Ageism

Ageism, the lucky amongst us are going to face this type of discrimination, later rather than sooner. I urge every one of us to keep an eye on how we interact with people younger or older than ourselves. Respect for differences should cover just about any situation. When we assume the way we look at the world is “normal”, we do a disservice to everyone, including ourselves. I wonder, why would I find the comment, “you look so young” complimentary? It always upsets me, makes me feel uncomfortable and unhappy, aware of impending loss. I can tell it is meant as a compliment, so I smile. But if this is so important to people, what the heck am I going to do when I don’t look so young??? It will happen, if I’m lucky. I really don’t want to think of myself as “young looking”; I want to be “Maggie looking” and I want that to be all right. I can carry “Maggie looking” to my the end of my days, it is that flexible a compliment. My Dad died of colon cancer. I have regular colonoscopies, which, for me, are always potentially fatal due to human error with medications … Continue reading

Thin Layer of “Fools”

Last night Attila and I watched a program about the history of Scotland. I was interested, many of my ancestors came to Canada from Scotland. My grandfather spoke with a mild Scottish accent, which I picked up and was ridiculed for at primary school. The word history is a broad term, defined by the Oxford Dictionary in several ways. It seems that the new English meaning of the word is focused on “record of important or public events”. In the media these events seem always to be focused, in turn, on power, struggles for power, violence and violent death. When a book or a television program describes history, it is almost without fail a description of a very, very thin top layer of ambitious climbers. Seldom do I see descriptions of community building and strategies for human harmony; mostly I see long chronologies of wars, battles, political allegiances and betrayals. Certainly my high school history courses focused on these themes. However, the origin of the word history offers more than this: “Origin: late Middle English (also as a verb): via Latin from Greek historia ‘finding out, narrative, history’, from histōr ‘learned, wise man” This origin of the word history does … Continue reading

Kindling

This morning I awoke at five to find Attila up and engaging the day. He is going in to work early, as it is very busy and he wants to get a start on things early. Before leaving for work Attila has started a fire in the wood stove downstairs to keep the place warm today, and he has assembled all the kindling I need to begin curing the masonry heater for the winter. I have my first burn crackling merrily in the masonry hearth as I write. Curing the masonry heater is an annual ritual, necessary to slowly expel all moisture from the refractory cement core, to avoid steam during the force of a full fire burn. I will burn five or more small fires throughout the day today, and will continue to build incrementallly larger fires for the next five days. In five days a small amount of heat will begin to radiate from the heater and it will be ready for full service. I am not working this week, a short break, so this is the perfect time to charge the heater. Tending fires requires my attention at intervals, all day long. So, I have set the … Continue reading

What on earth…

I just had to write again today. I don’t know how I bumped into this collections of photos on the net. I don’t know what I could possibly have in common with a New York beat cop. I don’t know what constitutes excellence in the world of photography. I don’t care either. I know that this human being has created images, using a camera, that speak to me clearly. Here are two photographs I enjoyed, and am grateful that the individual who created them cared to share them. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kowoods/4104634844/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/kowoods/3819011786/in/photostream/ But for the Internet these images would not have been available to me.

Little things…

Attila and I headed for the little house over the Thanksgiving weekend.  We took the scenic route, thinking that the sunny day would enhance the colours of the fall leaves.  The sunny day was breathtaking, but most of the leaves had fallen.  No matter, we enjoyed our drive, even if it took an extra hour. The second bedroom at the little house has been such a mess that we have just shut the door and forgotten about it.  The smell in that little room has been awful.  Now that the forced air furnace is working the smell is not confined to that room.  On Sunday morning Attila managed to remove the last of the tiles from the floor, a job that Lares had done much of the weekend we took possession of the house, they were all covered with mildewed carpet backing.  Attila removed the bits and dust from the gluey sub-floor and put down a new mahogany sub-floor.  He then applied a primer coat of paint to the walls and finally applied primer to the new mahogany sub-floor.  The paint smell was awful, but superior by far to the smell of mildew! There are still holes in the walls, … Continue reading