Archive for September, 2007

A Letter from Elmer, June 24, 1965

September 23, 2007

http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/732.html

First…Please read the poem “Little Bateese” on the site above

My father Elmer, was a hard rock miner with a talent for reciting poems that tell a story- Among his favorites “The Cremation of Sam McGee”,”Casey at the Bat”, and “Little Bateese”. He could recite word for word and we liked them better than Fairy Tales.

Recently, I discovered this letter among my souvenirs and I thought that it was perfectly funny!

“June 24, 1965 Saint John De Baptist

Allo U three,

Me, I promise to write so many time. I’m not forget you. So now I’m take my pen by the hand and I say to myself, write! So here am I.

The Grandmere, she is one very buzzy woman. She wash, she scrub, she change zee house upside down. By gum, I’m tink dat woman she gon clean every ting in site. I ask her why she fuss so much. She say her Gran’ bebe they come to arrive soon so she gon to give it hell now cause she don’t gon to have a chance later hon.

By gar, maybe after the dust she settle down some, I can see what goin hon. Right now, I’m tell you, ees not safe roun here. I’m glad tomorrow come an I get back to nice, quiet, safe place at the mine.”

A friendly warning!

September 6, 2007

1966 was the year that the Canada/Quebec pension plan was born. It seemed like a good idea: every employed person would pay into the plan through deductions at source, employers would match the contributions, and it was portable and painless. (Much like Unemployment Insurance and Medicare.)

At the end of the first year or two of the plan, I received a statement which reported my retirement date would be 2008.

2008!!! That was “forever”. Not only so many years ahead, but in another century. I couldn’t possibly imagine that I would live that long. I didn’t want to live that long, I’d be ancient. My parents weren’t even that old and they were really old.

2008? Me? It was inconceivable, unimaginable, impossible.

Guess what? January 2008 is just around the corner and I qualify for my pension!

I’m not nearly old enough to be 65 already, and I am far from ancient. I did survive while some of my favorite people in the world didn’t.

I’ve had to learn and learn again: P e r s p e c t i v e.

Life is a gift. An exquisite, fleeting gift!