“Look up. Look Waaaay up.” These were the words spoken by Bob Homme, aka “The Friendly Giant” at the beginning of each of his shows, as a group of small children sat around him. First uttered in 1953 in Wisconsin, and later aired by CBC television for many years.
Words that do not just apply to children. Just watch people walking by you on the street. The sky could fall and they would never see it coming! Get into a busy elevator, and everybody is staring at their feet. Why are we like this? What are we scared of letting in? Living in our own world, in our own space; as if to say, go away, do not bother me. Sorry, I do not have an answer.
So, if you do look up, what is the worst thing that could happen? Probably nothing, unless you are being swarmed by a flock of pigeons!
There is a whole new world open to you just by lifting your head. It is also good for your posture, your breathing, your simple awareness of all that is around you. Just what is over that rise ahead, around the next corner? Keep your head up, the world is coming at you.
What do you see when you look up at this tree? Something that is dead and no longer of value? Or do you see a home for birds, a source of food, a shelter. Once magnificent, still significant as a sculpture in Nature, just waiting to be discovered.
There is so much of the world to see and experience. Look up, acknowledge that it is there, unglue your eyes from your electronic devise. You will be pleasantly rewarded. It could blow your mind.
So as you bustle about in your busy world, take the time to look out and about, and up. Not always an easy thing to accomplish in this disturbing world, but worth the reward. Starring at your feet all day as you navigate life is no indication of the opportunities that can lie ahead.
Look Up, laugh at the world, and let it smile back at you!
Partnerships fail. Mine did. This in itself is not earth shattering news. It happens everyday and in all facets of life. But this one was personal. It wasn’t sudden, I saw it coming, but apparently I was the only one. Flags were up all over the place as to the dangers ahead; but they were ignored, possibly hoping that they were not for real.
Like travelling down a rough gravel road and believing that it would improve somewhere around the next corner, I kept going. Even though you try to find the smoothest part of the road, I finally submitted to the fact that to accomplish that was to get off.
Sounds easy enough, but that took me from a rough road to an emotional roller coaster. But even coaster rides come to an end, dumping you off humbled, emotionally drained and confused. The word failure comes to mind; both to yourself and to others.
Time and reflection can go a long way to prying a person from out of a rut. And so do friends. Family can help, but mine was in a divided camp. Still are; I hope time will help heal that wound.
That rough road? It is a lot smoother now. There was a paved way out around the next bend. I took it. In the real world, partnerships come and go, it appears to be a way of life. And so, my adventure through life continues. A special lady I know keeps saying that “life is good”. She is now showing me just how good it can be.
I wrote more details in a previous blog. New Beginnings
I can’t remember just how old I was when I became an audiophile. This would be during the 1950’s, so I was probably only 7 or 8. The thing was I just did not know I was doomed to become one; I am not sure that the term was even mainstream back then.
I can remember sitting on the floor in front of a massive radio. Tube driven, manually tuned, and AM only. I would listen to the station my parents tuned in, but every now and then they would let me “play” with the dial. That was very special. I would sit close to the speaker, and take it all in, including opera! I can recall wondering at the time how was it possible to get all those people inside that radio!!
So, lets fast forward 9 or 10 years. Does anyone out there remember crystal sets from Radio Shack ? My own little private radio with an ear bud. You had to position that “cats whisker” just right on the crystal to get it to work. Still not Hi-Fi, but little did I know, I had the “bug”.
I guess the whole thing really took off when my uncle and a friend put together a stereo console for our home in the early sixties. Powered by a Trio receiver, and equipped with a Garrard turntable, replete with full range speakers in the bottom.
This is a model of that console I made in the 60’s. I still have it.
You could stack a number of LP’s on the turntable and be rewarded with over an hours worth of music, all in glorious Hi-Fi stereo. For the first time in my life I was treated to FM stereo. That sound blew me away; and you could turn it up, all without tubes, but before the digital age.
Fast forward again to when I was working and could afford to buy my own equipment. My favourite “toy” was a four channel reel-to-reel tape recorder, which of course married nicely with my four channel receiver. Wow, sound all around me. I could change sound venues at the push of a button. Concert hall, rock, stadium, it was all at my finger tips. I just had to sit back and let those glorious sounds wash over me, transporting me to another place. And what warm and exciting sounds they were.
That is what I really enjoyed about audio back then, it was very much hands on. I felt very much like a techy, pushing buttons, spinning dials, loading tape, and watching the VU meters on the tape doing their thing, getting them dialed in just right. There was something romantic and very satisfying when my efforts were rewarded with glorious sound filling the room.
Audio today is very slick. Being a computer geek does help. All digital, computer driven applications; set up can require an expert from the audio store to get it working. Now all I have to do is sit back with my remote control in my easy chair and hope I push the right button. My level of involvement has been reduced to that of “audience”, not participant. My ears tell me that the sound has changed; for the better? Some would say yes, but I would say, maybe not. I grew up with audio that was warm, rewarding, and required my personal involvement. I grew up with analog.
When you come to the end of a perfect day,
And you sit alone with your thought,
While the chimes ring out with a carol gay
For the joy that the day has brought,
Do you think what the end of a perfect day
Can mean to a tired heart,
When the sun goes down with a flaming ray,
And the dear friends have to part?
Well, this is the end of a perfect day,
Near the end of a journey, too;
But it leaves a thought that is big and strong,
With a wish that is kind and true.
For mem’ry has painted this perfect day
With colors that never fade,
And we find at the end of a perfect day
The soul of a friend we’ve made.
In keeping with Mother’s Day being just around the corner, I thought I would write about three ladies, whom I grew to admire, all for different reasons, and who have played a large part in my life.
My Grandmother, on my Mother’s side was born in 1893 in Lutes Mountain, New Brunswick. In my very early years, in a small village in Québec, I remember her as a kind and gentle lady. I guess you could describe her as the family matriarch. She pretty much ran the house. She looked after the farm animals, did just about all the cooking and baking, as the others were away at work all day or all week. She was always my ‘at home Mom’ while my Mother was in Montreal working.
She was always there when I “hurt” myself, with a quick fix and a sympathetic hug. But when I misbehaved, she would just scold me and threaten to tell my Mother when she got home, but by then she would forget, or did she really? Our entertainment was the radio, piano or playing cards. It seemed the only game she new was cribbage, and I was always the elected opponent; and I always lost! When not in the barn, she kept herself busy in the kitchen, either cooking, baking or canning. Is it possible that maybe this is where my love for the magic that comes from the kitchen started?
At that time in my life she was really my first ‘mom’. I suspect she played a bigger role in my life than I was to ever realize. She passed away in 1959 of a heart attack. I regret not getting to know her better as I grew into my later teenage years. Why do these thoughts always seem to come too late? She was a warm, gentle and caring person. She won me over. I think it was her smile.
The second lady in my life, and maybe I should have considered her my first, was my Mother. Born in 1917 in Montreal, first of three children. She had a great work ethic, as shown by her grades, her drive and ambition. Her family was not well off as she entered the workforce at the end of the depression, but determination and tenacity paid off. Divorced very early on in her marriage, due to the fact my Father was running around, she unfortunately developed a very bitter and condemning attitude towards males in general. The telling outcome of this is it also turned her into a overbearing and critical person.
As I matured, and got to understand her better, appreciating her take on life, I got to recognize and maybe feel some of the turmoil my Mom was dealing with. But that burden did not slow her down. She was a hard worker, no job or task was beneath her. Her drive was to be respected. Despite her bouts of anger and impatience, she still had a softer side. As she moved into her senior years, I could see her mellowing, but just a little bit!
I feel that we became a lot closer when she had to enter a retirement home, and a lot of the responsibility of looking after her fell to me. It was during this period that I realized just how helpless she had become, how little could be done about it, and how inadequate it made me feel. But never the less, she soldiered on. In her last few years she no longer knew who I was; had to wear diapers, and her food was rendered to mush. Life had brought her full cycle. My visits were very painful. Mercifully, she passed away in her 90th year, battling to the end. Despite the demons that she had to live with, I have to admire her for her strength, determination and a ‘get out of my way I have a job to do with no guff from anybody’ approach. I wonder how much of all that has rubbed off on me.
The third lady of influence is my mother -in-law. Though her oldest daughter and I are no longer together, I cannot dismiss the impression she has had on me. The daughter of an Irish immigrant, she loved conversation, especially the telling of stories. They were always the highlight of our visits with her. She raised ten children, three girls, seven boys in a small two bedroom house. She was always eager for company.
And what a wonderful sense of humour. Very seldom down, and always wanting to do something during a visit, generally a trip to her favourite restaurant. I am always impressed by her kindness and generosity, and regard to me as if I were one of her sons. Over the years I developed an utmost admiration and respect for this lady. She too endured hardship in her life, but at 92 she harbours no ill feelings towards anyone. Always ready with a smile and a hug. There are a lot of, lets just say, not so great mother-in-laws out there, but I feel that I have been blessed with mine. A true emerald of the Isle.
Three ladies, three stories, three different memories, all garnering my
Admiration. On May 8th, take the time to honor your Mom, if not in person, then in memory.
This weeks photo challenge is abstract. I found four subjects which I think qualify. Tell me what you think. I may need your help on the last one.
The first one is the sun’s rays on the water and reflecting on the sandy bottom.
Number two is of a growth (parasite?) we came across on a downed tree.
The third one was taken on our flight to Mexico at 35,000 feet of a frozen body of water over Arkansas. This is my frozen dragon!
Now for number four. This was floating in front of our dock. I must say it really spooked the grand kids, and it had me very curious. I think it is part of a root to an aquatic plant. Readers, help me out on this one.
There you have it. I must admit this was a bit of fun trying to come up with the unusual. Hope you enjoy them.