Funny Text Moments

It’s the time of the year for Jolly Ho Ho’s and this morning I got mine. I was texting with my daughter to make sure she had the details for my upcoming Xmas visit.

Daughter: When are you coming? So you sent me your itinerary??  Right??

Me:  Yes..do you need it again daughter dear? You obviously did not get your mother’s incredible OCD organizational skills or you wouldn’t have to ask that question.  I took that silly OCD test on Face Book and got 100%  I don’t even know what it means but I guess I must be good if I got 100%.  Right??

Me:  So, needless to say my suitcase is full of stuff other than clothes so I will be raiding your closet.  I am only bringing a couple of pair of jeans, PJ’s, and toiletries and the rest I will get from you.

Me:  Oh, and I will bring my own ugirlnderware….haha

 

Daughter: I didn’t think you wore those mother…

Me: Only if I’m going out looking for some hot sex….haha

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Hummm….choices……..hot

Daughter: OMG mother! What’s wrong with you. You are an old lady!!!!!

 

Needless to say, daughter is a bit of a prude with absolutely no sense of humor.  I think I have been disowned.

 

Me:  Actually, I thought I would post the underware thing, and the hot sex thing to my status on Facebook. I wouldn’t want to embarrass you, but it would be so cool to see ‘hot men looking for hot sex’ in my adds instead of Health Food Supplements

suplements

and Blundstone boots! blunts

 

 

 

 

I would stay on FB all day if all I saw were hot men!!

Merry ho ho!!!!!

 

 

Canada’s own White Knight

I love to read. I have always been a reader as far back as I can remember.  I mostly read fiction. Granted, I have my collection of books: Yoga and exercise books, self help books, natural health books, crafting books but those are for information.

Mostly, I like to read for entertainment. My favorite entertainment right now is fantasy. images You know, the stories about good and evil, light and dark. Lands where there are elves and magic and dragons and white knights that come riding in and save the world.

That’s where I like to go. Where there is light and good and white knights riding in to save the world.

We are in a time of crisis in our world and I need to believe that in our land, Canada, we still have magic and I need to believe we are fighting the dark and pushing it into the light to be immersed into the Collective Consciousness of time.

I need todownload believe we have our own army of knights, riding forward to defend and protect us. I need to believe the army is being led by a young leader, strong in his commitment and hope for the land.

 

I don’t know if our new PM can pull it off, but I need to believe that he can.

Sun, Sea and Sand: I’m Back!

Wilma

Beautiful Bathsheba during the after-effects of ‘Wilma’

Well, trying to get back in the groove leaves a bit to be desired. It’s a bit of a challenge to say the least.

I’m revisiting old photos, rethinking how much I want to share, revising, remembering and trying to recapture those memories from years past when I finally got the OK for my first 6 months in paradise. I think about Barbados a lot, but not in terms of my ‘old’ life there. The last post on this subject was ‘My God Experience’, where I spoke about manifesting my dream to live in the tropics. Now I have to remember what ‘the dream’ was all about.

This entry, and probably all the rest relating to my 15 years spent in Barbados will be better appreciated through photos, with bits and pieces of information added. There isn’t a great deal to expound upon when life consists mostly of sun, sea and sand and that was what my first 4 years was all about.

And so I arrived! November 1992, 8 months after my first and only visit. I don’t mess around. Once I decide to do something, I’m on it. Sometimes I’m way to spontaneous for my own good.

Going back home Spring 1993

I was excited but terrified at the same time. My friend Diane was not spending as much time there. Her and her partner Cent were soon going back to Canada.
Fortunately for me, she had given me a name and number for a six month ‘holiday’ rental, just blocks from where we had stayed in Bathsheba. As soon as I returned home, I contacted the woman and secured a ‘six’ month rental. I only knew a couple of locals, so I really had no idea how everything would work out, but being a strong, independent feminist woman I was ready to find out.

The taxi ride from the Airport to Bathsheba was harrowing and reminded me of my first ‘ride’ with Froggy last time around. Lots of horn blaring and plenty of cursing..a colorful Bajun pastime with no offence meant. Froggy North Coast 1992 I arrived as dusk was settling in; key in hand and praying to those with power that it would fit and that there was a bed with a mattress and a pillow or two. Oh please Goddess, let this be a safe place!

 

 

Well, there was a bed, so to speak, with a mattress, so to speak…and now I know why those folk have such great asses..the bed was hard hard hard and so was the pillow! My first shopping spree was going to rectify that. I was pretty positive I could make that happen. My Rental 1992.93

The next morning I was locked and ready! Time to get some food in the larder, some drinking water, some beer etc and then time to hit the beach. I soon realized that one should ‘take the sun’ before 10:00am and stay out of it until after 3:00pm..or at least 2:00pm. By the time me and my hot, sweaty body walked back with all my groceries, the only thing I was ready for was a big nap! I decided the beach would wait.

Well, it wasn’t long until the locals heard I was back and the visits began. First would be the ‘lifeguards’, Leo and Sammy. 20150809_124250

We would all have coffee and visit for an hour in the morning before they ‘hit the beach’. They both took their jobs very seriously and told me many stories of incidents where careless and not so careless surfers were carried out to sea and the ‘boys’ had to rescue them. It was great fun having lifeguards for my friends. They took me with them to the beach and we would walk for miles and miles.

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They taught me how to watch the sky for rain. When you saw it falling out to sea, it was time to run for cover.  Bleaky MorningThey taught me about the rip tide, and what to do if I got caught in one. They taught me about the tides and where it was safe to swim. I learned to body surf and to boogie board. They gave up trying to teach me to surf. It was something about balance, or my lack of.  Soon I started meeting the regular Bathsheba surfer boys, and we had great times together, although I never could stand up on that board.

20150809_123739 Smoky was the first, and not only did he try to teach me to surf, but he taught me how to cook ‘Rasta’ food.

Smokey's Land 1992He was a great friend and often I would go with him to his land to collect food. Smoky got his nick name because as a child, he came to close to the fire and got burned. Most Bajuns have nick names. Some have more than one.

Next there was Pecker. 20150809_124804

I don’t know how he got his nick name, but I can certainly guess. He was a life guard as well, but spent most of his time up on his board.  Most of the fellows were surfers and when they weren’t surfing, they came by to play games. This was great entertainment. It gets dark in Barbados by 6:30pm, so it was nice to have company in the evenings.

20150809_124357Hoggie was a regular visitor, and backgammon was his favourite. Diane was the champion and the fellows loved to play with her.  Elita and Pecker (not surfer boy Pecker) came to watch and so did Roz, when she could stay awake. Roz 1992

Her and Diane were both accomplished players.  Me, not so much although I could hold my own. The Gang 1992

 

 

 

Dick used to come and pick water coconuts for me, Picking water coconutsand he loved to challenge the winner! I used to get very nervous watching him climb up the trees. I was always worried he might fall out! Roz used to laugh at me and tell me the ‘boys’ had been climbing since they were babies. Then she would tell me the stories of the couple of locals who had fallen out, and what a mess it had made. I didn’t like those stories and I think she was pulling my leg. The first couple of weeks were a whirl wind of visitors, games and just hanging out. It was a great beginning for my new life and I had six months to play and immerse myself in a culture totally foreign to me.

 

Meeting the Challenge

It’s been awhile since I felt energized enough to attempt putting thoughts to paper again and venture back to writing on my blog.

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 When I was diagnosed with Fybromyalgia a few years ago, I thought I would never find a way to manage it, but eventually with a lot of hard work and a good support system I did, and overall I’m feeling pretty darn good.  The low energy and severe muscle fatigue are sometimes a little hard to handle but overall I think I’ve done well and continue to do so.

Without my Yoga and Swimming, I was having great fun finding ways to occupy myself inside the house by playing around, blogging, trying to pour my life’s history into a few pages, afraid I might lose the memories before I managed to jot them all down and then blam….done

I’m not really sure what took me away from my imposed need to leave my story behind.  Part of it was a month with no computer access.  I think the rest was just me feeling plain old sorry for myself, whining and snivelling about my latest ‘issue’, challenge, limitation.

Image   I hate whiners!  That’s really not like me at all.  I need to have a good talk with myself!  I believe there isn’t anything we can’t overcome and I have plenty of tools to work with.  Affirmations, vision boards, healing white light, meditation, mind over matter…..you name it, I’ll try it.

After nearly a year of intense pain, it has been decided by the powers that be that I have Frozen Shoulder.  First diagnosis was Rotator Cuff so shots of cortisone were given and all my favorite activities canceled.  Not that I needed a Dr to tell me that.  I hadn’t been able to do anything for several months before I even went to the Dr.  Then it was X-rays, Ultra Sound and Physio to confirm it was Frozen Shoulder and not Rotator Cuff.  

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With only 32% range of motion, I’m pretty limited.  Try putting on a bra or washing your hair; take off a shirt or reach for something.  It feels like hundreds of little knives sticking into my arms.  I still haven’t figured out why I have such intense pain in my arms.  It’s supposed to be a shoulder thing.  So, I tell myself it’s OK to snivel once in a while.

The medical profession knows very little about this condition.  Don’t know what causes it, don’t know how to cure it.  The only thing they had to offer was ‘intense physio’, exercise every day and eventually it will go away on its own.  Use heat and ice packs and take pain pills when it gets too bad.  Well, I do my little exercises every day.  I use heat and ice and lots of various rubs.  I smoke the mother’s herb to help me relax when it’s too intense and I hope it will soon show some improvement.

I really thought I had the ‘ageing’ thing down pat.  Thought I was doing a pretty good job of it all.  Then all of a sudden I got Pneumonia, then Bronchitis then Shingles then FM and now this.  Is this a test?  If it is, no worries.  I’ll pass with 100%.  Might take a while but I’ve got plenty of time.

I don’t mind that it takes me a few days to type half a page.  Eventually the story will be told, just like eventually I will get full mobility back in my arms.  In the meantime, I’ve come out of my funk and no more feeling sorry for myself.  Now I can resume where I left off.  Somewhere around Barbados, 1992.

Bathsheba, Barbados 1992, my One and Only God Experience!

So I am finally on my way.  I leave Whitehorse, covered in snow and about 20 degrees below zero…Celsius that is.  I first fly to Ontario, which was four hours, and then on to Barbados, another five and a half hours.  Long flight!  I step off the plane at Grantley Adams Airport, and no, Rihanna was not on my flight although I did meet her mother some years later.  I pass through customs no problem, and I start looking frantically for my friend Diane. Anxious….what if she’s not there….what would I do….This was my first and only big trip by myself on an airplane other than a visit to Hawaii 25 years earlier with a girlfriend.  I step outside into the glaring heat and wish I had changed clothes on the plane.

Jeans and a winter jacket just didn’t cut it in 80 degree weather.  Image

Suddenly I hear my name and there is Diane grabbing me in a big hug!  Thank the Goddess!  She has arrived with her hubby Glenville, whose nickname is Cent.  His mother named him that because when he was born, he was no bigger than a cent.  That nickname has stuck with him to this day.  Most of the folk I met in Barbados all have a nick name, sometimes two or three.  So, Cent grabs my bag and off we go towards this white, very small narrow van.  As I get in, I am introduced to our driver Rodney, who is known by the name Froggy.  Sorry, I don’t know the origin of his nickname, but it might be because he has rather buggy eyes.  He is some kind of family to Cent.  So, off we go, heading to Bathsheba which is on the other side of the Island in the Parish of St. Joseph.  Barbados is a small Island, 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, but densely populated.

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Well, I have no words to describe the adventure of my first ride in Barbados.  I was terrified.  They had given me the front seat so I could admire the view but all I could do was hang on for dear life.  No one else seemed the least bit perturbed but I was white knuckling it the whole way.  As we proceeded through the various Parishes, Froggy would lay on his horn at every corner.  I soon realized why when I finally got brave enough to open my eyes.  The roads were so narrow that there was only room for one vehicle so a good horn blast lets any other traffic know you are coming.  Years later, I got very good at the ‘horn blast’, and used it often. I’m positive it saved my life on several occasions.  Now, I do need to mention that we were on back country roads by this time.  The main roads were all two lanes, well-kept and paved…in some cases even wider.

So, about an hour or so later we arrive in beautiful Bathsheba.  I am blown away as we come down into the small fishing village, with the boats bobbing on the sea, fishermen working on their nets, folk walking on the beach and surfers out enjoying the waves.

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Village of Bathsheba.  Eventually I ended up living right in the middle of those trees behind the small white building, at the bottom of a cow pasture.  I will probably do a “Barbados” page eventually as I have lots of stories and lots of photos to share.

I couldn’t believe I was actually in paradise.  I was exhausted after my long flight, and we all trooped up to our ‘accommodations’ which Diane had rented for a month.  Her and Cent had a little place over on Hillswick, a short walk away but at that time, they had no power or running water, and they only had one room so they had decided to rent a three bedroom place, right next to the beach for my month-long stay.  Our place had a big porch and the next thing I knew it was filled with people coming to meet me.  There was Smokey (his nick name had something to do with falling in a fire or getting hit with a fiery stick) and Rasan, Cent, Froggy, Shirley (don’t ask me how he got that one) Mark, Diane, myself and several others.  I was struggling to try to keep my eyes open and to figure out some way to remember who was who.  Diane, realizing my exhaustion, showed me to my room and I crashed amid the sound of the waves gently hitting the shore, laughter of the guys, the haze of smoke from the many spliffs being passed around and the sounds of the night folk; crickets, frogs and all kinds of other soothing sounds.  It was blissful to say the least and I was out like a light!

I woke up at daybreak to the sounds of roosters crowing and dogs barking.  It was time to get up.  Diane was already outside getting ready to meditate and I hurried out to great her.  In Whitehorse, we were part of a very Spiritual group of people, and we were exploring a lot of alternative, New Age type stuff.  Diane and I both firmly believed in the Power of the Universe and I was looking forward to a month of contemplation, meditation, great philosophical discussions whilst high on some wonderful Bajan green.  In between all this, I envisioned long walks on the beach collecting shells, boogie boarding in the surf, hanging out with Diane and just doing nothing, working on a tan, watching the moon come up and the sun go down.  It was going to be an idealistic month, for sure.  Bathsheba was a wonderful place to explore.   Image

Our days were full.  We walked and talked for miles every day.  We collected shells and made jewelry.  We hung out with the guys and left our ‘feminist’ sign down for a while.  It was magical and I went to bed at night just waiting for the next day.  Every day at some point we had the same discussion.  It was always the ‘what if’.

What if we could do this every day.

What if we didn’t have to go home.

What if we could actually live here….and on and on.  Diane would always say…but we could do this every day, we don’t have to go home, we could live here and I would always reply…maybe you could but I have a responsibility to my boss.  I work for Government, I have to go back.  I have bills to pay, I have a house to take care of, I have a relationship at the point of disintegration and I have to end it and on and on and on and Diane would stand up, cross her arms over her ample bosum and say in a very stern voice: YOU ARE LIMITING YOURSELF, STOP LIMITING YOURSELF AND PUT IT OUT TO THE UNIVERSE AND SEE WHAT COMES BACK  well, I wasn’t sure what to make of that and I said:  The Universe isn’t going to make my car payment or shovel the snow at the house or do my job that I need to do to make money to live…..and she would repeat  STOP LIMITING YOURSELF, JUST PUT IT OUT THERE  

Well, the days passed and it was soon time to leave.  I was really psyched by this time.  I was going to go home and ‘manifest’ this life.  I was determined!  The day before I was to leave, we went over our ‘plan of action’.  Diane and I had decided to use crystals as a way in which we would communicate and keep in touch.  ImageWe set a time to try to do this.  Between 6:30 and 7:30 am for me would be between 11:30 and 12:30 for Diane.  Right at lunch time. As I mentioned in earlier blogs, I lived in Whitehorse, Yukon at the time, about 25 miles out-of-town.  We did not have running water, we hauled our water.  So, every morning I would be up at 6:00 am and out the door on my way to town.  I would arrive at the Swimming Pool at about 6:30 and I would start my morning routine.  I used to swim a mile at that point, then a quick sauna, shower and off to work.  I had been back about two weeks and I had my ‘vision board’ going, with all my Barbados pictures; I had my affirmations stuck all over the place.  I was talking to the Universe every day.  Man, I was ready.

So, this morning I was doing my laps, minding my own business and reliving the whole  Barbados trip in my mind.  I’m also concentrating on Diane, letting her know that I am think about her and thinking about our conversations.  Well, I can multi task like nothing and I was doing it all.  Lap after lap…what if I could….but I can’t…what if I could…but I can’t….all of a sudden as I reach the end of the pool and prepare for my turn I see Diane.  and this is the absolute truth…SHE WAS STANDING AT THE END OF THE POOL SAYING “YOU ARE LIMITING YOURSELF…STOP LIMITING YOURSELF AND PUT IT OUT TO THE UNIVERSE AND SEE WHAT COMES BACK”  Well, I took in so much water I thought I would drown and while I was swimming back, gasping for breath, everything fell into place.  My mind just clicked and I knew exactly what I could do.  I could rent my room out.  That would pay my car payment.  I could leave Phil in the house and he would monitor everything, collect the rent, take care of the house, make my payments etc.  This would work for both of us until I knew for sure what the future was going to be. When I got into work that morning, I went in to see my Director and I said:  Bobbie, I want a job share and she said sure, what do you want….three days on and two off.  I said no….I want six months on and six months off.  She said ‘can you do that’?  and I said ‘why not’…the Feds (as in Federal Government) are promoting the triple work day for women and this is the Women’s Directorate, supporting women’s issues so I feel justified in asking for this.  Well she said, do me up a proposal and we’ll discuss it. I wasn’t taking any chances.  I decided to lobby the Minister Responsible.  The Yukon was pretty loose about protocol and it was nothing to see various cabinet ministers having coffee in the lunch room.  I choose a quiet time and approached Margaret Joe, the Minister Responsible.  I said Margaret, I want to do something unusual and unheard of at this time within Government and I would like your support.  She asked me ‘what’ and I told her the whole story, from start to finish.  She also knew Diane and was not overly surprised when I told her what I wanted to do.  She said she would give me her full support!  I was stoked.

To make a long story short, I did the research, presented the proposal, and sold it to my Director by stating that a lengthy six month job share would create employment for a mom during the winter and would allow her to stay home with her kids in the summer, and being as how it wouldn’t affect the actual job if I was gone that long, it could work.  I had lots of other good stuff as well, but that was the clincher.  She said OK, we will try it for a year but you have to do all the work involved in making this happen.  I proceeded to do just that.  From the advertising of the position to the interviews, to running it through the Public Service Commission and past the Union.  I was the first person both Federally and Provincially to have obtained a six month job share so I was trying to be very careful.  I was like a mad woman.  The necessary paper work was all completed, my half time was hired and within eight months, I was back in Barbados for my first six month vacation!  I am not a religious person in any way, shape or form but I cannot explain what it was I saw and heard that day, so I can only call it my God Experience and be thankful that the Universe answered my prayers and changed my life.  I ended up in Barbados for fifteen years in all and I will have lots of stories and pictures to share.

From Adult Time to Busy Time

When I hit the Yukon in 1987, things were booming.  In my first three weeks there, I was offered interviews on 15 different jobs.  No one wanted to work way up north with 8 or 9 months of winter, no matter how good the pay.

I had just said ‘screw you’ to Edson, Alberta where I lost everything I had worked for and ever owned due to an accident in a Coal Mine I was working in so the North sounded pretty good to me.

I wanted the job that was the most interesting and with the highest pay.  I had a lot to make up for…minus one home, one truck, one motor cycle, and everything else inside said house.  gone…….

That meant focusing my attention on The Women’s Directorate which was offering the highest pay and sounded the most interesting.  Women’s issues, what were they???

After the initial interview and subsequent job offer, and my acceptance, I asked my Director what had ‘cinched’ the job for me.  There were a lot of applicants.  She laughed and said they were curious why some woman who had been operating equipment in a coal mine would be looking for office work, and that once they had met me they liked my attitude and my smile.  OK, whatever works, right?  Image

I loved my job.  It was a new department, in it’s embryo stages and I was fortunate to be a part of that time.  It was exciting and different and something new to look forward to everyday.

One of my tasks outside of general admin was to liaise with the various Non Government Organizations, along with the various Women’s Transition Homes to get a feel for what their needs were and how we could help them.  That meant going to a lot of meetings after hours.  I spent a lot of time that first year doing a lot of volunteer work with the various groups and I met many strong, independent women.  I’m talking about women who lived alone in small cabins out in the bush, heated by old wood stoves, hauling water from a near by creek or in Jerry cans from the nearest garage with a water tap.

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Women that spent eight or nine months in cold winter conditions, bedding down beside their trusty dogs for warmth and companionship.  I was in awe of these women and I couldn’t wait to get to know them.

The next year got real busy.  My previous partner from Edson showed up and we applied for a land lottery through the Government that was going on at the time.  We got lucky and ended up with 15.5 acres of bush for real cheap about 25 miles out-of-town.  Pure homestead land…raw.  Image

All of a sudden I was juggling work, a relationship, clearing land and building while still trying to form relationships with all the cool women I was meeting.  Friends came out on weekends to help us burn and clear the land, to get ready for building.

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Whitehorse at that time was a very Spiritual place.  I had never been religious, other than wanting to stamp my feet and sing in the Church when I was young, but all of a sudden I was being inspired and invited to ‘events’.  Things I had never even been aware of, and a bit scary at first.

Full moon rituals and solstice celebrations.   full moon

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There was a core group of us that participated in these events and we got together regularly to delve into the mysteries of life.  We studied A Course of Miracles on Sundays, talked about the latest self-help books and knew all about ‘the Secret’ before it became the Secret. We took courses in massage therapy and practiced on each other once or twice a week at the local school gymnasium.  It went hand in hand with what was going on at the Women’s Directorate.  I was preparing for our first ‘Women’s Conference and we were busy trying to maintain a ‘well rounded’ experience.  The Directorate’s mandate at that time was to raise awareness about Violence Against Women, but this conference was full of alternative experiences.  There were workshops on relationships, crystals and stones, body work and massage, tarot card readings, hands on healing, single parenting, native american teachings, needs of the community as well as the more traditional philosophies.  It was a wonderful gathering of women from all walks of life and one of the best conferences I’ve ever been involved in. Out of this conference the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues was born.  One of the members of this group and I became very good friends and remain so to this day.  She had recently married a Rasta from Barbados, West Indies and I was honored to have stood up for them at the simple ceremony they had in Whitehorse.  I couldn’t wait to get an invitation to visit.

These years were fun and enlightening times and I continued to learn more and more about personal development and spiritual connection.  My library grew and time flew by.  Those days were very special times and bonds were made and continue on to this day, 20 years later.

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Fast forward to 1992, my relationship is rocky and I’m feeling restless.  My dear friend finally invites me to visit with her in Barbados for a month.  I thought ‘why not’….I’ve never traveled.  So, the arrangements were made and off I went to Bathsheba, Barbados, West Indies.  A brand new adventure about to begin and a ‘voice from God or the Goddess’….that really freaked me out….Winter 1992….to be continued

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Adult Time

The 60’s, 70’s and 80’s can be summed up quickly, with perhaps later blogs on individual experiences.

I was a model child until Senior High when I discovered boys, decided I hated school and dropped out in Grade 12.  I left home, got pregnant and grew up real quick.

During the 60’s I became active in the peace movement, took conscientious objectors from California into my home, Image

marched in rallies, joined the ‘NDP’ party and protested the injustices of our society.

In the early 70’s it was Green Peace, Image

the environment, love ins, acid, hippies, another child and divorce. Image I got involved with street people and realized how lucky I was.  I had a job in a bank and two healthy children.  Most of my friends at this time were women, poor, uneducated with no family support.  They ate in soup kitchens and sold their pride to feed their children.  Again, I questioned the unjust society we were living in.

By 1979 I ended up in Edson Alberta, working for a bank.  My supervisor saw my potential (in other words, my big mouth, my determination, and my ‘fuck you’ attitude) and she suggested I apply for work at Luscar Sterco, a coal mine just outside of Edson, Alberta.  The timing was right, Companies were being legislated to hire token women in non traditional jobs.  With a little luck, lots of determination and my big mouth, I was finally hired to work in the mine.  My first position was as an oiler greaser in the maintenance plant. That was great fun.  One female, me and 25 men.  Eventually, I had an accident and I was sent down into the pit, to drive truck.  The powers that be thought this would be ‘easier on my back’….right!

Image   Yup, that’s me…after my bad fall I ended up with a serious back problem and several years later I was still working, and still fighting with Worker’s Compensation Board.  Unfortunately, I got shafted and after loosing everything, house, car, motorcycle etc. and a year on disability pension I said ‘screw you’ and in 1987 I headed North to the Yukon, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen..

Image  When I came to Whitehorse in 1987 I connected with many strong, independent women and finally found a focus for my anger and frustration over injustice.  I started working for the Women’s Directorate, which enabled me to live my beliefs.  In my own small way, I was able to stay connected to my causes.  www.womensdirectorate.gov.yk.ca/

Looking back over my life, I see the circle, continuous, never ending – always expanding.  My strength to carry on the struggle comes from my beliefs in the Universe, in the Goddess, Gaia, the great Mother.  Through her, I believe that one day we will achieve balance and harmony with our environment, our society and within our relationships.

ImageAnd so we continue on into the 90’s where I put into practice all the teachings and lessons learned.  It was another huge shift for me and that’s when I had my ‘God’ experience and manifested Barbados, West Indies into my life.

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life.  I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking.  I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

Joseph Campbell..The Power of Myth  Image

What Really Happened Was Boys, Booze and an Attitude

I remember Junior High and grade 9 with many fond memories.  Sleep overs,  volleyball tournaments, floor hockey tournaments, water skiing up the lake.  Up at 6:00 to head for gymnastics class.  Hanging out with the popular crowd. Being able to go to the teen dances and stay out til 11:00pm….wow!  Thinking I was invincible and life was a breeze.

I remember a summer full of fun and laughter, excitement and waiting for the ‘big day’ after September long weekend when I would finally get on a bus and go to ‘Senior High School’, outfitted with my new wardrobe from the Sears catalog.  I was looking forward to a continued relationship with all my girlfriends from Junior High.  I thought we would have loads of fun and that nothing would change.

Boy, did I get a kick in the teeth….the new school was so big and I felt so small.  I couldn’t find my friends and when I got to my homeroom, I didn’t recognize anyone.  I wanted to cry, but being in Senior High, that wasn’t allowed.  I felt dreadfully alone and out of place.  I think that was the start of my downfall.  I was younger than the other kids.  The way my birthday fell, I started school at age 5 so I was 15 in grade 10.  Emotionally immature and physically smaller than most of the other kids.  I remember being teased a lot and having a difficult time making new friends.

At the start of the year, I still got together after school and on weekends with my old friends, but that soon changed as they made their own new connections and I made mine.  Most of the kids at the new school knew each other.  They could walk to school and lived near by.  I came by bus and didn’t get an opportunity to stay after school and hang out.  It seemed the more I tried to make friends with the new girls, the more I was ostracized.  They were a tight group, and were not about to let a new kid into their circle.  Looking back, I realize if I had of waited a bit longer, things might have changed….but I didn’t.

I started hanging out with the wrong crowd, the only crowd that seemed to accept me.  It was all so new to me that it was exciting and fun at the beginning but then my grades started to fall and my parents started to lecture me.  Not a good thing to do with a stubborn pig headed person like myself.  I got instantly rebellious.  I forgot about all the things I loved about home, my life and my folks.  I started talking back , coping an attitude and just being a proper bitch.

I made it through grade 10 by the skin of my teeth and spent a miserable summer feeling sorry for myself…of course I ended up being grounded more than I got to go to the lake or to any other fun things.  My carefree days seemed to be over.

Grade 11 was more of the same.  Sneaking around, smoking, telling lies…oh mom, can I stay at Pat’s tonight?  It’s OK with her mom….Pat…oh mom, can I stay at Sandra’s?  Her mom says it’s OK and then we were off and running.  Our guy friends were older and already out of school.  Boy did we have some fun.  The guys had their own place and we called it the Sugar Shack.  We pulled some real foolish pranks.  Tipping over the dugouts at the ball field, stealing garden ornaments from peoples lawns.  Throwing eggs at police cars.  Skipping school.  Of course, we eventually got caught.  I remember washing police cars every Sunday for a month!  I remember how embarrassed I was when I had to go and apologize to all those folk who’s garden stuff we took.

My poor parents didn’t know what to do.  They grounded me and I just waited until they were asleep and jumped out my bedroom window.  They threatened me with reform school and I just said OK.  I was not a nice person at that stage in my life.  I treated my parents very poorly.  I remember two occasions very clearly.  I had jumped out the window and was out drinking with my friends.  I got so drunk that I threw up everywhere.  My friends brought me home and I was trying to sneak in when my dad came out and caught me.  What a sight I was.  My beautiful back combed beehive hairdo was stuck to my face, full of puke and my clothes were ripped where I had taken a nose dive on my knees and I could barely stand up.  I actually thought he might hit me but all he did was call my mother and tell her to deal with me.  I was very ashamed.  My mom just laughed and said ‘I think she has suffered enough’.  She put me in the shower and then into bed.  I was still loved….thank goodness for that.

The second memory is of my 16th birthday.  My girlfriends brother was having his 21st birthday on the same day as mine.  He was having a big party.  My father said I was not allowed to go.  Well, John’s mom was part of my mom’s sewing circle and she told mom she would be supervising so it would be OK for me to go.  Conveniently, my father was out so I went.  Part way through the night, I was standing there watching my friend Pat dancing.  She happened to have a long-necked bottle of beer in her hand.  Of course, she was jiving and as she did a twirl, her hand came out and that damn bottle hit me square in the mouth.  It’s a good thing I was drunk since it knocked out a good portion of my front teeth.  Oh the pain….but the worse was yet to come.

John’s mom concocted a story for me to tell my dad.  We decided that I had fallen going up the stairs and broke my teeth that way.  Well, my dear old dad was no pushover.  When he found out I was at the party he was livid and when he saw my mouth the next day he was angry.  Angrier than I had ever seen him.  I was permanently grounded!  He had the perfect punishment for me.  He dragged me to the dentist and he made me pay for the dental work.  Back then they didn’t do root canals, so I ended up in hospital where they pulled all my teeth and stuck in a pair of dentures which I still wear to this day.  Not the same ones of course.

In the meantime, at 17 I had just started a part-time job with the telephone company.  I worked weekends and some evenings.  This caused a bit of a problem.  It was pretty hard being a telephone operator with half my front teeth missing, but they were very understanding and it wasn’t long before I got my new dentures.  I figured I was a working girl now so why bother with school.  I quit half way through grade 12.  Never graduated.  Things were getting worse at home.  I had lost my virginity, was pretty wild and was totally disrespectful to my parents.  Right before they were going to send me off to reform school, I met a handsome fellow passing through town working for CN as a lineman.  Well, here was my way out!  He was headed off to Prince George so I put in for a transfer and off we went.  My father’s last words were ‘you made your bed so now lie in it’.

By 18 I was pregnant with my first child and that started a whole new chapter in my life.  I worked until my 8th month and then we moved to North Vancouver and my life changed yet again.  Thankfully, for the good…..and we are now up to 1965 and the birth of my first child.

What Determines Character

This mornings coffee resulted in snippets of memories, real or imagined, of my younger years and I’m still not sure which are which.  Continuing with my last thoughts of who or what makes us the person we become, I have taken a look at those years in hopes of some insight into this uncharted territory.

Surely parts of my character are easy to determine.  Traits taken from my parents and surrounding community must have been paramount in shaping the person I’ve become.

As a young girl I traipsed around the forest with my Day while he chopped trees and bucked up logs for firewood which he then sold.  He liked to hike and stay fit and active.  He was not one to laze away his days off.  We climbed the mountain every December to find the perfect Christmas tree, chopped it down and dragged it home to decorate.  These memories are still very vivid in my mind.  Was this what determined my ‘tom boy’ demeanor or was it from building go carts and toboggans, or playing with Dad’s tools in the basement.  Or was it from hanging out at the ball field while my dad umpired the junior ball team, with me practicing my spin as I threw that baseball as hard as I could.  Who knows….but I do know I loved every minute of it.

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My Dad at 21

I don’t have many Mom memories.  We didn’t ‘hang out’ so to speak.  I was that miracle baby that wasn’t supposed to be conceived or born.  So, from what my sisters tell me, I was spoiled and they were a bit resentful.  They were long gone and married by the time I was a teenager.  My oldest sis passed away very young, at 43, and my other sister is still doing well at 73.

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Me and my Sis, 2009

Mom didn’t teach me to cook or clean or any of those ‘important’ things a young girl should learn.  She did it all for me.  Loved me to pieces, sat me on her knee while she played the piano and sang to me..those are my mom memories.  Seeing her with her life jacket on, tied with a rope to a log so she could join us in the water and not be afraid.  Cooking dinner for Dad, saving me pieces of pineapple whipped cream square when the weekly sewing bee was at our house.  Lecturing me about all the holes in my pants and dirt on my face.  Trying to teach me to be a little lady….didn’t work.  I remember Girl Guides and churches…wanting to stamp and sing and clap my hands.  Loved the Pentecostal.  They really know how to wail.  Mom said I went to every church in our town, just to ‘try them out’.  That phase ended when I was about 12. Mom was such a happy, carefree stay at home person, not at all outdoorsy or athletic.  The opposite of my Dad, and me.

I don’t remember playing with dolls.  I remember playing kick the can and shooting snakes with a bee bee gun.  I remember my sisters chasing me with garter snakes and making me cry.

I lived in an ‘all boy’ neighborhood.  About 8 of them.  We were a gang and ran around like ragamuffins, climbing trees, steeling corn on the cob and giving it to my sisters to cook down at the lake.  We always thought we got away with it but of course our parents knew all about it.

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My daughter Kim, my Mom and me 1999

When I was about 8 a girl moved into our neighborhood, just down the street from us.  She was much more timid than me and didn’t like to play with the boys.  Eventually she learned to join in, but she always managed to stay clean and not rip her clothes.  I think I was a bit jealous.  My growing up years were full of fun and adventures.  Perhaps my character was defined by all those young years surrounded by boys and doing ‘boy’ things.  Perhaps that’s what gave me the strength and courage to be a bit different in my journey towards adulthood. But, of course, there were those very tumultuous times in between, before I really grew up…so to speak.

For awhile, I even managed to present myself as a young lady and was nominated Teen of the Week along with a picture and article in the local paper.  I had forgotten all about that article and while celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday back in 1996, she pulled it out of a box, all yellowed and brittle and said ‘remember this’…I was so proud of you.  For once you were a young lady.  It sure got a good laugh out of both of us.

I really was the perfect kid until about age 15 and then all hell broke loose and I became a different person.  What happened to all the ‘teachings’ from my parents, the lessons learned, the common sense.  It seems everything my parents had taught me just disappeared!  They taught me to listen to others, to be respectful, to be kind to those less fortunate.  I was taught manners and discipline and all the good things necessary to build good character.  These were the dreaded teen age years, 14 and in grade 9.  That’s where everything started to change….for the better or for the worse I really don’t know.  Mistakes, once made, can change your course in life in an instance..so let’s see if any more memories pop into my head for the next course in life…