I Like That

I Like That
See, hear, taste, touch and inhale the wonders of the world.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sisters In Kind

Joy Gives Us Wings
Three friends gathered in a house in Woss, British Columbia, and found sisterhood.

The foundation of the event was based on joy. The pleasure of being in one another’s presence gave us wings. Our chronic health conditions were set aside and we became more vital. Our intellect was keener and allowed us to formulate a plan to support youth to attend an international conference.

Together, sometimes holding hands, the bliss of being with each other surged strength through us. We learnt coping techniques from each other to deal with the world at large. Together we were wrapped in a sphere of usefulness.

We kept sadness away from our hearts to avoid its weakening characteristics. Our sisterhood strength took over so that our comprehension and intelligence were unveiled.

Our intention is to practice sisterhood regularly with all our women friends.

Joy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and to find our sphere of usefulness. But when sadness visits us we become weak, our strength leaves us, our comprehension is dim and our intelligence veiled. ~ Abdu’l-Baha

Nature Exudes Joy

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Past Tense of Eat

Deluxe Board 

 I like everything SCRABBLE®. Twenty years ago I bought myself a deluxe model along with the official Scrabble players dictionary.

I especially like the word ET, a past tense of eat. It provided me a forty-eight point score at the tournament I attended in Campbell River as a fundraising event for the local literacy program. I never thought my word would cause a ruckus.

I had placed my tiles on the board, counted the points and stated them and the word quietly to my opponent. Her responsibility was to record the word and the points for it. She refused my word.

“What’s the matter?” I said.

“What’s that supposed to be?” she said. She pointed to my word.

“Et is a past tense of eat”, I said.

“I’ve been teaching English for thirty-five years and I’ve drilled it into my students’ heads that ate is the past tense of eat,” she said.

“Do you want to challenge the word?” I said.

We both knew the single challenge rule where if a player places a word and her opponent wishes to challenge, the challenger may do so with no penalty.

Ultimate Argument-Settler
 I waved the word judge over. He flipped through the pages of the Scrabble dictionary, located ET and read the definition. I knew that book to be the ultimate argument-settler for Scrabble game players.

“Why aren’t we using a proper Oxford dictionary?” my challenger said.

As her voice grew louder other tournament players turned their attention to our action. 

“This will be the last game I play. Let’s finish,” she said.

She recorded my word and the points on the score sheet. 

After the award ceremony I approached her and asked if she would be interested in joining me at the community centre where we play Scrabble for fun. After she accepted the invitation I handed her my official Scrabble players dictionary.

“Bring it with you on Thursday,” I said. “I’ll bring my board.”

Scrabble has it rewards

Tournament Fundraiser for Literacy

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Triple-Header Extravaganza

♪ Sing Along With Me 
I LIKE THAT music fills me with joy. I don’t know how to play a musical instrument, but I know melodies spike my energy. I sing like nobody is listening, and consider hand clapping after a performance part of the entertainment.

On Saturday, April 13, 2013, Frank and I enjoyed a triple-header date of listening to a jazz band at a local pub, and afterward a pop crew followed by an eclectic posse of voices and guitars. The Forsland Group was led by a barefoot lady jazz singer, accompanied by a saxophone player, guitarist and bass fiddle player. Many of us were tapping our feet to the beat while others were bobbing their heads to the rhythm and snapping their fingers. My compulsion is to sing along  if I remember the words, however because jazz tunes have doo-wop ups and downs it’s nearly impossible. 

 Brass Instrument Keys  

Afterward, we attended a fund-raising festival of music at the Campbell River Community Centre. The first band, Inclusion, is composed of three singers and five instrumentalists who tend to play dance music and sing-a-long tunes. The audience is always invited to participate and that's when I'm at my happiest. The band that followed, Ogre Major, has one female singer, a male singer who played guitar, along with two other guitarists. A computer produced the funky background sounds. I’m a big fan of lyrical music with words I can understand so everything I heard that day at all three concerts suited me just fine.

 Dig That Funky Beat 

One good thing about music,
 when it hits you,
 you feel no pain.
 ~ Bob Marley

Sunday, March 24, 2013

How To Prevent Racism

We are one
 One way to put a halt to racism is to gather like-minded people together, provide them with message boards, a walking path and police escort, and then have the citizens bring the message of unity to their community.

On Saturday, March 23, 2013, I had the privilege of joining friends, family and acquaintances on a walk to stop racism. I bundled myself in a chicken costume and carried a sign that read “Don’t Be Chicken…Stop Racism”. My friend Wendy and I marched with other passionate folks whose message that crisp day was to say that we are one people, one race, filled with hope that skin colour will become as commonly accepted as eye colour where it matters not in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, when I meet people, I look into their eyes and search for their existence there. What I find is someone looking back at me and my hope is that they like what they see.

I was humming a song as we strolled along.

We are drops of one ocean,
We are leaves of one tree,
Come and join us in our quest for unity,
It’s a way of life for you and me.

We are flowers of one garden,
We are pearls of one sea,
Come and join us in our quest for unity,
It’s a way of life for you and me.

All the world is one country,
Man is one, can’t you see,
Come and join us in our quest for unity,
It’s a way of life for you and me.

Like-minded folk

Multi-cultural stop racism messages

Monday, March 18, 2013

Witness to Wisdom

 The energy in the cramped room filled with recovering alcoholics brought feelings of humility, companionship and wisdom to my senses.

I was there to celebrate my son’s anniversary and was surrounded by others of like-mind who also felt a kinship with him. Complete strangers, some of them, friends for life, most of them, the members of this amazing fellowship listened quietly and with respect to the topic explored that evening. Each member was invited to share his and her experience with the group . Some chose to pass on the topic while others spoke with keen enthusiasm for the excitement brought on by alcohol and the downside of not knowing when to stop. Some spoke of losses repeated over and over with each relapse, while others, too new to the program to know the consequences of giving in to their obsession, spoke of their gratitude for having a place to land and share their hidden feelings.

I felt camaraderie and love emitting from the attendees to the ends of my toes. I took in a deep breath to absorb the moment and released a quiet exhale with the hope that the feelings of compassionate brother and sisterhood would stay with me. The power of the meeting’s tone remains with me and I am grateful.

At the end of the meeting we stood, clasped hands and chanted the prayer that is shared around the world:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dance To Raise Awareness

We danced like no one was watching. Some of us pranced around in circles, while others stepped to the beat. A few bobbed from one side of the group of forty to the other, smiling the whole while. Some clapped their gloved hands, some stood still, others closed their eyes and swooned to the music. We followed the song by Ms. Tena Clark, “Break The Chain”.

We danced for the One Billion Rising cause, a meaningful event that educates the masses about violence against women. It was a worldwide event and Campbell River was part of the extravaganza on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at Spirit Square.

I’ve prepared a short movie for your viewing and listening pleasure. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Teaching Opportunity Extraordinaire

The theme of the 2013 Lunar New Year is one of prosperity and happiness. The mascot is a snake. On Tuesday, February 12, the Campbell River Immigrant Welcome Centre volunteers hosted a Lunar New Year extravaganza.

Events were conducted throughout the afternoon including an introduction to the Buddhist faith, questions and answers about Lunar New Year, a potluck dinner and entertainment.

Over one hundred and fifty people attended which gave Frank and I great opportunities to speak with some about the Baha’i Faith. The folks we spoke with recognized the common theme among faiths ~ obedience to God, love for one another, patience, humility and hope. It was a pleasure to be in such a purposeful environment.

Consider attending the function in 2014.

2013 Year of the Snake

Generous hosts and great atmosphere

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Been There. Done That.

There is a first time for everything. On this fresh February afternoon in the Wal*Mart parking lot in Campbell River, we witnessed a young woman and her male companion breaking into a vehicle.

“Oh, dear. May I take a photo?” I said.

The young couple turned to me and laughed heartily.

“Sure. We’ve been here for a while and are way past being embarrassed,” she said. “This is the first time this has ever happened to me.”

On the driver’s side of the car, the young man was forcing an unwrapped metal coat hanger down the inside of the window and twirling it to the left and then to the right in an attempt to grab the door latch. Meanwhile, the young woman was sliding a short, flat metal instrument pass the rubber of the door trying to reach the latch on the passenger side. I kept my Been there ~ Done That comments to myself.

“Do you have BCAA?” Frank said.

The look exchanged between the struggling couple told us no.

After a few minutes, Frank presented with a tire wrench.

“Frank’s going to smash the window!” I said.

We all laughed.

“I’m going to use it wedge the door open to make room for the hanger,” he said.

The young woman was texting for help and soon her brother arrived with a plastic wedge and a metal tool with a hook on both ends. Within a few minutes he had the car door open.

The young couple thanked us for our time and effort. We shook hands and told them it was our pleasure.

Been There. Done That.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Oh, Happy Day!

I LIKE THAT my son invites me, once and while, to be with him and his son on their special days together. For now, every two weeks, my grandson visits his Dad and they do regular things together. For example, if my son’s car needs fixing, together they lean over the engine and explore the possibilities. If groceries need to be purchased they do that task in cooperation also. My son cherishes his time with his son and instead of having their short visits seem like a circus event with extravagant gifts and elaborate entertainment, my son keeps their time together memorable and simple.

Simplicity is what makes me happy too. When my son calls and asks if I would like to join them on a walk it is a happy day for me. Walking to the swing set and watching my son push his 6-year-old boy into the sky brings a sensation of heightened spirit to my heart. We three walk and talk about everything from the value of a penny to how an electrical transformer works. My grandson is clever and inquisitive and his father is patient and accommodating.

I’ve learnt over the years to accept one day at a time. Today, I sat with my grandson playing a card game, while my son prepared his backpack with pajamas, folded socks, T-shirts, toothbrush and toothpaste, his favourite toy and much loved blanket. I waved goodbye to them both as they drove away and toward their rendezvous point to meet up with my grandson’s mother. I’d had a very happy day.

Happiness Is Family