Today I Rode The Rails

But before I get to those thoughts I just saw the cutest photo from The Telegraph, and no it isn’t a cat. Or kittens. Or toddler. Well closer to the last one but not quite.

From 1958

How sweet are those faces?

Okay, I could go off onto that tangent, but will proceed as planned. Loosely planned.

Back to the rails.

When I was a little girl, bout five or six, we got our very first TV. Okay it was 1953ish. And sometime after that there was an old movie about hoboes jumping onto trains and riding from place to place. I wasn’t sure what a hobo was but they were always portrayed as nice ‘fellas’ down on their luck.

I must admit that the idea of being able to ‘hop’ a train appealed to me.

Riding the Rails during the Great Depression

https://livinghistoryfarm.org › water_07

Riding the rails was dangerous. The bulls were hired to keep hoboes off trains, so you couldn’t just go to a railroad yard and climb on

Today I took a much longer trip than anticipated on our intercity train, known as the LRT or ION.

First, I sauntered to our library to return a book, thinking I would have a lovely coffee at their Cafe, but the library was closed. They started closing on Sunday during COVID and have yet to change. Most inconvenient. Anyway, I put the book through the slot thingy, and headed downtown.

I had a mind to take the LRT to Waterloo -adjoining city- to Vincenzo’s, to buy some fresh pasta. But guess what? THEY WERE CLOSED!

So then I took the train the other way where at twice the distance, there was Farm Boy. The most delicious market, though more expensive than most.

Food aside, or I shall not be getting to the rail riding bit, it was my changing perspective and perception I wanted to talk about.

When I board the train I like to sit next to the big windows that look down on the rest of the world. Make of that what you will.

This time I chose a seat that had me riding backwards. A different perspective. Normally riding forward I see the lovely buildings and gardens and not much else.

This time, on this bright autumn Sunday I saw things that disturbed me. Partly because I had not noticed them before.

I saw an emaciated fellow hanging on to some scaffolding bars. I didn’t know if it was drunks, alcohol or if he was sick.

I saw people huddled in groups in dark corners of churches passing around a bottle.

I glimpsed some tents that were part of an illegal Tent City.

And I was troubled. And asking questions.

Why are some struggling so badly. Hurting. What can I do?

Funny thing, when I was that same little girl in front of the TV set I did not enjoy Christmas. Because on that best Day of all, when my folks had piled their five children into the backseat of the old car, to take us to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for feasting and laughter, on that One day, I saw a bedraggled emaciated, stumbling fellow wandering down a street. Alone and poorly dressed in the driving snow, and my heart broke.

I think of children being abused, and terrorized. I think of people all over the world who suffer.

And I keep asking the same two questions.
Why? How can I help?

I have helped one on one over the years but it is still so little.

When I lived in Uvalde Texas for a couple of years (yes that one) there was a large poverty stricken part where my nurses used to deliver Home Care. I had never seen anything like it and I cried every night for two weeks. And then I came to understand that if I had all the money in the world I could not cure that problem. Which is just one problem.

The other is the pain, hurt, and abuse that humans do to each other.

Here in Ontario a lowly paid Social Worker needs a Masters degree to work. High stress, high suicide rate, etc etc…………….

And that is how I got on to thinking about those riding the rails. As I did today.

Good grief!! Sorry about that! Otherwise the day and dinner was delightful!

So, from here North of 43, I do hope your thoughts are much brighter. Go bac k to the lovely faces on the young Fab Four!

Chris G October 2nd ‘22

Sometimes it’s nice just to take a breath and relax

When the world gets crazy, and it does, and you have done what you could, or, perhaps there is nothing you can do but pray, a few minutes of rest helps a wee bit.

Now if you are British, which many of my friends are, they swear a cuppa eases the pains of life somewhat.

But if you are more visual, then you can’t beat photos of nice scenery. And whilst JB New Zealand way is wondering if indeed spring has come for her part of the world, we in the northern hemisphere celebrate colour.

So here are a few soothing pics:

Tripsavvy.com

Our beautiful east coast recently savaged by Hurricane Ian, but that won’t stop nature’s art work.

Tripsavvy.com

Our French province Of Quebec. I think the accents of fall are known worldwide and need no interpretation.

National Geographic

Maine is beautiful any time of year but….

National Geographic
National Geographic
Tripsavvy.com

And lastly from Spring Bank Park in London, a city about an hour away.

So from North of 43 I hope you have had a moment of respite.

Chris G September 30th ‘22

100 years 100%

Big scientific breakthrough!

I often wonder if we really do get wiser with age. And guess what?

After today, I believe it is true.

At 3/4 of a century I have attained knowledge that is surprising. An awareness, if you will. Truths that have surfaced. Misconceptions corrected. Perceptions that one believed for decades or eons. And the rest of the story (as they say).

Something happened today that completely and thoroughly shocked me. I won’t give details, because I never do.

I had an idea about a particular person that I had clung to for over fifty years. An idea in which I believed this person had had a particularly lush lovely life, which secretly I resented. Though I would have denied such a thing and believed the denial to be true.

Not only was my perception completely wrong, I then had to consider, why I let this thing live rent free in my mind for all those years.

See truth brought wisdom. And there have been several similar -on a much smaller scale – things that have come to light in my seventh decade.

That have made me wiser. Really wiser, Really!

So I got to thinking and came to the realization that at this pace of epiphany I should be 100% wise by 100 years!!

P.S. no need to inject reality here folks!

So I am off to contemplate the approach of perfect wisdom in twenty-five short years and bid you adieu from North of 43!

Chris G September 28th ‘22

And the booby prize goes to..

Canada. Again.

THINGS HAVE GONE TOO FAR.

The other day it was our Prime Minister of questionable intelligence yet again, singing Bohemian Rhapsody, in a bar, in London England, the night before Queen’s funeral. He does us so unproud so often.

Now, companies and institutions have policies for a reason. In this case it is The Dress Code. It determines the public face – and sets the standard for professionalism. And this isinglass particular

We now have a situation – with more than one idiot – that demonstrates we have surrendered all standards, and probably ethics and morals.

This is the headline:

This is about the male teacher at the center of a controversy –that shouldn’t exist.

Enter Idiot #2

This is the direction that regardless of poor taste or stupidity, it appears the School Board, is about to deep six standards in the excuse of the above≥

I support it all BUT THERE STILL MUST BE SOME KIND OF STANDARD. A decent one.

Regardless of every parent complaining and marching, no one seems to be thinking about the kids. The girls who are embarrassed and nervous about their own body development, and the boys who are snickering and sharing dirty grins. None of these children are gong to be learning.

And by the way – what you are about to see is a prosthetic so its not like its the guy’s real or fabricated through surgery body

Yup, this is what the idiot wears to school.

I believe every teacher who works in that school should wear clown suits and makeup.

I have so much to say but I AM SOOOO MAD.

I must wish you all well from North of 43 and I not putting a signature photo of me here.

Shame shame shame

Pulling turtle-neck over turkey-neck

Doesn’t work.

Well here I am first day back on my feet!

Took my time. Did yoga exercises for first time in ten days. Ate breakfast. Showered. Dressed.
Happy that real autumn temps showed up today (16C/60.8F). And I felt good!

Decided to swear a long sleeved turtle-neck body suit I bought a while ago.

Istock.com

I happened to come across some photos of me ten years ago. When did the turkey skin arrive?

So I made a plan to buy about a hundred turtle-neck sweaters. Long sleeved.
I was on my daily FaceTime with Scotland when I noticed a gap in the seam of a sleeve. Oh no, say I, I just took the tag off this and it has a hole in it.

We discussed the likely-hood of my mending the problem, when, oh no, this sleeve has a hole too. You’re getting the idea of how my day is going.

****it is 9:00 a.m. the next morning from this post and I see that for some reason only half appeared. I did have trouble publishing once I hit the button. But never looked to see that the full one published???

Here is the Rest of the Story

Then the proverbial penny dropped.

Me with proper use of the sleeves!

It reminded me of something my youngest grandson said during a recent FaceTime; Oh Ro, say I, I just noticed all my wrinkles while we’ve been talking.

Oh, grandma, says he, you always look like that. I don’t think you look any different. He says this in an innocent loving manner.

So that’s it. Again. From North of 43.



Chris G in yet another turtle neck September’22

I wish

I loved JB’s post yesterday.

You know the one with the game?

I really wish that I could play,

But cannot think of a single name.

The Seasons changed today,

My favourite time of year,

I really wish that I could play

But something else is very clear.

If wishes were horses

All Beggars would ride

If wishes came true

I could decide

To play the games,

Frolick in fall,

Make up names

And manage it all.

Sad to say I’m under the weather,

Happy to say not for long

My brain is more like a feather

Tomorrow, I am sure will be like a song!

So, from North of 43 I must bid you adieu, and wish you well!

Chris G September 23rd!

Hard and fast rules

hard-and-fast

hahrd-n-fast, –fahst ]

See synonyms for hard-and-fast on Thesaurus.com


adjective

strongly binding; not to be set aside or violated: hard-and-fast rules

I had a wandering thought this morning, as many of mine are, about hard and fast rules. I can ‘t tell you why as that was many hours ago. But the thought stuck.

Perhaps it came from remembering a discussion with someone awhile ago about strict upbringings.

Or perhaps it came from another discussion about firm-minded (I won’t say closed) and open-mindedness.

And then the question came: are people who are firm-minded and have hard and fast rules likely to have a stronger moral compass?

I fall on the softer side of everything. But I admire those others. I used to strive to be more that way, and actually made progress over the years.

But now I just play at it. I mean I am retired. I maintain a schedule of sorts, Things to do, people to see, on a regular basis. If I ever had any hard and fast rules I can’t remember them now.

I like being open-minded about things. To consider other perspectives. I don’t think that makes me wishy-washy, but there is always a danger of that.

Tell me, please:

Are you firm-minded? Have you ever had hard and fast rules?

I wish I had. I think it builds strong character. I never grew up in a home with hard and fast rules. Oh. Wait. Maybe I did. HMM

Well, from here at North of 43, I am off to ponder further.

Chris G September 18th ‘22

Noetics

I’ve mentioned before that one of the things I like about my Crime and Coffee book club is that I read books I probably wouldn’t bother with otherwise.

Sometimes, when I cannot generate any kind of interest, or the book just doesn’t grip me I will read it in reverse (Last chapter first etc). I like to challenge myself.

This month’s book is interesting and I am enjoying it.

Colson Whitehead’s book is quite enjoyable.

But my attention does wander (which probably explains reading 2 or 3 books at the same time).

So when I was at Cafe O the other day, where books free for the taking line every window sill, I spied Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. I had read it years ago, but felt the urge to give it another go.

Brown weaves a good tale sprinkled with just enough reality to grip one’s imagination. This time I decided to search out more information about some of the ‘real’ things, one of which is IONS – the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Never heard of them. So I have spent a lot of my time today learning about this organization. And I am enjoying learning. Intrigued might be a better word. I may have mentioned at sometime that my SIL and I had a discussion and came to the conclusion that she is firm in her beliefs and I am open-minded. And that we are each quite happy as we are.

Below is information from Wiki on the subject.

The Institute of Noetic Sciences (founded in 1973) describes noetic sciences as “how beliefs, thoughts, and intentions affect the physical world”. Since the 1970s and the foundation of the Institute of Noetic Sciences by NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell and others, the term “noetics” has been adopted by several authors such as Christian de Quincey in Deep Spirit: Cracking the Noetic Code (2008) and Dan Brown in The Lost Symbol (2009), who write about consciousness and spirituality.

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility.[1] It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality.[2] The word “metaphysics” comes from two Greek words that, together, literally mean “after or behind or among [the study of] the natural”. It has been suggested that the term might have been coined by a first century CE editor who assembled various small selections of Aristotle‘s works into the treatise we now know by the name Metaphysics (μετὰ τὰ φυσικά, meta ta physika, lit. ‘after the Physics ’, another of Aristotle’s works).[3]

Topics of metaphysical investigation include existenceobjects and their propertiesspace and timecause and effect, and possibility. Metaphysics is considered one of the four main branches of philosophy, along with epistemologylogic, and ethics.[5]

So from North of 43, I quote Shakespeare There are more things in heaven and earth, Horacio,/ That are dreamt of in your philosophy’

Chris G September 16th ‘22

The Eight Thousand Mile Connection

The distance from Kitchener Ontario Canada to the heart of Wellington New Zealand (in a straight line is 8,728 miles – or 14,047 km).

Tonight was one of the two nights a week that JB (Judith) and I chat via FaceTime. Sometimes for forty-five min, or an hour and a half, and sometimes for two hours.

Tonight was a two hour fun-fest of frolicking fiddle-faddle and frequent flattery. ** a little recognition for JB’s alliterative attempt yesterday,

When one chats A World Apart there are all kinds of benefits. One is that these two kindred spirits have a bond that extends beyond time and place, perhaps even lifetimes.

And we have the eight thousand mile connection!

This is a magic condition of conversation in which we can say things to each other we would not tell another. In fact, often the sentence begins with, ‘I would never tell anyone else but…’

And every time we say this I think, ah the eight thousand connection.

Ideas, confessions, considerations, commiserations. All without judgement. We throw out ideas, suggestions, and talk about hopes and fears, and speculation.

And many times, like tonight, there is not a word about politics, news, or world conditions. Very indulgent.

I love FaceTime. I feel as comfortable in conversation as if we were sitting in each other’s living rooms.

Tonight in that two hours, one of the things we talked about is that if we lived close together, we probably would not be the great friends we are.

Does that surprise you?

You see, we are very different. At least in lifestyles and interests and experiences. At the same time we are very alike in lifestyles and interests and experiences. And humour.

Does that make sense to you?

Anyway, after that two hour chat up I just had to write about it, but now from North of 43 I am off to consider some of that conversation further!

Chris G September 14th ‘22

New members of the family

So I went to a great nursery yesterday and brought home two. No, not a human nursery. The other kind.

I felt the need to add a presence to my abode. Thought of a canine – but I am away for long hours – not fair. Thought of a feline, but really I don’t want fur over everything, and the hairless kind just don’t engender that cuddly reaction.

So I am going for a different life form.

So, it’s a start, right?

No green thumbs here but surely I can do this.

Oh and I am quite ignorant as far as names go, so if anyone knows what the top plant is please let me know!

So, from north of 43, I am off to talk to the additions. (I heard somewhere the plants like that)

Chris G September 12th ‘22