Sunday, May 24, 2015


We all have those mornings. Take for example, one's keys. There are many different ways a guy's keys could interfere with that frenzied-rush-to-get-out-the-door-efficiency required some mornings when it's important to be early or something needs to be prepped before work or someone needs a ride or whatever. So keys are pretty much key, aren't they? Keys don't always cooperate though. Familiar scenarios follow. Maybe...

1. I can't find my keys.
2. I have the wrong set of keys.
3. I left my keys in my other coat.
4. My key won't work.
5. Someone stole my car so my keys are useless. It could happen. That reminds me of the time
6. One of my teens borrowed my car but came home without it and well, you know that parking-lot-I-have-no-freaking-idea-where-my-car-is-feeling. That.
7. My dog ate my keys.
8. My kid dropped my keys in the toilet. (It's happened to several people apparently.)
9. My keys are at the bottom of the lake/river/swamp/ocean/vat of cheese dip.
10. My wife drove six hours away for the weekend with her keys and my keys. (True story.)


I'm going to be presumptuous and declare that this has NEVER HAPPENED TO ANYONE ELSE ON EARTH except me and sure, that's probably exaggeration but wait, maybe not.

Rushing to my car one early sunny beautiful morning recently, I stepped off my deck and onto my driveway, my keys in my right hand. Suddenly I realized I had walked right into one of those cobwebs that spiders like to clothesline us unsuspecting humans with, likely to enjoy the effect of seeing us humans flail around in irrational horror while those same spiders record the drama on their tiny iPhones with the intent to upload footage to Arachni-you-tube and get lots and lots of hits, go viral, impress their friends, and become famous before someone crushes them with a shoe, repeatedly. (My bitterness will be explained momentarily). Anyway, instinctively I reached up to frantically remove that spider silk from my face and promptly shoved my car key up my right nostril into my brain aka a self-administered mini-lobotomy.


If there is indeed an Arachni-you-tube, I suspect I'm famous too.

Monday, May 18, 2015

May Long

What's so tremendous and immense about a northern Canadian May long-weekend?

Characteristically, it's
1. cold (our tomato plants froze plus it snowed south of where I live. Sheesh.)
2. and yet hot enough for summer shorts and bare feet (even if it isn't because, chutzpah) and
3. it's light until at least 10 o'clock and that just means more lingering, here and there, because, extra time for
4. a backyard campfire and picnic with witty & thoughtful friends plus
5. it's still too cold for bugs.

This particular Canadian May long-weekend it was also uncharacteristically
1. one big generous Swedish farmer guy with lots of rocks and
2. rock-picking
3. and aging train tracks and
4. peeing outside and
5. freshly planted seed across prairie horizon lines and
6. my wife trying to charm another farmer and
7. one really old chain-saw that still worked (?)
8. plus the blondes (my son & his girlfriend) fixed my broken shovel,
9. one great conversation about parenting and regrets and swear-words and still unanswered questions contrasted with
10. an enthusiastic slip n slide design,
11. this question: some escalators are flat, right?
12. a Mad Men series finale about redemption and reinvention and all the beautiful tragic comic flaws we humans embrace and deny and overcome and then return to again and again and then
13. the sad loss of Mary, a lovely, lovely woman who defined neighbourly and whom I have adopted as my secret surrogate 91 year old grandmother for a decade, and those
14. teenagers who want to talk (!) nursing philosophy, John Candy movies, and the power of hanging with the right people, and a few
15. caramel and sea-salt s'mores and
16. live-tweeting and
17. Jake the Snake and DDT
18. and the first production meeting for this genius concept: the campfire channel and
19. time to think and
20. there's still the rest of today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Sometimes really big things fall over. And when they fall over, they make a big mess. And sometimes it's hard to clean up that mess.

"Those who fight corruption should be clean themselves." ~Vladimir Putin

Friday, May 1, 2015

This is not a step.

It looks like a step, doesn't it? But look closely: this is not a step.

For obvious safety reasons, stepladders can be dangerous. With each subsequent level up, each step is a little more precarious than the last. Therefore, don't go too far, right? Heed the warning at the very top of most stepladders clearly marked "this is not a step."

There's a terrific irony in that but at the same time it's quite a truth too. As in life, sometimes what feels like the final step or what looks like the final step is indeed, not a step at all. And there you are, stuck. Either jump or make a shaky return to the floor. 

And yet steps shouldn't be this difficult, should they? After all, steps are the very things that make life manageable. Need a cake? Follow these steps. Need a career? Follow these steps. Addicted? Follow 12 steps. 

But as we all know, some steps are more complicated. And some, after taken, rouse regret. And some other steps may not have been taken intentionally, and then what? 

Some say no matter because the first step was the most important anyway. Without that first step, where would any of us be? It's a good point, and yet I’m interested in the next steps too because just maybe it’s steps we face when we realize we've gone the wrong way that are the most important. And then it’s that next step that makes all the difference. After all, stepping off is still a step. 

Still, stepping off may solve little. Maybe instead, it’s the reaching up and replacing of that darkened lightbulb instead. Illuminate so that others may see where and where not to step. Maybe that's the point of being on a stepladder in the first place. Why? Because I've learned just as much, maybe even more, from others’ missteps than their successes. 

Share your failures friends. I guarantee someone needs to hear them. Shed that light so others can see where and where not to step. Be the mentor you wish you’d had. 
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