Empty Nesting

With our youngest son out of the house almost a year now, the Bos Lady and I are empty nesters. I am told by societal norms that we must wait until 12 full months have passed until we are officially Empty Nesters. This is to ensure that none of the prodigals actually move back in, thereby making the empty nest a houseful of moot.

So while we wait for our formal title, we have many opportunities in the gentle, soothing silence to reminisce about our three children, now grown into fairly stable adults. And reminiscing is good, y’know? Reminiscing is all about remembering the good things that happened back in the day, and I think the good Lord directs our brains to work that way. Because it’s good for our psyche, our soul.

This morning, I was driving from one meeting to another and began to reminisce about Kevin, our youngest, and one memorable trip to British Columbia. (Well, for a quick second or three behind the wheel I thought that I do an awful lot of this driving from meeting to meeting, and then I thought about when the kids were young and they said all I did at work was read emails, and now I think all I do at work and away from work is meet. But I digress, even though all these words represent just a quick second or three behind the wheel.)

The vacation was a trip to BC, as I mentioned. We planned to visit my brothers and their families in Chilliwack and see the sights, including the Great Mount Cheam, the peak locals boast of in reverent tones usually reserved for Everest or Kilimanjaro. But this trip was to be different, or at least the drive would be. We had decided to forego the speed of the Coquihalla Highway, opting instead for a leisurely drive on the TransCanada Highway through Rogers Pass with scenic stops along the way.

P1010872It sounded like an idyllic and relaxing journey. One to reminisce about in years to come. And yet, the Bos Lady and I were worried because we would have Kevin with us. Sixteen-year old Kevin in the back seat, with an attitude fueled by a headful of teenage angst.

But it turned out we had nothing to fear but, well, fear itself. Apologies to FDR. For you see, Kevin riding backseat turned out not to be a depressing drive of despair, but an endless source of humour and goodwill. It was like God threw open a breaker in his heart and transformed him instantly into a new person. A vibrant person of endless wit and expressions and comedy. Oh, throughout our two-day journey to BC, we laughed and laughed some more until tears leaked from our eyes and our bellies could take no more!

It was a trip of a lifetime.

Today, Kevin is a fine young man who remains one of the funniest people we know. His physical comedy and impeccable sense of comedic timing continue to leave us in stitches. I often think about these fine qualities when I reminisce behind the wheel. Or in the silent lonesome stillness of evenings at home.

So, yeah…maybe reminiscing does has a scuff of sadness, too.


Snow wishes

Usually once every winter, I have this wish. Sometimes, in an especially trying winter, I might have the wish a couple of times. I’m having this wish now.

I wish, I wish, I wish I had a snow blower.    SnowBlower_03_t_w600_h3000

The wish comes about a third of the way through shoveling out after a big snow dump. LIke today. I measured the driveway before I got Big Bertha down to business (the shovel, not the golf driver) and the tape buried itself into nine inches of snow. For you younger whippersnappers, that’s 22.5 centimetres. Nine inches of heavy, wet snow in less than nine hours. And it’s still coming down. When there’s this much snow to shovel, you don’t think of all your sidewalks and driveway as area to be cleared, you think of it all in terms of pounds-of-snow-to-shovel. At a third of the way through completion, I looked around at all that whiteness and calculated that I had about 17 million pounds of snow to go. Or about the combined weight of every Democrat blogger that’s penned the original phrase "Mitt the Twit" in recent days.

So I wish I had a snow blower.

My brother has one. He just moved here from yonder west of the Big Pointy Hills; from the lower mainland of BC. Yeah, the place where they don’t get any snow – just rain, rain, rain and dank clouds that droop just north of your sinuses. That soggy place alongside the Chilliwack to Vancouver wagon trail where even a weathercast warning of snow has drivers veering off the roads into ditches and medians just out of principle and practice. But now L’il Bro is here in Sunny Alberta and he bought himself a snow blower. Bought a snow blower before he even bought furniture for his new house. "Priorities!" he said. "Wussy," I replied silently.

And then I laughed. Oh my, how I had laughed!  

But not so much anymore. While my 50-year old back is screaming "No mas!", I can hear my brother from miles away singing over his big yellow Poulan: "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" I can’t believe any self-respecting snow blower dealer would even sell a machine to a transplanted Wetlander like him. It’s a fright what Alberta is coming to. First we drop the border guards and let the rats in willy-nilly from Saskatchewan and now we’re becoming a winter wonderland for snow-blower-pushin’, NDP-votin’, umbrella-ownin’ Wetlanders. Graciousness!

But regardless,  i wish I had a snow blower. Maybe I’ll steal his. Put a shovel with a pull cord in its place. He’d never know.

Or maybe the Bos Lady will buy me one. Maybe. Depends how many pairs of new shoes she needs this week. If it’s less than a dozen for Bos Lady Imelda, I’ve got a chance!

Wish me well. ‘Cause I need a snow blower.



River City drivers: from bad to worse

Image via Wikipedia

In all the cities I’ve driven in, I think the drivers in Edmonton are the worst.

Everyday I find myself muttering about some dufus chasing a stale yellow to left-turn on a blatant red. Everyday, I yell at some clown that’s completely forgotten why his turn signal lever was invented. Everyday I gesture madly at some blondie texting behind the wheel.The Bos Lady thinks I have developed anger management problems. I think simply that River City drivers are causing personal meltdowns.

Maybe I’ll move to BC’s lower mainland. At least they’re only lousy drivers when it snows.