Saturday, May 28, 2011

Down At The Station...

* Down At The Station is my favourite nursery rhyme to sing to my niece Skylar. She seems to like it too!

- OCG


Down at the station
Down by the station early in the morning
See the little puffer trains all in a row.
See the engine driver pull the little handle.
Choo choo choo and off we go.
Down at the farmyard early in the morning
See the tractor standing in the barn.
Do you see the farmer pull the little handle?
Chug chug chug and off we go.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Coffee late night...

I had a good day. Well, it started off with a fainting spell. It's been YEARS since I've had one of those. It was freaky and odd. My attendant was helpful and patient. Thank goodness. My Thursday appointment was positive. I am so thankful to be past the down-and -out rough-stuff. I'm proud of myself.

I went to a lecture honouring June Callwood called The Kitchen Is The Heart Of The Home. The topic was homelessness in Toronto. They talked about a man who lived in a bedroom that doubled as bathroom and he lived off of canned salmon and strawberries. Isn't that sad? My bus driver yesterday "accidentally" dropped $40 dollars in front of an elderly lady. We should all be so generous.

Tonight I had to buy a Timothy's coffee at 10 p.m. I know it's nuts, but my body needed caffeine. I sat beside a man dressed as woman. He was friendly. I am going to bed soon. I am fortune for my pillow and the roof under my head. After days of rain, we've had beautiful sunshine. I'm grateful for many things today, but mostly the weather and my health. Drink up sunshine. It's good for us! Since I probably won't be able to sleep, I'll have lots of time to refect on other things to be grateful for.

- OCG

Monday, May 16, 2011

Under An Afgan Sky at the library...

I just returned from the library. Melissa Fung was the keynote speaker. She was held captive in Afghanistan for twenty nine days. The interviewer was CBC's Ana Maria Tremonte from The Current. Many writers come to the library. I have seen most. Tonight's was the most gripping discussion. Maybe that's because most writers haven't lived in a hole for a month living off of food sent down through a pipe. Fung was sexually assaulted by a captor. Though she didn't elaborate, she did say, "Sexual assault is not a risk faced by male reporters and it would be unfortunate if women were kept from international stories because of this risk." Fung had no security when she was captured saying she felt "Civilians could feel more at ease if it was just her and a camera man doing the interviewing." I'd say that takes guts. The conversation was frank, factual and surreal. Fung held no grudges towards Afghanistan. After befriending a teenager who was also her captor, he brought her french fries wrapped in news paper since she mentioned they were her favourite food. She learned he wanted to be a suicide bomber, believing this was his ticket to heaven. Image being on the other end of that conversation.

Fung ended by explaining the origins of her book Under An Afghan Sky. Fung was ordered to climb a very steep mountain and spent the night freezing unable to sleep. She looked up and saw a beautiful sky. If she had not been captured, she would have missed seeing the sky.

My wheelchair acted up a bit today. I wondered if I should even go the library event tonight. I'm glad I did. I'm home safe, but if I ran into trouble, it would have made a good story.

- OCG

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kind souls rescued me...

Did I mention that I got a new wheelchair?
Did I mention that it's a lemon?
I got stuck on the streetcar tracks a few nights ago while going to the drugstore. Scary. Traffic was backed-up. Some kind teenagers pushed me home. Ahhhhh......What a night!

The very next day, my old wheelchair died on the way to the St. Lawrence Market. I was stranded in a very rough area. After scoping out my surroundings for decent looking people, I asked a lady to help me. She looked confused and our encounter caught the attention of a kind young man who gave me a safe vibe. He asked where I lived and offered to push me home. God bless him. I learned he's an outreach worker in the area and he knew all about Tobias
House attendent care. Somehow I got the feeling I was meant to run into him.

After thanking the generous man who pushed me home, he said, "No problem. You'd do the same for me if I was in your shoes." He's right.

My old wheelchair was fixed by Dad. Loose plugs were the problem. The new one is in the shop. I'm staying as close to home as possible. It's not my style. Over the last three weeks I've read: Must You Go? by Antonio Fraser, Lost and Found by Geneen Roth and Me by Ricki Martin. We watched Something Borrowed, Stand By Me, and Amelia. If I don't have reliable wheels, at least I have steady entertainment.

- OCG

From Me (Ricki Martin's memoir)

God, help me to tell the truth to the strong and to avoid telling lies to get the weak’s applause. If you give me fortune, do not take away my reason. If you give me success, do not take away my humility. If you give me humility, do not take away my dignity. God, help me to see the other side of the medal. Don’t let me blame others of treason just because they don’t like me. God, teach me to love people as I love myself and to judge me as I judge others. Please, don’t let me be proud if I succeed, or fall in despair if I fail. Remind me that failure is the experience that precedes triumph. Teach me that forgiving is the most important in the strong and that revenge is the most primitive sign in the weak. If you take away my success, let me keep my strength to succeed from failure. If I fail people, give me courage to apologize and if people fail me, give me the courage to forgive them. God, if I forget you, please do not forget me.

- Mahatma Ghandi via Ricki Martin's book Me