Archives For holidays

Old Man Winter

MH3 —  March 27, 2013

You’re not going to like me for this, but I have no desire to see winter over.

Correction, I have no desire to see it end right now. Maybe in a few weeks. But not now. I want a bit more winter. Remarkably I love winter and I am tired of going from meeting to meeting listening to people bemoan the white season. In Orillia right now, the thirty-six families I used to have as newspaper customers are hysterically mocking me. If you could have seen me in 1976, delivering papers at an abominably slow pace while shedding shivery tears you would understand the irony of that statement.

But as I have aged, my frosty enthusiasm has picked up.

So I prepare this blog as an offering to the weather gods, requesting a bit more snow, frost, and ice. Winter is really, really nice. You just need to understand it.

Winter refreshes. I find the cool weather sparks my senses and gets my brain revving.

Winter rejuvenates. The holidays, New Years, March Break, all contribute to an emotional season of inspiration.

Winter restores. The long days give you time to get things done, projects organized, life put in order.

Today I had a taxi driver who moved here from Nigeria 19 years ago. He too loves Winter he told me. He goes home to Africa every year and explains to his family that because of Winter, Spring is the most wonderful season a person could experience. I agree.

So give me a wee wee wee bit more winter. I like shoveling my driveway (only did it twice this year FYI). I hate cutting my lawn (hence the crew that shows up every Tuesday). I like my dog not getting muddy. I like jogging in the cold. Toronto heat is a deathtrap for summer runners. I like the streetlights strobes made by falling snowflakes. I like the cleanness of it all. I like the stuff that makes us Canadian.

In the name of Bill Murray, let me awaken to Groundhog Day just a few more times.

Junior Birdman

MH3 —  March 13, 2013

My twelve year old is taking his first solo flight this week.

YYZ to MIA in airport code speak.

Toronto to South Beach in March break speak. Actually Coconut Grove, but South Beach sounded cooler for a moment. Given that it was the setting for Meet the Frockers and is Dexter’s hometown, the Grove may seem cooler to my tweenager.

This world where we put twelve year olds on planes by themselves is pretty foreign to me. I think I had flown once by that age and it was smack dab between my parentals. My guy? If I told you how many flights he has been on, you would bombard me with the fifty-six known translations of the word spoiled! Yet this one is going to be different.

I am handing him over to a flight attendant who will only be slightly less a stranger than the persons seated next to him and the pilot to whom I am entrusting him. Three hours later he will emerge as just one of the 110,000 daily travelers through Miami International and hopefully be safely escorted into the clutches of his friend’s mother. It frightens me to think that just a few years ago I was holding his hand to cross a street and now he is crossing the border all on his own.

Part of me wants to ride down with him, help the crew refresh the plane, and u-turn right back to Toronto. The other part of me knows I am overreacting. I have put him on a bus for a month away at camp. I have left him lakeside at my parent’s cottage for a week. Less than ten days ago I willingly let him attend a sleepover where the boys were attempting their first all-nighter.

But this is different. I can’t just run over three blocks if he gets a cream soda induced stomach ache or call the camp nurse to ensure he is a-okay.

No this is requiring me to realize he is growing up. That some day he will get on a different plane for a grad trip, university visit,  and eventually for his own career. Not so fast! I still want him to be a junior birdman. A child who wants to sing songs with his Dad. A boy who wants to play with model airplanes, not a VIP passenger on a real one. Sadly no.

So look up in the air. That’s my son.

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas!

MH3 —  December 20, 2012

Burnt out from all the Holiday socials you have slogged through?

Running on fumes from all the last minute requests from your boss?

Panicked about the number of presents you still need to buy?

Hang in there. The holidays start in a few hours.

They can’t come soon enough. Seriously. I don’t get this December thing. It is insane. It seems that every year it gets busier and busier. The meetings. The parties. The planning. The final push to hit numbers. The job seekers. The networkers. The out of the blue emails from associates long forgotten. Sick kids. Extra hockey practices. Plus a staff cookie exchange.

Just this morning I’ve got someone else trying to book a meeting for tomorrow. Please go away. It’s Christmas time.

Seriously. I mean it. I’m spent. Tired. Exhausted. I don’t have one more meeting left in me. I can’t even think about when I’m going to buy my niece’s present. Let alone stocking stuffers for ten people. Why does my family still do stockings anyway? (Are you now trying to figure out what Christmas stockings are?It’s not that I’m cranky. It’s the opposite in fact. I love Christmas. My parents always did a great job of making the season feel really special when I was a kid. Snacks for Santa. Sitting in the usually off limits living room reading fables. (Yes I’m old enough to have grown up in a house with “off-limits” rooms.) My Dad pretending that reindeer were landing on our roof.

I just want some time this year to enjoy it. Can’t we slow Christmas down? Create a nice holiday pace? Give it that Hallmark card feel. Heck some snow would help.

That sounds nice doesn’t it? Hopefully you’re going to do the same. Relax. Chill. Take time away from the grind.

Okay? Sound good? You good with this plan?

Great! So stop bloody emailing me!!!!! (-:

Merry Christmas.

Have a Safe Holiday Season

MH3 —  December 13, 2012

I used to drink and drive. I probably shouldn’t put that in print.

It’s nothing to be proud of. Not words that make one look good, smart, or cool. But thanks to society, maturity, and unfortunate tragedy I smartened up.

Yet our society has not shaken the deadly shadows of drunk driving. The tragedy in Dallas, where Cowboy Josh Brent killed teammate and long time friend Jerry Brown, is the most recent high profile reminder. After a night of private clubbing, and according to tweets several pails of Ace champagne, Brent was allowed to get behind the wheel.

Minutes later the car was flipped over. Brown was dead. Brent was in shock. Families and teammates would soon be in agony.

Nothing can be done to change what happened in Texas. But we can all try to make sure it doesn’t happen closer to home. Unfortunately for me it’s been top of mind for the past eighteen months given the result of a tragedy involving two former football players of mine.

I’m not going to rehash the story for you. Instead I am going to ask you to watch the attached story from CityTV. If this doesn’t stop you from drinking and driving, I am unsure what will.

Have a safe holiday.

http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/life/video/238209

http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/topic/the_inside_story_with_avery_haines/article/238208