Online Living

Online Living Image

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a nice Thursday so far. Since I wrote this post a few years back (I think I was still teaching then) I left Facebook and have been off for almost year. It’s been very refreshing, but I do miss kind, consistent communication with people because I’m all about the kind, consistent communication.

When I left Facebook, I started sending out a personalish newsletter via email. It basically covers some of the day-to-day goings on in my life, the type of things folks sometimes post to Facebook.

Even though I’m working more online now from home, I’m spending less time on social media and more time in real life. I still really enjoy connecting online but technology can feel intrusive and I like to keep it at arm’s length.

Take care and have a great December evening!

~ Lori

Etch a SketchLast week I took a 24-hour break from social media. Now for me, this is pretty big. I actively post on three sites and a few others less often.

I dream about posting; I dream about having my Facebook page liked or unliked; I dream about gaining Twitter followers. Surely during the nighttime hours of sleep my mind could occupy itself with sweeter images than these. And yet…

Often I get up from watching a good TV show or reading an excellent book in order to compulsively check my email, look at my notifications and to post something new. I fear I may be a social media addict. That’s why I took a day to dry out.

Listen to me read this post:


It was hard. Initially, I felt at loose ends, like I should have something to do, somewhere to go. After a bit, I began to relax into my time off, and my mind became freer and clearer, less cluttered. I thought the virtual world revolved around me but when I checked-in the following morning, I was horrified to discover that I was not missed. Not even a little! The virtual world did not spin off its axis in my absence. I felt happy and sad, relieved and dejected.

Eye PadIn a sense, social media is real. The people behind the posts are certainly real, and there’s a responsibility to be respectful and kind when online. Hurt feelings are hurt feelings, online or off. Being blocked or banned or having the door slammed in your face feel the same. Losing a friend is losing a friend.

But social media is restricted by the fact that it is virtual. If I need an egg or a cup of sugar, I go next door or across the street. If I get stuck in the alley after a heavy snowfall, I’m glad that Bob is not my Facebook friend but instead is my real neighbour and will give me a push. I know my 10, 500 Twitter followers won’t be crammed into the community hall the day of my funeral.

Social media builds bridges. Lots of times I’ll receive kind post comments from neighbours I rarely see or talk to – people who live in a 20 kilometre radius of me. I “like” their comments, but I don’t phone them or invite them over for coffee, for tea, or for something with a bit more of a kick. It’s sad. I crave company, but instead of making an effort and seeking it out, I sit in front of this computer screen.


CalculatorI know, I know. I see the irony, as well. You don’t have to point it out. When I’m done writing this, recording it, and reading it over a couple times, I’ll post it online for you to see. Without this virtual connection, you would never know the things I think about and how I view the world. For this and for the connections I’ve made online, I am grateful to social media.

During the upcoming week I’ll take another day off from social media – probably Tuesday again. Maybe I’ll make a phone call or watch an entire TV show or venture out for coffee. For one day I’ll try not to forsake real life for a life lived online. Wish me luck.

Getting Older







Eino and Grandma (2)
Grandma & her brother Eino

Good evening! It’s been a busy week and it’s only Tuesday. That’s the Christmas season for you. I was looking over my previous posts and I really like this one. It ran in our local newspaper last year. It’s all about family history and the stories we tell to create our identity and to carve out a tiny place in this big old universe for ourselves. Thanks for dropping by.

When she was a child, my grandmother received a locket as a baptism gift. That was in Calumet, Michigan. The family later moved to Hughenden. Then in 1931, my great uncle Elmer died from a ruptured appendix when he was sixteen and my grandma was twenty.

By her younger brother’s graveside in the Hughenden cemetery, my grandma lost that precious locket that she’d owned most all her life. That’s how it goes sometimes. Years later, in 1944, her father, my great grandfather, died. He was buried near his son Elmer, and as that grave was being prepared, the locket bearing my grandma’s initials was dug up.

Listen to me read this post:

Life is comprised of stories. My life is stories and your life is stories. These are scenarios that happened, that might happen, and that are happening right now. I love stories, but hearing the tales of the old folks who came before me leaves me feeling two different ways.

The first feeling is warm and sentimental. The old stories make me feel connected to the people whose blood flows in my veins. I treasure that connection, like time as a railroad track joining our stations along the way.

The second feeling is the stark realization that someday all that will be left of me is stories. And then, after a while, even the most colourful Lori stories will fade into time and eventually disappear. It’s true.

Petersons (2)
Another photo and there’s that locket again.

I like the story of my Grandma Knutson and her newborn baby, Jeannette, on their way home from the hospital following a March snowstorm. When the cutter tipped over in the deep banks, both new mother and new baby were pitched into a snowdrift. Good thing they were bundled up and that babies are typically a bit bouncy.

If you know me, you know I love ghost stories! Sadly, I’ve lost some of the belief in their plausibility. It’s too bad because the possibility of truth made those old stories especially thrilling. In this case, the truth doesn’t matter. I like hearing ghost stories and I like telling ghost stories.

Back in the day Grandma would tell me about the house she and Grandpa lived in on the edge of Hughenden Lake when they were first married.

She’d tell it like this: “Often, late at night, the door at the top of the stairs would slam shut really hard. At first this was terrifying, but after a while, we got used to it. We were startled, but we weren’t scared.”

Even so, my grandparents didn’t live in that house for long.

Grandma and Grandpa
Grandma and  Grandpa looking snazzie!

All the people involved in those stories are gone. The house, long since moved from the lakeshore into the village, stands here in town today. I wonder if the door at the top of the stairs slams hard enough to shake the walls. Does that particular draft, uneven foundation, or angry spirit still haunt the place?

People come and go from houses. We bring stories, we make more, and then we move on.

I always tell the story of Erwin Knutson, my dad’s uncle who was found dead in an abandoned vehicle outside of Wetaskiwin. It was December, 1957. The body had no identification on it, no wallet, and no money. But there was a slip of paper in one of the jacket pockets that read: Erwin Knutson, Hughenden.

My dad told me about him being fourteen years old and traveling to the Hughenden cemetery with his dad, the deceased’s brother, to deliver the rough box used to shore up the interior of that wintry grave.

I held on to that story and it became my novel, Denby Jullsen, Hughenden.

I’m grateful for the stories that connect me to my past and to my ancestors. I’m also thankful for the stories I’m living now, and for the good ones I imagine might happen.

My wish for you is that you remember and share your stories. I hope you’ll make new ones to tell again and again down through the years because, in the end, the stories are all we’ve got.

Did you like what you read here? Consider following my blog either right here on WordPress or through email. See the right sidebar to follow me. It’s easy and it’s free. This way, you won’t miss any of my posts. Thanks for reading! ~ Lori

Squabbling Over a Seed

Birds in my backyard.

At dinner the other night, my auntie and uncle told me about their recent experience of watching one sparrow brutally kill another. It reminded me of this post I wrote a while back.

The backyard was full of twittering birds. All three feeders were full of seed, and it was party time for the sparrows. Closest to the house, two tiny sparrows sat cute and all fluffed-up in the cedar diamonds of the lattice surrounding the deck rails. The birds were looking at each other with an intense expression that I mistook for mutual admiration.

Then, quick as feathered lightning, the sparrows lunged at each other and, horrified, I realized that I was witnessing a territorial seed dispute.

I thought, “Stupid birds, bickering over something as tiny as a seed!”

Then I considered: Isn’t that what we humans do all the time? Isn’t that the definition of irritation? Someone does one small thing:

  • Gives us unwanted instructions. 
  • Tells us a story with more details than any breathing person could continue to care about.
  • Compares some of their recent successes to our past failures.

Is your heart melting at remembering these special occasions? I know mine is.

Barn birdfeeder.

Maybe it’s not all about us. Maybe the Being Alive Kit just happens to include feeling and causing irritation. Other beings aren’t doing irritating things to us; they’re simply doing them near us. Whether we know it or not, we’re irritating them, as well.

Being aware of those around us sometimes means we’ll want to argue over a seed and get our feathers ruffled as we ruffle the feathers of others.  Fortunately, we humans can choose not to squabble over something so tiny as a seed of irritation or a rock in our shoe or a pain in our posterior.

It’s easier said than done, but every change starts somewhere.


Two Birds


The Gift of Home

As I’m re-reading this post from a couple of years ago, I realize that I’ve lived here now for as long as I lived in the house I grew up in. It’s been 14 years since we moved here and nearly 15 years since I purchased Grandma’s house in Hughenden.

After all these years, I’m still happy to live here in this house. Lots has changed in my life and in this house, but that’s how it goes, isn’t it? Just recently I’ve started thinking that I could let go of this place and be happy anywhere.

Take care and thanks for reading!  ~ Lori

Listen to me read this post:

Christmas decorations.

This is my 12th Christmas season spent living in Grandma’s house. In March of 2005 – 9 years after her passing – I had the opportunity to buy this rundown little bungalow and make it new again.

My grandparents, my dad’s folks, built this place the year after I was born. They moved into town after selling their farm. Grandma lived here 28 years before she died and thanks to the loving people that cared for her, she was able to live here until her brief hospital stay prior to her death.

I remember Christmases here surrounded by these same walls and by people I loved. On Christmas Eve, the tradition was for us kids to open one specially-selected gift. This gift was always the homemade pajamas that Grandma had spent the autumn sewing in the same basement where I now watch the flat screen TV from my elliptical trainer.Lori Lake LouiseThis house isn’t large. It’s only about 900 hundred square feet, but in those days, you could cram a lot of overnight and supper guests into it. We weren’t as worried about impressing, but instead the emphasis was on being together all in one place and under one roof, this roof.

This house remains although some of the people are gone now from us. And like the people who remain, the house is older, a little creakier, but just as familiar. Together this house and I hold the memories of days and people past. As long as this house and I are here, so are they.

I’ve learned that over a decade spent in any one place can give a really clear picture of the impermanence of everything and everyone. Since coming to this community, I’ve grown to love its people and I’ve attended some of their funerals. I’ve shared meals and drinks and photos and chores. I’ve given gifts to new parents and then I had the chance to teach those children who didn’t yet exist when I first arrived here.

From Grandma’s house, I’ve watched the years move by more closely, more clearly than they would’ve moved by anywhere else. Here, the years are thick with memories, dripping with history, and sweet with sentiment.  To live on this ever-moving continuum for this part of my life has been a gift. This Christmas season and after 12 years, this house in this place and time still feels like this best present I’ve ever received.

Heavy with frost.
Christmastime branches heavy with frost.


Nothing Better

Candy cooking.

Is there anything better than butter and sugar melting together in a heavy pot? I don’t think so. Of course, this is subjective. Some of you are thinking that there is something better! But for me, these days, nothing is better than butter and sugar together. I love that caramel smell as cooking candy bubbles on the stovetop.

Candy and cookies and cards

This year I’m making cookies and candy for friends and family. I’m also sending out old-fashioned Christmas cards. Over the last few years we’ve received blank Christmas cards from different charities as either an incentive to give or as a thank-you for giving. The cards are gorgeous, and I have a whole heap of them. It’s great to finally send them out.

I even wrote a funny Christmas letter to include in the cards. Remember, funny, like sugar and butter, is also subjective. The letter tells about all the excitement that’s been happening around here so it’s short.

Colour gel pens, stickers, and cards.

I’m using all the colourful gel pens that have sat lonely in a drawer for so long, and I’m sticking hoarded stickers on all the letters and all the envelopes. I don’t know why I love this so much but I do!

What is this unfamiliar feeling?

This holiday season I am happy. Sometimes when I’m working I’ll stop and notice that I’m smiling and my heart is light. There are no pressing thoughts about what to do next trying to push me out of this moment and into the next.

I’m relaxed and I’m happy. It’s hard to know if I’m content because I’m sending cards and baking, or if I’m sending cards and baking because I’m happy. Perhaps it’s the eggnog. Who knows? It doesn’t matter why.

The point is that it’s fun to have time to spend creating homemade gifts. It’s good for my soul.

Sure, I’m finishing up my editing program and have a big project to tackle, but that’s okay. I’ve got time to do it, and that’s a really nice feeling.

A tree on a December evening.

Memories of busyness

I do miss (a bit) the merriment of elementary school at Christmastime. Kids are so much fun at this time of year because their wonder and excitement are infectious. Their shining eyes remind me of my own childhood Christmases.

But as an elementary schoolteacher there is always a frantic dash up to the finish line of Christmas holidays. (I can’t see you, but I can almost feel all you former and current teachers of young students nodding in agreement. Some of you are still mildly traumatized.)

The classroom is merry in December, but it is hectic. Hectic merriment.

While teaching, I entered Christmas vacation like a zombie, numb and disengaged, but with no appetite for anything, let alone brains. When you give it all, there’s nothing left to give. You need a chance to refuel.

That’s the working world and that’s just how life was while I was teaching. I was busy! Like any job or profession, teaching has its perks and its drawbacks. Mostly, I remember the good things, and there were lots of good things.

That being said, it’s a joy this year to be joyful as I prepare for Christmas. It’s wonderful to have the time to take my time.


Life has its seasons, I know. There will be busy times again and maybe even soon. But for now and for this season, I’ll bask in the calm contentment, and wish for you, dear reader, this same pleasure. There’s nothing better.





Never Again

Train Tracks
The Canadian Pacific Railway line that runs by my village.

When it comes right down to it, no matter what anyone does to us, we’re in control of our own feelings and mostly in control of our actions. Recently I was reminded of a time several years ago when I allowed someone to treat me horribly and I, in return, did the same. For a long time, I felt angry with myself about this, but now, I discover, I’m done being angry with anyone over that whole disaster.

At the time, I was newly out of a comfortable relationship and living alone. I was planning to leave my teaching position and move to a different city a lot further south. While I looked forward to that adventure, the prospect of it was also terrifying as big life changes often are. I guess I was looking for a distraction from my fear. I found a distraction, all right. It just goes to show that we should always be cautious about what we seek because we might find it.

It was the kind of relationship I’d never had before and not had since because, usually, I’m not bat-crap crazy. Back then and for a bit, I must’ve been because that’s the only explanation for my behaviour. It was an on-again, off-again kind of fiasco, rife with mind games and hurtful words and searing actions. I felt very small, and my own actions were mean and small. It’s embarrassing to think about now, but I think it’s a state most of us have experienced, so I don’t mind sharing. All of this mess happened years ago in another time and in another place.

Time like a river.
A river in summertime.

Being an optimist and a people-lover, it’s hard for me to face the fact that there are always people in certain circumstances who will use others to benefit themselves. It’s even harder to face the fact that I have sometimes been one of those people.

Saints excluded, I think that to a greater or lesser degree, this element of self-preservation exists within most of us human beings. It’s just the way we’re wired and for evolutionary purposes, it’s probably come in really handy, this selfishness. It allowed us to survive and for our lineage to thrive. Fair enough in the jungle and in the caves, and I’d like to believe we can rise above that base instinct now and aim for something kinder, more beneficial to the entire species.

I admit that I was no innocent bystander in this craziness, no halo-draped angel. Nope, I was fully-engaged and I take responsibility for allowing the destructiveness to continue for as long as it did. I could have walked away any time. Finally, I did.

Best Caboose
A Canadian Pacific caboose on a hot August day.

I had the opportunity to re-engage that person from so long ago. While I wish him health and happiness, I’m smarter now. When I saw it approaching, the wisdom I’ve acquired in the years between now and then told me to leap off the tracks and just let that train speed on by.

Wisdom also told me not to place dynamite on the tracks or to throw eggs at the passing cars. There’s no point. What good are they, those little actions that serve only to shrink and harden my heart? After all, it was a small, hard heart that got me into that situation and it’s a bigger, more open heart that’s keeping me out.


















Don’t Come To My Funeral

This is a post I wrote back in 2017 when I threw a birthday party and was somewhat dismayed at the lack of response my invitations received. Still, we had a really good time. It was almost as fun as any funeral.

Listen to me read this post or read it below. And, please, come to my barbeque.

Don_t Come To My Funeral(My Bad Poem That Makes a Good Point)Don_t come to my funeral,I won_t care.Don_t come to my funeral,I won_t be there.But when I invite you to A barbequeYears ago, I attended a friend’s 90th birthday party.  Her family intended it to be a celebration of this woman’s life. That’s what funerals are now sometimes called: celebrations of life. Only this celebration was held before the one we were celebrating had died. It was wonderful.

I loved seeing her glow as each eulogy was given. Some of the stories were touching and some were funny, and all illustrated a piece of her life. What a waste these tales would’ve been if she’d have been too dead to hear all the sweet memories folks shared about her.

Funerals are for the living.

I do understand that funerals are for the living. They provide a chance to connect and a chance to accept the passing of a loved one. Mourning together is better.

Funerals affirm that, even in the face of death, life goes on. We’ll all die but for now, we are alive. Funerals are good to remind us of this fact.

I also understand why folks come out for funerals. At funerals you see everyone; all those old friends and relatives crawl out of the woodwork and come back home. They step out of their comfortable, full lives, and they come to mourn and visit and reconnect.

At funerals someone often asks, “Why don’t we ever get together like this when there’s not a funeral?” Good question.

Cemetery statue, Savannah, Georgia.

A gathering where no one’s dead can be fun too. 

Now and then, I’ll invite people to events at which everyone is alive. Often my invitation is turned down cold. I can’t compete with funerals.

Next time I host a party, I’m going to call it a funeral just to see if more people come. Death more than simple pleasure seems to be worth making an effort for.

Don’t put off living.

We’re all guilty of putting off a life that begs to be lived. We especially put off the pleasant things. There’s something in our culture that still esteems suffering while it diminishes enjoyment.

I had a great aunt who worked hard all her life at a mundane job that she disliked. She kept working and promised herself that when she retired, she’d finally travel and enjoy life. I loved and admired this woman. When she became ill and died before she got to travel, I paid attention.

Suffering is not more important than enjoyment.

In our western culture, a high premium is placed on stoic suffering. I get it. When pioneers came to this land, stoic suffering was their only choice. Put your head down and work until you carved a life into this rugged nowhere. The strong survived and there wasn’t time to cultivate roses let alone smell them.

A rose in my auntie’s garden.

It’s different now. We can relax a bit and enjoy being alive. I won’t suffer in the hopes that someone will shed an earned tear at my funeral. I’d gladly exchange a tearful funeral for a joy-filled life. I wouldn’t even mind a bitter eulogy: “All she did was go around being happy and savouring life.”

I’m no martyr. The fact is, my suffering doesn’t improve anyone else’s life. It only makes me miserable and, in turn, I make the world more miserable.

It won’t kill you to go to the party.

When someone calls you to go spend time with the living, try to go. I know. Life is busy and there are competing priorities. Keep in mind that it is far easier to visit with the folks we love, to hold them and be near them, before they are dead.

Life is short and enjoying it fully is more important than suffering through it. It’s respectful to attend the funerals, but it’s crucial to go to the barbeques.

Thanks for reading and listening! I hope you have a great new week wherever you are.

~ Lori





Decisions, Decisions

Listening to Lori

You can hear me read this post or read it below. You decide.

Decisions ImageDecisions, Decisions

Right now, I’ve got a lot of decisions to make. When I think about it, though, I’d way rather have decisions to make than limited choices in life. Making decisions is hard, but it’s better to have choices than not.

For the past year I attended Simon Fraser University, taking their online Editing Certificate program. My courses were very challenging and very interesting. The year flew by, and soon I’ll be a certified editor.

Finishing up one thing and starting another means more decisions to make. But isn’t that the point of getting an education? An education should ideally provide more choices and open more doors. I hope mine will. We’ll see.

Choice is a privilege.

Because I’m privileged I have so many choices. I’m fortunate to have an education that I could afford to get. Nowadays, young students are typically guaranteed to be in debt for a very long time to get a post-secondary education.

I remember meeting a young lawyer back in Grande Prairie. She was about three years younger than me. But in that short span between our ages, the cost of a university education in Canada had sky rocketed. This professional woman, well employed within a local law office, was living with her parents so that she could pay down her student debt.

It’s possible she enjoyed living with her folks. It wasn’t my dream to live with my parents at 28 years old, and so I viewed her experience through my own bias, of course. To me, she seemed trapped by debt. Still, that debt gave her a fulfilling career and a good way to make a living.

She chose to shoulder debt to obtain the education she wanted, and that choice is a privilege.

An old Remington typewriter. Makes me glad for my keyboard!

Hard times mean limited choices.

From here my choices all look pretty good. I’m not between a rock and a hard place. “Lori, leap off this cliff or leap off that cliff. And, no, you can’t have a parachute, so stop asking.”

I’ve been in that uncomfortable place where I just had to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. At times, I’ve had no choice. I’ve done jobs I didn’t want to do and lived in less-than-ideal conditions so that I could escape situations I couldn’t stay in. Those were hard times. Everyone has them. Hard times show up differently in everyone’s lives, but if you’re born, you have them. That’s how it goes.

My choices are all good.

Going forward, I’ve got a lot of choices. My problem isn’t that I have no direction; my problem is that I have too many directions!

Now that I’m nearly finished my editing program, I’d like to work as an editor and writer. I want to help people make their projects the best they can be. I’d love this, but it means that I’ll need to start a business. That enterprise is chockfull of decisions.

I also miss being in the classroom and plan to substitute teach after Christmas. It will be fun to be with students again, but every job opportunity comes with decisions: whether or not to accept the offer, what to wear, what to pack for lunch.

Lunch and clothes might seem like small considerations, but I haven’t had to decide what to pack for lunch or what to wear to work for nearly a year! I can’t bring a gallon of jasmine tea and a handful of cashews for lunch, and I can’t wear yoga pants to work. Things will have to change.

Editing Books 2
Textbooks for school.

Focus and quiet are wonderful.

As my life changes again, I’ll have to be careful not to get distracted by too many projects and too many activities. Over the last year I’ve come to appreciate focus and quiet. I’d like to maintain focus and quiet at least in some corners of my life.

That’s another choice. I can choose to work frantically, bouncing from one project to another, or I can choose to focus on one or two things and do them very well. But I have to decide to do it and be disciplined.

Given the choice, I’d choose choice.

There’s so much we can’t choose, so many decisions we’re not allowed to make. The chance to make decisions is a golden opportunity in a universe that decides much for us, from our place of birth to our genetic code. These are huge factors in determining how life will go, and we have no control over either of them.

I’ve been forced to make decisions because I’ve had the opportunity to make decisions. With freedom comes choice.

I was born into positive circumstances and in a war-free, wealthy country. I was born to parents who cared about education and born late enough in the world’s timeline to be allowed to get an education. The more I sit here and write, the more grateful I am for all the decisions I’ve made and all the ones I’ll need to make.

All this decision-making has led me to this conclusion: It’s hard to make choices, but it’s sure nice to have them.











The Great Escape Room


You can read The Great Escape Room below or listen to it here or both. Nice to have a choice, isn’t it?

The Great Escape Room

The Great Escape Room ImageA little while ago I went with a group of friends to The Escape Squad in Camrose, Alberta. This series of escape rooms is an exercise in teambuilding. It’s a great reminder that we don’t get far in life or in escape rooms without the support of others.

In this case, our group completed (not quite!) the escape room for the fun of it, but I definitely see how this activity promotes teamwork in the workplace and how it can foster team building in any organization. Did I mention it was fun, as well?

Under Pressure

I’ll be careful here to not give away any escape room secrets. I think it’s safe to tell you that teams have a time limit of 45 minutes to make their way through the escape room. There’s a large countdown clock on the wall with a huge red digital display ticking away the precious seconds.

The interactive game was cleverly constructed, with hints and clues planted in the most interesting places. Some were obvious; most were not. The scenario of the theme room we chose was based on finding our missing grandpa who’d conveniently left us a trail of clues.

If our mission had been real, poor old Grandpa would still be out there somewhere alone because we fell an estimated twelve minutes short of locating the dear man. I thought that was pretty good for our first time through. Grandpa may feel differently. If his clues had been easier, Grandpa would be safe at home now. I’d say he’s got himself to blame for that outcome.

Heavy frost, bright blue sky.

Life’s problems, life’s puzzles

Life is easier when we surround ourselves with people whose skills complement our own. More by luck than design, the five members of our team had very complementary skills. I’m useless at locks of any kind but, luckily, we had the Lock Queen with us. Who knew?

Other members were great at detecting well-hidden hints, while others were excellent at reading and relaying important information. Other team members were able to locate helpful tools, and able to figure out how they work and why we need them. Every one of us was scrambling the whole time. There was always something to do, something to solve.

What was my job in this whole adventure? I was a bit of a Keyboard Queen. Surprising, right? Such an egghead.

Working together builds relationships

Going into the game, I had only briefly met some of my team members. I didn’t know most of them very well at all. Upon coming out of the game, though, they were my buddies, the ones I could count on. This group of detectives had my back and I knew it.

There’s nothing like working together to bring us together.

Life inevitably throws problems and puzzles at us that require the help of others to solve. No one’s an island, and it’s most effective to get assistance to get through life. That just how life goes. That day, that interactive game at The Escape Squad proved it.