Friday, June 7, 2013

Don't Be a Gingerbread Man!

Some months ago my niece Sara
sent me a Facebook message.
She was soliciting advice 
about going off to university 
from the aunts and others 
to give to her sister Natalie
who heads to Acadia this fall.

Natalie, Andrew, Sara, and Gavin
Point Prim, Pre-University Days

My first thought was
I'm the last person you should ask!

But I considered it, and I sent Sara
the advice that Grammie gave me, 
and that I'm sure she would have given Natalie too:
"Don't begat any bastards!"

My dad didn't call Grammie
"The Yard Boss" for nothing.

 The Yard Boss with Roy and Me
in Grammie's Backyard 
(with Tatum's Barn in the Foreshortened Background) 
Smith's Cove, Early 1950s

Then I sent Sara my contribution:
"Study hard, but don't forget to play hard too!"
I was unsatisfied with this, 
but I knew it was good advice.
My long suit is not play,
and I was way too serious 
during my years at Acadia.

University Hall, Acadia University

When I started seriously blogging last October,
I brainstormed a list of 170 potential topics
in a late night, wine-fueled binge of writing.

Just like I knew I would write
I knew then that I would write of other 
formative and important truths
in future posts about my life.
Topics like The Pervert and the Sandwich Man 
and Running from the Comet Hunter.

Writing Is a Solitary Struggle 

A recent and unexpected communication
from my long ago past
has forced me to confront
something I didn't realize existed, 
and I didn't know its name until this afternoon:
My Inner Gingerbread Man.

I didn't recognize it until today, 
but my IGBM surfaced long ago 
on the smooth and reflective waters of Lac Suel.
I've come to realize 
that I've been struggling with him almost forever.

Lac Suel, Northwest of Sioux Lookout, Ontario 

    Map of Northern Ontario

     Lac Suel, Ontario

This afternoon I realized I needed to confront
more than Running From the Comet Hunter.
I needed to plumb instead 
Don't Be a Gingerbread Man! 

My advice to Natalie
should have been
Don't be a Gingerbread Man!


  1. LOL at the bastards one
    Something my grandmother would give a run
    I find university a crock anyway
    Half the crap they make you take is never going to be used in a day

    1. Grandmothers! They can be pistols! LOL

      I have to admit a year of philosophy left me flummoxed!
      And it hasn't helped me one bit in solving life's great and minor questions.

      Frankly, I prefer rocks ~
      not as in "between a rock and a hard place"
      where I'm currently residing ~
      but as in crystals, minerals, and natural processes.

      Have a good one, under your sun!

  2. You little tease, Louise!! Keeping us hanging like that!
    Your Grandma looks like a kind soul even if she is 'the yard boss'!
    Good to take this IGBM of yours by the horns (or whatever) and look it square in the I am sure you have.
    Good to have you back and now I will check out your 'Shacks Filled With Babies'.
    I really enjoy how you write and how you get the reader's attention almost immediately.
    Now to 'Shacks.....

    1. Hi Again Louise. I just re-read the 'Shack Full Of Babies' post and remember it well. Louise, you have a book in you! You know it I am sure. But I hesitate to even say this as I know you may feel compelled to write one. Please don't...right now anyway. Give it time to meld as you get used to this whole retired thing!
      Ron tells me I have a 'story' to tell as well. I do. But I hesitate because of the energy it would require to do so. And, what would be the purpose or reason to do so?

    2. Hi Jim!
      You are absolutely right! My grandmother was a kind soul ~
      but she could glower like an anvil thundercloud or enter a room like The Wrath of God when she felt she had to counsel granddaughters who were giving her fits by making foolish or bad choices!

      I've sent you an email.

  3. Cliff hangers ~~~ Yes or No!?

    My mind is racing and so many ideas are popping in and out.

    Re: Universitys?! Acadia for sure! You know that the fresh country air is better for learnin'! The town is small but the energy is large. Everyone that goes to Acadia understands the dichotomy of town life vs university life!

    Now off to that post I misses in Oct ~~ I just said that to Jim, where was I that day that I could have missed one of your posts!!?


    1. Response coming, Ron!!! I have to run an important errand!

  4. Absolutely can't wait!!!! An inner Gingerbread man - wow! I used to enjoy that story when I was a kid! As for begetting bastards, well chalk one up to Grammie! And I love your photos and maps!!!

  5. Thanks Francie! Grammie had no problem being frank and to the point! Part 2 is proving a little harder to write. I keep writing and deleting and writing and deleting ~ so I'm going to write a post on colonoscopies first. But I'll continue to work through Part 2 and post it ASAP! I hope you're having a great day! Take care!

  6. That University looks as though it needs to be lived up to ... no wonder you were too serious there!

    Writing from Wisconsin, home to one of the top "party schools" in the nation, I would offer this advice: "Play as hard as you can without excessive amounts of intoxicating fluids or funny powders or things that go up in smoke. Because when you reach late middle age, you want to have some brain left to remember the fun you're about to have now." :)

    Your Grammie sounds like a kick. And an IBGM sounds somehow like a weapon....

  7. Your grandmother, what a hoot!

    The Gingerbread Man...I can't say why it was so, but that was one of my son's FAVORITE stories when he was very little. I had to read it so much the book was very well worn. You are making me very nostalgic, my son is all grown up now. xx


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