I love you in a ditch


This “Dr. Seuss” type invitation would set the tone for the wedding.

We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.

The Ceremony

On Saturday I went to Sabrina’s and Daniel’s wedding, a 2-hour drive from Calgary, on the beautiful grounds of Sanctum Retreat, just outside Caroline, Alberta.

Before the ceremony started, children gathered to hear the story Horton hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. In fact the whole wedding had a Dr. Seuss-ish kind of feel to it.

One knew almost immediately that this wedding would be a bit different when a drone equipped with a camera flew overhead!

The father of the groom, Pat Nixon officiated the ceremony, incorporating vows that sounded like they were written by Dr. Seuss himself!

The bride and groom, and all in attendance,  giggled when in turn they said, “I love you when we’re rich, I love you when we’re poor, I love you in a ditch.”

I turned to the guy on my left and said, “I hope they’re not serving green eggs and ham at the reception!”

The reception

We gathered in a great, big, white tent, worthy of a party in Whoville and waited for the bridal party, and ultimately the bride and groom to join us.

The emcee, Daniel’s brother Jeremy, informed us that they would not be showing up until it sounded like we were celebrating. He instructed us to say, “OH YEAH,” together in our deepest voice.

You must listen to the above while I continue. Go ahead, click play, I’ll wait…

Ok, all set?

This is the tune that blasted through the tent as, couple by couple, the groomsmen and bridesmaids headed to the dance floor and performed (I use that term lightly) their own choreographed … umm… dance.

They did not look like they felt awkward at all, nor did the wedding guests seem to perceive any awkwardness whatsoever in this display.

Stories for kisses

We were told that the bride and groom would kiss, not by our clinking of glasses with spoons, but by our telling of stories. I had a story to tell, but I chose not to, because my story was one that resulted in damage years ago because of, you guessed it, a kiss, or rather the blowing of a kiss!

Years ago, when I was a volunteer at the Mustard Seed, Annelie another volunteer, blew a kiss at 8-year-old Daniel through the window as she stood outside on the deck.

Daniel, whom it would seem has always been a little more affected by gestures of love than the average person, reacted by running through the window pane, shattering the window.

I did not wish a repeat of this story. So can you understand why I chose to stay quiet?

Many stories were told and much laughter ensued. Here are my two favourites:

     A friend of the bride told of a day when she and others were helping the bride move. They’d loaded the car up with all of her clothes and were driving down the street. People in other cars were trying to get their attention with frantic waving and honking.

Somehow, Sabrina’s clothing was tumbling out into the street and the girls found themselves picking up underwear that was scattered all over the road.

     A friend of the groom told the story of when he and the groom worked for Daniel’s oldest brother Jason at Mountain Aire Lodge. The Lodge was quite isolated and they were bored one day, so they set off fireworks in the bush. A small fire was started, they put it out and snuck back to the lodge feeling as though they narrowly escaped disaster.

Jason caught wind of their escapade and to teach him a lesson he told Daniel the next day that there had been a dangerous forest fire and lots of damage resulted.

Daniel, who had always thought this was a true story, piped up from his seat at the head table, “You mean that wasn’t true? I fessed up to that incident when I tried to apply for the police force!”


There were many good speeches. Some touching. Some funny. The parents of the bride and the parents of the groom gave particularly touching speeches. But I won’t tell you about them in the interests of brevity. One speech did stand out though and exemplified brevity.

The Best Man, Shane, youngest brother of the groom stood at the podium. He admitted being nervous and then shared that he once was told that the Best Man’s speech should not be longer than it takes the groom to make love to his wife. He then thanked everyone and sat down.


A lot of other stuff happened. A lovely meal was served. A touching presentation of photographs and music told the stories of Sabrina’s and Daniel’s childhood. Laughter, tears and great conversations were enjoyed.

At some point in the evening, someone asked me, “Where’s Daniel and Sabrina?”

“Dunno,” I shrugged. “Is there a ditch nearby?”


After thought: Daniel and Sabrina, I know in my heart that your passion for each other and for others will make you a dynamic duo, effecting great change in this world. Congratulations to both of you and God bless.


If we both always agree, is one of us not really necessary?

Meet regularly with someone who holds vastly different views from you ~ unattributed


SO THIS ISN’T THE NORM for me, because let’s face it – life is much easier when people agree with me.

And depending on whom I’m speaking with and what the topic is, often I will keep my mouth shut, for fear of hurting the other person’s feelings.

But even I have to admit that there’s value in varying views.

So it’s something that I engage in when the opportunity presents itself.

It’s also something I seek, when I’m stuck in a rut.

And I always learn something from it!

I try to keep the following principles in mind when talking with others who have varying views:

  1. Listen to the other person
  2. Try to see their point of view
  3. Give thoughtful answers to their questions
  4. Respectfully share my perspective
  5. Avoid personal attacks
  6. Discuss new possibilities with an open mind
  7. If we can’t achieve #6, agree to disagree


Reaching common ground takes longer, but often it’s worth it. Can you think of a time when doing so produced better results?

And I'll try to see them from yours

And I’ll try to see them from yours

Friday Pick 115

Rob of Rob Moses Photography recently moved to Calgary and paid me a visit at my blog a few weeks back. Of course, I had to go see his blog and was blown away by his talent.  Go ahead, snoop around his blog – I think you will agree that he is a gifted photographer. If you happen to reside in Calgary and need a photographer, maybe you’ll consider adding Rob to your list of possibilities. Welcome to Calgary Rob!

In Rob’s own words:

Over the past years I have been running another Rob Moses Photography Blog that was catering specifically to brides and grooms in the Vancouver & Seattle area. I have since moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada and am basically starting from square one in regards to getting my name out in this area.

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Rob shares some tips about the Sony QX100 and highlights stunning photos of my city Calgary…

Go ahead and visit the link below

and tell Rob Diana sent you…

Around the Bridge Shooting Mobile by Rob Moses Photography


*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

A jam session and reunion

Rob Webster, Annelie McKenzie, Herb White, Sue Webster and Guy Plecash of the 13th Avenue Blues Band in the 1990s

Rob Webster, Annelie McKenzie, Herb White, Sue Webster and Guy Plecash of the 13th Avenue Blues Band in the 1990s

IN THE EARLY 90’s the 13th Avenue Blues Band was formed with members Herb White, Guy Plecash, Annelie McKenzie, Rob and Sue Webster.

They played weekly at The Mustard Seed Street Ministry when it was located at 521 13th Avenue SW.

They gave Amazing Grace a raw bluesy feel and took classics like Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven’s Door to a whole new level.

Suffice it to say that the 13th Avenue Blues Band was the favourite house band.

Well that was almost two decades ago.

Recently Annelie came back to Calgary to visit. Back in the 90s she was a cool 15-year-old drummer.

More recently, she’s been living in LA for 14 years. She recently completed her Masters in Fine Arts and loves her life south of the border.

On Saturday seven of us gathered to talk about the good old days and watch three of the original band members engage in a jam session.

Herb arranged this reunion of sorts when he caught wind that Annelie was visiting. He offered Cornerstone Youth Centre ,where he is the executive director, as the place that we could meet up.

Cornerstone provides a place for kids to go after school. One of the programs kids can participate in is the music program; and cornerstone has the coolest music room to facilitate that.

Photos of many of my favourite artists of the past hang in the music room. Greats like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and more.

Once we spent some time catching up, Herb, Guy and Annelie headed to the music room and played together. It didn’t take them long to get in sync with each other again. They played some of their old covers and Herb played some of his new originals with the others joining in.

The rest of us watched and danced and sang along to the songs we knew. A great time was had by all.

Below some pictures I took on Saturday.


I always enjoy getting together with people I haven’t seen in a while. Do you like reunions? What one reunion did you attend that had the most years since the last time you saw an old friend? Can you play a musical instrument? Which instrument?

Beyond the dividing line

Sunlight bursting through the storm

Sunlight bursting through the storm

Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin. - Hermann Hesse

Above, my view on Friday.

Just before, it was 27c/81f degrees. And when the second storm cell came in it was 12c/54f.

It’s supposed to be hot and dry.

What’s with this sudden storm?

Oh but it was powerful.

And I couldn’t help being in awe of it.

And when the sun broke through it brought the rainbow.

That’s Alberta for you. The calendar tells you it’s summer,  but nature tells you different.

This got me thinking about negotiations where opposing sides each feel strongly about their position.

It creates a dividing line.

It can get ugly.

I’ve also witnessed the beauty that transpires when both sides start from where they agree.

The outcome often surpasses the hopes of both sides.

Things don’t always go our way.  

But if we can reach beyond the dividing line, 

just as rain and sunlight bring the promise of the rainbow,

mutual understanding may bring new insights…




Friday Pick 114

Charles over at Mostly Bright Ideas has worked as a freelance writer for many years. Although he’s done a great deal of corporate advertising and has published six books, he enjoys writing essays the most. Charles weaves humour through his posts that tend to be about the struggles and frustrations of daily life. Why mostly bright ideas? You’ll just have to click on Charles’ Why Mostly tab to find out!

In Charles’ own words:

I resisted blogging for a long time, but I’ve gotten hooked. Now that you’re here, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look around and read a few pieces. I’d love to hear what you think. I welcome sincere feedback and promise to reply to every comment.

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Charles suggests the farther away we are from a place, the more everything seems to look and sound the same…

Go ahead and visit the link below

and tell Charles Diana sent you…

Listen Carefully by Mostly Bright Ideas


*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

Wringing out every last drop of summer

It's not safe to take a selfie while driving. However, this image, found online, serves as an accurate re-enactment.

It’s not safe to take a selfie while driving. However, this image, found online, serves as an accurate re-enactment.


looking forward to a meeting

wearing my favourite summer dress and sandals

and tapping my fingers on the steering wheel to some exceptional tunes playing on the radio

when the radio announcers interrupted with the following dialogue:

“Can you believe it’s August 5th already! Summer is almost over! I love you summer…don’t go summer, it’s too soon,” said the one in his most whiny voice.

[The Sound of Laughter] “Pack up your lawn chairs buddy…haul out the snow shovels…it’s done! Summer is over,” said the other, tormenting the first and ME!

“I hate you, I hate you,” said the first. “Summer, I love you, pleeeeaaaaaseeeee don’t go,” he pleaded again.

B A M ! !

There it was – the dreaded message of DOOM!

All summer, I’ve been working hard to enjoy every moment – IN THE MOMENT – that I possibly could, putting to the back of my mind any anxieties I had about my favourite season ending.

But in one felt swoop, the realization that summer would not last forever hit me like a ton of snow slipping from the roof of a barn!


Realistically, I know we still have some sweet hot weather ahead. I know I was over reacting when these radio personalities messed with my equilibrium.

But I also know that summer doesn’t last long here in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Not in comparison to the summers most of my online community experiences south of the border, or even in the eastern provinces of Canada where Indian Summer continues to bless them with warmth and sunshine into September and October.

But you won’t be getting the best of me Second Radio Announcer Guy – No way, Jose!

I aim to wring out every juicy drop of summer I can, for as long as I can!

In your face!


What’s your favourite season? How do you maintain your equilibrium during times of stress?

*no actual radio personalities were harmed during the writer’s experience of, or writing of this post…not yet, anyway…