Saturday, August 31, 2013

Some startling news

I just received a message from a  poetry group I belong to.  One of our members, John O'Connor was hit by a car while riding his bike and was killed.

He was such a good person.  We worked together for four and a half years as Senior Peer Councillors for the Catholic Family Services.  That is first when I met him and then I met him again at Tower Poetry a couple of years ago.

It just shows that we must cherish people and the time we have together as we never know what is around the corner and when this life ends for any of us.

Rest in peace John.  My sincere condolences to his wife and family.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Time spent with a student and her little family at Pier 8

The youngest child was quite excited to see the boats and the water while the second youngest child was enchanted with the telescope. The second oldest son came and he was a very nice young person whose company I enjoyed.

I really liked how he looked after his little sisters.

We walked around Pier 8 and then we took the children to see the wooden fish on the wall further down which they seemed to get a real kick out of.

We even ventured further than that and saw the Haida ship and other big boats.  One of my student's friends, a young mother and her son, came to join us and she knew the area as she lives around there. It was also very pleasant to meet her.

It was a delight to see the two little people consulting with each other and playing together.  I was a little nervous on the side where the fence is not very high at the water but thankfully there were no mishaps and the little ones were fine.

All in all, a very pleasant time spent.

The waterfront bus will be stopping Monday night so hope to get down there a few more times.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My new job as ESL Tutor

I went to the library for 1 p.m. on Monday to have my orientation and sign papers.  I liked both the Volunteer Coordinator Cadi and the LINC Coordinator, Lorraine.

At 2 pm. my student arrived and we got to know each other a little bit.  We got along well though and I think we can work together.

At 4 p.m. I took her down to show her where the Arabic books are kept and also took her to the children's section of the library as she has four children.  She was so delighted to know all these things.

She is an educated person, soft spoken and well mannered.

I suggested that she and her children meet me one day and we will go down to the waterfront.  They have never been there. I am sure the children will love it.

The time just sped along so fast and I think she felt the same way as she was all smiles.

Her English is at a fairly high level and she also speaks French and Arabic from her own country.

I am looking forward to a long relationship with her and her children, God Willing.

Thanks for dropping by.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A lovely evening

Sami invited the three of us for supper at his place.  He had prepared an enormous amount of food and was a gracious host.

Mohammad,Cyndie and I enjoyed every morsel of it and we spent the rest of the time conversing on various subjects which was nice.

Sami's English is more than I thought he has so that is great but he still would benefit from further lessons.

Sami and Cyndie walked me home after 11 p.m. It was a late night for me, but most enjoyable.

His cooking is delicious and I enjoyed everything which he served.  Not too spicy for me, which I was a little nervous about.

On another note, from the night before, we all were at Pier 8 and I took some pictures at twilight.

Soon Pier 8 will not be accessible unless you drive.  The little free bus stops labour day weekend so I shall miss going there very much.

Thankfully there is still Princess Point.  I would love to go to Bayfront Park but the walk up the hill to the Number 4 bus is a little too much for me in the warm weather.  Perhaps in the fall I will go.

Thanks for dropping by.

Strombo | 96-Year-Old Writes Heartwarming/Heartbreaking Love Song For His Lost Love

Strombo | 96-Year-Old Writes Heartwarming/Heartbreaking Love Song For His Lost Love

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A beautiful and meaningful service of celebration

On August 20th, the celebration of life for Mrs. Margareta Weingartner, took place.  I did not say funeral as it truly was a celebration of her life.

Mrs. Weingartner was born in 1911 which made her 102 years old when she passed into the next stage of life.

She was born in Southern Hungary on the 4th of January, 1911, the fourth child of Christina and Johann Kiltz.  She married Philipp Weingartner, a Pastor of the Lutheran Church in 1932.

In World War 11, they became refugees along with their four children.  They were driven from their home and all that they knew.  They fled to Austria where they remained for nine years.  In 1953, they boarded a ship to reach their new home in Canada.

She and her whole family, had to adapt to a very different lifestyle with a new language and culture.

Pastor and Frau Pastor Weingartner, watched their family grow to ten grand-children and 17 great-grandchildren.  Pastor passed away in 1992 and their third child, Arthur died in 2010.

These are the bare bones facts.  They show a life with upheavals, trauma and new beginnings and yet it was her faith in God and her quiet strength which came through loud and clear when one had the pleasure of knowing her.  I myself have only known her for ten years but counted her as a friend.

Mrs. Weingartner's life was in the church where she served as organist, choir director, Sunday School teacher, superintendent, youth educator, women's group leader and much more.

Another of the milestones in her life was when her book, "Milestones of my Life" was  published in 2006 when she was age 95.  I shall be doing a book review of her book in the near future and will post it on my Writing and Publishing Blog as well as this blog.

Pastors Doug Schweyer and Thomas Arth  officiated at this life celebration and as usual, the wonderful talent of Volkmar Hindrichs shone through as he played the meaningful hymns for the congregation to sing.  The church was packed.  Many of the people went to the cemetery for the burial ceremony but others stayed behind in the church hall.  An amazing spread of delicious food was served when everybody returned.

May God give comfort to the family members and friends of Mrs. Weingartner.

Well done, faithful soul!  An example to all of us who knew her.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sorry for my silence

Spanish Music

This band was my favourite - South American music

PACHI - isn't he adoreable?
PACHI - His quills, 41 of them to be exact, represent the nations who will be performing at the 2015 game in Toronto.
Salsa dancing lessons to Cuban music

Notice his brightly colour quills.
I came back from visiting some friends in another city most unwell.   It came on in the afternoon shortly after Mohammad and I arrived.  Andrew picked us up at the Go Bus station and drove us back to their place.

By the time I got home, I was having trouble breathing and it was all I could do to walk from the Go Station here in Hamilton to home. In any event, I was unwell and unable to do much for more than a week after that.

Thankfully I am back to normal again and on Sunday I met Rosie down at Pier 8.  Mohammad and Sami planned to meet us down there too.  It was Streetwise and there were some wonderful bands playing.  The Pan Am games is coming to Toronto in a couple more years and it was advertising it.

Rosie and I managed to find each other but we could not find the fellows so we spent the afternoon together going around to the different bands and listening to them.  She went home about 5:30 I think and I decided to stay down there and listen to the bands when they started again at 6:30.  In the meantime, I walked around Pier 8 and found the fellows.

It seems that they took the 2:30 bus and looked for us but with the crowd did not find us.  We spent the rest of the evening together, enjoying the bands and chatting with each other. Some Sudanese gentleman also joined us on the patio to watch the salsa dancing.  One was a very polite young fellow whose English was perfect so I suspect he was born here.

Sami had brought some food to share with us and I had brought herbal tea so we had a mini picnic for supper.  Sami is extremely generous with sharing what he has.  Mohammad also but he takes people to Williams Coffee pub instead of carrying food with him.

It was very enjoyable down there, the weather was not too hot and I shall miss being able to go to Pier 8 until next summer as the free bus stops after the labour day weekend which is early in September. It is more difficult to get there as the No. 4 is way up above the Pier and a little hilly so am not sure that I could get back up the hill without problems.

It was interesting to see all the out of town visitors, mostly from Toronto.  Some of the performers fished off the pier on their break time and seemed to be having a whale of a time.  Most of them spoke Spanish.  I also saw a van from the St. Clair Seniors Center and a group of older people sitting together. It was so nice to see a lot of people from Toronto!

Hamilton is so undervalued by people from outside and I hope that their visit here was enjoyable and they will come back and see more of the city and the surrounding area.

Needless to say, I took some pictures.

Spanish Music

Brazilian music

West Indian music

There was a big tour bus from somewhere down there as well.

All in all, a most enjoyable time spent with good friends down at the Pier.

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pier 8 with two friends

These fresh and breezy days have been perfect as far as the weather is concerned and I have taken full advantage of them, neglecting duties at home up to a point and just enjoying the long holiday weekend.

It all started on Friday night just after I got in from the mall.  My friend Mohammad called me and asked me to join him at Pier 8.  I don't mind last minute invitations when they are from good friends so I hopped on the free bus and went down there.  He was with his friend Sami and we all had a lovely time chatting.  They both speak Arabic as well as English.

One is from Egypt and the other is from Syria.

We spent most of the time at Williams Coffee Pub as Mohammad was not well.

Saturday, I went myself down to Pier 8 to read and met some friends down there, one of which is from St. Paul's.  It seems that Mohammad left a message on my cell phone telling me that he and Sami were coming down which apparently they did but we missed each other.  I took the 6:30 bus home.

The next day, we all went down together!  It was very enjoyable and I have found a favourite spot where it is not so crowded.

A view from the less populated side

School children's art

Sami and Mohammad 

It was my first time of meeting Mohammad's friend Sami on Friday night and I thought he was a nice gentleman.

Disability will not get us down!

Mohammad (standing) Sami
Sami was very generous and went and got the three of us cake at Williams Coffee Pub which was absolutely delicious!

New friends

He must have been wanting to say something when Mohammad snapped this

Roller skating rink at Pier 8

Same place

It was wonderful to watch the roller skating.  There were some marvellous skaters there!  There was older people as well as young children skating to music.  As a child, I had roller skates and enjoyed skating very much.  I took some notes to write a poem about the skating so we will see how that works out.

A serene pictures at dusk 

On the way back to catch the bus home

Some of the many yachts at Pier 8
It was a lovely way to pass a good time - enjoying people watching, writing, eating and chatting.

What more could anybody want?

Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

To catch up

I haven't written anything on the blog for a while.  My excuse?  I have been too busy stuck with my nose in a book, reading to my heart's content.

Sometimes at our local waterfront, sometimes in my own living room.  Reading is such a blessing to me and especially large print books from our local library.

I get "lost" in a book.  I am so grateful for Mrs.Stewart, my Grade 4 teacher in Lachine.  It was she who introduced me to the joys of reading.  For some reason, I just could not get into the regular class reading material and found it very boring and thus shut down my mind and did not learn or appreciate reading.  It was Mrs. Stewart who saw a need for a few of us to have a reading club after school and it was she who introduced us to the  Bobsy Twins book series.  I really got into them as it was a real story with characters I could relate to.  I thrived in this atmosphere and to this day, I remain a committed book worm!

Mrs. Stewart must be long gone from this sphere of existence, as in my young eyes, she was already old when she formed the club.  As an older person now myself, I imagine that she was quite young still but I don't know.   I wish I could thank her for opening up the world of reading for me.  Teachers have such an opportunity to open up new worlds for their students and to get them intrigued about learning.

Not to say all I have been doing is reading.  I also have been cleaning, shopping, dusting, going out with friends, chatting on the phone and Skype and watching t.v. programmes.

I have no idea how the time passes so quickly but it sure does.

Last night I got an unexpected phone call from my friend Mohammad who invited me down to Pier 8 to be with his friend Sami and him.  I happened to be free but got a few phone calls in between and this delayed me from taking the bus down there.  The sky was threatening when I left and opened up just as we three were leaving on the bus to go home.  We took the 8:30 bus home as the last one is at 9 p.m. and it might be too crowded for a walker and a wheelchair.

Sami is very nice and I enjoyed meeting him.  I think I will ask Mohammad to include him in more of our activities.  He has an electric wheelchair and gets around very well because of it.

While I was waiting for the bus to take me down to Pier 8, there were several layabouts who were drinking out of paper bags, one of which was an elderly woman.  I felt very uneasy as they were getting more and more drunk as the time went on.  I had to wait for half an hour before the next bus came as I had just missed one.

When we returned, the woman was sleeping on the pavement and the men were not much better. I felt so sad to see this.

The drinking of alcohol can do so much harm to humans.  Some people cannot stop at just one glass but drink till they are senseless.

Thanks for dropping by.