Canada Geese!

Some of you are regularly blessed (?) with Canada Geese. They are very large birds which can be a cause for concern. We experienced an incident once where we were on a bridge overlooking our harbour, and were watching a flock taking off towards us.  They were gaining height rapidly when air turbulence  caused by neighbouring buildings triggered a rapid loss of height … as they were  still approaching us. For a few moments I thought we would have to drop down behind the concrete wall along the edge of the bridge, but they all recovered sufficient height to go over our heads and went on their way. The other thing about Canada Geese is that they are prolific poopers!

Those of you who are not in Canada, but are visited by Canada Geese, may enjoy the pics below which were taken yesterday and today (11th).  You may even enjoy the sheer volume of this large, heavy and prolific pooper that lives here, and it would not surprise me if you were glad that you do not get so many!

Note: The lake is flat, so those dark lines in the distance are not waves … but more and more Canada Geese!

If they all took flight at the same time, the noise from their wing flapping together with their “honking” would be very prominent, in total contrast with an otherwise peaceful setting.

Aspiration or Inspiration?

“Treat others as I would like them to treat me.”

It’s a wonderful basis for living, and I adopted it many years ago. Of course, how effective I have been is open to debate, but I like to think that my “compliance percentage” is quite high. The problem though is that it is often misunderstood. I know that because, when I broach the concept with some people, they respond with “Aren’t you disappointed though when they don’t behave accordingly, or when you go out of your way to help somebody, but they never reciprocate … don’t you wonder why you bothered?”

It is so important to understand that the quote was not “Treat others as I would expect them to treat me”, but rather “as I would like them to treat me.”  Understanding the significant difference is important if one intends adopting that concept. An “expectation” that is not achieved can be really disappointing … but a “like” that does not follow through is just a part of living.

There are a number of areas which are important to understand if we are to role model effectively.

We have to understand that each of us is a product of so many factors – parental influences, childhood experiences, teen experiences, location, lifestyle, traumatic experiences, success and failures etc. etc.

Romantics will often stress our uniqueness; our individuality. They  are quite correct. Because we are all exposed to so many (and varied) influences as we proceed through life, we are indeed absolutely unique individuals. This means that I need never be disappointed at how “you” behave. I could of course not like how you handle a specific situation, but I just need to remember that your life influences are different from mine. If I can always remember that, then I can accept what you do/don’t do. I may not like  your actions in a specific situation, but I can accept that your life has taken you in that direction.

I am reminded of a lesson I learned many years ago when my two teenagers were being particularly challenging – “There is no reason why you cannot always love your children. You may not love what they do, but you can always love them for who they are.” – My issue with that was learning to separate the person from the action. I did not find that easy to do, but it makes so much sense when you think about it. Why should we stop loving anybody simply because of what they did, when all they did was behave in accordance with their life experiences?

We should perhaps each spend a little time to understand who we are … what/who were our biggest influences … who we admired, and why, as we grew up … what made us happy, and what brought us to tears … our emotional highs and lows …. our successes, and our failures.

If each of us was a cake recipe, it would indeed be a very complicated recipe, and each cake would be unique. Once we have grasped that perspective, it is so much easier to accept others simply for who they are.

“Treat as others as I would like them to treat me.”

Does this provide a goal for you to aspire to, or does it simply inspire more thought? Regardless of your answer, somebody once said “Role model how you would like the world to be.” There are more of us than there are politicians so, rather than wait for our leaders to move in this direction, we should simply take charge and demonstrate our desire for a better world. There are millions of us, so can you just imagine what such a common perspective could achieve?

 

 

Don’t ……………………………!

Don’t comment … Don’t dwell on this past year … Don’t stress over your current life challenges … Don’t worry about next year. Just listen … relax …  and have a wonderful Christmas holiday, and here’s a thought to take with you into the new year:

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”  (Kalu Ndukwe Kalu)

Twas A Month Before Christmas 2020!

Twas A Month Before Christmas …

T’was a month before Christmas,
And all through the town,
People wore masks,
That covered their frown.

The frown had begun
Way back in the Spring,
When a global pandemic
Changed everything.

They called it corona,
But unlike the beer,
It didn’t bring good times,
It didn’t bring cheer.

Contagious and deadly,
This virus spread fast,
Like a wildfire that starts
When fuelled by gas.

Airplanes were grounded,
Travel was banned.
Borders were closed
Across air, sea and land.

As the world entered lock-down
To flatten the curve,
The economy halted,
And folks lost their verve.

From March to July
We rode the first wave,
People stayed home,
They tried to behave.

When summer emerged
The lock-down was lifted.
But away from caution,
Many folks drifted.

Now it’s November
And cases are spiking,
Wave two has arrived,
Much to our disliking.

Front-line workers,
Doctors and nurses,
Try to save people,
From riding in hearses.

This virus is awful,
This COVID-19.
There isn’t a cure.
There is no vaccine

It’s true that this year
Has had sadness a plenty,
We’ll never forget
The year 2020.

And just ‘round the corner –
The holiday season,
But why be merry?
Is there even one reason?

To decorate the house
And put up the tree,
When no one will see it,
No-one but me.

But outside my window
The snow gently falls,
And I think to myself,
Let’s deck the halls!

So, I gather the ribbon,
The garland and bows,
As I play those old carols,
My happiness grows.

Christmas ain’t cancelled
And neither is hope.
If we lean on each other,
I know we can cope.

Copyright-Shawna Hickling
By: Shawna Hickling, Calgary, AB, Canada
November 19, 2020

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Mid-November Picnic!

We’re a strange species aren’t we? We take so much for granted that, not only is it questionable whether we truly appreciate what we have, but also whether we take maximum advantage of our circumstances.

Yesterday (November 11), we decided to take full advantage of (what may be) our last warm day before Winter arrives. We decided to have a picnic down by the lake!

We have had many lovely days since May/June, but it took possibly our last warm day of the year to actually think about enjoying lunch down by the lake!

We think Ray is looking forward to the cooler temperatures, but would tolerate a picnic in these conditions as long as we share our food with him (which of course we did!).

Fall/Autumn!

Our seasons tend to be Summer and Winter, with very short Spring and Fall seasons separating them. This year however, we have been treated to a few weeks of Fall. What wonderful walks we have had (down to the lake and back) admiring the various trees in their seasonal leaf colours which absolutely “glow” when the sun is on them.

Ray is so much happier as well now the temperature is lower and the humidity negligible!

Age and/or COVID?

Since COVID-19 became the uninvited guest in our world, Carol has been doing our shopping as necessary, while I have been keeping a very low public profile. The ramifications of that created this Post!

A small family store just outside of our general urban area had been highly recommended for their pies and pastries. Given that it would be around a 30 minute drive to get there, we decided to use the opportunity for all three of us to go and have an adventure.

As an aside, and because of our shopping arrangements, I have done very little regular buying of anything these past 6 months or so! On the isolated occasions when I have been at a checkout, there has been no money transacted (no touching of money) … but rather a simple “tap ‘n’ go with a credit card.

With the above information in mind …

We arrived at the store and, given that Ray can get extremely distraught and very vocal if Carol leaves us, it was decided that I would go in and buy some baked treats for us. It was a very small store, so I had quickly selected what I thought would be really nice and proceeded to a table that was obviously the checkout area.

A young man totalled up my purchases and gave me the credit card machine, which I intuitively tapped, but nothing happened. I then saw the little sign taped onto the machine … “No Tap ‘n’ Go.”

My reaction was confusion. I had been using tap ‘n’ go for the past 6 months or so now so how was I supposed to pay? The young man told me to insert my card. I must have given him a confused look (Where do I insert the card?) , because he pointed to the slot at the bottom of the machine. Ah yes of course! It was all coming back to me now.

So, having inserted the card, I waited. The young man was watching and leaned in towards me and said. “It needs your PIN number.” Of course! Now I am feeling a little self-conscious. How could I have forgotten that. As my finger hovered over the buttons, I thought “What is my PIN number?” I had a good idea what it might be, but rather than risk bringing the store to a standstill while I fumbled some options, and with the risk of my transaction being ultimately cancelled, I excused myself while I went outside to ask Carol! She knew it!

I returned to the store; carefully entered my PIN number, and watched in delight as the transaction was approved and the paper starting coming out of the machine.

“Would you like the receipt?” he asked

“Yes please” I replied (with a sigh of relief that it was all over now). I then turned towards the exit door, with my bag of baked treats in hand.

“Sir!” I heard from behind me. I stopped and turned. “Sir … you might want to remove your credit card from the machine!”