10 Things About Me

Some who read this know me well.  Others not at all.  I like lists.  There, by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll know 11 things about me, because one thing is I like lists.  I love watching those shows that they usually show around the end of the year counting down the 10 best and worst ________ of ________.  I like grocery lists, to do lists, guest lists, etc.  So I decided to make a list of 10 well known and little known facts about yours truly.  The point?  There isn’t one, except to indulge myself in yet another list.

So here it is.  Some will be blatantly obvious even from reading this blog.  Others will be deep, dark secrets that no one knows.  Intrigued?  Hopefully I don’t end up getting arrested after this. 😉

Here we go…

1. I have many important roles in my life, but the one that I take most seriously, the one that means the most to me, is that of being a mother.  I love my family, and I love my friends, but I consider the responsibility of being a parent the biggest thing that can happen to a person and I don’t take it for granted, or handle it lightly.  I love my son with a fierceness that I never thought possible before I met him, and that grows every day.  I know that I am responsible for helping to shape the person that he is and that is very important to me.

2. I love to cook and bake.  I love to watch people eat.  Nothing gives me more pleasure than to have people get up from my table stuffed and satisfied.  When I am feeding people, there is no such thing as preparing too much food.

3. I love musicals.  TV and stage.  I love music, all music.  Musicals though, I have a real soft spot for.  We used to go quite often to see musicals and plays in Toronto or other places.  We don’t really get to do that very often anymore and I really really miss it.

4. I am a HUGE procrastinator.  But more on that later…

5. I’m a bookworm.  I have loved reading all my life.  Since I was a child I could always be found with my nose in a book.  The same is true today.

6. I come across as confident, and I am confident in many of my abilities.   I also have a side of me that has very low self esteem, where I’m always waiting for someone to point out what I’ve done wrong.  To make fun of me or laugh at me behind my back.

7. I wish I had more time to myself.

8. I’m an accessory freak.  Handbags, sunglasses, jewelry, hats, iPhone cases, iPad cases, beach bags, tote bags, lunch bags, travel mugs and water bottles, you name it.  I love any and all accessories, and often the accessories that I have on will end up being more expensive than the rest of the outfit.

9. I’m a techie and gadget junkie.  Read more about that here.

10. I wish I had been a writer.  Or a make up artist.  Or a photographer.  Maybe a stage actor.  Overall, I wish I had a job that exercised my creative muscles more.  That made me draw from somewhere different every day.  I like what I do, but I always envisioned myself doing something else.  Broadway anyone? Well…I’d have to get a few voice lessons first I suppose.

So now you know a bit more about me.  Did this add to your existence?  Probably not.  But I had fun writing it.

Thanks for indulging me.

Attitude – A Rant. You’ve been warned.

Just a bunch of cry babies!

Every now and then a girl just has to get things off her chest.  Some cry about it, some scream about it.  I’m gonna blog about it.

I honestly think that the biggest problem that plagues society today is people and their bad attitudes.  Some people honestly wouldn’t know a positive comment if someone came along and hit them over the head with one.  I know I wrote in one of my previous blog entries that there are some people that you just can’t please, and you just have to move on and not let them bother you.

Well heck.  Today, they are bothering me!  Some people are just so negative, so sour, so argumentative and confrontational, it makes me want to dump a bucket of ice water on their heads.  They are nasty, nasty NASTY!

PEOPLE!  Lighten up a bit!  I know that sometimes life isn’t fair.  Sometimes people mistreat you, sometimes the crap just keeps piling up.  But having a bad attitude about the whole thing, dropping f-bombs left, right and center may make you feel better about things, but trust me, it’s driving everyone else around you CRAZY!

Your negative attitude is only bringing down the people around you.  It’s not doing you any good.  You may think that it feels good to complain about things and make your beefs known.  All you are doing is feeding into your own anger and keeping it alive.  Just think.  Just think of how much better your life could be if whenever something happens that normally would send you into orbit, you just said “Nope.  I’m not going to let it get the better of me.  I’m not going to let something that is out of my control get me down in the dumps.”  I know that every now and then it does get so bad that you have to let it out.  That’s what I’m doing right now.  Normally I can turn the other cheek and ignore the negativity.  Today, it just annoyed me to the point where I have to let it out.  That happens.  But it’s almost like the boy who cried wolf.  If all people hear from you is complaining, it quickly becomes white noise and has no meaning.  If you are generally a positive person and don’t complain much, looking at life like it is a bowl of cherries and spitting the pits out and forgetting about them – then when you do have a complaint to make, and it’s made in the right way – people are much more likely to listen and do something to help you.

So buck up Buttercup!  Smile a bit.  Don’t let things get to you and worry you so much.  Your friends will thank you, your family will thank you, your co-workers will thank you.  Your doctor will thank you too – you’ll live longer!

Peace!

 

Growing up Tech

For those of you that don’t know me, I’m a geek.  Totally.  I’m a geek about a lot of things – I love Harry Potter, Glee, many of the current fandoms.  I adore musical theatre, movie musicals, etc.  I’m a total bookworm, and will not think twice about standing in line at a bookstore for a midnight release, or getting to the theater 4 hours before a movie to wait in line to get a seat in the back.

All these things make me a geek, or a nerd I guess, but the biggest thing is my obsession with all things tech.  The world is exploding with all the latest releases of gadgets of all kind.  My son is four.  When I was his age, I was carrying around my old fashioned tape recorder, so happy because there were buttons to push.

Good old tape recorder

I got my first cell phone late by today’s standards, at 18 when I started university.  I’ve counted (the ones I can remember) the cell phones I’ve had since then and there have been 13 in the last 17 years.  That’s an average of a new one every 1.3 years.  Not a lot by a lot of techie standards, but far higher than average, I’m sure.  I’m totally addicted.  I got my first computer, which was a 486 running DOS and Windows 3.1, when I was probably about 14.


I’m an admitted Apple fangirl.  If Apple makes it, I want one.  I’m already plotting to “unload” my iPhone 4S on my hubby when the next generation comes out.  I remember wanting a tablet computer so bad years ago when they had those big, bulky Tablet PC’s that were so expensive.  When the iPad came out, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven.

I drive my co-worker crazy listening to podcasts about various things, keynote speeches, videos of drop tests of cell phones.  I get excited and call her over when I see nifty things online that I think are so cool, and she just rolls her eyes at me.  I’m a huge fan of social networking, having accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and on and on.  I’m the only one of my friends that stops to “check in” when we go somewhere, the only one that checks Twitter when someone mentions the latest news.  Or knows the news first because of my Twitter feed.  Heck, I was the only one who actually would send a text for a long time.  Unfortunately I had no one to send them to.

It kind of sucks actually, being one of the only geeks among my friends.  Every now and then I meet folks who are on the same page and it is so wonderful to sit and talk about the latest in the tech world, or what I happened to read on a tech blog that morning.  To discuss our favourite apps and compare Angry Birds scores.  These opportunities are very few and far between.  My hubby and most friends will try to nod and smile and act interested when I talk about how the new Macbook Pro has retina display, or how excited I am to try iOS 6.  But I see the bored blankness behind their eyes.  That’s why I love social networking, the number of people on Twitter alone to chat with about all things tech is more than you could possibly imagine.

The way I see it, unless I make some new friends 😉 , my last hope is my son.  He is growing up in a world where the things that I witnessed happening as I was growing up (personal computers in every home, personal e-mail addresses for everyone, real touchscreen technology, cell phones replacing landlines) are all firmly a part of life.  If we’ve come this far in the last 30 years, imagine how much can happen in the next 30.

Loves the iPad

Technology is the future.  Obviously.  There are so many things we can do now, that we could never do before.  I use my iPad for everything.  Web surfing, e-mail, blogging, journaling, contact management, calendar and to do lists, reading books, magazines, watching a missed episode of a favourite TV show or listening to a favourite song.  I store recipes on it, edit documents, play games, all social networking, manage my household budget, banking, edit photos, Skype, etc.  With just one piece of equipment, I have made a ton of other things totally unnecessary….and I can carry it in my handbag.  I find this incredibly cool.  On this, my son can relate.  He loves the iPad, and would be on it all the time if I let him.  He watches Netflix, searches YouTube, reads books, does puzzles.  My parents watch him as he says “here Grandma, I’ll do it for you” with wonder on their faces.  I watch him on the iPad, or on my phone, or on a computer, and I see that the apple definitely doesn’t fall far from the tree.  I’m excited for all the future has to hold for him and generations to come and all the things that will be made possible because of technology.

Geeks unite!

Bomb Threats Close to Home

Ambassador Bridge – Windsor/Detroit

I consider myself lucky to be born where I was born, with the luxuries that I have. Clean drinking water right out of my tap, a roof over my head, food on my table. I watch the news and see people that live in war zones, like Iraq and Afghanistan, and know people in the military that have fought in both places during the height of the war there.

I feel for these people, I fear for them, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to live under a constant veil of fear. That’s what I’m talking about, because as much as I sympathize, I can’t empathize. I’ve lived my life up to this point with virtually no fear of an outside attack. The most scared I’ve ever been was on September 11, 2001, when I heard on the radio that a second plane had struck the World Trade Center. The first one I could assume was a tragic accident. The second one showed for sure that there was something sinister happening. The news of a crash at the Pentagon made my stomach roll over in fear.

I felt this way, and yet I was so removed from the situation. Miles away, no one I knew personally affected directly by these tragic events. I sat and watched, horrified, with the rest of the world, but though this was the first time that I ever wondered how events like these would change my life as I knew it, I was still just a spectator.

In less than a week, there have been two bomb threats on border crossings between the cities of Windsor and Detroit. The first one was at the Tunnel that runs under water connecting the two cities and countries. The second one at the Ambassador Bridge that spans the Detroit River, linking the two as well. Both incidents shut down the crossings for a number of hours. Thankfully, neither amounted to anything more than a huge inconvenience for travelers, and probably tons of cash and man hours investigating the threats.

This one hit close to home though. Windsor is right down the 401 from us – I can get there by car in just over 2 hours. We have friends in Windsor. Family in Windsor and Detroit. Even though it appears that there was no danger after all, it sure made me think about it and realize, just as those people in New York and Virginia who went to work on 9/11 totally unsuspecting and never thinking that anything could happen to them, anything is possible.

It makes you wonder what this world is coming to. But also, it makes you think about people that live under a constant threat all the time. Who go to bed at night knowing full well that it is a real possibility that a bomb could fall on their house. Or could go shopping to have a suicide bomber blow up 5 feet from them. Those people don’t wonder what the world is coming to, because it has always been their reality.

We all have hardships and tough times. We all deal with them differently. Everyone has blessings too. We, when compared to the rest of the planet are like individual grains of sand. As this world gets smaller and smaller and threats seem to happen closer to home, it helps to put things into perspective and if not totally, at least a little bit – helps us to understand what it might be like to live in their shoes.

Peace.

I Guess You Can’t Make Everyone Happy

Sad, but true.

Overall, I aim to please.  I am definitely a “yes person.”  To a fault usually.  People are always telling me – “you have to learn to say no!”  I’m not very good at it though.

So it’s hard when people criticize you when you’re always trying so hard to help them, and to be the best person you can be.  It’s easy to get your feelings hurt when you’ve tried so hard, and done so much, only to have someone look past all of that to what you DIDN’T do, and point that out.  It really takes the wind out of your sails and can be very discouraging.

What we need to realize I think is that some people are born criticizers.  Some are born complainers.  Some are born with a negative attitude and will die that way.  And some, unfortunately for us, are all of the above.

So the question is – why in the hell do we keep trying to please these people?  What’s wrong with being who you are, doing the best you can do?  Those who love you and appreciate you will continue to love and appreciate you.  Those who don’t, can lump it.

So going into the weekend, have a good one, have fun, and be the best you can be.  Not for all those Bitter Bettys and Negative Nancys, be your best – for you, and those that are worth the effort.

Peace.

Letting Go

The quote on the left is something I saw on Facebook yesterday, and it has stuck with me since.

I am fortunate enough to have many friends.  Quite a few of them I have known for years and years.  My oldest and dearest friend and I have been sidekicks since we were 5 years old.  That’s almost 30 years!  Many of my friends that I still keep in touch with I met in high school.  I also have friends that Joe and I have met as a couple and enjoy hanging out with.  I never really made friends at work as I was the only female my age in the office for many many years, but in the last few years I have been lucky enough to form a friendship with a co-worker that I really cherish, which has made the day to day of my life much more interesting and fun.

I can honestly say that I haven’t lost a lot of friends.  Sometimes people just grow apart, and that’s okay.  Life takes people in different directions, and just because you aren’t really good friends anymore doesn’t mean you don’t care about someone or love them just the same.  But deep down it bothers me when there is someone that is in your life, and then they are gone.  Someone whose friendship you valued, and then they are non-existent.

This can also apply to relationships.  I’m happily married for almost 10 years now, and haven’t had to deal with other relationships for a very long time, but there have been times in my life when things went sour and I spent way too long trying to figure out why.  Trying to figure out what it was that I did that made things go wrong.

When you’re in the mindframe that accompanies a lost relationship, whether it is a friendship or a mate, you don’t always want to hear the advice that tells you to move on, to leave them behind, and to let go.  But something really resonated with me yesterday when I read that caption, and really made things click into place in a lot of ways.  From as far back as my teenage years, all the unsolved mysteries of my life, and the lost friendships and relationships (not that there were many), seemed okay all of a sudden.  Reading that and putting things into perspective that way, helped me I guess to close the book on a few loose ends that perhaps were never meant to be tied up.

I like to believe that everything happens for a reason.  That God has a plan for all of us.  But this has made me think that sometimes He does reach in and take people and things away from us because we aren’t strong enough to do it ourselves.  As human beings we tend to be gluttons for punishment and chase after the things that hurt us the most.  So the decision is made for us, yet we still do what we can to try to reverse it.  To make things better, to set things right.

What we need to realize is – perhaps things have been set right.  We just need to leave it alone and let go.

Grandfathers

July 9th.  A day to remember for me for two different reasons.  Both my Grandfathers died on July 9th.  Nannu, my Dad’s Dad, 19 years ago today and Pepere, my Mom’s Dad, 16 years ago today.

My Nanna and Nannu in Malta. Dad’s parents.

My experiences with these two men couldn’t have been any different.  I never met my Nannu.  I believe he was 96 years old when he died, about two weeks before I made my first trip to Malta when I was 15 to meet both my Grandparents, whom I had never met.  He had a massive stroke and passed away before I ever got to meet him.  So my interaction with him was just letters and phone calls.  There was no Skype back then, and I think that even if there was, he probably wouldn’t have used it.  I’m very sorry that I never got to meet him face to face.  Life happens like that sometimes, and at least it was the start of a really nice relationship with my Nanna, who I got to know much better until her passing in 2005.

My experience with Pepere was something different altogether.  He was in my life from the beginning.  Some of my first memories are sitting on his knee, being juggled in his arms, being sung to and hugged and comforted by him.  When we lost him to cancer at the age of 72, when I was 18, I was devastated.  I lost a piece of me and I still miss him so sometimes.  He was a wonderful man, a gentle giant, who was loving, and sensitive, and strong.  I used to spend my summers on his lap on his tractor, or following him around as he worked outside, or inside his wood shop, making beautiful things.  Growing up my parents worked a lot, and I never really had outside babysitters – Memere and Pepere were my primary caregivers.  I learned so much from them, including the value of family, I inherited

Pepere and I as a baby.

my love of Christmas from Pepere (and my Mom too).  Mostly, I learned how to have fun.  Oh, and to always think before I spoke.  His big thing was this: Always think before you speak.  It only takes a second and you may be saving someones feelings.

Grandfathers are so important.  I feel bad for my husband Joe, who was very young when both of his grandfathers died.  He has very limited memories of them.  I am sorry that he never got to build relationships with them, and had them to help shape his life and his personality.  Though every time he loses his wallet or keys, Joe’s mom will remind him – “You’re just like my father!”  So even though he didn’t really get to know him, obviously a piece of him stayed with his grandson.  We went to visit his grandmother at the nursing home a couple days ago, and there is a picture on her board of Joe when he was about 2 years old, with his Dad and his Papa.  Every time we go she points this picture out to us and says how proud he was of his only grandson – at the time he died, Joe was his only grandson.  She now has 13 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren, many of them boys.  It’s too bad that he didn’t get to meet them all.  At least Joe has vague memories, many of his other grandchildren have none at all.  I find that terribly sad, as from what I have heard, he was a wonderful man.

Nicholas is very fortunate to have both of his grandfathers (and grandmothers too, of course) in his life.  He adores both of his grandfathers and they adore him.

Nicholas with my Dad

He sees more of my Dad because he lives closer and helps us with caregiving.  My Dad will take him for coffee sometimes if my Mom is working and Dad is watching him.  He runs to the door to greet Dad whenever he comes in yelling “Grampa, you’re here!”  It’s awesome to see, and it warms my heart, especially after being so close to my Pepere, to see the relationship between them.  I hope and pray that my Dad lives to a ripe old age like his parents did, so that Nicholas has many more years ahead to build on that relationship, and he will have as many wonderful memories with his Grampa as I do with Pepere.

He doesn’t see Joe’s dad as often, because they don’t live as close.  But he does have a great relationship with his Papa as well.  Joe (Sr.) will sit on the floor and play trucks with him and though he may play shy for a bit when they first arrive at our house for a visit, or we arrive there, it doesn’t take long for him to warm up to Papa and chat his ear off.  A week or so ago we went in to enjoy the pool at their house and after a few hours I think Nicholas got sick of the sun and decided to go inside to relax for a bit.  He and his Papa relaxed in the living room, Papa on the couch and Nicholas on the floor, watching cartoons.  I loved seeing this and was in no hurry to interrupt them as they bonded and chatted.  These are the times that Nicholas is going to look back on when he’s grown and remember fondly.  The coffee shop trips with Grampa, the chats and plays with Papa.  I hope that he has both of his grandfathers for many years to come and he learns from them all that he possibly can.

There are days that I think about Pepere and I miss him so much.  I would give anything to just curl up on his lap again, or kneel down

Nicholas and his cousins hanging out with Joe’s Dad.

on the floor in front of him while he sits in his chair and rest my head on his tummy while he plays with my ears.  He loved to play with people’s ears.  Or to chuckle at him when he had a few drinks and he used to get a bit pink in the cheeks as he would laugh.  To hear him speak French to his relatives, many who have passed away also, all his brothers and sisters are now gone.  I can just imagine the party that they are having in Heaven.

So if you are blessed enough to still have one or both of your grandfathers alive, cherish them, visit them, love them.  They have a place in your life that can not be taken by anyone else.  When they are gone, there will be no one else that will be able to fill that void.  The wisdom that they have just from having lived, is unparalleled.  Grandmothers have much of this same wisdom, but it is from a woman’s perspective, which is very different from a man’s, especially in that generation.  Sit and listen to the stories that they have to tell from when they were children, young men, etc.  They come from a generation that is quickly growing smaller, from a time when things were simpler, and life was very different.  We have so much to learn from them, if we only open ourselves up to listening.

Friday…Before a long weekend at that!

I love Fridays.  They are my second favourite day of the week, after Saturday of course.  Especially like this one, before a long weekend.  It has a “school’s out” feeling to it, especially this long weekend, because school actually is out for the kids now.

It’s hot and sunny outside, there’s lots to do today at work, but all I can think about before I head in, is about 9 hours from now, when I’ll be sitting on my back deck, cold beer in hand, chatting with my hubby while my son plays with the dog, smelling some kind of meat on the BBQ, without a care in the world. Because I’ll have three whole days ahead of me that are mine to do with as I please.

Enjoy your long weekend Canadians!  Happy Canada Day!

I leave you with a little tidbit to get you started on your weekend.  Sorry, I just had to! 😉

Well, I’ve Gorged Myself on Pancakes, So Now What?

A final feast before the fast.

Shrove Tuesday.  Pancake Tuesday.  Mardi Gras.  I love me some good pancakes.  A good string of beads is fun too. So I’m not complaining.  But I’m not going topless through the streets, whether in New Orleans or not.  The waistband of my jeans was complaining last night after a feast of blueberry pancakes and sausages.  But oh boy, they were good.

So now what?  Now we have what we Catholics (and lots of other Christians) like to call Ash Wednesday.  What is Ash Wednesday?  Well, the history of it all and a pretty good explanation can be found here.  Basically it signifies the start of Lent.  What is Lent?  Well, that explanation can be found here.

But what does it mean to me?  I’ve been thinking quite a bit about that lately.  So here goes.

I was born and raised Catholic.  Baptized as a baby, attended Catholic school for elementary and secondary.  Even the year of university that I managed to squeeze out was at a Catholic affiliate college.  I attended church every Sunday growing up, with my Mom and Memere.  Hardly ever missed.  Usually I quite enjoyed it.  Especially when there was a priest at our parish that worked really well with the people.  There are a couple of priests that I can think of from as I grew up that were wonderful men, who helped me be excited about my faith, who helped shape me into the person I am today.  I am so thankful to them for all that they had to offer to my childhood and adolescence.

Somewhere in my late teens, I got away from the church a bit.  One priest that I was particularly close to was transferred after many years with us and I had a really hard time getting used to his successor.  Not that he wasn’t a really nice man, he just didn’t mesh super well.  I strayed away slightly.  Then, as I got closer to where Joe and I were planning to get married, I found my way back, attending mass in London where we lived.  We attended together as a couple, and it felt good to be back into the swing of things again, to belong to a parish again.

Eventually though, we strayed again.  I would go through spells, attending mass with my Mom, especially when we moved back into the rural community I was raised in.  But there was no regularity to my attendance.  When I had my son, I had him baptized in our church, as it was important to me that he be raised in the faith, and attend separate school as I did.  But here I was, not attending mass myself on a regular basis, or making sure that my son was exposed to it the way I thought he should be.

I felt slightly detached I guess.  My beliefs were still there, but I wasn’t really following through on them.  I would kneel beside my sons bed every night and say his prayers with him, but then when I went and crawled between my own sheets I wasn’t saying any myself.  Going to church was a thing that was always there in the back of my mind, slightly nagging.  Every Sunday morning when I got up, I knew my Mom was at home, getting ready to go, and that she would be super excited to swing by and pick us up on her way.  But I chose to spend the morning cuddling with my kid instead.

I think that part of the reason that stopped me from starting back was that whole – the longer you’re away, the harder it is to go back – thing.  I knew I shouldn’t feel that way, that I was welcome and would be accepted back with open arms whenever I was ready to go.  But that didn’t really make it any easier.

A couple of weeks ago, I called up my Mom and the boy and I went to church with her.  Again last week.  It’s a start.  He is starting school in the fall, and I want him to at least understand why we enrolled him in a Catholic school.  I want him to have the same foundation that I have.  What choices he makes in his life when he is older will be his own, but I want to lay the groundwork so that, combined with the values and morals that his father and I hope to teach him, he will have a running start in the world.

And maybe there’s still hope for his mother too.

Family Day

Back in the "good old days."

Third Monday in every February.  Here in Ontario, we call it Family Day.  Or, we call it an excuse for a long weekend in February.  Either way, I’m good with it.

The picture on the left was taken in the summer of 1987.  I was 9 years old, turning ten in about a month.  I’m in this photo, though I’m not about to say where, as it is slightly embarrassing.  My Uncle Fern had died a few days previous and so many of my family from Sudbury were down for the funeral.  So what did we do?  The only thing we could do when my Pepere and Memere were around and there was family visiting: have a party.  Get lots of food, lots of drink, and lots of good music and celebrate.  In this case some lightening of spirits was definitely required, as everyone was obviously gathered to mourn the loss of a brother, uncle, cousin that was taken far too early.

Growing up, I remember quite a few gatherings like this.  To my Pepere and Memere, family was everything.  Family were friends.  Family was who you hung around with when you wanted to have a good time.  There were always relatives coming from up north and elsewhere to visit, sometimes for weeks at a time.  I also remember summers when Memere and Pepere would get in the car and disappear for 2 weeks or more.  Moving around from family member to family member, visiting.  Of course it was rare that they went anywhere that Pepere didn’t build something before he left, a porch, a table, a deck, etc.  He always left a piece of himself everywhere he went.

It seems though, as I’ve gotten older, and he has passed on, that things really aren’t like they used to be.  Relatives that I remember from growing up, I haven’t seen since his funeral 15 years ago.  Not that this is anyone’s fault, it just seems as though as one generation leaves us, and our generation has become the adults, things have changed.  We still are family, but it seems like we’ve separated from each other.  When my Mom was younger, they spent the summer travelling around visiting family.  Now that I am grown and have a family of my own, we don’t do that anymore.  We’re obviously busier, women aren’t housewives and stay at home Moms the way they used to be.  We’re working, and when we get a week off here and there, we’re tired!  What time we do spend travelling is usually spent on a vacation for our own little immediate family – a weekend in Niagara Falls, a week at Disney World – something to make up for the times that we don’t get to spend with our kids, and to create memories for them like we had growing up.  Except sometimes I think I forget that some of my greatest memories growing up were not the time in Niagara, or the trip to Disney, though they were amazing.  The times that stand out to me are the weekends where family came to visit.  The trips up north to my Uncle Claude’s cottage on Manitoulin Island.  The yearly horseshoe tournaments.  The trips to Florida – not because of Disney as much, though that was awesome – but to visit my Uncle Bill and his family.

Life has changed so much since those days.  Sometimes it seems hard to just keep it together, to keep in touch with those that we consider close friends.  Life gets in the way.  It gets so busy.  We grow up, get married, have kids.  There are work schedules, school schedules, practices, meetings, appointments.  When the weekend comes, we often just try to catch our breath, not just hop in the car to drive a few hours to visit friends or family.  The same thing is happening with those friends and family, so they hardly have time to visit us.  It almost feels like I wish we could hit the pause button, just for a little while.  So the phone stops ringing, and time stops tugging at my pant leg, saying “hey, lets move!”

The point of this post isn’t to say that we should get those days of old back.  Because deep down I know that isn’t going to happen.  Life isn’t going to slow down any.  If anything, it’s just speeding up, which I’m really noticing as I get older and watch my child grow.  I guess what I’d like to do is just acknowledge those days, and strive to bring at least a little of that back.  Stop and take a few minutes to smell the roses, so to speak.  Call a friend, or a family member.  Or just remember, and try to pass a little of that legacy, and those values, onto our own children.

Happy Family Day!

WAY back - a bunch of family that were the best of friends.