Adventures with the ’58 Ford

Picnic time with the ’58 Ford. Margaret, Richard and Grandma Hanna watching Mom cook lunch.

In the spring of 1958, Dad traded in the ‘53 Ford and bought a brand new Ford car. It was cream and green. It had the newest mod-cons: an automatic transmission (for the first few days, Dad kept stomping on the non-existent clutch) and signal lights – no more sticking his arm out the window to signal.

The day he brought it home, he loaded my brother and me into the car and we drove through Meyronne, giving rides to everyone. “Look, it shifts automatically!” or “Look, I can signal a turn!” he exclaimed to everyone.

There was only one problem – the car was a lemon. We soon invented a game – “Name That Noise!” – we played every time we drove somewhere. That car spent as much time in the repair shop as it did in our garage. Continue reading “Adventures with the ’58 Ford”

RV (Mis)Adventures

One of the joys of RVing is that, no matter where you are, you are home. Same bed, same dishes, same stuff. Only the scenery and the neighbours (and neighbourhood) change.

BUT . . .

The TV and magazine commercials that extol the joy and euphoria of RVing don’t tell you about what can go wrong. To wit: our two misadventures this winter. Continue reading “RV (Mis)Adventures”

Happiness is . . .

A friend once defined happiness as the “absence of unhappiness.” How sad, I thought, to define happiness as the absence, rather than the presence, of something.

Another negative definition: I don’t think happiness is that crazy dance you see on television commercials when someone buys a new car or discovers they get free shipping with whatever they bought on-line. That’s some kind of adrenaline-fueled moment that is a fleeting as it is intense, and, once it’s gone, leaves you feeling drained and empty.

The question remains: what is “happiness?” Is it like art – you know it when you feel it? Maybe.

Here is my attempt to understand it.

Happiness entails contentment, which is not the same as complacency. Complacency is a “Yah, whatever” mentality. Contentment is more of an acceptance of who and what you are. Of being able to live with your strengths and your weaknesses. And because of that acceptance – because of your strengths and in spite of your weaknesses – you go out and do the best you can, perhaps even better than you thought you could. Perhaps even discover that there is strength in your weakness, as contradictory as that may sound.

Happiness entails hope. Hope is what keeps us going from day to day. It gives us the courage and strength to keep on trying and striving. It is a realistic hope; you know utopia will never be achieved but, by trying once more, you hope that you can help to make the world a slightly better place for one person, for one place, for one community.

Happiness is outward-looking. It’s that feeling you get when you put a smile on someone else’s face; when you provide a shoulder for someone to cry on; when you lend an ear so a person’s sorrow or frustration; when you “pay forward” a favour. It’s when you empathize with someone else’s situation. When you’ve helped someone through a difficult time. When you rejoice with them about their own happiness.

Happiness entails connection with community, however you define that, be it family, friends or an organization. Ask any volunteer. When you are part of something bigger than yourself, you realize you are not alone, come what may. You are there for other people, and other people are there for you. Because of that, you can face anything.

Now, it’s your turn. How do you define happiness?

#Happiness #Hope #Connection #Contentment #Empathy #MargaretGHanna #Contemplation

No TV graced our home . . .

No TV graced our home when I was young,
‘Twas radio that took me everywhere.
I rode with Tonto and the masked Lone Ranger
To catch outlaws and rescue maidens fair.
I tromped through jungles, dark and dangerous,
To find lost mines of old King Solomon.
I sat in Howdy Doody’s Peanut Gallery
and roared in laughter at clown Flub-A-Dub.
I hunkered down in vault-like fallout shelters
While nuclear missiles whistled overhead.
And Foster Hewitt took me to the Forum
and painted scenes of hockey in my head.

Who needs TV with good old radio?
No telling where a youngster’s mind will go.

(What memories do you have of listening to radio programs? Leave me a note below)

#Poem #Sonnet #Radio #MargaretGHanna #ChildhoodMemories