I took a bit of break from the daily grind of writing posts partly because I just got really busy with a number of other things including a stupid amount of landscaping. I wish Maggie would whack me on the back of the head when I dream up these projects. You would think she would be eager to whack me considering she usually gets roped into doing a lot of lugging and mulching.
She’s a good soul is our Maggie.
I took a break because this year had a somewhat rough start with four deaths in the family over a few weeks in January and early February. These were people I have known and cared about all of my life and the loss of them made for a bitter spring. I needed some time to contemplate things and I came to the realization that my family has been too busy to stay in touch the way all our parents kept us in touch as we were growing up.
So. . .I decided to organize a family reunion and invited some 80 people from newborns to a few in their 80s. Because Maggie and I are hosting it here at the ranch, it’s been a lot of work preparing for the onslaught but it has been worth it. The response by the family has been a little overwhelming and people, some of us haven’t seen or talked to in a very long time are coming; some from great distances, to reconnect with each other.
The other reason I needed a break was because I had lost my sense of humour and was becoming just one more angry voice in the discordant choir that has replaced civil discussion and thoughtful debate in this brave new world. We spend more time choosing sides, assigning blame and arguing about who’s right or wrong than we do trying to find solutions to our common problems. It’s as if we see life as just one big sports event and all we do is cheer and jeer. I wanted to take some time to reasses what I believe in and what is important to me.
Family stood out as the most important thing to me and my great regret is that it took the deaths of four people to remind me of that.
I’m ready to get back to it now, or more accurately, as soon as the reunion is over this weekend so I will start posting again on August 4th. There’s a lot going on in the world, much of it dangerous and too much of the west’s response has been weak, foolish and remarkably uninformed. Too many innocent people, especially children, are being slaughtered in places like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq, Israel, Egypt and Pakistan and I can’t help but think of the devastation that has been brought to all those families….those innocent families just like mine…. as a result. I also couldn’t help but wonder if we would be as arrogant in our assumptions about who is to blame or what should be done if it was our families being slaughtered. It’s the 21st Century but we don’t seem to have learned very much for all of our technological sophistication.
But we can talk about that next week. Until then, hope for the best for this savaged world and I’ll hope to see you next Monday.
© 2014 Maggie’s Bear
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I intended to kick off the New Year’s blogging season yesterday with my predictions for the coming year but got sidetracked. It’s not my fault. Maggie and I decided to acquire Apple TV last Saturday to replace the incredibly boring selection of mediocre television offered by Bell ExpressVu.
It never ceases to amaze me how we can do so little with so much technology. Bell’s satellite system offers duplicate and triplicates of the same shows from television stations across the country instead of a diversity of programming from around the world. For their part, mainstream cable networks seem to have fallen in love with nickel and dime reality shows about people pawning stuff and other folks hunting crocodiles. There are endless talk shows: The View, The Chew, Wendy This, Ellen That and, of course, the shows that are all about paternity tests.
God save us. How is it possible to have so many channels and so little selection? Continue reading
So the big Christmas holiday is coming to an end and tomorrow we start posting regularly again and not a moment too soon. There’s been a lot happening and it took a considerable amount of willpower to resist the urge to throw my two cents into the conversation but I succeeded – and I’m glad I did. Continue reading
Barring some momentous event that absolutely demands my immediate comment, this will probably be my last post before the New Year. I intend to take some time to spend with Maggie who is taking two weeks holidays starting today.
We have no major plans but we intend to do together whatever comes along.
It’s been an interesting year. Canadian politics from municipal to federal has never been more corrupt, inept or unethical; Rob Ford has become internationally famous for doing exactly what we usually condemn others for doing and in the best Roman emperor tradition, many of us fiddle while the city burns. Continue reading
Every Fall, I promise myself that I will take down the outdoor Christmas lights in April and put them away neatly in the Rubbermaid containers we store them in. Every Spring, I wait until the end of June to take them down and cram them into their containers telling myself that it won’t take long to sort them out in the Fall.
Every Spring, I promise myself that I will put the lights up in early October while it is still warm outside and every Fall I wait until the end of November about six hours before the first major snow storm.
That’s what I was doing yesterday in advance of the 20 cms that were on their way from God knows where. Continue reading
I took a break over the weekend – no writing, no painting and definitely no Rob Ford, and no Senate Expense Scandal. Instead Maggie and I went Christmas shopping on Saturday. We were going to go Holiday Season shopping but neither of us has any experience with that so we left it at the traditional jostling and pushing in the stores that is so much a part of Christmas every year.
We were smart about it though. We mapped out where we would go, and why, the day before. We were like a well-oiled machine but of course the wheels fell off the machine as soon as we hit Costco.
I believe Costco is a training ground for Purgatory. Continue reading