Friday, November 30, 2007

Why Not?

Cuppa is on her way out for coffee with the ladies this morning and asked me to print a few photos to take with her. So why not post them for you too? They're all taken within the last week or so, mostly at the town Christmas parade last week.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Not One of The Boys

The other weekend when we were at the cottage, we dropped into the general store up at the corner. The owner was sitting outside wearing his orange hunter's cap shooting the breeze with a few of the locals. We once thought of moving up thataway, but it never worked out, and I felt glad that morning, for as I opined to Cuppa, I'd never be one of the boys. I simply can't imagine being at one with hunters and the ATV crowd.

I can't picture myself having a good jaw with the good old boys. It's not really about them, fine folk that they are. It's about me. I just don't do the aimless chit chat thang very well. Never have, never will. I like to do more than to be. Even with friends and sometimes even with family, I'd generally prefer to socialize around an activity (ie game) than sit around and try to think of things to say. I simply don't do well with social converse. It's difficult for me and my introverted brain.

Even today, when Cuppa and I went to the coffee shop after flu shots and before shopping this morning, a few older guys had met up at a nearby table. It seemed to be something that they normally do. Once again I commented to Cuppa because I just can't see myself ever being a part of something like that.

It make me wonder what life would be like on my own without The Cuppa. While I am pretty self-sufficient and capable in many ways, I do need friends. I don't need many, but I do need one or three. Even as a kid, I tended to have only a few good buddies and even then, one was much closer than the other few. But, for me, the older I get the harder it seems to get to make friends. Cuppa is pretty well my only pal now (especially now that we have moved away from Sarnia) and I have the kids who are pretty close, but the possibility of a lonely future still worries me sometimes.

On the other hand. I think Cuppa and I still have good years ahead of us, and way down the road, I'll be the first to go anyway.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tagged By Turtle

Just when I was thinking that I must post something — anything — I find myself tagged by Dave. So, while explosions continue to rock my world, let's see what happens with this meme.

Here are the rules: (i) Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. (ii) Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. (iii) Tag 3 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

Okay, so I took care of #1 in both the title and the opening paragraph. So, what five things shall I share today? I seem to recall once did a seven-thing meme (which I can't find now), but maybe this list will be different.

(i) I'm opposite Cuppa who almost always has her iPod plugged into her ears at night (and who is smart and cute). Listening to books on tape (although they're on CDs now, helps her fall and stay asleep. It seems to have the opposite effect on me. I start to doze but then wake up enough to realize that I'm missing plot development. So, I strain to stay awake. And it works. Last night, it worked until five o'clock in the morning when I finished reading (not listening to) Louise Penny's Still Life. (Note: based on this book, Penny is a very fine Canadian mystery writer who rivals the British mysteries and actually sets her novels in Quebec, Canada.)

(ii) I was conflicted last night when Thesha called with the exciting news that the seven-month old Smudge has cut her first two teeth. It's exciting for sure, but it's also a first step away from babydom and that irresistible gummy smile that lights up my grampa's heart (if hearts can be lit up).

(iii) There is a fiddling orchestra out in the country — way out in the country — and I am prepping to join it. I'm still a beginner, and the leader has me and three other beginners working on some of their songs at a slower learning pace. For those tunes, we will join the orchestra when they play their Christmas Concert on January 5 [sic]. I think I sound better than the other three who all tend to be grinders. My habit is almost the opposite — I tend to bounce on the down bow. I can't seem to correct this, and it's driving me crazy. It does tend to improve somewhat towards the end of a long practice, but next day, I start out with the same problem.

(iv) Sometimes, I think I really am mildly dyslexic. For example: I just fixed a typo in point one. I had written "htta" rather than "that" (right letters, wrong order). And mechanical things leave me perplexed. Getting my music stand up and down becomes an ordeal of great magnitude, and on the weekend I stared at the stop of the maple syrup jar rather stupidly before my BIL opened it for me. However, I'll spare you the details by not trying to describe the fastening contraption at the top.

(v) I like dogs but will probably never own one. In the past I have written about the neighbour's Molly. We took her to the dog park (which I just spelled aprk — all the right letters again). several times last winter. Anyway, I really like her and most dogs, but when I see Stan out walking her five or six times a day, I shudder. You see, she won't go in the backyard. But she's a wonderful Golden Retriever, and if I ever did have a dog, I'd like one of those — but in miniature svp.

Well I think those things are pretty random, and surely some qualify as weird. So, I pass the meme (oops I just left the "p" off "pass" which may be appropriate) to ec, Philip, and Lorna.

Oh, were you wondering about the explosions that are rocking my world (first paragraph)? It's literally true. For the past week, they have been blasting on the road behind our house. They are going to widen it, and the bedrock is very close to the surface here, so, yes, we're having a real blast. So real that it shakes the house.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Little Right and and a Little Wrong

Last Sunday, Theboy put snow tires on his car and volunteered to do mine. Says I to Theboy, "No, it's too early."

Wrong: we've since had a fairly major storm (for November). unfortunately, I have negotiate a fair drive later today — sans snow tires.

In the Woods Today

On Tuesday, we arrived home late in the afternoon but decided to clear out the garage anyway. There wasn't much left to do: take the bikes downstairs and put some stuff up in the rafters.

Right: because the car (Harriet the Chariot) spent her first night in about seven months in the garage, and it snowed that night for the first time (apart from three isolated flakes days earlier).

On Thursday night we enjoyed (yeah sure) our first major winter dumping.

Right: Harriet was back in garage all snug and safe.

On Friday my in-laws drove the bad roads from Toronto (partly because they were smart enough to purchase and install new snow tires).

Right on: because they're not just relatives but friends.

On Saturday morning there was still plenty of snow, and it was still falling — gently by then.

Right: I was able to go for a walk and photo shoot in the woods with my BIL and niece. In the freshly fallen snow. Me with two wonderful relatives friends. Taking pictures.

Happiness Is ...

Right on: and this is a pretty good result, doncha think?

Frost Berries

Wrong: as nice and pretty as the snow is, it's rather early for our street to look like this. I mean, it's still officially autumn. Sure it is.

It's Only November

Now, it's almost 1:00 AM, and I have a big day tomorrow, so I'm going to bed.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

In Google ...

In my last post, I presented you with several photos while lamenting the fact that my blog template (of the old fashioned variety) didn't support Blogger's new slideshow function. However, there is sometimes than one way to skin a cat overcome an obstacle. And, of course, it is yet another Google service that comes to the rescue. I have found that one can use Google Photos (aka Picasa Web Albums) to accomplish the same task. You upload your photos, select Embed Slideshow and cut and paste the code they supply into your post. What could be simpler?

It's free too. I wonder why my paid Flickr account can't produce similar code?

Everybody chant with me: "In Google We Trust."

These photos are all from our recent trip to the cottage. Some of them you have already seen. Expect more at a later date because I haven't yet processed and uploaded all of the photos from this shoot.

By the way, I believe everyone who has a Blogger account has access to a free Picasa Web Album. I am proof that you don't require Picasa to use it. I upload pictures to the web album the same way that we upload them to Blogger.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It Was a Fine Frosty Morning

Although the rest of this post has nothing to do with the holiday, I'd like to wish all of my American friends a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Well then, after beginning to post more frequently about two weeks ago, once again I have stumbled into sparse times. Because my tiny brain can only focus on a limited number of things at once, ye olde blog gets shunted to the side rail every so often. What with company coming and generally busy times looming just ahead, the dearth will most likely continue for the next week or so. Fortunately, I can usually find a few photos to mesmerize you with when I am too preoccupied to dabble into deep thoughts and breathless prose.

When were at the cottage two weekends past, we woke up to a very frosty morning. Because I am not exactly an early morning person, I guess I missed the best opportunities for photos, but here are a few.

Riverwood in November Series

Riverwood in November Series

You can just see a little frost on the far bank in this next and last shot.

Riverwood in November Series

I guess that's about it for a few days although I might try to post a few more before next week, except to note that it seems that the newer blog templates can facilitate the addition of slideshows. Unfortunately, even though I am in the new Blogger, my templates are of the old variety, so I am prevented from entertaining you myself in this fashion. Drat!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Battening Down and Gearing Up

The Battening

We aren't exactly going out in shirtsleeves anymore or even light jackets if it comes to that. And though we're not facing winter yet, there were some shallow pockets of snow up at the cottage last weekend. So we ready ourselves for the next season to roll in. While we aren't ready to install snow tires yet, we have been emptying the garage for its winter occupant — the car — which we keep outside in the better weather. But come this time of year, the bicycles go down to the basement and lawnmowers and other items go up on shelves to make room for the vehicle which we prefer to keep protected in winter.

The Gearing

And we begin to gear up for Christmas. Next Saturday will be our annual tree decorating party at the kids' place. Cuppa began the tradition many years ago. We'd have my parents and sometimes other friends over to both help and celebrate the putting up of our tree. We'd have munchies and music and fellowship and dinner. Now, we are the grandparents and the invitees.

We don't put up a big tree anymore, but we do have two little, pre-lit ones and many other decorations to give the place a festive look and feel. In part we do it in preparation for the official tree decorating next Saturday as well as the town's Santa Claus parade, but we also want to make the place Christmasy for our niece who will be visiting us from Korea later this week. She misses Christmas, so we'd like to make it as nice as possible for her before she heads overseas again in about two weeks.

In the spirit of the season, the kids had this picture printed to send out with their Christmas cards. So, I scanned it for you to gush over. Isn't she the cutest baby ever?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tough Day

What a day! After driving home yesterday (and it was a nice drive even if I did drive by lots of good photo ops), I didn't sleep well or much last night. And today I paid. And I made some bad decisions which caused to pay even more dearly than necessary.

To wit: we just had a new Wal-Mart open up, the kind with the full-fledged grocery store. And we needed groceries, so I thought to try out the new place. Folks: don't try out new grocery stores when you're so dog-tired that you can barely shuffle your feet.

And shuffle I did, back and forth and forth and back looking for items. After umpteen of these shuffle-abouts which yielded most of my items save wheat bran, I finally found a clerk to ask the whereabouts of this item. After explaining as best I could what wheat bran was, he looked about where I had looked and then called in more expert help. After explaining to the more expert clerk about wheat bran, she looked in all of the same places. To no avail.

So, off I went to usual grocery store to obtain wheat bran. And, of course, I arrived home grumpy. And decided to take a nap.

I don't nap often. I can't even remember the last time I napped. It other words, in wasn't recently. But don't you know that the phone soon rang anyway.

So, it's nice to have some reminders of a nice weekend at the cottage. Here are two photos. They are both by the mighty Crowe River but from different spots,; the first looks south and the second north.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Silly Me

Yes, I am silly. On our weekend trip, I kept noticing that tamarack trees provided almost the only tree colour that yet remains. I saw a lot and finally, just as I was contemplating posting a short note and picture, I came across two beautiful specimens wonderfully lit by the relatively low sun. There they were, right in front of me, on a bend in the road. It was a rural road, a very rural road with no traffic to speak of, so I could have stopped. Easily. But I dithered and had driven by before I could think properly. So, I kept on going.

That was really silly especially since it was on my mind and I was presented with a fantastic shot. But I didn't, so here are some pictures that I found on Flickr and are listed as public. So, I use them, but I would prefer to post my own. Oh well.

Perhaps you don't know about tamarack. I didn't up until a few years ago. Here's a brief description from the web site of the Yukon Territories.

The tamarack belongs the larch family. These trees are the only conifers that lose their needles in winter. The needles turn yellow in late autumn and are shed, then grown again in spring. These soft, flexible needles are arranged on the branches in clusters of 10 to 20.

The cones grow upright on the branches and stay on the trees over winter and through the following summer. Male and female cones occur on the same tree.

Tamaracks are found throughout most of the forested areas in the Northwest Territories. It is a tree of cold, wet places, occurring in sphagnum bogs and swamps. It grows with black spruce in open muskeg, and aspen and birch on better drained soils.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

New Theme

Many will know that I have seasonal templates like the Halloween one that I just scrapped (for this year). Last week, I decided that it was past time to post my autumn template, except I didn't have one. I guess I've made that nasty Halloween one last until December in previous years. So, here's an attempt at a genuine autumn theme. It's been so long since I worked on a template that I was rusty (and still am), but I prevailed. And then my web host decided to be unfriendly to me and make things difficult, but where there's a will ...

I think I have one more post in the grandpa series, but that will have to wait because we plan to head to the cottage for a few days. While I may post something else from the turtle-like connection up there, I leave grandpa here — between the pages of the photo album — until I return.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Some Memories of Grampa

Apart from what I wrote yesterday, I don't have many specific recollections about my interactions with grandfather, but here are a few things that I do recall. First: this is he as a young man, working in a greenhouse, possibly his own. (Butterfly may be interested in zooming in on his left eye.)

AC does a Naughty at Grampa's

You might recall that grampa was a gardener, but I once tried to throw a monkey wrench into the works. We visited on a Sunday after church, and sometime that afternoon, I found myself roaming around in his garden. I saw all of these neat markers by the sides of each row, and something possessed me to pull them up ... and put them in my pocket. But then it must have occurred to me that I shouldn't have done that, so I kept them hidden in my pocket all of the way home on the bus. When I got home, I threw them down a drain out by the sidewalk.

The next time we visited, I overheard grampa say to my parents, "The last time you were here someone took my garden markers." I was clever enough not to react in any way, and he added, "It must have been some of the neighbourhood kids."


I don't think my initial act was done with mischievous intent, but at some point I realized that this was not something that I should have done and was clever enough to hide and then get rid of the evidence.

My Solo Visits

It was probably in the summer when I was eight that I visited the grands on my own. Memory informs me that this occurred more than once, but it doesn't tell me whether it was more than twice. It sounds odd when I tell you these visits took place because my mother was working and didn't want me to be alone all day. So, I got on a bus, by myself, and went to my grandparents' house. Strange: they didn't come to me; I went to them. On a bus by myself. Times were such that I was pretty unafraid and confident in some ways at least, and it didn't bother me at all to make the trip on my own. It does seem strange in retrospect, however.

I do remember going for a walk with grampa and stopping at a bookstore or at least a store that sold books. I had enough money to buy one, but grampa wanted to buy it for me. For whatever reason, I was concerned about the state of his finances and was determined that he shouldn't. But then the clerk or cashier wisely said to me, "I think your grandfather wants to buy this for you." So I let him.

A Tough Old Guy

On one of these visits, I remember sitting on the floor rolling a wooden ball to grampa. I think it was a ball to a little in-the-house bowling set. I'd roll it hard to him, and he would roll it back to me. But I remember worrying that I was rolling it too hard for the old guy. That seems odd to me now because I have since come to realize that he must have been a pretty tough fellow.

My dad used to recount how on grampa's first winter (from England) he didn't even have to wear a full winter coat — in a Canadian winter! I think he also said that grampa worked on some sort of forestry operation in the Eastern Townships (of Quebec) that winter — an activity not for the faint of heart or weak of muscle. In my previous post I mentioned how he continued to work even in his seventies, and I also know that even on the day that he died of a heart attack (at home in the afternoon), he had worked in the morning — cutting the neighbour's grass. Oddly enough my maternal grandfather died later in the same year, 1958. It couldn't have been easy for my parents.

I remember visiting in the funeral home, and I wasn't upset or repulsed by seeing him there. I touched his hand, and a person whom I called aunt but who wasn't really, told me not to do that, but my dad said that it was okay. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could talk to these people now as adults and ask our questions and get to know them? But it doesn't work that way, and kids just don't think and appreciate. What I do really appreciate is that my mother often spoke of her memories and took the time to put together and annotate several photo albums. Part or even much of why I write posts like this is for the benefit of my own children. There may come a day when they will be glad of such tidbits, just as I am so thankful to have been told as much as I have been.

Monday, November 05, 2007

On the Estate with Grampa

A blog that I read a while ago caused me to ponder that the closest we ever came to rubbing shoulders with the well-heeled was through my paternal grandfather. That's him above with me and my Dad. I am guessing that I was three or four and that it was 1950 or 1951. I scanned it because I had thought that it was taken on the estate on which my grandfather worked, but the buildings in the background tend to indicate that it was taken elsewhere, quite possibly at his house, for I do recall that he had quite a garden in the side yard. Nevertheless, I am touched by the way that he has his arm on my shoulder. I don't recall any physical affection from any of my grandparents, but now having a grand of my own, I figure that their own British ways they probably quite taken with their grandson.

I am surprised that Gramps is shorter than his son, my dad, who was not very tall at all. I have never fully realized his diminutive stature until now when scanning the photos has caused me to look at them more closely. He passed away when I was ten (I think), so all adults were still probably large to me. As you can probably tell, he wore a bad hairpiece, but I never knew that until later although I remember thinking that his hair was a might odd. The men of this family don't keep their hair very well.

The photos above and below are really what prompted this post, for I remember that, in the summer, we would visit him on the estate on which we worked. Well, we did it at least twice as the two pictures indicate. (He reminds me of Marlon Brando as The Godfather in the photo below.)

It was an estate in Montreal. My grampa was in his seventies but still worked for The Lady Gordon. He was the gardener or groundskeeper for the well-to-do widow on a pretty large piece of property with extensive lawns and gardens. We never got to meet the lady or get into the house, but we'd visit in the shed and stroll the grounds and pet the dog, Sally.

I have several recollections of these visits. I remember once being thirsty and being offered water. "Would you like it in a glass or a mug?" I chose a glass because I didn't know what the heck a mug was. Rather than ask, I went with the glass. I wonder why I wouldn't ask.

Perhaps it was on the same visit, but I remember sitting on a red tractor in the shed and grampa telling my dad that he was going to use it on the next working day. I know that I said something such as "You're going to drive it?" and my eye's must have lit up because the grownups all recognized my excitement and chuckled at me. I think I wanted him to invite me back for a ride the next day, but, of course, he didn't. I wonder why he wouldn't have taken me out that day?

There was a time (I think this was a year or two later than the photos) when I wanted to grow a pumpkin from seed. My mother suggested that I have grampa plant it for me. I guess I thought that was a good idea, but, somehow, when the time came to collect the pumpkin, I knew that it was not from my seed. There was something about the way it was recalled when either I or my parents reminded him. Kids are smart enough, and I just knew. I didn't feel particularly bad about it, but I guess I didn't feel all that good about it either because I do remember.

I wonder what else I will remember? I'm pretty sure that I will have to write more now that I've started.

Tap Tap Tap

While I have some trouble with Dr Phil's tendency to stray into the tawdry, we still faithfully record his show because he does some good ones too. Frequently, we watch the beginning and disappointedly move on, but sometimes he still captures us ... as he did a week or two ago when his guest was Mitch Albom of Tuesdays With Morrie fame. Like most other sentient adults, I read the book a long time ago and later watched the TV movie, and like most other sentient adults I was appreciative of what I read and saw. So, I did watch this particular episode of Dr Phil with some interest.

Mitch recounted something that I don't remember from the book (but it was a long time ago). The essence of what Morrie imparted to him apparently went something like this: Imagine that every morning when you wake up, there's a bird on your shoulder. He taps you and asks if you are ready to die. In other words, have you been recently living your life in a meaningful and satisfactory way so that you wouldn't have a ton of regrets if it was your time to go. Now, that's my take, on what was said and whether or not it is very accurate, the question remains as valid food for thought.

Several weeks ago, I sat in a concert hall and began to experience funny feelings: light-headedness, a kind of weakness in both right limbs, and heat across my upper back. Of course, you know what a sixty-year-old immediately thinks: heart attack or stroke. I was concerned, of course, but one thought that crossed my mind in the midst of my overall anxiety was this: "If this is indeed my time to go, life has been good, and it's not so bad if I must depart now." Having said that, I surely was hoping for a better outcome, and I'm absolutely delighted to be sitting here, weeks later, typing these words for the benefit the handful of good souls who will read them. I have enjoyed every day since that odd attack, and I plan to do the same today and tomorrow.

Today, I will perhaps write a little, read a little, fiddle a little, be with my Cuppa a little, and spend a little time with the daughter and the granddaughter. I may go for a little walk and watch a little skein of geese fly by and just perhaps find a little tree with just a little colour remaining on it. While not everyone has the same amount of me time as I, surely most can take some time simply to be and to appreciate something and someone today, even if it's just to share a few unhurried, quiet moments.

As we have all heard, and it was said again by Mitch the other day, there seems to be no recorded case of someone on his or her death bed wishing that he or she had spent more time at work and less time being a parent or a companion.

I'm sure we all realize these things, but much of life is trying to remember and put into practice what we already know. Every now and then we need reminders to evaluate what we're doing and why and whether we would be happy with the choices that we have been making should the bird of paradise really tap us on the shoulder. I've had my reminder, so I'm passing it on. Tap, tap, tap.

PS: Don't you worry and fret. I did see the doctor, and it was probably just one of those odd but meaningless things that occur. Nevertheless, tests have been scheduled. Just in case.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Spasm-odically Yours

I was supposed to be out fiddling with some folk today, but have decided to stay home and spend some quality time with some visiting back spasms instead. I can't point to doing anything to have cause the spasms; they just seem to want to drop in on me unannounced about twice a year — much to my consternation. Sometimes, said spasms are relatively mild and only hang about for a few days. Let's hope this is one of those mercifully short and not-too-painful times.

So, with Cuppa having forsaken this invalid to go shopping with daughter and grand, I spent some quality time reading on the floor with a heating pad on my back before tracking down two small bags of chips left over from Halloween to comfort me in my infirm loneliness. And now I have decided to visit yall, which doesn't do too much good on a weekend which are slack times for bloggers.

Below are more pictures from yesterday's visit to Burnstown. They were all (both posts) taken with Cuppa's little, portable point-and-shoot as opposed to my blunderbuss. I seems to have a love-hate relationship with both cameras.I like mine for quality and hers for portability ... but the reverse also applies — mine is clunky and hers doesn't produce the same quality.

Nevertheless, I was quite happy with yesterday's results.

A Good Day in Burnstown

Yesterday found the Cuppa (remember her?) and me heading to Burnstown. It's just a tiny crossroads place up north towards Renfrew and Arnprior. The attraction is that it's a nice drive and that they have a few nice shops — the kind that are nice for persons of the female persuasion.

We were particularly attracted to the place yesterday because they were doing a candlelight celebration. They lined the street with plastic bags which had sand in the bottom and a tea light. It was quite a quaint and nifty idea.

Each shop had some goodies for the partaking. Cuppa had coffee and a cookie while we sat on the porch of one shop after buying a few little trinkets inside. (I enjoyed apple cider in another shop later.) The store was also a home, but they had the kitchen opened up on this special occasion. In several weeks when they do their Christmas special, they will make the whole house available for touring. They also featured a older gentleman playing tunes on the piano. They were oldies such as Georgia that I recognized. I appreciated the guy's playing. Like me on the fiddle, he may have come late to the piano, but he did a fine job.

As I was saying, we sat on the porch in the cool of the evening sipping and munching, and a young bagpiper that we had previously met outside of another shop began playing. Below is a photo and a little YouTube clip. Particularly in the video, you can see smoke coming from the outdoor fireplace on the front lawn.

Cuppa enjoyed the day in general but particularly this part, the sitting, the sipping, the munching, the playing, and the talking to the bagpiper who hailed from a little hamlet south of Burnstown. Below, Cuppa sits on the porch, and below that is a picture of some of the porch decorations — snowshoes.

While I'm at it, here's another photo of Cuppa entering the same shop and one below that taken from behind the store.

Finally, here's another clip of the same bagpiper. This was our first sighting, in front of another shop. Gotta love how Cuppa marches in to the music.

It was a good day.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Perception and Reality

Decades ago, my young family and I were on a little holiday in upper New York State with my parents. I'm not sure why or exactly where, but we found ourselves in a mall.

I think we were contemplating life over ice cream cones when I saw a man holding hands with a teenage girl. I thought how nice it was to see a father and a daughter of that age holding hands. Within a second or so, I was shocked to hear my mother exclaim her disgust at the very same sight. Her interpretation: a dirty middle-aged man was involved with a pretty young thing.

We had both seen the same thing but, without thinking deeply, leapt to radically different conclusions. I rather suspect that I was right, but admit that there's a small chance that she was. There was no use discussing it with her though because her mind was made up. Actually, I was too flabbergasted to pursue it with her at all — then or ever.

We tend to blame people such as my mother who see the world negatively, but I suppose that in a very real sense they can't help it. I also suppose, however, that some negatively-inclined folk might become disposed to work on how they perceive the world. I do believe that, with therapy or even personal recognition of their propensity towards negativism, there are those who would choose make an effort to alter their perceptions. Such possibilities would have been beyond my mother, but I remain optimistic that some can and do change.

Nevertheless, I think it's also true that we all have natural dispositions, and while some of us tend to view the world through rose-coloured glasses, others see it as a threatening place. And I don't know why that is. Is it simply nurture? Is it upbringing that changes people? But don't we find that siblings from the same family may view the world differently? I know that even siblings closely related in years are not brought up exactly the same way, but surely it can't be all that different either. Or can it?

Nature and nurture. Who can figure it out?

Meanwhile, I think I'll continue to enjoy my somewhat more positive way of looking at the world. I may not exactly be wearing rose-coloured glasses, but at least I tend toward the positive. I think that's good because they say that perception is reality after all.

With a nod to Pearl of Humanyms. This memory and these futile musings were triggered by her account of her and her mother reacting very differently to a situation.