Trying to move on …

I’m done. Had it. Enough already with all the political drama, with all the unrest, with allclemente the nastiness and rage. It’s everywhere and I can’t stand it for another second. It feels like I’m caught in an abyss from which I’ll never escape.

For the last three days I tried to come up with an idea for today’s blog post. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Blank. Empty. And you know why? Because I’ve been so caught up in all the bullshit of the U.S. election for the past 20+ months, I can think of little else.

Sick is what it is. Sick and sad. And I’m tired of it.

So in an effort to drag myself out of this pit of despair the Continue reading

What I don’t understand …

This past weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada.  It’s known as the May Two-Four and it’s when cottage timewe celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, which is, you guessed it, May 24.  For some reason this year the party happened a week early.  Queen Victoria, in case you don’t know,  was the current Queen’s (Elizabeth II) great, great grandmother.

But for most Canadians Queen Victoria’s birthday is the unofficial, official start of summer.  When hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of cottage owners make the trek to their small and rustic (or large and luxe) slices of heaven, wherever in Ontario they may be, and Continue reading

It’s actually a bit spooky …

It seems I’ve got supernatural powers.  Well, not across the board.  I do have my limitations.  But I seem to be able to supernatural powersconjure people.  People who magically appear (or re-appear) into my life after long absences.  It’s nothing new, actually.  I’ve done it for years — never intentionally, mind you.  It just happens.

Last month it happened twice, within days of each other.  Which is extraordinary in and of itself, don’t you think?

The first time freaked me out I don’t mind telling you.  I’m still talking to myself.  There’s a gal I’ve known most of my life — by which I mean, we first met when I was about eight or nine years old.  That’s most of your life, right?

She, her three siblings and their parents, lived a block away from where I lived, in Montreal, with Continue reading

Moments in time …

It’s interesting, the things we remember from long ago. Really long, like our childhood. And what triggers those memories. Last week I called my aunt. The flashbackslast of my mother’s sisters who’s still alive. She’s far from young now and not so well and I guess, when I got off the phone, I was a bit melancholy. Ours had been such a large, and close knit family and there’s not many left.

I didn’t think much about it right after the call, but I guess it must have been weighing on my mind. Because days later, while reading, I suddenly had a flashback. I was really young, maybe three or four, five at the most. I was in a car. My grandfather was driving. My father was in the passenger seat. My aunt, this same aunt, her fiancé (very recent) and I were all sharing the back seat.

Like most little kids I was jabbering away. It was clear this was not my aunt’s idea of heaven. I could tell because she sighed a lot,

Continue reading

Day 133. Deja Vu

My closest friend and I go back a lot of years. A lot. All the way back to our ‘youth’ in Montreal. And many of the great times we’ve shared have been spent at clubs, dancinglistening to great music. Live music.

Marilyn moved to Toronto several years before I did; and whenever I came to visit we’d always go to see a jazz and blues singer she ‘discovered’. His name is Errol Fisher and he’s very well known, and loved, here. Over the years he’s entertained countless fans at various restaurants, clubs and supper clubs; some of which bore his name.

Once I moved here in 1985, we quickly became ‘regulars’ wherever he was appearing; and we got to know him. Then life being what it is, she and I drifted away from the club scene. And although Errol’s never stopped performing (although we didn’t always know where), we hadn’t seen him in more than twenty years.

Fast forward to October of this year. Marilyn found out he was going to be singing, with his band, at a restaurant (Sorrel, just in case you’re planning a trip to Toronto) close to where each of us lives. We decided we’d go for her birthday.

Honestly, neither one of us ever expected he’d remember us. It’s been a very long time. And let’s face it, much as we may not like it, we all change over time. No matter how healthy you are, no matter how diligent you are

Continue reading

Day 14. Feeling Sentimental

August 20.  Today’s my mother’s birthday.  She’d be 90.  She was 82 when this photo was taken.  Her hairdresser took it; and no, she hadn’t had her make-up done by a professional for the shot.  She did it herself.  She put her make up on like that every morning, without fail.

My mother was an identical twin and they were born slightly premature.  Her disposition was 100% Leo:  She always had a smile on her face.  Always.  She was very outgoing, gregarious even.  She talked to everyone, including strangers in elevators, on the subway, in stores, wherever.  And no one ever seemed to mind.  They never tried to distance themselves from her, afraid she was a bit of a nut.  They carried on conversations with her.

When my parents sold their house after I’d moved out, they moved downtown, into an apartment.  It was a lovely, elegant building with a lot of old-world charm.  The original owner, a Greek tycoon, sold it to a Quebec-born millionaire, J. Louis Levesque. A businessman, racehorse owner/breeder and a philanthropist, he sat on the Boards of blue chip companies like Air Canada, Canadian National Railways, Hilton Hotels of Canada, Provincial Bank of Canada and many more.  Among the many honours he received during his lifetime, he was in the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, received the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award in 1972 and, in 1976, he was named to the Order of Canada.

When he bought the building my parents lived in, one of the conditions of the sale was that the wealthy Greek would move out of the penthouse, so J. Louis and his wife could move in.

Well my mother struck up a conversation with him, in the elevator one day.  She instantly became his new best friend — to the point that, whenever he went fishing Continue reading