Des Moines


Back in Des Moines and haunting myself in an Ebeneezer Scrooge kind of way has brought me round to a not so profound conclusion – moving on and away from the past is better than constantly, or even just occasionally, ruminating on the fairness or unfairness of the cards we are dealt.

What I hope I do more often than not is remember what I have learned from my not so long ago – good times and bad – put it into practice and remember that I am a very fortunate person all things considered.

All along I have told Rob that I wasn’t looking forward to coming back to Des Moines and seeing all the old sites and visiting Will’s grave. To me it seemed like a pointless scab-picking of my soul. I am not someone who buys into the notion that tragedy and grief should be ruminated about and given in to simply because it happens to be there and handy. But my daughter had need of seeing the headstone, visiting the old places and seeing people, and so I have sucked it up and picked a bit around the edges but not enough to draw blood. There really is no need for that.

Today we wandered the mall and did things that were familiar to BabyDaughter from the life she and I lived during the years her father was dying and mostly living apart from us. I think she was very surprised by the fact that things have changed and life here has clearly gone on without us.

Tears have been shed by all of us at different points in the last three days but not many and not hysterically and not without a realization that to be happy now – then had to happen and be survived, which for me is not as hard to reconcile as one might think or expect.

Life goes on. Mostly because it has to. The whole thing was designed this way and not by accident.

Rob asked me if I miss living here and the answer is no and yes.

I consider home to be where Rob is because people embody the idea most that people speak of when they talk about “being at home” or “going home”, but life in the U.S. is corruptively convenient and this makes it easier than living where we do in Canada. Things are abundant, relatively inexpensive and readily available. This does not make here home to me though. It just makes it easy and thoughtless.

I still feel a bit alien here even though I probably stick out more where we live in Alberta. Being back reminds me of how different I am and how much I have changed – hopefully grown – over the past year. It reminds me too of how far in the past the past really is and how quickly time moves forward when you allow yourself to live.


Our upcoming holiday to Iowa has been derailed by Mother Nature‘s abhorrence of controlled waterways. I find it very interesting that after decades of damming and digging and piling and filling in, water still manages to go when and where it pleases in my home state.

During the 500 year flood of 1993, I was living in Des Moines. To this day drenching rain, the kind that wipers on your vehicle can’t keep up with, gives me creepy-crawly feelings of dread. We had day upon weeks of this rain. Between rain and the humidity, the outdoors and summer became distant memories. The whole ordeal reminded me, then and now, of the Bradbury story, All Summer in a Day. It was that kind of relentlessness. Noah weather. Old Testament stuff. Read Full Article


Apparently the city council of Des Moines, Iowa is considering issuing an order to the city’s police force that will allow them to not cooperate with federal immigrations authorities during raids the latter might stage in the city to snare illegals. An interesting approach that ultimately does nothing to solve the current dilemma being caused by people who are, and in some cases have been for a long while, living in the United States without the proper Visa or permanent residency papers. Obstructing justice will not bring any sanity to an already insane issue.

Justice, you ask? Where is the justice in rounding up people, many of whom are hard-working citizens, good neighbors and family members and shipping them back to their countries of legal origin? Well, simply put, they broke the rules and when that happens, and you are caught, consequences ensue. It’s not about fair, but if that is the going to be the argument on which leniency or even clemency is going to be granted then think about it another way. What about all those people who are patiently waiting for entrance to this country, spouses and children, who filled out the mountain of paperwork, paid the fees, submitted to the police checks and medical exams, essentially did everything the rules asked? What about them? How is it fair that they did the right thing and have to wait their turn but those who did it illegally are now the recipients of calls for rule changes?

I will not argue in favor of the current system. The wait times are ridiculous and it does not take into account that the U.S. does need unskilled labor (though some would argue that this is the current job of our education system). I do think that the solutions have to be applied farther up the food chain then the current hunting down and deporting of illegals and can only conclude that the current system continues in its broken state because it benefits someone.