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TERRY & ESTHER CHAMBERLAIN

WORK: NOT ALWAYS WHAT IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE

Do you have friends or acquaintances who, when you ask what they’ve been up to, make you wish you’d never asked?

These are the folks who immediately begin a recitation of chores, projects and duties that seem to go on endlessly in a whirl of frantic activity. When at last they pause, faces glowing with holy virtue, it is to wait like eager puppies for the praise that is their due.

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HEY WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO?

During the last ten years I taught school in rural Saskatchewan our staffroom conversation  often focused on declining school enrolment. It was a matter of job security and we teachers worried about it. Our principal, who had seven children of his own, always declared that he was doing his share to fill up classroom desks and urged the rest of us to try a little harder.

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INSPIRATION, REWARDS & PLAIN OLD DRUDGERY

Ever have a yen for drudgery: for plain old unexciting, repetitive, hard work?

Well, we got a big dump of snow here yesterday, so I spent a couple of hours today  (as I write, Jan 29) clearing  our driveway--not a short one--and parking area with a snow scoop, the kind you push ahead of you.

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MY MIXED-UP FAMILY AND YOURS

Just got another one of those ugly email forwards that are driving me bonkers.

Ethnically speaking, my mother was Scottish, my father Irish--likely other traces as well. My first wife was German and my sons, obviously, are Scottish-Irish-German. Esther is Scottish-English. Her children are Scottish-English-indigenous. Our grandchildren--well, forget it, this gets way too complicated.

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SOME DOUBTFUL MYTHS OF CHILDHOOD

Ah, children. Wonderful little creatures they are, their charms celebrated in song, poem and story from time immemorial.

The problem is, most of those who compose the tributes to childhood are so far removed from that stage of their own lives that they have forgotten what it was really like. So they fall back on a series of popular myths. For example:

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Wednesday October 21, 2020

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