Fast Forward

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‘Regrets, I’ve got a few. But then again…’

Fast Forward
by (Little) Larry Pattison

It’s 5:18 and I have been up for a few hours now. We all have our nights of unrest I am sure, not unlike my restlessness tonight, even amidst those early hours when you should be so exhausted that you sleep soundly past the 4th and 5th snooze.

Maybe I’ll check social media.

Phone down.

Still tired.

Give the animals some needed attention. Even they tire and lay down their heads.

Do I turn the television on? Too bright. Too loud. Too much effort.

Why not watch something on one of too many time-sucking devices. Okay. Fuller House. I’ve been enjoying this flashback/forward into the past. Everybody is ‘partnering’ up.

Phone off. Back to sleep?

Nope.

Pick up phone again. How about a movie? The rest of The Terminal that I fell asleep to just a couple of hours ago maybe.

Not available. Smart alec software makes a few recommendations. (The cat steps on my keyboard while editing. Now bumping her head off of keyboard tray. Good thing for undo.)

The Truman Show. Cool. Haven’t seen that in forever. Good lessons in it related to having your life on display. Click on it. It makes more recommendations still.

Okay. Click. Cool! Haven’t seen that in a long time and remember it ‘waking me up’.

Thought I’d fall asleep to it. Screen time. Dogs humping stuffies. The tainted memories.

‘Time is flying by middled-aged girls.’ The snow in her snout. The slight swaying tummy of a once scrawny, crazed cat. Two hampsters. Fish. Now a Gecko.

The magical parent’s life.

The girls? Insert sad emoticon.

Guess the lesson is working the second time around. I’m sure I thought that the first time.

Here I am. After a snack, starting the dishwasher that I never use, sweeping, picking up park stick remnants, giving the cat some long, long anticipated wet food, contemplating picking up where I left off with the endless sock sorting game I can’t convince the kids is fun, to finally finding myself sitting at my computer writing about doing too many things without some sort of at least rough draft of a plan.

Phew.

Staring at screen. What’s this little gadget on my desk that can distract me from writing.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Cat jumps on my desk in front of the screen I am peering around. Jumps down. I’m sure the dog will be over soon to bump my arm with her wet nose. I’ll reach down for a kiss. A pat. ‘Soon.’

Tap. Tap. Tap..

Staring at screen.

Weird little gadget again.

So Click.

Now the cat’s (Sand is her name) is on my lap purring like a happy girl who had soft food for the first time in awhile without pretending she is being sneaky stealing a fry from my lunch.

Pats. Kisses and resting my head on hers. “I love you.”

Purr.

Sometimes a story has it’s own journey. I think the biggest change I need to make is seeing more clearly, what I need for me to be my best self.

Wish I’d learned more the first time around because the second time around just exemplifies the sadness the original message wisened me up to.

Why didn’t it? Why doesn’t it? Why always the hard way?

My life is rushing past me like the train that will be quietly whizzing through my neighborhood what will soon be tomorrow.

Are we all afraid of what lies ahead however far or near? I keep saying what I am scared about most is looking back without recollection of the stories behind the million pictures I’ve taken.

I recently put a photo album together for my parents comprised of pictures of the first years of their granddaughter’s lives. Well I printed the pictures at least. That was a start for me. Then there are hundred’s of more pictures I’d like to find/sort through.

Phew.

Maybe if I’d take a few moments from time to time to look back at where I’ve been, looking back wouldn’t seem such a space void of what I have really accomplished.

If you haven’t seen Click with Kate and Adam, do. Like many of his gooffy films, the basis is solid and something I have a great deal of respect for him over.

I usually get too technical and start creating all sorts of hyperlinks that lead to way too much time learning about what I don’t need to know about, and less doing what’s needed or in the best interest of a project or sanity.

So go learn about the movie for yourself. Is ‘lol’ appropriate for blogs? I hope not. ‘Chuckling out loud in my head.’

I’ll leave the meaning for you to interpret but my wake up call has me wanting to stay up all night writing about it.

Time to just do it.

Be brave icehopper.

Wait. It’s 6:13 am (now 7:03). I guess it was all night after all. I actually like these nights. The ones where inspiration replaces the need for workplace coffee.

“Okay, Pretty Girl. Let’s go for a walk.”

Gracie is her name.

Okay. Now strong coffee though and maybe some song recommendations to keep me awake until midnight.

Categories: Education, Family & Friends, Featured, Love, parenting, Self-Discovery, Seperation | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

So Long For Now

It’s been awhile since I have written in this space. Another adventure has captured every ‘spare’ moment of my time.

I have had a difficult couple of days. Today I found myself needing to think about a mentor to help guide me through what I am struggling with.

I wrote this story and submitted it for publication upon my grandfather’s death last May, but it wasn’t until after the 2014 Municipal Election that I remembered that I had not at least posted the story on my blog. Today I once again remembered that this tale had still yet to be shared.

I thought that sharing a brief account of my late grandfather’s influence on all of our lives was very appropriate under the circumstances. Seeing this image of love in itself, was therapy enough.


Gran_Gramp_Hansen


“Did you know that I was born in the same town as Hans Cristian Anderson,” my grandfather would often query.

That town was Odense, Denmark.

His birth place and the legends that sparked from it through the pen of HC Anderson seem to have influenced even late into life, my grandfather’s inner child and his ability to tell a story.

It was that child inside that kept him young and loving life even through everything 99 years threw in his path.

I spent a lot of time listening to my grandfather share his life’s stories so I thought I had heard almost every tale. During my grandfather’s viewings in May, I realized there was still a big part of who he was missing from what I knew about him from his full real name, to the touching stories that everyone carries about how my grandfather influenced them.

I’ve heard recollections of how people past and present touched him, but to hear the stories from another vantage point leaves our family with such comfort in knowing that the adoration that he carried for so many, was returned with every hand he shook.

My grandfather jet set across countries and space time continuum during our visits as he shared his life’s travels from an old, ratty rocking chair. He seemed to know then that his world adventures were behind him although I know he would have loved to cross oceans if for one more time.

My grandfather was always giving but he held a special place in his heart for helping children in need. He had this life-long desire to bestow both time and gift.

I often walked away from our visits with a little something from a book, to a memento from one of his many adventures. He’d disappear for a short while. You could hear the hallway cupboards sliding open and thudding shut. Some fiddling around. The sounds of searching.  Then you would hear him marching back down the hall and upon entering the room, he would ask you to reach out your hand. He’d meaningfully place the item in your palm and begin to tell the story of how he had come into possession of your new keepsake.

His offerings weren’t always tangible. Sometimes they came in the form of a story but ask anyone who met my grandfather and his gift for re-telling his life’s adventures was something we all remember him by the most.

My grandfather loved to bake from homemade bread to his infamous butter tarts.  He carried those tarts around with him like business cards.

Harvey Hansen had a gift for conversation. He often talked about the importance of recognizing someone being new to a situation and how all you had to do was reach out your hand to break the ice and settle someone’s unease.

“See. It wasn’t so hard.”

The rural roads we travelled had many stories to tell of how our city and countryside had changed over an 80+ year span. I am not sure many of us can even fathom what it’s like to see a city – a world, change so drastically in one lifetime.

He fought in a great war and lived through the depression. He quit school in grade 8 to take care of his family and travelled the countryside via train selling flowers his sisters arranged to make ends meet.

For a man whose education was so short lived, a love for adventure, books, and people made him one of the wisest people I have ever known.

My grandfather travelled a great deal but what made his stories fascinating was that there were real people attached to them. Even on vacation, he had this need to make human connections. To him travel wasn’t about full service and beaches. It was about the people.

My grandfather’s greatest gifts were the connections he created for us. He even left us with new friendships in his final days that I am sure will last many more years for we have shared something very powerful together. The hard work, dedication, and unconditional love of the closing years of our loved ones lives. It is during these difficult struggles that we truly see what our families are made of. It is through these experiences that my family pride was further reinforced.

I am touched by the lengths my parents and other loved ones around the nursing home went to, to ensure their patients had everything they needed from love to care and not just for their own relatives, but the extended families these experiences forge. They were always looking out for one another, including my grandfather’s newest friend Bob Bishop; a war vet himself, who watched over my grandfather until his final moments.

Harvey Hansen was an amazing father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and a mentor. He will forever be missed, admired, and loved.

So as he has asked us all to do over the years we will not say goodbye. We will say so long for now.

“But shouldn’t all of us on earth give the best we have to others and offer whatever is in our power?” ― Hans Christian Andersen

Categories: Family & Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defining Hamilton’s Schools as Community Hubs Model

The Parkview Institute

 Excerpt from the original article published on Raise the Hammer.


  

We should reach out to every school community in Hamilton. We should ask them to engage the broader neighbourhoods – from those without children to seniors – asking them what their needs are with regards to their immediate surroundings. Is it a pool, a room to play cards with other neighbors, a kitchen to learn how to cook or access to sewing machines or woodworking tools? How about Yoga classes or a weekly friendly pickup basketball game in a nearby gym?

How about social services or shopping needs? What if there were family services located in our schools or a post office even? What could your neighbourhoods use? In the case of Milgrove, how about the loss of a public library. Could one in the school become accessible to the entire community?

We should enter this process with the current guidelines for community partnerships set out by the Province out of sight and out of mind. It’s important for us to allow creativity to shine through and if we go in with a stringent set of rules, we will miss out on truly developing a plan in line with the community’s needs and desires.

It’s important for the Province to see without prejudice, how local municipalities see the model for their neighbourhood schools supporting our changing needs.

There are many documents on the Schools as Community Hubs concept including a definition of a true Community Hub. Take these documents, study them, and look at the individual needs of each school community.

 


See this link for the full article.

 

 

#YHM14

Categories: Education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green campaigns connected to communities

My Letter to the Editor from Thursday June 12th 2014 with links to external content


As someone whose top concerns this provincial election are education and poverty, I am infuriated that the only party truly addressing these important issues has been left out of our local media coverage.

The most inspiring of all campaigns in any Hamilton riding has been Peter Ormond’s “uncampaign” yet we have read nothing of how it has resonated with citizens in Hamilton-Centre.

This wasn’t about votes for Peter. This was about making our communities better. That’s what I want from a leader.

Locally, the task to take down the leader of the New Democrats in a long-standing orange city is tall, but Peter Ormond and the Green’s in general prove more and more each day, how well connected they are to their communities.

As someone who has generally despised politics, it’s refreshing when faith is restored through leadership grounded in creating grass-roots change. Not slander and broken promises.

If you haven’t read the Ontario Green’s platform yet or listened to Mike Schreiner on The Agenda with Steve Paikin, than I encourage you before voting tomorrow to at least give Mr. Schreiner the benefit of the doubt. By taking a few moments to learn about what the Green’s stand for, you are sending a statement to the other parties that you are tired of the status quo. Of broken promises and your hard earned money squandered.

This Province can no longer move forward in this manner and the ‘big three’ have had their opportunity to show us how they could create a more prosperous, healthier, happier place to live. Did you know Hamilton-Mountain candidate Greg Lenko started the Escarpment Project? I thoroughly enjoyed watching my young girls excited to help out in their community this past April. Just another in the inspiring acts of community the Green’s are bringing to our neighborhoods. These are the types of leaders that will be on your ballots.

Hamilton in general has great candidates in every riding including Niagara West-Glanbrook where Basia Krzyzanowski would be a welcome change to politics. The Green Party of Ontario has candidates in all 107 ridings.

Vote for the future you want to see. Not the one you fear.

Categories: Provincial Elections | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

50 things that matter – Seashells, Candlelight & Saying “I love you.”

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Seashells

 

Candlelight

 

Saying “I love you.”

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50 things that really matter – Puppies & The Sound of Music

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Puppies

 

The Sounds of Music

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50 things that really matter – Bubble Baths & Passion

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Bubble Baths

 

Passion

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50 things that really matter – Honest Work and Faith

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Honest Work

 

Faith

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50 things that really matter – Warm Spring Days & Memories

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Warm Spring Days

 

Memories

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50 things that really matter – Wisdom

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Introduction

 

1 – Wisdom

 

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