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 the…
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.
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.?