Better Watch Out

23 Nov

Watch Out, Or You’ll Be On The Naughty List

Being ten years younger than myself, Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, cannot believe there was life before television. I grew up when the world was changing from listening to the radio to watching the television. Many of the early television shows had been successful radio programs. It was an impressive time when people could see with the television screen the folks they had only known by their distinctive voices on the radio.

In 1952, I was six years old, and most everyone knew the voice of Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, on the radio. From the early 1930s to the mid-1950’s, Gene Autry was a big success in radio, television and record recordings. He appeared in 93 movies, 91 television productions. He had nine gold records and one platinum record as a singer.

Either / Or?

19 Nov

You’re Either The Statue Or The Pigeon Sitting On Top Of It

My old neighbor from Saskatchewan is not a preacher, but he is one of those un-ordained folks that can give you a sermon about anything. Ed was bent on sermonizing yesterday when he phoned me, because I answered, “Okay, I guess, when he asked me, “How are you?”

Usually, when I set Ed off, it blows over quickly, but yesterday he got stuck in his need to straighten me out about giving him the kind of answer he wants to hear. He started in, “Give me a definite answer either you are good or sick as a dog. You must be able to say if you are either an energizer bunny or a dead battery. You are either Dr. Jekyll or Dr. Hyde. You’ re the statue or the pigeon sitting on it. I hate it when I do not get a straight answer to a simple question,” Ed lectured me.


10 Nov

Growling, Grizzly Bear Outbursts Towards Everybody

“It is just a phase that happens to senior citizens,” I told Ed, my old neighbor, who called from Melville, Saskatchewan yesterday. The wife had answered the phone and had told Ed that I was crankier than usual, and acting like a Grinch to everyone. My wife’s words were not totally true when she told Ed, “Ray could ruin your day, as he is between toxic and radioactive with everyone, so be warned.”

There was a thread of truth in the wife’s words, as I have been regularly irritated and snapping at others lately. Ed wasn’t surprised and assured me that seniors are loaded guns ready to fire off at anyone who annoys them. They wither up in their body, but their tongues get sharper and meaner as they age. 

Both Getting and Giving

8 Nov

An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, Of Candy That You Take Home To Eat

“A smorgasbord of candy of endless variety,” is what Ed said that his grandchildren received in Edmonton, on Halloween. They were excited about being able to serve themselves to various candies, chocolate bars, and chips at almost every door. My old neighbor said it was like an all-you-can-eat buffet that the children got to take home. I agreed with Ed that at Halloween folks do generously and gladly offer treats to the children who appear at their door.

Ed said that no one minds giving some candy once a year to kids. Giving once a year motivates more response than when compared to donating once a month or once a week. It has been my experience that in various congregations, an annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, for the local food bank yielded the most generous giving. Ed said that was because everyone is ready to give the foodstuff in their cupboards that nobody likes after about a year of it taking up space.  

Don’t Forget

8 Nov

Celebrate Halloween By Eating The Treats Yourself

“It is a pretty sad world when people don’t pass out treats to kids on Halloween,” Ed informed me. He was referring to our condo building, which is for over-the-hill folks. We live in a childless building unless you count some who are childish in their senior moments. Ed is right, Halloween is not celebrated here, not even one decoration goes up.

Moving here, I missed sampling the candy and chips for the trick or treaters. I also missed eating the left-over treats. This year I was done with turning my back on Halloween. I bought the tiny chocolate bars and the small bags of chips, and have them in a big treat dish. Halloween will last about a week here I hope, if I eat a few treats each day in honor of Halloween.


22 Oct

Related For Better and Worse, Keeps Families Interesting

“Granddaughters have a way of amazing you with their maturity and independence,” I told Ed.  Hannah, our oldest granddaughter, came last week for a short, whirlwind visit. “Being nineteen she wanted to see the campuses of the University of the Fraser Valley, here at Chilliwack and in Abbotsford. She also conspired with her grandmother to accomplish lots of shopping and nonstop activity. Usually, our family is a quiet two, but when children or grandchildren come, it is a whole different, welcome, world.”

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, had to remind me of the comment of George Burns, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”  Then Ed added, “A comfortable two-day drive away.” He also had to add that families can be messy since we are related for better or worse. He ended with the saying, “Being related is no guarantee of love.”