Who need a cell phone anyway.

Good Morning peeps. We have 5 cell phones, two that have expired contracts,  they are just voice phones and 3 on data plans. I have kids. Actually we have 8 working phone, 3 without service.

Where do unwanted phones go to die when they are not ready to let go?

Earlier in the week i decided to cancel one of the active phones with an expired contract, so i called the phone company and explained that i no longer needed the phone and would like to cancel the service.

The young lady on the other end of the phone explained to me that they have a retention program and for $20 monthly i can continue to have the service with even more features than i am currently paying for on the expired plan. She said i could keep the phone as a spare.

The deal even got sweeter, when she said I could upgrade for a new phone (iphone 4) at 0$ and a $35 credit. What a smoocher, she was good, I was sold. I had to go to the nearest store to complete the deal.

Well you know me I move like a tortoise since way back growing up in the hot tropical sun. Rather then rushed to the store which is just around the corner i decided to sleep on it.

That night in bed i was reflecting on all the cell phones i’ve had over the years and wondered how i ever did without them.

I remember back in the late 1980’s I won a fully paid trip to Barbados. I believe it stayed in the Hilton on the beach. It happened to coincide with a Test Cricket Match, England vs WI. What a great opportunity. I met the great Sir Gary Sobers, that is for cricket fans only.

The trip was scheduled at the same time I was in the middle of a big project.

What to do. My boss and I decided that i should take a cell phone with me, ‘just in case im needed’. No harm in that. In those days you needed an extra suitcase to carry the phone it was so huge. But a deal is a deal, right.

Here is what my boss didn’t know. The chances of that thing working on the beach on the island was slim to none. This was in the late 80’s

I was wrong. The first day i trotted down to the beach with my phone. In those days although the phone was humongous, you would still want to be seen with it.It separated you from the crowd. Like a badge of honour.

The office called that day. Do you want to know how I knew that? The phone worked on the beach. Oh and they called every day after that.

What a boat anchor, a tether, a noose, literally.

Some vacation, at least i didn’t have to pay for it.

That was my introduction to the cell, the beginning of my new friend. Today I live with it, FB and Twitter on the GO, I blog on it, my favourite Camera, Pinterest and Instagram, a new favourite is Flipboard, Bank, weather network, Kindle and my goodness the list goes on an on. Have you tried Nike Running, wow.

Sometimes i even use it to call people.

My only complaint, the damn thinks are getting soooooo big, makes it hard to hold in one hand and type.

Can you remember the days without cell phones? How did we manage without them?

As always

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

ps.

I did cancel that phone by the way, although it was quite an experience. I am not sure if it was just coincidence but i had to call three times, twice when they transferred me to the retention folks the line went dead.

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They called him Ironman, I called him Skinny Arse.

Good Morning peeps. What a time im going through, you may remember at Christmas I hurt my back and was unable to exercise so i took a break, 3 months in fact.

It is hard to do anything physical without having a goal, so when i decided to start running the treadmill again i needed a goal. In high school i did steeplechase races, i recall the trail was 3 miles and i could cover the distance in just over 15 minutes. If you are wondering I would always finish in second place. Skinny Arse continually finished ahead of me. He was tall and skinny but its all relative I weighed 90lbs. You see where im going with this right.

GOAL: To finish ahead of Skinny Arse.

I devised a diabolical plan.The first day on the treadmill i did 1 mile in 15 minutes, the second 13 minutes, by the 5th day i was down to 11 minutes. Here is what I was thinking. If i could bring it down to under 10 minutes, and factor in my age,  i would have an imaginary race and beat the crap out of him. My logic may be twisted but I hate losing.

The 7th day was the big day. We lined up at the start, all in my head of course. The gun went off, GO, the race was on. I was imagined the crowds cheering as I pound the treadmill. Glorious feeling. I was feeling confident. As i was about to breeze by him, i did a dumb thing, i decided to put an imagine of Skinny Arse in my mind. I closed my eye to totally take in the feeling.

Have you ever closed your eyes on a moving treadmill? DON’T.

The race will have to wait until my back stop hurting.

As always,

Dont forget to greet a total stranger today.

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Bernie my friend, just a quick note

 I received this text message a couple days after Christmas 2011.

Text: ‘I am having Roti’

Me: ‘Nice’

Text: ‘Guess where I am?’

Me: ‘Roti Shop’

I didn’t think the Roti shop would be open at Christmas, I was being a smart ass, a few days before I had been to the local West Indian restaurant and there was a sign on the door which said ‘back on January 16’. So why would it be different in Toronto.

That text came in at the same time as I was relaxing on ‘da Couch’ and thinking about being on the beach in St Kitts. I was not thinking about being there but about the time I spent there as a kid. The last time I was on a ST Kitts beach I had to wear sandals, my feet was so sensitive to the sand.

Text: ‘Ingrid’s’.

Ok, now he had my attention, that’s my sister.

At Christmas I generally call my sisters in Toronto, I have 3 of them there. This year I had decided not to call any of them expecting they would call me. Well you guessed it; I did not get a single call. They were all waiting for me to call them. I was not upset; I don’t like talking on the phone anyway. I prefer to text.

But still why didn’t they call? How would you feel? Oh well, I’ll try it again next year.

About 3 years after we moved to Calgary, ’ Bernie the Texter’  and his family moved to Ontario from Calgary.

I met ‘Bernie the Texter’ the first year I was in Calgary. We started working at a big communication company on the same day.  He were both Business Analyst but working with different software products. Before I came to Calgary, I owned a software consulting company for a number of years. Starting a new job in a big company, in a different city, thousands of miles away from home was quite stressful; I had to learn new systems, new office etiquette but the biggest challenge was getting the cobwebs out of my brain, trying to get use to 9 to 5.

Bernie saw I was struggling to get up to speed so he encouraged me. One day I asked him in a moment of weakness, what he thought my best strength was and without hesitating he said, ‘you have seen it all’, referring to business software. I was feeling vulnerable that day; men don’t ask questions like that, right.

You meet some people in life and you just click with them.  He is one of those people. Bernie is from Saskatchewan who has travelled to other faraway places. He was intrigued that I was from St Kitts so he was continually asking me about it. We talked about cricket a lot, the dude made a cricket bat for his son. He started to take his son to see cricket, went to England and stayed a whole day at the cricket ground looking at a game. I didn’t think people still do that.

One day the subject turned to food and I was telling him about some of my favorites dishes like ‘salted cod fish’.  That was quite funny looking at his face.

Bernie then told me a story about the old days in Saskatchewan, when after a major storm the rest of Canada began donating food and other necessities to the communities. The good folks in Newfoundland sent out lots of boxes of Salted Cod. Well as you know Saskatchewan is in the middle of the Canadian Prairie, very far from the ocean. The people there had never had salted cod so they started to fix their leaky roofs with them.  I was thinking I had heard a similar story before.

Ok, one of us will probably get in trouble for that story. Come to think of it, it is probably a backward Newfie joke. A Canadian thing, insider joke.

Shortly after he moved to Ontario I happened to be in Toronto and as usual whenever I show up my family plans a spontaneous party, yea I know an oxymoron, so I invited Bernie. I had fun observing ‘Bernie the Texter’ mixing with my family, the boy was in heaven, at one point he looked at me and asked, ‘how do you guys understand each other?’ We tend to have our own personal conversation all at the same time with each other, while trying to out decibel the other, can be chaotic. That’s what happen when there you have 12 siblings.

 ‘Bernie the Texter’ was right at home.

Today is family day (wrote this a few weeks ago), I had just read that Albertans work 7 ½ days a year more than other people in the industrial world and we spend fewer days with our love ones compared to other Canadians.

So it was against that backdrop that I started to reflect on Bernie’s text. He and his family, wife and two kids and his parents were at my sister’s house eating Roti at Christmas, after that same family neglected to call me.

Did I mention he feels totally at home with my family?

I won’t say he stole my family from me, that would be mean, but what would you say?

So Bernie, I just thought I’d write to you.

Last Thursday I went for a walk on the +15 just like we use to do in the past and I could not help but think of you.  The last time we did this walk around the city there was construction on the south side by Penny Lane, we had to get off the warm +15 and go outside for a few blocks then back inside. I remember it was a cold day and you almost froze your butt. I knew that we had to go outside before I left the office so I was prepared.  

In hindsight I wished you had frozen your butt that day.

Anyway they finish the construction on the south side by Penny Lane so now I can walk around the city unencumbered. On Thursday I did just that, took me 45 or 50 minutes. In the old days it would take us 25 minutes because you walk so fast, that would piss me off. I would tell you that I am from the Caribbean and I don’t walk fast. You didn’t care, so I had to keep up.

Now it’s so relaxing without you.

As you know I have a new job thanks to your great reference. I also used Mark as a reference, he is great and we stay in touch. I’m hoping to see him soon, just have to wait for Apple to release a new product so he can come downtown, he is an Apple junkie. In the past I would use Ashok as a reference, but I’ve had so many jobs in the last 6 years, maybe he is tired of giving references. To be honest he never emails me unless it’s a follow up to my email. Ashok and I had lunch about two years ago and I have not heard from him since. Do you think it’s because I have not initiated contact? If I find myself looking for a job again I may ask Danielle instead for a reference, she is such a nice person with great dimples, love having lunch with her, very pleasing to the eyes.

Yes I tend to stay in touch with people I like, so if you feel you are special in any way and think you are my only friend, don’t.

It’s hard making good friends here in Calgary. I work with really young and highly educated people and they have not yet gotten to know me. They probably feel threatened that they can’t keep up with me. Haha, good one. Maybe they don’t like old people like you do. Except for Keith he is from a previous job, two jobs after you and me. We had lunch the other day, Keith and I think alike but different so we understand each other. He is also a lot younger.

Jo has lots of friends but I like my own, I don’t really hang out with middle age people; sweet, probably get cussed by some of her friends.

 In any case if you are wondering why I am throwing out all those names, just wanted you to know that you are not the only friend I have.

Just remembered something, as I was walking in the +15 last Thursday, this guy stops me and said hi and asked ‘if I was in contact with the old gang’. I said absolutely, mentioned all the names above and threw in a couple others. He looked confused; occurred to me he obviously didn’t know what I was talking about. After he left I recalled he was a soccer parent from one of my son’s team.

Oh well they say that the first thing that goes as you age is your memory. Hope I don’t ever forget you, but you never know, things happen.

I am not sure why I started to write to you, maybe I miss you, maybe I miss my sisters in Toronto, maybe I miss my kids, who knows. Jo and l will be going to Saskatoon at the end of April; perhaps you can hook us up with your family.

Do you think they would know how to cook Roti? If not they can cook one of your favorite meals just for me, I promise to text you and tell you what I’m eating, pictures included, just because…..

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Who said being a couch potato is a bad thing?

People have been asking how I ended up on ‘da couch’, so I thought I would let you in on my secret.

 My family moved to Calgary about 5 years ago.  Jo’s job was transferred here. She works for a big oil company and me being self employed I figure I’d take a chance and start over.  I have a very short attention span and changes are easy for me, besides I figured what’s the worst that can happen.

Moving here had its drawbacks as I worked with my eldest daughter in Toronto.  She had left home a few years before and I did not see her that often, you know what kids are like.  As a parent you never feel like your job is complete so to be close to her I helped her get a job with one of my customers.  I also worked there and for the next 5 years we started most work days with a little chit chat and coffee. Nice eh.

I must say that I had gotten a little lazy at that job, (short attention span,) and needed to revive my career, so off to Calgary we go, as you can imagine my daughter was not happy.

Toronto has a board based economy, some manufacturing, wholesale and distribution and what not.  By contrast, Calgary’s economy is based on oil and gas for the most part.  I tried to restart my consulting business but soon found out that the oil and gas references were completely different to what I was accustomed to.  The industry has its own unique language.  My job for the most part is asking questions, documenting the answers and recommending solutions.  I needed a dictionary to survive. 

I had to rethink my situation; I had to find an eastern based company.  The big telecommunication giants would be a nice fit.  I was quite fortunate to find a job with Bell Canada. The group I worked with sold and supported CRM solutions.  After two years on the job I was ‘packaged’.  The entire business group was sold a year later.

 I then found a job with a smaller software company working with the same product I worked with at Bell.  I lasted 6 months, during the summer the drive was tolerable but as soon as it started snowing I found it to be too much, I resigned.

Shortly after I found another job with another telecomm giant, TELUS, again working in the same type of product, a natural fit. After one year the company shut down the entire group and I was again ‘packaged’.

Three jobs in four and a half years, it was quite draining.

It was the end of January 2010 I found myself on ‘da couch’ asking myself ‘what do I do now?

 With no job and no good prospects I thought I could change my life, again.

I started writing as a distraction from my situation, posting my thoughts on FB.

 About a year earlier one of my sons’ friends introduced me to Facebook.  When I asked her what to do with it she said, ‘talk to your friends’.  Ok, what friends?  She added me and I added my other kids and a couple of friends from Toronto, about 10 people.

At first I wrote to try and stay alert; my plan was to write about growing up in St Kitts which required me to lie on ‘da couch’ and reflect.  I have been away for 40 years.  I started writing about my school days, from kindergarten and worked my way up to the Grammar school.  In between I wrote about other stuff like mangoes and jumbies, check my earlier posts.  My daughter though I had lost it.

From the feedback, I was beginning to think maybe I can write stories that people want to read.

What was my biggest challenge to overcome? Knowing that people are actually reading what you wrote. I was afraid of being judged harshly.

A few months into it, I was up to 50 people on my FB but I didn’t know anyone else, I hit the proverbial wall.  My cousin Keeth France told me to just add people randomly to increase my readership and he also encouraged me to keep writing.  The more people I added the more showed up as ‘people you may know’ on FB.  What a concept.

I mentioned that I sometimes write about mangoes, I had help as Keeth’s wife egged me on by posting lovely pictures of mangoes on Facebook.

When I write I don’t always continue a story theme, my thoughts stray, I blame it on the comfortable couch.  Now I write at night between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. using a small writing book.  Not sure why, it’s the only time I seem to be able to.  When I write I scribble really fast and more often than not I can’t reread it but I know what I wrote so I can rewrite it later.  I write sometimes in sentences or sometimes in point form or sometimes using doodle art.  Probably need to change that if I want to be a successful writer.  I don’t write stories, I write lots of random ideas then cut and paste them together.  How did we survive before ‘cut and paste’?

The stories started getting longer and from some of the comments I received it was obvious that FB was not the right place to write, so I created a blog and here I am.

It’s like being in writing school all the time though.

Here I am in 2010 on ‘da couch’ thinking about my life in 1971, reflecting on my life before that. Got it?

Now I can continue.

In my last post I wrote about my early days in Toronto.  My first year there was quite painful and I spent a lot of my quiet time thinking about St Kitts.  Holidays were especially hard without my St Kitts family and friends, but I always had my memories.

Easter in St Kitts was the time when people flew kites.  My brothers were really good at making kites. On the Saturday before Easter Sunday we would ‘launch’ the kites.  I am sure there was a competition for whose kite would go the highest and stay up the longest.  We would take what we thought was the best kite, someone would take it across the alley, my brother would say go and the kite would soar.  Once we got the kite really high in the sky we would sling shot the line over the electric wires and tie the line to the house.  If it did not rain the kites would stay up until next day.  My brother Charlie was a kite flying master.  His kites flew the highest and stayed up the longest.

One of the fun things was when the kite string would break, the entire village, well us kids, would chase it into Buckley’s cane field and often all the way down to Camps fields shouting ‘kite bus, kite bus’. The goal was to gather (steal) the string.  Kite string was in limited supply.  Good times.

Sometimes I would reflect on my last year working in St Kitts.  I worked as a teacher at the Old Hospital School. It was not a very good experience mainly because I was not very good at it.  The kids were not much younger than I was and I think I got the worst bunch of kids in the school in terms of lack of discipline. One kid in particular, the late Pip, would go out of his way to make sure my day was as bad as possible.  In the classroom he just totally ignored me, simply refused to participate.  He lived a stone’s throw away from me and he was my brother’s best friend. When we were out of the classroom, he would constantly tease me and run away.  Of course because of our teacher/student relationship I was not able to beat him up.  We met several years later at the Toronto Caribana and we had some good laugh about it.

My most favourite recollections however were about my football playing days.  I was very fortunate to play football at the highest level in St Kitts.  I played with a team that was assembled in Grammar School.  We won the national championship, stayed together helped by an old friend Mikoyan, moved as a group to Santos and carried on the winning tradition.

The fan support for our team was quite incredible.  At some games the field would be surrounded by fans, I am guessing maybe 200 or 300 people cheering us on.  I played against some of the top players on the island at a young age.  There were some great players that would have been able to play in the world ‘big leagues’, players like Shine, Tudor, Nelon, Hicks and others.  For the most part I fared pretty well.  My biggest strength was that I hated to lose.  

Of all the opponents I faced, Sam Condor (Deputy PM, St Kitts/Nevis) was probably the most difficult to play against.  He talked a lot during the game; he would find ways to knock you off your game, like kicking your ankles on purpose.  I remember once I went up to get the ball and he removed my legs from under me, I came crashing down.  It was all in good fun, I think.

A game against Sam would start days before the actual game day.  A bunch of guys would come together and argue Trafalgar style about the upcoming game.  We would meet by the Old Grammar school field or on the corner of St. Johnston and Cayon or in front of Carl Brazier house.  Sam talked a good game, but he could never win these verbal sparring.  He was on my turf.

I recalled Sam liked being in the village; he was not a villager.  Quite often my buddy Junior and I would drift off to go to our nightly gathering at the corner of Cayon and Forth Street.  When we returned, Sam would still be in the Village.  Sometimes at night when I went to bed, I could hear him still arguing about football, sometimes politics or chatting about economic courses he was taking at the London School of Economics, ( I think, may have been another school.)  Sam had a very strong voice, in the night air I could not tell exactly where he was.  Often his was the last voice I heard before I went off to sleep.  No comment.

I have not spoken to Sam in 40 years.  Just recently someone posted a YouTube clip of Sam giving a speech at the Christina sinking Memorial.  He started by saying his wife could not make it to the gathering. I asked a friend of mine who Sam had married.  Then it all made sense, Sam was not in the Village late at night trying to drive me crazy and to knock me off my game, his interest was my neighbour, his wife, a few houses up the road. He was trying to impress her.

My buddy Junior told me recently that Sam still has good football skills at his age, he plays a good mid field for some ‘old mans team’, maybe there is still a game in our future, I’ll probably let him win.

To this day I still dream about those great times, Jo tells me she sometimes can look at my facial expression and know what I am thinking about.  Ya right.

When Christmas came around that first year in Toronto, it must have been one of the really low points in my entire life; I can’t even begin to describe it.  I remember it snowed on Christmas day and I went for a walk.  I can actually still remember what winter smelled like back then, quite refreshing.  Today the air is dirty.

There I was walking around in the snow and bawling and singing Christmas carols, cussing myself for making the decision to leave home.  It’s a good thing no one was close enough to hear me.

 Later that day we went to my late uncle Roland’s home, Mother Gwen is a great cook.  

Some things you never forget.

The Only Kittitian Couch Potato in Calgary

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I forgot to say ‘Thank you dad’

Sept 1, 2010

When your youngest kid leaves home life is never the same. It is the closing of one of life’s big chapters.

A couple of weeks ago I was unable to write because my son started to pack,  preparing to leave home to go off to university in another province. I went into slow down mode, anything to delay the inevitable, I was missing him already. Well it happened on Sept 1st, he left at 7am to make a long 7hrs drive to Saskatoon. I am happy to report that he got there safely, only took 5.5 hours, although with a busted windshield, courtesy of good old Alberta rocks.

 If you follow my writing you may also recall that I sacrifice a lot of sleep by getting up at 5am to drive Jo to work.

This morning my plan was to speed off to downtown Calgary as I drove Jo to work, then back, wake D, make him a BIG breakfast, have a man to man talk, slip him a few bucks, give him a big hug, say something profound, god knows there are enough inspirational quotes on Facebook, and stand in the driveway with my camera snapping lots of pictures as he drove away. I once saw that scene in a movie and as you know life imitate art.              

As you know plans sometimes don’t go as you expect them to. For starters, Jo had her own plan, she love to hug and kiss. The night before she and D had a 15 minutes hugging session so I figure that is it for them. Jo is the opposite of me. She does the hands off approach with the kids; she lets them come to her when they need her, so I was sure they were finished.

I must tell you a secret about D. He has a three alarms wake up system. First his radio alarm goes off (beep beep beep), this can be up to 15 minutes before actual get up time, then his phone starts to play some annoying music, finally Jo or I go into him room, turn his lights on and make sure he sits up.

This morning Jo goes into his room and wakes him up, trying to mess up my plan, practically lifts him out of bed with a bear hug and slobbering all over the poor boy. He mumbled something to her and crashed back onto his bed. Just one alarm, no harm done I am thinking, my plans are still in place.

I rushed Jo off to work, sped back home, practically jumped out of the car while I was parking, phew. I walked into the house and D is dressed and is ready to leave. Damn, looks like he can’t wait to get out of here.

Me, ‘had breakfast?’

D, ‘yes’, I was only gone for 35 minutes.

Me, ‘what did you have?

D, ‘food’, I bet he didn’t eat, I looked in the sink, no dishes. Why was he so anxious?

This is not going really well; need to get the plan back on track. Keep in mind my goal is to slow down the inevitable. I had to think fast, he is ready to go.

Me, ‘want to do another walk through to make sure you didn’t miss anything?’

D, ‘No, if you find anything you can mail it’.

 I can tell he is getting annoyed, I am sure he too was anxious.

D, ‘Big hug’

 He does manual work in the summer so he is very strong, he grabs me and lay this hug on me, it hurt a little.

D, ‘I am going to miss you, although you are such a pain in the ass.’

Of course I can’t say anything; I am ready to bawl, so I resort to hand gestures.

He simply walks away, me in tow, jumps into his car and drove away. I stood here for a minute, watch the car disappear and walk back into the house staring at the ground. Felt like someone punched me in the stomach.

Silver lining…I saved myself some money.

My granddaughter in Toronto call her blanket, Blanky, K here in Calgary calls hers a Buc and I have ‘da couch’ so that’s where I went to reflect on D.

The boy was born not that long ago, where did the time go?

At an early age he showed signs of having a curious mind, we nicknamed him ‘Engineer’, wishful thinking at the time, seems like he was listening.

Jo and I went in Toronto last week and before we left Calgary we went shopping for groceries so he can practise cooking. Didn’t happen, he ate out; I hope he does not think that life will be like that, he has very limited resources.

He is just not ready to leave home.

D was very young when he showed interest in soccer. He hates losing. During the competitive soccer years we moved around from club to club quite a bit, often times I would place him on ‘not so likely to win’ teams to teach him humility. I forgot to notify him of my intentions. He was the kind of player you did not want to play against, he is rough and mean on the field, taking on the tough players on the other teams and would be the player to get the goal when it was needed. He was fun to watch.

As is the case with his age group, he is technology savvy, has had a computer since he was 5 or 6. He can also fix his own car, worked at Wal-Mart auto center and Minit Lube after taking some mechanic courses in high school. He likes money and is prepared to work for it.  His first job was at the Hangar in Toronto operating the scoreboard for winter indoor soccer. I think he was 13 and making about $12/hr. He did that for a couple of winters and spent all his money on Nintendo games. It was also a job for me as I would spent 4 or 5 nights at the facility waiting for him, good thing I love soccer.

He has spent the last 3 years building and maintaining a golf course in Calgary.

Moving to Alberta has provided him with some experiences that he probably would not have been exposed to in Toronto, simply through association, like guns. He has become interested in guns. He will be going to Manitoba with his roommate for the long weekend to hunt. He claims he is hunting for his winter food. I think they are just going target practise. His friend lives on a farm.

Golf is probably the most played sport in Calgary so he plays 4 or 5 times a week. He has done sky diving, mountain biking, he skateboard very well. He only plays soccer casually with his friends, which is a little disappointing.

When we first moved to Calgary, he was not very happy. I thought I was going to lose my son. He would spend most of his days in his room sleeping; sometimes he would come out and skateboard for hours. That was his life. We came to Calgary at the end of June so he had no time to make school friends. Down the street from us there are two black families. Both have boys D’s age. It took a couple of weeks but he did connect with them. One of the boys got jealous that the other boy was spending too much time with D so he stopped talking to him and got his friend to do the same. So by the end of July he was back to being alone. It was pathetic.

At 20, D is quite the young man; handsome, well mannered, has lots of friends and loves life. We will miss having him around; I will be seeing him at Christmas and maybe thanksgiving.

I am so proud of him; I think maybe I should tell him.

Thinking about D reminds me of my good bye with my dad when I left St Kitts. I grew up quite privileged with lots of love, not unlike my kids. I had been working for a couple of years before leaving St Kitts, so I had saved some money. I applied to come to Canada without telling my dad although I am sure I told my mom. My dad was very protective, damn sounds like me, he would have tried to talk me out of it. It was only after I had received my visa that I informed him.

I recall my  ‘d day’ very well. I was having breakfast when my dad came by and ask me to come see him when I was finished.

I was expecting a lecture. The following may not be verbatim but close enough.

Dad: ‘how much did you pay for the plane ticket?’

Me: $999, (i don’t remember the amount, sounds like a good number for this purpose).

I am thinking great, he was going to refund me, more money to spend.

Dad: ‘how much money you have in your pocket?’

Me: $999, (not correct either, that number I remember very well but I won’t say, it was embarrassing).

Getting closer, I was getting excited, more money.

Dad: ‘so what do you plan to do when you get to Canada?’

Me: ‘Going to school’.

That is what he wanted to hear, here comes the money for sure, he had his hands in his pocket, a good sign.

Dad: ‘when you finish school you come home and i’ll give you all your money back’

Bummer, he went on to tell me what I great life I could have in St Kitts and how we could expand the business, he would get me started, provide me with everything I wanted. He was quite sincere. My life got in the way.

 We did the bear hug thing, shook shake and then said good bye. A friend drove me to the airport.

That was the last conversation I had with my dad in person, almost 40 years ago.

Thank you Dad for everything you have ever done for me, you would be proud to know that I raised my kids the way you raised me, except for the BELT part.

The only Kittitian couch potato in Calgary.

PS, So you know Dad, I kept some of my old bad selfish habits, I still hide mangoes from my family and eat some of the plantain as I fry them, that way I get the most, I think it is important to maintain some of your history.

Rewriting History
 
 
 
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