Saturday, 11 April 2015

Cat is Dead

Julia and Slippy

         There are days that I do not feel too ambitious.  One could use the word lazy, but I’m trying to be kind to myself.  Last Thursday was one of those days.

Lazy Woman
I had a doctor’s appointment in Oromocto, which is about 14 miles away, so I planned to take the car instead of the gas-guzzling truck, to save a few cents, you know.  Tom had parked the truck to the side of the driveway to allow me to get the car out.  When I was ready to go, as usual with too many things in my hands--keys, purse, travel cup, cell phone--I went out, locked the backdoor, and loaded myself and my doodads into the car.  

Lazy Doodads
When I turned the key in the ignition, the only response I got was a weak clicking sound.  Obviously the car was not going to Oromocto.  So I unloaded myself and my doodads and moved toward the truck.  

Lazy Battery

I considered, for one second, going back into the house and calling up to Tom’s office to let him know that the car was not going.  However, that would entail unlocking the back door, bending over, taking my boots off, walking twenty feet.  Much too much effort considering my indolent state.   I stopped under his window and yelled his name, weakly. Once.  No response.  
Lazy Woman Yelling for Tom

I decided to text him to let him know; my cellphone was right there in one of my over-loaded hands.  But it was absolutely too much trouble for sluggish old me to open my purse and go digging for my glasses.  Surely I could manage if I squinted one eye and closed the other.  So I sent the text, blindly, you might say, then heaved my weary bones into the truck.  
Lazy Woman Sending Text

In the driver’s seat, safely belted, I was about to pull out into the driveway when I happened to glance in the rearview mirror and see Tom charging out the back door in his sock feet and jammie bottoms.  He rushed to the passenger side of the truck, as I rolled down the window, thinking to myself, “Here we go.  Tom all caffeined-up and over-reacting to a dead battery.”

Caffeined Man on Computer 

 Hand on hip, he leaned in the window and said anxiously, “I presume you mean the car?”
               “Yes,” I answered.  "What did I text?”
               “Cat is dead.”

Slippy, Playing Dead

               Without going into too much detail, I earned my well-deserved nickname, Granite, during the mourning period for our last dog, Tucker.  Considering my history with pets, and my reputation around hugging and any form of demonstrative affection, it is not surprising that Tom came running.  No doubt he expected to see our beloved 13-year-old cat, Slippy, dead in the driveway, and me driving down the street.  
Lady Granite, off to Oromocto


 Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My Little Brother: A Tribute to Noel

Three Lambies:  Noel, Emma, and Lamb
Keswick, NB

When my daughter Emma moved from Fredericton to Denver, Colorado last summer, she left me many gifts and reminders, probably so I would never forget her.  As if!!!!  I am really enjoying the 2 cookie sheets, her bedroom furniture, the toaster oven, the 10 pound bag of coconut, and the endless supply of high-end shampoo.

Abandoned Cookie Sheets               Lifetime Supply of Coconut

       I have less use for the 25 pairs of flip-flops, the five plastic tubs packed with clothes size 6 or 8 or some number that is beyond my comprehension, which fill at least two closets in our house.  I did manage to get rid of the stack of 15 university textbooks through my new relationship with Kigigi. 
Numerous Pairs of FlipFlops

But the best thing Emma left me was her Little Brother, Noel.  Noel had been Emma’s Little Brother for about a year when she moved away.  Because he had been visiting our home and had become a part of our family’s life in that year, it made sense that I would become his new Big Sister, if they would have me, of course.  I did question my age and agility but there was no physical test.  I passed the interviews and application procedures and became an official Big Sister to Noel last June.  I know, I am more like a "grandmother" at this age, but he already has a fantastic grandmother.
Noel Sporting Denver Bronco Accessories

Noel is 9 years old and lives in a single-parent home with 3 siblings. I spend an average of 3 to 4 hours a week with him doing activities such as swimming, playing badminton and racquetball, cooking, gardening, kayaking, bowling, arcading (!!);  hanging out at our house; skyping Emma; watching movies; visiting friends, farms, cottages; attending Frostival, Haunted Houses, Easter Egg Hunts, Calithumpians, Forestry Competitions, New Years’ Levees, Big Brother Big Sister activities etc.  Whatev”, as they say.  It’s not about spending money, it’s about spending time. 

  You should know that:

 1.  Noel is getting better at badminton.  I’m not. 

  2.  Racing arcade games make me dizzy. 
                                3.  And, yes, of course I'm teaching him to knit. 
When I was going through the process of becoming a Big Sister, one of the questions I was asked in an interview was “What do you expect to get out of this experience?”  I did not have a good answer to that question at the time; I had not thought of it in terms of enriching my life.  But it has.
Here’s some of what I get out of it.  I am reminded of what it’s like to be nine years old.  I had forgotten, I must admit, having been there about 50 years ago.  And I could not really recall exactly what my own daughters were like at 9 years of age.  It’s important, in understanding our great human family, to consider what it’s like to be 9 years old, or 19 years old, or 79 years old. 
My Mother, Daughters, Nieces and Nephew: Multi-generational
I have always been fascinated by the insights of children and I have always enjoyed spending time with them.  With his captivating way of speaking, energetic physicality, vivid imagination, healthy curiosity, amazing memory, philosophical questions, brilliant observations, innocent wisdom, Noel has reminded me of what children have to offer adults.   
Noel at the Dairy Queen

The aim of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization is "to promote the healthy development of children in our community through the provision of quality mentoring relationships with supportive, responsible adult volunteers".  
Noel lives in a loving home with a supportive family.  His involvement in the Big Brother Big Sister organization gives him extra time and attention from another adult, or in our case, other adults.  Tom often accompanies Noel and me on our outings.  And Emma maintains a relationship with Noel through phone, skype, texts, pictures, mail.  When she is back in Fredericton for visits and work, she spends as much time with Noel as she can.  In fact, you could say, we fight over him a little bit. 
Emma and Noel at the Marathon

April is a big month for fund-raising for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. If you are interested in making a donation to the organization online, follow the link below. If you would rather make a donation face-to-face, you could do that!  Contact me and we can make it happen.  Noel and I will be doing a little door-to-door canvassing prior to the April 11th deadline.  Thank you for your support.

Go to this link for information on becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister. I recommend it as a rewarding experience. 

......Ain't bad.....
 Barb and Noel

Until Next Time.....