FTLComm - Tisdale - May 15, 2000
When the odometer rolled over to a neat row of zeros and a single one on my very first car I remember backing up a mile or so to show my parents this event. (The speedometer had rolled over so by backing up I returned it to the momentous reading by going backward.) But our lives are also marked with specific points in time, reference points to set out emotional and developmental clocks by, moments of consequence to be shared and witnessed by others and places in the continuum of time which mark things as before and after.
We commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, christenings, getting a drivers license, graduation from high school, engagements, weddings, retirement and the final exit marker, the funeral and internment. We each seek significance in this wonder of wonders that we call life. Many of us do not struggle with reason and looking for explanations but peacefully let time come and pass as it was meant to be while some engage in an ongoing quest to find for ourselves "the meaning of life." Monty Python turned out a Movie on the topic and British humourist Douglas Adams takes his hero, Arthur Dent, through four volumes in pursuit of this goal. Arthur discovers in the first book that the meaning of life is "42" and spends the next three trying to figure out what that means.

In the basement cafeteria of the Moose Jaw Co-op the bearded gentleman, in this blurry image is butting out his cigarette so he can put his oxygen system back on. Easy for me to remark at the man's addiction to nicotine as his life struggles on gasping for each breath. How can I evaluate even my own existence let alone question the way he proceeds with his. At the time I took this picture (Friday at lunch time) we were enroute to a funeral in Swift Current of one who had just died of emphysema but had lived until she was eight-six years old.
Less than a mile from Prince Albert a black aging Camero jumped across the centre line less then two car lengths from me. The van lurched onto two wheels as I took evasive maneuvers to the right. I never saw how close we were to the Camero as I struggled to keep the van under control from the violent turn of the steering wheel. I rolled to a stop at the tourist information sign this side of the city to recover my self and my wife who often punctuates what seems like apparent close calls with a piercing shriek, was able to regain her voice as the only thing to scream had been the three or four tires under the van. When we came to a stop in the city my mind was still out there wondering if an ambulance would have been on its way to that scene by about now and what condition we and the occupants of that Camero would be in. A pair of funerals had just been avoided, for the time being.
To celebrate our survival Judy had a donut and I had piece of chocolate pie, then later as I headed home and turned off the highway North of Birch Hills to catch the last flash of the day's sun, it seem far brighter and more beautiful then others, only because of the outstanding opportunity to see it and live the rest of that day.