Not a Proud Christmas Moment But A Memorable One

Wrote this for my Writers’ Group Christmas Party tonight–an unusual memory perhaps, but a memory nonetheless:

71 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

71 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (Photo credit: DVS1mn)

What was I thinking? My conscious has been niggling at me lately and it is about an adventure I had in fourth year at university. I have not always been the lovely person you are accustomed to, and every now and then a flash of that earlier feisty, perhaps a little selfish and superficial personality shows its rather unlovely self…. but not too often.

I remember the days when life was about me, me, me. And many of my friends were the same. It was not like we were horrible people—we were just single kids in our early twenties who had to find an outlet for our energy after studying our brains out for mid-terms.

We lived in residence but since we were seniors we got to live in the residence that had apartments—with four room-mates sharing accommodations. And it was boys and girls living down the hall from each other—which was a real change from separate residences, where the boys had to be “signed in” at the front desk before being allowed upstairs.

In real life, we were no longer boys and girls, we were men and women—but being at school we were not challenged by the responsibilities of mortgages, and keeping our homes respectable, and paying bills other than our tuition, books and housing. Many of us were still supported somewhat by parents, loans, and summer jobs. So maybe we can be forgiven for our dastardly deed.

It was Christmas and we were in the midst of finishing up final papers and studying for finals. The guys down the hall had a Christmas tree, and I and my roommates thought that having one would brighten up our spirits and apartment. So we asked them where they got their tree. They told us they had swiped it from a mall a couple of miles away. Someone had set up a tree kiosk and was selling the trees in the parking lot. They had all piled into an old 71 Chevy and secured a tree—but really what they had done was stalk the lot after midnight and stolen the tree when no one was there to see them.

There was a process to the whole adventure. They had driven to the lot, turned their lights off, run to the where trees were kept and taken a tree as opposed to choosing a tree with deliberation and thought. They then peeled out of the lot with four wheels barely on the pavement and raced home. Well, this sounded like quite an adventure to my roommates and me. The guys offered to take us to the lot and procure a tree for us—but we had to come along. So eight of us piled into the big brown Chevy and we nonchalantly made our way to the lot.

We entered the lot, turned off the car’s headlights, and three guys piled out of the car to get us our tree while the driver waited in anticipation of taking off like a wild man. They got the tree—stuffed it in the trunk and got back in the car. The car doors were barely closed when we were peeling out of the driveway, tossed around in the back seat of the car like rag dolls. And of course we were laughing and having a merry old time. There may have been some grain or grape beverages involved—I am not sure.

A grower in Waterloo, Nova Scotia prunes Balsa...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We got back to residence—jubilant in our success. We did not think about the fact that we were stealing. We did not think about the fact that the trees we had stolen were the basis for someone’s livelihood—we just basked in the glory of our escapade. We took the tree into our apartment and decorated with strings of popcorn and paper snowflakes. Such a lovely centrepiece to our Christmas celebrations—untainted by any feelings of regret.

Today I wonder what we were thinking.  We probably knew it was wrong but were too high on the adventure to let that bother us. This Christmas memory is not one that I regret, as it makes me think about the fact that good people sometimes do questionable things. We learn from those things and it becomes part and parcel of who we are. Despite the fact that it still niggles at me—I still remember the rush of excitement, the camaraderie in the devilish deed, and the fun we had.

Have you ever done something that you regret or should regret?

Published in: on December 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm  Comments (30)  
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a summer frame of mind

Summer Shoes

Summer Shoes (Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis)

A good part of the first half of this year I spent looking for and at times finding my bliss. The second half of 2013 is going to be used to put that bliss to work. It will be a challenge.  All kinds of things enter into the mix—but I hope in the end I will come up with a lovely batter and not a lumpy mess.

Join me in my journey to add some lovely moments to days that will have some ugly elements; days when a little poetry will be needed to fight off the drama; days when a little Mike’s hard lemonade relaxes the stresses.

July and August, in all their glory, hot and humid at times, breezy and warm at others, lay before us. It is the height of summer and this year I am going to enjoy the two months I most dread. While others glory in the heat, I am a temperate kind of girl—but I am going to embrace my younger self and enjoy what summer has to offer.  The calendar is filled with barbeques, little weekend getaways, and perhaps a trip to Ottawa and the Kingston area to see my sister and brother. I am not sure what the summer will bring—but I have my sunscreen and shorts on—so I am ready.

Like many of you, just because it is summer—it does not mean we do not have a lot of work to do. I am more determined than ever to find a balance. Sometimes I get in a holiday frame of mind and find that work just does not fit into the equation—but I am going to work it into the sum total of a successful summer.

What are your summer plans? How do you get your vacation frame of mind under control to get your work done?

Published in: on July 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm  Comments (36)  
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~ Y and Z ~ Or End of Another Challenge ~

T2i - Infinity

T2i – Infinity (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I am afraid I have lost heart with this challenge. If you will remember, about 26 days ago I took on the challenge of writing something every day using the letters of the alphabet. The challenge was at times challenging—some days were good, some days were not. As I come to the end of this, I find myself at Y and Z, with little creative resources left.

Yesterday I wrote a haikuish poem about youth (to coincide with the letter Y) that I felt was a bit misunderstood by some of my readers. The point I was trying to get across was that when we are young we have a voice and it is loud and boisterous and clear, but many times as we reach our middle age of youth, we lose our balance and our voice—we need to be listened to more than we need to be talked to. But it came across incorrectly as a kind of criticism of youth and that is not  at all what I was trying to convey. So with the magic of WordPress, I went to the list of posts and deleted my ~ Y ~ for the day. Oh, that we could so easily delete some of the others things in life.

Z—now that has me stumped. Of course the first word I come up with is Zero, which can be thought of in a negative way as nothing, but just think of six zeros after the number 1 and you have a million—and a million of anything is not nothing. Though I understand that the infinity sign is a lazy eight, I find zero represents something that has no beginning and no end—so I consider it the sister of the infinity sign.  I do not think life begins just the day we are born (or conceived—but this is an argument for our Parliamentarians in Canada) or ends the day we die. I do not know, but if I had my druthers, I would rather believe in the infinity of life. How about you?

So, I have come to the end of this challenge, and am hesitant to take on another. While it did stretch my creativity, I need to snap back, so to speak. My next step: Wake up my muse, as she has been on a long vacation. I  am going to attempt the task of putting together some of my newspaper columns to form what is known in these here parts as a book.  So, while this is not a daily challenge per se  — it should be challenge enough for a while.

Every once in a while if you want to bug me and ask how I am coming along, feel free. As I make progress, I will provide you with an occasional update, and ask you if you think I am going in the right direction. I have always wanted to write a book, and have started several, but the task seems so overwhelming that I think if I bite it off in little chunks it may actually come to fruition.

So tell me what you think? Are you embarking on a challenge soon?

Infinity

Infinity (Photo credit: bellatujewelry)

Published in: on September 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm  Comments (55)  
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~ K is for ~

An animated GIF of a kaleidoscope.

An animated GIF of a kaleidoscope. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kaleidoscope is the first word I thought of that begins with K. I do not know why. I remember having a kaleidoscope as a kid and being totally fascinated by the colours and changing patterns. I could get all deep here and say that a kaleidoscope is a great metaphor for life and that constant phenomenon we all have to put up with: CHANGE.  I have read that the only thing we can really rely on in life is change, so I guess we should enjoy it in all its glory.

Did you know that a synonym for kaleidoscope is phantasmagoria? What a great word! Its synonyms (thanks to that handy-dandy thesaurus someone thought to put in my computer—I know it is part of my word program, but I would rather think of it as a more magical force) are dream, hallucination, mirage or fantasy.

A kaleidoscope does show us a kind of dreamy fantasy world–and an ever-changing one at that. Gail Sheehy I think said it best, when she stated:  “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”

My favourite definition of change from the Encarta Dictionary is the word “deepen”. I think change gives us the opportunity to “deepen” and “to become”.

“To become” means we are not stagnating, or as Ms. Sheehy said more eloquently: not growing.

If I were honest, sometimes I don’t want to grow. Sometimes I get tired of change. Sometimes I just want to be comfortable and stable and content. But that gets old. I was asked recently if I am retired, and  my response (after being exceedingly surprised to be asked this as I think of myself as youthful—although it could just be immaturity in disguise) was to say a simple “no”. But I thought to myself: I am just getting started.

Now, I know that people retire young from some professions, and they too are just getting started on their next life. Personally I think the term “retired” should be re-tired. I have lots of tread left.

A toy kaleidoscope tube

A toy kaleidoscope tube (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published in: on September 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm  Comments (33)  
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Day 25 ~ 200 Words

This is the last entry of my 200 word challenge. I may miss it. I may not.

I Remember When I Was Young

I Remember When I Was Young (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I cannot remember my student number. Little wonder, as it has been over three decades since I last used it. But for years I knew it. It was my student identification at university. Though it was just a number, it was my number.

I seem to have forgotten whole portions of my life. It is like grades two and three did not happen. And it is as if I was never young. Or maybe, truth be told, I never grew up.

I seem to be forgetting more and more things these days. I remember when I was dating my husband 32 years ago, a woman I came into contact with quite frequently could never seem to remember my name. I was insulted at the thought that  I was not memorable. Now, I am that woman. I am about her age now, and I have forgiven her.

Sometimes we notice things that we attribute to age that perhaps we have done all our lives. Maybe I never really was good at remembering certain things.

Published in: on July 31, 2012 at 12:17 am  Comments (23)  
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