Month: May 2012

Memories of May

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Pete and Mike

Growing up in the little community was a great experience. Most of the people who lived there were wholesome, decent folk. My two cousins, twin boys named Pete and Mike were not anything of the such. My dad’s younger brother did not have the child rearing skills my dad possessed, and this showed through with his kids. In fact, I don’t know where he got his parenting skills, or if he had any at all.

My uncle never showed any compassion for the boys, forcing them to work by his side, but rarely showing any love towards them made the boys as cruel as the father.  Even when they were infants, their mom would force them to go outdoors on the coldest days, locking the door behind them so that she could clean house. Their parents swore and cussed at them on a regular basis, and there was nothing that they could do right.

When the twins reached puberty, the rough upbringing began to take its toll. Vain and cruel, the twins used women for whatever they wished. They had the good looks to get away with this. The two of them, virtually identical, looked like young Tom Sellecks, which came in handy in their many escapades with women. Even at a very young age, the boys appeared to be much older. When they were 13, they had a young woman live in the same room their parents had sectioned off for them, and they both dated her at the same time.

On one occasion, the two pretended to be only one. Pete had picked up a girl from the bar (they frequented bars from the time they were 15 years old) and brought her home to his parent’s house.  Pete took the girl to his bedroom and made love to her, only to get up to use the washroom (that’s what he told the girl), and then Mike had his turn at the woman. They pulled this charade on many women, until they got caught once. The girl who caught them in their trick spread a viscous rumor that one of them had AIDS, but she wasn’t sure which one. That brought an end to their player days. The locals at the bars just didn’t want to take a chance. Mike left the province, met someone in Ontario, swearing never to return again. Pete married locally, had a few kids, and got a job here in town.

Today I met Pete’s son. Talk about a chip off the old block. Arrogant, rude, and unemotional as hell, just like his dad. They say that he is a pile of trouble, and that he has little respect for women. I wonder why? The Chain of Abuse, that’s why.

 

 

understanding it all

My uncle died this morning. We all rushed home to be with family. Work would have to wait.  When I got to his house, I was surprised to find the house empty. Nobody home.  Not a car in the driveway, nothing.

I dropped by my parent’s house and had a chat. Dad said that my uncle made it clear prior to even going to the hospital that when he died (not ‘if’ he died) he did not want a funeral, a wake, a crowd of people crying over him or missing work or anything of the nature. He asked to be cremated, his ashes spread in the woods, and everyone getting on with their lives. The car would go to his youngest daughter, the house to his youngest son. The daughter would stay with her mom as long as she could afford it.

Apparently my Uncle had it all figured out; or did he? What about those left to pick up the pieces? What about those who question why he had to die in the first place? Is it fair to write him off, write his life off as if it never happened in the first place? What about closure? His wife is left to wake up alone for the rest of her days. At 78, it is doubtful that she remarries, why is it that he had all the say?

I am not saying that a lavish funeral is required, but the family should at least gather to mourn one who was a great dad to them all, a great husband, and a great friend.

Do we dare question decisions of a dying man? I think not.

Bucket List (Newfie Style)

All the talk about bucket lists as of late has me wondering what all the hype is about  Below is my bucket list:

  • Scrub bucket
  • Water Bucket
  • Mop Bucket
  • Beer Bucket
  • Car Wash Bucket
  • Beef bucket (you get them when you buy salt beef)
  • Plastic Bucket
  • Salt bucket
  • wooden bucket
  • helicopter bucket ( I had to do research to find this one)
  • Hot Air Balloon Bucket
  • Milk Bucket

As you can see, my bucket list is very detailed. Have I completed my bucket list? No way, there are still hundreds of buckets I haven’t even heard of yet. Stay tuned….

uncle wish

When my dad was 21, he made a terrible decision. he and one of my uncles decided to venture into the woods without telling anybody where they were going. Neither of them were dressed very well, choosing only to wear a button shirt and jeans. This was in Late October, and back in the day, Newfoundland weather was quite unforgiving that particular time of year. The two of them ended up getting lost. They were missing for several hours, and my grandmother’s brother Wish (short for Aloysius) set out to find the boys.

Wish was an excellent tracker, and it only took a few hours for him to pick up their trail. When he found them, they were shivering cold. My dad was dealing with hypothermia and nearly dead. My Uncle Wish carefully wrapped my dad in a warm coat that he had been wearing, lit a fire, and warmed the two boys until they were fit to travel.

My uncle Wish later married and raised a large family. throughout the years, that family suffered many tragedies, such as the drowning of the oldest son and just recently, a suicide of one of the younger girls.

Two weeks ago he entered the hospital for surgery to remove an aneurism. The doctors said that it was routine surgery and everything should be alright. During the surgery something went wrong. They successfully removed the aneurism, but when they went to close him up the doctor noticed a large tumor on his kidneys. In an attempt to remove the tumor, my uncle suffered from a blood clot that was heading to his heart. To battle this, the doctor chose to remove my uncle’s leg. That still did not stop the clot, his kidneys failed, and he ended up on life support. Today my Uncle Wish was taken off of life support. He has only hours before he passes on.

This life we lead is so precious. It can be taken from us so suddenly. We must value the life we have because none of us know exactly how much time we have. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of my Uncle Wish.

A box of Special K Cracker Chips…Yum

In  my diabetic despair, I am always in search of a tasty snack not filled with sodium, fat or carbs. Today I found it. Right there in the grocery store I found Special K Cracker Chips. No fat, one gram of carbs, and low sodium. After one bite, I ate the whole box. The box. The crackers are still sitting on the counter. The box actually tasted better than the chips, plus the box contained a ton of fibre.

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my dad’s birthday. He turns 75 today, but you would never know it. He just spent the entire week renovating the house for him and mom. A new bathtub enclosure, new flooring throughout the house; now he is building a swing set for my niece. He is always busy. He jogs 4 miles each day, lifts weights, and spends hours in the woods, cutting firewood, hiking and even fishing. When he isn’t doing any of those things, he is either cooking supper or baking.

To say that my dad had it easy growing up would not be so. He grew up the second oldest of 11 children, in rural Newfoundland. Dad grew up poor. At Christmas, he was lucky to get even one thing, often something his dad made for him, or simply an apple or an orange; but he had one thing that all the money in the world couldn’t buy: loving parents. Dad’s mom and dad loved each of their eleven children, and provided for them anywhere they could.  They must have done something right, because my dad grew up to be a very kind, loving person who we all love.

I get my ‘storytelling ability’ from my dad. He can sit and tell stories for hours. Although he doesn’t write any of them down, he sure can spin them.  The most difficult thing about my dad is getting him to slow down.

Dad doesn’t like to talk about his age, he doesn’t want to get old. This summer he and mom will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. He already warned us about posting any notices in the newspaper or on TV.

Most people say that I resemble my dad, I hope they are right.

Happy Birthday Dad! Love You!  By the way, That is me and my dad in the photo.

Dandelions: The King of Weeds

Summertime! This year it is here early. Hopefully the glorious weather can continue. The above photo was taken in Bowring Park in St. John’s in May of 2010,  a few days before we left the city and returned home to the west coast of the island, with Boots, my Terrier-Sheltie mix,  smiling for the camera

I mowed the lawn last evening, the second time in two weeks. The grass was looking great, I was just bragging that there were practically no weeds to be seen. Waking up this morning, I was greeted by a million dandelion flowers. In a wild fury, those cute yellow devils took over my lovely lawn. Despite their beauty, they are weeds, and too many dandelions can destroy a beautiful lawn in no time at all. Still, there is nothing like running barefoot through a sea of dandelion flowers…in somebody else’s yard.

Today I armed myself with a weed puller and a bottle of environmentally friendly weed killer. I donned my garden clothing (rubber boots and an old ball hat) and I set out to battle the dandelion invasion.  I now have 120 holes in my yard where the flowers once grew. Next step, fill the holes and re-seed. Ah Summer!

Now if I can only get my neighbors to do the same!

This is my entry into this week’s trifecta challenge. The word this week is Wild (Adjective)