Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 9: Pretty Woman

Jacqueline Arnold has been my friend since the early days of my career at Carswell. Clever and articulate and intrinsically kind, she made me feel welcome even though the woman who hired me and was second in command at the office had apparently gone around to my future colleagues the day before I started and warned them that I had gone to that university and so they had better modify their language and behaviour around me ...

Jackie is an extremely hard worker: before she goes to her "real" job each day she gets up and cares for her medley of livestock, which could include at any time a number of horses that she boards, chickens, dogs, cats, and the occasional pig. Jackie's acreage has been the scene of numerous marshmallow roasts, parties and gatherings of friends she pulls together from such far-flung pools of people that you wonder how it's going to work - but it always does.

When Carswell had their terrible layoffs on January 15, 1997, releasing 72 per cent of my colleagues, Jackie also got one of the notices; however, she was actually in hospital recovering from surgery and by the time she was back on her feet they realized that they needed her still and so rescinded the layoff notice! By the time the Calgary office did close completely, Jackie had already taken steps to make herself marketable and she quickly landed another job.

I don't know what it is about Jackie, but the more you know her the more beautiful she becomes. It might be the combination of butterscotch eyes and honey-gold hair; or perhaps it's her ability to zing back with an unexpected comeback to something someone says; or maybe it's her self-deprecating little laugh; or the way she can cut through the superfluous and get to the heart of the matter - she knows what's important and even though she has experienced much heartache and difficulty in her life, she carries on gallantly and with a sense of wry humour. Whatever the reason, people are drawn to her and bask in her presence.

Like Ian. On Saturday night (which is when this day's post was supposed to be written!), after I closed the TH, I zipped into Calgary to attend a reception for Ian and Jackie's marriage. They met at their current place of employment and of course Ian was charmed. He proposed earlier this year on a trip to Asia and they got married last month.

Typically, Jackie wanted a very small wedding with just those most important to her in attendance, but she wanted it to be treated as important nonetheless. So she did the hair, the dress, the shoes, every inch a radiant bride. Her son, Shane, walked her down the aisle ("I think he was really happy to finally give me away!" she remarked as Shane looked at her with obvious affection and pride); and her daughter, Holly, plus Ian's four sons were also dressed in their finest and clearly glad for the two of them. "I now have six kids!" Jackie exclaimed happily, with her arm through one of Ian's boys'.

Congratulations, Ian! You've allied yourself with one of the truly pretty women in the world.

Jackie, Karyn, Alison, Andy - some of the old Carswell guard


  1. Cathryn: Thank you for taking me up on this challenge of telling me what you're grateful for this month. With your enigmatic word of the day you cause me to pause and reflect and be thankful with you. And be thankful for you.

    One word - entrancing.

  2. Congratulations, Jackie and Ian. May much love be the atmosphere you breathe, and may laughter be the breeze that clears the air.


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