Family?

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones that would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

Source: Shutterfly

What Is Family?

Merriam Webster Dictionary –

1b also; any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family

What Does Family Mean to You

One Answer Given From: Be Strong Families:

“I feel family goes beyond bloodlines, last names or obligations. To me, the word ‘family’ includes all the people in our lives who commit to love and support us unconditionally. It is not a passive birthright but a choice, a discipline of kindness that helps us thrive both as individuals and as a society.” – Fernando Barcelona, President / Creative Director, Barcelona and Friends


I am writing this post on Boxing Day 2020.

Some Background: I first came to the western province of Canada around 1981 because the Pastor I was working for was asked to Shepherd a congregation in Regina, SK. I stayed for a couple of years, becoming married in April 1983. Later on in the late part of 1985 we moved back to my home area to help my home church. Things started to fall apart with my wife taking the baby and herself back to the west. It wasn’t long that the divorce became final. I found myself once again moving back to the west hoping I could bring the family back together. My efforts were not successful.

In the late eighties I moved out of the capital city of Regina and moved to the city where I now have been living here going on twenty-five plus years. After moving here I became acquainted with the person I now call my best friend. One day I had a knock on the door of the apartment I was living in. The apartment was the only thing I could afford because of the limit on my support. My friend asked if I would be interested in buying a trailer on a rent to own basis. I went with him to meet the guy who owned the trailer to take a walk through. I like it the place even though it needed some critical upgrades.

Our friendship grew and we began to share some things that we both liked. We had our differences, but, no relationship is completely void of differences. Some time later I was introduced to his mother. We hit it off almost from the beginning. Then one Christmas I had her and my best friend over for a New Year’s Eve dinner. I bought some simple Christmas presents for her. This friendship also grew to where she would tell people, even her own family, that I was her son from another mother. Up to the last time we saw each other I called her mom.

By the way, my best friend is seventy-six years old. The friendship grew and I thought of him as an older brother, one thing I never had.

Christmas Day 2020 we shared a simple Christmas meal together. It was very peaceful. As we were eating I began to think about this friendship. It really feels like family.

I have lots of family in the east, but only one who I keep in touch with. My family here in the west consists of my daughter and three grandchildren. The is the extent of blood relatives.

Today families have a different face than what would be considered family back in the fifties unto the early part of the twenty-first century. There is what is called a “blended” family. Such as the Mayor of New York Bill DeBlasio.

I may find myself in trouble with this next few statements. I find I believe that a family is more than the red liquid that runs through our veins. We have heterosexual, gay, blended, and mixed. All those are families which love, support, comfort, share, and nurture each other.

This Christmas forced everyone to change how people celebrated these holidays. Restrictions that were put in place to try and stop the surge of covid-19 was different from the east all the way to the west.

So dear reader I spent Christmas with a family member, a member whose blood line was far removed from me. I hope you will see that the meaning of family is how you define it!

Thanksgiving 2020

“Give thanks not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life. Appreciate and never take for granted all that you have.”Catherine Pulsifer


It’s Thanksgiving time here in Canada, Monday October 14. I cannot help but think that this Thanksgiving may be somewhat bitter. It will be about who is not at the table, rather than who is at the table. My heart grieves to all who have lost a loved one, a partner, a friend, for them it may feel more like Dickens Scrooge, “bah, humbug”.

Traveling to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving may actually be turned into a video call on platforms like Zoom, Face Time, etc., The meal may be only for those who live under the same roof. In Canada travel between Provinces is still not encouraged. One of the questions asked when you book an appointment is, “have you traveled outside of the Province”?

Thanksgiving for me will be myself and best friend, then a phone call to my aunt who lives in another Province. My daughter and grandchildren will celebrate their day at home. Maybe I will hear from them, I will be happy if they do call.

Covid-19 has placed it’s mark on Thanksgiving 2020. This blogger will be interested to hearing how the airlines, bus companies, do over this long weekend.

So dear reader now matter where you are when you are reading this, Canadians and Americans, I wish you the best for this Thanksgiving 2020.

Things I Wish My Father Would Have…

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: Zachrie Friesen

“Teaching a boy to be a man is the primary job of a father.”―

Clayton Lessor MA, LPC

With all the racial tension happening around the world I find the most shocking is when a black parent talks about having “the talk” with their son.  The talk from what I garner is about how to act if pulled over by the police. I find it heart breaking that a parent must make a point of it for the fear their son may not make it home at night otherwise.

It has made me think about my relationship with my own father.  In his own finite way he tried to teach me some things. It usually ended up with him becoming angry and calling me names.  Eventually I would just stay clear of him, in high school I would make sure he had already left in the morning, I would not come home until I knew he would be in bed.

There are many things I wish my father would have had a conversation with me about.

*For the ladies this post might seem it is not relevant to you. I feel that it is, it can be something you can speak to your partner about if and when you have a son*

  • Mothers teach their daughters about feminine hygiene when they enter puberty. I wish my father would have explained to me about the changes in my body entering puberty.  Hygiene is one of those, the other is the effect of what testosterone does to the male body and the emotions.
  • That the words “sex” and “love” are not interchangeable.  That sex is a bi-product of love between a couple. 
  • In marriage what to expect during the honeymoon, then how to keep the love alive afterwards.
  • That a woman after the birth of child is really not in the mood to take care of you acting like a spoiled child.
  • The basics of shaving when a beard starts to appear.  I learned how to shave by trial and error.

So dear reader those are some things I wish my father would have told me about.

If We…

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Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard.

Anne Spencer

I love coffee, for me the coffee maker never quits (actually it does, it is quiet while I sleep).

What I also love is having a good cup of coffee, maybe some cheese cake, and conversation with a friend.

So, I thought what could we talk about if we could share some time over a cup of coffee.

For me here are some things I would love to chat about:

  • What is your favorite color?
  • Tell me about your family
  • Do you have pets? I do, I have a dog named Natalie
  • Tell me about your work, is it in an office, or factory, or maybe you have an online business
  • Tell me what motivates you
  • Tell me what makes your blood boil.  For me it is a person who lies to me with a straight face

I could go on and on with things I would love to talk about.  I wonder what would you ask me.  I truly try to be as open as one could be.

I love talking about my daughter and my three wonderful grandchildren.  I have pictures galore in my photo albums, and digital.

Now if we were having coffee and there was a piano in the room I would love to sit and play some Gospel songs that I love.  How about you, do you love music? If so, what style and what artist?  Now forgive me, if I don’t have a clue about your artist.  I do not listen to the radio much, so I am not up to speed about what hits are out there.

So, if we were to sit and have coffee what would you love to chat about with me?

The Detoxification Of My Mind

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Woodson Merrell  “Often we see detox as a solitary pursuit, something we have to muscle up for and go it alone. But the truth is that it will be easier and healthier if you find a way to integrate your friends and family into the experience.”
― Woodson Merrell, The Detox Prescription: Supercharge Your Health, Strip Away Pounds, and Eliminate the Toxins Within

I feel safe in saying that all across the globe people’s stress level is probably on extra high.  Everything is at a complete standstill,  jobs, finances, social life, children to tend to and if school age try to teach them at home.

Even the children are stressed out, not being able to play and socialize with their friends. Pent up energy and no place to displace it.

Today when I woke up I decided that it would be the day to completely detox my mind.  Let me explain, in high school I took computer class, this is way before personal computers, one of the first thing we learned about programming was this, “garbage in, garbage out”.  So it is with the mind.

I have had my fill with news and the concentration of Covid-19. So I have been doing things to bring out all the toxic waste in my mind.  I finished reading two books, I prefer paper, but Kindle will do, so I downloaded the book “Fahrenheit 451”.  I am reading up on how a democracy can fall, remember Germany and Hitler.

My television was on, but, I found a science program that I like, “Wonders of The Solar System”, the host is Professor Brian Cox. His voice is calm and peaceful and I have begun to grasp so much about our solar system.

Later I am going to click on I Tunes and listen to Michael Buble.  My daughter gave me a CD of his, his music is great and it is also very relaxing.

I realize everyone will approach the detoxification of their mind differently, Yoga, meditation, hot tea, or any other method that helps let off all the toxic garbage that has built up since this lock down.

So, dear reader, I encourage you to take some time, find some ways to let go and cleanse your mind so that you will feel renewed!

 

Life At Home

Mom, myself, Keith, Sandy, Tracy - Elm Street -early 1980's
My Mother, Brother, Two Sisters, Oldest Daughter not available

I was born and raised in and around Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

In my opinion we were the basic family at that time.  Both of my parents worked.  For that reason a sister of my mother lived in with us to take care of us.

As we grew older Mom taught us to do chores, I was responsible for the sidewalk in the winter, the lawn in the summer.  My sisters were taught how to start supper so that when Mom arrived home she just had to do the finish touches.  We were expected to be there unless we had permission to be away.  At that time there were no cell phones, computers, just a landline phone.  All our friends knew not to call during the time of our eating supper.

My Mom was quite amazing, her Mother, my Grandmother thought some things were too liberal.  You see, Mom allowed us to speak our opinion but it had to be spoken with respect, no attitude.

My paternal Grandmother was Roman Catholic.  My mother told me when it came time for us kids to start attending school that she and my Roman Catholic Grandmother had a knock downed argument.  Grandma thought we should be attending a Catholic school, Mom thought different.  Needless to say Mom won.

The children were not baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, thus, we were considered bastards in the eyes of the Church.  I cannot recall ever going to anything within the Roman Catholic Church when we were growing up.

Archie Bunker gif
Archie Bunker – Tenor.com

Now my father was a case all of his own. I call him Archie Bunker ll.  I cannot recall one time growing up that he said he loved us, proud of us. If I brought home an A on an assignment, his response was “can’t you do better”.

As I grew older I became his punching bag.  He had a hair trigger temper that would erupt over the slightest issue.  It kept us sitting on pins and needles.  He disliked the High School I chose because it was not a trade teaching school. I chose an Academic High School, choosing all business related courses.  Courses like accounting, typing, computers, etc.,. If I did what he thought I would be a backyard mechanic.

 When I entered High School Mom did not set a curfew for me, she knew I would always come home at a proper time.  I went to school in the dark, and came home in the dark when I knew my father was asleep in bed.  The only rule, come in the house quietly without disturbing my Mother”s sleep.

I dropped out of High School in the middle of Grade Eleven and quickly left home. I began to do some itinerant speaking and Gospel Music.

That was the long beginning of having the opportunity of travelling with another Evangelist throughout Canada and the United States.