Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We Remember

Grieving is like a blow to the face and warm embrace at the same time. The rawness of loss so overwhelming that it knocks you on your ass, only to emerge stronger and more aware of what's really important in life. You would think that since death provokes such strong emotions, that we'd have a clear channel through which to express them. Yet the tears lead to sobs, which lead to uncontrollable fits of laughter, and then tears again. What's up with that?!?

I have felt such sadness this past week that my heart still aches, but I have also felt such love that I am filled with gratitude. So grateful to have spent time with Bob's incredible family, getting to know them better. So grateful to share hugs and tears with friends, but just as much laughter and stories - remembering a man that could make you laugh until it hurt. So grateful to see a community of people come together to celebrate an individual that meant so much to so many people. And the beauty of such a tragic loss is that those who knew our friend Bob will undoubtedly mourn him, but be inspired to be more like he was - remarkable, generous and loving.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bob Reimer 1954-2011

On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary human being. His absence will be felt forever but his presence will live on in all that he taught us. I have more tears than words to express just how much he will be missed, by us, by his family, by so many people whose lives he impacted. My heart is broken. 


Bob Reimer passed away October 20th at the age of 57.

Born August 11, 1954, in Steinback Manitoba, Bob lived most of his life in British Columbia before moving to Calgary in 1980 to start his family and ceramics career. He leaves behind three children; Julia, Peter and Angela, four grandchildren, his former parter and best friend Jeannie, a community of friends, colleagues and students. Bob was known as a passionate, loving, talented and humorous individual, an asset to the ceramics community and a beloved teacher. 

He touched many lives. He will be remembered fondly, and thought of daily. 

No words can describe the grief we are all feeling while coping with this sudden loss. We take comfort in knowing he did not suffer, he was happy and loved by many. A special thanks for all the support received from friends and family. 

We will be celebrating Bob, a remarkable individual, at North Mount Pleasant Arts center on Monday October 24th at 3 p.m. Please bring your stories, smiles and clay splattered pants if you have them. If you would like to send your thoughts or condolences please email or visit

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A day in the Country

Keeping with our weekend warrior theme, we packed up and headed out into the countryside on Sunday. Equipped with snacks, bikes and plenty of warm layers of clothing for the kids - we were set for a day in the country - at a very special piece of property in the foothills of AB.

Robin came equipped with his gloves and work pants, ready to spend the day helping a good friend, John Chalke, work on rebuilding the second chamber of his wood kiln. Our friend Cam Stewart had flown in from the lower mainland earlier in the week to also help with the kiln, so it was a great excuse to get in a visit with him as well.

John and his partner Barb have a magical piece of property, and the kids were stoked to ride their bikes on the leafy trails and go exploring in the aspen woods all afternoon. We enjoyed a campfire cookout and stayed until after sunset and Isla declared it, 'the best day ever'!

Robin will be exhibiting next month alongside John and Barb at The Makings II, a group exhibition of contemporary and historic ceramic works at Willock and Sax gallery in Banff, AB. The first Makings exhibition was so successful that the gallery is hosting a second annual exhibition of works by the artists on November 1 - 30th, with an opening reception Saturday, Nov 5th from 2 p.m. -  5 p.m.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekend Warriors

Part of living in the city is subscribing to the 'weekend warrior' effect. And we've been making a good effort to take non-sensical road trips just about every other weekend since we've arrived. We're averaging a trip back to the Kootenays about once a month, all for a little dose of home and a taste of the slower valley pace. Seems ridiculous considering the epic driving and snack packing required to get there and back - but worth it nonetheless.

Our first visit back in September was essential for catching up with some beloved friends that are soon making their own move to Australia. We also harvested the neglected garden which turned out to be 'not so neglected' and quite productive. Corn, tomatoes, a variety of squash and enough zuchinni to feed a small army was collected.

Last month still had the feeling of summer in the air, but when we headed back this past Thanksgiving weekend, you could certainly tell the change in season.  It was a fabulous weekend of feasting with friends and family, with enough whipped cream and gravy consumed to hibernate for the next six months.

We even made it out to Banff for a little Rocky Mountain adventuring with Uncle Chris one weekend while Robin was away attending the 1000 miles apart Ceramics Conference in Winnipeg.

Tomorrow we're off to Sundre to check out a good friend's kiln and property and we're hoping to still fit in a trip to Medicine Hat before Halloween rolls around. It has been go, go, go since we arrived in late August - the idea of hibernating is starting to sound pretty good right about now.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Urban Mom

OK, so its taken me a little longer than I expected to get settled into the urban life. I thought I'd have it in the bag, moving back to my home town. With many a year I spent driving the city streets here, having a long list of people and eateries to reacquaint myself with, I figured it would soon feel as though I never left. But I've realized that since my departure (pre-children) in 2004, a lot has changed.

1. Smart phones.  I'm not afraid to admit that I am a cell phone Neanderthal. Living in the Kootenays where cell phone coverage is spotty and in many places even non-existant - I could never justify the added monthly expense. Even in Utah, we were able to go the 2.5 years without a cell phone, despite being the mockery of our friends. But we managed without just fine. But when we made the move to Calgary this fall, we knew it was inevitable - I'd actually be forced to learn to send a text. For my work purposes, and if I ever wanted to find Robin in the depths of the college,a cell phone was a must. What I didn't prepare myself for was a smart phone, one that just happened to land in my lap, and I am beginning to realize that it is indeed much smarter than I.

2. Fashion trends. I consciously made the decision to leave my beloved Kootenay gumboots at home when I packed to come to Calgary. And I've become acutely sensitive about that omission in my daily wardrobe, each day when I deliver Isla to school and witness the fashion trends and wardrobe choices of all the other stay at home moms. I silently miss my cutoff gumboots and anything goes wardrobe malfunctions that wouldn't even raise an eyebrow back home. But I'm getting a whole lot of wear out of my skinny jeans and I have acquired a sweet pair of new casual runners that I am totally in love with (I had somehow forgotten how much I love buying new shoes!?!)

3. Mom duties. How is it that I didn't clue in earlier to the fact that when I lived in Calgary, I was not a Mother. It's like a whole new kind of life here in cowtown with kids in tow, and I'm discovering and exploring parts of the city I never knew existed.

This last aspect of the move has probably been my biggest transitional challenge. Juggling pick ups and drop offs and gymnastics and swimming, I haven't quite been able to get to that list of friends and eateries. But I will, I will.

The weather is shifting and the colours are changing dramatically, practically right in front of our eyes. I  am reminded how much I love this time of year in this city. I've got big plans for this month.