Then I tend to moan and groan and make a big deal out of trivial matters, and so here I go again. Approximately one month ago we returned from a wedding in Ontario and discovered a carbon-fibre arrow laying in the backyard. I thought it was a rather unusual item to find since I have never seen any of our neighbours engaging in archery. Furthermore, the arrow was not embedded in anything – it was simply laying on the ground by our camper. It was then that I noticed one of the front windows of the camper had an impact mark and was fractured.
I may be jumping to a conclusion, but it seemed like the arrow was the object that had struck the window and caused it to break since the glass pane was not damaged before we left on holidays. Aside from the appearance of the arrow and a damaged window, everything else was as we had left it and so it remained until last Wednesday (July 30). On that day, I returned home at lunch and discovered that a guest had came calling. Judging from the state of Angela’s garden, he or she must have been hungry because carrots had been pulled out of the garden and some apples had disappeared off a tree. The scene was a little unusual since one of the carrots was left on our deck, another was left beside the row of carrots and an apple that birds had pecked at was found in the middle of the lawn. Our guest was neat and had not damaged any of the garden by tromping over plants. Furthermore, he or she had laid the carrot tops at the edge of the garden in a neat pile. A small zucchini was spotted in the back alley behind our fence. Now, I have two concerns about such action. Firstly, if a person is hungry or truly in need of food, I would help by providing more than some small carrots and unripened apples. Secondly, if our guest actually ate the apples a case of the ‘green apple trots’ may have struck the next day. It’s sad that a person has to lock the rear gate to their property in order to prevent acts of mischief from occurring. For people who read my column earlier in the year, the action that unfolded in Angela’s garden could not have been conducted by a rabbit, unless its paws had the dexterity of a human hand and it could leap up a tree, cling like a raccoon and pull off fruit like a monkey. Sadly I am left with only two courses of action: lock the rear gate or allow our vicious hedgehog to roam free in the backyard. For the uninformed, hedgehogs have very sharp teeth and killer quills. Furthermore, they move silently outside and can sneak up on a person unaware. A better solution is to let me know if you are in need and together we will work toward a solution. However, if you simply want your arrow returned, then you are out of luck.
Wednesday was also the day a healing benefit was held for William Francis-Schimpf, a young child who is undergoing treatment for leukemia. It was great to be part of the event for several reasons. It was a treat to see residents respond and help a person in need, but to be honest, there were not as many people at the event as I expected as I had envisioned the Armoury packed wall-to-wall with people. The event was organized by Lori Davis and featured Joe Braniff as master of ceremonies. Harvey Peters provided his auctioneer services and residents responded by purchasing products donated by individuals, families and businesses. The list of volunteers involved is simply too long to list in this short space. Entertainment was provided by Sheldon Frank’s music students and George Leach, a Juno-award winning artist. By the time Leach performed, the crowd was thinning and many people missed his incredible guitar playing and blues-style songs that earned him top honours on the Canadian music scene. It was a treat to watch and listen to such a talented performer in my own town. It was also a treat to hear the account of how an Aboriginal family received the name of Francis. William’s great uncle Harry Francis provided the history lesson during a heartfelt message of thanks to local residents whom he thanked for pulling together in such times of need. He explained that his grandfather, Frank, originally had a Cree name that did not have an English equivalent. Therefore, a travelling priest gave him his name to use after he was baptized in the late 1800s. Many decades later, a search of Catholic Diocese records revealed there actually was a Father Frank Francis who was based in Lethbridge. He had baptized many people in his years of mission work including a young boy who was named Frank Francis. What struck me about the whole evening was the sense of family that prevailed as people left the venue.
Williams’ grandparents, Dwayne and Louise, personally thanked as many people as they could as they left the building. They embraced and hugged close friends and family members, and it left me feeling like I should be standing in the family lineup. After all, it’s a great feeling to belong to a family of caring people, even if you are not related.