The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

My mind wandered today, following a discussion about home schooling, thinking about my own childhood. School, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good: Mrs. xxx, my grade six teacher, a woman who was born in Germany, German speaking with a heavy accent in English, Jewish, escaped Germany buried in a coal car with her parents and sister during World War Two. I loved her, quite literally. She encouraged me to write, and did not tolerate bullies in the classroom, or in the playground when she was on duty. She was an incredible human being.

The bad: Miss xxx, my grade nine typing instructor, a woman who thought a physical disability was a challenge to her authority, an act of defiance. I would be sitting there struggling with the typing, my right arm on fire with the pain of it. My elbow stuck out, it couldn’t be lowered without breaking it, which meant I certainly could not lower it myself. She would approach me from behind with her wooden yard stick, take a wide swing and CRACK. Right down on my arm and elbow. “Elbow down”, she would shout at me. I get a stomach ache just thinking about the meanness of it, the humiliation of being beaten in front of the class, and of having my “difference” contemptuously exposed. She was one mean little human being. There was no recourse.

The ugly: I was co-captain of the cheerleading team. When it was time to run auditions for new members to the team, a jury of teachers graded the girls performances. It was down to the captain and I to tally the scores and announce the winners. The captain had a favourite who did not make the cut. She wanted to alter the records to cut another girl, who she didn’t like, and bring her favourite onto the team. My response was NO! She pushed. NO! She fussed. NO! She threatened me with social disapproval. NO! NO! NO! NO! She lost the struggle, and I remember watching the girl at the games, the girl who deserved to be there, but might not have been. I enjoying that she was such a great member of the team. I never told the girl who deserved to be there what happened, it wouldn’t have made her feel better about being there. We all knew the captain was an asshole, we needn’t have counted the ways.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EDT Thursday 12 July 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.4°C
Dew point: 20.0°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: SSE 19 km/h
Humidex: 31
Visibility: 24 km


“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803 – 1882

Not always surprised to find though, some bullies have weapons and a long memory… choose your battles.

A Series of Wonderful Events

A cluster of wonderful things are happening for the people around me, just at the moment. Life can be like that, with the good, and the bad, a series of events can take your breath away. I’ve had both in my life, clusters of negative events, and clusters of positive events. I like the clusters of positive events the best!

Closest to home is the good news that came for Attila yesterday. Last January he applied for a better position with the company he works for. He was interviewed last month, and had to take tests after that. Yesterday he got the call, he got the job. The pay is a bit better, which is great, because at the present pay level every single penny counts, so more penny’s are most welcome. But the real bonus, the most wonderful part of the new job, is that at least for the foreseeable future Attila will be working days! Imagine that, no sleep schedules to contend with, hooray! Of course Attila will be taking on more responsibility and will have to learn yet another set of skills, but he will get into the rhythm of that within weeks. I don’t think it will take us very long to get used to the day shift, as we have been lucky enough to have worked the day shift most of our lives. Attila’s good fortune affects my life directly.

Within the family good news came last week for my sister-the-oldest-girl. Her daughter was accepted into medical school in Ontario. My niece has worked long and hard at university for the last four years to achieve this goal. My sister has worked hard to finance my niece’s education. So this is great news for their family! Now the hard work begins for my niece!

More good new within the family for my my sister-the-youngest-girl. Her youngest daughter completed her undergraduate degree. My sister has successfully seen all three of her children through to completing their university degrees.

Well, that is three, the usual cluster of events in my experience. This was a very good cluster I think, a lot of positive life changing events.

This is our first weekend of the new day shift schedule, we have both Saturday and Sunday off, and Attila does not have to sleep during the day on Sunday so that he can work Sunday night. Since the weather is cloudy, rainy, and cool, we decided to stay home at Mist Cottage and putter with domestic chores. Today Attila will be pruning trees, I will be spraying clothing with permethrin and replacing the drawer linings in Iris. We will head out to the camp for a brief visit later in the week, on a sunny day, to see what it looks like with the leaves out, determine how bad the biting bugs are, and decide what next needs doing before we take Iris out for her maiden voyage.

Another cool and rainy day here, green growing things are looking perky. I decided to move one piece of furniture in the living room to a new and better location. But, that meant that almost every other piece of furniture in the living room had to be moved too, and everything had to be cleaned. That one little decision, to move one piece of furniture, took over the whole day. Yikes, small space living is exciting!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 7:00 AM EDT Saturday 14 May 2016
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 6 km
Temperature: 9.9°C
Dewpoint: 8.8°C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: SSE 9 km/h


We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.
H. G. Wells
1866 – 1946