The call to duty

In the old days ( read ‘in my time’ here) the Call to Duty referenced that advertising that convinced so many young men (my father at 17) to enlist in a war. World War 2 to be exact and the premise was (as my father told his mother) if we don’t stop them there they will come here. The ‘there’ of course was the European Theatre.

Today, and I mean ‘today’ the Call of Duty is to fight a virus. I’m sure you have heard of it. Nay sayers and conspiracy theorists may try to deny it but the truth is, the next few months will hit home even them for I believe this 3rd wave is not the last. There will be another. And by the time this is over everyone will be touched personally.

My country, my province is in distress. How is that for a tidy comment? Yes, I know people who have died from this, and this alone. I have been personally touched.

Our hospitals are in a critical state and now are sending out a Call to Duty to folk who have never worked in an ICU, some nurses, some others with more valuable expertise.

First, as a retired Registered Nurse who once worked in ICU and in fact managed ICU, no matter what the government tries to tell you, these skills are not transferrable without a lot of training. A call has gone out for physicians – family physicians to come and work in our ICUs as nurses. Plans abound to bring Student Nurses in to work on hospital floors so that Registered Nurses can go work in ICU.

Let me be clear. Being a registered nurse or a doctor does not mean one is able to work in specialty units without training.

Our people being pulled into these COVID19 ICUs are at risk themselves.

It seems everyone is wandering in the dark here. And they can all use prayers because for the life of me I have no idea what else we can give them.

3 songs

Commit to a Writing Process – A Challenge

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you? and
Today, try free writing. To begin, empty your mind onto the page. Don’t censor yourself; don’t think. Just let go. Let the emotions or memories connected to your three songs carry you.”

Three most important songs is easy.

PUT YOUR HEAD ON MY SHOULDER

When I was 13 and about to move from senior Public to High School we had a dance club at our school. It was called Club 78 and was held in our gymnasium at J.F. Carmichael Public School and was held once a month I think.

 Paul Anka 1959 – A Canadian boy who struck gold.

Now 13 is a strange age for kids.  Girls are often taller than boys.  A boy asked me to dance (which was a good thing back when girls lined up against one gymnasium wall and boys lined up against another.  I remember that dance and that I was tall enough that when we came together on the dance floor I could almost taste the Brylcreem (of the ‘little dab’ll do ya’ fame).

I don’t remember the boy – how I wish I did – but I remember the dance.

HOTEL CALIFORNIA 

When I lived in South Texas for two years this was a popular song sure to be played on every jukebox. At the time I found the red-neck attitude of many rather charming and working in Health Care different but rewarding.  Everyone had their own bar they went to after work. Doctors, lawyers, and judges gathered for a drink and hors d’oeuvres daily.  Never for a long time but it was a ritual.  

After the first year and a half constant sun, wind, bad tempered rattlers , scorpions and homesickness started to wear on me and whenever I heard this song I started to feel like a prisoner – ‘You can check out any time you  like./ But you can never leave. 

I knew it was time to return to the flora and fauna and family in Canada.

I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR

Personally I am getting a little sick of the fight and plight of women.  The struggles are real but the constant in your face blah blah blah of it all is tiresome.  Having said that, Helen Reddy’s song released in 1972 strikes a chord of eternal strength.  Time,  and fashion has no effect on this song about wisdom, failing, overcoming, and strength.  Words like ‘you can bend but never break me,’  I know too much to go back an’ pretend,’ ‘And I come back even  stronger’.   No loud shouting or braying but soft and steely.  I stand a little straighter when I hear this song.

Transport where?

WRITING CHALLENGE

I have been doing a fun exercise and thought I would share today’s with you.

Today choose a place to which you would like to be transported if you could – and tell us the back-story. How does this specific location affect you?  Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you are aching to explore for the first time?

There is a place I have been to once that claimed my spirit at first sight. Often in my thoughts and always in my heart, it is my first choice, and perhaps the second and third.   The land of my mother, more ancient than the continent on which I currently reside, has a rich history.

 The town, at the heart of the matter, was established about 1160.  In contrast the city in which I dwell was established in 1807.  Apparently back about 1100 we had an assortment of Vikings and Indigenous folk tromping around this country.

Even the age of Canada is considered ‘young’ at 200 million years whereas my land of dreams boasts a hearty age of about 500 million years.  Around the time when it drifted northwest from about 30 degrees south of the equator to its present latitude of about 54 degrees north.

Rocks, stones, green, and of course the sea welcomed this weary traveler.  The city is more that 800 miles further north than Kitchener Ontario, closer to the Arctic than we, but it is warmed by the Gulf Stream from the Atlantic so more protected from the extremes of Canada.  

Being so far north it has glorious longer days in summer, which I got to experience.  Of course the reverse holds true for the winter so my desire to be transported will be in summer please.  Far past midnight there is a light.

Did I embrace a city so rich in history, romance, intrigue, and mystery or did it embrace me? Could it recognize the DNA of far traveled offspring?  Was it the sea air, touring a city under the present one, drinking water so pure it is rated one of the best in the world, and buildings and castles built long ago, or was it something more?

My mini-me resides there, the daughter of my mother’s identical twin and four days younger than I – an important distinction to make believe me.  We speak in face-to-face everyday, sometimes just for a few minutes, sometimes a bit longer, but it ties me even closer to this family and my city of choice – Edinburgh.

Levels of communication

France & Vincent

TheHandOfGod

*

I wrote this entire article before I finally abandoned the attempt to sleep, though of course, I lost most of it on the way downstairs. A pity, it was a brilliant piece as I was dictating it in my mind. Isn’t that always how it is, though? That, like the doorstep wisdom that allows us to find a perfect retort in only retrospect, is the sort of wry irony the mind seems to delight in occasionally.

It is three in the morning and I cannot sleep. I’ve tried for the past couple of hours but have tossed and turned, too warm in spite of the frozen night, my body reminding me of the painkillers I should have taken and my mind hovering around the edges of that odd lucidity that lies somewhere between consciousness and sleep.

By the time the kettle had boiled about all I had left of…

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Hey! Here’s a new idea

new ideas

It shouldn’t be. And it is kinda sad that is it. A New Idea that is.

How be we start to respect each other and each others’ points of view?

No muss. No fuss. No ranting – YOU ARE WRONG YOU ARE WRONG

How about – I do not agree with you.

But I respect you and what you think. I expect that you will do the same for me.

We should not be trying to change the other. There is room for DIFFERENT in this life. In fact it is essential to our very existence.

I figure we should not expect everyone to believe, to think, exactly as we. I figure we should not put down, belittle, negate, another because of a different belief, be it religion, politics, or favourite flavour of ice cream (maple walnut).

Thinking differently does not equal WRONG.

Am I dreaming or was this not the way it was purported we believe last century?

There – that should take the heat out of the situation.

A Special Blogger – Sue Vincent

I have been a follower and admirer of Sue Vincent for years. She has both brightened and enlightened my life. Please, read, share and contribute if possible. An amazing woman. An enigma. A delight.

Darlene Foster's Blog

Sue Vincent is one of those special bloggers and writers that inspire people all over the world. Readers have long been captivated by her posts about mythology, ancient ruins and medieval churches, and her daily #midnighthaiku. Many have participated in and grown as a result of her #writephoto prompts. She is a person of considerable talents, and in addition to posting her prompts, Sue has tirelessly supported bloggers by hosting guest bloggers and sharing blog posts. She has 19,000 and counting followers.

I’ve not met Sue in person but feel I know her through her wonderful blog posts and consider her a friend. She has taken me the width and breadth of Great Britain, to places I would have never got to myself, providing amazing historic details and wonderful photographs. To appreciate just how talented and wise Sue is, pop over to her blog. I particularly love her outlook…

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Drinks with that News?

Say, do we need 24 hour news coverage?

It occurs to me that it contributes in no small way to the rampant anxiety that is so pervasive worldwide. January 1st I decided, quite spontaneously, to embrace Dry January, the international campaign mostly embraced by the U.K., France, and Switzerland. Now approaching the last day of the month I have noticed subtle and not so subtle benefits.


I did not swear to not drink for a month, but decided on the one-day-at-a-time approach. No angst, just did it. The intent was not to quit drinking forever, but to have a brain and body reset. Will I drink in February? I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem like an important issue.


So then I wondered what else I might try for February. And the thought came with early morning light as I reached for my iPad to check the News from a number of sources, and found myself quite anxious at what I would find. And. Realized this happens several times a day.


So, I don’t believe in hiding your head in the sand from what is happening but I think I will start with the News once a day. Perhaps in the evening. I”ll figure it out as I go.


You see, I think News is no longer something that is just reported. I think once news became ‘24 hour’ accessible, it had to be pumped up to Grab Attention and Inflame Passions. And. Is. A. Major. Contributing. Factor. In World. Angst. I think legitimate investigative reporting has become Sleezy Attention Grabbing Passion Inflaming designed to ….?


So off to a adventure. I guess it all comes down to taking back control of my life and mind in small ways.

Possibly the sanest non-inflammatory words to simply explain..

I copied this from a cousin’s post on Facebook and think these are words that need to be spread.


I have been wearing a mask in stores (and limiting my trips) since March when this whole thing went down.
I’m not sure how being considerate to others for the common good is now being mocked by some who are calling it “living in fear”, but it needs to stop….


When I wear a mask over my nose and mouth in public and in the stores/Supermarkets/Pharmacies/Offices – I want you to know the following:
📷 I’m educated enough to know that I could be asymptomatic and still give you the virus.
📷 No, I don’t “live in fear” of the virus; I just want to be part of the solution, not the problem.
📷 I don’t feel like the “government controls me”. I feel like I’m an adult contributing to the security in our society and I want to teach others the same.
📷 If we could all live with the consideration of others in mind, the whole world would be a much better place.
📷 Wearing a mask doesn’t make me weak, scared, stupid or even “controlled”. It makes me caring and responsible.
📷 When you think about your appearance, discomfort, or other people’s opinion of you, imagine a loved one – a child, father, mother, grandparent, aunt, uncle or even a stranger – placed on a ventilator, alone without you or any family member allowed at their bedside…..Ask yourself if you could have helped them a little by wearing a mask.

There are no facts, only interpretations. – Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

France & Vincent

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