Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Of Those Moments

Ron and I have been going to my father's house for over a month now in the mornings, I knew that this would afford me the opportunity to learn more about this man, Dad that is.

It was 'my' morning yesterday. As usual Dad had on the television, but not on a viewing channel. Every weekday morning at 10 A.M. he sets it to channel 10 which is a radio broadcast of 'old favourites' with a different theme each day, geared to a senior audience. 

Yesterday's theme was a little bit of everything it seemed.......from country to light rock'n'roll.

I had finished 'cleaning up' and put on the kettle to make some tea for myself. Dad was in the livingroom, in his chair, reading the paper and listening to the music. Occasionally he will comment on a song, if he liked it or not.

Vera Lynn was singing an old 'war' tune and he told me about the time he went to one of her concerts for the troops in London during the war.

He also mentioned that he had seen Bing Crosby in London walking down a street. Dad said that he looked different because he didn't have on his wig! He was as bald as a billiard ball I guess!

My tea in hand I headed to the sofa and sat down. Dad was still reading the newspaper and I was listening to the radio announcer introduce the next song. It was  Anne Murray's"If I Had This Dance'.

Well, I knew this was Dad and Mom's 'song'. Whenever they were out to a function and this came on, Mom would drag Dad up to dance. He never danced but always did when he heard this song  because he knew she liked it.

I didn't say a thing but remembered all the times I saw them dancing to this over the years. It was always a very special time for them and we, the family, knew this. We would silently watch and smile.

Yesterday morning was the same. It was very quiet as Anne sang. (I can call her by her first name because she is a fellow Nova Scotian.) When she finished I said that it was Mom's favourite song. There was no reply. As I looked over Dad was wiping a tear from his eye.

                      Photos taken yesterday at beach.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I found this video clip just amazing, yet not surprising when you realize a bond can be very strong indeed between two living creatures.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

A little bit of this, and a little bit of that today.

We are heading towards an election in Canada. The big day is May 2. The 'minority' Conservative government is seeking a 'full' other words they want a majority this time. We'll see.

For the past five years we have not had a majority government here in Canada. That would be OK if the parties involved could work things out and get things done! But they couldn't. All that happened was bi-partisan bickering, and not much was accomplished.

You see in Canada, we do not vote for the Prime Minister directly, like they do in the US. We vote for 'seats' in Parliament. Whichever Party gets the most 'seats' forms the government. And the leader of that Party becomes the Prime Minister.

Everything we do is political, I feel. That's OK. We can't escape that nowadays. I have never had a problem sharing my political views over the years. I am not one who keeps it a secret for fear of offending some one or some one might think lesser of me.

I have supported the New Democratic Party (NDP) for years. In Canada this party is probably equivalent to the Labour Party in the UK. There is no equivalent in the US........maybe the 'left' in the Democratic Party.

The NDP have never had a majority status in Federal politics here. Mind you here in Nova Scotia, my province, we elected a majority NDP government two years ago. Yeah!

The thing is that in this upcoming federal election if I vote for the NDP again and since they will in all likelihood not get a enough seats to form a government anyway, and because of the fact that I do not want the Conservatives to gain a majority, I will have to vote Liberal.

The last time I voted Liberal was for Pierre Elliot Trudeau back in the 70's.  He was a very dynamic leader and won three consecutive majority elections in a row!

Of course I could vote for the Green Party. They are trying very hard to get their first seat in Parliament. They have a battle ahead of them. This is not Europe!

Then of course there is the 'other' Party.....the Bloc Quebecois. This party is one that supports the separation of the province of Quebec from Canada. They have quite a few seats in the federal parliament but only 'run' in ridings in Quebec. That is a whole other story.

Still with me? I better switch it!

Ron and I have been 'looking after' Dad for the past month and a bit. We alternate days (Monday to Friday) and spend the mornings with him. The family was going to hire a stranger but he didn't want this. We were 'hired' instead.

It is working out very well. We take him to appointments, do a little 'light housekeeping', buy groceries and are there for 'company'. I am getting to know him so well now. Finally understanding 'what makes him tick' and appreciating him so much more now and all that he has done for his family.

Spring is so close to settling down here! Croci  are up and the Snowdrops have been here for over a week. We've been in the garden cleaning things up.....raking up leaves and twigs. We do not rake int he fall. We want the leaves to settle around the plants and protect them over winter. So our raking, and there is lots of it to do, is done now.

We have a family meeting coming up this weekend to plan Dad's 95th birthday party. My brother Fred from Calgary, Alberta will be here as well. Lot's to get done and relegated. But there are lots of us, so it won't be that difficult to get going. Not that we haven't done this before!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Contemplative Monday

" You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star."   Friedrich Nietzsche

Bark on the Paperbark Maple.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday's Selection

This was one of the first songs I learned as a child. Either Dad would be playing the piano and we kids would be singing along or Mom would be singing it to us.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and get 'a hug around the neck'!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Retro Saturday

Today's 'retro' piece is a pocket watch that belonged to Ron's grandfather, Arthur.

Arthur was a tailor in the town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He was born in 1885 to Irish parents who had left Ireland during the great Potato Famine. They settled in the Annapolis Valley.

Arthur's work enabled him to meet people from all 'walks' of life. Back then if a piece of clothing could not be made at home, then one would go to the local tailor to have it made.

I remember Ron's mother saying that her father made clothes for members of the legislature who were from Wolfville. He had a very good reputation and his work was impeccable.

One of the things he needed back then, besides a watch, was an press-out the garment pieces and the finished article. This is one of the irons he had.

It was used as a door-stop for years. I wonder what the '18' means on the top? I can tell you that it is very heavy.

I hadn't realized that there were different types 'pocket watches' until I looked it up on line. After a little research I discovered that this watch is an 'open face case pocket watch'. It has no cover over the face. And it was built in 1906. Oh yes, it still works!

If you are interested to learn more about pocket watches, then click on the links below.

Check here and here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Through The Sands Of Time.........

Last week I revealed in a post seven things that you may not have known about me. I did this because Inger, over at Desert Canyon Living, had given me an 'award'.

One of the things I revealed was that I had been abducted when I was 16 years old, along with my brother who was 13.

.........the year was 1966 and it was late spring. The year before my parents bought a house in Dartmouth which is the city across the harbour from Halifax where we had lived since I was born. 

I was just finishing up my last year, grade 12, at St. Peter's High School. This school was brand new to me in September and I felt like 'a fish out of water' for most of the year. But here it was May already!

I had gotten a call from my Halifax friends who were of course still attending my 'old' high school, St Patrick's High. They wanted me to go to a semi-formal dance at the school on a Friday night. I agreed that this would be fun and that I was sure I could get a car for the evening.

I had asked Dad, who was always good for a car if we, my sister Jo-Ann and I, asked for one. You see, my Dad was a cars-salesman and always  had cars at his disposal....heaven for us at this age!!!! He said he would get me one. Great!

A day or so before the dance, my brother, Dennis, announced that he was going to a dance at his 'former' junior high in Halifax on the same night. He needed a 'lift' to and from. OK with me.

Friday evening came and I dropped Dennis off at his location agreeing to pick him up at about 11 P.M. I really can't remember much about the dance I went to other than it was good to spend some time with all my friends once again.

So I picked up Dennis and I headed towards the bridge that links the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth. As we were approaching the bridge I noticed that there was a teenager 'thumbing' a ride whom I assumed needed a ride across the bridge.

I pulled over next to a wall that separated the bridge traffic from another street. The boy hopped into the back seat. But, before he closed the door he signaled to three of his friends to get in as well!

I knew this was potentially not a good thing and told them that I had only stopped for one of them. They assured us that all they wanted was a lift to as far as we were going. I started to think very quickly and thought that I would drop them off at the foot of our street. I didn't want them to know where we lived.

So to the foot of the street we arrived. I pulled the car over to the curb and said that this was as far as we were going. In an instant, one of them grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back towards
the back seat.....all along my foot was trying to press on the brake to keep the car from moving

Dennis had been hauled into the back seat by one of them and held in a head lock with  a knife to his throat!! The guy who held me jumped over the seat into the front with me.  He said to drive!

I did and was watching poor Dennis in the back through the rear-view mirror looking terrified! I said they could have the car if they let us go. No doin'. They said to head the airport.

The airport was about a 45 minute drive from Dartmouth. So I drove, thinking that Dad was having a fit with worry because we were late which was unusual for us. My main concern was getting us out of the car safely.

It was getting late by the time we got near the airport and it was pitch dark. In order to get to the you needed to turn off the main highway. They said to keep going past! I was getting a little panicky by now and starting to fear for our lives actually.

All of a sudden one of them said to stop the car. I pulled over onto the shoulder and they said to get out! They warned us not to say a thing or else they would find us and we'd be sorry. I thought, YES! Dennis and I jumped out as fast as we could and started to run along the shoulder back towards the airport which we could see in the distance.

But before we could get very far the boys turned the car around in the middle of the highway and headed right for us! Seriously, they wanted to hit us! They tried this a couple of times until they squealed off into the night heading for Halifax.

We needed to get to a phone to let Dad know what had happened and that we were alright. The only place was the airport. So we ran across a very long marsh towards the lights in the distance. By this time it was after 1 A.M. and I wasn't sure if we could get inside of the place. 

We looked through some doors and could see that the only people there were a couple of RCMP officers talking with each other. For some reason I told Dennis not to say anything to them until we spoke to Dad. I found a pay-phone and called Dad.

He was by the phone and answered immediately. I told him what had happened and he said he'd be there right away. I really can't remember if the RCMP officers approached us on not....I don't think so. They just looked over at us occasionally.

Dad arrived and we told him the whole story. It was about 3 A.M. by the time we got back to Dartmouth and Dad had already called the police to report what had happened. They wanted him to bring us into the station. Dennis and I were exhausted by then.

The detective wanted to see us separately. I was first and I told him exactly what had happened. Then it as Dennis' turn. He told them what had happened.

Problem was we had different accounts of the same story! The 'time line' was not the same. The stories were different enough to cause the detective to suspect the truth of our story. He told us that we were lying. And that we actually had hit a car around 11 P.M. and panicked and made up this whole thing!

I was tired and furious at this accusation! My Dad had to warn me to be careful of what I may say to the detective. But I wouldn't retract my story and said that it was what had happened. It was 5 A.M. by the time he said for us to go home and he would be in touch with my Dad.

Too long story short.......the boys had ditched the car in Halifax and it was not damaged. This fact made it clear to the detective that we didn't hit another car that night. The police knew who to question because by mid Saturday afternoon they had the boys in custody! One of their parents called Dad and pleaded with him not to press charges. He didn't, but his boss did because it was a company car that we had and it was stolen.

To this day I have never picked up another hitchhiker. And I have often wondered why Dennis' story was different from mine. I asked him this but he always claimed that that was how he saw it. I think he was so scared and  was still in shock when being questioned by the detective.

              Sand at the dunes on Conrad's Beach today.


Just published an unfinished post by mistake folks! Please ignore. Thanks. The post will be ready a little later than usual.   Damn keyboard!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thoughts On War

Not having experienced a war first hand, and living through a period, the Vietnam War, in which a lot of kids my age were being killed for their country, and seeing a lot of kids 'dodging' their drafts and coming to live in Canada for their own reasons, having grown up listening to the horrifying stories my father experienced during his stay in London during the Second World War, and always feeling that war is an unjustified means to an end, I find myself thinking about the justification of my country getting involved with other countries to put an end to Gadhafi's violence against his people.

That first sentence is a very long one but was intentional on my part. My mind has been racing lately trying to come to terms with how I really feel about war. At first I felt that we were justified in attempting to put an end to Gadhafi's rule in Libya.

I thought that it was our duty to stop a tyrant's persecution of his own people. And the fact that there is a United Nation's Resolution 1973, to approve aggression on any country that is participating in 'large scale' attacks on civilians, I thought that if the UN is sanctioning this then it must be alright and justified.

On Monday I wanted to use a quote for my Contemplative Monday post that summed up my feelings on war and one that I 'could live with'.

I looked through some books I have hoping to find exactly what I wanted. Nothing. Then I thought I would 'google' it.....'war quotes'.

There were hundreds! And a lot by Abraham Lincoln I noticed, as well as by Albert Einstein. Both very smart and learned men and both whom I admire.

But I still couldn't find something that suited what I wanted to say. You see, I wanted someone to say that war was okay under certain circumstances and would fit the situation in north Africa perfectly.

I soon realized that this was not the case for the parameters I had set. This was also verified when I came to a lone quote by the Dalai Lama. Basically it said that there was no justification to war no matter the circumstances. For the exact quote click here.

I realized I had been trying to justify for the past few days the actions taken by my country and others because I felt really bad for the people who were being persecuted. And I still do. I thought that two wrongs would make a right.

I know that not everyone feels this way. In fact, I realize that not too many people feel this way at all!  

I think that there are other ways to end violence, and war is not one of them. Peaceful negotiation is one way to do it. It will probably take a very long time for this to ever happen and become a viable way to end conflict in this world of ours but it has to start sometime. And now is the best time.

By just saying that it would never work and that it is a very naive notion particularly in this day and age, is, I feel, a complete cop-out. Think of future generations. Imagine what it would be like for them to never have to fear and experience the violence of war like most of us do every day of our lives.....either on the 'front lines' or looking at it on television.

I was feeling very angry at Gadaffy and others like him. Then I realized he was just 'part' of the problem that has been perpetuating itself for millennia.

Wishful thinking? Absolutely not. We as a species are much more capable of controlling our destiny than for which we give ourselves credit.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Contemplative Monday

Full moon, 19 March 2011.

All forms of violence, especially war, are totally unacceptable as means to settle disputes between and among nations, groups and persons.

~Dalai Lama

Full moon. (both photos 'hand-held')

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday's Selection

I wish these three women would produce another CD/album! Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Emmy Lou Harris are a formidable trio when it comes to harmony.

Enjoy and have a great Sunday.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Retro Saturday

The Blue Plate

On the way home yesterday from a hike in Point Pleasant Park in Halifax we stopped by a 'thrift' shop, sort of in the neighbourhood.

I went immediately to the dish/glass section and spotted this blue glass, dessert serving-plate. It was in pretty good condition with a small amount of wear along the gold gild trim.

I checked the price.....$5.00.....showed it to Ron and we both thought that it was a 'keeper'.

Now to try and figure out its age. At first I thought that it was at least from the sixties. But now I am thinking it could be earlier, maybe the forties.

I can't base this on anything other than from the 'wear' along the edge which tells me that it was used quite a bit........the paint/colouring used on these plates could withstand a lot of wear and tear.

I often wonder where the items, I buy at these places, come from, and who owned them. What were the circumstances that got them to this 'thrift' shop?

Obviously most, if not all, of the items come from estates in which families just want to get rid of everything and donate them, say, to the Salvation Army or another charity.  Also a lot of the items are 'dropped off' by individuals who are 'clearing out' their, so to speak!

In any case, I enjoy speculating about and appreciating the history behind these things. I am also a sucker for colour! And I feel this plate 'fits the bill'.

Related Posts with Thumbnails