Hockey Parents behaving badly!

A tale as old as time….

It’s not the heart warming story of Beauty and the Beast I wish to evoke today, although the Beast image is most appropriate.  I want to speak here of the never-ending issue of hockey parents behaving badly.  I say loudly, SHAME ON YOU, SHAME ON YOU, and your nasty ways!

I’d hoped things had changed since I was a parent attending those early morning games and practices, but from the perspective today of a grandmother in the stands…all remains, sadly, unchanged.

My eight-year-old granddaughter, she’s only eight, did I mention that? And some of her Kaitlynteammates are a mere seven years old…. her girls’ hockey team recently played a weekend tournament in Oshawa, Ontario.  On the third day of the game, they were in the finals, all excited to possibly win the coveted gold medal, more than happy with the thought of the silver.  Fact is, they’re little kids, they were happy to just be hanging out together all weekend at the hockey rink!

At the end of the finals, they wore the silver medal, and were flying high on their win.  They lined up for the traditional post game handshake, mimicking the big leagues in an honoured tradition of respect for fellow athletes, they followed after each other dutifully slapping gloves with the gold clad team.   Swinging around, little and tall ones they were, my granddaughters’ team skated by the bench holding the coaches of the opposing team

From these coaches, who are adults, who are parents, who are supposed to lead by example, these little girls received not the sportsmanlike talk of ‘Good game’, “way to go girls’, no, these were the words they should have received, but instead, they were slapped with: worst, worst team, worst!

Worst, synonymise with: bad, inferior, least, lowest.

Don’t let anyone tell you that words don’t hurt, because they do.

Shame on you, hockey parents behaving badly, shame on you!

Tale as old as time

Tune as old as song

Bitter sweet and strange

Finding you can change

Learning you were wrong.

Parents, you were wrong, please change.

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How is it Possible?

I was reading a new book recently, The Light of Paris, by Eleanor Brown, when a question popped up from the main character, the protagonist, Madeleine, who asked: How is it possible things that are so important to us when we are young somehow fade away?

The question stopped me in my tracks, left me lingering on that page for quite awhile.  Madeleine was already a full chapter ahead of me before I could even think of following her.   Wow, what a question this character has presented to me!

Why do we forget that which ignited our souls when we were young?  Why do we forget to pursue the art classes we loved, the dancing we swore we would never stop, the songs we wanted to sing before our years were done?   All these passions that fueled our youth with dreams of possibilities, were they perhaps trampled by the heavy years of adulthood?

I turn again to my friend Madeleine who told me, ‘It’s so easy for those dreams to get run over by other people’s ideas about what we should do, or to be eroded, little by little, by the day-to-day drudgery of living, or to lose heart when faced with the long, hopeless struggle between where we are and who we want to be.”

I believe, we become so busy living, we forget to examine how in fact we are living.  The quality of our soul is fueled and cared for by our passions, whether that be writing, painting, drawing, sculpturing, to name but a few.  The important message is to find something you love, and do it, just do it, daily if you can!

I will close with Madeleine’s words: Do this forever.  If this makes you happy, do this forever.  Do the thing that feeds your soul and don’t let anyone else tell you that you are broken because of it.

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Examining us all

It’s interesting when driving around, whether to and from work, or when running around doing errands, it’s interesting to watch various reactions to oncoming traffic.

Squirrels, well those guys, they are the best!  They are serious when on traffic patrol, they look, they wait, and they dart!  Sometimes they make it, sometimes they don’t, but you have to give them credit, they are aware of the dangers, and they watch.

Cats, they’re fast, but they too watch, you can tell they have some awareness of the risks involved when crossing the road.  They slink, they analyze, and they make their move.

Dogs, love’em I do, but are they road smart? nope, they are not.

Then, we have the human element, the masses of those who have created technology, those who have the smarts that has taken us beyond this earth of ours, we are those labeled the higher level of intelligence, apparently.  The aforementioned squirrels and cats, they assess the area prior to crossing the busy road, we don’t.  We can be seen clutching the arm of their companions, usually their best friends, and what do they do? they look straight ahead and run together with a ‘us against the world’ kind of attitude, and they run blindly across the road.  They don’t look and try and gauge the distance between them and the oncoming car, nope, they run holding tight to the belief that nothing will happen to them.

Now, I am not trying to be the critic looking down upon others from an older age.  Fact, is, I have done the same.  Sad, but true.  I saw a fleet of cars coming and I clutched my girl friends arm and we ran together across that busy road, neither looking left or right, always just blindly forward, always believing only that we would make it to the other side.

Hmm, am I criticizing or do I miss this blind belief of youth?

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Meeting Nashville…on the back a motor bike

Not that I don’t like motor bikes, cuz I do.

Not that I don’t like vacations, cuz I do, for sure.

And I really, truly, wanted to check out Nashville, TN, even though I had never watched the TV show Nashville.

Problem is, I didn’t properly link them all together, you know, the vacation, on a motor bike, going to Nashville.  Seeing them all bundled together in proper order, it certainly gives me pause for concern…now.

In hindsight, I believe it can all be lumped under the heading of ‘it seemed like a good idea at that time’.

The trip itself, well, vacation time after all, can do no wrong, after all who doesn’t live for vacation days?  Hmmm, that makes me want to digress slightly….did you know, I pause here to make certain you are all listening, there are actually people, living, breathing people, who do not use their vacation days?  I hear your shock and denial from a distance, I do!

Close to year end, these special people are actually forced…forced, I tell ya…to take their vacations!  I have to shake my head and move on from this topic, for I simply cannot understand how any of that is possible.  It’s akin to my confusion over another grouping I’ve heard tell of, those who ‘forget to eat’….say what?

Anyhow, I set out full of optimistic vacation bliss as the bunch of us set off, some in a van, some on bikes, for the music filled streets of Nashville, TN.  It was very early in the morning, because early is when true biker people hit the roads.  My hand was the only one that shot up in favour of a later departure, and as you can guess, I was out voted.

We’d been on the highway for a bit, when the sky began to show off its colours for the coming day.  It was amazing to see the various layers of red, orange and hints of yellow that announced the morning.  It made me realize what a canvas each day presents to us, if we would only take a moment to be aware.  It also made me realize I still have a craving to create, to draw, to paint.  But along with all this inner thought, came the realization that a passenger, on a motor bike, is a captive audience.

There is not a lot you can do, as a passenger.  It’s best to be totally in sync with the driver.  There is no sense checking out the traffic before you, or behind you.  You have to learn to trust your driver, you have to believe they will be watching, they are aware, and will most certainly keep you safe.  So, that leaves you to do….what?  And that, my friend, is exactly my issue!

After my enthusiastic inner applause over the glorious arrival of the day, and soon after the final wisps of night disappeared into the morning sky, there was very little for me to do.

I started to watch how hubby changed gears, which hand he used, which foot moved.  I shared his energy as we crested hills, passed transport trucks, took curves with an assured expertise.  I even, once in awhile, participated in the special wave one gives to other bikers passing by.  But, when I looked over his shoulder to view the tiny clock on the dash, I discovered we’d only been on the road for an hour.  An hour!  Only an hour, it can’t be so!

So, I started going over my French: did my numbers, the months, the days, even strung some sentences together.  I practiced some Kegel exercises,  women everywhere you know what I speak of!….and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…release…and repeat.

I have always wanted to learn how to sing, properly, and Amazing Grace is the song I have chosen to learn, some day.  A bit of a grandiose plan, you might say, but there it is.  On that vacation day, I practiced belting out this song I love.  I couldn’t really hear how I sounded, for the wind rudely pushed the words back down my throat, or flung them at the cars we passed.  Humph, everyone’s a critic!

Finally, after all this activity, I once more ventured a peek over hubby’s shoulder, you know, to check how the time was doing.  Just imagine my horror to be confronted with the fact, that only five minutes had passed.  Not unsimilar to one of my nightmares, where I’m at work and the time remains stuck at 9:05AM, no matter how loud I scream!

Just so you understand, out of eight days vacation, six of them were spent on the bike.  Six.

After much thought, after the trip, I’m thinking it was all perhaps a plan set in motion by hubby.  You see, the next time he says he is planning a long-distance bike trip, I may have to say ‘you’re on your own, my friend’.   And I’m thinking, maybe, just maybe, that was his devious plan all along.

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Summer Awareness

This summer of 2017 has been a rather soggy ride.

Mid-July, Environment Canada baptised it the “Year of the Big Wet”, so it certainly wasn’t my slightly dramatic imagination bringing on the rain.

By the middle of August, we finally received some heat reminiscent of past summers, and the green in my back yard quickly faded to an unattractive yellow/brownish shade.  The fading of the colours brought me to the back one early morning, hose in hand, I stood spraying streams of water back and forth over various parched areas.  I enjoy this activity, finding the repetitive motion soothing and hypnotic.  It allows me a moment of relaxation, a valuable time for self.

On this particular morning, my floaty thoughts were interrupted by the most energetic audition of vocals by a robin a top my neighbours roof.  He was a tired looking specimen, his colours muted and dusty.  What he looked like was a traveller who’d been on the road way too long.

I kept still, allowing a perfect gentle arch of water to flow to one spot only on the lawn.  Before I knew it, the air weary bird was showering energetically under the spray, right in front of me!  I wanted to laugh out loud, for his presence, his innocent shower antics, made me so very happy!

But, I wanted him to stay, so I remained still and silent.

And, he did stay, if only for a bit.

It made my morning, and it set the tone for my day.

Remember this my little songbird and never forget(ˆ◡ˆ)

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Beginnings

When I started this Blog it was a beginning, a push, for me, towards actually doing instead of just dreaming.

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On Wanting, Needing, to Write

When I started this Blog, there was a number of reasons I felt it was necessary…for me…however I do understand at the root of its origin was the desire, the need to write.

I do feel having this Blog encouraged me to pursue more time to write, it made me realize, once again, how very much I desired this creative outlet.  I haven’t as yet accomplished the output I dreamed of, but the drive is still there.  What I realize monthly, as I re-visit this site, is that I simply must give it more time.

People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.
– Harlan Ellison

Writing is work, and the rewards, the monetary rewards, are not a guarantee, however that feeling, that surge of accomplishment, that thrill of ‘wow’, I feel inside when a project is completed, is, as the story goes, priceless.

Believing in self is difficult, at times it feels selfish, and it takes forever to realize how important it is.

I am fearful of failure, and we all know criticism stings, a lot, but I understand, finally, that I really need to write, to create, in order to build who I was destined to be.  Here, is the career path I should have followed, oh, so many years ago.

Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil—but there is no way around them.
– Isaac Asimov

I have enjoyed this pep talk, thank you!

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Crayola Dandelion Yellow Retires

Dandelion Yellow Retires March 31, 2017

So proclaimed Crayola, twitting out its announcement as follows: Our beloved Dandelion decided to announce his retirement early!  There’s no taming an adventurous spirit! #NationalCrayonDay

And what I want to know is…how?  How did Dandelion Yellow do it?

Did he start collecting his crayon shavings early?…say from Day 1 when he first joined his brethren in the famous Box of 24?  Perhaps he invested, and then re-invested when the shavings started to grow.  I do wonder if he ever worried, even a little, when interest started to flag in colouring books, but of course there came the save with the introduction of Adult Colouring books and shortly after, the much sought after ticket into Chapters.

I wonder if, as time drew along side of  him, if he posted messages of inspiration on his focus board.  Perhaps he saved a collection of words which, when viewed, helped to push him outside the lines.  There was always news from the Box of 24, telling and retelling stories about Dandelion’s dedicated focus and drive.

There was, of course, the gray days.  And the Box of 24 had Gray, still do.  Gray tried to retire, I believe it was back in 1980, however a miscalculation on the value of his shavings brought his dream of altering the hue of the mountains in Colorado to a disappointing end.  He slipped back into the Box quietly, grateful his slot was still available. I heard he was the first to congratulate Dandelion Yellow.  He’s a soft soul is Gray.

So, the question remains, how did Dandelion, that crafty crayon do  it?

Fact is, I’m green with envy.  Colour me jealous, and send me back to work, cuz obviously my retirement planning (I use the term planning loosely!) was not as adventurous as Dandelion’s.

I wish you well my old friend.  Colour that sunset AWESOME!

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Spring Markers

Have they changed?

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You Never Know

“You cannot do a kindness too soon,

For you never know how soon it will be too late.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am always taken a back when subjected to the unkindness of others.  No matter how I steel myself, I continue to be shocked at the rude, and many times cruel words, that so many chose to carelessly fling before them.  Such behaviour is becoming more common place, whether you are at work, or at play. Makes me wonder if it gives them…those who are thoughtless in their choice of words—a secret rush of illicit power.  “I have just ruined their day,” they perhaps giggle, as they flex their questionable wit for their next hapless victim.

More and more people are finding this behaviour the norm.

Criticism—cruelty.

Tomayto—tomahto.

Everyone is doing it they chant, even the President of the United States.  After all, it’s common knowledge how much easier it is to take down others, rather than wasting time admitting to our own failings.  I believe the term is bullying, and this can quite easily segue into hatred.

A Twit on Twitter he is, this newly elected bully in the White House, who is successfully stirring up a poisonous gas of words that will, eventually, prove too difficult to contain.

Words hurt, words can cause irreparable damage.  Already the unrest is growing.

Who will be our hero who will save us?  Our heroes of the past are long gone and are quickly being forgotten.

For now, as we wait, do something daily before it is too late, even if it’s only a small act of kindness.  It will be worth it in the long run.  Let each of us become, the hero of this story.

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