Ask ten friends about their favourite genre of music and you may get six or seven choices. There is not a right and wrong answer because it is simply a matter of preference. Have you noticed that we tend to favour the music of our youth?
Are you old enough to remember party lines? I sure am. Neighbours regularly accused each other of listening to their conversations. We thought making prank calls was the funniest thing of all. Anonymous calls were truly anonymous — no call display, no last number dialed, no list of callers.
The beautiful Muskoka community of Bracebridge, ON was my new home as I began my teaching career. The steep learning curve was daunting. Was I prepared? Was it even reasonable to expect I could succeed? My experience added to new meaning to “the proverbial fish out of water.”
Cats named Pretty Boy, Chrissie, and Snide and a dog named Duffy were Dad’s pets for several years. Pretty Boy and Chrissie have since gone to that Great Catnip Café in the sky and Duffy Dog has crossed the Rainbow Bridge to receive his eternal dog bone, but Snide lives on. I am uncertain of his age, but he is at least ten and does not appear to change year after year. Is it possible that his DNA sequence contains…
A variety of individuals walk in and out of our lives. Most simply pass through, but some are rare jewels who become a part of our lives for a lifetime. That, dear readers, describes my Aunt Norma who stepped from this world into the next in the wee hours of March 7th at the grand age of 94. Aunt Norma devoted her life to her husband, her children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Chub, Flip and Blackie are a few of the dogs of my childhood in West Head. Chub was a big dog with a deep, deep bark. Flip was a little dog that nipped once and a while. Blackie was a medium-sized dog that barked a lot. I had to walk past these dogs on my way to play with my cousin. I was scared to death of each one of them because I thought all dogs bit.
Oh, how I wished the floor would open up and swallow me, but it did not. I hate to admit that wasn’t the first time I had prayed that prayer. I seem to have the gift for putting my foot in my big, big mouth. Have I piqued your interest? Are you wondering what blunder I made this time?
The story goes like this. It was about 1965. I was a student in Mrs. Libby Williams’ Grade 3 Class at Ragged Island Consolidated School. My curly-haired little brother, Francis, had started Grade Primary (Full-day Kindergarten). He wasn’t terribly fond of school. Staying at home to play with his cars and trucks seemed much more appealing.
More than ten years ago, Glenn, our cat Sir Sigmund Alexander, and I began a new adventure in Bobcaygeon (ON). Moving ranks high as a stressful experience at the best of times, even higher if you are a cat. Sweet Grandma Clark invited Sir Sigmund to stay at her house for a week or so until we got settled in and life was less chaotic.
It was 1978 and I had moved to Bracebridge, in the beautiful Muskoka Region of Ontario, for my first teaching position. Winter in Muskoka is significantly colder than coastal Nova Scotia. (Appeared in Bracebridge Examiner August 1978) I drove a rust bucket of a car, an American Motors Hornet. Thankfully, it had a block heater. Without it, my old AMC Hornet would never have started. Bracebridge was where I learned ‾40 degrees Celsius and ‾40 degrees Fahrenheit are the same temperature. COLD!