Monday, February 29, 2016

Our Family In the Living Years!

In our family we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we share the load, no matter what that load is....we whisper  ....we do hugs...we do family...we do love....we do dog walks...boy do we do and love our pets...we bake cranberry and orange muffins to soothe the souls of friends....we do walks together...we leave love notes...we make soups to take to sick friends...we help each other and we help each other help  others....we celebrate Birthdays big time....we do big family celebratory dinners for  Christmas, and Easter...we do family day family dinners...we raise glasses and say "La Famille" ...We do food....boy do we do food, But above everything else...we are real! Real as rain...real as Sunday morning eggs and bacon...real as tears...real as blisters on the soul...

 Running through my head today was a song that I loved to listen to when I had real hearing. ey happen. Sort of my closed captioning for the music.
This song came to mind as I was thinking about family, and how my family upbringing influenced me as a parent. As happens more often than not, the mind went for a surfing  spree  (or a pinball machine as Mary calls it) and took me back to my father, and what would be different if I could talk to him now. What would  the relationship be with him and my son. How would my wife and father get along. The "surfing" got me to put fingers to QWERTY and find the lyrics  to the song that brought this on.
The song always played to my emotions by giving me pause to think about what I should of told my Father in his living years. Today I thought about my son, and in particular how he, like me his father keeps stuff inside.

  The Living Years"

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid that's all we've got

You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defense

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts

So don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different date
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be O.K.

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

I wasn't there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

I Couldn't give Two-Shits

You’re born with a ton of "two -shits (insert "Fucks" if you prefer) to give, so you spend them like a kid with a credit card. You give two- shits about your friends, about your grades, about your fashion sense, about strangers’ opinions. You give way too many two shits about way too many things. You have so many of them. You spend your two-shits like a drunken sailor.
Then, as you get older, you have maybe 10 two-shits per month, so you learn to budget them. You allocate your two-shits to family and career, but there aren’t enough two-shits to give to the dinner someone posted on Facebook instead of enjoying it. Oh, someone at work has something they need my help with that’s outside my job title? I’ll do my best to allocate two-shits, but this month is pretty tight.
Then, as you get even older, you’re down to a lowly 2 shits per month, and those shits are pretty damn precious. You give them to your family and your hobbies (your dog) and your job, and that’s kinda it. It’s not your fault – two-shits expire too quickly. I would’ve liked to save a few two-shits from when I was younger, but I can’t. Spent! Gone!
Then, you hit two-shits insolvency. You're on credit hold. There are no give two-shits, get one free coupons. So you’re getting like 1- two shits, and you have to make it last. So you go without, and even previously two shits worthy things, you just can’t give half a don't have. Some people run out really quickly, Some people have a two-shits  trust fund that pays out a decent amount even into old age. Why don't we start a "Two-shits TFSA?
But at some point, the two-shit toilet runs completely dry and you’re out of shits to give. It’s just basic Shitonomics.
Not my Monkey, Not my circus....and I am out of two-shits to give anyway


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ahhhh Kids.....If they're happy, You did your job right!

I'm not sure, or maybe just don't want to remember, if we had plans for my son when he was small. All I do know for sure is that I wanted him safe and to have a decent life. If he chose being in trouble with the law as opposed to going to school so he could defend the law, then I may of had issues. But ultimately anything he chose to do in life, I thought, would suit me.
 Expectations are funny things. We all want the best for our kids, and many of "us" parents go out of our way in extremes to make sure they have the best.

Our son lives with his girlfriend in a small town house, has a 8 week old baby, takes the bus to work and shop, drives a fork lift, in a paint warehouse, plays guitar when he can, and seems happy!
He did not finish college (another story for another life lesson blog post) and floated through high school despite my lectures on applying oneself.
 Hockey sticks and basketballs were not his bag much to my chagrin. Guitars and MP3 players are where my retirement income lies for the most part, which is my bad. Only me to blame. But you know what? Beating myself up for being a "Bad Dad" by giving him too much latitude many times does nothing. The Boy is happy as a pig in shit; giddy as a school boy most days!
Dearly beloved friends; we are gathered here today to get through this life with as little turmoil as we can hope for. We get a lot more than we hope or plan for, so we learn how to cope with these "gifts" that life throws our way. Why do we expect our children to have less crap than we do? Why is it so important to shield our babies from lives 83 daily problems?
Do what we can, then when we get a bit of time and bit wiser, we do the best we can. If our kids feel as if we owe them more we can only hope that there exists a big hard drive that recorded all the times we bundled up at 5 am to go to the rink/hill/pond/river to give them some life saving wonderful stuff. The hard drive may show the sacrifices that made, the opportunities, the time, the money that could of been spent "foolishly" on a shirt for us that we spent on a field trip for them.
So sons and daughters of ours....should you ever put down your self entitilent gadget in your hands and read my ramblings one day, please know that although it was never a cake walk to bring you up to the age of self sufficiency it was a pleasure and a labour of love.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

La Familia

I was trying to figure out for myself if writing is/was more of a therapeutic exercise to get over a any "seasonal affective disorder bout/cold weather snap ", or perhaps my way of encapsulating my life one day for future reads.
The only I know for sure is that the exercise of writing  should not be done chronologically, but rather by means of getting the junk out of the engine.

So having no answer as to "why" I write this, I will venture on to do what I enjoy doing: writing!
One unwritten rule I have on social media is to avoid politics. But here is where I can burn the oil! Lucky you!

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc should be a fun light place, where we catch up on family and friends.  A place, not unlike that nostalgic fantasy bar "Cheers" where everybody knows your name. So I avoid the soapbox stance that I oft times take with my wife Mary, and do my rant on the corruption of municipal politics; the ineffectiveness of provincial politicians or the vote  grabbing/people pleasing at the Federal level in this country. Poor Mary some days.

I just finished reading Saturday's Globe and Mail interview with Ferris Rufauli. He is the Toronto based designer behind "Sher Club" - Drake's uber-exclusive, nothing but bling, no-plebs-allowed,club hot spot in the Toronto. What got my knickers in a twist was the raison d'etre  for "Sher Snobby" as I will call it. They exist to give the "black-card market a place to be away from us plebes. I for one am glad that I will be able to enjoy my green tea and cake in the comfort of, well anywhere. As long as I am far from those who prefer not to be in our presence. (This is of course assuming that you, dear reader, is not one of the 1% that get my goat cheese curdled.)

In today's same newspaper is a column on the sad fact that when you do an on-line search for single family houses in the city of Vancouver, there is one. Yes ONE. 1 ! It is a east end 900 square foot 88 year old tear down at the edge of the city that is listed for $999,999. So bravo my smart re-sellers, you will be alone in listings of under $ Million. Vancouver is a beautiful city, but the hundreds of thousands of young people will be forced to leave or give up hope of ever owning. The black-card folks will have an exclusive city when not in their exclusive club in the other uber expensive city of Toronto. And the homeless will go in search of a warm alley.

Next week I will do a walk to make good on pledges that I received from good people to raise money for the homeless and helpless street youth in my town, and this country. "The coldest night" is a national fund raising venture to help those who need a hand-up. My beautiful wife gives up her Mondays each and every week to scramble eggs, fry ham, bake beans, toast bagels, scrub pots, for the 40-60 kids who live in the shadows for the most part, or between jobs, or need a place to warm up. I do not judge, nor does she. WE help where we can.

Today the sun shines, but the temper hovers around minus 30 with a wind chill, or real feel of much colder. There are many that will look for warmth. I will be thinking of them as always and doing what we can in our simple ways of raising money, raising awareness, or making as Mary says "I will make them a French toast to warm their hearts".

This is a bit of a rambling blog today, but as the sun shines (despite the frigid temp), I sit in warm small house, with a small puppy by my side and the cats laying by the roaring fire, oblivious to the cruel reality of homeless cats or dogs. I wish I could do the same some days, but that is not how I am wired.

 It is "Family day weekend" if you will grant me license to give this holiday a full weekend. Sad that we have to have a "Family day", or "Mothers/Fathers" day for that matter. Each and every day should be a day of gratitude for all of those above. None the less, for this guy, it is a day today for reflection and gratitude for all that I have including a wonderful family.
I may not be part of the "Black-card" set, nor do I want to be.

For today I am the wealthiest!

To those that have graced me by reading this far: Happy Family day!