Two more through the gates of my high school alma mater

@anthonykinley on Instagram

Anthony told the people in the row ahead of him and a few of the people around him that he was going to do it. He was going to do a selfie. And he was true to his word.

I had two nephews graduate from high school recently. They’re in the same grade and same school. Ben was born in the fall. Anthony in the spring.

They didn’t go to the exact, same high school I went to, but we’re all still from the same hometown. I’m proud to be their uncle. And as much as I would have loved to be there as they went through the process of becoming men, at least I was there on the day that childhood ended and real life begins.

To the next chapter in life. Here, here.

Jolted in the West End

Car Explosion in West End of Vancouver, B.C.

It hasn’t been twelve hours since 6:48AM today, and the only reason I’ve been able to sort out that moment as the time of the explosion is to compare the blinking alarm clock time next to my bed and the current time on my cellphone.

I wrote an email to my family earlier, and most of what it said felt like a good summary of how we felt today in the midst of this “freak accident“.

Continue reading “Jolted in the West End”

Taking time for Remembrance Day

Rebecca's poppy

Where I grew up, Remembrance Day, or Veteran’s Day, wasn’t as observed as much as it might be now. Maybe that’s due to being a little older and wiser to what’s going on around me, but for the most part, today was just another day. We still went to school for the whole day while the banks were closed and the mail wouldn’t show up until the next business day.

Before even moving to Canada, there was always a small part of me that had to think about all of my family who served in the military. My grandfather, great uncle, great uncle, uncle, cousin, cousin, cousin, cousin, and brother. That’s just off the top of my head, but needless to say, there is a rich history of my family serving in the military, past and present.

All politics aside, this is why I often hold the belief that no matter what conflict is waged in the world, I hold nothing but the highest respect and support for those who risk their lives to protect the freedoms that so many of us probably take for granted. Their courage is commendable, and the sacrifices are vast.

It’s important to remember those who have given up everything in the past to help build a future that is our present. No one should take that for granted.

Family and fun in KCMO

Rebecca and I got back yesterday from a one week stay in Kansas City, MO. My mother grew up there, and it’s where my parents met and got married. The road that took our family to Iowa is a whole other tale, but there is still a large portion of extended family that lives in and around KCMO.

KCMO from Liberty Memorial

My grandmother turned a young 90 years old this past Wednesday, so that, of course, means one thing for a family with hefty Mexican roots. It’s a party, and I think I’m still recovering.

The birthday girl

Otherwise, this trip was a chance to get away from the craziness in Vancouver, enjoy some family, and relax a little bit. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking, and you can see more of them in the Flickr set.

She really was here

Truly the “City of Fountains”.

Neptune

Pomona

Brusch Creek

Choices

I haven’t been able to find Mexican bread as good as this in Vancouver.

Mi madre y mi tia

My mom and my aunt, but you can’t see the three pitchers of sangria that were absolutely amazing.

La Bodega

And the scene of the crime.

Rebecca in KCMO

KCMO Pose

Liberty Memorial Park

It was a really great week in Kansas City. Hot, but great to see all of my family. Hopefully a trip to Iowa can be the next leg when we go to visit, but now we’re anxious to show them some of the sites here. Pictures can’t do KC or Vancouver justice, both great in their own right.