West Island Blog

West Island Blog

The following articles have been published in the West Island Blog at www.westislandblog.com 
My column is titled:   Keeping it Real

Where has the romance gone?

Where has the romance gone?

On the weekends, he would drive to Montreal in his Golden Eagle Tra‎ns Am. When he didn’t come to Montreal, he would call me on the phone. If he couldn’t call me, he would write me a letter. Not just any ordinary letter, a love letter. I still have them. In one of his letters he wrote that he envisioned us “In a gold carriage being pulled by white horses into a sky destined for love”. I blushed from that line. It has stayed with me for over (gulp!) 35 years. That was romantic writing.

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Published on January 23, 2017
Published on February 29, 2016
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Published on January 11, 2016
Published on August 15, 2014

Mean What You Say

Mean What You Say

Suddenly, I heard the loud horn sound which announced the start of the relay race. I got so excited to receive the baton, but it was going to take quite a while until it got to me. It had to pass through around 100 hands. I waited with the Green team’s fastest girl. I didn’t talk to her even though she was my bunkmate. I knew I was going to beat her. I was thinking of all the things I was going to say to her when I ran passed her. I was reciting these lines in my head, “See ya later baby! Bye Bye Birdie! Catch ya later! Smell my wind! Eat my dust!”

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Published on December 16, 2019
Published on February 25, 2018

Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

All the time, I had the classic picture of Lake Louise in my mind. The perfect blue sky with matching water along a still mirrored lake, cloudless, with endless skies. This calendar picture was a perfect still. And…no other people were within the view. As we drove into the mountain range, dark clouds billowed with moisture and so began our battle with nature.
Note to self: Weather in mountainous areas changes every 5 minutes! During the fall, it can be warm and sunny, and within 5 minutes it can be snowing and blowing. We didn’t expect what was next!

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Published on December 2, 2019
Published on October 7, 2018

It’s a Crazy Ride

It’s a Crazy Ride

Most of my time is fleeting. I don’t know why this is so. It’s noon and suddenly it’s 4 p.m. The passage of those 4 hours doesn’t add up. It’s Monday and then without much notice, it’s Friday. The seasons roll like that and the years too. I’m very aware of this quick passage of time. Although, when I was younger, I felt the passage of time was much slower. Sitting in a classroom watching the clock hands finally reach 3:15 p.m., was endless. However, the run out of school into the park with my friends was fleeting. All that time was magical, up until my Mother’s call-in for dinner.

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Published on November 18, 2019
Published on September 23, 2018
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Published on November 4, 2019
Published on September 9, 2018
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Published on October 22, 2019
Published on August 27, 2018

I’m Old(er)

I’m Old(er)

I used to run for fun. Always, for tirelessly very long lengths of time. Up and down hills and on all types of terrain. In rain, wind, sun, heat, snow, it didn’t matter. Now, I’m particular about the terrain, temperature, and distance. Why? Because my knees ache from the surface or the climate or the distance. Again, because I’m older and I’ve been running for over 30 years. My knees don’t like running, but my head and heart love it.

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Published on October 10, 2019
Published on August 12, 2018
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Published on September 9, 2019
Published on August 3, 2018

Spaghetti and Some

Spaghetti and Some

I’m not sure if my family is the only one that does this. We name our best food dishes after the people who make or who have made them. Although we all make many different types of food, we only have a few specifically named. Noonie’s Spaghetti is a family classic. In my family, if a dish is made often, loved, and requested it gets named.Recently, my daughter went to Europe. Once there, she was proud to tell me that she made Noonie’s Spaghetti in France . This made me smile as this dish is now an international food!

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Published on September 10, 2019
Published on September 26, 2014
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Published on November 2, 2015

The Smile Project

The Smile Project

I ventured out to test my “Smile Project”. I got into my running gear and went for a run. My first subject was a mail carrier. As I ran by her I said, “Good Job Emilie!” and gave her a big thumbs up. She gave me a big smile and hollered, “Thanks, Sue!!!”

I continued along my run. While on a canopied tree-lined street I noticed an older woman, bent over, and trying to walk using a walker. It looked as though she was using the walker to help her cope with a recent injury. I slowed down a bit. As I approached her I said, “You’re doing a great job! Keep it going!” She raised her head, looked at me with the BIGGEST SMILE ever! By the way, she won biggest smile of that day!!!

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Published on August 26, 2019
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Published on August 12, 2019
Published on July 3, 2018

What’s Good For the Goose is Not Good Enough For the Gander

What’s Good For the Goose is Not Good Enough For the Gander

In Maine, USA public signs are permitted to be written in other languages as long as English appears. So to encourage Quebecers to visit to Ogunquit, the signs are in both English and French. How kind and considerate. The town of Ogunquit wants to encourage French speaking visitors to vacation in their town. Let’s welcome Quebecers to spend their Canadian money even when the US dollar is over $1.30!

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Published on August 11, 2019
Published on May 5, 2015

What is Real Beauty?

What is Real Beauty?

The air was cool at 4:30 a.m. We were told to pick the fruits which looked colour filled and unripe. We were told to only eat the fruits which were ripe, but not to eat too many. If we ate too many, our best friend would be the toilet!
Around 5:00-5:30 a.m., the sun began to rise. By 6:30 a.m. we were already hot. So were the fruits. My goal was to climb to the top of the apricot tree and pick the fruits which were hot on the sunny side and cool on the shaded side. I succeeded each morning – so yummy!

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Published on August 29, 2019
Published on May 20, 2018
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Published on July 15, 2019
Published on March 25, 2018

A Sense of Accomplishment

A Sense of Accomplishment

On the last night of my course, after the last student has left the classroom, I sit there for about 10 minutes alone.  It’s done.  Ten weeks of lectures, lessons, planning, correcting, assignments, research, etc.  It’s all done. The students have left the classroom.  At this time, I sit and reflect on what has taken place.  I breathe and allow my mind to wonder and contemplate. I hope my students received the learning they wanted.  I question myself, did I do the best I can do?   Now, it’s time to pack up the final materials from the semester, close the lights and leave the classroom.  Sue… Elvis has left the building.

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Published on June 17, 2019
Published on April 8, 2018

Happy Day!

Happy Day!

Today, families are not strictly Mother and Father created.  There are many families which have two Mother’s and/or two Fathers.  Some families may have one Mother or one Father.  Some families don’t have Fathers or Mothers.  Families can no longer be defined as simply a Mother and Father with children.  Our society is too far expanded as all families are unique, not gender based. How’s about your professional family, or your gym family, or your summer camp family, or your choir family, or simply your friend’s family? Mother’s Day and Father’s Day needs to expand with society and be more diverse!

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Published on June 3, 2019
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Published on May 21, 2019
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Published on May 7, 2019
Published on November 9, 2015