Monthly Archives: August 2015

Why Am I Here?

Why-Am-I-HereYesterday morning, before I had my coffee I opened the fridge door and stood there. “What am I doing here?” I wondered aloud, (not to be mistaken for “Why do I exist?). It took me a few seconds to remember the item I wanted, and I moved on to make breakfast.  But it stuck with me.  A few days ago I found my socks in my make-up drawer, and last spring a tax rebate disappeared forever, it seemed.  Well, I humphed, at least I didn’t find the eggs in the freezer, and the frozen pizza on the piano! read more

“The Heiress”, Smash Hit of 1949

The-Heiress-PosterToday The Heiress seems such a simple story— a Harlequin romance, without the feel-good ending—but at the time, it got my attention, and I remembered it for decades. The movie was filmed in 1949, but didn’t reach the northern Canadian community where I lived until I was thirteen, in 1952.  Starring the talented Olivia de Havilland as the main character, Catherine Sloper, and heart-throb Montgomery Clift as Morris Townsend, the movie evolved from a Henry James novel, Washington Square.  The film—wait for it— is about a sheltered young woman, who falls in love with a handsome young man who is considered a fortune hunter by her wealthy and verbally abusive father. read more

Culling Your Relationships As You Age

IMG_1656 Culling RelationshipsThe first sign of impending old age, and it’s twin, Alzheimer’s, the pundits say, is the tendency of older people to put less effort into their social network. “Mum doesn’t go out much anymore”, adult children worry, “Her circle of friends is getting smaller and smaller.”  It could be her health, they think, or maybe she’s depressed. She was always set in her ways, others may say, and as she gets older, this just gets worse. Or, worry of all worries, maybe she doesn’t feel she has anything to live for anymore. read more

Elders Ask “Why Don’t Young People Vote?”

parliamentAcross the western world, one of the greatest concerns of the Lucky Few was providing a social safety net for future generations, something which had been non-existent for them. Advancing security for the most vulnerable, and putting an end to poverty and inequality for future generations were their proudest achievements. Harry Smith, in his new book, “Harry’s Last Stand”, outlines these efforts:

“My generation never forgot the cruelty of the Great Depression or the savagery of the Second World War. We promised ourselves and our children that no one in this country would ever succumb to hunger. We pledged that no child would be left behind because of poverty. We affirmed that education, decent housing and proper wages were a right that all our citizens deserved, no matter their class.” read more

So Dear To My Heart-The Movie

imagesIn a list of significant movies of 1948, So Dear to My Heart hardly makes the cut, and doesn’t even merit a full page on Wikipedia, but for me, a girl living on a farm in northern Canada, it was spectacular. True, it was the first movie I had ever seen, so I had no basis for comparison, but I was an avid reader, and no stranger to character development and story line. What was new for me was having a glimpse into the homes and lives of strangers. It was amazing to view a setting and a landscape I had never seen before. Like many children growing up in remote areas of Canada at the time, I had never travelled beyond my community. read more

Attitudes and Acrimony

Attitudes and Acrimony Across the Generations

We all know about the attitudes some younger people have towards elders—who hasn’t felt the frustration of being ignored by servers in a restaurant, or the sting of being spoken to in a condescending manner.   A few weeacrimonyks ago, I took a few minutes longer than was considered appropriate in vacating a parking spot, and was treated to body language which far exceeded the eye-rolling variety. Underneath that behavior, we know, is a barely disguised attitude among some younger people that old people are doddering and slow, and possibly not worthy of the space they occupy. read more

Ships That Pass in the Night – Relationships We Have Lost

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the summer of 1959 I discovered a book, Bonjour Tristesse that radically altered my idea of relationships. Françoise Sagan, a young eighteen year old author, spoke about what it felt like to give yourself over to love, in this case, not a lover, but her father. Hers was an obsession which led to jealousy, and a shattering experience that broke her heart, and sent her on a dangerous course.

A vulnerable and impressionable eighteen year old myself, I devoured her book, and allowed it to colour my relationships with other people, male and female. Until then, my main relationships were my sisters, my parents, and my schoolmates. After reading Sagan, I allowed myself to think in terms of having a deeper relationship—possibly a love affair. read more

What Hobbies Do For the Lucky Few

seniors art2Looking down across the harbour on this beautiful July morning, I see dragon boats slicing through the water, kayaks skimming over the top, young women jogging, and teenagers skateboarding, but no sign of the Lucky Few. It is almost eleven o’clock— where are they, and what are they doing?

In this city where elders are so richly represented, mornings belong to young people. Old people, like me, don’t usually emerge from their condos and townhouses until well into the day. Well of course, I reason, why shouldn’t we take our time? After all, we’re retired—time is a commodity we have. We take our time to get moving in the mornings. We linger over coffee and the morning paper. We pick up the novel we started yesterday. We watch the news. read more