This past Spring I had the pleasure of witnessing, in action my daughter Emilee’s leap of faith into a new “out of the box” career in of all things BEEKEEPING. A far-cry from her post-secondary schooling in graphic design. Her new bee-ginning, like Emilee herself, happened in unique layers…… of research, coincidence, serendipity, a chance meeting and an interview that sealed the deal….her indomitable spirit and all those moments added up to her now working for the largest apiary in Niagara.
Beekeeping on such a large scale, is not easy to say the least, holding her own in a male dominated field, she comes home physically exhausted as beekeeping involves a lot of heavy lifting, sweaty as the suit covers you from head to toe, smelling of smoke which is used when opening up the hives, on rare occasions with a bee sting and …………. the happiest I have ever seen her!
As Spring brings graduations and the promise of new beginnings for graduates, let Emilee’s story demonstrate that your dream career and future take time to materialize, just be patient. Sometimes, it turns out that what you have gone to school for you don’t see yourself doing for the rest of your life, and that is okay. Emilee had to find the strength within herself to find her passion, redefine herself and have the confidence to pursue the career she wanted. She had to face set backs, and trust me there were a few, and continue to pursue her dream of working with bees and making an impact on the future of our environment.
My hope was to raise a socially conscience, independent young woman, and watching her through this process, I realized I had. A part of that for me was letting go, knowing she would be okay.
As a parent, it was sometimes difficult to watch her experience this process, and not try to make it “all right”. I was her sounding board, cheerleader and realized the best support I could give her through it all, was to let her figure it out on her own. She did.
Through her process, I have come to not only truly appreciate the Honeybee, but I am now a wealth of random facts about them. Honeybees are important pollinators for flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and unfortunately they are disappearing from hives due to colony collapse disorder, Which is why it is so important to build up the Honeybee population. My personal favourite: They do a little bee dance, which is their way of communicating to the other bees where the food source is – the dance is a map on how to get there!
This past spring I had the pleasure of witnessing an incredible leap of faith, and our bee population is better for it.
As students prepare for graduation, growing to a new phase in their lives, what advice would you give them that may help with this process?
Be fearless, keep your options open, and always choose in favour of your passions. I believe you can do anything.
June has us celebrating Fathers, what sage advice or words of wisdom, has your Dad given you, that you want to share?
A man of few words, my Dad taught me that you never have to raise your voice to be heard. Always be humble and kind.
What is/was your relationship with your Father like? If you could change one thing, what would it be?
My relationship with my Dad was one of ease, love and humour. The only thing I would change is, he’d still be with us.
The month of June always brings such promise of renewal, what is your spring/summer renewal ritual? Do you have one?
As soon as the sun warm the earth, you will find me wandering the Garden Centres. Inhaling deeply to fill my soul, and buying way too many plants for the small gardening space I have.
Share with us something new that you have tried, are doing or embarking on this spring/summer.
Tried Edamame, and now I am hooked! So delicious.
As students prepare for graduation, growing to a new phase in their lives, what advice would you give them that may help with this process?
The best advice I can give to students getting ready to graduate is, explore. Explore your community, country, yourself or the world. Know that this is your life and you do not have to conform to societal expectations. One of the best parts of graduating is knowing you can take some time to discover yourself. Set goals, make a plan and do things for you. It is through self care and exploration that you will discover your place in the world. Never underestimate the value of exploring your own community, understanding where you are can help lead you to where you want to go.
Do you believe students graduating today in any field of study have been prepared for the future, for a career in their field?
feminism definition: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. … : the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.
My parents raised four feminists. My youngest sister Debi, older sister Darcy, and my older brother Gord…all feminists. I’ve always thought of my Mom as a trailblazer, but looking at the definition, I now realize so was my Dad. Reserved and quiet, he was my mom’s greatest supporter.
I am grateful for all the women that came before me and fought so hard for the equalities I don’t think twice of not ever having today. Not to take anything away from them, I would also like to acknowledge the men that have also believed in equality, and to those that live it every day.
So I want to thank my parents for raising not three feminists (my sisters and I) – but raising four. As my brother in turn is doing the same with his sons, and so the feminist movement grows, not just with our daughters, but with our sons.
Feminism is a great gift parents can mentor – for our daughters, and our sons.
Self-Care. What a timely topic, as this year I have declared, to no one but myself – that this is MY year of Self-Love.
I am committed to taking care of ME, my mind, my body, and my spirituality – trust me this was a long time coming, actually 52 years in the making. I have been and continue to be a lot of things for a lot of people – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The difference this year – is everything I give to others, I am now giving to Myself. I can attest, that with this dramatic shift in my thought process – I actually have more energy to give to others.
So you ask, how is that possible – is that not defeating your commitment of Self-Care? Nope. Why?, because giving to others now makes me feel great, because I feel fulfilled myself. Now taking care of others has become a choice, not a duty. Let me also say – the people you love and are doing so much for, notice the difference.
As a caution, My idea of Self-Love will more than likely be dramatically different from anyone else’s – you have to find out what you really need to feel….well to feel your best Self. I will share a few things I have learned in my new journey – and it is only February!
Embrace the Law of Attraction – what you put out into the universe comes back – make sure what you are thinking, and feeling is what you want surrounding yourself. A dear friend gave me this gift of Self-Love Thinking. I now practice gratitude everyday, and thanks to Pinterest, have a jar on my dresser that I write a kindness or event that I am grateful for each week – so at the end of the year – I see all the good in 2017. What a great way to start 2018.
Stress Less – How?, Breath. I enrolled in a beginner’s Yoga Class when I found myself at work one day, gasping for a breath at my desk….I truly forgot to breath – wake-up call. Now thanks to a wonderful yogi Amanda Tripp, at Yoga By Sarah, I am mindful of my body and what it is telling me, I feel the effects of the yoga postures and I have the breathing techniques to calm myself in times of stress. She has taught us that yoga extends beyond the classroom, so I continue to grow through the practice of yoga.
Enjoy Food Again – I was not eating for optimal health, and in fact was feeling the effects mentally and physically. So in January, I joined Weight Watchers and can now say, I am enjoying food again. Eating healthy provides me with the fuel to do all the things I want. With this program I eat what I want, and it truly helps me look at myself…Beyond the Scale. Fitting in so nicely with my year of Self-Love – our group leader Sue Smiley is awesome!
Move It, Move It – Literally, and figuratively I had to move more! Yoga helps, now I am walking which I find helps clear my mind as well – there are so many great nature trails in Niagara – I want to explore them all over this next year! I have signed up for the 150 Participation in celebration of Canada’s 150th year and look forward to checking off a few new activities.
Something Old / Something New – As I look to expand my activities, I have tried an introduction to Ariel Yoga, Suspension Training – learning I don’t like hanging upside down, and I am not ready for training of any kind. I also learned to knit, thanks to my very patient Mom. I have returned to embracing my curly hair (thanks Barb and Kaitlyn) – it is after all who I am. I look forward to experimenting with cooking food that is edible and putting paint brush and canvas again, something I haven’t done since high school.
Spend Time with Family & Friends – Lastly, but most importantly, I plan to take all the energy I get from loving and taking care of myself and share it, by spending time with my family and my friends. All of whom have always felt I was worth investing time in taking care of myself – the difference is this year I feel it too! Here’s to a year of family game nights, movies, hikes, girl’s nights and quiet evenings at home with the fur-baby!
If you take anything from my journey – I would hope it is that YOU need to practice Self-Love everyday – in the ways that are unique to you and that will help you feel fulfilled. YOU are WORTH It. And then I hope that feeling of love goes beyond yourself – to your family, friends, community, and beyond! I think we can all use a focus on LOVE this year, Namaste.
On a good day, it is easy to express thanks, share that feeling of contentment and be grateful for all you have.
Let’s look at gratitude on a bad day…week….month, or year. It’s hard yes, but not impossible.
The Thanksgiving holiday, from an emergency shelter perspective, is something I wish everyone could experience. Not to be homeless, I do not wish that on anyone. I am talking about the incredible sense of community that happens at our King Street shelter in October. The generous spirit of the Niagara community never fails to amaze me.
Local businesses, service clubs and individuals donate food and funds, enabling our top-notch team in the kitchen the ability to prepare the most delicious turkey dinners. Included are all the trimmings, and a few extras that we consider luxuries in the non-profit world. All in an effort to make the day one of a celebration of family, community and thankfulness.
People that have never met share what they have – with those in difficult circumstances.
I am honoured to see firsthand how this gesture from the community in their donations, and volunteering of their time, their caring …….fills the women and families at the shelter with gratitude. You can see it in their faces and feel it in their hearts. Someone cares, even when things look…well, bad.
To everyone that finds it in their hearts to give of themselves this Thanksgiving – THANK YOU, I am truly grateful for the hope you provide for the women and families we serve. Experiencing this every year, I am given the ability to draw on this feeling of connectedness when I am having a bad day. It also makes me reach out, beyond myself to help raise my community up – and for the ability to that…..I am also grateful.
I invite everyone to join the campaign – #RealityCheque – how many missed pay cheques until I am homeless, to share their number.
Here I will share a little more than my number – lived experience.
Last year at this time, I must confess I did not participate in No Fixed Address by sleeping in my car – the first time since it’s inception. Why, well at that time in my life, it was a little too close to the reality I actually found myself living.
After 17 years in a relationship, I found myself leaving – yes it was my choice – and yes I had a good job at the YW and very supportive family – but my reality was at that time, I did not have a place to live anymore – I had No Fixed Address.
I Had No Fixed Address
Moms are great, and mine took me in while I sorted out my next steps.…her dog’s reaction could be it’s own blog post, let’s just say I eventually wore him down to actually liking me during my stay – which took six long months.
During that time, I shared this information with very few people. Work was my only remaining “normal” and I didn’t want to change that – especially, since everything else had changed so drastically. There were days I clung to that small piece of normal. So I went to work every day, attended meetings, composed reports and minutes, going about my daily duties. After work I would return to my Mom’s small one bedroom apartment, sleeping on an air mattress in her living room each night. Waking up to the dog…..with that you still here look in his eyes – or was it me thinking that, projecting my feelings of self-judgement onto him. Pretty sure it was a little of both.
My apartment search, which took four months, in all honesty was depressing. I viewed apartments that when I left, I felt sorry for the people living in them – the places were derelict and shockingly expensive. Worse was the process of applying – I had no rental history, I had lived in a house! Even with a twenty year work history at the YW, I wasn’t considered a good candidate at a few places.
Trying to remain the same person on the “outside” took its toll emotionally and physically – when I was in fact a very different person on the “inside”.
Add to the apartment search the fact that I was living out of a suitcase during this time, I was really aware that my wardrobe consisted of only a few pieces – would people notice? Saving for first and last month’s rent took a bit of time too, so there were a few work lunches and social events I passed on – telling people I was busy. Trying to remain the same person on the “outside” took its toll emotionally and physically – when I was in fact a very different person on the “inside”. It was hard to believe that I would ever find a new “normal” – or a place to call home.
I understood firsthand when the women staying at our shelter would state in exasperation – “I just want my own place”. I could relate to their feelings of defeat, at yet another unsuccessful apartment viewing. Like them, my self-esteem began to suffer as I saw the beginning of yet another month start and still no apartment to call my own – no matter what the circumstances, you still feel there is something wrong with you while in a situation like this. As shallow as it may sound – I missed my favourite coffee mug, fuzzy slippers and a place to land at the end of the day – that was mine. Most ironic moment came when I was leaving work one night and a client told me to have a good night, and to her friend I heard her say “at least she has a home to go to”. Judged, yet again.
The judgement was my own – I learned being homeless is a LOT more than not having a place to live.
During this time, I also learned I am resourceful, my family loves and supports me, that I can leave a relationship and still remain friends, and that when I did share what I was going through with a few people at work I was offered unconditional support and absolutely no judgement. The judgement was my own – I learned being homeless is a LOT more than not having a place to live.
Today, I have a lovely apartment, my independence, stronger family ties, and a deeper appreciation of my fellow workers. Most importantly, I understand intimately the thought process and feelings of being homeless and a deeper understanding of the work we do here at the YWCA in supporting women and their families addressing their homelessness.
This August I will be participating in No Fixed Address – I hope to see you there. I may even bring my Mom’s dog along, I am pretty sure he misses me!
After a great month of reflecting on motherhood, we are asking in June on the blog:
What’s Dad got to do with it?
We are starting off the month with our Getting To Know You questions – see what your bloggers shared about their dads!
They were given the following questions to choose from:
- What lesson(s) from your Father, stuck with you?
- What is your strongest childhood memory about your relationship with your Father?
- Tell us one thing you want everyone to know about your Father?
- What is the one thing about your Father, that you wouldn’t change?
- You knew it was to follow that first question, What is the one thing about your Father, that you would love to change?
- Your own Father aside, who embodies your ideal of a Father – your Superman? And Why?
- Your Father – disciplinarian or marshmellow? Share which one.
- Got a picture of you and your Father that you would like to share – post it with your answers.
A tip-of-the-hat to my dear Dad, whom we lost in 2009, I am happy to share a few answers:
What lesson(s) from your Father, stuck with you?
BE SAFE. I always lock my car doors (even when I am in it), close my windows and lock my doors when leaving home, unplug appliances that are not in use, don’t run with scissors and I would never put real candles on a Christmas Tree. He’d be proud, others be thinking she’s a strange one I’m sure.
What is your strongest childhood memory about your relationship with your Father?
I could always be myself with my Dad, and treasured the time I got to spend with him, he worked a lot while I was growing up, so when he was home it was nice to just be around him. He made time to be with us. I loved to make him laugh.
Tell us one thing you want everyone to know about your Father?
Although my Mom has a great sense of humour….I credit my oddly wicked sense of humour to dear old Dad. Credit or blame…fine line, depends who you ask.
What is the one thing about your Father, that you wouldn’t change?
His constant sense of calm. Chaos could surround him, and often times with my family it did more than not, but he was always the calm one. I loved that about him, for some reason it is reassuring when you have one person in your life that never gets rattled.
You knew it was to follow that first question, What is the one thing about your Father, that you would love to change?
Although eternally in our hearts, I wish he were still with us, so much has happened over the last few years, happy and sad, it would have been nice to have his presence during it all.
Your own Father aside, who embodies your ideal of a Father – your Superman? And Why?
Any man who shows up, steps up, stands tall and lives and breathes Fatherhood in all its glory and misery – elbow to elbow with Moms – you are my Supermen. If your children feel well-loved, and protected you are tops in my books. Tall order, but Superman can do anything!
Your Father – disciplinarian or marshmellow? Share which one.
My Dad was a total Marshmellow, but never a push-over, and I am eternally grateful for that. We always knew when he was mad, he would point his finger at you as he was talking sternly (seriously, he only talked sternly). I didn’t know it then, but realize now, especially working at the YW, how very lucky I was. We usually got the “point”, and quite frankly I never got into much trouble growing up either, so I think he had it easy too.
What lesson(s) from your Father, stuck with you?
The lessons I’ve learned from my father did not come from direct teachings he passed on to me, but rather from being an onlooker of his life. I could easily look at the things he did and tell you what I’ve learned not to do: don’t cope with pain by drinking, definitely don’t drink and drive, don’t isolate yourself from the world, don’t hide the truth from those who care about you. Yet I’ve come to take those things and view them in a more positive light to guide what I actually do, rather than what I don’t. He taught me to take care of myself so that I can cope with adversity, to make myself vulnerable, and to be an active member in my community.
What is the one thing about your Father, that you wouldn’t change?
His independent streak and his love for cats – those were two traits of his that I’m very thankful to have inherited (I know the question asked for one thing, but I can’t help being rebellious sometimes).
You knew it was to follow that first question, What is the one thing about your Father, that you would love to change?
I could say that I wish he had been honest about what was going on in his life so that he wouldn’t have to hide the truth from other people. However, what I would actually want to change is the society we live in that discourages men from expressing their emotions and asking people for help.
- My father taught me how to be strong and to stand up for myself. Also, through his mistakes, I learned to question everything and to always search for the truth.
- My strongest childhood memory about my relationship with my father is about him teaching me to ride a bicycle when I was 5 years old. He worked hard as a welder all day, rising with the early sun. But, for 3 weeks straight he came home and spent hours encouraging me to keep trying and to not let my fear hold me back. Faithfully, he ran alongside my brand new shiny blue 2-wheeler with no training wheels. He gladly held onto my seat (mostly with just 2 fingers) laughing; soothing my fears and anxiety with praises of support. He always told me that I could do anything if I tried really hard. I felt safe, protected and loved.
- I’d like everyone to know that my father was a very fragile person who didn’t know how to deal with his emotions. He was a tortured soul who was self-destructive and ultimately hurt himself more than anyone else. He made choices in his life that destroyed the very special bond we once shared. However, he also gave me many happy memories that I will cherish forever.
- The one thing I would never change about my father was his love of music. His idol was Elvis Presley. He played Elvis’ music on his guitar and listened to his favourite songs over and over again on the record player. He imitated Elvis’ movements and gestures and he was quite good at playing his guitar. He was always happiest when he was playing on his guitar or listening to Elvis Presley music.
- The one thing I wish I could have changed about my father would be that he could have gotten the help he needed before it was too late. I wish he had reached out to me before he died.
- My hero is my husband Michael. He never lets me down. He is reliable, dependable, and loyal. My kids accepted him immediately and I trusted their judgement. He always goes out of his way to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. He is my partner and friend. We work well as a team and life just seems so much easier with him. He is a good listener and is very empathetic. He has always been my biggest supporter. He gives me the strength and courage needed to chase my dreams. He is the strongest man I have ever known. He is my safety net.
- My father was very strict and overprotective. I believe he thought he was doing the right thing by being this way but it was difficult to grow up in such a sheltered atmosphere.
In May, our blog is all about Motherhood. Our bloggers were sent a number of questions about the topic – get to know your gals and find out what their thoughts are around motherhood!
- What lesson(s) from your Mother, stuck with you?
Be Good. Be Kind. Do your best. Never give up. Do what makes you happiest. (In all fairness, I may have only realized many of these recently.)
- Tell us the one thing you want everyone to know about your Mother?
She is one of the strongest women I know. She can probably do anything. She’s the reason I believe I can do anything. She has never let me doubt myself. (Also, she has the best hair.)
- Sometimes we have not-so perfect Mothering moments – what is one piece of advice you can give to help each other through those moments?
The cliché, “nobody’s perfect,” applies. If you love your kids and you try your best, your kids will love you no matter what. Just don’t ever abandon the ship. Hard times always pass.
- What lesson(s) from your Mother, stuck with you?
There is always a Plan B, Plan C, Plan D. Never give up!
- What is your strongest childhood memory about your relationship with your Mother? Comedic Sick-Kick, to this day we continue to have crazy adventures just going to the super market!
- Tell us the one thing you want everyone to know about your Mother? She overcame an abusive childhood, and raised us four kids with love, humour, understanding and compassion. She broke the cycle of abuse, through her I know it can be done. It helps me at work, to know there is hope for the families we serve.
- As a Mother, Step-Mother or Motherly Influence, what is your biggest worry? That my children, my nieces and nephews won’t take opportunities that will enable them to reach their full potential. They all have so much to offer, I worry they will not recognize that within themselves.
- What would you love for your Mother to know about you? I understand her more now that I am a mother of young women, and appreciate she was an unconventional mom when I was growing up.
- Sometimes we have not-so perfect Mothering moments – what is one piece of advice you can give to help each other through those moments? ____ happens, say you’re sorry, and move on.
- Your own Mother aside, who embodies your ideal of a Mother – your Wonder Woman? And why? Any woman that gives up her dessert to her kids! I’ll share, but the entire dessert….can’t do it.
- What song best describes your Mother? And why? Landslide by Stevie Nicks. Speaks to the changes she has gone through, more as a woman than my Mom.
- What lesson(s) from your Mother, stuck with you? I will always be pleased that my mother taught me how to cook at an early age. She taught me the importance of serving a delicious home-cooked sit-down meal to family. I learned that this time could be used to catch up with one another and discuss family issues.
- Your own Mother aside, who embodies your ideal of a Mother – your Wonder Woman? And why? My cousin Vicki is the most dedicated, devoted and loving mother I have ever known. Her love is truly unconditional and she approaches each situation with genuine warmth, patience and unrelenting kindness. She makes every occasion special with her flair for making everyone feel important.
There is a running joke not only around the YWCA (my workplace), but also my household that any upcoming special event, function or large project that needs all hands on deck means that all our family members will volunteer to help too, which really means all family members will be voluntold they’re helping.
This blog post is my professional and personal salute to all of them – the unsung heroes of the non-profit sector and my life – the Voluntold! Thank YOU! Continue reading
Stay at Home Mom vs Working Mom. This topic has been around since… well, since women with children first decided to work outside of the home!
What continues to surprise me the most is how unsupportive we are of each other; no matter what the choice is. Unfortunately, what I thought was an old-fashioned way of thinking, that had gone by the way of the dinosaur, still faces young women today. The only change is that now it is done through social media. WOW, I was shocked.
I chose to work outside my home, and I made this decision first out of necessity, and second for my own peace of mind. If I am honest, even if I could have afforded to stay home, I would have chosen not to. I have a lot of respect for women that choose to stay home and raise their children. It is hard work, and so is working outside of the home.
Ladies, we are in this TOGETHER! I ask, why does one choice have to be better than the other? Does this harsh judgement of each other come from our own insecurities around the choice we made ourselves? In fact, it is not uncommon for working mothers and stay at home mothers to bestow judgement on each other as well! We don’t seem to be able to provide support when we are supposedly on the same team? Why is this I ask?
Ladies we are in this TOGETHER! Isn’t one collective voice stronger, wouldn’t a united stand by all women for equality in the workplace for women, for universal childcare, for a guaranteed income so that a choice doesn’t need to be made out of necessity provide more attention to the issues that really matter?
I believe as long as we continue to attack each other, the real issues will remain clouded and go unresolved. Let us together work towards a supportive, collective voice that will demand attention and action. Let us celebrate and support Stay at Home and Working Moms everywhere. As long as you are true to yourself and love what you do…how can that choice be questioned?
Help me Stop the judgement – let’s work towards a future where the conversation is about how great we feel about the choice we make – whether to stay home or work outside the home – knowing as women, we have the support of each other.
No judgement – we all have work to do!
At our October Blogger’s Meeting, planning for the November posts was underway and I wholeheartedly volunteered to look up and prepare a post that would inform anyone reading our blog where this year’s Remembrance Day Ceremonies were taking place throughout Niagara. Easy, peasy I thought, this should take all of two minutes as the information will be right at my finger tips !
What I thought would be a very easy search on the websites of the City of St. Catharines, City of Niagara Falls, City of Welland and Town of Fort Erie, unfortunately took a lot longer than expected – if I found it at all, and left me feeling a little saddened at the lack of history.
Top acknowledgement to the City of St. Catharines – Had it in the running banner, and it was a quick search to find a nice introduction and the following information:
Every year on Nov. 11 Canadians come together for Remembrance Day to reflect and acknowledge the men and women who served or continue to serve their country during times of war, conflict and peace.
During a moment of silence at 11 a.m. Canadians remember and honour the courage and sacrifice of those who fought for our country. The City of St. Catharines observes Remembrance Day at City Hall Nov. 11 by laying wreaths at the Honour Rolls and the Watson Memorial before joining the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24 at the Cenotaph at Memorial Park on St. Paul Street West.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24 Remembrance Day Ceremony
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24 will hold its annual Remembrance Day ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
Schedule of Events
|9:55 a.m.||Parade will form along Church Street in front of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24.|
|10:10 a.m.||Procession will leave the Legion and travel west along Church Street to City Hall. Wreaths will be placed at the Honour Rolls and the Watson Memorial at City Hall and the Last Post will be sounded.|
|10:30 a.m.||Procession continues west on Church Street to Ontario Street, south on Ontario Street and west onto St. Paul Street West, stopping at Cenotaph Memorial Park. There will be a police escort at the start and end of the procession, but there will be no road closures.|
|10:45 a.m.||Commemorative Service held at Memorial Park Cenotaph.|
|11 a.m.||Two minutes of silence will be observed.|
Other Remembrance Day Ceremonies
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 350
57 Lakeport Rd. Sunday, Nov. 9 10:30 a.m. to noon – Service and parade
Royal Canadian Legion Polish Veterans Branch 418
294 Vine St. Sunday, Nov. 9 Noon – Service
In second place, comes the City of Welland, scrolling down on their Home page, I found the following link to an invitation to the Annual Remembrance Day Service – below:
You are cordially invited to attend the
ANNUAL REMEMBRANCE DAY
PARADE AND SERVICE
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Parade and Ceremony
When: November 2, 2014, 1:45 pm
Where: Chippawa Park Cenotaph, First Avenue, Welland
REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE
The service will begin at 10:45 am (approx.).
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 4 invites everyone to attend this service. Due to the limited time available, only the service will be performed. All speeches and presentations will have already taken place at Chippawa Park on Sunday, November 2. Morningstar Avenue will be blocked to traffic by 10:30 am. It is advisable to arrive before then or use the back entrance off of Ontario Road.
NOVEMBER 1 TO 11
LEST WE FORGET
THEY SERVED TILL DEATH – WHY NOT WE?
In third comes the Town of Fort Erie – quick link on their home page brought me to the info below:
|Rememberance Day Parade|
|Sunday November 9, 2014. Parade from Legion to Cenotaph for Service then parade back to Legion Branch 71, corner of Garrison and Central Ave. Parade starts at 2 p.m.|
Sadly, in last place I have to put the City of Niagara Falls – see below:
No results found for my search.
Surprisingly enough they had a feature on the home page about the 1812 Bicentennial Celebration taking place February 2015. Did I miss something? If there are ceremonies going on in Niagara Falls – please send us the information – we’d be happy to post it.
Tuesday, November 11th is Remembrance Day, if you are in St. Catharines, I may see you at the Commemorative Service held at the Cenotaph, as the YWCA lays a wreathe in memory and thanks to the many men and women that fought for, and continue to fight our freedom.
Update Before Post Deadline: Just got an email, and checked it out – the Regional Municipality of Niagara’s website came through big time and provided the list of Remembrance Day Services – throughout the Region. Sharing with everyone below:
On November 11, remember those men and women who served and sacrificed to protect the freedom that we graciously enjoy today.
All regional offices will be open on November 11 except for the Provincial Offences Court.
Remembrance Day Services in Niagara Region
The following is a list of services in Niagara region. There may be other services in your community that are not listed here.
|City / Town||Address||Date||Start Time|
|Fort Erie||Mather Arch 130 Garrison Rd.||Nov. 9, 2014||1 p.m.|
|Ridgeway Cenotaph 228 South Mill St.||Nov. 11, 2014||11 a.m.|
|Stevensville Hall 2508 Stevensville Rd.||Nov. 9, 2014||2 p.m.|
|Grimbsy||Grimsby Cenotaph 233 Elizabeth St.||Nov. 11, 2014||11 a.m.|
|Niagara Falls||Gale Centre 4171 Fourth Ave.||Nov. 11, 2014||11 a.m.|
|Niagara-on-the-Lake||St. Mark’s Church 41 Byron St.||Nov. 11, 2014||Noon|
|Pelham||Centennial Park 999 Church St.||Nov. 9, 2014||8:30 a.m.|
|Old Pelham Town Hall 491 Canboro Rd.||Nov. 11, 2014||11 a.m.|
||Nov. 11, 2014||10:45 a.m.|
|St. Catharines||Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 24) Church St.||Nov. 11, 2014||9:55 a.m.|
|Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 350) 57 Lakeport Rd.||Nov. 9, 2014||10:30 a.m.|
|Royal Canadian Legion (Polish Veterans Branch 418) 294 Vine St.||Nov. 9, 2014||Noon|
|Thorold||Royal Canadian Legion 3 Ormond St. S.||Nov. 9, 2014||1 p.m.|
|Royal Canadian Legion (Memorial Park) 20 Chapel St. S.||Nov. 11, 2014||10:30 a.m.|
|Welland||Royal Canadian Legion 363 Morningstar Ave.||Nov. 11, 2014||10:45 a.m.|
|West Lincoln||Royal Canadian Legion 172 St. Catharines St.||Nov. 11, 2014||10:45 a.m.|
If you know of additional public ceremonies you’d like see added to this page, send them to us now.
Images courtesy of Google
Pre-event Diary Entries:
Day: Can’t remember – but it was August 2013 – Weak moment during the Manager’s Planning Day crunching numbers for a balanced budget…agreed to actually participate in No Fixed Address in 2014, by sleeping in my car and raising pledges.
Day: June 16th – Bit the bullet and registered as a participant for NFA today. It’s real, I am going to sleep in my car. Posting my goal as $100.00. I sent a plea out to my contacts looking for donations. Emailed my daughter Arlee to register, we are in this together.
Day: July 9th – Reached my goal of $100.00 today – with one really generous donor. Still feeling the high of reaching that goal, that I know will help the YW…..I raised it (internally in my own head) to $200.00 and am well on the way!
Day: July 20th – Got Arlee’s text – after registering she posted the event on her Facebook, and got two donations in the first 15 minutes. She is super excited and confident she’ll reach her goal. Can’t be that happy for her though, she is taking from our small family donor pool – I should have approached them first!
Day: August 8th – Attended the last official NFA Committee meeting before the event. next week at this time. I will be journaling my experience of spending 24-hours at No Fixed Address.
Day: August 11th – Volunteered to be at the Cardboard House, interactive display speaking to the myths and misconceptions around poverty and homelessness at the Pen Centre. At our Emergency Shelters we have Women’s Advocates – staff that help the women and families that come to our shelters for help. I am Administration – to the core. My mantra at the YW is…..and you can ask anyone…..”Let me get you an Advocate“! These women are the professionals and I admire each and every one of them. Today, I got a taste of what they must experience on a daily basis. People going through the Cardboard House came through and shared some of the most intimate details of their lives, times when they too found themselves homeless and of how it took one special person to believe in them, or how they have come through it changed and grateful for the everyday things. I was so touched I could only thank them for sharing their experiences with me. It was affirming to hear that the work of the YW is important, and community support is critical in a person’s journey back from poverty and homelessness. To the ladies and gentlemen that shared, thank you so much – you have given me yet another reason to participate in NFA.
Day: August 14 – Packing up for NFA tomorrow. What does one pack to sleep in their car? I keep telling myself, for me this is only for one night…..for others this is their reality.
Event Day Diary Entries
Day: August 15 – Up at 5:30 a.m. and sent a text to Arlee that I will see her after she is done work at NFA. After strategically switching cars for the day (I now have our roomy Caliber – Steve has chitty-chitty bang-bang) I leave the house at 7:00 a.m. to help set-up the event area with the other committee volunteers (these people are energizer bunnies). Packed the night before, as I head out the door, I feel I am as ready as I will ever be for the adventure ahead.
8:30 a.m. Registration open, participants begin to arrive. I am helping with Volunteer Registration – we have so many giving their time today. Shout out to our regular front desk volunteers helping with NFA, our faithful YWCA staffers, to the many Telus staffers, Target staffers, Sitel staffers and all the individuals that gave us their time. Special mention to our regular IT guy, Greg from Powernet – every year he arrives early and gets us all set-up and connected for the computer work ahead.
10:00 a.m. Opening Ceremonies. Participants setting up their car areas, registration is still underway and the “And Then Life Happens” game begins. Choice or Chance…the participants get a taste of events that can happen …… that can change everything in an instant.
11:00 a.m. The Amazing Race gets underway for participants. This fast-paced game puts participants through several challenges…..first to arrive at the finish line wins. I participated in this event a few years back….we did not win…enough said, to elaborate more would only make me look bad.
Sweet note to add: The winning family donated the gift certificate they won, back to the YWCA!
12:30 p.m. Lunch is served – big thank you to Rob Rolfe from Bistro on Church and his volunteer crew from Sitel for cooking. Lunch was great – best hotdogs ever!
1:00 p.m. Guest Speaker – Very Powerful, first hand experience on living in poverty and the choices she had to make and continues to make. Thank you for speaking out, you gave me goose-bumps. Makes me grateful for everything I have – not material things, but for the support of family, friends and community. I feel safe.
2:00 p.m. – Craft Stations and Bouncy Castle for kids. I still have night terrors from last year when I helped supervise the bouncy castle. Looks like everyone is having a good time – and are actively participating in the challenges posed to them in the And Then Life Happens game.
2:30 p.m. – I have begun to ration my water/liquid intake…..the port-a-potties are starting to scare me. Trying to avoid an night time trip.
Friends drop by the event…I encourage them to come back later for the band…these are our rock’n roll friends, so they confirm they’ll be coming back later.
3:00 p.m. – Zumba by Shelley…..where does she get that energy? I still can’t believe that the Welland Rose Court did Zumba……with their tiaras ……that is amazing! Oh to be that young and graceful again.
5:00 p.m. Dinner is served – thanks again to Rob and his crew from Sitel.
Arlee messages me – she is on her way – did I save her a spot? Oh YES I did pumpkin – strategically parked on the perimeter so she’d have easy access. Feel better that she will arrive shortly.
5:30 p.m. (ish) Vinyl Flux begins rock’n the event – they draw a great crowd every year and we are busy at registration providing people with information and registering the later arrivals who just finished work. I need to go see these guys next time they play in my neighbourhood.
Arlee arrives and helps us with registrations..I take her to see the cardboard house display – also looking for an opportunity to go into the mall….and the Target washrooms – very clean! My rationing liquid is not working very well – I have the bladder of a squirrel.
7:00 p.m. Fire Trucks arrive – kids love it!
Arlee wants to get some mother/daughter pictures of us at the event…to post online. Get Maria to snap several pics…several poses later, we agree on one we like for sharing. (this isn’t the one…but I liked it best)
7:30 p.m. Award for And Then Life Happens game presented.
8:30 p.m. Arlee and I head over to the car to set-up sleeping bags and change into what we think will be comfy sleeping in the car clothes (trust me, those clothes don’t exist). As we lay out the sleeping bags and blankets, I notice that the Caliber isn’t really as big as I thought it was…. this is going to be…cozy.
9:00 p.m. Movie starts – the Terminal. We are winding down, my registration duties done for the night…we take our camping chairs and sit by our car to watch the movie. Someone pulls up, arriving late and completely blocks our view of the movie screen. Slowly we turn, look at each other…and laugh hysterically. I might be more tired than I thought.
We then spent the next 2 hours talking about nothing and everything…..work, family, friends, upcoming events….future plans and dreams. I really enjoyed this time just talking with Arlee – we need to do this more often (without the sleeping in my car part).
11:30 p.m. – Movie over, people are winding down. We head over to the port-a-potties, for one last visit. Yuk. I remind myself, even port-a-potties aren’t an option for those living in their cars – I suck it up. Learned I can hold my breath a lot longer than I thought I could!
12:00 midnight – all snuggled in – we have a brief conversation on safety – I win, we lock all the doors. Did discover two things….the Caliber hatch-back doesn’t open from the inside and two sleeping bags does not a soft mattress make.
Arlee remembers a time when she was younger with her sister and their father, travelling to go camping they stopped roadside for him to sleep and were awaken by a police officer tapping on the window, shining a light into the car to see if everything was alright. It was scary. We agreed. even with our tinted windows, there is a vulnerability you feel when trying to sleep in the car.
Lost my socks under the blankets…start laughing hysterically….determine we are over tired and agree to sleep.
1:30 a.m. Starting to drift into a light sleep. Last thought…..look over at Arlee sleeping – she looks the same way she looked sleeping at the age of five. Comforted with the fact that I am not here alone.
1:30 a.m. – 5:50 a.m. – It was a fitful night spent trying to get comfortable, which was literally impossible. Remember being thankful for two things – one – that Arlee doesn’t snore and two – I am short and could stretch out from time to time. Could hear the dull sound of the highway and remember thinking, this is only for one night.
August 16 – 5:51 a.m. Woke up, feeling a little stiff. Arlee still sleeping. It was still quiet, so I laid there watching the clouds, seeing the birds flying overhead experiencing the day begin. Totally different feeling than when I experience the beginning of my day…in my own home, from my own bed.
I couldn’t imagine if this was my reality, how I would then begin my work day, go about my business, knowing that at the end of the day…I had to do it again, and again and again.
6:45 a.m. Arlee wakes up – finally. I admit, I did poke her – I was getting sore and just wanted to get out of the car. Tall Arlee, finally got to stretch out – it may take a couple of hours, but she’ll walk upright soon.
We head over to the port-a-potties….people are getting up, I am hoping I look no worse for wear – but the understanding smiles we greet each other with says it all.
Decide to brush our teeth with bottled water and my toothpaste….BIG sorry to the two people sitting opposite us outside their car…I spat before I realized you were going to get the visual. Figured if you used the port-a-potties this was nothing.
7:45 a.m. Had coffee (missing my favourite mug) and a muffin for breakfast – tasted so good. Thank you Tim Hortons!
8:00 a.m. Yoga by Sarah – I gave Arlee my yoga mat to use (so technically I was doing yoga too), she went to do the morning yoga with a few other flexible souls. I headed over to registration trailer to see how the number counting was going. Most of us slept over, you could tell the ones that didn’t……they were fresh faced and 100% coherent. The rest of us were functioning on …. the power that this will be over soon.
9:00 a.m. Closing Ceremonies – Awards were given out – Arlee received the Social Butterfly Award – for using social media to promote the event. This year’s NFA total raised over $52,000.00. Excellent – big thank you to all those that participated, those who donated and supported this event. What a great community.
After Event Diary Entry:
August 16 and 17 – Took two full days to recover from the experience. Emotionally and physically.
I survived NFA 2014 – and I have the certificate to prove it.
More importantly, I feel I am a different person because of it. Once you’ve lived an experience like this, you can’t forget it. This has now become a part of me – I move forward with more empathy, more gratitude for what I have and the people that support me and even more determination to help fight poverty and homelessness in my community. A car is not a home and a back seat is not a bedroom – I need to actively do my part in taking care of the most vulnerable – only then should we all sleep soundly in our own beds.
I enjoy connecting with my family, friends and co-workers through social media on a daily basis. I feel engaged with and connected to them as we communicate back and forth. While usually fun and lighthearted, these daily exchanges are sometimes serious and there have been a few that are heartbreaking.
I enjoy connecting with my family, friends and co-workers as we sit together to share a cup of tea, a delicious meal or to simply ‘talk shop’ around the table. Similarly, these daily exchanges are fun and lighthearted, sometimes serious, and once in awhile heartbreaking.
Meaningful engagement is what I am prepared to provide no matter the forum – however, I am careful not to intermingle these two very different exchanges. I think the problem arises when we choose to do both, simultaneously, and think we can be good at it.
My solution, don’t choose.
Be present in every moment when face to face with family, friends and co-workers. Save the social media connection when you are alone and want to reach out. Trust me, if you follow my simple advice, the people around you will not only appreciate your full engagement, but more often than not pay you that same respect.
We haven’t lost the ability to have meaningful engagement, we just need to remember there is a time and place for both…..just not at the same time, please.
Images courtesy of Google Images.
As the month of May winds down, and our weekly posts touch on this month’s topic of Motherhood, I’d like to offer my take on Motherhood.
Pondering this topic of motherhood, I had a hard time deciding on an angle of approach – I have a mother, two actually if I count my mother-in-law, (and I do) and I am a mother. So after much thought, inspiration hit me while I was running one morning….I’m going to the experts…..children, mine to be specific. After all who better to tell me what kind of Mother I am then my own kids, since they are the recipients of my being their Mother (although I prefer the term Mom).
Here’s the loaded questions I asked my two daughters (ages 23 and 25), by text so they didn’t have to hide their initial reaction and their response (by text).
Question # 1 – On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, how would you rate me as your Mother.
Response to Above loaded Questions:
Emilee: A little background first – the youngest of my two daughters, Em is in my motherly opinion, a wildly creative artist, seeker of justice and vocal advocate for those less fortunate, possessor of an off-beat sense of humour and gentle soul. Not only is she my daughter, she is my fashion-sense, sounding board, biggest support, my champion, one of my best-friends. I love her to bits!
Answer by text: “I’d rate you as…….hmmm….well a 9. Nobody is perfect but I still believe you did your best and I appreciate that you were able to give me the life skills needed to be able to be successful on my own. We’ve been through tough times here and there and you’ve always been there for me when I needed advice or a friend 🙂 I’m grateful to have a mother like you”.
Mom Comment to Rating: This response surprised me, Emilee and I share a very easy, open relationship, so it shouldn’t have….but it did. She made me cry.
Arlee: A little background first – my firstborn and it was her misfortune that she did not come with an instruction manual for me, Arl, in my motherly opinion, is amazingly strong, resilient and adaptable, she bravely goes where no one else dares and does this with a grace and charm that is so difficult to explain, you just feel it when you are in her company. She has a special way of making everyone feel so very important to her. Not only is she my daughter, she is my inspiration, my fashion-sense, my dose of reality from time to time, one of my biggest supporters and toughest critic, I am grateful to count her as one of my very few best-friends. I love her to bits!
Answer by text: “I’m not gonna rate you as a mother. LOL cause sometimes you’re above a ten and other times I could rate you pretty low. Haha”
Mom Comment to Rating (or lack thereof): This response did not surprise, nor offend me, it is exactly the type of honesty Arlee and I can share and trust me, it took us a while to get to this place. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Question #2 – What’s the one piece of advice I’ve given that you follow?
Arlee: Best Advice (to date):
“Date a lot. Experience different personalities, see what’s out there and you’ll know what works for you. I dated a lot … And certain I found my guy now. Sure glad I didn’t stick with the first one.”
Mom Comment to Advice: Although it makes me sound bad, it was presented to her with a lot more context. I’m so happy she took it, since we are all glad that she didn’t stick with the first one!
Emilee: Best Advice (to Date):
“Well it wasn’t anything in particular…you’ve helped me think more clearly when I’ve been upset about something and have helped me make rational decisions”.
Mom Comment to Advice: Nice, apparently all the advice I thought I was giving her…didn’t sink in at all. Yet those times I spent with her while she worked through a situation, I was wishing I could get her one of our Women’s Advocates to help, because they are so great with the women we serve – I was actually helping her after all, again, Nice.
And now my turn.
Big hugs and thank you, to my daughters Emilee and Arlee who in spite of my very best and less than stellar moments still call me their Mom and answer all my crazy questions and requests for endless volunteer hours in support of the YW! Love you both, forever and yes, I haven’t forgotten that you agreed to sleep in your car alongside me at No Fixed Address this year!
A special shout out to my Mom, Hallie Ruth – Thank you for blazing a trail, enabling me to think independently, make my own mistakes and for celebrating with me as I triumphed over them, and for giving me the strength, courage and wicked sense of humour that I admire so much in you. I enjoy immensely playing the part of Ethel to your Lucy – even today. Still going strong at 82, thank you for a great childhood, I feel very blessed.
To Joy, my mother-in-law, thank you for allowing me to be the daughter you never had, it is an honour I wear proudly, for sharing your insights on your son whom we both love so much, for our shopping excursions, and for making me feel special every day. I am so very grateful to have you in my life.
And to all the women, in my life that at some point in my journey past, present and future, have provided me with motherly wisdom, insight, the occasional dose of reality and hugs….you know who you are, thank You, and don’t stop.
Happy Mother’s Day….month! Women this special deserve more than a day.
The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out.
A great fan of Mitch Albom, I could hardly wait to dive into this book.
The title made me anticipate the possibilities of where he would take me as a reader. I will start by saying, myself personally, I believe in a higher power, not the fire and brimstone version, more the, all accepting, guidance is there for you if you seek it, style. Another discussion someday perhaps, back to the book.
I was saddened and disappointed after reading the book.
He absolutely captured human nature and the mass hysteria that ensues when someone or something happens to a person and everyone else wants it for themselves. It told the perfect story of how faith can be preyed upon or used as a tool to manipulate. If that was the story he wanted to tell, he did it perfectly, it was not however, the story I wanted to read, and so I was disappointed.
It wasn’t your average, darn that was not the book I expected disappointment that flashes when you close the cover, done. But that slow burn for days that has you thinking and actually feeling down about the entire story from start to finish. Saddened about just how close he nailed the truth on how our society has become in a way. And that I could have accepted easier, however, at the very end of the story he throws something unexplainable in……really, you do that now? was my first thought while reading, it’ s kind of insulting now, so really Mitch? Why bother? Why bother indeed.
All this said, when asked what I was expecting of the book, I needed to think hard, what was I really expecting, why was I so disappointed – it was after-all very well-written?
I was looking for a little hope, an uplifting read that provided the reader the opportunity to believe….or not. A little lighter read, with a lot less reality.
So, you may be surprised now that I would recommend reading this book, my interpretation was based solely on my own expectation. Each of us is an individual, so you may come away with a different perspective or feeling than I did. Enjoy.
And if after you read the book you find yourself feeling the need for further discussion, please send me a line I would be happy to look deeper.