April 05, 2015 - Debbie

April 05, 2015 - Debbie (1st person I approached)
The easter bunny hasn’t visited me for many years, and I’m okay with that. This year, for some reason, Easter seems to be ‘bigger.’ Across all social media platforms (and I’m plugged into most of them), everyone is talking pancakes, brunch, or chocolate. It's seemingly become a large, rather commercial event.


I didn’t have any of these treats on hand, but did manage to gorge on a few too many peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (my weakness) for breakfast. They joys of living alone. I needed to get out of the house and move, feeling somewhat sluggish after the inhalation.


The mall near my house was closed, except for it’s anchor tenants; a grocery store, a coffee shop, and a gym. I wasn’t crossing any of those thresholds. Even the escalators were switched off. I didn’t really expect to meet anyone as I walked through here. 


I spotted Debbie, sitting in an almost deserted food court, reading a magazine and having a snack - and a healthy one at that! I asked if she’d chat with me for a few minutes, and there was a little hesitation in her voice,

“Ahhh. Well, it depends on what you’ll do with the information.” I showed Debbie my Facebook page, explaining that I was working with the art of conversation, by chatting with strangers.

“Sure, I guess so, for a few minutes,” she said.


“I was born in a little place called Bella Coola, on the (North Central) coast (of British Columbia),” she told me. It's known as the gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest, home of the Kermode, or ‘Spirit’ Bear, noted for it’s white fur. Debbie is the middle of five children.

“We were all born fairly close, with only six years between the oldest and the youngest. My father was in logging, and my mother was a house-wife,” she said. With five children born within six years, we agreed that being a housewife was definitely more than a full-time job for Debbie’s mother.

“Growing up I had a bit of a feeling of being the one that was, sort of, left out. Having two (siblings) on either side. I always felt like I was the one who had to be funny. I didn’t have to, but I did.


Debbie attended both elementary and high school in Bella Coola.

“I was kind of the arts child. I always liked art. Although I wasn’t the only one. My sister got accepted to an art school, but she didn’t go. I don’t even know why. And my younger sister sews and makes things,” she said. While growing up, Debbie went to church with her family.

“We weren’t a religious family, but we did go to a united church regularly. I did that until I was in high-school. Then I decided it wasn’t so cool anymore, and stopped going,” she said.


“I left Bella Coola not long after graduating school,” said Debbie.

“If you weren’t going to get married and have children, there wasn’t much reason to stay there. I came down to the city and got a job. I started working as an office temp, doing secretarial stuff. There were some problems in that office, and I left and went back home,” she said. I asked what it was like to go back to Bella Coola, after having been in a bigger city.

“I felt like a bit of a failure going back. I didn’t stay there for long.”  


“I came back to Vancouver, and took a medical office assistant course. I was working mostly in a secretarial capacity. I got a job working with the school board, and I’ve been there ever since,” Debbie said.

“The job is good. It can be stressful and is always challenging.”


Debbie mentioned she had been to church this morning, and was going out to a family gathering at her brother’s home.

“I had some health problems about six years ago, and that’s when I started going back to church. I go to a Unity church now,” she told me. 


“I was corresponding with my brother earlier this week about going to visit him. His daughter is here from out of town visiting. Our father passed away about twenty years ago, and my mother isn’t in the best of health. We don’t often have a chance to all get together, so I thought I’d go and visit. Then my brother suggested I come out for dinner. It’s more about seeing my family than it is about celebrating Easter,” said Debbie.

“It’s just nice to see everyone.” #notastranger

Today’s story is sponsored by Moii Cafe, 2259 Cambie Street, Vancouver