It’s a wonderful world

“Sunrise” courtesy of Pixabay

“And I think to myself, it’s a wonderful world.” This ballad written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss was recorded by Louis Armstrong and released in 1967. It has been one of my favorite tunes, hands down. Songs of hope; songs celebrating life; songs that bring us back to days of our youth (misspent or otherwise) are such a joy and a blessing. 

“God gave us memories that we might have roses in December” – author unknown. That is what music is to me and such a blessing too.  And it really is such a wonderful world.

Yes, there are despotic rulers, egomaniacs and narcissistic, power-hungry leaders who don’t seem to know the meaning behind the ideas of good governance. Yes, there are horrible things being done to human beings around the globe. Yes, there are terrible diseases and natural (and not so natural) disasters. I do not deny the horrors in the world.

However, I choose to focus on the positive. The wonderful stories of people stepping up to help others; to help animals; to help the environment. “As within, so without,” as the saying goes.

Wherever you live on this bright blue marble and whatever you are doing, I hope you see the good in people and in this beautiful world of ours, and think to yourself, it’s a wonderful world.

Social media – only as good or bad as the person using it

I haven’t posted for a while. There has been a great deal going on in my life.  If you follow this blog you know about my brother, Chris, and the collision that took his life a little more than a year ago. You will also be aware that his death was caused by an impaired driver and the next trial date is Monday, the 8th.  It has been an incredible amount of stress for my whole family.

On New Year’s Day my husband ended up in hospital. He is very sick. I have been stressed (naturally) but I just wanted to take a minute to thank all the people on Facebook and other social media who have been exceedingly kind. The messages of support and positive energies have buoyed my spirit, even when I feel like I cannot go on.

Social media has the potential to do a lot of good. Of course there is always a flip side. Not long ago I learned about an instance where somebody was using it to spread hate, mistrust, lies, and general negativity. There’s a name for that – cyber bullying, and we are all familiar with the consequences – in the extreme people have died by suicide due to the harshness and the hardness of some hearts.

You reap what you sow; what you give out returns to you. Some people call it Karma.  I am a firm believer in that. I believe in the power of prayer and positive thinking.  And I believe in doing good whenever and wherever I can.

I am writing this to humbly ask, if you are a spiritual person, to pray and send positive energy to my husband. He really is gravely ill and I am casting a wide net to enlist all the spiritual power I can. So thank you for reading this and if you are a follower, please know I appreciate you.

May you know light and love and all things good and life-giving.

New beginnings


Well 2016 certainly held a lot of challenges, but here it is New Year’s Day, a time to reflect and move on. Life has taught me much over the past year; the main thing that I learned (or not so much learned but had affirmed) is that people really are awesome. I live in Fort McMurray where fires caused a huge evacuation last spring. The resulting response was one of generosity and human kindness that I will remember all the days of my life.

In the fall we lost two uncles to natural causes. They were incredible men and one in particular I am so grateful to have known. I will carry them in my heart. In November my brother died in a car accident; the result of a decision by another to drink and drive. I continue to wrestle with the consequences of that person’s actions. I hope that I will learn whatever it is I must learn from this tragic event. One thing that is positive through the overwhelming grief is the outpouring of love and support my family has received and continues to receive from relatives and friends.

Despite grief and mourning I know that people in general are inherently good, so very good. I will take this thought with me as I journey forth into 2017 and wish you all a year of joy, peace, and all things good. Happy New Year!

On Gratitude

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” –  William Arthur Ward –


Canadian Red Cross workers take part in Canada Day parade in Fort McMurray on July 1 st, 2016 – Carol Morrissey Hopkins photo

Some days it seems incredibly difficult to find anything to be grateful about, but for the most part I can usually find something to be grateful for. Every cloud really does have a silver lining, even if it sometimes seems impossible to find.

I just finished writing an article about the Red Cross and its role in rebuilding Fort McMurray after wildfires decimated areas of the city. I am sure many people are finding it difficult indeed to find that elusive silver lining in the cloud that hangs over many since returning to the city. There are so many frustrations for people trying to restore homes damaged by fire. And for those whose homes were completely destroyed having to deal with insurance clauses, government regulations concerning the safe removal of ash and contaminated soil, and finding a reputable builder must be a nightmare. I cannot even begin to imagine what they must be going through.

But I am grateful for the work of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations. The fires that swept through the city made it the largest natural disaster in Canadian history. Nearly 90,000 people were evacuated and while there have been glitches in the system the Red Cross have done an admirable job in assisting people. And the organization promises more help to come. That is something to be thankful for.

The natural disaster that claimed so many homes and businesses did not take any lives – at least not directly – that is huge and something to be very thankful for.

I am grateful for the indomitable spirit and patience of my fellow residents and I am grateful to live here in Fort McMurray where life may be challenging, but is still good. People are reaching out to one another. There are still smiles and laughter amid the frustrations and stress – I am grateful for that. And we live in a country where our fellow citizens have been very generous and kind. And needs are being met, for the most part. There is much to be grateful for.