Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Waxing Romantic

Lately there has been a rash of postings on Facebook. Posts that wax nostalgically for the "better times" or the "good old days"when the CD had not been invented; Xbox was not heard of;  a 500 television Chanel universe was only a dream; and we all played hide and seek until dark.

While there is a nice sound to some,of these to my 58 year old deaf ears; there is also much to be thankful for in this year of our Lord 2016.

Growing up family picnics were fun and looked forward to. I miss that. I don't miss the fact that after we left the site at the park, it was the norm to leave all the trash, or throw it out the car window.
Parents smoked with young children in the car, having a beer while driving at the cottage was acceptable. Ashtrays were dumped on the side of the road at all intersections.

We drove big cars that took leaded gas with no regard for Mother Earth and her siblings.
We cut trees with abandon and with no regard for the future in order to satisfy the moment.
Ah yes the Good old days!

When we heard of a domestic dispute, we felt for the family, but dismissed it.
Child abuse was not reported.If it was, no one talked about it, and we went back to playing Hide and seek until dark. Alcohol abuse was known, but smiled at by many.

Simpler times for sure, and much of it is missed. The bookmobile came on Tuesday nights from 4 until 8 and we lined up outside the tractor trailer to see if there were any copies of Cat in the Hat to be had. The internet, let alone the giant book stores, were but twinkles in someone eyes.
Our parents bought big Vinyl records to listen to 8 songs.

No one wore seat belts,as we went to the Drive In movie, because we loved our cars! Pollution was not part of our lexicon until the late 60's, when we realized we were poisoning our lungs with factory emissions. and fish in our waters were going the way of the Dinosaur

Ah yes, the good old days.

My cochlear Implant gives me some sense of "Thank God we live in these times". Even more so when I see a small child that was born deaf, wearing the tell-tale magnet of our processor that gives sound to where before, silence lived.

Nice to wax nostalgically about the good old days, but I'm happy as a school boy in 2016!

Namaste

David

Friday, January 15, 2016

Aging in the Daylight hours

There are days that I feel out of place. Over the hill.

 I love to run, but don't own anything neon that glows in the dark, to go on my feet. My running gear is grey. My pants are black, my shirts are white. I ran with a group this past fall, and felt the eyes on me as I blended in with the sidewalk. The dark night swallowed me up. The fashionistas in this running group had every neon colour imaginable. I led the pace for the most part, so for having 35-45 years on these kids, felt pretty good.

I have a couple of watches from ions ago, and wear them every Olympic year for a day or two. I notice now that my watch only tells the time, and how that must look to the smartie pants watch wearing people, whose smart watches figure out the flight paths of migratory birds at the least.

Accounting for the number of steps I take on any given day, and the calories I burn might be of some importance, but not enough for me to wear a calibration device to advise me that I need to eat less and walk more if I want to live into my 90's. Fact is, I really don't want see what 101 looks like.
I enjoy dinners at 4:45, relaxing in PJ's before 7, and lights out by 10. On special occasions I have been known to kick up my heels and see what goes on after 11, but that is rare.

I will run/walk and run and walk in my non-coloured gear during day light hours. Night time, I am discovering is for indoors and wearing PJ's
I will dine when I am hungry, and if it is 4:15, then so be it.
I will wear a watch that tells me the time, and if I need to know the number the steps I take in a day, then count me out.

When you become independent of the good opinion of others, as I am in the remains of my days, you are in a fine place my friend.

Namaste

David

Monday, December 28, 2015

Back to Life

As the remains of the year colored our foliage,  and a late September frost nipped now and again,  I found myself all out of sorts.
 
With My Tinnitus raging 24/7  resulting in little sleep, which resulted in a depressive mood. The auditory hallucinations or the "Auds" (or Odds) as I often refer to them, drowned  out all important sound and brought me to thoughts that I never thought I would have. It also brought me to my knees  as well as visits to doctors, councilors and medical professionals. These medical peeps I at one time thought only existed in books and movies.

 My deafness, although accepted by yours truly at one time, became a bigger elephant in my room as it played games with my subconscious all the way to my attic where my fragile ego hung on for dear life. I was missing words, sentences, movies, music....LIFE!

So putting fingers to QWERTY is my therapy, and you my good readers, (is it vain to assume that someone is reading this?) are my therapists. I await your invoices.

The year of our Lord 2015 saw changes at the speed of life, surprises to send the heart into shock, deaths of good friends, births of babies including a "Poirier" that will carry on our family name, and changes of old ways to hopefully make David "better"
We lost our furry baby Shamus, in the early spring, and welcomed "Myla the Malshi/Monkey" into our home and hearts.

My beautiful wife and best friend Mary kept my sanity in check for the most part, and encouraged roads to take to get well again. She is my rock, and how she puts up with this deaf pain in the ass guy is more of a wonder every day!

Depression is a funny thing. When I read of other sufferers, my response has always been "oh come on, what do you have to be depressed about?". When I lost my hearing, balance, ability to hear and understand music, my wife of 20 years, my dog of 9 years, all within the year 2008, oddly, I felt fine.
Life moved along at the speed of life, and I got myself back to work and back on the horse as it were.
Then 7 years later I hit the proverbial wall. My "Guitar" still had only five strings, but it was now way out of tune.

Breakdowns come in all shapes and sizes which make them interesting to recognize. I can say with certainty that my life was, and is, fine. We  have no issues with money , and I have a good and challenging  job.  I  am happily in the best relationship of my life with a women that I have ever been in. So on that late September morning when I hit that wall at the speed of life, I was surprised, but in retrospect it all made sense.

Warning signs were there, I now recognize. But that is all in the past, and my go here at writing again is to help me. If anyone reads these little bits, then all the better. If anyone finds a gem or bobble out of these rocks, then even better.

So my hope is to write a bit as much and as often as I can and tune this beat up old five string to make some music.

Back on the horse!

Giddy Up!

David

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Shamus






In the last winter before our faithful furry friend entered into twilight, he got to winter in Florida.
I like to think of this as his last hurrah. My mind will record it as a  simple request from a wonderful little dog who asked for nothing, and gave so much back.

 I  tell people the reason Mary wintered for 2 months in the sunny confines of Florida was because of Shamus: It was our boy's final and only thing he ever asked for: "Guy's, before I eat my last treat  on this planet , can I put in my a request to winter south and not have to do those morning walks in the biting cold, with snow,  ice and that dreaded SALT that goes between my paws."? That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

What can I write about  a dog that I have been the benefactor of his love for the 6 years I have known him?
A dog that has been Mary's faithful companion for the past 11 years.
A dog that was in our wedding party 4 1/2 years ago.
 A dog that has as many names as the Eskimos have for love.

Shamus (spelt this way because....)  was AKA Shamus McTavish (I loved to tell people that was his full name as he was a Irish/Scottish mix), McGavin (no idea, he got this one a lot? Magoo (again, his eye sight was bang on, so at a loss for the Mr. Magoo moniker). Pineapple
Upside Down Dog (Got this one when he slept on his back on the coach and slide down upside down, still asleep)
Probably a few more that escape me, but no doubt will reminisce with Mary and we will fondly find a few more.



Dogs, as we know, are the best! Friends beyond our bestest. Companions without any strings. Want for nothing and give so much!
Shamus was no exception. He lived to please us. Loved to give his love. He was only hurt when he thought he disappointed  us, which he never did.

He loved the sun, and loved to lay in it. He was a watcher of life and all it brought him. He was not a hunter or a fighter. He loved to watch the birds, squirrels, and all life as he lay on the deck, or sat by a window.

I taught him to chase squirrels when we first met. I swear he only did it to please me. It was so not his thing, but he did it when I asked him.
 He loved the water, being on a dock or in a boat was a treat. The Kayak rides were something he loved to do with Mary, as he took in life on the waterway.

He adopted Riley and Tazz with reluctance. Or they adopted him perhaps. Cats are different.
Really he just tolerated the two new fur balls as they tried to bath him as one of their own.
I walked him every day for 6 years in rain, sun, snow, sleet, ice storms.....only to take a break when he "asked" to go to Florida January 1 this year.

I will miss the morning walks, but will miss his serenity most of all.
Shamus, if you are reading this, and I figure you are, Thank you for teaching me to slow down and stop chasing squirrels.
 Enjoy the moment.
Lay in the sun like you did in the afternoons at home. I will watch that spot by the door on the rug where the sun came in daily late in the day, and smile as I will picture you in a slumbered warm peace. No, you won't be there anymore and I will try not to cry because your gone but as Dr, Suess wrote" Smile because it happened"Smile because of the memories you gave us each and every morning when you had breakfast with us. Yes, sitting at the table ladies and gentlemen.

I know you are on a dock somewhere now buddy, watching life in the sun go by and laying in the sun replaying the beautiful memories that we all made together. I know we replayed many of them yesterday with tears in eyes.

You won't be forgotten. Ever. You touched a lot of lives Magoo! Rest upside down Pineapple Dog. Enjoy the view Shamus McTavish.

I hope they have kayaks for you in heaven

Friday, August 17, 2012

Molly

I am not sure there is such a thing as a "perfect pet", but Molly was as close as you could get if "perfection" exists in cats.

Molly came into our lives by adoption. A batch of feral kittens a few weeks old were brought to our local animal shelter where she was kept in quarantine as feral kittens are.
Mary was elated at her looks and we filled out the papers and home she came. Shamus (our 8 year old shih tzu) and Riley ( our adopted same age as Molly Calico kitten) were not amused as you can imagine. A third animal in the house meant less attention for them, and quite possibly less food.
 But Molly asked for no  attention and fit into our little house just fine. She took to the blanket that she is pictured in above like a new born to a mother. Sucking the ends of it for hours at time while her little claws moved in rhythm to her pulse. She sucked that blanket up until a week or two ago.

Never fussy or troublesome, Molly was a watcher if you will. Watching all and studying, observing and learning.Curios to be sure, but a fearless curiosity that found her in the showers most morning to try and see what the fuss was, and why we went in there without her.

Riley liked to show that she was the boss. The Mother. The Alpha. Molly was fine with that and accepted life on life's terms. It was as if she thought "I am grateful for what I have and will happily accept what is given.".

Riley and Molly were the same size and age and quickly fell into roles.
Riley would clean Molly,  and Molly accepted.
Riley was the "Tom Boy" girl and Molly was "A Lady"
Riley used the litter box with no discretion and cared not who watched. Molly liked to use them in privacy.

Riley would eat first out of the "big bowl" for two and Molly watched and waited. Patience seemed to be her thing. One of many wonderful virtues she possessed.

Mary called her a "Beautiful soul", and that is what she was. Never hostile, angry, impatient or bothersome; she watched the world through her beautiful eyes and at loved what she saw I was sure.

Mornings were my favorite time as the two "girls" knew that before coffee, newspaper or any rituals were even started; I gave them a spoon or two of nice canned kitten food.
Kibble was their daily main, so the little bit of wet, warm (when little I poured a spot of warmed water) "beef and cheese" daily treat brought them both out of their slumber to their little bowls.

Molly would seem to "taste" hers, as she was never a big eater. She would spend 4 or 5 minutes enjoying about half of her wee bowl, while Riley would finish hers and them move her attention to Molly's leftovers and complete the task at hand.
Molly watched her eat, and her eyes said "go ahead sister, enjoy".
That was her personality. Nothing fazed her, nothing excited her, nothing scared. She accepted her life as a gift and gave us her gratitude in her love.

As the "girls" grew into "The Ladies" we offered them a glimpse of outdoors, allowing a lie down and a wander on our deck in the backyard. Riley of course, always (still does) abused the freedom and went fence hopping and tree climbing, while our girl Molly laid and watched. Oh how she loved to watch the world. For hours she would lie in the grass or on the deck and watch the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and life at the speed of life. Her eyes showed it all. Her wonder and love of the world.

One day Molly caught a mouse, or a chipmunk, we are not quite sure. She decided that it would make a good friend for her to play with. She brought her new, and terrified but alive, friend into the house and let "it loose". Molly seemed surprised that her playmate ran away, and looked at Mary and I with "those eyes" saying, "where did it go".

On days when life had dealt me a shit hand, and traffic, people, caca del toro was up to my deaf ears; all I had to do was walk in the door and Molly would walk over and get hoisted into my arms. The world was right as rain again.

Riley, Shamus, Mary and I seem to share similar traits: Anxious and stressed at times, worry about thunder, wonder and worry about the world.
Not Molly!
When she heard thunder, she had the serene look of accepting fact that perhaps "God was just playing with his/her toys in the attic." She never seemed anxious for food, or in a hurry to dart out or escape when an door provided that opportunity.
She lived and loved the world relaxed and content. Serene and with grace.

I wanted to be like her. I still do.

Never anxious, upset, scared, angry. I saved her picture on my phone for those times when sitting in traffic and dealing with the issues of the moment. All it took was one look at Molly to be reminded that life is wonderful, and gratitude is the best attitude.

When Molly needed "me" time, which was rare, she had the most amazing spots to hide in and sleep deep.
 I envied that, and admired her for it.

Molly, as I said, was always grateful for everything. She accepted the world with wonder and amazement in the hours she spent watching the outdoors. She was whistle trained (yes a kitten she was) and when I would whistle she would come for a treat, and loved the whole act.

She was not quite a year old last Monday when I noticed that she would not come anymore when I whistled.
She was lethargic and slept day and night in the same spot. Riley knew something was wrong and would "attack" and pounce on her as if to say "come on sister, get out of that funk"!

We had to put Molly to sleep yesterday as a result of her medical condition. I have had to put many animals to sleep in my time, and have lost more than my fair share of  loved ones in my life. But watching Molly close her eyes for the last time has left a gaping hole in my heart. She went to her last sleep as Mary and I stroked her beautiful coat with tears streaming down our faces.

Tears are streaming down my face as I attempt to finish this blog posting.

Molly taught me more about peace and contentment than any "human"could, and as much as she was Mary's girl, I secretly wished she was just mine. But Molly belonged to the world, and graced the lives of anyone who had the good fortune to meet her. We all loved her.
It is worth repeating as I wrote at the start of this: Molly accepted her life as a gift and gave us her gratitude in her love.

No one ever said life is fair, and I have to accept that the year that Molly graced our lives, was a year of love that we would never have had from a Kitten who Mary called her "Beautiful Soul".
I am content that Molly now has a beautiful view to watch her world from.

We will never forget you Molly!
To forget you is to forget life