About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


What's happening lately? Every day lately there's been something on the news about people dying right here in our own city and neighbouring areas.

There was the horrific tragedy of the hot air balloon exploding and catching fire, killing two women - a mother and her daughter. The entire family had been celebrating the mother's 50th birthday but only the father and other daughter managed to jump out of the basket in time. I just cannot imagine the fear and pain beyond words those two women experienced as they were burnt alive before the entire balloon and basket pummeled to the earth and exploded, totally destroying three homes. See more images here.

Next, I heard about six people killed and seventeen injured when a truck plowed into a group of family and friends, including young children and babies, as they were strolling down a rural road singing and celebrating an upcoming wedding. The poor elderly man who drove the truck is now absolutely distraught as he did not have enough time to brake when he suddenly came upon the party walking in the middle of the road.

Last night, I heard on the news about a man who had just finished and passed his exams to be a CGA and decided to celebrate his new job by skydiving. His chute did not open properly and he plunged to his death! He left a wife a young daughter.

I also heard on the news last night that the body of a woman was found in the bushes around a landmark apartment building near the Burrard Street Bridge. This is a very lovely neighbourhood in the "good" part of the city, actually not too many blocks from where our good friend Josie lives. No news of what happened to her, yet.

All of this comes not long after a young man was shot and killed by city police in a tragic situation. It was later explained that the young man was suffering from delusions due to bipolar syndrome. Apparently, he was having an episode and starting swinging a chain and threatening the police, not really knowing what he was doing. This also happened in a "good" area of the city.

All of these deaths have been so violent and horrific! We're all used to hearing about violence in other countries due to war, poverty, and culture. But have I just not been paying enough attention to our own local news until recently? Or is this indicative of something worse? Is is something to do with our society at large? Or are they simply purposeless accidents?

Your thoughts?


HeiressChild said...

i think it's everywhere leslie. our subway system has had so many fires sunday thru today that has shut down trains, caused delays, etc.. to me, it's too many trains and subway stations involved that i hope suspicion has arisen.

then what about the plan in japan this weekend that exploded upon landing? fortunately, everyone was able to get off and run just before the explosion.

i live about 20 mins from wash, d.c., and i won't even mention those crimes. i do think crime has become more rampant. some things are due to negligence and/or safety issues such as the hot air balloon and airplane explosion.

leslie said...

Yes, Sylvia, I saw on the news about that plane in Japan, too. That was another horrific incident.

A doctor and nurse on an AirTransat Flight from England had to stop somewhere in the Arctic recently because 2 passengers nearly died. The doctor & nurse saved their lives even though there weren't enough supplies on board to tend to them. God was watching over those 2 ladies who fell sick by bringing 2 lady angels to minister to them!

Josie said...

Leslie, amazing! I almost did a post about this as well. There were actually two "code orange" on the weekend, and that's the highest, and it's rare. And then there was the fellow who drove his truck off the Granville Bridge onto Fourth Avenue, ane was killed. I was there minutes before it happened. Literally!

That hot air balloon incident was unbelievable to watch, and those poor families celebrating a wedding. Heartbreaking beyond belief!

Smalltown RN said...

I couldn't believe it either when I read about the ballon accident and the man running into the family....it is all so tragic and pointless....senseless loss of life...it is difficult to find any meaning in it....sometimes I find it overwhelming how we get bombarded by the media with all the tragedy that surrounds us...I don't mean to be insensitive to others terrible plight but sometimes I just need to suck back reload and realize that with all this tragedy there is some beauty...I find mine in my surroundings.....I hope you do as well....cheers my friend....and yes I truly hope that you and Josie make it over here sometime...wouldn't that be fun....

Sienna said...

Leslie...I was just over reading homoescapeons blog and he has a good quote he finished his writing with...*who would have thought as a civilisation we would become so uncivilised*...who has the answers to why these tragedies and horrific things happen?

It would be a sad day for me as a human if I wasn't saddened by such events, I can pride myself as a person I can say my silent prayers for all these people....and in the meantime embrace the wonderful things life has to offer me..

Sometimes it does seem like sensory overload, 9/11 was such a day...you think how on earth can we ever smile again?? Then you start to hear and see the courage and amazing stories behind all the tragedy and it re-inspires?

I just don't know...

Spring is here, 80 to 90f sun is shining, animals dozing...

Love your bear hug picture btw!


Ruth D~ said...

My thoughts are that "ignorance is bliss." It is hard to be confronted with all the pain and sorrow. I have some I could add to your list but I won't.

I think we need a dose of three positive stories, and they are out there, to offset the depression of the awful ones. We need to share pain, but everyone's? If we hear about pain of people we don't know do we become immune?

leslie said...

It's splashed all over the front page of the Vancouver Sun today that the husband of the woman who was killed a few weeks ago committed suicide. They had just been married a few days when he called 911 to say that 3 men had invaded their home, killing her and injuring him. He had been the prime and only subject in the case and the police were preparing to arrest him. Another horrid situation that both their families have to now deal with. So sad.

Janice Thomson said...

It is indeed everywhere Leslie, even in a small community like ours. It's the one reason I dislike watching the news - it's always about tragic events....that or useless drivel about some movie star - amazing what captures people's attention these days. I think because of our fast paced lives, our so-called advanced technologies and our inability to 'do unto others' we have become a world of pain and suffering. The good news is that we can reduce it bit by bit starting with ourselves and those around us. Thought-provoking post Leslie.

the walking man said...

Since man's ancestors began to climb out of the primordial soup people have always had a choice, the basics of which are to commit heinous acts upon other humans or to not.

There have always been accidents that have taken peoples lives. Personally I think of the trillions of people who have inhabited the face of the earth it is close to a fifty fifty split between them who died of old age (that age depending on the times of their lives) and them that died by non-natural means,disease, accidents, wars, thuggery etc.

But while it sounds like a bit of a hard attitude that I am about to project, I have not for many years wept for the dead, not my mother who went a year ago April, not the four year old shot in a drive by or the victims of war or any of the other dead. their cares are over.

It is for the living, them still trying to struggle through the senseless acts of nature or man that I spend my heart on. Because these are the ones with choices left, paths to go down, grief and love, anger and happiness to live with yet.

No text, be it Jewish,Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian or, oral traditions of the ancient peoples who did not write such as the aboriginal peoples of all places, fails to mention another life for the dead.

Have we become a more wicked hardened society? No more so than the Romans or the Mayans who played a form of soccer with the head of a dead enemy or the Aztecs or Hawaiians and many other cultures that practiced human sacrifice to their gods.

Or the Dutch who introduced the slave trade to North America or the European that practically decimated millions of indigenous peoples on this continent to the point of near extinction or the Afrikaners and their hundreds of year Apartheid rule.

Man has always been the cruelest creature on the planet, other animals never kill for greed or revenge or pure hatred. Are we seeing more today than say a hundred years ago?

I think we are hearing about more because we have mass media. That balloon accident was played every four minutes on CNN for hours...why? Because to some it titillates and makes them glad it wasn't them and it was spectacular footage. But during that same minute hundreds more were being killed in places like America and Darfur and Iraq and just about anywhere else you could name. But the dead sleep and wait with no more care awaiting that which comes next.

And while a horrible way to die it is estimated that during the inquisition near on a hundred thousand were burned at the stake, which was more horrible because these people knew their fate.

I think through this very long post what i am trying to say is that the One who Created all is very well aware of this world and has done all he can do to change man's propensity for violence but we refuse to love, to be more careful in cars, to believe that He will find a way for you to get money that does not involve a gun, but this is the thing that we as the whole of humanity has forgotten and believe that we walk alone through our lives.

This I have never forgotten and this is why i sometimes am saddened greatly for the living, not the dead.

Peace be upon you.


leslie said...

Mark, I knew I could count on you for a solidly-written essay on this topic. I agree with you about weeping for the living rather than the dead since they are now at peace, whatever that may be for them. It just seems to me that here in Vancouver, Canada these horrific accidents and crimes are happening more and more and more than ever before. And we've certainly had lots of good media reporting since I care to remember (I am after all 50+). You have made some excellent points and I appreciate your tuning in here. Peace to you, too, my good man. Cheers.

geewits said...

I think it's a combination of things. Sometimes things just seem to happen in waves. And sometimes when there is big national or international news breaking, these types of things are just not reported.

I forgot to answer about the location of my vacation. It's Topsail Island in North Carolina. It's near Wilmington and it's pronounced TOP-sul.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...


It is life. Things happen to good and bad people. Although, I do not think there are bad people, just behaviors. People aren't born bad, just created. Death is everywhere and nothing will change until we decide to change it. It does not mean that we run into danger but even the smallest of jestures can make things so different.

Such horror exists in the world... when will we learn?

Nancy said...

I thought of you and Josie when I heard about the hot air baloon but I wasn't aware of the other situations. It is just so sad. I think that we all survive things like this through faith and knowing there is a "big" picture... we just can't see it yet.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Violent Deaths happen all the time for us Detroiters. I found myself eagerly clicking on the "See more images here" because a Hot Air Balloon is indeed a rarity. In one of the pics I thought I saw a falling body--am I correct? I don't mean to be desensitive to violence, but such is my behavior from years of working in a prison.

leslie said...

JR, it could quite likely have been a body. Some of the passengers jumped from the equivalent of a 5-story building and two women were trapped in the basket burning alive. I don't know if they were still alive when the whole thing crashed and exploded. But it certainly was horrific!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

anyway, it's so sad that these things happen all over the world. I often wonder if there is a lesson to be learn when something like this happens. I agree with Mark, the media keeps on repeating these tragic events and that's when i turn the tv off, although, it's great to be well informed.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Our icons seem to be flipping over.

What is a more serene symbol than a balloon, an airplane, a wedding?

Everything turned upside down.

Something has encrusted itself on man.

Probably oil.


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