to hang for a weekend soon, the three of us, up to no good at all, epic laughs until 4 am… This. This is what I need, what my soul craves. It’s like a treat, that one you never indulge in until you cannot say no. A gathering with your oldest and dearest. Well, I believe it fills your inner well up until it flows over. I know it did the last time we all managed to squeeze in an impromptu gathering.

We were little kids together. How freaking cool is that??? We saw each other through nose-picking and bullying games in the playground, periods and bras, first loves and crushes. Fights with each other, silent treatments, notes passed in biology. As we grew, we learned. We learned that love and friendship means more than popularity. Celebrations, driving to cruise hot guys, drinking in the pits. Getting caught doing something bad. Commiseration. Smoking together. Drinking together. More fights… well, they just lead to relationships strengthened.

We know so much, we needn’t discuss it. We are one another on some deeply formed level that is so buried within, it whispers instead of shouts. I am who I am and a huge silent part of this is Lisa and Melissa.

We wrote a book together, we raised holy hell together, we drank and partied, we ripped it up, owned our sexuality with  wide varieties of willing young men, we slowly settled, fell in love, raised some lovely children. We are rolling into that great and gray area of Middle Age, and yet. And yet we still feel the same inside our very hearts and souls.

We were mean as hell to each other, but holy fuck, NO ONE would mess with them other than us. I stuck up countless times to gossip and backstabbing. I raised my voice against ones who would say shit about MY friends. These were my beauties, my sisters. They were my best friends. And I sure love them a whole lot.