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We took Joan Taylor home two weekends ago.
The four remaining members of her family – her daughter, two grandchildren, and I, her husband – drove her ashes 500 km and five mountain passes back to Kootenay Lake, where she had grown up.
She had been clear, all through her leukemia, that she wanted to be cremated, not buried.
“What do you want done with your ashes,” we asked her, in her final months.
“I don’t care,” she said. “I won’t be there.”
Oddly enough, those were the same words my father used, when I asked him the same question. A few days later, he had second thoughts. He wanted his ashes scattered in his favourite fishing river.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Kootenay Lake, ashes, cremation, Crawford Bay
Joan and I were sitting in our hot tub last Monday night, staring up at the stars and wondering when -- if ever -- the rains would return to the B.C. interior, that day being our 66th without perceptible rainfall, when a brilliant flash lit up the eastern sky.
“Lightning?” Joan wondered. “The weather isn’t supposed to change until the weekend.”
I started counting for the boom of thunder. Years ago, I learned that sound travels at roughly a thousand feet per second. If the boom follows the flash by five seconds, the centre of action is safely about a mile distant. (For a kilometre, about three seconds – a little closer.)
I quit counting after ten. Joan claims she heard a rumble, about ten minutes later.
Which would be about right. Because the flash, we learned the next morning, had occurred more than 200 km away, directly over Kootenay Lake. A hunk of rock left over from the formation of our solar system had smashed into the earth’s atmosphere over the little town of Boswell at the south end of Kootenay Lake; it blew up over Meadow Creek, slightly beyond the lake’s north end.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: chance, judgement, Meteoroid, meteorite, bolide, fireball, Kootenay Lake, dinosaurs, probability