I Like That

I Like That
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Being Metis in Grand Forks, BC

Boundary Metis Community Association
All the fixings were presented in grand style on the food service table. Bannock with berries, deep-fried bannock, tourtiere made with venison, a huckleberry-filled cheesecake, smoked trout and salmon chunks, and generous compliments of coffee, tea, and juice. We stood single file chatting with one another in upbeat tones delighted with what we were about to receive.

Saskatchewan Bannock
Deep-fried Bannock

After dinner, we watched a short film on the significance of Louis Riel’s contribution to the Metis legend and beyond. We sang the Metis Anthem including the bold statements, “We are proud to be Metis, watch our Nation rise again. Never more forgotten people, we’re the true Canadian.”

Michif Bingo
To the delight of the children, youth, middle aged folks and elders, we played a game called Michif Bingo. The caller read the drawn words in the Michif Metis language with confidence. It was our responsibility to find the Metis words and translate them into English, guided by the clues on the bingo card. 

After several words and phrases were released, Frank expressed his enthusiasm.

“Bingo!” he said.

After the caller checked his card, he was invited to choose a prize from the display table.

Frank wins first bingo

Afterward, a dancer showed us a few Metis dance steps and then opened the floor to a shuffle competition. The children showed their talent and each one of them won a prize.

The enchanted evening ended with Greg, an expert in clacking spoons, giving a brief demonstration of his skills and inviting everyone to participate. Frank joined the circle with his wooden set of spoons and later used a metal coupling. Everyone clicked to the beat of the background fiddle music.

Craig the Spoons Instructor

Our hearts were brimming with happiness as we left our new-found friends.
All My Relations

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Reciting Poems in Grand Forks, BC

Readers, listeners and polite applause
We’ve gathered in the library for a very good cause
Poetry written with audience in mind
Haiku, rants, rap, lyrics of all kind

Folks concentrate, shuffle in their seat
Feels like a hovel with a beatnik beat
Stories are sensitive, some of them sublime
Others are dramatic, not all of them rhyme

Frank makes his presence known to the crowd
From where I sit, he does me proud
He speaks in clear tones, the poem not his own
But it comes across sincere to all who are near.

At the end of the evening the news broke through
We were saddened and heart broken, nobody knew
Our beloved poet Leonard Cohen had passed
Our beloved poet is free at last.

Lorraine, our hostess

Frank, guest reader

Greylin, remembers her uncle

Leonard Cohen
courtesy of Wikipedia

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Knitting in Grand Forks, BC

Ann and Greylin  ~ teacher and student
“I’m gonna go get my needles,” the man in the ball cap says. He joins the small group at the front desk of the library in a bout of reflective laughter. The thought of a man taking up knitting is a funny thing to that cluster of folks.

Seated at the coffee table nearby friends of like mind who knit yarn, listen to a comment of how one of the knitter’s father suffered from polio as a child and was taught how to knit.

“It helped occupy his time and kept his motor and cognitive skills sharp,” Ann says.

Her talent as a seamstress trails back to a time when she earned a living darning ladies silk stockings. Her introduction to this relaxing hobby began when she was three years old. Her skills these days include using metal needles that match the worsted weight of the yarn, showing others how to cast on, cast off and how to switch yarn colours without placing what she refers to as a ‘disgusting knot’ in the middle of your precious hand-crafted work. She brings her ongoing projects with her to our knitting group tucked in a practical bag. This knowledge-filled lady is at an expert level when it comes to her abilities as a knitter and educator.

Nimble fingers work the yarn
Sitting across from her today, Adrienne is wearing one of her masterpieces. A green sweater displaying several types of blended stitches. She is working on a scarf for her son who she says ‘likes it very long so that he can wrap it around and around and then tie it in a knot’. She too has been knitting for a long while and it shows. She can easily speak with you and look you right in the eyes while working her needles mechanically. They too are metal, her preference for this project.

“Susan, you’ve interrupted Estelle. She’s counting her rows. Keeping count of your rows and tracking your stitches is very important,” she says.

Estelle claims her place as an intermediate. She is working on a pair of fingerless gloves. Her preference is natural material, like alpaca wool. Today she is working the garter stitch using a bright white soft looking yarn.

Estelle works her knitting
“I inherited a large amount of alpaca wool from my mother and I started creating a shawl with it but wasn’t satisfied and so I took it apart. I’ll think about what else to do with the yarn,” she says.

“Oh, I’ve dropped a stitch,” Greylin says. Before she can make another move, she is called over by Ann who shows her how to retrieve the rogue loop and blend it back into the pattern.

Greylin and I are beginners. She has a history of crocheting which is another form of knotting yarn. She has a couple of projects on the go for family and friends.

The rhythm and pace of knitting are meditative. The tea provided by the local library along with the donated yarn and knitting needles are generous. The area provided for us to sit and mingle is delightful.

We welcome you.

Yours for the choosing