Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I think that Mother's Day has never really been celebrated in the way that would truely recognize the inpact that our mothers have had on our lives. Up until the last couple of generations, the importance of our mothers in our homes have basically gone unoticed and unappreciated. Personally, I think that they should get a lot more credit that they recieve. Society has often been heard saying that "behind every good man is a great woman" and yet, that only seems to apply to wives and not to mothers. Well, I think that we should ammend that saying by stating that "behind every good person is a great mother."

My mother is a great mother. Throughout my life, she was always there for me loving me and protecting me and when she was not able to be there to protect me, she was always there praying for me. I am certainly far from perfect, but I have no doubt that without my mother's prayers, I would not be the person that I am today.

Just recently, my mother lost her life long partner and husband of 54 years. His death was very difficult on her and this being the first spring without him, is finding it somewhat difficult experiencing his absence. Last week, they just completed placing the sod on his grave site and so we stopped by for a visit. I watched as she stood there alone looking at his headstone. I could only imagine what she might have been saying to him but I have no doubt that whatever she was saying, she was saying with love as any wife and mother would do. He is no longer with my mother physically but he is still there is her heart. Though she is no longer a wife, she is still a mother and though she is unable to protect and look after me anymore, she still prays for me and my family. What more could I ask for!

The roles are now reversed in that I look after her instead of the other way around but I am not complaining because no matter how much I do for my mother, it will never make up for the amount that she has done for me.

Happy Mother's Day Mum!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Making It Through the Lazy Hazy Summer Days

April 14th… the last time I blogged until now. I have always been the type of person who goes all out in doing something until the point of burnout. Whether it be work related, personal research related, exercise related, blog related or “whatever else I can think of” related, I always end up doing it until I burn out. There have been times where I have taken a year or two off something until I can find the will to carry on in whatever area I burnt out from in the first place.

I have really enjoyed blogging over the past three years and it always seems that I feel the need to take a break once the beautiful weather gets here. Last summer I disappeared for a while when I finally returned to “blog land” in the fall.

Well hopefully this summer I will try to stay around a bit more and so I figured that if I took an April/May break, I might be able to last the hazy lazy summer days… At least I really hope so.

It's good to be back... It's always good to be back! Now if I can only find a way to not let my biking, camping, running, gardening, renovating, travelling, working, sun tanning, swimming and "whatever elsing" get in the way of my blogging!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mountain Biking Season

Well… This crank here is going to be spinning down the trails quite a bit this summer! Last summer, I was unable to spend much time on my mountain bike but this summer is going to be different.

This spring, I started out earlier than normal by hitting the country roads instead of the trails which were still snow covered in some areas. The air, though still a little frosty, was unable to deter me from hopping onto the saddle and testing out my winter weary legs. I should have worn a warmer pair of biking gloves along with my green winter hat the other day but I was optimistic that I could simply wear a baseball hat along with my fingerless gloves. I arrived home a little colder than expected but the experience was enough to get me excited for the next ten or twenty kilometres I was planning to travel the next day.

To me, there is nothing more invigorating than wheeling down the trails with nothing but my thoughts to carry me along the way. The time alone helps me to think and to sort out the muddle that goes on in my mind throughout the busy winter season. It gives me the opportunity to breathe easy and lower my blood pressure enough for me to head home afterwards satisfied that I have accomplished something more than travel a certain distance.

So… If, throughout the summer, you don’t see me here as much as I usually am, just imagine me flying down those trails enjoying the sun, enjoying the breeze and enjoying the summer! Rest assured that these rides will certainly produce a few photos that I have no doubt will share with you.

Am I ever glad the winter is over!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Voice from the Past

I am sort of a nostalgic kind of guy. I am the type of person who values items from the past versus trinkets from the present. Over the time I have been blogging, I have written about items such as laser discs, old computers, old cell phones, my old stamp collection plus many other old things from my past which I have found sentimental value in… including old ratty my hat!

A couple of years ago, due to the problem that it was becoming increasingly difficult to locate Super 8 video players, I transferred all my family videos from that format to DVD in order to preserve the memories of my children. Now when I was a young lad (Hey wait a minute! I still AM a young lad!) we never had the technology to video tape us as children. Back then, we didn’t even have cassette recorders as they didn’t even exist. Fortunately, however, my father did possess a reel to reel audio recorder which he used for who knows what. Despite owning this reel to reel recorder, no one ever really thought of taping little kids for posterity sake as it was seen as an unnecessary cost. For some reason, however, my father decided to tape us on one occasion when we were living in the U.K. while we were having my great aunt over for Christmas. I never knew that he taped us on that occasion until many years later when I found his stash of reel to reel tapes while snooping in places where I probably shouldn’t have been. Upon asking him if I could hear it, I heard, for the first time, my voice in the little boy British accent that people used to say I once had.

That was many years ago. Since then, my father had sold his reel to reel recorder and the tapes seemed to disappear along with it. To this day, I never again saw these tapes and as far as I was concerned, the record my little boy voice disappeared forever.

… Until yesterday.

Since the death of my father, I have spent countless hours scouring through his old possessions deciding what to keep and what to throw away. I have basically gone through everything he had owned while all the time kept a close eye out for those tapes I had seen and heard so many years ago. I basically gave up on the idea of ever finding them until, the other day, when it occurred to me that my parents had a small storage place in the basement of their apartment building. Well, needless to say, I came across a small box with three small reel to reel audio tapes in it including the one with the recording of my voice on it.

So… my next goal is to scour eBay to pick up a reel to reel tape player in hopes that these tapes are still functional after all these years. I will keep you posted and maybe post a snippet of that young British voice of mine.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Oh Yah! Smooth Move Dave!

Back on January 31, 2007, I submitted a post titled “In Search of Aunt Thelma.” This post was regarding the story of my father’s search for a sister who he lost contact with back 60+ years ago. In this post I placed a photograph of her and my Dad. Move forward eleven months later when I was creating a slide presentation of my father’s life for his funeral.

During it’s creation, my mother subtly informed me that the photo in question which, unbeknown to her was also submitted in my blog, was not a photo of his sister but of his former girlfriend! Oh yah! Nothing like really screwing up here! Here I was about to place an ex-girlfriend of my father’s into the family line up at the funeral! It was bad enough that I made this mistake to the blogging world… Now I was about to redo this blunder to our family, friends and loved ones! Fortunately my mother was not the jealous type nor was she one without a sense of humour so I was off the hook so to speak. Whew!

I once was accused (and rightly so) of accidentally putting a photograph of a live person onto a memorial board that was displayed in public! Not good! Actually more than not good… It was really “friggen” bad especially considering the complaint came from the dead person who was not really dead but actually alive… if you catch my drift.

Now if you were to go back to that old post of mine from January 31, 2007, the photo you will see there is the correct version of my aunt. So… Sorry Aunt Thelma! Sorry Mum! Sorry Dad! Sorry all the other living people who I might have announced as dead over the years as well!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Great Memories

As I was cruising through the grocery store aisles on the weekend, I took a short cut through the baby food section to get to the meat deli. As I walked down the aisle, I couldn’t help but notice the Heinz baby food bottles which immediately reminded me of the days we used to buy all those bottles for our children shortly after they were born.

It constantly amazes me how little things like this can bring such a joy to our hearts as we reminisce about the good ol’ days where our kids thought that their parents were real life heroes… Now my kids know better! I remember the days when we used to feed our children more on their faces than in their mouths.

We taught our daughter certain American Sign Language signs before she actually started speaking. They became quite handy while we were feeding her since, with food in her mouth, she would have been unable to speak. If she wanted more, all she had to do was sign for “more.” If she was finished, she simply would sign “finished.”

There was one time when a baby sitter was feeding her when our daughter, having enough, signed “enough.” The babysitter not realizing what our daughter was saying continued to put the food into her mouth. Our daughter became quite upset until the sitter gave up feeding her. Later on, when we arrived home, the sitter reported to us this incident where we, upon laughing, explained to the sitter what our daughter was trying to communicate.

Memories… Memories that we will remember for a lifetime. Memories that will come to us at times when we least expect it. Looking at old photos, reminiscing in conversation or simply walking down a grocery store aisle…Great memories!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Hat For All Seasons

It was 11:38pm and I was ready to hit the hay but the curiosity got the better of me and I strolled over to my computer to check out a couple of your blogs. I noticed that I had received a new comment about my hat post and, once again, someone requested to see a photo of my ugly friggen lookin' hat on my head so, at almost a few minutes before midnight, here I was snapping a photo of me with this thing called a hat on my head.

I hope I don't live to regret this photo though I probably will!