I’m in sunny Calgary – arrived last night by bus from Banff (October 2008). I’m travelling with my Dad and we spent a few days in Banff after travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver, BC. We’re staying with a very good friend of mine, Francine. We went to Annandale highschool together when I was in Grade 9, we played on the basketball team, worked together on my parent’s farm and remained friends through college/university days. In 1978 we took a wild and crazy trip to the westcoast driving her brother Henry’s car to Calgary where he had gotten a job on the oil rigs. We haven’t seen each other but once in all those years. We’ve been having fun re-telling the stories from that trip across the country. We did some crazy things, but nothing that I regret. I just wish I had some grandchildren to tell. I guess I’ll have to write that book. Anyway, we’re still not finished reminiscing, there are more stories to piece together over the next couple of days. Tomorrow is Francine’s birthday so we are going to have a girl’s afternoon out – maybe lunch, some shopping or to an art gallery. Then we will cook a birthday dinner where I’ll be making my signature dish – chicken paprikash. My family background is Hungarian and my mom Helen was a fabulous cook. I owe my culinary skills to her. Everyone loves this dish with the home made pasta called nookedli (that’s the phonetic spelling). I’ll get a chance to meet Francine’s two kids and her partner’s two kids. I didn’t know it was going to be her birthday, but luckily I just happened to bring along some BC sparkling wine. A toast to Francine, my dear, dear friend. We had so much fun together in those younger days! And remembering those times has had us in stitches. We also share in the memory of my favourite cousin Ron who died tragically young. He was a year or two older than I. Francine dated Ron for many years but they went their separate ways some time before the dreadful car accident. Ron and I were very close — I remember that he taught me how to tie my shoe laces when I was 4 or 5 years old and if he had a cold and I was anywhere near him, I was sure to catch a cold too. Ron and I even went to the same schooly for my first year at the University of Waterloo. I remember many a Saturday night party at his apartment. Ron had the kindest heart and the biggest smile. I will love him forever.
SHORT BIO OF CATHY BARZO
I am at a place in my life where I want to use my creative skills. My interests are many and varied and continue to change over the years. At this point in time I am exploring my creative side, especially my writing. My goal is to get published in a mainstream magazine. But first, I’ve got to get writing and my best opportunity may be the web as there are many opportunities for new writers.
Some of the things I’ve been pursing lately are acrylic painting, attending the comedy fest, seeing works at the Playhouse, volunteering in the arts (The Drift), my photography, making cards, reading as many books as I can – mostly fiction and trying new things even if only once.
I’d like to assist others in writing their memoirs using multi-media. I wrote a short mini biography about my Dad for his 80th birthday and he loved it. The next step is to expand it and write the full story of his adventure of coming to Canada from Hungary in 1930. I’m thought of combining his story with mine and adding stories from my sibling and other friends and relatives. I’m also interested in writing about travel, lifestyle, medicine and any topic of current interest. I also have a good number of poems, most written when I was young and full of teenage angst, but I do have one poem about a magical cat named Hieronymous that I’d like to illustrate and who knows, I may be able to get it published for kids. I’m a member of the Canadian Authors Association (Vancouver Branch) and find that the meetings and other writers inspire me to write.
Artists run in our family – my mother and sister both painted water colours. My mother’s brother and some of his children are artists too. I’ve been creating hand-crafted art cards for years, but up until now, it has always been for my friends and family. I was known to pump out 50 Christmas cards – each individually made! I’ve now started advertising in my high-rise apartment building and have a small and appreciative clientele for whom I’ve made a number of very interesting cards for birthdays, graduation, bon voyage cards and some memory cards – the latter involving lots of consultation with the client. I mostly use paper collage stylized with ribbons, beads, sequins, and other 3 D effects. The cards are each a mini work of art. I sometimes my photographs or paint simple designs.
I’m passionate about the people in my life, my friends, the people I meet and even in the everyday things around me. I’m no Polly Anna, but deep down I believe people are good if given half a chance. My sense is that often people are shy or afraid to talk to the person next to them whether sitting at the coffee shop, on the bus or the person next in line at the grocery store. Or they are plugged into their cell phone or their MP3 player tuning out of any connection to life that is theirs for the taking.
Technology is great, but it has become a great divide in some respects. Just like this blog, some people, in fact friends or family members, choose to talk to each other through email and text messaging instead of talking on the telephone or meeting in person. There’s a Slow Movement for Food. I want to promote a Slow Movement for People. Let’s slow down and get engaged with life and those people that are right in front of us, up close and personal. Go out and talk to someone live. It may be the best time of your life.
See you in the blogosphere!