Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday musings, July 1, 2012

Kind of a different column this week to start with at least.
The other day someone said to me that it was too bad we never had children. While some might say that such a comment might have been a bit insensitive to my feelings on the topic, it got me to thinking of young people that I know that have had an impact on my life.
And as such, there are some people that I want to share with you. And not in order of importance because they all are important and all have had a lasting impact on us.
We have our friend the realtor on Vancouver Island who actually is like an elder daughter to us. She is fun to talk to, has a super attitude with values that mirror ours and she truly cares about the needs of people she deals with. She has made the transition to becoming an Islander stress minimal and is just a good person.
We have someone on the mainland who is like a sister to us and whose door is always open to us when we descend out of the blue to visit her. Her opinions and thoughts are valued and respected.
I have a former co-worker here in Regina who is like a daughter to me and I enjoy her company in the all too rare tea sessions we have. A hard working young mother of a sweet 2 year old girl with great values and outlook on life and people. I am honoured to know her and will miss her when we leave the city for good.
My friend the writer in America is someone whose friendship I treasure. Just being able to give her some help in a minor way in her projects pleases me to no end.
All four continue to enrich our lives and I am so happy to have the pleasure of knowing them.
They make me a better person.
So, sometimes not having children is not the end of the world or a great sadness, indeed others can, and if you are fortunate as we have been, be there for you.
Got my second game of golf in this week. And what a game it was! The wind was blowing up to 100KPH (63 miles per hour) and I swear I saw birds flying sideways all game long. Indeed the flag marking the hole on the greens was almost horizontal on every green. I had one shot go 255 yards (OK I am exaggerating the distance just a tad) ahead into the gale force wind and then seem to hit a wall inflight and then actually began flying back at me and ended up about 20 feet in front of me at the end! Needless to say my score will not go down in history as a low score but possibly as a course high score.
Still, it was fun in a way.
All the things we have wanted to sell or dispose of before we move later this summer are gone and the house and yard seems empty to a degree. The footsteps in the basement echo where once there was furniture all around, now empty. The back patio and front sun room are bereft of furniture except for 2 forlorn lawn chairs for us to sit in – which we really do not feel like doing at this time. Some rooms are nearly empty and one tends to shut the doors to them to avoid looking in. Everything is in a holding pattern until the move finally begins. And it feels different to do things like mowing the lawn or yard work knowing that soon the house will be for someone else to deal with.
After 25 years, the house no longer seems ours and I feel like a visitor/guest instead.
Such is life.
My better half worked her last day on the last day of June and is now officially “retired”. And do you think anyone sent me notes of condolences now that I am no longer at home alone to rest and be able to take it easy? Not one person! Is that fair? No, I think not. Now I can look forward to things like walks in parks, tea shop breaks and dear lord – not shoe shopping – please no!!!!!!!!!
Oh well, we are both looking forward to this new phase in our lives and indeed, we have worked hard, sacrificed many things in order to get here and so will enjoy it.
So there is probably national mourning in Germany these days. And no, not about the continuing soap opera called the Euro disease but more importantly the fall of the national soccer team to Italy in the Euro Cup 2012 playoffs. The Germans just cannot seem to be able to defeat the Italians in championship play and that has been for quite a while.
Things in South America seem to be heating up. Foreign Minister H├ęctor Timerman of Argentina announced today Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay’s decision to make Venezuela an official member of the Mercosur trade bloc. In addition, Paraguay was officially suspended, until the country’s authorities are renewed.
You may want to look up what the Mercosur trade bloc is all about but it seems that instead of being solely a trade focused instrument, it is now becoming politicized by the present (Argentinian) President and with apparently the illegal admission of Venezuela (according to membership protocols).
Something to keep watching.
Islamist Mohammed Morsi was sworn in Saturday before Egypt’s highest court as the country’s first freely elected president, succeeding Hosni Mubarak who was ousted 16 months ago. In his speech to the people he indicated that he would have a woman and Christian in his government with the position of vice president possibly to be filled by one of those. Time will tell where or what road this country now will travel in the way of the governing of the people. Will democracy (and really it has been very limited with army rule for so long) remain or will hard line Islam Sharia law prevail and be the end of rights for women in the land? Will they revert to non educated illiterate chattel to be dealt with by their husbands and men in general? It has always seemed to me that men who are so ignorant and cruel in their dealings and treatment of woman are basically insecure in their own manhood and incapable of totally rational and compassionate behavior.
Just saying.
Yitzhak Shamir, a former Prime Minister of Israel died this week at age 96. One of the true “giants” in the creation of that country and its modern history. Say what you want about him, he possessed a rare trait for a politician – he spoke plainly and honestly with no evasions and half truths. This enraged many in the Arab world but at least with him, they knew where he stood.
In the United States, the Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the so called “Obamacare” Act much to the anger of the Republican and Tea Party people. It seems to add 32 million to eligible health care at public expense and this angers those people. Three things about this come to mind. First was the number of comments on social media forums from people who seemed to hate this so called socialist state health system that are vowing to move to Canada for freedom – do they not know about Medicare here? The second is do not these people know they are already paying for the uninsured by way of those crazy bills they get for items used for them while in hospital? Things like $500 bags of fluid used in iv treatment or $1000 staplers for stitches or $300 sutures? Then the third thing is with all these new potential patients coming on stream – where are the Americans going to get the doctors, nurses etc. for the increased demand?
Anybody think of that?
The city of Stockton in California has declared bankruptcy this week. It blames decline house values resulting in lower house taxes, state funding cutbacks and owed pension payments to retirees for this. So it now washes its fiscal hands of this and says to heck with the retirees – let them find their own way to live as the pension money is gone and so sad, too bad.
Is this right?
July 1st is Canada Day. A day of celebration and reflection on what it means to be a Canadian. Of course the nay-sayers will point to Quebec and possible separation, student unrest, treatment of the First Nation peoples, the poor, the elderly and a whole raft of other things BUT you know what? This is one hell of a country, the envy of much of the world and compared to much of the world, deservedly so. Yes there are problems but look around, and Canada compares pretty darn well I would suggest. So yes on Sunday we will be out and proudly sharing our passion for this land with other proud and grateful citizens.
Once a year is not too often to show our pride and appreciation of this great country I believe.

Have a great week and take care out there,

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