4 - Friday April 23, 2010
Prairie Post - Prairie Life, Prairie People
There’s advantages to not thinking ahead
Folks, I’ve gotta learn to think ahead. Now the ol’ Geezer plans for something that ain’t gonna happen for a month or two, but I just jump in and do something without thinking about what I’m gonna do later. That’s what happened when I broke my ankle, so I drove myself into the emergency room at the hospital thinking it was only sprained. I had the fool think wrapped up in tension bandages, but the x-rays showed it was broken in two places no less. So of course, they casted the darned
40 & Plum
thing, but then they told me I couldn’t walk on this cast. Luckily a neighbour lady was in the same place with her little boy, so she brought my car to the emergency parking garage and the nurses helped me to hop into my car.
Well this is all well and good, but I didn’t think about how I was going to get out of the car once I got home with a wet cast, no sock on that foot and no crutches. Luckily, I snagged my cousin Bev at the service station and she half lifted and half dragged me almost to the house door when I remembered I had a pair of crutches in a bedroom closet. Gosh, poor Bev.
Then the ol’ Geezer was away on a fishin’ trip and I decided to buy him this huge man- size reclining chair. Gosh, I thought I’d surprise him when he got home and the young lads at the furniture store loaded it for me, but I never though about how I was gonna get the thing unloaded once I got home, never mind getting the old recliner out. Heavenly days, this chair weighed a ton and I couldn’t move it so I baited
a couple of bachelors with a case of beer and, tickety- boo, out went the old recliner and in came the new one. You see friends, when you don’t think ahead you have to get inventive.
I still hadn’t learned my lesson, no siree, I went and bought the Geezer a patio lawn chair recliner. Same scenario, they load it up at the store and “high ho, high ho, it’s off to home I go.” Well gracious, the base of this thing is made out of cast iron and I couldn’t budge it an inch inside my vehicle must less get it onto the deck, so it was off again to get another case of beer and it worked again. Jiminy Crickets, that huge chair was on the deck in no time flat. I mean, if you’ve got a good method of getting things done when you don’t think ahead, well then even if you have to use some bait, you better keep using that method for as long as you can. Trust me, I know about this not thinking ahead.
There’s always new challenges to tackle head on
Rollerblading used to petrify me.
One bad wipe-out when I was younger and that was it. “No more,” I said. Fast forward about 10 years and it was time to stop little fears controlling my life. That summer I was living back home. A seemingly confident 21-year-old, I made my mother walk down the street holding my hand as I attempted to navigate the roads with two hunks of deadly plastic tied to my feet. You should probably understand I have never been the co-ordinated athletic type. Fast forward another three years and it was time to brush the dust off of the rollerblades and think about at least getting my moneys worth out of them. Now, for an inexperienced blader the Chinook pathway is perfect. It has little traffic, the edges are lined with grass and the hills aren't ridiculous or so I thought. Escape plan made, I decided whenever I lost control, simply hurling myself onto the grass would be sufficient. In fact, practicing eternal optimism in my abilities every time I pictured myself needing to use the grass escape route I did it quite gracefully. Who am I kidding? When I picture myself rollerblading I always think I am able to do it quite gracefully. The contrasting reality more closely reflects an image of me cautiously walking sideways along the grass whenever I needed to go downhill out of fear I may lose
control. Fast forward to the spring of 2010. As I once again strap the two hunks of deadly plastic to my feet I did it with further determination to not let my fears take control of my abilities. I also started to see the rollerblading adventure as a parallel to personal growth and a determination not to let fears and setbacks define the routes I take in life.
Sunday, as temperatures reached above 20
degrees I felt invincible. “This is nice,” I thought while I stood on one of the walkway bridges and gazed over Swift Current Creek. I felt like I had accomplished something. It was comfortable. From there I could tackle the world. Snapping out of it, the dreaded thought hit. “Oh crap. Down is the only way to go," then a sharp turn left and a sharp turn right. Well, time to give it a go. Slowly at first weaving my way back and forth across the pathway trying to stay in control. My knees began to wobble.
Any confidence I had in coming out unscathed was gone. “Oh crap, Oh crap, Oh crap,” I exclaimed.I wasn't going to make the turn.
Face first, I flew into the grass, sunglasses flying into the air as I skidded to a halt. Grass was everywhere, in my shirt, down my pants, woven into my hair. As I laughed a few pieces sputtered from my mouth.
It was time to stand up and brush myself off and finish the trip back to my car, in spite of my red knees, scrapped elbows and slightly bruised ego.
I was okay. I was able to continue on my way. That night before sunset I sat at home relaying the story to my roommate. “Let's go rollerblading before it gets dark,” I
Another tumble wasn't going to set me back. On that note, this is my last week working as a staff
reporter/photographer with the Prairie Post. I feel as though I am standing on the top of that hill looking back over the last two years. The sense of accomplishment is real. I have decided it is time to move on and try a new path in life. It is time to find more hills to climb. I want to thank everyone who has helped me with articles and shared their stories with me and therefore the world. You have been a true inspiration and it has been a pleasure. See you around Swift Current.
National week a time to remember victims of crime
BY WAYNE JOHNSTON
As the Co-ordinator for the South West Victims Services Program and in recognition of the National Victims of Crime Week, April 18 - 24, I am respectfully submitting the following open letter to the general public for awareness of the presence of victims of crime locally and abroad. Many of our victims of crime and traumatic events are innocent children, who for a variety of reasons fall victim to familial injustice. It is heartbreaking for not only our support program but others as well to deal with these particular issues, as are all the cases involving any victim, regardless of age and gender. It is the child who is by far the most innocent victim of all and for purposes of specific awareness.
It was 7 p.m. and I was watching the rain and lightning when my granddaughter joined me while dressed in her pyjamas ready for bed. She fell into my lap and as I wrapped my arms about her, she said, “Diddi!!” and it was
with that initial beckoning that she began her little dialogue all on her own.
The only time I spoke was when she would ask me a question, of which there were many. Her conversation consisted about the rain, the light in the sky, the robins, the squirrels, the worms in the ground, and spiders. She would accompany her words with pointing gestures and at any given time would suddenly stop, turn and press her nose to mine and ask me one of her questions. I don’t know how many times my nose was lightly flattened but I consciously willed it to bounce back in time for another nudge.
As the minutes went by, I wrapped my arms about her a little tighter and wondered if I had similar sessions with my own daughter when she was five. I was relieved to remember that yes, I had. I had forgotten how precious those moments really were, and are, and had it not been for my daughter’s daughter sitting on my lap on my front porch in the midst of a rainy night, thoughts of what life is really about would have continued to be overshadowed with personal worries and concerns which are common to us all. Fortunate is the person who reaches a point in his or her life where love becomes the meaning of life. Missed opportunities of sitting down with your child can and will haunt a discerning and loving parent in the years ahead, given the many life complexities which we face today. As I cuddled her, I thanked God in my own way for the opportunity of being able to love, provide, and guide her along the road of her early life. I am hoping she will remember these tender moments with her grandfather as she grows older, and if she does,
what an added gift that will be for me. I don’t really know why I was so struck with that moment on my front porch on that particular evening. To be very truthful, it doesn’t matter really. It happened and I have counted it as a blessing that it did. I am in a profession where I see the emotional suffering of several children right here in our own community backyard. The lack of expressed parental love is at the heart of it all. The remedy is so simple. Take the time to cuddle your child and let him or her know that Daddy, Mommy and their Daddies and Mommies care. Take advantage of the opportunities given to you with your child. Use and express that inherent love for your child. The gifts received by doing just that will be many. That was not a long read at all, was it? The message is simple folks. Love your children and grandchildren and let them know and feel that love. Spend a day with me in my profession or with any other health provider and you will then understand why I emphasized my message with a personal touch. Victims of crime, especially children of tender years, do not have the same level of cognitive ability as do adults, but their little hearts know when something is not right. Please join me in just being aware of the presence of the plight of all victims of crime, and with that awareness in mind, treat them with the respect and compassion they deserve. Let’s not forget a very real fact does exist. Any one of us, at any time, any where, could become a victim of crime or a traumatic event in an instant. Love your children.
Wayne Johnston is the Program Co-ordinator South West Victims Services in Swift Current
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