Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Whoopee cushions

Here in Muskoka there’s an intriguing “mystique” to the place –  sometimes contributing to the formulation of a perception that may or may not be accurate.
As an example, when an absolute stranger enquires “which part of the lake are you on?” the first reaction of a non-waterfront resident might be that the question is presumptive. It all depends from whence comes the point of view!

In mingling with well-heeled visitors and seasonal cottagers in stores, supermarkets and outdoor craft shows,  local year-round residents may often feel inclined to misjudge someone’s behavior or too-loud comments. Imagine the reaction if someone carried a satchel of whoopee cushions to distribute freely throughout the crowd – hopefully it would fetch a giggle from someone, though likely not the recipient.

A colleague of mine and I toured a multi-million dollar lakefront property today – ostentatious and overwhelming in its interior d├ęcor and accoutrements. Reflected throughout was the owners’ personal taste and style of living – one could visualize champagne parties till dawn or, conversely, settling with a book on a comfy sofa in front of a fireplace.  Imagine the surprise when I discovered, amongst abandoned kiddies toys in the basement, a whoopee cushion! A carefree and airfree reminder of simpler times.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jack's Kiss...

On the front page of The Toronto Star on August 23rd, 2011, there was a beautiful photo of the late Jack Layton, Leader of the Federal Opposition for Canada – and his beloved wife Olivia Chow, MP.. Absolutely sweet, bittersweet and wrenching.

This picture led my thoughts to how husbands and wives part company in the morning, or whenever – enroute to work, business travel or other assignments.

We’re all familiar with the admonition “never go to bed angry, talk it through” if you’ve had a spat…yet sometimes we may be guilty of stomping out the door, slamming it so the glass rattles, or simply departing without so much  as a farewell gesture.

The perfunctory peck on the cheek is sometimes delivered dutifully – in haste, or so as not to muss one’s appearance! This morning, after a quick buss, my husband informed me that it wasn’t a “Jack” kiss….referring to the newspaper pic.

Today, and every day, remember to share a “Jack” kiss with your partner – you’ll hold tight to those memories when you can’t hold tight to the person.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Teddy Bear's Picnic...

As I sit before the computer,  an elderly ragged looking teddy bear is within my peripheral vision. He sits wedged closely between two upright portions of my desk, and though I always assumed he is a boar, the bear sports a lopsided Princess’ crown which was received by me in my Christmas stocking.

The significance, to me, of this very un-regal looking stuffed toy is the senses of both longing and affection that humans sometimes transfer to inanimate objects.
My old bear once won a contest at a retirement residence for the “oldest bear there”  - but I wish to clarify that he is not yet eligible for his Old Age Pension!
Tattered, half plucked of fur, and missing both eyes and paw soles, this bear with his crooked crown looks like a warrior.

In truth, he represents most entrepreneurs who are struggling to make their place and keep their heads above water. I think the most popular and oft-used swimming stroke nowadays is the dog-paddle – mastered early by every wanna-be business person who is swimming for their proverbial life.

Forging against the current is not a Teddy Bears’ Picnic…Remember the childhood song lyrics: “if you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise…”. Take heed of good advice, and look before you leap. The basket may be nigh on empty. Be bullish, not bearish…and stay afloat.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Taming of the Shrew...

Even the most even-tempered and amenable of people can sometimes realize they’ve set their teeth or clamped their jaws tightly shut in frustration. Worse than that, voices may rise shrilly or manner of speaking faster or even clipped. Ouch!

Being a fairly easy-going and accommodating person myself, today I felt shrewish when appointments to show real estate to an out-of-town prospect were unceremoniously cancelled by the prospective Buyer after business hours the evening before.  Not only would there be phone calls to the listing agents to make, with apologies, but also that the better part of Sunday could have been available to others whom I could not accommodate.

I’ve never seen a real shrew, but have met several human ones over the years. The adjective “shrewishness”  describes an unbecoming behavior which I would not indulge in - even if I did have ”violet-coloured” eyes like the late Elizabeth Taylor!

Lesson learned? Yepper – the prospect himself is a salesman too; I would have anticipated less-cavalier and inconsiderate actions. Betcha’ his business isn’t client focused…Ouch again!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Santa in Summer...

Yesterday was an auspicious day for me, at the tender age of 60+++ I met Santa, after a long hiatus!

My pontoon boat was moored upstream from Bracebridge’s famous theme park – operating for over 50 years as Santa’s Village. As I was preparing to move the boat from dock to where the trailer was at the ready to take her out of the water,  the new owner commented that there was what appeared to be a look-alike  pirate vessel coming up the river.. 

Minutes later, as I was midstream, the motor conked out – and there I was adrift . Looking around for approaching vessels, what do I spy but the Santa’s Village boat coming downstream now to return to it’s landing. Waving to alert the captain that I had no power, he called out that he would give me a tow to the trailer. True to mariner rules and courtesy, the larger boat came alongside. At the bow – like a figurehead – is a huge silhouette of Rudolph – and aboard were parents and small children in elve’s hats and other theme attire. 

Deftly, Captain Ricky moved me about 40 feet and pointed my boat toward the back of the trailer. As he departed, the children and parents were waving farewell – excited to have been a part of it all. Captain Ricky is well-known in the community and makes an annual appearance at the Bracebridge Parade. In late November.  Reindeer pulling the sleigh, plus  elves and lots of jingle-jangle on the float.

Thanks Santa! I’m a believer again.