Thursday, 8 June 2017

Heaven Sent Friends

You really learn who and what a true friend is when you cannot return a favor for their kindness and they could careless.  When you have a friend like this you realize living without them in your life would be like not having breath in your body.  They become as valuable as the beating of your heart.   Because people who become friends don't always become that kind of a friend.  It's extraordinary when it happens...its glorious...and its heaven sent.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Lilypads and Me

Lilypads and Me 
Shopping in Homesense yesterday I spotted a plastic Lilypad for a pool.  I knew one thing for sure I wouldn't be purchasing it because this  Lilypad was not built for the pools in the Northeast due to the ever changing dramatic weather, much like myself when I first moved here to Ontario Canada in 1989. Being born and raised in Los Angeles anything north of Route 66 was not my idea of good weather!
I knew very well something that those who had not survived a Northeast winter knew about this Lilypad. It was created for La La Land pools.  Pools where it can float and glide effortlessly and look lovely doing it.  Shortly after moving to the Midwest for a year and then finally to the Northeast I was naive concerning the weather in the northeast so I actually purchase the doomed 'candlelit Lilypads' for a backyard bbq to celebrate one of my kids 

  I was under the impression, or delusion, that they would all float in a separate free floating parade of glowing lights.  Wrong.  The Lilypads quickly gathered forces and huddled in one corner of the pool stairs seeking shelter from the tornado like winds and waited to be rescued and sent back to Palm Springs! I realize now that that was a lot like me when I first moved from California and endured my first winter in Canada.  I was under the impression that the pretty fluffy white snow would float and then melt once it hit the ground from January to late March and I would keep my toeless boots for those 'nice mild winter nights'.  I never pictured myself having to purchase Sorels replacing my red sole pumps. It was after that first winter that lasted from November until June I understood 'real weather'.  Like that Lilypad I now ran into the first safe corner I could find covering my head with a hooded down fur lined winter coat and didn't want to come out until the iceberg around me called 'the great white north winter' melted...or...I got rescued and sent back to California! It's not all bad news or negative for a California girl who moved to Canada.  I have adjusted to life outside the over crowded freeways, perfect, mild and season less weather. I  appreciate the awaiting parking spot at Costco and my hearing has improved due to the lack of 'honking'.  When I dream of planning an outdoor garden party in June I quickly change it to an 'indoor' party because it still might snow! 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

I was bullied and lived to be a strong survivor

I walked into grade 7 in Westchester California actually where I had gone to kindergarten, but, was not after 11 years, the new kid.  No one remembered me, Gee, I wonder why? So I walk into St Jeromes grammar school and the girls pointed at me and said ' only whores where black and red on friday'!....I thought to myself what is a whore? Then cried all the way to the bathroom.  I got no sympathy because I didnt tell anyone.  No one posted it on Facebook, or tweeted it. I simply went to my class and carried on.  
I was born in 1954.  My father was a lt colonel in the Air Force therefore we moved a lot.  I went to 6 or 7 grade schools by the time I was in 7th grade.  My family would move in and I would become the 'new kid' AGAIN after just making friends the year before in another country.  I didnt always feel bullied(in those days it was called ...nothing )when kids would whisper about my clothes or my family or my mothers funny accent I simply walked home and told my mom and we sat around the dinner table , talked things out and then we went outside to play until it got dark and forgot all about our problems and on Sunday we went to church together where my dad sang in the choir then after we would always have a singalong and a polka dance in the living room.  Dad played the accordion along with my big sis Connie and of course I sang with the Mitch miller songbook.
When I had kids my family would put on little dance and song routines for our fun backyard pool days, songs like  Lollipop and Stand By Me.  No one had to find 'Clean Lyrics' there was no such thing.   No one had to be told to get off their phones or stop staring at their IPad.  
What is my point ?  I am not sure if i even have a point other than sharing what it used to be like for those of you who have forgotten and what it was like for those of you too young to know. I believe it isn't bullying that is the main problem in our world or North American society today it is perhaps the excess of EVERYTHING...the too much quantity and too little quality of time spent together ... small children spending time in institutions when they are too young and should be at home in the comfort of their beds.... the innocence of youth is being eroded by the world imposing itself too early into the home. Who controls what the child sees and does?  Back in my day my parents were my approval and Like button.  The catholic nuns, teachers,  my piano instructor, my principal gave me guidance. I got approval from friends and family not some Musically app or a Funny Face snapchat app where I constantly looked at myself...what IS going on anyway with this new world of ours? Bullying has been going on forever maybe we need to look at why.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

The War Bride...My Mother, Renee C

There once was a girl named Renee Constance Wilkinson who lived in Derby, England. She was born February 17, 1923.  She played out in the streets during WWII with her sister Maysie until their father Harry, the Bomb Shelter warden, rang the siren for them and the rest of the neighbourhood to seek protection during the nazi bombings. Other than WWII  life was normal. Renee was working at Rolls Royce factory in england where her brother was a manager, she was on the munitions assembling line for the RAF until the war was over and RR would go back to assembling luxury cars again. One day at work, in sauntered a handsome american officer to inspect the plant for the Allied troops.  She says she spotted him and later in the afternoon as she walked back from lunch they locked eyes from across the street. Renee and her American soldier would chat as they sat on the border fence separating civilians from the military base.  He had his feet dangling on his side and she on hers trying not to get caught outside of his jurisdiction.  Renee was a modern woman before her time as a lot of the greatest generation were. When anyone would cast curiosity towards 'gays' or transsexuals mum would simply say that she worked with lots of 'puffs' as a seamstress and in factories, and they're just different thats all...nothing else.  She married the love of her life and then waved goodbye to her mother and father as 'Sentimental Journey' played and sailed to NYC harbour on the famous Queen Mary from Southampton where all the famous ocean luxury liners were made. She was proud to have seen her being built on a school trip in england as a child.  After she arrived in NYC harbour she had her photo taken by the NYTimes as one of the only war brides to have a destination of Hollywood, California. We loved to hear her first thoughts of Los Angeles Union Station upon arrival in 1946 in january stepping off the train with sunlight so bright she thought she had landed on the surface of the sun itself ....and the smell...that smell of blossoms in the air in January. She said to herself right then and there California is the place she would stay.  'Air Force wife' was her next title and mother of 4 children, one of them being myself traveling the globe until 1966.  'The Accident' happened in 1969, September 7th to be exact when her husband was killed in a car accident.  Widowed with 4 children she championed on with her usual nerves of steel. The only signs of weakness were in the wee hours of the morning we could hear her cry in her locked bedroom. Years went by and all of us kids grew up, moved out, had children and she continued to live a full and happy life without a lot of material wealth or savings to her name, she still did not complain, but, instead would tell us to remember how blessed we were to have food on our table and to live in glorious California.  She felt loved on all sides with lots of grandchildren and great grandchildren and she kept hold of a ferocious spirit for adventure!
As her daughter I could never name one gift she gave me or the best talent I inherited from her, but, one trait I will remember is her 'look'...the one i received when I acted up in church or came home from high school with an F in Home Ec class shamefully hiding a dress with 3 sleeves behind my back. Mum was a seamstress in Beverly Hills by trade in 1947, 1948, so I must've been a disappointed! But, then there was the 'look' i got after i nailed the lead role in the musical 'Oliver' at 17 years old in high school made all things right.
Some mothers would not allow their kids to 'make a mess' at Christmas cookie making time, but, we felt the dough in our hands as she showed us how to roll it out and squish it together through our fingers.  She said that the mess would be easily cleaned up and the memories made were more than worth it!
When i gave birth all 4 times she would always be there at some point stroking my hair and giving me a sixth sense that all would be right with the world again.
She was not a babysitter who came and went constantly but rather a source of strength and assistance when i needed it the most. She wanted to be a grandmother they would remember fondly, not take for granted. She was an anchor when i lost my way and needed to stop and feel the earth under my feet, not in the spoken word, but in her presence.  Just being there was enough to ground me.
On her birthday today, February 17, Renee (with an accent over the double 'E')Constance Wilkinson Horvat, would've been 94 years old.  I instinctively reflect back on so many things.
Thank you mom for never leaving a place without planting some seeds of wisdom, sharing apples of gold with your old stories and simply filling all of us up with your fun vivacious spirit.
With each new breath I am forever grateful for the forward march towards the future you instilled in me to not look back but rather to face forward.
That little girl, Renee, huddled in the corner of her bombed out house as the enemy surrounded her on all sides, who then stood up to take on the world with no fear goes before me and with me along with my children and generations to come.
I miss you mom so much now and forever....yvonne

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Women who are perfect only need apply

If you want women to succeed then you must support and protect the rights of ALL women not those ONLY you agree with.   True tolerance is having a cause to support and fight for and MARCH for to enhance the journey and goal of said group.  Such as WOMENS rights.  Dont be a hypocrite and only support those who are Democrats/Republicans/Independents/Catholics/Atheists/Protestants.....who are you supporting and why?  Women need to Free the Slaves of Sex Slavery, Abuse of any kind from men or women or governments.  
There is a travesty that has occurred in 2017 and that is the bullying and belittling women on TV such as Saturday Night Live and other comedy shows, who have become a Voice for women's rights and women's freedom here in North America and the World.  Stand up for ALL women not just your political agenda denomination.