Nice to hear “good” news for a change

The world was in crisis mode long before the orange blob of toxic waste moved to Washington. There’s been plenty of poverty, hunger, disease, displacement, fear, uncertainty and misery to go around, both globally and in our own back yards.

And there have always been those who have consistently risen to the challenge, raised their hands and helped. By volunteering, speaking out, challenging the status quo and giving financial aid. Private citizens, celebrities and the mega wealthy, like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates Continue reading

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Return engagement anyone?

Years ago, in Montreal, I went to an astrologer who told me I was an old soul, that this wasn’t my first life. Although I’m certainly no expert — not even close — and can’t even say I’ve done a lot of reading, or thinking, about reincarnation, it does interest me.

As a subject it came up many times when I was in India — especially in Varanasi — the spiritual capital of India.

It was there I learned that in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, Continue reading

I hesitate to say this out loud, but …

… increasingly, when it comes to Toronto I’ve got a case of the blahs. I’m sorry, I know a lot of you are fans and staunch supporters — which I certainly have been — but I’ve got to be honest.

While I do believe that Toronto has tons of potential I also feel that too much of it is still untapped. And yeah, it frustrates and disappoints me.

I moved here from Montreal 32 years ago (wow, time sure does fly). As North American cities go, Continue reading

Still miss her after 10 years …

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and, even after all this time, it’s tough — not that I only think of my mom once a year. Truthfully, I miss her everyday. I can’t tell you how many times a week I reach for the phone to call her.

It’s still an automatic reflex whenever I’m unsure about a recipe, or I’ve got news to share, or I’ve seen a movie I know she’d have loved, or some silly antic of hers pops out of my memory bank and into my consciousness.

She was a hoot. Feisty, funny, up for just about anything that didn’t involve elevators or heights.

In the summer of 2000 I became one of three founding Continue reading

The good old days …

A friend and I were talking about New York the other day. I’ve been there hundreds of times over the course of my lifetime, but I had an instant flashback to one trip, in particular.

I was with my parents, my aunt and cousin. I was young, not yet a teenager. But not as young as I am in the photo with my parents. I was probably a year old, two at the most in this shot.

My parents and I used to go to New York every spring, for easter, for about a week or 10 days. My father went often for business, but as a family we went once a year, although occasionally more often. My mother was born there and Continue reading

Different worlds …

Last week I was having an email conversation with someone I knew years ago in Montreal and have re-connected with onhieroglyphic Facebook.

We started off talking about libraries. One thing led to another and libraries led to our shared love of books. Books led to e-books and e-books led to tech and tech led to cursive script, which led to future generations.

Trust me, it made sense. You had to be there.

First she told me about her granddaughter, who’s a junior in University, and all the techie equipment the school expects her to Continue reading

Waiting

It was Christmas time. My mother was in Toronto, visiting me. She was onlytime here a day or two when the call came. My grandmother had pneumonia, bacterial, and the prognosis wasn’t good.

My mother and I left for Montreal immediately, going directly to the nursing home when we arrived.

And there we stayed, all of us, me, my mother and both my aunts sitting there, in her room. Listening. A ragged breath, a beep from the monitor, a ragged breath, a beep Continue reading

Back in the saddle again …

Well, not literally. I’m talking about the book I’ve been writing on and, more specifically, off for the lastmoleskin nine years.

When my mother was ailing I was struck with an idea for a book about her and me. I tucked it away in the back of my mind for later. I said nothing to anyone until the day after she died, when my closest friend and I were headed back to Montreal for the funeral.

As the words literally started pouring out of my mouth, my friend handed me some paper and a pen and I spent the rest of the trip writing. This
went on for the next three months. It was amazing, the book was literally writing itself.

Seven chapters in, I hit the wall. No, not writer’s block. I’d been Continue reading

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow …

The blizzard along the eastern seaboard of the United States last week conjured up memories of my childhood inbizzard Montreal.  Snow storms were no big deal back then.  They were a constant.

Winter would not have been winter without two-and-three-foot-high snow drifts piled up against sidewalks and on front and back lawns — for a good four or five months of the year. There were times we had so much snow blocking our Continue reading

A classic tale of good versus evil …

Are you familiar with the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?  It was written by Robert Louis Stephensonjekyll and hyde in 1886.  Essentially it’s about the two personalities that live within Dr. Jekyll — one being good, the other evil.

Could have been written about Donald Trump.

I met him once, you know.  It was a very long time ago.  Not long after he married his first wife, Ivanna.  She was a model, one of Montreal’s most sought after. I was working in the fashion industry at the time, for the designer, Leo Chevalier.  She was one of our favourites and we booked her constantly.

What I remember vividly is how, after she got married and moved to New York, she never abandoned all the models she’d Continue reading