Thursday Tidbits

Posted on July 1, 2021 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment


Eating and reading. These are a few of my favourite things.


Someone said that it’s a holiday today.

Thanks for the memo.

The only thing retirees know about the days of the week is that they all end in the letter Y. This wasn’t always the case. Most people of my generation have been working since they were teenagers. Many of us, especially in Catholic communities, came from large families. On our street alone, well in excess of 100 children occupied 27 homes. When you consider that 4 of these homes housed no children, you get the picture. I came from a family of 8 children. If you wanted the finer things in life like a CCM hockey stick, you damn well had to work for it.

At the tender age of 14, I got my first job. I was hired by Joe “Mike” MacDonald to cut the grass at the cemetery. I was paid the princely sum of $1.00 an hour which was the going rate for unskilled labor back in the 60s. In many ways, it was the ideal job. You worked unsupervised. No one in the cemetery was going to report a slothful youth. Other than the hum of the mower, it was quiet. There were only two times when you weren’t cutting grass: during a rainstorm and during a burial. I witnessed many committals from a distance. The hereafter was a mystery to a 14-year-old boy. It still is at the age of 69.

I am not going to spoil your holiday by giving you the details of my c.v. (Curriculum Vitae and not Corona Virus!). Safe to say, most of my loyal readers have worked all their lives. A few of us who didn’t get the memo that it was OK to stop someday, (?) continued to work beyond the normal retirement age of 65.

Now that I am officially retired, for the second time, I have been pondering the future. For the first time that I can ever remember, I don’t have many, if any, responsibilities. I have made inquiries about the possibility of doing a Masters in Adult Education at our local university. This has a lot of appeal: learning for the sake of learning. But it also sounds like it might be work.

After careful consideration I have decided that I will pursue a Masters in Doing Nothing (MDN). I seem to have already perfected the course syllabus. It involves sleeping, including power naps during the day… any time of the day. It incorporates a couple of walks a day, reading, eating, and consuming Netflix in rather large volumes. A glass of vino or a cold brew on a hot day, and, voila, you have attained your MDN.

I am reading a book about the life of Leonardo Da Vinci. I must admit that I know very little about art except our neighbor, Art MacD. who was the goaltender for our high school hockey team. Da Vinci was much, much more than an artist, as I have discovered. He had a brilliant mind and saw the world much differently than most mortals. However, he had one flaw that wouldn’t have gone down well with my mother. Leonardo was notorious for not finishing what he started. Many of his commissioned paintings were never completed.

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of a socially distanced outdoor meeting with Denise Davies. After traveling and working internationally for almost 45 years, Denise returned to Antigonish in 2010. In these past 11 years she has been photographing and writing about Nova Scotia. Recently she published an excellent book called “Out and About Antigonish”. If you want to explore nature, go for a hike, see our amazing beaches, learn about history, art, and culture, all within 2 hours of Antigonish, this is the book for you. When we are allowed to have visitors, this would be an excellent guidebook for them.

Are you bored with your cooking? So am I. While maple glazed pork tenderloin and sweet and sour meatballs sound yummy (unless you’re vegan!), after you’ve prepared and eaten them a gazillion times, the novelty and enjoyment fade quickly. Enter “Fresh Food Matters”. During my recent quarantine, I didn’t cook a single meal, unless you consider raisin toast and peanut butter a meal. Family and friends provided me with my main meal of the day. Never have I been so spoiled. My daughter suggested that I try one of Antigonish’s newest food emporiums. Fresh Food Matters prepares meals to go for unimaginative and uninspired people like yours truly. I am not suggesting that the rest of you are as unimaginative and uninspired as I am. They make delicious soups, hummus, fantastic salads and a variety of quiches and meals to go. I may never cook again.

Part of my MDN involves childcare. I plan to spend time with my granddaughters this summer. A few days ago, I spent a few hours with one of them. With the school year ending in a few days’ time, I thought a little graduation ceremony (she’s in grade 3) was in order. We went out for lunch and then moseyed across the street to the 5 to $1.00 to pick up a graduation gift. She picked out a small plush toy and a box of Lego. We went back to my place. She quickly assembled a piano out of Lego and moved on to create a beautiful drawing.  I spectated. Watching a grandchild play might be one of the best spectator sports… ever.

The master of doing nothing will be hard at it on this holiday Thursday.

As Ringo Starr sang, “All I got to do is act naturally”!

Have a great weekend.

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Tri Mac Toyota!

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