Friday, May 30, 2008


Something delightful happened yesterday. I loved it! My eyes began to twinkle. My fingers began to itch for a keyboard. My mind composed the first sentence! And then it happened. The person beside me said, “And don’t put this on your blog!”
So I didn’t. But I sure wanted to.
In a way I did. It’s the story under this story. If you can lift this one up and peek under the corner, you might see a bit of it. Cover-ups are seldom as complete as we’d like them to be.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


There once was a woman who had only three hairs. “I think I’ll braid my hair today,” she said, and off to work she went.
The next day she had only two hairs. “I think I’ll part it down the middle today,” she said, and off to work she went.
The next day she awoke to find herself with only one hair. “I think I’ll make a pony tail today,” she said, and off she went to work.
On the fourth day the woman woke to find that she was now completely bald. “Oh joy,” said she. “Now I won’t have to spend so much time doing my hair!”
Barb sent me this little story. She wrote that it made her think of me because I am always so optimistic. Now that remark definitely made me laugh.
I guess I don’t see that much of Barb. We only get together on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. And when we talk we’re usually doing a bad thing because we’re either supposed to be singing, or being quiet so other people can learn their choir parts, or paying attention to whatever is going on in church. When I think of it that way, I suppose I can understand why she seems to think I am more optimistic than I sometimes feel.
My buddy Lenora sees me from a different angle. We attend the same meetings—staff meetings, planning meetings, organizational meetings, etc. She sees the experienced me, the me who has been around long enough to have seen a lot of things tried before. She sees the cautious me, the me who wants to be careful not to repeat past mistakes. She sees the reluctant me, the me who doesn’t want to volunteer too much too soon. She says that sometimes, when I get going, throwing water on a promising fire with my practical, businesslike, hope-sucking talk, she feels like she’ll just have to kill me. This would scare me, except for the fact that killing me would simply heap a lot more work on her. So I know I’m safe, even as I’m being warned.
Lenora has taught me something I should have already known, since I so often try to teach it to others. She has taught me that hope is an emotional thing that can easily be wounded by a pessimist hiding behind the mask of practicality and experience. She has taught me to think carefully before I step forward to crush hope.
And Barb? Well, Barb has reminded me that when it comes to the fun stuff, for it is the fun stuff that she and I usually do together, when it comes to the fun stuff it isn’t hard to be optimistic.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Mike and Anne came to dinner. They brought with them a tomato plant grown from a heritage seed. As soon as I held it I forgot that I’d said we were absolutely not planting any more tomato plants this year. And even though I have always declared it inefficient to start tomato plants from seed, I could feel myself sliding into the future, slicing gently into ripe juicy tomatoes to extract the finest seeds for next year’s planting. This, I suppose, is the magical influence of a heritage seed.
In some respects our entire yard is a heritage site, a treasure chest of memories and gifts. Right now the Athabasca Lily is in full flower. This is a child of the plant John and Grace gave me for my fortieth birthday. They knew how much I admired the plant that grew in profusion in front of Athabasca Hall. And so, on a Saturday night, when nobody was around, they took a shovel and removed one of a hundred plants overcrowding themselves. When my new Athabasca Lily doubled in size I split it with them. Then, when they moved I split mine again. Finally, we moved and brought some with us. Other people see these plants and call them Solomon’s seal. But we have officially declared that all offspring of the one procured on John and Grace’s Saturday night raid should be known as Athabasca Lily.
Then there’s the periwinkle we got from Linda Borty. David noticed it when he delivered me to my piano lesson one bright spring Saturday morning. “Take some of it,” Linda cried. “There’s more than enough to spare!” We miss Linda now, and that prodigious periwinkle brings us such happy memories of her.
A careful observer of our street might notice that some of the plants in our rock garden are closely related to the plants in Susan’s yard. “Take some of my plants,” Susan said, when we stopped to admire her blossoms. The rock garden was much emptier in those days.
The anemones came from Marnie and Don, the peonies from John and Marie, Marilyn and Peter. There are irises from Gianna. Primroses, lilacs and little yellow lilies came from Grace. The goat’s beard came from Mark and it was Mark who bought the first patio rose for the veranda. The blue pots came from Ruth. Anne and Mike gave the herb pot as a thank-you gift. Dad made the pansy wagons. Ginger taught me about Acidanthra and told me where to get them. The birds and the wind brought the sunflowers from their home across the back alley.
Gladioli and begonias remind us of David’s dad. Sweet peas and dahlias remind us of my mom.
And now we have a heritage tomato plant—and the first line of a new story.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I’ve been thinking about language, not unusual for me, the one who speaks so often about hope language. But the language on my mind is the language of disability.
I am a blind person. I was born blind, and have been a blind person ever since, though I did start out as a blind kid. Soon I’ll be a blind senior. But some time during my adulthood people started saying I was a person who was blind. They said that made me more of a person, when we said it that way. I have never felt this change in language made me more of a person. I have never doubted that I am a person. I have been called visually challenged, unsighted, without sight, without vision. It seems there is no end to the things people want to call me, as long as they don’t have to say “blind person.”
And I wonder, just what is wrong with being a blind person anyway? I am a psychologist. Nobody thinks I ought to be a person who does psychology, I am a gardener. Nobody is suggesting it would be more respectful to call me a person who gardens. I am allowed to be a storyteller—not a person who tells stories, a mother—not forced to be a person with children. That would never work. We’d have to change Mother’s Day to Person’s With Children’s Day.
As I find myself arguing this point today, with somebody who I know respects me, yet still insists that I will be less respected if I am called a blind person, I find myself asking: Is there something shameful about blindness that we don’t want to face?
I am not ashamed to be a blind person, nor do I think others should be ashamed to be one. I admit it, I am on a rant, I am in a radical mood. I am going against respected professional opinion. If this keeps up, I’ll be saying “I’m blind,” and not mentioning that I’m a person. Who knows what could come of that? People might think I’m an elephant, or a robin!
And why am I writing this on THE HOPE LADY Blog? Well, I get this feeling of hopelessness thinking I will have to change my name every few years so people will respect me. I hope to be allowed to be called what I am. I hope others respect that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Audacious hopers hope for things
No practical person would dream of hoping for,
Things we are certain can never happen
Given the current circumstances.

Audacious hopers drive us crazy
Because they simply will not listen
To our predictions about the future.
Audacious hopers are in denial!

There’s nothing quite so irritating
As trying to protect audacious hopers
From the disappointment we’re afraid they will face.
Audacious hopers test our courage!

Audacious hopers change the world
And when they do we call them heroes.
We buy magazines with articles about them
And hire them to make motivational speeches.

When audacious hopers tell their stories
About the people they met on the journey,
I’d rather be named as the one who supported
Than mentioned as the barrier who had to be thwarted.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Holly dropped buy with plants today
And filled our flower box with blooming profusion.

How lucky are we to work in a place
So friendly, so homey, so utterly approachable
That people will come by without an appointment
To plant the flowers they brought.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I had a date last night—with some guys in Red Deer who have prostate cancer—and their wives who have a standing invitation to their meetings—and the breast cancer ladies to whom they graciously extended a welcome. They had gathered, as you might have already guessed—to think and talk about hope. We got to talking about men as private people, not so much given to gathering in groups to discuss troubling attacks on their private parts. But surely this was a group of men meeting for precisely that purpose.
The Red deer Prostate Cancer Support Group has been meeting for more than ten years. It truly is a support group—not a group of fund-raisers. In fact, it rarely even has a guest speaker. Guys and their families get together to talk. They don’t take summers off. After all, cancer doesn’t take summers off. This is a group that debunks the myth that men won’t go to support groups.
Being with them brings to mind some other evidence from my past that also debunks that myth. In 1995 I was invited to help design a hope project for teachers on disability. The work generated a hope support group that became known as the Teacher Hope Initiative. One of the interesting things about this group was that half the members were men. This was particularly striking, because most teachers are women. Then, as time passed, and recruitment strategies changed, almost all the new members were women. Curious about this changing phenomenon, we observed that the original members were all recruited one on one. Somebody they trusted--some knowledgeable person with a sense of what the group could achieve—had asked them to join. Later recruitment was done by letter and general advertisement. Few men responded to that.
The old myth about men not wanting support groups is a dangerous myth. Following its lead we are tempted to accept our current practices as adequate. If men don’t participate, we say, then that’s their fault. They need to become more sensitive, more open. But may we need to make some changes too. Indeed, most of the social services are populated by women, and most of the programs offered are woman-generated. I hope that in future we’ll spend less effort keeping this myth alive and more effort articulating the value that men derive from belonging to support groups. I also hope we will make a solid effort to develop recruiting strategies that work for men, acknowledging without blame that different strategies might work for women.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


So often, when you want something, you just have to take the initiative. You have to be bold. You see examples of it everywhere.
Recently I met the founder of the Royal Calahoo Garden Society. Any of you who know the size of Calahoo may well be surprised that such a tiny community could have a royal society. That designation is usually reserved for the bigger projects, like major provincial museums, or the highway between Edmonton and Calgary.
In fact, there were some cautious souls who suggested to the founder that it might be more legal to call it the Calahoo Garden Society, given that the Queen was not the one who bestowed its title. Now here was an unexpected barrier.
To a casual observer it might have seemed a small matter to change the name, but she had a vision, a hope for her new venture. She wanted it to be more than a garden society. She wanted it to be special, to be classy, more like a royal garden society than a plain old garden society. In defense of her position, searching for precedents, she aptly observed that the Queen probably didn’t eat at Royal Pizza, and may not have insured Buckingham Palace at Royal Insurance LTD.
If there ever was a danger, it has surely passed. I can safely publish this information now. Even if the Queen reads THE HOPE LADY Blog it will be too late for any meaningful punishment. The Royal Calahoo Garden Society stopped meeting a few years back and it never opened a bank account. In its wake it left its members with some great memories, some lasting friendships, the echoes of laughter and that special satisfaction known only to those who got away with something.
And to me—who was never a member—it has given a story, one more piece of conclusive evidence that the barriers we think we face are not always as real as they seem.

Monday, May 12, 2008


There’s excitement brewing in the hope-opotamus herd this morning. Rumor has it that some of them—nobody knows exactly which ones--are about to be adopted. The first indication that it was about to happen came last week in the email. Of course they all want to go, even though Hope House is a great place for a hope-opotamus to be. Nothing makes them happier than to receive a really gracious invitation like this one.

Hello Wendy!
Just your friendly neighbourhood brain injury awareness week coordinator here. I am so looking forward to meeting you and hearing your talk on the 6th of June. My co-worker, Louise Jensen, pulled your article "Hope-opotamus Hits the Big Time!" from the Fall 2007 issue of the Hope News. She had saved this in the hopes of someday
getting a hope-opotamus for our group room, and now that she knows you
are coming, she passed on the article to me.
I found the whole thing absolutely delightful. I spent last summer in Kenya and South Africa and I went around the whole time saying that in my next life I wanted to be a hippopotamus. Did you know that hippos make a noise that sounds like one of those cartoon evil laughs? They seriously go "mwah-ha-ha-ha!" It made me laugh
everytime I heard it. That was the first reason I wish I was a hippo.
The others were that in the heat of the day, when everything else is boiling hot, the hippo gets to hang out in the nice cool water! The other was that nothing was big enough to eat a hippo! Sorry, this is neither here nor there, but I know you like stories. I've been
reading your hopelady blog since I saw it in your email signature. I
think I've read most of it now, and I have really been enjoying it. I
must say, I particularly liked the story of little Frances Ann.
Anyway, back on topic. Our group room is used a lot, but it is a
fairly boring room. It has tables and chairs and a white board.
There is some artwork from brain injury survivors, but on the whole,
it is a pretty dreary room. I think a hope-opotamus would really liven
things up and give people something to hold on to in difficult sessions. I don't know what your stock of hope-opotamuses is like, but if the Edmonton Brain Injury Relearning Society, and the Networks
Activity centre, our sister organizations, could have one for their
offices, I'm sure they would be very happy too. We would be glad to
make a donation for the hope-opotamuses, and we would love it if you
could give it to NABIS as part of your talk on the 6th. I think it
would be a very lasting symbol of the effects of this more
lighthearted brain injury awareness week.
Sorry for writing such a long winded email! I got a little
carried away. Please think about it - no pressure - and get back to me.

Thank you so much!


Friday, May 09, 2008


Carmen Deedy is indeed a gifted storyteller. She has been a featured teller at two events we’ve attended, one in Tennessee and the other, more recently, in Texas. Carmen’s featured stories are about her growing up years in Georgia. She is a child of Cuban refugees
It would be difficult to sleep through a Carmen Deedy story, even if you were very tired. Her stories are structured on dialogue. She alternates between the narrator voice—her naturally soft southern drawl, and the family voices delivered in a high-pitched super-speed ultra-emotional patter of Hispanic English. Following her stories is a little bit like taking a wild ride on the midway. You climb a little, you speed up, you slow down, you almost stop, and then you are catapulted around again. And even if you could sleep, you wouldn’t dare, because her stories end very abruptly and you have to be listening, or you’ll be lost in the applause, trying to reconstruct the finale.
I wouldn’t dream of trying to tell a Carmen Deedy story. Her stories are hers and hers alone. But there is this one story—summarized here, not told--about her father, who was starving, eking out his last few pesos for the smallest portions of food that money could buy. Each time he did this he was given extra food. Starving as he was, he was also ashamed to take the food and so, at some point, he insisted on taking only that for which he had paid. Then the one who was dishing up the extra food for him said that he needed to learn the difference between charity and justice.
The difference between charity and justice! I wrote that line down when we got back to our hotel and didn’t find it again until this week, when I began to sort through the treasures brought home from the Texas storytelling Festival. I wrote it down because it grabbed my attention. I knew that, when I got home, I’d have time to think how proud we are, in this bountiful country, of our volunteers, our philanthropists, our generous purchases at silent auctions. And to these I am bound. In a flurry of good-cause activity I am both giver and receiver. Still, I can’t help but wonder something: How would our society structure itself differently if we spent more time contemplating the difference between charity and justice, then acted upon the conclusions we reached?

Thursday, May 08, 2008


It’s not the little sads that take away our hope.
It’s the big sads that do it.

A little sad can be cheered up with an ice cream cone
Or a friendly smile,
Or a piece of good news.
If you can’t see through a little sad
You can surely see around it
To where the hope is waiting on the other side.

But the big sads! Oh the big sads!
You can’t see around them, no matter how far you stretch your neck.
You can’t climb over them. There’s not enough oxygen for the trip.
You can’t push through them. They’re as hard as stone.

Still, the hope is out there somewhere.
You’ve only to look around you to know that.
The evidence is in the people you see.
They’ve surely had big sads, maybe more than one.
You can see that they got past it.

Maybe some day we’ll pierce the biggest sads
With radar or ultrasound or some other ingenious invention
Til then we draw our hope from others
The way we did when we were kids
Raising our eyes to grown-up faces
Wanting to be tall as them
Not quite knowing how they got so tall.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Daydreaming on the bus. A dangerous pursuit. You can miss your stop that way. Believe me! I know this firsthand. But bus-seat daydreaming can lead to true profundity.
I was lost in thought when a persistent tapping on my arm finally roused me. It was not—after all a passenger squeezing past in the crowd. It was one of my favourite 20-something guys. He’s just started a new job.
“How did it go yesterday?” I asked.
“Not that well,” he said. I was already firmly on the path of compassionate responses and firm reassurances by the time I realized he was not talking about his job. He was talking about the high school soccer game he coached last night.
“We were only down 2 to nothing at the half,” he said. And then, I’d say, though he didn’t use this language, they lost heart. “The last half was 45 minutes,” he said. It seemed like 4 hours.”
My hopey little mind was warmed up and getting ready to call the plays from the bench. I was thinking about the tragedies that ensue when people lose heart. He was telling me how everybody was blaming everybody else for the loss.
“Perhaps,” I advised, trying to sound gentle, “perhaps you’ll need to gather them in the locker room and tell them inspirational stories about underdog teams that didn’t have a chance, but then they scraped their way to victory by supporting each other and pulling it all together.”
I was struggling to recall various movies I’ve seen about hockey teams, basketball teams, soccer teams. They’re basically all the same. Most of them end with the statement that they are based on a true story. You don’t really need to see them to know how they’ll turn out—so predictable is the result. But you watch them because you want to. They give you hope. I wanted to suggest some titles.
He must have noticed that glazed hopey look in my eyes. He must have been wishing he’d told me about his work day instead of his soccer evening. “I don’t think that’s what we need,” he said patiently. “They’ve heard every kind of locker room speech before.”
But I was just getting warmed up. I was thinking about goal-setting and how difficult it is for underdogs. I was reflecting on the emotional power of hope, and how it transcends statistics and probabilities. I was imagining is team—transformed by his words—practicing late into the night, pulling out the final play-off game at the last possible second. It’s not that easy to get the attention of a person who is in this state.
He, in turns out, wasn’t really trying to get my attention. He was replaying last night’s game in his thoughts. “What we need,” he said, breaking into my imagining happy ending, is for me to tell them what they did wrong and how they can do it differently.”
It’s a short bus ride. I suspect he wasn’t all that sad to see that we were pulling into my stop at City Hall. We were about halfway down the length of the bus. “There are five people standing between you and the door,” he said helpfully.
I got to my feet, opened up my white cane. “Stay to the left,” he instructed as I stepped forward. “Now over to the right. Okay, back to the left and go round one more.”
I was out the door in a second. That guy had executed a perfect play. Satellite technology couldn’t have done a better job of getting me through the maze. So I guess he knows his stuff, but I still think he ought to give an inspirational speech, raise their hope, give them a vision and then bring in the skill.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


There’s nothing quite like a ghost story to bring out the rebel in me. From the moment when a teller says “Now I’m going to tell you a ghost story,” I start daring that teller to scare me. I do the same thing with anesthetists. They say, “Now you are going to sleep,” and I think, “No I’m not! “Only difference is, anesthetists always put me to sleep, and ghost tellers never scare me. Well at least they never used to.
I can’t say why I don’t have much of an emotional reaction when storytellers go on about dead people appearing in windows, going bump in the night and moving objects around. Instead of getting the creepy feeling that makes you run back to bed after a midnight trip to the bathroom, I tend to just sit there. I listen politely enough. But there are plenty of real life things that scare me -rollercoasters and the cost of housing and speaking to audiences with doctors in them to mention just a few. Perhaps the process of daily living gives me all the fear I need. But then, just when I think I understand myself, just when I am almost certain that I’ve had my quota of life surprises, some unexpected event comes along to shake me up, to keep me interested, to raise my hope for a future of unimaginable discoveries.
Donna Lively was the first—and so far only—ghost teller to scare me. The amazing thing is that the conditions for not scaring me were absolutely perfect. She was telling at the Texas Storytelling Festival ghost story concert. The M.C. had maximized my defenses by making a big deal of being scary. Several tellers had already told stories that entertained but did not scare me. We were approaching the concert’s end. Donna was the last teller up.
Donna’s story made no show of being ghostly. She told us a heart-breaking and all-too-familiar family story about a little girl named Melissa, or maybe it was Maria, who was never quite good enough to please her parents. Her father made the situation playful by routinely comparing her to a mythical model of childhood perfection known as Little Frances Ann. Little Frances Ann would never have done this naughty thing, or that naughty thing. No matter what obstacles crossed her path, she was always polite and clean and considerate. Then one day—and I should say here that this didn’t scare me though it did explain why Donna was able to put this story in a ghost story concert—Melissa and some friends went to play in a graveyard. There they discovered a grave—the grave of Little Frances Ann. Apparently Little Frances Ann was not mythical after all. Our Melissa had an unmentioned sister who had died before her birth. Her parents were grieving a real person. Melissa was no substitute.
With the part of the story that was supposed to be scary now safely out of the way, I settled back to listen for the ending which, I was certain would be coming soon. But the end did not arrive as I had expected. It was farther off than I had thought. We were only about half done. In all sorts of ways Melissa changed her life so that she might follow in the footsteps of Little Frances Ann. She stopped getting dirty. She did as she was told. She was respectful. She was helpful. So successful was she that her daddy began to call her Fran.
Well, life went on and Melissa’s grandmother died. She accompanied the funeral procession to the graveyard, where they filed past the grave of little Frances Ann, but she kept her eyes looking straight ahead. She dared not look, for she did not know whose name would be inscribed upon the stone.

And that’s how the story ended, with a thank-you and an exit and a standing o. I was on my feet in a flash, clapping and cheering loudest of all. Nearly four weeks have passed since I heard that story. In that time I’ve heard a dozen more stories and attended a couple of workshops. I’ve been to a funeral, a volunteer appreciation, an annual general meeting, a training session for nurses on Indian reserves, a palliative care conference, choir practice, a Greek dinner, a strawberry tea and a day for blind people organized by the CNIB. I’ve been to Toronto. I’ve been to Medicine Hat. I’ve done laundry. I’ve bought pillows. I’ve been videoed. I’ve even planted a few flowers. But I haven’t forgotten that story—and I’m still wondering how certain I’ll be about the inscriptions on the stones in graveyards.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Perhaps, among all the things that threaten hope, no one thing is more confounding than that sense of alienation you feel when it seems that you are alone, that no matter what you say, nobody will really understand what it is that you are suffering, and what it is that you most need to communicate. And so, on this bright morning as I write file notes on clients who would give anything to move beyond anger, and answer email from Lenora who is cutting back raspberry canes, my attention drifts back to a poem I wrote several years ago. It was my olive branch of solidarity with an angry-but-treasured client named Danny. It was my way of saying that maybe I understood just how hard he was trying.

He, in turn, was grateful. Unbeknownst to me, he had also tried to extinguish a persistent raspberry. In return he wrote me a poem about hope. I have lost track of his poem, but I still have mine. So here it is.


Who would expect a seed of anger
To flourish in soil where a careful gardener
Nurtures only flowers of gentleness,
Sprouts of wisdom,
Sprigs of forgiveness?

Perhaps it is the same one who expects a raspberry plant to grow in concrete,
For grow it does,
In the arid place, not a growing space
‘Tween the driveway and the garage.

With roughened stems in scrapes our arms
Blisters our palms on its prickly exterior
Re-asserts itself when the garage door crushes it!
Persisting unwanted, year after year!
While its coddled neighbours wither.

And who would expect to quickly vanquish
The raspberry plant by pulling its roots out?
Denying its planthood,
Or moving it elsewhere?

Perhaps the same one who expects deep anger
To shrivel and die if we simply ignore it,
Disappear if we merely ask it,
Be less angry when we talk about it.

What else in the world could be so intractable,
More unpleasant, less defensible
Than long-brewing anger
And unbidden raspberries growing in concrete?

Sunday, May 04, 2008


The tulips opened up their flowers today
Red and yellow in bright array.
They’d thought they might not bother this year
Since the snow weighed them down and laid them on the ground.

They drooped and moped for a week or so
Nursing their buds mid the wounded leaves.
But the periwinkle called “Come out and play!”
So the tulips opened up their flowers today.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


One day last fall my phone rang. It was an offer—an all-expenses paid trip to Medicine Hat. All I had to do in return was speak at a staff development event focussing on palliative care. And though it would be dishonest of me not to admit that I had been hoping for an offer from Paris or Vienna or New York, I can still remember the time when I could only be invited to make an out-of-town presentation if I called up and asked to be invited, then agreed to pay all my own expenses. So I negotiated a modest fee with Medicine Hat and said I’d be there in early May.
I might have stayed in Medicine Hat’s finest hotel. Instead of doing that, I wrote to my old friend Janice and invited myself to spend the night with her and Ben. Janice and I grew up on neighbouring farms south of Lougheed Alberta and went in different directions to live our adult lives. One time we surprised each other by meeting at a conference and she,. Waiting until I had finished my second glass of wine, then seized the opportunity to persuade me to go white-water rafting on the Athabasca River. Once we survived that, we again went in separate directions until she began to notice references to me in the media and became a reader of THE HOPE LADY Blog. She said I should come and visit if ever I was in Medicine Hat.
It definitely would have been a mistake to have stayed in Medicine Hat’s finest hotel. Staying with Janice introduced me to the kind of service the queen might expect at the Ritz Carlton. Even though she was within minutes of playing a major role hosting the Alberta Archaeology Association Conference, you would never have known she was in the final frantic stages of pre-conference prep hysteria. She provided me with limousine services, hosted bar, poached salmon dinner and lots of laughs. While cooking me whatever I wanted for breakfast she told me she had been showing her friends the copy of my photograph that appeared with the pre-event advertisement in the Medicine Hat News. At my free public lecture she turned to the people beside her and said, ”We grew up in the same community.” Apparently even a minimal amount of reflected glory is better than no reflected glory at all.
So I’ve forgiven her for taking me on that white-water rafting trip, for I hardly think I would be as well treated in Paris, Vienna or New York as I was at her home in Medicine Hat. And if you are ever invited to make a speech in Medicine Hat, I suggest you prepare yourself for travel by making friends with Janice.