The Nothing Saturday AND A Spontaneous RAK

I had looked forward to this day for more than one reason.  It was going to be the first day with truly nothing to do.  You know there was lots that could be done but this day was to be a nothing day by choice.

When I awoke sans alarm at 8:30 am I lay for a while trying to get my head around the idea of nothingness.  I knew I would work on my book for a bit and do a little shopping but the when of it all was pretty vague.  I considered a morning in bed just reading having started Linden McIntyre’s ‘The Bishop’s Man’ the night before.

Then while out shopping I came across Stephen King’s 11/22/63 on a book shelf and could not pass it up.  This means I now have 2 books to read.  Decisions, decisions.

Prior to going out shopping I got a call from my sister in law asking if I wanted to get together for coffee tomorrow.  She was tied up today taking her grandchildren to the Christmas Parade in Cambridge.  Well immediately I thought…that’s something G1 and G2 should see, first because it is a night parade which I always think is nicer than day parades and because my brother was in the parade manning The Kitchener Ranger float and one of their grandfathers was also marching.

Well my day now had direction.  A little voice said but this is the nothing day..the nothing day.

‘Stop!’ I commanded, ‘a nothing day is nothing until something comes along, and really what could be better than a parade?’

So, at 3:50 pm we, the boys and I, were on the road.  It takes about 35 minutes to reach Cambridge while the boys tried to figure out exactly where we were going.  I had arranged to meet SIL at the McDonald’s on highway 24, otherwise known as Hespeler Rd.  We got there early and I decided the boys should eat.  Oh Lord, standing in line in a packed restaurant, with a million children and attached parents trying to make sense of orders, and nowhere to sit.  Gotta give the staff credit.   They handled it so well.  In addition outside the resident a huge trailer had been set up giving free hot coffee.  I have to tell you I have become very impressed with McDonalds.  Some people scoff that they are trying for a different market with their lattes and McCafes but I have to say I am impressed. (I have always felt their coffee was far better than Tim Horton’s – for those of you familiar with Timmies.)

Now this is where the RAK comes in.  We took our food to set up on the curb – best seats ever for a parade.  When we took our food, since there was no room in the inn for dining, we got a spot at the curb.  G1 asked how we were going to get our chairs (which were in the trunk of my car a block away).  I said I could not leave two young children in a crowd to get chairs at which point he said, ‘It’s okay Grandma I’ll get them.” And off he went through intimidating crowds, retrieved said goods and returned. There was an older couple who told me they were just out shopping and once they realized there was a parade they decided to stay.  Since the children were on the curb we had extra chairs which I offered to them.  The lady decided to sit and he stood behind her.  As the evening got cooler I took the blanket to wrap around her.  I never did get their names, but it doesn’t matter as they got to see the parade in relative comfort and my boys got an experience they did not expect.

My sister and I have become avid advocators of RAK’s and seek every chance to perform one.

The boys got to spend time with cousins they normally would not have, and I must say there is nothing like a wide eyed blue eyed cousin  2 years older to make G1 reach new heights of valor, sudden vision of sophistication and of course to call to Santa….all in all the best nothing day ever!

First Failed Flush of Love – Actually

Ah First Love

First Failed Flush of Love Actually
 
These slightly overcast hot humid July mornings sometimes serve up, in addition to a light sprinkling of temporary rain, a particular memory from a land far away, a time long ago. Actually a time long ago not so much on the land faraway, except it does seem in my mind to have been a million miles away. A land distanced by time I guess.
 
We were going on vacation to a cottage probably somewhere in the Haliburton or Muskoka region of Ontario where lakes meet forest meet city dudes for a limited week or two each year. It had to have been the late fifties, a time before, air conditioning, seat belts, road service and car radios that could receive signals outside a city limits.
 
Cars broke down all the time, or at least threatened to, but were easily fixed with a patch, hot air, or a good smack along it’s frame. I remember one trip where the engine kept overheating and the only solution was to drive with the heat blowing on max on the hottest day of the year.
 
There were seven of us that year, two parents and five kids and I cannot remember what kind of car it was but it easily accommodated four or five wee bodies. I’m thinking we were between twelve and six years old. I was the oldest and considered myself a diva of sorts without knowing that word existed, and for sure possessed that false prepubescent sophistication where really, nothing associated with family was good enough for this princess and Mom and Dad became Mother and Father and really, what kind of car we drove and where we went was below my level of interest..sigh.
 
I don’t remember much about the cottage except it must have had walls, enough bedrooms and probably and indoor loo as that is one memory that would have caught my royal attention.
 
One day on the beach, no, not white sand, probably a stony beach with large rocks lining the shore, I found myself talking to a boy. There was none of the discomfort or awkwardness that preteens often start to feel, just nice pleasant conversation. It turned out that he lived very close to my house and knew my brother. Then the conversation took a turn that screamed, ‘hormones at work here!’ but of course I would not recognize that message for a few years.
 
“How old are you?” he asked.
 
Not sure what to say here as all of a sudden it occurred to me that I did not want him to know I was just a silly kid (it seems the diva devil flees in the face of true love). After a pause I countered brilliantly with, “How old are you?” feeling much like Baby must have felt when she uttered the words, “I carried a watermelon.”
 
“Fifteen,” he replied, head down, hands in his pockets and kicking dirt with his right foot.
Whew, I knew it was safe to lie since he obviously was not fifteen.
 
“Well I’m fourteen,” and he nodded. He said that his family was going home the next day, (and mine still had a week to go), and asked if he could call me for a date sometime.
 
Our week passed and I soon forgot about the encounter but a few days after returning home I got a phone call. Now phone calls back then were rare. No one actually phoned unless there was a specific purpose to said call. And there were party lines so every conversation could be heard by most of the neighborhood.
 
Anyway, the call came on a Saturday morning and he asked if I could go to the matinee that afternoon with him?
I asked my Mom, and explained who this fellow was, and my brother corroborated his decent character, and Mom said yes.
 
I was a bit in awe at the potential of a first date but was pretty cool and calm about it, while my mother made me put on an actual dress and comb my hair (I was pretty much a tomboy like Trixie Belden then so gave no thought to ‘dressing up.’
 
Then I waited. And waited. And waited. I was not particularly upset, just a little confused maybe but I had not invested any hopes and dreams in this guy so it was no biggie, although looking back; it probably was for my mother.
 
Later that day a hurried whispered call came from my suitor who apologized for not showing up because his Mom had gotten mad at him and grounded him. He sounded totally humiliated and embarrassed.
“No problem,” said I, quite sincerely and meaning it. And then I promptly forgot about it, except every now and then on a hot humid overcast, July morning, my mind does that little time travel thing, where I find myself standing on a stony beach.
 


*The ‘Actually’ series are stories of childhood and family and memories.

Thanks to Photobucket for providing photos.

Headlines – “J.K. Rowling thinks of Harry Potter series as an ex-lover.”

JK hearts HP

J.K. Rowling thinks of Harry Potter series as an ex-lover.”
 
“J.K. Rowling has just announced plans to launch a new interactive website Pottermore and she admitted working on site was like “casually dating” a former lover.”
 
This was reported on CTV this weekend and is probably one of the best attention getting lines I have seen for awhile. I miss the drama of good headlines and the only attempts today seem to be mags like the Enquirer and those we distrust as the lure is usually entirely fake to induce you to purchase said mag.
 
Okay, OneStop news may have the idea with today’s headline -http://onestop-news.com/june-27-2011-large-asteroid-approach-earth/925273.html/
But that too proves just a lure since it is 17,700 km away which seems very far away but in the world heavenly bodies it is really close, so I guess it is lure with substance.
 
That’s what I am talking about- Lure with Substance’. If you are going to reel me in let it at least be for a feast not just a fish sandwich.
 
When did we lose the drama of headlines that promise and then deliver? For that matter when did we lose the romance of words? As a child when I read The Greats I treasured each rambling descriptive phrase that evoked passion. Then writing took a turn for “cleaner” which doesn’t take away from a great story but it does absent ‘the flourish’, at least in my mind.
 
The one place where the drama for headlines does flourish is at WordPress.com and I’m loving it!
 
Just a few:
Who couldn’t love-
1) Break ins, Burglaries and Butterscotch Ice Cream. http://mjcache.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/break-ins-burglaries-and-butterscotch-ice-cream/
Just Freshly Pressed!
 
2) My Meeting With an Angelic Serial Killer http://thedomesticfringe.com/#!/entry/6247
 
3). Little Lamb, Mary reunite after falling out http://cassiebehle.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/262/
 
4). The Innocent Tunnel.
http://sumpix.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/the-innocent-tunnel/
 
5) Hurdling Down the Hozu-gawa River- Grandmama and Offspring In Tow
http://amblerangel.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/hurdling-down-the-hozu-gawa-river-grandmama-and-offspring-in-tow/
 
I could list forever but you know what I mean!

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