Staying Alive in the 905

Archive for the ‘Words to Live By….’ Category

“It takes a heap of living…”

Katherine Johnson, mother of my dear friend Joanne. 

Thank you for sharing your mother with your friends Joanne.

I will always remember Katherine.  I was in my late twenties when I met her and I always looked forward to her visits.  She would come from Montreal to visit Joanne in New Brunswick.  She became a mother figure to all of us who were living far from our own mothers.  We loved her lady-like, kind, gentle and calm approach to life.  I feel lucky to possess a framed reproduction of all Katherine’s Words to Live By.  There will be more to come.  

I thought of this phrase when I read the blog post of a much younger social media classmate.  It’s about having a quarter life crisis.  When I read her post I immediately thought of Katherine’s words and wanted to advise my young friend to not stress and just start living.  It really does take a heap of living to make a life journey and we never know where or when the journey will end.

It is all too easy to dismiss stress felt by young people as trivial because we boomers know what  is to come – more stress! However, every phase or decade of life has stressful periods.  When you are in each phase it is very real to you, regardless of your age.  I commend Natalie for writing a post about the new version of mid-life crisis on her blog.  There are many whole blogs devoted to the subject.  I want to be informed of the stress my own sons may face as young men graduating and entering the workforce. Thankfully, Natalie is not dwelling on it. She is busy looking for work and having fun.  I wish for her many jobs, more fun and minimal stress.  I wish for her a “heap of living.”

Here is a definition of quarter life crisis and a link to Natalie’s post.

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“Brag was a good dog but he was still a dog!

My father, John D. McLaughlin, would say this if he ever caught his children bragging or boasting.

I try to remember these words as I muddle my way through life and yes, I’ve used them to cut my sons down a peg or two.  No one is perfect.  Parents and grandparents boast about their children and grandchildren and I think to some extent that is allowed.  I am guilty of this offense on occasion.  My sons now fire it back at me if they catch me being boastful.

My father’s intent was to stop us from boasting about possessions or activities that we were lucky enough to experience and others may not.  He also never rewarded us for A’s on our report cards.  He always said “The A is your reward for your effort and it is ample reward – be proud of that.”

I miss my father very much. 

Be sure to remind me of this if you ever catch me being a braggart!

 

“The snow doesn’t come and stay until the lilacs drop their leaves.”

My grandmother and gardening expert, Marcia Cheney, Grand Manan Island

Yikes!!!

On Monday I noticed that three of my four lilacs are bare.  I am shocked.  I am certain that they have dropped their leaves earlier than normal this year.  However, here in southern Ontario, I think that a more accurate indicator of impending winter is the forsythia shrub.  My forsythia have not yet dropped their leaves.  I’ll be keeping a close watch.  I have always found that the colloquialisms of our elders, based on their years of observation are more accurate than not.  Time will tell.

Forsythia and Lilac

Forsythia and Lilac November 4, 2009 -- I will be watching for the forsythia leaves to fall and then will keep track of how long it takes before we get our first snowfall.

 

“All I know is that you can never buy back time with your children!”

–my mother, 21 years ago when I was trying to decide whether or not to return to work full-time.

She was right.  It doesn’t mean that mothers shouldn’t work but is a good reminder to all parents to make the most of the time we do have with our children before they become adults.

As a Home and School Association volunteer I met many wonderful people who always put the needs of children first.  Judith Bishop is one of them.  She has been a trustee for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board for 20 years.  Prior to that she was a social worker and a kindergarten teacher.  Everyone in Hamilton should be grateful for her service – even if they don’t live in her ward.  She works tirelessly for the cause of public education and now she is blogging.

I admire Judith and I am always interested in what she is saying and thinking regarding education in Hamilton and Ontario.  She makes a difference because she cares.   I list her blog, All Childrens Potential, on my links.

I’m a lucky woman. I have many friends and strong family ties.  I  cherish their words of wisdom.  I incorporate them into my speech and pass them on to others.

Where the words originated is less important to me than the speaker I have known.  I’ll be dotting my blog with these in memory of those we’ve lost and those who continue to make life interesting.

“A weed is only a weed if you don’t want it there; some weeds are pretty!”
—-my grandmother, Marcia Cheney, Grand Manan Island, N.B.

She was right.  On my walk today I found there are still vibrant golden rod and wild asters on the roadside  despite the lateness of the season.   They are very pretty.


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