Sunday, October 6, 2013


I had a birthday yesterday.

Notice that I never said celebrated!

I was really dreading my birthday this year. It was not a milestone birthday but it was a similar feeling. Uncharted territory, getting old. Nothing positive about growing another year older. You know that anxiety that floods your body, weighs down your shoulders mixed with a shot of adrenaline - it is flight or fight.

Everyday that you wake-up is a good day says Pop, who is 94, sharp as a tack and healthy. "I am over-expired, so every day is a bonus" he tells me. Getting old is for the birds says the guy who spends most of the week at funeral homes and mass.

We went to Chapters for a mug of tea. He is not pleased with not being able to get his weekend  'Globe & Mail".  His mobility has declined since he voluntarily gave up his drivers license two years ago. Time has slowed down for him. The daily draught of the Telegram and the Globe and Mail filled the day with reading and crosswords puzzles.

By sheer chance Bill Rowe was there for a book signing.  He and Pop sat in the Smallwood cabinet together - "not the Kitchen Cabinet" he reminds Bill. They went on talking about sitting next to each other in the Cabinet Meetings. It was a really incredible to listen to the pair of them recollect about a fascinating time in our post-confederation history.

Another interesting story was how they were herded up to a meeting with Smallwood who wanted to give his unelected cabinet ministers some advice for the campaign trail. He gave them each a copy of his  "Liberal Manifesto". Here, he declared are all of the answers! It must have been some book.

The search for a Saturday Globe & Mail continued without success.

I gave Pop an iPad with a subscription to the Globe. He has mastered the stokes and the menus to find his favorite columnists, but there are no crosswords. He has also grasped Netflix and how to use the tablet for sending and receiving e-mail. I found the New York Times crossword which is digital.

It is not the paper but he has his news and his crosswords.

Not bad for 94.

I certainly don't know why my birthday made me so grumpy.

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