A New Year’s Retrospective in Verse

Posted in General on January 4th, 2015 by mish

I sit by the open fire looking back on the year
And wonder how we arrived to be here.

The year started out much as to be expected
With snow and cold weather and the family somewhat disaffected
Michele with her work and Imbaw with Saskatoon
It was clear that a change was needed, and soon!

We engaged in some skiing to pass the time
A week at Big White, then Easter at Sunshine
It was great turning moguls with Dad and close friends
But the bigger issues, alas, these trips did not mend

Then looking East in the Spring, opportunities arose
And amidst Storer family visits and Michele’s piano exam throes
We painted and tiled and listed the house, phew!
And sold two boats, a trailer and a Subaru too

To friends and family we bid a fond farewell
Driving to Ottawa in August, where we now dwell
Nat in Grade one immersion, and Thomas in grade three
Michele biking to 100 Sussex and Imbaw engaging the new communities!

We are very well and wish you all a wonderful year in 2015!

Michele, Thomas, Nathaniel and Imbaw









Photo was taken at Owl Cabin on Weber Pond in December. Nat was stellar keeping up on the hour long uphill ski in!  Bodes well for the coming winter.  You can click on the photo to see a larger version.

Introducing 20 Birch Ave…(post 3 of 3)

Posted in General on September 24th, 2014 by mish

From Robert Pirsig’s, The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge. 


Indeed! Looking back it is clear why fate brought us (me in particular) to Ontario now.  In fact it’s so obvious, it looks like a kindergarten sequencing problem.  What comes next?  The answer was obviously, Ontario! It feels right. Then back to Switzerland again?  Time will tell…for now, we are making a new home at 20 Birch Ave, Ottawa, ON, K1K 3G6.  Home phone 343-883-1974. Come for a visit anytime!


Its a little bigger than the last house. A garage for the kayacs and paddle board. And our piano problem has more or less been solved.

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Favorite room in the house…the 4 season sunroom, 270 degrees of nothing but windows!  Thanks to Julie for cutting the flowers!

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Outside the house.  Swimming in the local Pond is an institution.  5 minute walk from our house in the heart of Rockcliffe. Deep clear blue water, great sand, and people start in spring in drysuits the day the ice breaks.  Already joined a sailing/rowing club: ONEC.ca , also just a short walk from the house down on the Ottawa River.   All boats provided. Had the whole family, including Imbaw’s mom out sailing last saturday. Wind was off ‘cliff”, 0 knots gusting to 20 knots with 180 degree shifts between gusts.  It was a wild ride, but the smiles don’t lie…


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I’ll stop there. Looking forward to some ‘regular’ life after all the chaos.  Boys in school full time, me biking 12 minutes down to work at 100 Sussex Dr.  Imbaw ramping up running along the new river valley.  Be Well.


A Very Long Drive… (post 2 of 3)

Posted in General on September 21st, 2014 by mish

And so we hit the road.  We divided the trip into about 4 x 800 km days.  First morning out coincided with Remco placing a gravestone in Wolseley SK for Mom and John.  4 Years I’ve been waiting and being that it was directly enroute – we stopped in for a peek.  If you click on the pic and see the full size verions you’ll notice that we added the opening line from the Optimist Creed (Promise yourself to be so strong…) at the bottom of the stone.  Pretty sure, Grandpa Bray and Mom would have liked that!


Speaking of Grandpa Bray, Wolseley SK was both mom and John’s choice, as oddly both of their families were from Wolseley and indeed if you go to the Wolseley Cemetery it is all full of Bray’s and Campbell’s as far as the eye can see.


Bray’s like my Great Grandparents Chas and Tinsellena Bray.  Hardy folk that Tinsella was!  My grandfather George was the youngest of her 20 children.  Yikes!  We believe Tinsellena may also be the genetic source of the nose my brother and I have been burdened with since birth…


Overnighted in Winnipeg.  I apologize to everyone we did not see while we were briefly there.  We had to choose, friends or polar bears.  If you’ve been to the new polar bear exihibit at the Assiniboine Zoo I know you’ll for give us!  Even Gramps thought it was shockingly fantastic!



From there we continued on East, the road narrowed to two lanes and got twisty and curvy as all heck, and the speed limit dropped to 90km/h.  90!  2000 km at 90 km/hr makes for a really really really long road trip.  But fortunately it turns out Canada is pretty nice even beyond the borders of SK.  We followed the north shore of Lake Superior all the way through to Sault St. Marie, stopping at a number of lovely Provinvcal parks including Neys and Lake Superior Park.

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After a night on the waterfront in the Sault, we started out on our 4th day driving East.  We took a break in Sudbury visiting the mining museum, which didn’t quite out do the polar bears, but came very close with an actual hour long trip down into a mine.

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And ended that day, our last long day, just east of Petawawa (think military!) in Pembroke ON. I was feeling really really done with the road, and starting to have weird bouts of deja vue.  Didn’t I already move to Ontario back in 1993?





Farewell 827 Temperance… (post 1 of 3)

Posted in General on September 21st, 2014 by mish

Its done, we have moved.  Departed 827 Temperance Street effective August 25th, 2014, having moved in April 1st, 2001. My (Michele’s) home for a little over 13 years.  Moving is messy.  You start filtering through old boxes and find stuff you forgot you had kept.  Imagine a folder full of hand written letters from friends all dated sometime in the last decade of the 20th century (read the 90’s).  Keep or Recycle? Too cool. Definitely keep. In fact I’m going to scan them and send them back to you all.  Also found was the real estate flyer for 827 Temperance Street when I bought the house in 2001!  Comparing it here to the one we made to sell in 2014!  Click on them to see them full size.

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I will miss SK.  I think it is a beautiful place.  And not just the people. Some of you will likely recognize this scenery. Click on teh photos to see them full size and get the full effect, because that’s the thing, the prairies are vast and that empty space is part of the beauty.  Not my best photos, but fairly representative. I have thousands of photos just like these from all over SK.   ‘Variations on a Theme’.  Maybe I’ll write a new Fugue that sounds like these photos.



I wake up most mornings with this feeling that today is the day that I get back on a plane and fly home.  Alas not.  We did not fly here.  We drove the ~3000km, one way only…

Sunshine and the Black Diamonds

Posted in General on April 27th, 2014 by mish

Well, it appears I didn’t manage to get a New Years post up this winter.  Its been really busy!! A couple months back I pulled out a bunch of photos from 2013 with good intentions, but somehow it never happened.  And now it just seems too late. So instead, we’ll just skip 2013 and move right on to 2014.  New Years in Boston with Imbaw’s family.  Michele spent a week in San Diego in January – even got out for a sail on the Pacific!  February saw us skiing snowy Big White for the first time in a decade, with Michele’s Dad too!  A lot has changed at Big White and all for the better!  Most amazing kids ski program on the continent I’m sure.  March was a very brief trip to Wpg, primarily for the purpose of doing a train trip back to Saskatoon on Via rail.  What a Hoot!  April (Easter Weekend) saw us driving back West to Sunshine this time, where we encountered some phenomenal snow conditions again.  So good in fact both boys were skiing mogully black diamond runs  with ease!  And this is where I’ll throw in a  few pics.  Of course you can click on any image to see the full size version.

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