To the Boy in Walmart

Dear Brayden,

You have solidified my faith in humanity. I still believe the world is a good place regardless of all that is happening throughout. You, sir, have scored a point for the good guys. Your honesty, your integrity, your desire to do the right thing has set you apart from so many others.

When Wanda* called me from Walmart this evening after we had just been there, I was a bit nervous at first. Then she asked me if had a son. I do. And I was still a bit nervous. Did she see him do something he should not have? He had wandered away from me for a minute. Then she asked if he had lost anything there this morning or this afternoon.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

I wasn’t aware that he had but I told her I would ask him. So I stepped outside and hollered to Crash*. Then I had to tell Wanda from Walmart that he’d be right here, he had to climb down out of the tree first.

Finally, he came to me and I asked him he had left anything in Walmart. He couldn’t remember losing anything. Wanda asked his name and how to spell it. I told her and she asked if he lost a little red zipper purse (though we call it a wallet). In it was $25. I asked Crash about it and he said it should be in the basket where it’s always kept. He went to look, but of course it wasn’t there.

It was in Walmart.

Wanda told me she made a donation on either behalf of herself or Walmart (I can’t remember which) for your honesty. Wanda told us you are 11 years old. She also gave us your name and number so that my son could call your son and thank him. Which he did. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to connect directly, but instead left a message thanking him.

Your parents are perfecting this thing called parenting. They have themselves a young man who understands honesty. Who not only understands the difference between right and wrong but can follow through with it. Walmart thanks you. I thank you. My son thanks you.

The world is still a good place and you have scored a point for the good guys.

Sincerely,

A Hopeful Parent

*Names have been changed.

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Merry Christmas and Thank You for All You Do

This is the time of year when we bring trees inside and decorate outside. I didn’t work today. This “work to rule” strike has made getting subbing days even harder. All professional development days have been cancelled for teachers. Anyway, I’m not here to moan about subbing…

I was busy today. I so wanted to write this morning, but I had a list of things to accomplish longer than my arm. Cleaning was first and foremost. Along with finishing the laundry I started last night. It all makes me want to live in a nudist colony. I wouldn’t mind DW walking around naked all the time…

Back on track…

Today’s Random Act of Kindness was to bake cookies and deliver them to the RCMP (police) station, the paramedics and firefighters. I made 72 oatmeal chocolate chip. They’re a household favorite. Perhaps I’ll share my recipe. After the boys got home from school, Crash did his math homework and then we delivered said cookies.


At the police station we met 2 very nice officers who thanked us and allowed the boys to get some pictures with them. Then they showed them the rest of the station, including the jail cells. I let the boys know should an officer ever call me and tell me they are in there, I’ll be leaving them there until morning. Of course, the boys had a million questions and one officer gave us his business card so the boys could email him if they thought of any more.


Then we hopped over to the EHS (emergency health services) and delivered cookies to the paramedics. Again, the boys were thanked and allowed a photo op with a couple of  medics in front of the ambulance. One paramedic took their picture to be put on the EHS’s Facebook page! Then they were invited inside and given a coloring book, reflective slap bracelet, and a color changing pencil.

At both places the oldest would hand over the tin of cookies while the youngest passed a Christmas card. One would tell them, “Merry Christmas.” and the other would tell them, “Thank you for all you do.”

From there we skipped over to the fire station, but being a volunteer station there wasn’t anyone around. So we’ll have to try them again.

While the cookies were baking this afternoon, I managed to decorate outside. It’s not much, but Santa shouldn’t have trouble seeing our place as he flies overhead.

Merry Christmas. Thank you for all you do!

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Endings

Endings are so bittersweet.

Endings are so sweet and sour.

Endings are just really something else beginning.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

My Taboo Word Challenge ends today. Numerous bloggers took part and excelled at it. You’ll find a link to read these other blogs down below. We used what Google reports as our top 20 most used words. Today’s word is a toughy, but I’m not telling you what it is, yet. See if you can figure it out.

I once wrote a post (albiet a short post) without using a single “e”. I learned that I as I continued to write it became easier to find words I wanted that didn’t have an “e” but retained its meaning. My experience here was nearly identical; difficult at first but easier as I kept writing.

Much like exercise, it’s hard at first. Difficult to keep a routine. Difficult to complete a workout without wanting to passout. Difficult to stop eating junk food. However, with dedication, determination, and whole lotta sweat, you get better. It gets easier.

All through September I gathered a small, yet loyal, band of bloggers to take on this challenge. Take Google’s list of most used words and write your post without it. We did it and today it ends. Our last word. I want to thank and congratulate those who joined me. I tried to read as many of your posts as I could.

I’m not sad it’s over. We bloggers will continue blogging. I’m sure I’m alone when I say it will be nice to not have to constantly check what taboo word isn’t to be used.

When it’s over, we are left with memories and memories (usually) last a whole lot longer…

One day I’ll only have memories of them being kids…

Today’s Taboo word was “the”.  To read more posts without my Taboo Words just click the blue frog…

Sunday Share 500+

I’m not sure how it happened. I’m not sure when it happened. I do know that it did indeed happen.

500+

500 followers? Thank you everyone!

Congratulations and thank you to Francis and Anna. I think this blogging couple was my 500th follower. At least they were the 500th counting backwards from my current followers. I missed capturing the 500th by 3. My good friend Dori, aka MamaParms from the blog Green Grapes, missed it by one! She was the 501st.

Thank you everyone who stops by to read. Whether you stop by everyone now and then or you read regularly, I appreciate the time you take on my blog. It really does put the fun in blogging.

Mark My World
502nd follower

Tips on Computer Desktop Publishing
503rd

Win With Mindy B
504th

Edit Perfect Word
505th

Whole Body Listening
506th

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Note: I’m currently at 512 followers. Thanks again everyone! 1,000 here I come!

Thank You South Africa

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I wrote about the wildfires in Alberta, in and around the Fort McMurray area when it first began. That was a month ago. When I wrote on May 6, the fire covered 850 square kilometers. At that that time I thought that was an extremely large area. It now covers 5,800 square kilometers and has spread to the neighboring province of Saskatchewan. It has grown nearly seven times in size.

There are currently 2,292 firefighters either battling blazes across Alberta or are en route to do so – including nearly 200 people from the United States and crews from across Canada. Firefighters in Alberta are being supported by 90 helicopters, 273 pieces of heavy equipment and 20 air tankers.  According to an update by the province on Sunday, 14 active wildfires continue to burn in Alberta – however, only the Fort McMurray fire remained out of control.

~Edmonton CTV New

Things are slowly shaping up, though. We don’t hear much about the fire any more. There is also a plan to begin a voluntary phased re-entry of evacuees today. In the areas least effect by the fire, people are being allowed to return. However, there is still great caution to return so soon. Especially those with young children and those with respiratory issues.

However, something caught my eye on Monday when DW and I were out on a lunch date (the boys were in school so we had lunch at Tim Hortons). On the front page of the newspaper, The Globe and Mail (link to the actual article), was a headline about 300 firefighters from South Africa going to Fort McMurray to help fight the fires. Intrigued, I started reading.

It’s the largest non-military deployment of South Africans to a foreign country.

It turns out this deployment reaps two benefits. First, it is a sort of repayment of a debt, a thank you to Canada for support in South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle. However, it’s also changing the lives of the 300 fire fighters sent to help battle the wildly out of control blaze. These young men and women were jobless. They were recruited for a government program called “Working on Fire” which has now trained 5,000 fire fighters to work across South Africa. They have sent Canada 300 of them.

After a month in Canada, they will take home the equivalent of about $1,500 each. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s 10 times more than their normal monthly stipend in the training program. It will help many of the firefighters to get out of shacks and build new brick houses, get driver’s licences or enter postsecondary education.

It may or may not be what they need to tame the beast that is the wildfire, but it will be a great help. They will help extinguish the fiery fields and raise the hopeful spirits of both the Canadian firefighters and the recruits from abroad.

Thank you South Africa.