Forever Young

I wish.

But inking the words on your arm, doesn’t make it so.

When the grey creeps in and reading glasses become a part of your face. When the drugstore clerk gives you the senior’s discount without asking. When parts of you sag and other parts ache, it’s hard to convince yourself that age is just a number…

Because it damn well isn’t.

Age is a natural, physical progression. Fight it if you will, deny it if you must, but there’s no getting around the clock—it’s ticking.

The question is, how do you deal with this unwelcome truth? How do you enjoy life now that you are closer to the end than the beginning?

I can do without the adult education classes on subjects like How to Get the Most out of Your iPhone Photography. What I need is a course on How to Get the Most out of What’s Left of Your Life? Now that, I’d register for.

In the meantime, I’ve found myself a guide, an instructor on aging well. Someone who leads by example, a personal testament to the little known truth that fun doesn’t end when wrinkles begin.

Meet Molly…

Eighty-nine years old and wearing a wet suit for the first time to get up close and personal with a dolphin.

You won’t find Molly in a rocking chair on a porch, but try the casino. Better than even odds, the second slot machine on the left? She’ll be there.

“Do you want to go to…?”

Molly’s answer is always yes, because she doesn’t sit at home when she can be out and about, preferably out an about in another country. She keeps her passport in her purse, knows her way around an airport, and can figure out the Euro to Canadian dollar exchange faster than Google.

Molly dances with her great-grandchildren, takes her latte with whipped cream, and plays cards. Any and every card game, as long as there’s a bet on the table.

She’s always busy, always doing, and always looking ahead—to the next trip, the next wedding, the next stranger she can turn into a friend.

Molly’s my guru, my touchstone for living, one day at a time 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

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One Kwe

Not up on your Ojibwe? Neither am I 🙂

One Kwe, or One Woman, is the name of Kathryn Corbiere’s metal shop in M’Chigeeng, Manitoulin Island.

One Woman…

It resonates, doesn’t it? One woman against the world, brave, and strong, and … well, you get the idea.

It’s a great name, both aesthetically pleasing and accurate, in that Kathryn is a one woman show. She runs her own business, creating and selling modern furniture and art.

One of Kathryn’s art pieces, created in consultation with Pride Manitoulin’s youth group, now hangs in the Objibwe Cultural Foundation. A modern take on the traditional dream catcher, and incorporating LGBT symbolism in its triangular shape and the pride colours worked into the hanging metal feathers, the piece includes three Objibwe words worked into its base—

Respect Love Courage

Like many of us, Kathryn ended up on this particular path because the one she originally started out on turned into a dead end. Unable to find work as a welder, she took her training, and her artistic talent, and tried something else.

Kathryn’s secret to success, “You have to be willing to try.”

Oh, you mean, get off the couch and turn off Netflix?

Aimer at Amazon

The Interview

He should have lied.

The minute Jared got a look at the man on the other side of the desk, he should have made up some excuse and got the hell out of there, but…

He had student loans to pay, and he was fed up with the short-term contract jobs, and he really needed to move out of his parents’ place —

“U of T,” Nicholas Allan Noyes, President and CEO said, reading from the resume in front of him. “Master of Arts in Ancient History.”

“Yes.”

Jared didn’t add a sir to the yes because this wasn’t the military, he wasn’t a freaking boy scout, and — bullshit. He didn’t say sir because, oh God, he so wanted to.

“Latin?” Noyes asked. “Bet that comes in handy.”

“Not so far.”

That got him a smile. Fortunately, it was there and gone in a nanosecond because Jared couldn’t think when Noyes smiled at him. He was having enough trouble concentrating even without the smile. Concentrating on anything, but the fact that there was something about this guy that just flat-out did it for him. Something? Hah! Make that everything. The air of command, the stone jaw… God, even his hands—

“I see you’ve moved around a bit since graduation,” Noyes said, tapping the resume.

“Yes, contract work mostly. I’d like to find a more permanent home.”

With you, Jared thought, but he didn’t say that. He wasn’t psychotic.

Noyes sat back in his high-backed, high-tech, black leather throne, Siberian blue eyes regarding Jared across the expanse of the polished slab of wood between them. “And what makes you think you’d be an asset to MicroSource?”

Jared trotted out his customary spiel, trying to sound intelligent when all he really wanted to know was what Noyes looked like under that bespoke suit and if he had a chance in hell of finding out …

Aimer at Amazon

Get Your Geek On

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Still remember the opening to the original Star Wars movie? That theatrical crawl, the gold words marching off the screen into the distance? 

Still find yourself doing a really bad imitation of Darth Vader come Halloween? Saying, “Luke, I am your father,” in your deepest voice and brandishing a plastic lightsaber?

What if that lightsaber wasn’t plastic? What if you could fence like the guys in the movie, slashing and feinting, saving the world from the dark force?

Thanks to the French Fencing Federation, you can.

Well, maybe not you…or me, but someone willing to put in the time to learn how to fence? Definitely.

The federation has officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport.

The Académie de Saber Laser isn’t messing about. They’ve standardized the rules, and ensured that all participants are equipped with the right protection, because the bouts can be dangerous. The polycarbonate blades of the LED-lit lightsabers have been known to break bones.

Just to keep it interesting, the competitors fence in a dark space—making the glow of the weapons truly visible.

jediChristope Ena / Associated Press

So far, no Jedi costumes available, but stay tuned, the Académie is working on it.

Tired of the gym? Maybe, it’s time to get your Geek on 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

 

 

The Kiss

Two weeks ago, on a Sunday, George Mendonsa died. He was 95.

This may not mean much to you, it certainly didn’t to me. I had no idea who the guy was, but…

I’d seen his picture. We’ve all seen his picture. This picture…

The Kiss 11945, Times Square, New York.

People poured into the streets to celebrate the end of WWII and a kiss was caught on camera. That image has become a romantic icon.

The moment captured though, according to the two people involved, wasn’t romantic at all.

George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman weren’t a couple, they didn’t even know each other.

George, who’d served on a destroyer during the war, saw a woman in a nurse’s uniform and wanted to say thank you to all the nurses who’d cared for the wounded sailors on the hospital ship.

Greta, who passed away in 2016 at 92, remembered not having much choice in the matter. A stranger grabbed her, kissed her in celebration. In her own words, “It wasn’t a romantic event.”

But, the camera didn’t know that.

Here’s the thing about cameras, they see everything, and interpret nothing.

That’s our job.

Aimer at Amazon

 

 

 

 

Because It’s Right

Life has gotten complicated. With new options come new questions… and new answers.

My daughter has two children, they both call her Daddy — because my daughter’s wife is Mommy.

Takes a bit of getting used to, doesn’t it?

From multi-generational, to nuclear, to blended, the concept of family continuously evolves, as we evolve.

Oftentimes, the law is slow to adapt to these changes, but in California this week they got it right.

Aidan Dvash-Banks, born in Canada to American and Israeli fathers, (Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks) had been granted U.S. citizenship. His twin brother, Ethan Dvash-Banks had not.

At first glance, this doesn’t seem blatantly discriminatory, or it doesn’t if you don’t know much about citizenship law which I don’t. It seems logical that the biological son of the American gets citizenship status and the biological son of the Israeli doesn’t…

Yeah, no.

If Andrew had married a woman both boys would have been granted citizenship. The government failed to recognize the Dvash-Banks marriage as legitimate. They applied a born out of wedlock policy to the twin boys.

Fortunately, District Judge John F. Walter explained to the U. S. government where they had gone wrong.

Both boys have now been granted citizenship and the family is healthy, and happy, and living in L.A.

Boys

Family is about heart, some people know that 🙂

Aimer at Amazon

Hearts and Flowers?

Personally, I’m not into the whole Valentine’s Day hoopla. That heart-shaped box was a big deal back in high school, the year I was actually dating someone when February 14th rolled around, but I’m over it now 🙂

I don’t know what the day means to any of you, but I’m betting no one does Valentine’s Day like Paul Lewis. No hackneyed card, or mediocre chocolates for our boy, Paul.

The Victoria, B.C. man, finding a creative use for all the white stuff lying around his backyard, built his girlfriend an igloo.

igloo

The home-made snow house, featuring solar-powered lights, a fire pit, and a bed kept  Paul and Julie warm as they toasted each other over a glass of wine.

And, in case you’re wondering…

Yes, they spent the night outside, inside their bubble of snow 🙂

Aimer at Amazon