Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on August 9, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with 2 comments

Not to be confused with Twitter


“Whoa, the games people play now,

Every night and every day now”

Games People Play – Joe South

It’s midsummer quiz time, folks.

Put away your Wordle and Canuckle. Put down that deck of cards. Leave the Scrabble game on the shelf. No bingo today. I know that you’re all brilliant people. After all, you read my posts every Wednesday!

So, here we go. What do all of these things have in common?

The United States ended its involvement in the Vietnam War with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. A lot has been written about the ill-advised decision of the United States to get involved in this conflict.

If you happen to be a horse racing fan, Secretariat became the first horse since Citation to win the Triple Crown of horse racing. Secretariat set a dirt track record for the one and a half mile Belmont Stakes with a time of 2 minutes and 24 seconds.

Roe V. Wade made abortion a U.S. constitutional right. In 2022, the supreme court stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion.

Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match.

Popular movies: The Exorcist, Deliverance, Jesus Christ Superstar, American Graffiti and The Sting.

“Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd. This is one of my all-time favorite albums. I wore out the grooves on this vinyl album. “You’re so Vain”, “Delta Dawn”, “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”.

Canada’s Prime Minister was Pierre Trudeau.

The cost of gas was .40 a gallon or roughly .10 a liter.

Which brings me to the whole point of this quiz.

Ah, you’re too smart by half.

It didn’t take you long to figure out that all of these events took place in the year 1973. If your mental arithmetic is good, that was 50 years ago. And why, pray tell, am I turning back the clock to that particular year?

Last week, I received mail from the Alumni Office of my alma mater, St. Francis Xavier University. It included a schedule of events and a registration form for Homecoming this October. “Class of ’73 The Golden Grads Homecoming 2023. I stared at the correspondence in disbelief. How in the hell did this happen?

My elementary school was situated on the same footprint as our local University. Because I am incredibly lazy and don’t want to repeatedly have to spell out the name of this university, we’ll just call it “X” which is what most grads call it. Not to be confused with the new Twitter logo. Back in the early 60s when I was attending Morrison Elementary School, the graduates at X used to line up very near our school for their march to convocation. I remember thinking at the time that these grads must have been very old. I was 10 at the time. The X students would have been in their early 20s. When you’re young, everyone seems so much older.

In 1973, I graduated from X. I would receive my education degree three years later. Homecoming is a big deal for universities. Yes, it is an opportunity for alumni to get together to exchange old war stories, but it is very important for the university to remind former students of their glory days and to nudge them to support the university with ongoing donations to various endowments and scholarship funds.

Because I was a local, I attended many Homecomings over the years even when it wasn’t one of my class years. I was always struck with the arrival of the “golden grads”, people who had graduated 50 years ago. I viewed all of these Q-tips (white haired folks!) as old farts. I couldn’t imagine ever being “one of them”. But after opening my mail last week, it was abundantly clear that I am now one of those “old farts”.

I know that when I meet my fellow grads, we will all say the same thing. “Where did the time go?” I have written many times in this space about the passage of time. It really is quite shocking.

Now, I could have done the easy thing and registered for Homecoming online, but I filled in the registration form the old-fashioned way with a ballpoint pen and hand delivered it to the Alumni Office. The Alumni Office is located in Confusion Square, the name affectionately given to a courtyard in the middle of the old campus. I love wandering through university campuses, especially ones that have been around a long time. Many of the buildings at X have ivy climbing up their walls. And walking through campus in the middle of summer, when it is quiet, evokes so many memories.

I pass the library where I occasionally studied but most notably, where I learned to play bridge in the basement! I pass the reserve library which was firebombed in the spring of 1971 when the students went on strike over “open housing”. That year, we wrote take home exams. Many of my classmates completed these exams at the local tavern.

I haven’t had cause to go to the Alumni Office for many years. As I approached the building, I realized that it is housed in what used to be the campus bookstore. Not only did the bookstore carry textbooks but it also had a very good record section of vinyl albums. Fifty-one years ago, I stood in this very room purchasing one of my all-time favourite albums, “Harvest” by Neil Young. I chatted with the woman who accepted my registration form and regaled her with stories about the old bookstore. One thing I like about trips down memory lane is that they don’t cost anything (with the cost of gas these days)!

I’m sure the reunion will be a blast. It’s a privilege to have lived long enough to be a golden grad.

I still love “Dark Side of the Moon”.

“Breathe, breathe in the air,

Don’t be afraid to care,

Leave, but don’t leave me,

Look around, choose your own ground.

Long you live and high you fly,

Smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry,

All you touch and all you see,

Is all your life will ever be.”

Breathe – Pink Floyd

Have a great weekend.

“There’s a time for joy, a time for tears,

A time we’ll treasure through the years,

We’ll remember always,

Graduation day.”

Graduation Day – The Lettermen




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Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on August 2, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with one comment








Beauty all around us


“Slip slidin’ away,

Slip slidin’ away,

You know the nearer your destination,

The more you’re slip slidin’ away.”

Slip Slidin’ Away – Paul Simon

WARNING. This piece may cause drowsiness. Do not consume just before driving your car. I wanted to write something interesting and provocative this week but because I couldn’t think of a topic, I decided to write about nothing. 1176 words of nothingness.

Has anyone seen June or July? Apparently, they’ve gone missing or at least it seems that way. Did someone put them on speed dial? Did they slip out the back door when we weren’t watching? August has made an appearance but will desert us like a jilted lover too. Once you start seeing the back to school sales, you know that summer is “slip slidin’ away”.

I must admit that this has been the laziest summer that I can ever remember. Ok. So, I walked 800 kilometers in June which doesn’t rate as slothful behavior, but since I came home from Spain, I have been more or less homebound, other than my daily walks. There’s a lot going on in our community and our province but other than going to the Tattoo in Halifax, I haven’t felt the urge to attend many events. Maybe it has something to do with the oppressive heat and humidity lately even though this kind of weather generally doesn’t bother me. Of course, it’s easy to say this when you live in an air-conditioned apartment.

Every day is like Groundhog Day. I get up; have breakfast; go for my 7 km walk; cool down and eat some fruit; shower; read a book; lunch; power snooze; read a book; watch sport talk shows at supper hour; supper; read a book; Netflix. Lights out.

I love early mornings. I keep a window open in my bedroom. I especially love rainy mornings. Waking from a good night’s sleep (which includes two trips to the loo!), there is nothing more satisfying than to lie in bed and listen to the rain. Soothing is the best word I can find to describe this. The birds seem to love it as well. I often lie in bed wondering about the endless possibilities of the day in front of me. I also take a moment to thank my lucky stars. Gratitude affects attitude. It’s not always possible to feel this way especially when tragedy strikes, or poor health befalls us, but when things are going well, being consciously grateful is important.

I take nothing for granted. Being able to get out of bed is a gift. Having the ability to prepare food and the means to do it. I don’t take these for granted. Being able to see, breathe easily, hear and taste. None of these are taken for granted. Having an education to be able to read and have employment are not taken for granted. Having good health and a strong heart enables me to go for a daily walk. I think about people in nursing homes and how they would love to go for a stroll around the block or on the farm as they once did. I don’t take democracy for granted and appreciate the freedoms that come with this. We rarely think about these things until we’re retired and out of the line of fire. When you’re in the trenches trying to pay a mortgage and managing a house full of small children, the last thing you’re thinking about is democracy, unless, of course, you’re trying to decide who will get the last piece of pie!

Savoring the first cup of coffee (or tea) of the day is one of life’s small pleasures. Caressing the cup, the first few mouthfuls are divine. You’re not completely awake and if you’re retired like me and don’t have to rush around to get ready for work, the simple act of sitting and drinking a hot beverage is heavenly. Ditto for wine at supper.

There are many days when my motivation to go walking is very low. There is a litany of excuses from which to draw but I know that “motion is lotion” and even when my back tells me to recline and chill out, I always push myself out the door. I know that after 90 minutes of putting one foot in front of the other, I will feel so much better.

It’s not hard to amuse myself on my daily walk. Invariably, I bump into someone, and we stop to chat. One of the greatest gifts of retirement is not being in a hurry. At this time of the year, everything is in bloom which is a blessing for most of us and likely a curse for people who suffer from allergies. Because walking forces me to slow down and be more observant, I love looking at all the flower gardens in people’s yards. Looking at beautiful things is good for the soul. One thing I have observed over time is the incredible number of different shades of green. The next time you go for a stroll, count them.

And speaking of counting, I occasionally count cars, a throwback to my youth when we would count cars to amuse ourselves on road trips. Yes, from time-to-time boredom sets in and I will guess the number of cars that will pass me in the next kilometer. I know that this seems silly, but it takes my mind off walking especially on these very hot, sticky days. Little things amuse little minds. I also think of ice cream!

Of course, there’s usually a song rattling through my head which often turns into an earworm. For the uninitiated, an earworm is a song that gets stuck in your head, often for days. So, here’s a song that I’m thinking about right now. Hum a few bars and see how long this sticks in your brain!

“See you, in September,

 See you, when the summer’s through.”

See You in September – The Happening

I don’t want you falling asleep, so I’ll skip other parts of my daily routine. You see, it’s not only Jerry Seinfeld who has mastered the art of talking about nothing!


Facebook has become a bit of a trash can. Most of us hate it but it has become an addiction. Luckily there are glimmers of hope. Every second or third day, a friend posts the following:” It’s going to be a great day”. It is so simple but yet, very powerful. If you say it often enough, maybe, just maybe, the day in front of you will be filled with endless possibilities. Thanks, Cubby, for reminding us to think positive.

“Gee, Len. This was so fascinating. Maybe next week you can talk about doing your laundry or taking out the recycling.”

Alternatively, you could watch paint dry.

“You ain’t seen nothing yet,

B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen nothing yet,

Here’s something you’re never going to forget,

B-b-b baby, you just ain’t seen nothing yet”.

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – Bachman, Turner Overdrive

Have a great weekend.


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