Over the last 15+ years Robert Ouimet has been my friend, business partner & creative collaborator, across various companies & projects. I’m lucky, because even though we’re in different cities, we still find things to team up on from time to time. But luckier still is the fact that each & every time I turn on my GPS I think of him & smile.
We were in a car together about 10 years ago, driving to a client meeting, when Robert reached into his bag and plopped his GPS on the dash. It was the first I’d ever seen. Given my non-existent sense of direction (referenced in an earlier post), I remember wondering how long it would take for these little gadgets to become mainstream, vs just something my gadget-geek friend Robert had in his bag.
And now I’m grateful that I have (many) mainstream GPS apps built into my phone & car, to help me get around, and even more grateful for the little burst of Robert-ness that pops into my mind each time I use it. Thanks for showing me the way, Robert.
I used to get frustrated with myself when I forgot where I’d parked. I have a terrible sense of direction. The worst - or so I thought - until my friend Kathryn Grafton & I met up near Stanley Park in Vancouver, to go for a walk. Kathryn was helping me during a very tough time, and had to urge me out of the house. The fresh air was great, but when we decided to head home we realized that we’d both lost our cars.
The greatest gift of that day is that now - whenever I momentarily forget where I’ve parked - I think of Kathryn and smile. I don’t see Kathryn anywhere near enough these days, but I think of her often.
Spring is here, which means the Seattle Duck Tour schedule is ramping up and Lake Union (and the streets) are full of people quacking & hollering their way around Seattle. I love the ducks, because every time I see one I think about one of my favorite people in the world … Aunt Linda. Or “Fun Linda” as my kids & I call her. Linda isn’t really my aunt, but she is someone I admire & love having in my family because spending time with her reminds me of the importance of enjoying the moment.
When Linda came to visit us in Seattle (en route from the UK to Australia while on a break from her work in the Middle East, because that’s just how she rolls) I didn’t worry that she’d think the Duck Tours were too touristy or silly. I knew she’d love it, and she did. We bundled up the kids, got our quackers, and had an awesome time driving & boating around the city. And that’s how it always is when I’m with her. Linda never shies away from the tough times, and has helped me through some of those, but along with (or maybe because of) that fearlessness she has a skill that eludes so many … the ability to enjoy the people & places around her. She always remembers to have fun!
So I always smile when I see the ducks drive by … and remember to keep some of Fun Linda in my day!
Carol Adams & I got to know each other at a “Mummy & Baby” yoga class in 2008, just a few months after my daughter (and her son) were born. They were our second children and Carol was the epitome of warm, calm & creative parenting. I was TRYING to be calm … hence the yoga … but my company needed me back at work, my son was a feisty 1 ½ year old, and the nanny I’d just hired kept telling (and showing) me that she wished she was retired and living near a beach.
When Carol told me that she had child care experience I jumped at the chance to have her come & look after my children. She brought her two little ones along with her each morning, and so it was that Carol became “Mummy Carol” … an integral part of our family for the next few years. Together we navigated everything from diaper training to time outs and tantrums. In 2009 we built an extension on to our house so that we could accommodate a mammoth quad stroller that Carol used to take the kids to the park while I was at work. These days, every time I see someone determinedly pushing an over-sized stroller up a hill or along the sidewalk, I think of Carol. She is still “Mummy Carol” to my kids & I feel privileged to have learned from her example. There’s something to be said for parenting in pairs … :)
I think of Janice Maarhuis every time I’m in a hardware store & see the paint colour displays. I’ve adopted her habit of tossing a few into my bag, and using them to jot down notes & ideas that I want to hold onto. The blue cards, especially, remind me of Janice. She loved the colour blue. I bet she still does.
My daughter has caught on too, and creates beautiful things with a few carefully selected colour cards. Janice would have been green with envy over our array of blue cards last year, when we were painting my daughter’s room blue. It makes me glad … having this excuse to think of all the fun I had with Janice 20 years ago!
I love hummus. And I think of Leigh Gibbens every time I eat it. Leigh would be a gazillionaire if she’d taken her love of hummus to market back when she was grinding up chick peas in the kitchen of our barely liveable student house at Queen’s University 22 years ago. She was way ahead of her time. Hummus is now a staple in our house. It’s healthy, it’s delicious, and it reminds me of Leigh’s amazing smile every time I dip in.