Sunday, May 24, 2020


When I was a kid, my summer days were spent by the lake and my evenings spent playing cards or board games by propane powered lights with my mom and extended family. All these years later, those memories are still very fond ones.

Naturally, when we purchased our own cottage back in 2000, a wooden game box for puzzles and everything else needed to keep preteens busy was one of the first things created. They would swim through the day and if it rained, the game box was immediately cracked open before the television was ever turned on.

As I type, I can hear that classic pop-o-matic sound of a game of Trouble clicking away, or squeals of an exciting game of snakes and ladder in need of a referee well underway.
Their favourite card game was crazy 8's and I feel like they played thousands of those with my Dad before he passed in 2005.

As I reflect in my 20th summer at our cottage, I can't help but notice how much things have changed.

The kids don't come by very often anymore and the majority of my time is spent alone, yet I still love playing cards and board games. The difference is now it's against downloaded robots or an online audience.
Playing Phase 10 while listening to the Blue Jays play.
Every once and a while I can convince my husband to play but it's not really his thing. In the summers since the kids left home, it has always been a negotiation to gain his interest in participating.

For instance, in summers past, though I absolutely hate baseball (which is another post) I would concede that we could listen to the game on the radio if he'd agree to play a board game or a couple of games of cards in return. With this summer season cancelled, I think I am going to have to become super creative.

With cottage life officially underway and no sports to use as bait, I'm thinking I may need to bust out a topless option with benefits for Canasta to get him interested in participating.

Either way, I'll deal with it. 

Get it?

That said, feel free to insert eye roll or head shake now.
A solid groan would also be totally appropriate!

Friday, May 15, 2020


This is US at Orillia Lake.
TAKEN: 2008

More than a decade ago, I worked for a big fat guy that was an absolute donkey. Because I don’t like to degrade without inserting context, he was also extremely militant and generally very rude.

I remember he use to constantly page me over the loud speaker. “Rhondi, can you come to my office?” Which was code for me - that he needed to be fed.

When I heard, “Rhondi, can you come to my office, please!” I knew I was going to get a good old fashion ass kicking, because something out of my control had pissed him off.  The latter happened far more than I care to share.

Why did I stay? Truth is, I loved the job. 

I loved the job, the industry, but most of all the other people on the team. I guess you could say that I absorbed his poor treatment of me right up until the specific moment when his poor treatment of me was the straw that broke this loyal camel’s back.

Which leads me to my point:

With everything that is happening surrounding COVID-19, I find myself having similar conversations with my children about how they were, and are being treated (or mistreated) since this pandemic hit.

As I’ve mentioned, my daughter has two front line jobs, one at the hospital and one at a grocery store. She isn’t sure she wants to continue with both once the province opens up. I don’t blame her. One employer values her, the other does not. 

As a mom, all I can do is listen and let her talk things through with a sense of optimism that she'll hear herself rationalize her concerns; which I hope will eventually help her understand what she truly wants to do. 

Pre-pandemic, both my boys were doing very well in the restaurant industry. One can’t work because of underlying health issues and the second took a front line job so he could continue to pay his bills. After a month, his new employer exceeded his previous wage in hopes he would stay in their employ long term.

I guess the big picture question is should they return to the status quo or should they look to transition? At this juncture, no one has a crystal ball to tell me what the future will bring, so I can’t really be of assistance, simply listen and support.

For me, I'm just keeping it real. I have firmly instilled in all three to always treat people the way you want to be treated, in hopes that energy is returned. But more importantly, they always need to stand unconditionally strong together and support one and other no matter what.

COVID-19 or not, I will circle back to the nasty boss I mentioned at the beginning of my post. 

By sharing with them what happened to me in 2008, reinforces my point to them that substandard employers that don't appreciate young talent may come and go.

.... But family is forever!