You are here:

Blind Canadians Blog Posts by cferguson

Massage

My youngest son teaches English in Korea. He has recently resigned a contract for yet another year, this will be his 5th year working in Korea. He enjoys teaching and enjoys the travel opportunities living abroad affords him. He loves the young woman he met in Korea and that is the reason he has chosen to stay. She is absolutely lovely, she loves my son and my son loves her.

My son, and his girlfriend arrived a week ago for a 10 day visit. I have met his girlfriend twice before, the first time when the ex and I visited our son in Seoul and the second time when our son brought her to Canada. When I visited Korea I left my dog guide with another son and used my cane.

Arts and my imagination

I read an article in “The Atlantic” recently entitled “Disability Is Not Just a Metaphor”. The author, Christopher Shinn, comments on “able-bodied actors playing disabled characters”.

Shinn states, “We are not witnessing the actual pain and struggle of real disabled human beings; it is all make believe.”

I understand that actors who self identify as persons with disabilities find few opportunities. Shinn’s comments that the obvious absence of people with real disabilities lessens the potential power of works about disability concerns me. All art is make believe. Prose, poetry, theatre, painting, sculpture, they all force us to suspend our individual “real” and step into our imaginations.

Words

I was out for lunch with a high school friend last week. I finished high school many, many years ago and she and I have maintained a friendship through marriages, children, career changes, divorce and rebuilds, and aging parents. As always, we shared stories, we laughed and we bragged about our children.

We had just finished lunch and were enjoying coffee when a man approached our table and said hello to my friend. It turns out he attended our high school as well. I have not seen him for years but my friend has kept up with him. She hugged him and asked if he remembered me.

There it was ....... that awkward moment of silence. “Oh, yes,” he said. “I remember you. How are you doing? I heard you had gone bl........”

“Yes,” I answered. “I am blind.

Weeding

It’s Mine!!!!

Those of you who have followed my blog know that I have been in this house for a year. This is my first Spring!!!!!! It is absolutely lovely!!!!! I have spent many, many hours in my gardens.

The previous owners created low maintenance perennial gardens. Low manintenance perennial gardens still need to be weeded. Here I am, on my hands and my kness, running my hands over the dirt. At this point, the plants I want to flourish are above elbow height and those I don’t want to flourish are still thumb height. That is the gauage I use. I pull out everything thumb height or lower. If a weed is above elbow height, I have a couple of sighted friends armed with spades, weed spray or pruners.

Spring

Today is National Sea Monkey Day and National Piercing Day. Hmmmmm - I don’t have a sea monkey and I don’t plan on any additional piercings. However........if I were to purchase a sea monkey and then take it for a piercing would I be eligible to celebrate twice? Or........if I had my navel pierced with a charm of a sea monkey would I get two slices of celebratory cake?

I have been enjoying the arrival of Spring and have been busy weeding and preparing the gardens. An acquaintance asked how I managed to weed the gardens. Simple answer - same way you do - I pull out the weeds!!!. I have been in this house for just over a year now. Last spring and summer I learned the back yard. This spring and summer I will learn the front yard.

Good things come in small packages

The best things in the world really do come in small packages. I am participating in a volunteer project in London over a number of Monday afternoons. I wake up early Monday mornings. Hope and I leave the house at 6:15 and walk to our Via “shelter”. We don’t have a train station in Strathroy, we have a shelter much like the public transit shelters in most Canadian cities. The train leaves Strathroy at 6:43 and arrives in London shortly after 7:00 am. We walk to the bus stop and catch the city bus to a stop a few blocks from my daughter’s house. A quick text to my daughter to let her know I am walking the last few blocks and Hope finds her way to the front door and the arms of my 2 year old grand daughter.

Aqua Boot Camp

I had my biennial physical in October. It’s always a little amusing when I do this. Remember, small town. My family doctor is a family friend. I play bridge with his wife. His children are friends with my children. One of his daughters, son-in-law and 4 grandchildren live 2 doors down from my son and daughter-in-law. I did medical transcription at that clinic for about ten years and I know all the staff, I usually go out for lunch with the women in the business office at least once a month. And his office is in the clinic where my ex has an office. Again - small town! Anyways, everything is great but I have some loss of bone density. He suggested I take vitamin D and Calcium which I started. I thought some additional exercise might be beneficial as well.

Sunday Dinner

Sunday dinner

In my past life, I always hosted family dinner on Sunday. Yesterday, I hosted family dinner a la new Cindy. My daughter, son in law, grand daughter, son, daughter in law and a friend joined me. It was an absolutely lovely day.

My children are budget conscious, so I wanted to do a very special dinner. My friend buys half a beef from the butcher and offered to provide the roast. He popped in Saturday morning on his way to work with two roasts. One was a rump, the other a sirloin tip. The rump went in my left hand, the sirloin tip in my right - I like to sort things alphabetically (my liquor cabinet is organized the same way- Cherry Whiskey for one of the bridge ladies on the left and vodka on the far right).

16 Tthings

I read a blog earlier this week by Jackie Pilossoph about life after divorce. One of her entries is 16 things people say in the world of dating after divorce that she wishes people would say instead. I am pasting her list below, but I have added my own takes on her list. I would be curious to hear what any of you have to say about this list, your own experiences and your thoughts about dating after divorce.

I have talked about dating at 55 years old. It is unfamiliar territory. I have been trying to navigate this new terrain for a year now, after taking a year to re-evaluate, re-assess and re-prioritize.

Book Club

Today was book club. This book club has shared favourte stories, favourte authors, favourite genres for ten years. Today was a new experience. My neighbour, the mother of one of my son’s very good friends who was a constant companion at my dinner table when the children were at home, an English teacher at my children’s high school has penned a historical fiction loosely based on her father’s immigration to Southwestern Ontario from Holland. Her book was our February 2014 choice and the author attended our meeting.

I thoroughly enjoy book club.

Family Day

Yesterday was family day. Hmmmmm. My “family” has changed significantly over the last couple of years. I do have an amazingly good relationship with all of my children and their partners, but my children and their partners now have mom in Strathroy and dad and his partner in London. They have inlaws, siblings, cousins, too many grandparents and some needy aunts and uncles. I think it is best to avoid extended family celebrations this day. Instead the “singles” got together. A group of my single friends congregated at a friend’s house, we ordered pizza, we brought wine, we celebrated our new lives.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Years ago my dinner table was the heart of my home. My four children, assorted friends and occassionally the ex when he was home, congregated around my dinner table every night. There was a bounty of food, lots of laughs, stories about everyone’s day, and a feeling of comfort. I always made a dessert and the children usually finished it that night. Now the children are grown and I live alone. I make dessert only when I entertain. I don’t care for sweets and I don’t need the extra calories.

I invited a group of single friends for dinner on Valentine’s day this year. They are all helpful in the kitchen, so I chose to make a Wild Mushroom and Scallop Risotto. I had eyes to watch the scallops and add the liquid to the risotto as needed.

Tattoos

Perhaps fifteen years ago, I was busy in the kitchen doing prep work for dinner for my four children, assorted hangers on and my ex. My daughter was home for the summer after her first year at university. She worked as a life guard at the town pool and didn’t have to clock in until 2:00 that day. One son was at work, the other two sons had returned after a midnight shift at a local factory and were snoring away. My ex was at work. My daughter came into the kitchen and turned the television on. She clicked onto the “Jerry Springer” show. (I know - UGH, but she was only 18). It was another “Who your baby daddy” episode. As she put together breakfast for herself, she hitched her sleep shorts up and mimicked the antics of the show participants. That’s when I saw it.

Lambert's Groceteria

Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued - Socrates

I came across this quote a few years ago. I was taking a course at Western University - An Introduction to Ancient Greece and Rome. We took a cursory look at Socrates as a philosopher and one of the founders of Western philosophy.

Wisdom begins in wonder. - Socrates

Some of Socrates’ quotes resonated with me, especially those about a quest for knowledge. 


The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. - Socrates

I grew up on a farm, in a small, tight knit rural community. I enjoyed the feeling of belonging to a community, but even as a little girl I knew there was something missing. I just didn’t know what it was.

We had the old crank telephone system.

What am I afraid of

I correspond regularly with a very good friend. We ask and answer questions that require thought, insight and self-examination. This week’s question was “what are you afraid of”.

I am afraid of ferris wheels. I can do roller coasters and rides that travel in circles, but ferris wheels scare me. I am also afraid of clowns. There is something about the painted face and the paradox of silly hair with a sad smile that scares me. I am also afraid that I will be a lonely old woman - hence this whole dating thing. And dating, at 55, after a 32 year marriage is frightening. Dating is different now then when I was a teenager. As a teen, I had my whole life ahead of me, I wore rose coloured glasses and I thought I could do anything I wanted.

Shack Whacky

I woke up this morning to a wind chill of minus 32 degrees. Didn’t we just do this two weeks ago? This is my second winter with Hope, my second dog guide and I am sure we only missed two days of walking last winter. We seem to miss two days every week lately. When she is limping after our first venture out for the morning relief, I know we are not walking that day. When I swear aloud during our first venture out, I know we are not walking anywhere that day. I am officially becoming “shack whacky”.

Weird

How weird is this? My father celebrates a birthday today. I hosted a family birthday dinner for him yesterday. For those of you who follow my posts, you know my mother died December 2012 and my only brother has been single for a couple of years. So ..... at my dining room table: My Dad and his girlfriend of 10 months (I can say girlfriend because he bought her a birthstone ring for Christmas!!!), my brother and his “friend” of 18 months, and me with my “friend”. Dynamics were great. I really like both my Dad’s and my brother’s “friends” and my “friend” got along amazingly well with my Dad and brother.

But ..... How weird is this?

Insight

I continue to be amazed at the myriad of sources of insight I encounter, but even more amazed at the unexpected sources of insight.

Strathroy is a very small town, as I have mentioned, and nothing is secret. A son in law of one of my peers works in construction installing AV equipment. He offered to install a new cable television outlet for me, thereby avoiding the $49.00 Rogers charges to instal a new connection. I have known him for at least 10 years, his wife babysat my children when they were young and I play bridge and attend book club with his mother in law. He describes himself as a “certified red-neck” and proclaims his undying love for his pick up truck.

Feeling festive

I am feeling festive. It’s a wonderful feeling. Last year, Christmas was a difficult time. It was my first holiday season as a single woman. My mother died early last December. I was learning the idiosyncracies of a new dog guide. I was in a small apartment and did not have room (nor the desire) to host my traditional large Christmas dinner.

This year, I am back. I bought a new small artificial, pre-lit Christmas tree and a girlfriend helped me decorate it. I have wrapped a few gifts for my grand daughter and put them under the tree. I am going out this afternoon to gather some greenery for pots at the front door and I have started my Christmas baking. White Chocolate Cranberry cookies are in the oven as I write this and they smell divine!

A lovely second date

November 9th turned out to be a lovely Saturday. A gentleman I have already met asked to take me on a unique art tour. He told me it was not the typical art tour, it was a tactile art tour. London has 50+ chainsaw sculptures scattered throughout the city. Many are in front of businesses, libraries, schools or parks and are completely accessible. This gentleman researched all the sculptures and selected the top 10 according to ease of me reaching them, accessibility and variety. He described each of the ten and placed my hands on each and showed me all the intricacies of the carvings. It was absolutely amazing, and very thoughtful of him to organize a tour that I could thoroughly enjoy and experience.

This was a “second date”. Our first date was lunch at my local pub.

Pages