‘life is like a jigsaw puzzle’.
My name is Tony Carter and I was born in St Kitts; I am the 11th of 13 children. Until last year we were 12 then my oldest sister found us. My dad had a previous life. The original 12 of us are fairly close. We have groups within the 12 that have unique relationship but for the most part we are happy with each other. Then Edith entered our lives. She suddenly has a whole bunch of new siblings that she was totally unaware of until last year. She can’t get enough of us, she has so many questions. We love her, it’s like she was always there.
Recently I have been researching my family ancestry, which is a lot of fun. When you do that, you have to expect surprises, good and bad. So far it has been quite a journey, my family is huge.
My dad was born in Anguilla, his mom was Anguillan, his grandmother Was a mixture of Carib Indian And African from St Croix, his dad was Anguillan his dad’s father was British, probably from Ireland.
My mom was Navision, her mom was Navision, her grandmother could have been Navision but was an aboriginal (Carib). Her dad was African American (her two oldest sisters are Americans), her grandfather (Hamilton) was British again probably Irish.
During the Irish potato famine, many Irish people travelled to the new world.
Got that? I had to write it down. I am quite a tapestry of People. My family are comfortably scattered on every continent. A good friend of mine refers to my family as the United Nations.
A funny thing: I get special treatment when I go into fast food restaurants where the front line workers are Pilipino. Don’t ask.
I spent my first 18 and ½ years in St Kitts, the last 40 in Canada, 35 in Toronto, and the last 5 in Calgary.
In high school I was an athlete. Nuff said.
While I lived in St Kitts I had 3 jobs not including working with my dad; the first was with the electric company during the summer. I hated it, not working but working with current. My mom thought I had to carry on the family tradition of electricians. I am not very good with my hands.
My second job was with the government Treasury; first I was a cashier then got promoted to ledger keeper. I was expected to balance every penny; in hindsight I should have invented the computer would have made my life a lot easier.
During my last year at the Treasury, my friends worked as a teacher and had the whole summer off. I got jealous so I got a job as a teacher. I found myself teaching geography to kids who weren’t interested and was only a couple years younger than I was, they did not take me serious. It was not fun, teaching is hard.
My dream job was to work at S L Horsford (department store?), I still don’t know why they would not hire me. I probably would still be working there, as an owner no doubt.
Perhaps I should have stayed with my dad and build his business.
Life is like a jigsaw puzzle, it is scrambled at the start, and your only choice is the sequence in which you put the pieces together. I think I made that up, maybe not.
I don’t know how many jobs I have had in Canada, too many maybe. I would say more than 15, not sure. I don’t know how to keep a job and climb the ladder; I would get bored looking at the rungs, they all look alike, sooner or later I go looking for a new ladder to climb, as a result I have walked away from some very good jobs.
I have been in Calgary for 5 years and have had 3 jobs. Yes I lost two of them, both companies discontinued the products I was hired to work with. I worked for four years and was paid for five, good gig if you can get it. Although it makes you wonder how big companies got big.
I quit the other job in Calgary (the second) to join the company that dumped me; I was seeking security.
Now I am searching for a new ladder to climb. A short ladder no doubt with just a few rungs.
One of the jobs I had way back when I was young; was with the Ontario Government processing license plate applications. In those days you would change your license plates annually. Today you get annual stickers. I lasted 3 months, just could not stand being pushed around on the train to and from work. If I was smart I would have stayed there, today I would be fully retired with a nice pension.
I would not have met my wife who I met at work, two or three jobs and several years later.
You have to keep working the puzzle, remember your only choice.
I am married with 4 kids, two girls and two boys. When my oldest was a baby there was a TV show featuring a Mexican family. The kids called the dad Poppy; I was so intrigued that I tried to teach J to call me Poppy by repeating it to her daily. It didn’t work, it has been 30 plus years and I still trying, I still call her Poppy. I think I did a great job raising J1, I thought her how to manipulate me, she is really good at it.
Some years later, J2 came along; she learned very early from her sister how to master the manipulation game. When she was little, at night I would make up stories about a character name Jujubes rather than read to her. She now tells her kids the same stories. I think she needs to write them down.
They are both married, I was lucky to walk them both down the aisle.
Then there were two boys, E and D, soccer players. At 12 they were both better skilled than I ever was. I had dreams of them playing for Canada and the world cheering for them. One problem, I passed on my injury prone gene to them, bummer.
And there is Jo, wifey; I talk enough about her on my blog, now I notice her head is growing.
I can’t forget Panda the family dog. She is completely spoiled by Jo, all 15 pounds of her. I try not to compete; I realized a long time ago I could not win. A dog? Big sigh.
Back to how I got here. At a very young age I started reading motivational books, I wanted to get rich and famous. Someone gave me a book written by Napoleon Hill …called ‘think and grow rich’. I travelled around with that book for years.
Set your goals and follow through.
That’s funny; no one told me the process does not work by osmosis. Like my work career, I changed my goals often. I would write them down and would lose the paper then make new ones. Over the years I have read at least 20 motivational books, didn’t help, still trying to be rich and famous. Now I teach it to my kids.
Ever wondered where the word procrastination originated; it is my least favourite word in the English language.
I like the Nike phrase, ‘just do it’.
I have been writing down my thoughts for a long time. I am not sure if my kids ever read the stuff, I write and just leave it sitting around, blends into the furniture. The oldest record of my writing is dated June of 1971. I had been in Canada for 6 months, could not find a job so I inquired about going back to high school, I was too old, I would have to go to adult school with old people(that is what I thought) and I was totally depressed, so I just let my thoughts flow on paper. Maybe one day I will publish what I wrote, lots of ‘F’ words in poetic form.
I am from Trafalgar, up the village.
How I got here is about my life journey to the present moment, real time. I think my life has been interesting, probably not more so than yours but I am not afraid to write about it. Outwardly I am a very serious person but there is another side of me, I laugh at my own thoughts. I am very funny to myself, sometimes when I am alone I crack myself up. It is hard to communicate that in writing.
Maybe I am missing some of the pieces to my puzzle. That is a joke. haha
So here I am, sometimes I will write about a memory from my childhood growing up in St Kitts or my early years in Toronto, sometimes about yesterday and sometimes about tomorrow, always random but I promise to keep it interesting.
Maybe one day I’ll get off the couch and go for a run and write about that. Jo told me I should learn to cook exotic dishes and write about that, I think she is looking for a maid. Can a man be a maid?
In any case my puzzle is becoming fun; the pieces are falling together nicely.
The only Kittitian couch potato in Calgary…….
PS. Do you think I think i write too much?