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!
I was a nervous wreck. Our favourite son, Jeremy, a brand-new driver, picked up his friends and headed to Belleville (ON) to go to the show. My superbrain was working overtime to remind me of myriad things that could possibly go wrong. With every muscle in my body tensed and a clenched jaw, I sat beside the phone waiting for the police to call to report something horrible had happened.
I am not a shopper but once in a while, I can’t avoid it. If I must, I prefer shopping early in the day before the stores get too busy and when finding a parking spot is a breeze. When I come out of the mall hours later, the parking lot is a sea of cars and I haven’t a clue where I parked. I fully intended to remind myself to check for landmarks, but it slipped my mind. I…
On February 6, 2004 Glenn and I took a giant leap. No, we didn’t walk on the moon, but it was definitely monumental to us. We bought a business — not just any business — a funeral business in Bobcaygeon, ON. We were excited and shaking in our boots at the same time.
Little brothers and little sisters can get into mountains of trouble. Francis and I were no exception. We had stumbled upon the “Fountain of Bad Ideas.” I hope my children do not read this because it differs from what I have told them. Do you promise not to tell them? Cross your heart and hope to fly. Stick a cupcake in your eye.?
Each generation accuses the next of being spoiled and lazy. Parents claim they had to work much longer and scrimp and save to buy their first used car, first small house, second hand furniture and on and on and on. Let me describe him for you: He was a six-cylinder that only ran on five. His floor had numerous holes. The brake light stayed on all the time. He burned more oil than gasoline. His side mirror had rotted off. His radio did not work.…
My Mom and Dad were opposites. Mom wanted problems solved immediately. Dad, on the other hand, was a reflective type and he liked “to sleep on things.” Daily routines were important to him. He walked and talked the same speed no matter what. It made for some interesting times.