The Vacation Chronicles, Vol. 2

So, Sunday was our second tour of duty… umm, I mean, our second day of transit across the country to go visit my family in New Brunswick. I learned something interesting… Ontario is split in half, time zone-wise. Half the Province shares it’s time with the same zone as Manitoba and the other half shares the same time as Quebec,

The reason I bring this up and why it’s important, is because our smart phones didn’t seem to jump an hour ahead automatically when we crossed into Ontario. This struck me as odd and I adjusted the in-car clock accordingly. When we all crashed, I set my alarm for 4 am because I thought it would actually be 5 am in the area of Ontario we were in. I was wrong. So fucking wrong…

Fast forward to Sunday morning and I awoke a few moments before my alarm went off, as is my custom. My phone displayed 3:48 am, which I thought was actually 4:48 so I slipped into the washroom, brushed my teeth, got dressed and gathered my things. I was going to duck out to the convenience store to grab some energy drinks and coffees for my wife and mother-in-law.

The outside of our motel in the middle of the fucking night…

They woke up before I left so I explained what I would be doing and although they mumbled that it was the middle of the night, they agreed they would start getting ready and preparing for the day. Once I realized everything was still closed, I made my way back. Our motel was the kind of place that locks all the doors at night and key cards get you into nothing but your room. We had to make the difficult choice of getting on the road without caffeine. It would be well over two hours before we’d manage to grab coffee. No animals were harmed…

We made a few stops along the way, mostly focused on stretching our legs, getting fuel and letting the boys run around freely. One place was particularly charming, called a “Trading post” and had authentic antiquities strewn on the property and inside the store itself. We all took the opportunity to use the washrooms, especially since the washrooms were genuine, honest-to-goodness outhouses! Pictures are worth a thousand words, so please see the following photo…

The outhouses… For true!
The big rocks that the boys climbed near the outhouses.

The day dragged on tediously. Such is the way on the open road. Nathan was once again pretty good, keeping to himself and playing with his devices. Alexander was a little less understanding and would screech and cry to voice his displeasure. Some of it was caused by the sun in his face. All parties in the vehicle managed to sneak some naps while I drove. I have to admit that despite my caffeine intake and crooning to the music, my eyes started to droop and I was getting sleepy.

Eventually, we came to the area that lines Lake Superior and my wife had managed to grab some photos. She sent them all to me and I chose the one that showed the view as spectacularly as possible. Check it out…

Lake Superior

Once we managed to stop for another break and we were hammering hard towards our destination, everyone helped themselves to another nap and I over-caffeinated. Our end destination was Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Once we got there, we stopped at three different hotels and were told by all of them that they were completely booked. Apparently, there was some bullshit bike tournament in the city. I couldn’t believe that all of those hotels were completely booked. I’d never seen the likes of it.

Since we couldn’t book a room anywhere, we wound up deciding on supper instead and pushing onto Sudbury, which was about three hours away. We chose McDonald’s because it would allow the boys to burn off some steam in the play place as we ate. Unfortunately, there are several McDonald’s in Sault Ste. Marie, and not all of them have parks. We went to three of them before landing on the right one.

We enjoyed a meal and decided that we would keep our eyes open for a hotel, motel or motor inn along the way to Sudbury. We stopped at three further locations, all booked! What the fuck was this bike tournament all about, that it managed to book up every accommodation to an hour outside the city. Total bullshit. We ended up in a small area called Iron Bridge and found a motor inn that provided us with a couple of rooms. Here’s hoping for a good night’s rest before starting day three! ☯️

The Vacation Chronicles, Vol. 1

Alright, so this post represents our first day of transit across the country to go visit my parents in New Brunswick. Last Saturday, the entire household woke up early in order to pack the vehicle, have a quick bite and get on the road. It went exactly as how you would imagine it…

First and foremost, I made a pig of myself on stuffed-crust pizza, the night before. This means that I went to bed with a swollen, bloated stomach and yes, more so than usual. Shaddup! I barely got any sleep, which sounds about right considering I had to drive for ten to twelve hours the following morning. Nathan was up all night on his Nintendo Switch instead of sleeping, which meant he was a cranky piece of shit until he was in the vehicle and could go to sleep. Heaven forbid, he actually sleep while he was in bed…

Packing was the usual adventure that my household faces while travelling, which included the overpacking of a number of items, misunderstandings about where and what we would be using and how, and leaving the house 30 minutes later than originally scheduled. We made our way to a local gas station to check our tie pressure, only to discover it didn’t open for another half hour. Sprinkle on one item that we had to return home for, and you have yourself a Cook family vacation…

So long, Saskatchewan! Hello, Manitoba…

The first leg of our journey went as well as could be expected, with Nathan putt cold in the back seat with his grandmother and Alexander entertaining himself accordingly. We had snacks, fluids and the adults were getting caffeine into their systems. Despite a rocky start, it was working out to be a well-rounded first day. Once we crossed into Manitoba, we made a couple of stops for washroom breaks and further caffeine, as well as fuel. Nothing out of this world.

Unfortunately, as with all things in life, the peace couldn’t last. Alexander decided he had all he could take of being in a car seat and began screeching at the top of his lungs. We stopped at a gas station just outside of Winnipeg for about twenty minutes to allow him to stretch and run for a bit. I took the opportunity to once again fill the gas tank. Thank the light that gas prices have gone down a touch.

I didn’t stop to pose for this one…

By the time we crossed into Ontario, it became very clear that despite the dry, summer roads, we were significantly behind and wouldn’t reached our expected first stop until almost 11 pm, local time. This is a problem as the boys are usually in bed well before that time, despite the fact it would only be 9 pm, Saskatchewan time. We stopped at a McDonald’s in Dryden to have some supper, and it allowed the boys to blow off some steam in the play structure. We got on the road with intentions of making as much headway as we could.

We wound up travelling to a small town called Ignace, which is actually a French name. We booked a cheap room in a seedy motel that looks like something out of a bad 70’s horror movie. The night’s sleep was fitful and shitty, but at least we got to wake up early and do it all over again. It’s roughly 3,500 kilometres from our front door to my mother’s. With three days of travel plus the fourth day where we need to arrive and check in, we need to achieve a minimum of 1,000 kilometres a day in order to ensure we’ll stay ahead and arrive on time.

Life rarely cares about one’s plans. You’ve heard me say this, before. Know who else doesn’t care about one’s plans? KIDS! Kids don’t give a shit about one’s plans. My folks better enjoy their time with these two little monsters. I think I’ve aged ten year and it’s only the first day. The next couple of days should be interesting… ☯️

Zero Hour… The Vacation Chronicles.

Here we go. Day 1 of vacation. I haven’t been home in over two years. My parents have never met their second grandson, Alexander. They’ve never met my mother in law, Judy. Today is the first day that we work towards changing that. This morning, my family and I will be piling into the family vehicle and starting the 3-day trek across our wonderful country to make our way to New Brunswick. Some may call me crazy and say that we could have taken a flight and been there in one day. This is true. But then, we’d miss out on the adventure of seeing our country up close. Plus, I’d be a fool to try and deal with any of the fuckin’ airports, right now.

My posts over the next couple of weeks may be shorter than usual. In the interest of sharing the experience with all of you, I’ll be posting as we go along, showing you all the crossing of Provinces, the scenic views in all the fun places we plan to stop. But I WILL be on vacation… I’ll share, but it will be in small doses and on my own time. I have a fantastic USB keyboard and can write posts through my phone. It’l be fine, everyone just calm the fuck down… But seriously, this should be an epic trip for all of us. I look forward to seeing my family back home. And maybe if I’m lucky, a few friends, as well. ☯️

Boy Scouts Aren’t The Only Ones Who Are Always Prepared…

Today is this weird thing called a floating stat holiday. I’m not even sure WHY I have a day off but I ain’t going to refuse it. Today will be a bit of a long day. My family and I will be preparing, packing and prepping for a long drive as we travel across Canada to go visit my family. The amount of pre-planning and preparation is absolutely ridiculous. I need to calculate and estimate how many pieces of each item I need for the two-week absence from home I’ll be on. Not least of which is the fact that I have to maintain a small supply of fast-acting carbs for on the road.

Travelling with type-1 Diabetes comes with it’s own set of challenges. As much as I’d love to just jump in the car and go, I very rarely have that benefit. Ensuring I have insulin and the supplies I need is always the priority when I travel. the only happy caveat is that insulin is no longer a “prescription required” item and I can purchase some if I need to. But without the integral pump parts that I need to replace every three days, I’d be relegated to manual injections, which would send my blood sugars into chaos and prevent a pleasant vacation.

I’ve already got a separate bag, packed with all of my diabetic necessities. Now, I just have to worry about packing my work gear (I’m on vacation but I’m not “on vacation”) and a suitcase with the clothing I’ll need for my time away. Then, I get to set up the cargo box on my roof rack, fill the gas tank and ensure seating will be comfortable and accommodating for the entire family and we should be good to go for tomorrow. The open road is a favoured thing, for me. I look forward to it. But if y’all will excuse me, I need to get to it. My preparations won’t complete themselves. ☯️

Musical Chairs, But With Decades Instead Of Chairs…

One of my oldest and dearest friends proposed a game for our old high school gang to play, a few days ago… He challenged us to provide a list of ten songs from out high school years that we enjoyed. They didn’t have to be in order of importance or favour, but they had to have been released during our high school years. This was an interesting challenge, considering that in high school I was mostly a 70’s and 80’s kind of guy. But I met the challenge, and found ten songs I could provide. Then, the rest of the gang started providing their choices and it opened up my memories and tossed me back to 27 years ago…

Before I get to the lesson this game taught me, I think it would be interesting to provide y’all with the list i came up with. Without judging how old I am, bear in mind that all the songs listed below were released in 1996, which is when I graduated high school:

  1. Macarena – Los Del Rio
  2. Follow You Down – Gin Blossoms
  3. Name – Goo Goo Dolls
  4. The World I Know – Collective Soul
  5. Time – Hootie & The Blowfish
  6. Wonderwall – Oasis
  7. Santa Monica – Everclear
  8. Where It’s At – Beck
  9. That Thing You Do – The Wonders
  10. No Diggity – Blackstreet

The nice thing about this list is that it’s beautifully incomplete. there are so many other songs from my youth that I’ve gained an appreciation for and that I love listening to, even today. My friend Leon named Mr. Jones by Counting Crows, No Rain by Blind Melon, Let Her Cry by Hootie & The Blowfish and certainly not least… If I Had A Million Dollars by Barenaked Ladies. Just about everything by Green Day… So many great choices and so little time…

As with all things in life, there’s a lesson to be learned from this simple game. Much in the same way that I was listening to music from a decade or earlier when I was in the 90’s, I’ve only truly come to appreciate the music from the 90’s in recent years. The nostalgia adds a certain something to the whole equation. The thing of it is, I didn’t appreciate the music from my high school years WHILE I was in high school. It took a couple of decades before I truly started to enjoy the music. I have well over 3,000 songs on my iTunes and growing.

Music has a way of helping with everything. It can calm you when you’re worked up, motivate you when you exercise and soothe you while you meditate. When you add some memories into the bowl, it’s a sure recipe for happiness. In a chaotic world where happiness can be a fleeting thing, a little added boost can go a long, long way. And there’s also something in there about appreciating what you have when you have it. Maybe I could have appreciated some of that wonderful 90’s music, well… back in the 90’s! Instead, I get to enjoy it only through the lens of remembering my youth. Food for thought… ☯️

Don’t get Cross, You’ll End Up In Stitches…

Everyone has a specialty… a niche, if you will… Each of us has something that we’re good at, that others may not be quite as good at. or in my case, at ALL! I’ve been watching my wife doing cross-stitch recently and I was distinctly reminded that I don’t have the skill, patience or ability to do what she does. I mean, she takes a piece of cloth and uses needle and fine thread to turn it into a piece of art. I’d have set that thing on fire, fifty ways from Sunday by now! But I digress…

I took the liberty of looking up the history behind cross-stitching, and I came to realize that it’s been a practice for most ancient civilizations, dating back as far as 500 BC. Basically, for as long as there’s been cloth to work with, cross-stitching has been a thing. In ancient China, a woman’s worth was measured by her ability to stitch, especially since she had to stitch clothing and materials for the entire family. In medieval Europe, tapestries and embroideries were all the rage and involved the same stitching skills as modern cross-stitch.

My wife’s current project! Look at all that detail!

Cross-stitching as we know it today was introduced in the late 1890’s and is far more popular than many other mainstream hobbies. In fact, when I grew up, I remember my parents had a framed cross-stitched image of giant mushrooms, which was made using thick yarn. This is a different technique, despite the most popular method being the use of linen and fine threads. It takes an amazing amount of time, patience and precision and fucking up just one stitch can mess up the entire project. Like I said earlier… I’d have destroyed the whole thing with fire long before this point.

Art is still very much alive in the world, even though the average person doesn’t recognize it on a daily basis. I’ve been gifted with an affinity for the martial arts but I know some people that would injure themselves far worse than their opponent if they tried to train. I’m in this very boat with cross-stitching. I’ve never even been able to stitch my own crests or patches on my gis or sweaters. My hat’s off to my wife. If she ever believes that she has no patience, I just have to show her the photo above to prove that she does. ☯️

Tighten That Belt…

I was busy re-arranging my home office last weekend and happened to clear everything from on top of my barrack boxes. For those who may not know, barrack boxes are large, foot-locker style boxes used to store clothing and personal effects while going through basic training. In this context, I had the boxes issues to me while I was a cadet for six months at the RCMP Academy. I kept the boxes and they’ve served me well over the past decade and a half for storing certain belongings that either I don’t want damaged or can’t have out in the open.

Once I had cleared off the stuff I had sitting on top of the boxes. I decided to explore them and take a little walk down memory lane. I found photographs, weapons of varying sizes and types and most of all… I found my karate belts. All of them! Nathan walked over while I had them spread out and I could see he was confused by the display before. “Dad, why do you have so many karate belts?” Why indeed, son… Why indeed…?

All the belts to have adorned my waist since 1989

I could get into the whole history of belt ranks and how they came to be, but I want this to be a light-hearted, nostalgic post. I’ll keep it simple by saying that the coloured belt system was introduced in Japan by Master Jigoro Kano, founder of Judo. He noted that some systems used ranking systems and adopted the belt ranking system as his own, which has become the standard in Japanese martial arts and all over the world.

If we look at the photo above, it’s a bit deceiving in that I did not wear all of these belts consistently through the years. In fact, the third belt from the left is my original white belt (if you couldn’t guess from the yellowing). The very first white belt is one I got with a replacement gi. The second one is a belt I borrowed from Sensei when I was at the rank it shows and had forgotten my belt at home. He didn’t want it back so I held onto it.

Unlike other systems with multiple belt colours, you may notice that there are only four belt colours present. The average student begins with a white belt, of course. Over the first couple of years, they acquire a green stripe for reaching certain milestones. When they’ve reached a key point and are ready to test for green belt, they get a solid green bar as seen on the third belt. once they graduate to the rank of green belt, they‘ll train at this level for a couple of years, depending on the student. When they reach a certain skill level and are ready to test for brown belt, they get a solid brown bar as seen on the green belt above.

From there, a number of years will elapse with the students training consistently. Black stripes will be awarded based on skill, much as it was during the white belt rankings. After the third black stripe, the student will express their desire to test for black belt; there is no black bar. And of course, once the student passes black belt, rankings are no longer shown (depending on the style, some will show gold bars for individual dan rankings).

I get a kick out of how my brown belt has soaked up so much blood, sweat and tears that it’s faded to a colour almost matching the green belt. That’s both entertaining and gross. But there’s Uechi’s belt system in a nutshell. I’ve kept all of my belts because they show me the journey I’ve been on and where my martial arts road is leading. And they make neat souvenirs and conversation started with my son. ☯️

Fathers And Sons

A big part of my childhood involved going out and doing things with my father. Whether this meant running errands with him, doing activities outdoors or learning about computers, whenever I wasn’t at school or in karate, I was with my father. It made for an exciting and valued childhood. I’ve always said that when I had children, I would emulate this behaviour and do the same for my kids. I’m only now learning how difficult and “easier said than done” that this is to accomplish.

My hat’s off to my dad for making so much time and being there for as much as he was. As a kid, I couldn’t clearly grasp how my dad must have been fighting through fatigue from shift work to bring me swimming or how he likely preferred to sit on the couch relaxing on his day off, rather than spend the day peddling on a bike in the hot sun. But he did it all. It definitely makes me appreciate the effort he put in and makes me realize I could often put in more of an effort myself.

Excited anticipation upon arrival…

I had the opportunity to spend a wonderful day with my 7-year old son, Nathan. Our day involved a quiet morning for gaming and watching videos. Once we had lunch, we jumped into the car and headed to a movie theatre to watch Minions: The Rise of Gru. Nathan had recently mentioned liking minions and he’s watched some of the other Despicable Me movies, so I looked up the new one and found a 1:30 showing. We decided to head to the theatre early and partake of some of the games located in the lobby.

We played for almost 40 minutes, enjoying air hockey, shooting hoops and various first-person shooter games before grabbing typical movie snacks, which included popcorn, gummies and raspberry Coke Zero of all things, and finding our assigned seats in the theatre. The theatre was pretty quiet, with only one small group of four or five kids on the other side of the seating area. So we basically had the place to ourselves.

Seated and ready for a show!

Although the movie had its funny moments, the combination of arcade games and sugar made it difficult for Nathan to sit still for the hour and a half that it took for the movie to reach its conclusion. This is problematic, as Nathan becomes quite the handful. in this instances, he was climbing on the seats in front of him, shifting around and asking when it would be done. Even though we were enjoying the film, I could tell the wick on the stick of dynamite was slowly burning down and he would only stay in his seat for so long.

Once the movie was done, we took the opportunity to burn through our remaining game tokens and played some more games. Nathan was hellbent on burning through every token and appeared to enjoy THAT more than the movie itself. He particularly enjoyed the Jurassic Park shooter and spent most of his tokens there. It was fun, watching the joy in his eyes as he played and enjoyed himself in the arcade.

Gaming at its finest…

Admittedly, we were both hot and sweaty when we finally walked back out to the car. There was very little A/C in the gaming area and it was made all the worse by the fact that all the gaming machines were giving off their own respective heat. Although it was nearly 30 degrees outside, it felt cooler than it did inside. As you can see from the photos, Nathan and I were both wearing hooded sweatshirts but were quit to shed them once we left the building.

We travelled across the city and purchased a used life jacket for Nathan’s use while at a swimming pool. This immediately prompted Nathan to request a trip to the pool, which resulted in an argument over why we couldn’t go right away. We discussed potentially going swimming or hit the splash pad over the weekend, but he was insistent of a pool, which told me he only wanted to go because he just got a new life vest. But I digress.

Summertime homework

Once we got home and as we had previously agreed, Nathan got to work on some homework-style exercises that my wife has obtained for him in order to keep what’s he’s learned through the school year as fresh as possible. While he was doing his homework, I ordered pizza and wings for the whole family online. We received our food right around when he finished his exercises and everyone enjoyed a nice, take-out supper. Nathan and his brother particularly enjoyed the bread sticks.

It was a fantastic day and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy myself. Life gets pretty busy and hectic and making time to do these kind of things can be difficult. But twenty years from now, Nathan will have the benefit of looking back and recognizing that we had this time together, much in the same way I have fond memories of the things I’ve done with my father. These are the important moments that make life matter. Sometimes we get so caught up in the rat race that we forget to take time to stop and smell the flowers. Food for thought… ☯️

Rabbit Wars: The Return Of Fluffernut

As some of you may have read, we recently had an incident in our front yard where a large crow attacked and killed a rabbit kitten (once again, baby rabbits are called “kittens,” I looked it up). A second kitten ran and the mother bailed. I was still at work at the time, but I came home to find the second kitten wedged under the wheel of my recycling bin. I managed to coax the little guy out and despite the vast plethora of negative comments and feedback I received online when I sought advice, Nathan and I fed and kept the kitten until the end of the day where, on advice of actual professionals, I put him under the cover of the tree in our front yard to be retrieved by his mother. I named him Fluffernut and you can read the original post here.

Creepy, prolonged rabbit eye contact…

Maybe it’s just me or maybe I’m just believing what I want to believe. But last Thursday I was hanging out in the garage, enjoying a cigar and Nathan was a short distance away, playing on his Nintendo Switch. All of a sudden, he looks up and whispers, “Dad, there a rabbit there…” I stood slowly and looked over and sure enough, a small rabbit was sitting at the edge of my garage looking at us. We stepped closer and to our surprise, he hopped TOWARDS us. It may be a romantic notion, but given the small size and the look of the colour, I was pretty confident that this was Fluffernut, come back for a visit.

Some may comment that this could have ben any rabbit, and they would be right. Maybe it is just some random rabbit. Damn… Try saying THAT three times, fast… Random rabbit… Maybe it’s just my French tongue. But I digress… We put out some timothy hay pellets and watched in amazement as the rabbit followed Nathan around the yard as he placed a few small piles here and there. The rabbit partook of some and hopped around, staying close to us the whole time, before dashing off between the garage and the neighbour’s property.

Come at me, bro!

Was this the rabbit I rescued a short while ago? Maybe not. Does it matter? Absolutely not. To have a creature of nature willingly come into my yard, frolic and play with my son and I and add a bit of positive energy to our lives makes it so it doesn’t matter if it was the same rabbit or not. With everything happening in the world, a little positivity can go an extremely long way; especially in one’s home. Food for thought… ☯️

From The Least Likely Of Sources…

Being a homeowner is a difficult prospect and given the shape of the world’s economy, isn’t always in the best interest of the consumer when considering the responsibilities and costs associated with home ownership. In fact, given rising home costs, people are beginning to look more and more towards rentals or alternative forms of residency.

For me, home ownership was never an option. I was raised and spent my childhood in apartment buildings of varying sizes, shapes and locations. My parents owned a home when I was born but came to realize that their mortgage payments cost more than a monthly rental fee. ounce you tack on residential taxes, utilities and the cost of repairs and upkeep, it’s pretty easy to see how my folks decided it wasn’t worth their efforts to retain ownership of an actual house.

That’s why, for the majority of my adult life, I never considered the purchase of a house and have always rented. It’s what I grew up knowing. But at some point, the scales tipped to where a mortgage payment was lower than a rental fee to the extent that I jumped on buying a house (and because I had no choice, given my current posting). I was taken aback and shocked at the amount of work and upkeep involved. It isn’t like I didn’t KNOW, per se… But once I was knee-deep in it, it hit home a bit harder (pun fully intended).

Here in Regina, my wife and I are the proud owners of an average-sized bungalow. Recent years have seen us perform major repairs and renovations, as we are the house’s second owner since its construction. It sometimes feels as though there’s always something to fix, clean or repair and given the rigours of daily life, martial arts training and having children, time is short to perform such things. They often get pushed aside for long periods of time.

Anyway, we have a large fir tree in our front yard. It’s a beast of a thing and has caused non-stop issues, with the pine needles everywhere and the tree sapping all the moisture from the front lawn, causing the grass to go without and causing bald patches that won’t grow grass as a result. It’s also been a major pain in my ass, sometimes literally, when I’m trying to trim my hedge or do general yard work in the front yard as it dominates and takes up space.

For the past couple of years, I had been toying with the idea of having the tree trimmed or removed. With everything else going on, including the demolition and renovation of our basement and the re-tiling of our roof, the tree in the front yard took a back seat on the priority bus. But I this year, I realized that ignoring the massive fir has led to its branches growing beyond the hedge lining my property and by next year, branches would likely stretch onto the neighbour’s property.

This was the wake-up call I needed to get on it. Time to move the tree to the front of the priority bus. Although I could have clipped some of the lower branches, the size and breadth of the tree made it unlikely that I would be able to properly trim it without posing a hazard to myself. So I started shopping around for local businesses that would come trim the tree for me. I was somewhat surprised at the fact that I got same general response from almost all businesses I contacted…

The cost to properly trim the tree would be almost bad much as simply removing it. To be clear, this tree obstructs all view out of our picture windows and blocks most of the natural light. This is on top of the mess it causes in the front yard. I discussed it worth my wife and ultimately came to decision to have the tree removed. The company I hired was reasonably priced, fast and efficient and had the job done within an hour or two, while I was at work.

When I got home from work, I was pleased to see a clear, unobstructed front yard. I took a quick look and realized there would be significant clean-up required to remove all the pine needles, pine cones and debris that was under the skirt of the fir. Although i was quite pleased, my wife told me that my son Nathan questioned where the tree had gone, a question he posed to me later when I was sitting in the garage.

He asked me why I had the tree removed, to which I explained all the reasons, including the fact that the tree was hindering the proper growth of the grass and I wanted the grass to be healthier and the yard to be cleaner. He hit me with his thought that I killed one living thing in order to make room for another living thing and why hadn’t I left the tree because so many birds take refuge in it.

I was a bit taken aback and I honestly couldn’t refute his logic. It made a lot of sense. I, in my “infinite” wisdom, decided to cut down and destroy a living thing that housed and protected other living things, because it was inconvenient to deal with and because I wanted my grass a little greener. Not very Buddhist of me. What’s worse is that my 7-year old son had to explain this to me, rather than have me realize it myself.

It made me wonder about the concept of doing whatever to save a few bucks and opting for the easy road instead of the one that requires a bit of effort. And that’s where the title comes in… I pride myself on having a pretty enlightened view in most respects. But to have a young child illustrate such a simple and logical concept to me that i should have already realized was important and illustrates how we can gain insight and wisdom from the most unlikely and unexpected of places. Food for thought… ☯️