Archive for the ‘memories’ Category

I mentioned this on FB last night, but a pet deserves more than just a post or mention that typically lasts only a few minutes in this crazy busy world of info overload.

from FB… “Sadly lost our last of the original 3 chickens today, “Pumpkin”. Passed quietly after almost 9 yrs of entertaining and teaching us what having chickens as pets is like. We raised her from 3 days old. She was like a dog, came when called, always nearby when we were outside, liked to dig in the garden with us. All with the added benefit of giving us eggs. So, a little better than a pet dog in some ways. She’ll be missed. Hopefully see her again on rainbow bridge.”

We didn’t really know what we were getting into when deciding to get chickens nearly 9 years ago, sure we’d read a lot on the internet and some books and talked to some people who had them but until you actually have them yourself you really don’t know how much personality and life these little characters have.
Pumpkin, named for the orange head and black body, helped teach us what worked and how tough these little feather friends are. She was one of the original 3, Pumpkin, Ginger and Zena, and lived the longest.  She also helped train each new chicken we brought into the flock.  Taught them not to wander onto the road, (they have full roam of our property with no fence around it, just farmer’s field, and a highway out front) where it was safe to sit and roost, to always come running when we called, to stay close when we were digging to get all the good bugs, etc..

They adjust to the weather, even our cold harsh winters up here. Sure they may not like walking on the snow, but they just stay cooped up (pun intended) for the really harsh weather and come out whenever it is sunny enough and they can see grass, even if it is just a path I cleared thru the snow for them.  Rain, sun or snow, heat or cold, they just endure it.

They are not just dumb animals, they are more than just food.  I hope that me sharing a little piece of her life story makes a few people realize that they are not just meat.  They really are no different than a dog or a cat, they are pets and our lives are better for having known them.

RIP little Pumpy, wait for us on rainbow bridge, there is a good number of our beloved animals there to keep you company.


July 4th 1966, Liverpool.  A young family, mom, dad, two young kids -3 and just about to turn 1 (me) – board an ocean liner “The Empress of Canada” and head off to a new world and a new life not really knowing what to expect other than some information given to them from what was basically state run travel agents telling them about all the possiblities in this new country, Canada, and more specifically this small town London Ontario.  Leaving behind nearly everything, the journey begins to this new land of possibility as it was toted back in the 60’s.  The economy in England being bad at the time, with not enough good jobs to go around, packing up and moving was the best solution for a young family.  Emigrating from their birth country, leaving behind their extended family, brothers sisters and parents, and moving in the hopes of making better lives for themselves and their kids.  Alone in a country nearly 40 times the size of the United Kingdom.

This was my life and the beginning of becoming Canadian.  Traveling by boat, me too young to remember, on board a massive boat (for the time) and starting anew in a small town named after that oh so more famous town in England.  Never forgetting our English roots, but proud to be citizens of this great country we’ve called home for nearly 50 years.

BTW, It’s great that all of the US celebrates this occasion with me, but the fireworks and hooplaw are a bit much and a bit embarrassing.  Maybe just a nice card or something to mark the event from now on, thanks eh.


8 years. 

Posted: June 3, 2015 in memories

  It’s been 8 years. And while I can’t say a day doesn’t go by without thinking about my older brother, I can say that most of the memories are good ones. Mostly childhood shared experiences or family adventures from my youth. Goofy things we did or things that happened that in looking back make me smile.  Some of them are so vivid it’s hard to believe they happened so long ago.  Did we really learn to swim (and dive) in a 4 ft deep above ground pool?

June 3rd 2007 was a bad day. But a lifetime of memories to cherish and remember make the anniversary of it, and the days in between a little easier.  Don’t get me wrong we were close enough in age that sibling rivalry was a real issue, and oneupmanship was rampant and I’m amazed we didn’t get hurt more often because of the things we dared each other to do. 

I admit some days do pass where I’m not sure I’ve thought about my brother, I think it’s natural that as life goes on there will be days that are just so busy that my mind is constantly elsewhere and preoccupied. Coping mechanism or fact of life I’m not sure, but I know that I’m lucky in having had over 40 years of experiences and time on this earth to recall and reminisce about. 

I’m reminded of a quote from Dr Seuss,… “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”. 

Ride on bro. 


Watching the latest Apple WWDC keynote on Monday reminded me how much things change and advance, as well as how quickly things come and go.  Not just in technology, where the lifespan of a device is sped up to near ridiculous levels, but in all parts of life.  To that end, the incredible early 70’s song “Changes” by the thin white duke David Bowie comes to mind, especially one line in particular… “Time may change me, But I can’t trace time“.

Time does change us and we can’t always point to exactly when it happened, or why.  Change isn’t just around us, it’s within us too.  It has to be, not only to grow physically, but mentally as well.  Not only to grow but to adapt.  Not only to adapt but to accept.  Just as change is unavoidable, so is acceptance of those changes if you want to keep moving forward.  For this reason we all have to accept and live with changes.  Good or bad, they are going to happen.  Trying to stop change is akin to trying to hold water in your hands – eventually its going to slip thru despite your best efforts.

I get a little pensive and introspective at this time of year, as the anniversary of my brother’s death looms.  Thoughts tend to shift towards the ‘what if’s‘ and the ‘if onlys‘ that anyone who has lost someone unexpectedly inevitably ponders.  What would thing be like if it hadn’t happened? In the end, you have to push those thoughts aside and accept and adapt to the changes in life.   Time does change us.   Accept.  Adapt.  But never forget what life was like beforehand.

rest in peace bro.  ride on.


sparkleSometimes inspiration comes from the strangest of places.

An example of this fact is the quote that inspired this particular post “One of what we all are, Pelly. Less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea. But it seems that some of the drops sparkle, Pelly. Some of them do sparkle!” – Camelot (1967)

Sparkle.  It’s a funny sounding word, bringing to mind the glimmer of the lights at Christmas, the first snow at night as  they catch the glow of the streetlights, or as in the quote, the way the water seems to shimmer and shine as the sun sets.  All of these sights epitomize the word, but the sparkle I’m thinking of is less visual, more of a feeling or intangible thing.

People can sparkle or bring light to your world.  Maybe they don’t sparkle for everyone, but I’d hazard to guess that everyone sparkles for someone.  Like a little glimmer of happiness and comfort in the sometimes dark cold world.  Oftentimes that sparkle is missed most when it is gone.  Sure, we may have noticed it while it was there, but how often do you take the time to make note of it and say something.  Again, if I was to guess, I’d say not often, certainly not often enough.

Today is that day that comes for my family with mixed emotions.  June 3rd.  My parent’s wedding anniversary which should be a happy occasion, forever overshadowed by the unexpected death of my older brother.  I’ve mentioned it before, and will again I’m sure, because this day marks the day that a certain sparkle left the world.  We lost a brother, a son, a husband and a father.  Leaving behind kids that looked up to him and saw his sparkle regardless of what was going on in their lives.

As Joni Mitchell so aptly said in Big Yellow taxi, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone“.

I remember standing in the kitchen as kids with my bro doing dishes (this is back before dishwashers) and singing along to that song, making up all kinds of alternate lyrics, most of which made no sense but made us laugh nonetheless, and helped pass the time.  Looking back it wasn’t such a chore, it was actually a fond memory that still stays with me, much like the sparkle that may have left this mortal coil but remains in my memory.

People touch your lives and leave behind little pieces of themselves all the time, little glimmers and sparkles.  Remember to take the time to let them know, and once they are gone, just remember them.

ride on Bro,