The Gift of My Father

Wonderful gifts shared from the past.

Chronic Conditions & Life Lessons

An Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit

If I could give all I knew one present for Christmas it would be an itty-bitty piece of my father.  I suppose many daughters think this about their own.  The lucky ones.  Mine is like no other man I’ve ever met or known before.

My grandmother waited 36 years before delivering her, “only begotten son” on a snowy Christmas dusk in the year of 1932.  Five older sisters awaited his arrival, while an older angelic brother looked down from Heaven above. A younger sister of blonde and a baby brother lost were born during the years that came shortly afterward.  My father was always the only brother…his parent’s only son.

A humble man who has the kindest soul, my father is always loyal and true.  He’s taught me subtle, wise lessons in life.  As a girl, I watched his gentle mannerisms while listening to his quiet words, soaking up hushed teachings like a dry…

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Wishful Thoughts with Occasional Humor by B. B. Wright

Thinking BearWishful Thoughts with Occasional Humor
Volume One
by
B. B. Wright

That anyone who has been hurt by the actions or words of another forgives and goes in peace;

That our politicians no longer opt for partisan point-scoring and begin to point-score on sound policymaking;

That if chaos threatens the present World Order, our expectations of what governments can achieve is balanced with what is feasible;

That we remember to work together collaboratively on the global economic and political fronts to combat pestilence, war, climate change and neglect, so that no country suffers;

That it is better for the public and politicians to over-react than under-react when it comes to delineating whether or not the nature of a threat (like Ebola) is clear;

That nationalism—the most enduring of the “isms” that begat so many wars from the previous centuries—be dampened and re-directed to more benign activities like ping-pong;

That the unshaven slacker that dwells in my basement will finally move out;

That Kim Jong-Un, North Korea’s Supreme leader, smiles more but not at our expense;

That Alice in Alice in Wonderland has a big birthday party in 2015;

That magic enjoys a golden period despite the illusion-destroying spoilers who Google;

That all cartoonists have a hay-day during all upcoming political elections;

That we rethink the long-hours culture and the tyranny of technology so that we can escape without being tracked down;

That people put down their cellphones and video games and actually interact with people face to face;

That the marketplace never trumps our stewardship of the earth;

That all children can attend schools worldwide without fears of any kind;

That as I age I can stay awake past eight o’clock in the evening;

That I continue to hate the frequency and number of TV commercials that ruin a good program and put me to sleep;

That The Big Bang Theory continues to bring lots of laughter;

That my personal video recorder (PVR) continues to function so that I do not need to watch commercials;

That Jimmy Fallon continues to do his zany skits;

That the internet shall be free and open and shall have its rights undiminished and its liberties unimpaired in perpetuity;

That all my children leave home before their retirement;

That we never set precedents that validate terrorists’ actions;

That I successfully foil my cat’s plot to kill me;

That I will begin to record all the funny things my grandchildren say and do;

That my grandchildren stop recording on YouTube all the funny things I say and do as I age;

That my grandchildren stop hiding my glasses and false teeth when I’m asleep;

That someone will design a sock that toes will never poke through;

That someone will design nail clippers that catch the clippings;

That I remember to…I forgot;

That I always have enough Viagara so I don’t pee on my slippers;

That the year 2015 be the best ever for everyone;

Tradition

Chronic Conditions & Life Lessons

The sky opened early this morn, sprinkling miniature shrubbery of forest green with flakes of dry white.  Peeking outside from the inside of kitchen warmth, I was reminded of a silver-colored tin, bigger than a soup can, yet smaller than a breadbox.  It had a red-painted handle to the side, making it easy for hands of little ones to grab and hold and shake.  When turned upside down, magicdust sprinkled from the top of it.

My grandmother was a true gift in my life.  For most of her years on this earth, she loved to bake.  It is without hesitation to say that she was the best I ever knew.  Everything escaping from her oven door was stirred and whipped from scratch.   Years and years of recipes had been handed down to her from my Swedish Great-Grandmother.

My grandma was the very best at baking cookies, pies and cakes. …

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Each Seed That Grows

Each Seed That Grows
by
B. B. Wright
In Memory of Allan “Bush” Armour

November 14,1963 – December 13, 2014

Allan LoungingEach sunrise and sunset brings me closer to my end.
Will I be remembered after I am dead?
Will my notes played upon my strings still resonate with you?
Each day that I awoke I did my best to use the gifts I have within.
When I failed, I accepted, learned and moved ahead;
I understand that life is life
And how I meet it is what makes the difference.
Still, life seems so unjust in how it’s meted out.
The warm brush of your kiss against my cheek,
and your gentle touch, arms me for what lies ahead.
When lost and sick at heart for what I’ve done and not done
Your eyes uplift me.
Once, spring’s rebirth led me into the sweet warmth of summer’s months.
Now, autumn leaves and winter winds have arrived too quickly.
I have barely left a footprint if one at all.
As I hear the loving voices near me,
distant though they seem,
I know that as memories are passed forward and live,
then, so do I.
I am weary my love.
The strength you’ve given me I must now relinquish.
And, though it is not my choice to do so,
it is time for me to go.
But, remember.
That from the beginning through the end of each year
and as long as memories last and grow,
I am part of you and part of each seed that grows.

Eat Dessert First by B. B. Wright

Zoe's Lounge with 2 womenOriginally, Eat Dessert First was a guest post on Gilda Evans blog. I encourage you to visit her website Girl Talk. You may also find her at the following locations:

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Eat Dessert First
By B. B. Wright

“Life’s short, eat dessert first,” my friend said to me as we perused the menu in Zoe’s Lounge at the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa. Both chocoholics, our eyes had already wolfed down the lavishly decadent chocolate lava cake shown in the dessert section of the menu. We shared one of those knowing smiles that said nothing, yet everything. You know the kind—the illusion of shared mutual understanding. Did she know? I thought to myself. Could she not see it in my eyes? Is she unseeing, blind? I pretended to read the menu while surreptitiously watching her as the server took her order. Without thinking, I ordered the same as she without the slightest idea of what I had just ordered.

The wine steward arrived with her glass of Sauvignon Blanc and my bottle of Perrier.

“Something’s up,” she said, raising her eyebrows at me as the server poured my glass of Perrier. “It’s not like you, Sheila, not to have a glass of something.”

I smiled back and held up my glass of Perrier with its twist of lime hooked into its lip and said: “It is a glass of something.” I didn’t mean to be facetious but it just came out that way. She was right. Normally, I would have had a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon but, lately, I had lost my taste for it. Actually, I had lost my taste for a lot of things lately.

The announcement of Art Acheson’s retirement as Dean of the Faculty of Education at the beginning of the year had opened up competition from a number of candidates for the position, including me. Now, in sudden death overtime, Irene Cochrane and I would soon face off against each other to be the last woman standing and to be the best chosen from over one hundred candidates across Canada—male or female—to earn the Deanship. It was the position I had coveted for a long time and I found it painful to entertain the thought that I would have to relinquish that dream to someone else. I felt like such a loser to even think that way but life had just dealt me a lousy set of cards and I was having difficulty getting my head around it.

Throughout supper, punctuated by moments of silence between mouthfuls, Susan and I talked about the early days when we were Associate Professors; the roller coaster ride of policy changes that effected education; the ever changing quality of students taught; the effects each new Provincial Government had on the educational system. Our discussions were stimulating, refreshing and insightful, opening up to the light of day perceptions of circumstances either never discussed or long ago forgotten. For me, the whole experience was just ‘what the doctor ordered’ and I relished every second of it. Best friends always seem to have the knack of filling in the missing pieces of your life, especially when it is most needed.

“You do know,” Susan said, “you are a shoe-in for the position of Dean?”

“I appreciate your vote of confidence but…I’m about to…My life, Susan, has been redirected,” I replied, trying to muster up a smile. “Do you remember when we used to lie on the hill outside the library and look up at the night sky at the million of stars that blazed in the darkness and shared our dreams? Both of us have done well to make those dreams come true. Don’t you think? But, have you ever taken time to ask yourself: What if I knew I would never see those stars, my family, my friends, and this beautiful world again, what would I do differently, if anything at all?”

During a long moment of silence, Susan sat back in her chair and stared at me with one of her all too familiar scrutinizing and worried looks.

“Where’s all this going, Sheila?” she asked me. “What am I missing?”

I could feel a tear bead up at the corner of my eye. “Life is indeed short, Susan. It’s time for me to eat that dessert.”

It’s the Way it Is: by B. B. Wright

shoreline A

It’s the Way It Is

Sharing some thoughts

by

B. B. Wright

 

The rhythmic sound of the waves lapping against the shore still casts its hypnotic spell upon me.

The ocean’s mist comes to me and stains my soul with its sludge of distorted life and predictable death. Once, my nostrils welcomed the ocean’s unique, defining self but now I shed tears in its passing.

Was it only yesterday when the tide rolled in carrying life’s creations that burrowed and buried their future within the sand and crevice-filled landscape? No, it was not. Now they are relegated to digital books in the halls of learning.

The shore-line stretches its lifeless black snaking ribbon into the distance until it dissolves in the fiery blood of a setting sun.

I breathe deeply, my hugged knees drawn closer, and I let this moment wash over me.

Overhead, the seagulls still call their familiar call, engraved within an aging and precarious time work.

Eternal, night’s layers gently begin to blanket the evening’s cloudless sky; I await night’s ghost-jeweled carpet overhead unfolding.

A school of fish jump in the distance; while a colony of starving seagulls gleefully plot their route.

Upon this hill where I sit, barely a handful of bees—one of life’s essential ingredients—gather the last of their day’s pollen; late in the summer, they are the first I have seen.

This new air fills my lungs. I’ve been told it is refreshing and cleansing. Will my mind and body ever really know? Or will I be lulled by a modern day  magus into accepting it is so?

My pond has run dry not far from where I lie. When did the Whole become infrastructure thoughts and credit-default swaps? Grist to the mill I’ve been sold, where economic efficiency trumps all in its obscurantism and exclusion of everything else. Cost to all and benefit for few, an obdurate mind consciously chooses the equation he used; propagandized within carefully crafted words and images explored, its intent is to unobtrusively bend and reshape my mind-filled spirit for support. I will not.

Night’s carpet is unfolding in the sky; I am lonely among the ghosts. The death of a star heralds its footprint by its light from a deep history millions of light years ago.

My footprint with others are recorded differently on this grain of sand and may never be known.

I root my feet in at the top of the hill and reflectively breathe in this world which I’m part. And I wonder: Are we (figuratively speaking) witnessing the last tree to be felled on Easter Island? A premature death carelessly imposed.

If I am the product of what I was when, then so must be the world’s decision makers.

Can we learn to think differently?

It is already happening.