Fly in the Ointment

The custodian who was responsible for cleaning the chemistry lab took her job very seriously. When I first arrived at the school she asked what my expectations were for cleaning in the lab. She also told me what her expectations were of me. I was impressed with that. The preparation room at the back of… Continue reading Fly in the Ointment

Hustle and Bus-tle

Not long after the end of day bus departure, the office phone rang. It was an upset parent. Her eight-year-old son didn’t get off the bus. We sprang into action. His teacher confirmed that he had been in school and exited with the other kids. She hadn’t seen him since. The bus-duty teacher didn’t see… Continue reading Hustle and Bus-tle

Be Not Afraid

My brothers and I attended a funeral in early March. A number of hymns were sung including, Be Not Afraid. In recent years, it’s one that is often included. Following the service, one brother reminded us of a story as told to him by a clergyman. It took place following a funeral service a number… Continue reading Be Not Afraid

The Atlantic Star – Part I

I’ve been thinking of my dad a lot lately. His birthday is coming up. Dad was in the merchant navy during WW II. He was awarded the War Medal and the 1939-45 Star. As a child I would occasionally sneak into my parents bedroom and find his medals in his dresser. I would pin them… Continue reading The Atlantic Star – Part I

Boating Baffle

A friend of my father’s was visiting home. He and a buddy decided they wanted to do some fishing. They borrowed a small boat, filled the tank with fuel and off they went. After a pleasant afternoon on the water they decided to head back to shore. Cal primed the engine and pulled on the… Continue reading Boating Baffle

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my father’s birthday. This would have been his 100th. It has been twenty-five years since he left us. I miss him. I’m the youngest of three brothers. I recall my parents telling me that they were actually hoping for a girl when I was born. I appreciated their honesty. As my father said,… Continue reading Happy Birthday Dad

“There are Worse Things to Happen”

Not long ago I had a conversation with an acquaintance. We’ve known each other for a long time. During our chat he informed me that his son had recently come out. I was curious, “How hard was it for him to tell you?” He gave me an account of the moment and the questions that… Continue reading “There are Worse Things to Happen”

Thanks, Dad

It was a weekday morning in 1978. I was in university and sleeping at my parents’ home. At 6:40 am, I awoke to the sound of the phone ringing. I could faintly hear my father’s voice after he answered it from his bedside table. At the time, my father was District Manager for the coast… Continue reading Thanks, Dad

Loud and Clear

My father was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. It is a Parkinson’s related disease that results from damage to nerve cells in the brain. It affects movement, control of walking, speech, swallowing, etc. It was tough for us to see his decline. It was particularly tough on him as his mind was good right up… Continue reading Loud and Clear

Difficult Conversations

Difficult Conversations My father died before I became a principal. Here was a fellow with a grade 6 education who started out as a deckhand in the merchant navy. He went on to become a ship’s captain. When he retired he was responsible for the operation of three ships and over 300 personnel. He would… Continue reading Difficult Conversations