Kill the Darlings

Writer William Faulkner is credited with the phrase “in writing you must kill all your darlings”. What Faulkner meant is that when editing their work, writers must be brutal in eliminating any words they love but that do nothing for the story. I was intrigued by this concept but it wasn’t until I recently read Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft that I ‘got’ it. Anyone who has ever entered my house and seen my bookshelves knows I am an admirer of Stephen King (although for some strange reason, when people notice all the SK books, they always assume the ‘reader’ is my husband). I love King’s writing style. I love how he draws me in. His writing is always fresh: I am in awe of his ability to come up with a seemingly endless supply of story lines. I love how he makes me care for, root for and often love his characters.

So… to ‘sit down’ with my favourite author and benefit from his words of advice on the craft of writing? Well, I had to trust that he knows what he is talking about.

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Afternoon in a Seniors’ Home

I am waiting at the seniors’ home for my Mom and my sister to get back from an appointment at the ophthalmologist. I had to stay behind to attend the yearly Care Conference meeting, when they review Mom’s health concerns. Bureaucracy being what it is, the home could not change the time to accommodate our mother’s appointment so my sister and I have divided the tasks.

The meeting does not take long – just fifteen minutes – and because it’s going to be a long wait, I’ve brought a book (two books, actually: I’m almost at the end of one of them). I needn’t have bothered: a seniors’ home can be an interesting place in the middle of a quiet afternoon, if you pay attention.

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Crazy Old Lady

She is the crazy old lady who talks to her plants, welcoming a new blossom or a new shoot with a soft exclamation of welcoming delight. She marvels at the sight of a freshly-laid egg. She tenderly rescues the insect who got into her home and is now frantically trying to find its way out. She softly caresses her favourite tree as she passes under its cool canopy. She never picks wild flowers: instead, she gently sends them a wave of gratitude as she gazes with appreciation in their direction and then lovingly moves on.

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The New Bathing Suit

I blame all of this on my Mom. She has been hankering, lately, to go for a swim at a local hotel pool she and my step-father used to go to.

“Oh, I wish I had kept my bathing suit,” she tells me regretfully, as I experience a familiar pang of guilt for yet another little piece of her life that my sister and I gave away at some point, not knowing she would ask for it later.

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The Bullies You Pay to Bully You

She is thirteen years old. Do you remember, being that age? Do you remember how alien your body felt? Do you remember how you thought everybody was looking at you? Judging you? Talking about you?

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I Had a Bad Day, Mom

My daughter ‘C’ is quiet like her Mama. That is to say, she is quiet until she has something to say; until she has a safe way – and a safe place – to say it. Until she trusts you. Once those criteria are met, well, she could talk your ear off.

I recently came across the following quote by Lawrence Cohen, PhD, and it brought back a flood of memories: “Children don’t say, “I had a hard day at school today; can I talk to you about it?” They say, “Will you play with me?”

When my daughter was little, she had a cute little stuffed bunny that she loved above all the many other stuffed toys who lived on her bed throughout her childhood and whom she called friends. Bunny was different than all her other beloved stuffed toys and he alone held the coveted position of sleeping every night – pressed to her cheek – on her pillow. He also came with her on any trips we made to visit family at Christmas or on summer holidays.

In her teens, her step-father and I got blow-by-blow accounts of her days, her troubles at school, the issues she was grappling with at her first job, that homework assignment that she was struggling with. ‘C’ processed everything by talking it out with us. The anger, frustration or worry she could not always easily express to others came out like a faucet when she got into the car and expressed a need to ‘vent”.

It had not always been that way, however. When she was little, everything that was bothering her tended to get bottled up inside. The only way anything ever came out was in great, awful, turbulent temper tantrums that were exhausting to witness and must have been exhausting to live through. There was nothing I could do while the temper tantrums were in full swing so I learned to walk away until they had ridden themselves out. Once she had calmed down, only then could I approach her.

On one occasion, after a doozy of a meltdown, I came into ‘C’s room where she was lying on her bed, turned toward the wall. I lay down beside her and I snuggled close as I gently questioned her about what was bothering her.

The silence was impenetrable.

I don’t know what possessed me to give Bunny a voice, but at some point, I picked him up, sat him on my hip and in a childish bunny voice, I asked “What’s wrong, ‘C’?”

She might have been able to ignore her Mama’s questioning but Bunny was a different matter. “I’m sad,” she told him, rolling over to give him her full attention. I could tell at that moment that I had ceased to be in the room at all.

“What about?” he asked, interested and concerned, as his ears – propped up from behind by her Mama’s fingers – came forward expectantly.

This started a ritual we would continue for several years whenever things were bothering my quiet, introspective little girl. She wasn’t always ready to tell her Mama what was bothering her but she solemnly told Bunny every single detail.

My baby girl just turned thirty and we Facetime frequently. Occasionally, she still struggles to find the words for the tougher things that are bothering her. Sometimes, it takes us an hour of talking about nothing and everything before she gets to the point of her call; as whatever dilemma she happens to be facing finally comes tumbling out. She usually doesn’t want or need my input: she tends to figure out her own solutions just by voicing the problem out loud.

As the memory of all those heart-to-hearts with Bunny came flooding back, I wondered whether she would get to the point sooner if I still had Bunny and could just let him take over the conversation.

But, well, Bunny lives with her now.

I’m sure she still tells him all kinds of things I’m not even aware of…

Patti Moore Wilson/© wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com

*source of image: Facebook


How Do You Defend Yourselves?

Source of photo: Wikipedia

I wrote the post below several years ago. Unless we are hunting – with a valid and very strict hunting licence – we aren’t allowed to carry guns in my country. I admit, I was feeling a bit smug at the time that I wrote this: until quite recently, you didn’t hear about inner-city gangs (we do now) and you didn’t mourn the loss of eight (!!!) police officers in the line of duty in six months, as our country has been mourning since just yesterday. You didn’t hear about mass shootings either, but the world seems to have been rubbing off on what I used to consider my gentle country and unfortunately, they now happen here, too. Nothing though, compares to the regularity of mass gun shootings in the United States and nothing compares to the dreaded, unthinkable School Shooting. Those two words should never have been paired: I cannot even imagine having my children go to school every day in such a context and my heart hurts for each and every family that has ever gone through such a horror. I will always maintain that no guns = less violence. Unless you are putting food on the table, I do not see the need for owning a gun. Ever. But I have lived long enough to understand that money and corruption rule the world. People will debate; people will argue; people will protest. But money will always win…


It was an amazing day: my Dad’s first cousins were coming back to visit my home province and we had planned on meeting – for the very first time.

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Remember When the News Was Just ‘News’?


I can be a little obsessive. Just ask anyone who knows me. I worry about my kids (well, I suspect every parent does that); I worry about my friends’ kids. I frequently worry about strangers’ kids. I worry about my Mom. I worry about my home. I worry about the environment – a lot.

In a time when people – even dear friends and family – are divided over just about everything; in a time when most news channels cover stories that have been carefully crafted and custom-designed with a very specific viewer in mind, it is impossible not to take a side. Do you lean to the left? There are news channels guaranteed to mirror exactly how you feel about every possible news story that interests you! Do you lean to the right? We’ll provide you with news guaranteed to make the left look like idiots! Just watching the news is pretty much certain to leave you feeling confused, torn, frustrated, anxious, and likely, pretty angry.

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Slowing Down

The deer are back. They always stop me in my tracks, making me take a deep, wonder-filled breath.

I am sitting at my desk, fingers poised to write and – as I often do when I sit in this spot – I glance up to look out the window. I am immediately soothed by the sight of some snowflakes that are gently falling to the earth. Unless it’s summer and the gardens are at stake, rain tends to get my spirits down, whereas a soft snowfall always lifts my spirits and makes me feel glad that I am alive to witness such beauty. I also have a lovely view of the river – just metres away – as well as a view of the impossibly-steep, high slope on the far side, covered in trees that always seem to defy gravity by growing on what appears – from here – to be a 90-degree angle (in reality, it’s probably closer to 75 degrees).

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When I am an Old Woman…

Source of photo: Amazon

Do you remember When I’m an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple? The poem, entitled Warning, was written in 1961 when the author, Jenny Joseph, was just 29 years old. Here is a link, with Jenny herself sassily reading the poem aloud just a few short years before her death.

I think I was a young woman aged about age 29 myself, when I first read that poem. I smiled affectionately at the thought of that cheeky old lady finally letting her hair down; finally acting any way she darned well pleased, free from social conformity at last: wearing purple if she wanted to, drinking brandy if she wanted to, learning to spit, sitting on the pavement if she got tired, and ‘hoarding pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes”.

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Day at the Beach

The beach is beautiful – the sand finer than table salt – and it appears to go on forever in either direction. It’s a cold day for the folks who actually live in this state (maybe 18 degrees Celsius; 64 degrees Fahrenheit); but none of the beachgoers – clearly all from a colder, northern climate, seem all that bothered.

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The Trip

Source of Photo: Norman Rockwell Museum (Saturday Evening Post)

I am not a great traveller. There, I said it. I am a homebody. I like my quiet routines. I love my cat. I love my dog. I like knowing that my little domain is safe and cared for. I like keeping an eye on things.

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Something is Happening to the Space-Time Continuum

Source of photo: AZ Quotes

Lately, I have noticed a strange and alarming phenomenon that is happening to the space-time continuum. Time, it seems, has sped up.

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Source of image: Wikipedia

If you dig a little, you will find that every family has at least one: they come in a variety of names: dirty laundry, skeletons in the closet, the Family Secret or just “Shhh! We don’t talk about that.”

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Mourning Dove

Source of photo: Wikipedia

It was a cold we will tell our grandchildren about: indeed, the last time it was this cold in my province was at almost the same date, one hundred years before. Record-breaking freezing temperatures and windchills affected much of Eastern Canada and the United States during the first week of February, 2023. At its coldest, the weather in my province – including the windchill – plummeted to -45 Celsius (-49 Fahrenheit).

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Politically Correct

Source of photo

There are 49 derogatory terms for women listed in Wikipedia, including quite a number of terms I’ve never heard in my life. I do know they are all meant to be insulting and I am sorry to admit that I’ve used a few of them, mostly in the privacy of my own mind.

I’ve also occasionally been called a few of those words.

As you can perhaps imagine, I never liked the experience.

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Last Day of Summer

Source of photo: Dreamstime

Note to the reader: I wrote this late last summer. My husband, who hates winter above all other things, asked me to “save it until the middle of winter, when I really need to remember this day”. Tomorrow, my neck of the woods is expecting record-breaking wind chills. I figured this was as good a time as any to post this… Stay warm, my friends…


I am continuously, perpetually tired so unless it has to be done, getting me to do anything, ever, requires an all-out effort on the part of my loved ones. Mine is an old soul, prone to long bouts of sitting and thinking, or sitting and writing, or sitting and reading or sitting and knitting.

My husband is – and always will be – a perpetual puppy. In his opinion, sitting still is akin to being forced into a Medieval torture chamber.

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The Funeral

Source of photo: Linked in


I didn’t avoid the funeral because you were going to be there.

In all honestly, I hadn’t thought of you at all until my husband – who did go – told me he saw you there.

I’m not sorry I missed seeing you.  It would have been a thirteen-hour round-trip and since my catastrophic – and permanent – burnout seven years ago, my body just can’t handle that big of a day.  But I’ve been thinking of all the things I could have/ should have said to you, had I gone, that we both know I wouldn’t have said because well, I never think on my feet.

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Phone Call

Source of photo: Encyclopedia Britannica


It should have been a hard holiday for my Mom. The week before Christmas, I was all packed and ready to leave for a week-long visit when my sister called to tell me she and my brother-in-law were both feeling poorly. No, she reassured me, it wasn’t Covid, but they didn’t feel well at all. Because I always stay with them when I come to visit my Mom, we regretfully made the decision that I should stay home. My sister was in no shape for company – not even her sister (!!) – and I’d just end up getting sick, too. Because we are ultra careful about not bringing germs into our Mom’s seniors residence, and because we would never lie about such a thing, neither of us would have been able to visit Mom in any case. It was with immense sadness that I unpacked my bags and stowed away their Christmas presents, which had been sitting in a box, wrapped and ready, beside my suitcase at the door.

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Promises Are Made to Be…

Source of photo: yourtango.com


I have a few childhood memories that will always haunt me but one of the worst happened in one single, terrible moment. I must have been 6 or 7 years old and we had been visiting my Grammy and Grampy. I remember that it was a beautiful summer day: we had all gone somewhere – I don’t recall the location now – with the exception of my beloved Grampy, who had opted to stay at home that morning.

Upon our return, as our cars pulled into the long dirt driveway that led to my grandparents’ humble little country home, I was the first to tumble out the car so that I could go find Grampy and excitedly tell him all about whatever amazing thing we had just been doing. He was unusually hard to find: I ran all through the little house, scouring every room for him.

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Exercise Class

Source of photo: Medical News Today


“I’m in an exercise class!” my Mom announces excitedly one day, as we chat on the phone. “Do you want to come and see it?”

Mom is 84. She uses a walker to get around; she has mild dementia and lately, she’s been sleeping a lot.

Until my stepfather’s health began to fail, my mother was an active woman. She was one of those energetic people who have little patience for the people who can’t keep up; the people who have showed signs of slowing down. She gardened. She delivered Meals on Wheels. She took line-dancing classes. She was always going to ‘this’ sale or ‘that’ event with friends. Right up until bedtime, she was always puttering about the house: cleaning this, organising that. She never stopped: it could be exhausting, just watching her. My sister and I used to joke that she would end up burying both of us and would still be going strong at our funerals.

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Dance Like No One is Watching

Source of image: Wikipedia

I can see it as though it were yesterday: my little sister, sullenly standing in the middle of the living room, dutifully practicing her tap-dance steps for an upcoming show: shuffle, shuffle, stomp; shuffle, shuffle, stomp. Her movements were embarrassed and stilted; the ‘stomp’ angry and emphatic. She was wearing a cute little dress and her childish little legs, bony at the knee and ankle, had been resentfully stuffed into pretty little white ankle socks and shiny black tap shoes.

You only had to glance at her face – a sullen black cloud – to see that she did not want to be there. She did not want to be practicing that ‘stupid’ dance.

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It’s Not Easy, Being a Dinosaur

Source of image: Old Cars


My maternal grandfather was born in 1907: one year before the model-T Ford was made available to the public. It would be almost two decades before cars would become widely popular in North America but my young grandfather – always a clever and resourceful man – quickly espoused this newfangled technology. He built a ramp right in his own yard which he dug out of a nearby embankment and he always did his own car repairs. Money was tight and a car was already a luxury: I’m not sure he ever had to go to a mechanic.

I can only imagine how much his knowledge and resourcefulness would have impressed his parents, who were born in an entirely different era, back in the 1800s. They would have been dinosaurs, in comparison to my grandparents.

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Old Man

Author’s Photo: My great-great grandparents, Adam and Annie Moore

Old man, look at my life

Twenty-four and there’s so much more.

Neil Young, Old Man


I miss people-watching.

Watching others as they go about their daily lives is far more riveting than anything you will ever get to see on Netflix. When I lived in the city, I could (and did) people-watch all the time. No one knows you in a city and no one ever looks back at you. Eye contact in a city is unheard of. People will go out of their way not to look back. It’s almost magical, how invisible you can become.

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The Christmas Eve Snowstorm

Source of photo: auto publishers

It was a very stormy Christmas Eve back in 1970 and Dad had finished work at six o’clock. I was eight years old; going on nine; my sister would have just turned seven. Back in those days, the family always met at my grandparents’ house on the other side of the province. It was normally a two-and-a-half-hour trip. Because Dad had had to work right up until the very last minute, Mom had everything ready to go. As soon as he arrived home from work, Dad gobbled up a sandwich as Mom hurried me and my sister into the back seat, already dressed in our jammies.

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Fifty Years

Neither of us remember how we met. Kids don’t make much of a fuss about making friends; they just sort of… become. I still have a few of those black-and-white pictures we used to be able to take – stacked four on top of one another – in those little photo booths you could find in department stores back in the 70s. I love and treasure those photos of the two of us crammed together into that little booth, grinning big toothy smiles, being silly or just unselfconsciously staring into the camera with serious, loving looks on our faces.

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Thanks, But No Thanks, Walmart

Source of photo: https://themilkyway.ca/the-one-word-you-must-learn-to-say/

As a kid who grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone else, it came as a bit of a shock to me, to end up living my entire working life in a big, indifferent city. I am an introvert, though, so despite the culture shock, there was a great deal of appeal for me, being absolutely swallowed up in a big, anonymous crowd. I think that people who love to sit and quietly think for hours may have fewer issues with big-city obscurity.

Nonetheless, I never did shake the part of me that had grown up in a place where most folks knew one another. Looking as much like my Mom as I do, even as a kid, I never went anywhere without being told: “Oh, you must be Y_’s daughter!” There is something very comforting about being in a place where, as the song goes, “everybody knows your name”.

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Hockey in Canada

Source of photo: LiveAbout

Well fancy meeting you here! How’ve you been?

Oh, yes, I heard you were quite the upcoming star in your field! Your Mom used to tell me all about how well you were doing: climbing that ladder; making such a name for yourself; playing on the 2018 World Junior Hockey Team, no less, and winning for Canada (!!!); getting noticed by all the right talent scouts; being courted by all those teams; making all that money now!

The NHL drafted you right after that championship, didn’t they? Wow: they must think you’re something special!

Gee, come to think of it, your Mom hasn’t said much about you for awhile now…

Well yes, I did hear about that little ‘thing’: I mean, who hasn’t? It just keeps coming up on the news, kind of like a bad penny. You must be just sick to death of hearing about it.

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Oh, Christmas Tree…

Source of image: Canadian Tire

For a few years now, I have questioned the wisdom of purchasing a live Christmas tree. On a moral and spiritual level, I always feel guilt: I believe trees are as alive as I am. Why would I be okay with killing a tree for a tradition? In a time where our planet needs trees more than ever? Well, buying an artificial tree that is not biodegradable and that will absolutely end up in a landfill eventually is just not an option for me, either. And I am blessed to live in a country where live Christmas trees are plentiful. Unlike our parents and grandparents, we don’t go into the forest anymore to cut down a tree that – in time – would have become a giant. Instead, the cultivation of trees for just this occasion has become a tidy part of local business (and I always try to support local business). These trees are specifically grown for exactly this purpose – fields and fields of them, just kilometers from our home.

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Christmas Stockings

It’s all my grandmother’s fault, really.

I don’t know quite when she started it, but many, many decades ago my grandmother, who was a beautiful and accomplished seamstress – if only to keep her own family frugally but very well clothed because money was tight – made Christmas stockings for the entire family. Every stocking is made of red felt with white-felt trim and each one bears the family member’s name as well as a number of lovely felt decorations, each slightly different and unique to its owner. My parents, my sister, my aunts, my uncles and every one of my cousins had their own stockings. Back in the 70s, when we all got together at my grandparents’ home for the holidays, our stockings used to cover every inch of my grandparents’ stairway banister. My own stocking is now dix decades old and although it is starting to look a little weathered, every single stitch remains intact.

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The Sky is Falling

Source of photo: hippostcard


It’s pouring buckets today. It’s almost midday and we need a light on in the house to read by. Outside my window, the grass is a deep, soft, lush green. It clearly appreciates all that water. Just past our lawn, the river is full to the brim and looks dark and powerful as it surges past our house. Locals tell us they’ve never seen it so high at this time of year.

It could be a rainy day in June, if not for the trees that are stripped bare of leaves and the Christmas decorations that line the street.

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The Christmas Chronicles: Made-for-TV Christmas Movies

Source of image: Pinterest

Okay, so confession time here: I love watching Christmas holiday movies. Not the blockbusters with the famous names, expensive directors and ample funding (although I like those too), but rather: the ‘B’ movies; the really cheesy ones. You know what I’m talking about: there is a whole channel dedicated to them and if you are a true fan, they start sometime around the beginning of November.

The movies are always set in a fictive, picturesque little village that must be frozen perpetually in time, else, why would they name their town ‘Christmas Tree Hollow’ or ‘Silent Night Village’? The heroines have names like ‘Holly’ and ‘Noelle’ and the handsome fellows they have their eye on, are all named ‘Nick’ or ‘Chris’. Every single house; every single street; every single store; indeed, every single vehicle, is artfully decorated with vintage Christmas decorations that all have a story to tell. Many of these decorations also carry magical powers. Everyone in the village knows and dearly loves one another. The characters live on streets with names such as ‘Mistletoe Lane’ or ‘Evergreen Way’. The entire town always works cohesively to plan the yearly ‘Yuletide Ball’ or the ‘Christmas Carol Extravaganza’.

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Making a Difference

For as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do something amazing: something that I would always be remembered for. I wanted my name to be recalled with admiration long after I was gone. I wanted my children to be proud of their Mom. I wanted to feel proud of myself.

I chose a profession in education: a place where it is easy to make a difference – if you want to – every single day. For most of my career, I worked in adult education; adult literacy, to be exact. One would think that working with adults who are learning to read and to write would be about as fulfilling a career as one could aspire to. Instead, I worked far, far in the background: writing and overseeing grant proposals for our annual funding; preparing action plans and strategic plans for the government to approve and therefore allow us to keep doing what we were doing for another year; training the teachers who would actually get to teach an adult how to read for the first time, as well as teaching them the myriad life skills that the statistical majority of us take for granted: skills that feel like a mountain to the adult learner who is absorbing them for the first time.

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Friends Since Forever

Me and my bestie, a long, long time ago…

My sister and I were watching a documentary – I don’t even recall the topic – and there were two fifties-something women being interviewed who had been best friends since grade school.

When I was a kid, I lived in a town with a local air force base and I had a knack for finding friends whose parents would eventually be transferred to another base, leaving me – over and over again – bereft and mourning for yet another friend who had moved on.

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Things You Might Tell Your Younger Self if You Could Go Back

Source of image: LHSTODAY

  • Nothing is more important than figuring out – and dealing with – your own personal crap;
  • Your looks will only get you so far and they absolutely will not last. Focus one hundred times more on your inner beauty than on your outer beauty, because that is the beauty that will last;
Read more: Things You Might Tell Your Younger Self if You Could Go Back
  • Love people for who they are, and not for who you want them to be;
  • Buy second hand whenever you can. It’s good for your wallet and it’s way better for the planet;
  • With the above in mind, buy local, or if you cannot, buy items made in countries whose values align with your own;
  • Make ‘kind’ your default as often as you can;
  • Get your money out of RRSPs – and into a more spendable, less taxable, more easy-to-pass-on-to-your-kids format – while you still have a pulse (a banker gave me this advice);
  • You do not have to rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. The new detergents work better if they have food enzymes to help them break down better. It’ll save you loads of time, reduce the cost of your water bill and it will be much better for the environment;
  • Grow something you will be able to eat;
  • Take good care of your things and try to fix them rather than replacing them, whenever you can;
  • You really don’t forgive for the other person. You forgive because it’s just too toxic for you to carry that anger around;
  • Whatever awful drama or tragedy you are going through, time will make a difference. Hang on…
  • If you have kids and you don’t have a will, get one done up. In many places, you can legally draw up your own will so it doesn’t even have to cost you all that much;
  • Re. the above: if you have specific wishes, write them down! Tell your loved ones where they can find that information. And review your own wishes periodically. You will be surprised how they change over time;
  • Also re. the above: make sure a person you trust has Power of Attorney over your finances and your health decisions, just in case the day comes when you are unable to make those decisions on your own;
  • Regardless of how important you think you are in a business or an organisation, you are easily replaceable (and soon forgotten). Almost everyone retires at some point. Whatever work you do, it may be the centre of your existence now, but the time will come when you are obsolete. Rare are the people who work until the day they die of old age. Make sure you have a real life to fall back on when you do retire (and start early if you can);
  • There is nothing – nothing – human about ‘human resources’. Never, ever forget: they are not there for you; they are there for the system;
  • Re. the above, systems are never there for you; they are there for themselves (and especially, for their bottom line). The best you can do is to be your own best advocate;
  • Breathe. And stop to just look around, as often as you can. Leave your phone at home from time to time. It’s really, really beautiful out there…
  • Living isn’t the point. Making a difference isn’t the point. Making your mark on the world isn’t the point. What did you learn? I think that is the point…

Patti Moore Wilson/© wednesdayschildca.wordpress.com




The Town Meeting

Source of Image: Quote Fancy

The room was nowhere near full but there were nonetheless a lot of us there: say, 150 people, or 10% of our community’s population, which any small-town municipal employee would tell you is a roaring success.

Our local provincial MLA (Minister of the Legislative Assembly) was there to warmly and casually greet us at the door – many by name – and also to officiate the proceedings. My husband and I quietly commented to one another that this was a good first sign we were being taken seriously. The speakers were all clustered at the front of the school auditorium. There were three RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officers, including one who would turn out to be the spokesperson throughout, and the just-appointed-that-week Minister of Public Safety.

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Part Two: The Sponsor

It took me nearly six decades – and one very major epiphany – to find my voice. To fully understand why I have always had such a hard time communicating my feelings, wants and needs. To completely digest that my people-pleasing personality had been affecting my every thought; my every move; my entire life. The day I finally had a name for my own personal nemesis; codependency; I was determined to overcome it once and for all, or die trying.

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Part One: The Epiphany

Source of image: Pinterest

I was that blessing to every parent everywhere: the obedient child. I did as I was told. I never questioned authority. I dutifully respected my elders. I spoke when invited to speak and I kept my mouth firmly shut the rest of the time. I went to bed when I was sent to bed – hours before I was ready – without so much as a murmur of protest. I could enter a room without making so much as a wave.

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The Shopping Trip

Source of image: money.cnn.job

“Aren’t your parents supposed to be rich? Then how come you don’t wear nice clothes like the popular girls?”

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Bad Temper

Source of photo: Calm Sage

I come from a long line of folks with truly awful tempers. I’m not sure if it’s a genetic thing, a hormonal thing, generational trauma or simply really bad karma, but on every side of my family tree, a number of my family members are known for flying off the handle.

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Time is a Funny Thing

Source of photo: The Healthy

I remember penny candy. I remember when you could buy a chocolate bar, a pop (*) and a bag of chips for 25 cents. I remember when a postage stamp cost 8 cents. I remember listening to music on records – 45s and LPs, to be exact. Cell phones were the stuff of science fiction but you could find a telephone booth on every corner and a phone call cost a dime. I recall how scandalised everyone was when the cost of making a call in a phone booth went up to 25 cents. I remember when computers were as big as a room and almost no one had ever laid eyes on a real one, except for a handful of scientists with obscure titles. When I was in university back in the early 80s, I only called home (collect, of course) on Sunday evenings, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. because that was the only time of the week when the cost of a call was affordable.

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The Liar

Source of photo: Pinterest

Dear Readers: I didn’t have a proper Halloween story so I am sharing a post about real monsters instead…


He has been lying since he was a little child.

At first, they were just little lies; meant to save him from being caught or from getting a spanking. But as he saw how good he was at lying; as he saw how much more people liked him when he told them exactly what they wanted to hear, it became a habit. Little lies soon became outrageous whoppers.

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The Pendulum

Source of photo: AZ Quotes

The nice thing about living six decades is that you start to notice patterns. You start to see that some things come around again and again. You start to see that history often does repeat itself.

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The Funeral Songs List

Source of photo: Wikepedia

I love music. It fills me; heals me, sooths me and brings me out of any dark mood. I am the type of person who reflects deeply on the hypocrisies and the idiosyncrasies of life and I often get mired in the muck because of it. Sometimes, when I have gone way too far down the rabbit hole, some little voice will nudge me to my music lists and remind me that there is something that always makes me feel better.

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Patti the Dragon Slayer

Source of photo: EliteColumn

I was minding my own business, just brushing my teeth, when I heard it. An unusual crinkly sound coming from the direction of the washer and dryer, just a few feet away.

Having experienced a few traumas in my life, I am pretty much perpetually on alert. And I tend to have a very good sense of where my folks and my critters are when I am in the house. I knew our cat, Maggie, was fast asleep in our bedroom upstairs and I knew our dog, Buddy, was lying on the floor at my husband’s side, in the living room. Besides me, our many plants, one wayward fly and perhaps a few house spiders, there was nothing else alive in the house: certainly nothing big enough to make that much of a ruckus.

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A Parent Is as a Parent Does

Source of photo: QuotesGram

“Mom, why does God let bad things happen to nice people?” my young son asked me one day.

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Maggie and the Big, Scary Monster

Source of photo: Wallpaper Flare

I was sitting in my usual morning spot, contentedly finishing my coffee when my husband came rushing into the house and told me, “Patti, come quickly: Maggie’s lying in the middle of the road!”

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My Vote Counts… Doesn’t It?

Source of photo: Funny Political Memes Facebook

I remember so clearly the very first time I voted. I was 19 years old and there was a municipal election going on in my home town. I was attending university, in another city. It was the first year that I was eligible to vote and when a person I knew from home approached me to tell me he was taking students’ votes by proxy, I excitedly told him that yes, I would be happy to cast my ballot.

The only problem was, I knew none of the people running and I knew none of their platforms (indeed, I doubt if I knew then, what a platform was). But voting was such an important part of ‘being a grown-up’! I had no idea what to do. As I stood there, studying the list of candidates, I was woefully unprepared to make any kind of rational decision.

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