Sep 16


Not getting rid of stuff is the story of my life. It builds up. In my office, out in the shed, downstairs in the house. It should have gone years ago. Maybe even decades. And finally, we did something about it.

The first was the large wall to wall orange carpet – and underpadding – that’s been in what is really the main living room. Forty years old, and then some. It’s tried to keep up with the times, wrinkled as it is in some places, but I think it is tired of hanging around anyway.

“My God, have you still got that carpet?” exclaimed a visitor I hadn’t seen for some time. “Hasn’t anyone put you straight that it stinks of old age, dog pee and poop, spilled wine and booze over the years. Surely Rosanne has been murmuring that it’s gotta go.”

She finally put her foot – both feet – down last Friday, telling me a handyman with good credentials was coming Tuesday to rip it out. He will put that type of flooring where the pieces make a tight seal. Laminate? That’s the name I’m looking for.

We needed only to remove everything on the floor or in cabinets. We had cases, those old types with the rounded tops, full of  my late father’s letters and sermons from long ago. One contained stuff all wrapped in paper and tied neatly with string.

I opened them first, unwrapping each piece to find uniforms from the GGHGs, the Governor General Horse Guards, clothing that I’m sure went back to the First World War. He was in both, getting shot at Vimy Ridge The trunk contained his spats, riding britches, spurs. Etc.

The heavy great coat was, I’m sure, was from the second world war where he was a chaplin. Being a clergyman/major with, the Canadian Second Division.

The trunk also came with an otter cap in perfect condition, along with a beret, among other things.

All this, to say nothing of cupboard full of glasses and plates, a full set of Wedgewood china, passed along to me when my mother died, because no one else wanted it.

Author’s Comment: This should read Author’s dilemma, having to chose what to keep, what to pass along to anyone who might be interested, and unhappily, what to discard.

The floor is done, giving new breath to the original greyish barnwood walls; the large brick fireplace fashioned after what you would have found in large kitchens of a bygone era. Finishing up will surely take us into the next century.

Posted on September 16th, 2018 by Clarke
Sep 9


We seem to be missing something wrong, when millennials, straight out of school, can’t find a job. Especially those from university or college. If they’re lucky enough to find one, what they’re facing is a few months of what they call ‘internship’.

That’s another name for slave labor. I know, we all must learn from the ground up. But surely getting less than the benchmark minimum wage isn’t exactly kosher. Oh yes, businesses can get away with it because the grads are classified as just that. Interns.

I recall in the good old days – they’re not that far off – when you were hired for a job and given, say, three, four months  to prove yourself.

As a new employee, you’d sweat over it, knowing a pink slip could flutter down from the lofty offices above with your name on it. And out you go, having to start all over again somewhere else.

Most young grads, now, appreciate the opportunity to learn on the job. It gives them a good look at what’s ahead. What keeps them off-balance is, at the end of three or four months internship, most, from what I understand, are not hired on, on a permanent basis.

If I have any advice, stick to it. Don’t get discouraged enough that you don’t put your heart into it, or figure all this pressure on you to succeed isn’t worth it. Getting knocked down isn’t the hard part. It’s picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and starting all over again. Amen.

Author’s comment: Here’s an aside that will make many of you, Rosanne and I included, smile from ear to ear. We drove to one of those theater conglomerates to see ‘Julia – Naked’, a film well worth seeing. There was, off to one side, a large metal tray packed with ice cold beer.

“Would you like it in a glass,” the young woman asked us behind the table, “or in  a can? Or would you rather have wine. Red or white?” We settled beer, for two beers. One in a can, one in a glass. Seeing one hell of a wonderful film while drinking a beer? Can you believe it?

Posted on September 9th, 2018 by Clarke