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Reply by KathCull_admin
25 Jul 2016, 1:56 AM

Hello everyone,
I come bearing greetings from Oldbat. She wrote,

"I have been thinking about and following all my Cvh friends on-line since I've been here, (hospital/rehabilitation/rest) which is now close to three months.  Have also been wishing I could dredge up enough energy to get back on-line myself. But that hasn't happened.    

I've had to conserve the little energy I do have for some very unpleasant treatments and for my weekly visits to Karl who, thank God, continues to thrive.  

I miss my e-chats with Nouce, Jimmie, Xenia & NatR so much.  Please let them know that.   The good news is that I'm supposed to be sprung at the end of next week and am determined to make a real life for myself this time.  One that includes all my friends - virtual and actual, something that I have been unable to do since Karl had his stroke. Please pray that I will be given the strength and courage I will need to succeed this time!


Secretary: Katherine:) - who also signs off Affectionately 

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Reply by Jimmie
25 Jul 2016, 11:49 AM


I want to thank you very much, Oldbat,for sending us your message in the midst of what sounds like very trying personal times.  I have certainly missed hearing from you and was concerned about you as a result of your recent silence. My thanks to Katherine for conveying your thoughts to the people on this site.

I am sorry to hear about your recent difficulties. It sounds like you are exhausted, drained - physically and emotionally.  I am unnerved by the "very unpleasant treatments" you mention. They sound challenging to say the least especially when you are already in a depleted state. Wish I were closer to offer you more practical help and companionship.  Words seem pretty weak at such times.

You mention that Karl is thriving which is good news. You also mention hoping to be discharged from the hospital soon, and your intent to make a "real life" for yourself this time.  You sound firm in your resolution to make the changes necessary to achieve that quality of life.  Courage and strength - yep, that pretty well sums up the key qualities needed in such a life (your life, your spirit, your joy, your skills) reclamation struggle.  Sounds like a kind of ressurection to me. Biblically, there's a heavy stone that has to be rolled back before you can sit down in the light of day and breathe fresh, invigorating air again.  I am certain everyone on this site, and all of your friends want to help in whatever way they can - prayers, best wishes, steadfast companionship, practical assistance - to help move that stone with you.  AS for me, not being very religious in spite of my reference above, I think the best i can do is to tell you how much I have appreciated your presence in my life, how much I admire your obvious intelligence, and sharp wit; how much I have benefitted from your words of encuragement addressed to me and to so many others; and how much I have appreciated your honesty, your anger, your humour, and your valour.  That's about it.  I have such deep respect for you, Oldbat ( and - spoken sotto voce for the sake of propriety- love... ah,the hell with it - LOVE).

If you don't know the folk singer Stan Rogers, you should.  Many of his songs are rooted in this part of Nova Scotia where I live.  Get a recording of his song The Mary Ellen Carter".  Crank up the volume until the paint peels from the walls.  Crank it up loud enough to muffle the challenge of your "unpleasant treatments", turn it up loud enough so that your spirit is stirred and strength returns to your bones.  Play it until the hospital staff begs you to leave, BEGS you to leave.  And when you do leave, leave like the regal individual you are - leave like royalty reclaiming your life, your love, your domain. "Rise again! Rise again! So your name won't be lost to the knowledge of Men! " . I know it's not high class music, but for people in these parts, it's a full throated, beer bash ballad worthy of any call to life ever written. It's a common man's "Ode to Joy".  Play it - I will sing along with you from way down here. I will thump the table thunderously during every rousing chorus.  I can sing like hell when I want to, and the spirit of ife is upon me, and I'll sing my lungs out in honour of you, Oldbat, and in honour of Karl, and your lives of struggle and love.

There....I'm done, me lady.  I shall go over now to take Sarah for a drive along the coast. I shall think of you when I watch the gulls soaring over the Cape.  And when they shit on my car, I'll give them the finger - half in jest, half as a reasonable man's response to the inequities of life.  And I'll roll down the windows of our car, with Sarah slumped against my shoulder, and play the hell out of our Stan Rogers CD ....for you, dear, and for everyone else broken in body and spirit - Rise again, Rise again...

Jimmy P.



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Reply by NatR
25 Jul 2016, 1:51 PM

Hello Oldbat,

what a lovely  note to read on the forum today.  We all kind of drop out of sight here and there but it's nice to hear you are coming out of a time that took yoir energy and focus.....will look forward to hearing from you again as you have the time.

it takes so much time and energy to care for ourselves and I certainly understand

thanks Katherine for passing on the message.  Various members are popping up and checking in which is great.

summer is a hard time to stay indoors and online...I must admit I am trying to make the most of summer concerts, time by the lake, or walking...without freezing to death.

stay in touch Oldbat 
glad to hear Karl is holding his own and hope this week you do the same:)
send you hugs and thoughts as well.

best wishes 
NatR πŸ˜ŠπŸ’

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Reply by Xenia
27 Aug 2016, 4:08 PM

Good Morning from the West Coast of Canada to all:

How are you all?  I missed the messages, Old Bat how are you doing, Katherine, Jimmie how is Sarah, Nat your messages are always so uplifting and all the rest on this message board I missed your messages which always helped me go on and through my learning to live alone and not be alone even though I miss John very much.  Hard to believe it is going on to the 2 year period...how time flies but I am coping.  One thing is where I have moved to I can place John's photo on the patio and he can view where he used to work on the waterfront.  The ships coming into the inlet to be loaded with cargo, all the things he did as a longshoreman.  Enough of this and on to my life as it is now.

Finally able to get back on line after my recent move to Vancover.  I moved from my former residence on Augusy 9th and had a lot of changes to make.  I am enjoying my new residence.

I chose to move to Vancouver as I have 3 children here and where I used to live my eldest daughter became my main caregiver as she was when John was alive and very ill.  We talked about my move and all were in agreement and further it was much cheaper and having to budget for the future it was indeed the right move.

I now live in a bachelor apartment, actually what they often call apartments like this, in Vancouver, SRO-Single Room Occpancy for low income people , etc.  It is a one room apartment with a bathroom and all the emenities are througout the building.  I am on the 8th floor and I face West, can be hot but they are working on the air conditioning, I view the Burrard Inlet, the Ocean, the PNE - same as the CNE in Toronto, I can see the Lions Gate Bridge, the Mountains of North Vancouver and the city of Vancouver from my patio.  At night it is a sea of lights and colours.

On the 19th floor the library sits in a lovely large room with a patio that shows the best side of the city of Vancouver, same as I have but on a larger scale, on  the East side one can see the Port Mann bridge...this bridge takes one away from Vancouver into the Valley and away from the cities on No. 1 Highway out of B.C. if you are travelling East.

There is bingo twice a week, exercises, TiChee, pool, bus trips, trips to Casinos, Bridge, and all sorts of games and recreation.  There is a pool and at the moment it is closed for cleaning.  With all these amenities one feels fortunate to have been able to secure a unit here.  One thing is there is very little hiarchey..spelling as we all live in Bachelors, then can graduate up to a larger bachelor.  The one bedroom suites are for couples and should one of the couples pass away the remaining partner is allowed to keep the unit.  This way we are all in the same boat so to speak.  Some are subsidized, others like myself pay the going rate and this helps with the cost of living here as it is anon profit.  The food is excellent, the staff are great and life is good.  One thing I learned or relearned is that one does not really need a huge place to live, being the middle child of 14 - I know how to use small spaces, all the space I had in my former life, the last place I lived, the condo, etc.  rooms stayed empty as I sat and read in the living room or cooked in the kitchen.  All in later life was waste space that I did not need and could have used when the children were small and growing up in a 2 bedroom home, then moving to a 3 bedroom 2 storey house in Vancouver and then to a condo.  I have learned to adapte...spelling,

Life is good and I am so thankful that I am cared for by my children, John made sure I was cared for when he passed by assuring me I would be able to afford to live without financial worry with his pension and mine combined...of course I have to be thrifty, for friends I have had and for the wonderful friends I have made on CVS.  I am fortunate indeed and thank my higher power for this. 

Here I go again writing a story...the loud speaker came on to tell me there is Ping Pong in the Penthouse-19th floor,  the bus is going to the grocery store, there is blackjack tonight, lunch is a cold plate, dinner is ribs and second choice is lemon chicken with cherry pie and ice cream.  All that and a view too what more could I ask for other than the friends on CVS.

Take care and thanks once again for your messages and inspiration that keeps me going all the while I miss John and am slowly adjusting even though I go forward one step and 3 back then forward again.

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Reply by NatR
27 Aug 2016, 4:30 PM

Xenia πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»
So lovely to get your note
your usual frequent notes are missed but it was so nice to get notification of your post on the forum

i am so happy for you that you have a busy and active life (as much as you want to do) but lots of possibilities
I especially love the simple life you have with a smaller space and a gorgeous view!  I envy you the view of ships and ocean and activity and sky!!
wow! Good for you
geared to income, and not really alone or lonely - your choice to be busy or quiet  

I particularly liked you placing Johns photo where he could look out on familiar  and pleasant scenery

i just had a thought - after reading your list of activities, announcements alerting you to events to go to- wow it's like you are on a Cruise Ship / but yet on land!
sounds like the best place 
we need more places like that for seniors and low income 

it it did my heart good to read your note Xenia / a good friend writing a note always is like a warm hug from a distance 

in my corner of Ontario we have had a super warm summer for the most part
heat waves are a bit hard to take - as I get older 
I dont have air conditioning so it's fans and more fans :)

i I love the last weeks of summer and going into the fall - as each precious day of sunshine and warmth is appreciated 
the colours changing is also very pretty

there is a big event this weekend - kayak races, vendors and food booths, live music and local entertainment 
I hope to attend tonight to enjoy the music and the fireworks 

I didn't go last night but could hear the music coming up hill from the river park in the distance 
I pulled a muscle in my back so have been resting more :)

sure do do hope you are able to drop notes more often as you are able - really appreciated your news and I am sure I wasn't the only one

best wishes to you Xenia and to each member of the forum 
write when you can
hugs and warm smiles from me to each of you 
NatR πŸ™…πŸ™…πŸ™…πŸ™…πŸ™…πŸ’žπŸ˜‰β˜€οΈ
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Reply by KathCull_admin
18 Sep 2016, 5:06 PM

It's been way too long since I posted to you all. Please know that it is not because you are not important or forgotten. Just been kind of an 'I don't have anything to offer' time in my life but being 62 I know that sometimes it is just a matter of mind over matter. 

I am looking out the study window - a few squirrels, trees changing colour, a chair left over from last weekends 'give away weekend the city puts on twice a year, the odd person walking their dog (no the person is not odd:), neighbours across the street have some beautiful yellow and red flowers, and thankfully the trucks cleaning the sewage lines are gone.  

Xenia so lovely to hear how you have settled into your new home, so much has changed in your life since John died, Nouce your life has changed as well, I hope Pablo is and has adjusted to his new home, Oldbat, I wonder if you are home - I know the rest in hospital was probably good (on some level) for you and Karl. NatR you have a way of finding the good in life - no matter how cold or hot; Jimmie I appreciate so much your ability to tell stories and your compassion for others. Frustrated how has the last year been for you? AdoptedSon I was just thinking of the berries you gifted your mother with.

I am leaving on a trip to Vietnam with my sister next weekend. Henry encouraged me to travel - I am taking him up on it!

Take care all till we talk again.

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Reply by NatR
19 Sep 2016, 12:11 AM

Hello K!

thanks for  the update
i for one am so glad to hear you are making it through each day
i am also pleased that you are keeping your bags packed and taking opportunities to visit different places around the world 

I think you are very brave - my travelling days are limited now and I am glad to have done some travelling earlier in my life.  Now I am content to knit, crochet, take walks, overload on the news of the day - visit with friends and keep busy. Keeping busy is an answer to loneliness and so far I never feel lonely, or very rarely.

i hope you have a safe and fun time away, maybe give us a couple highlights when you get home.

to all readers I wish you well in each hour of the day.  I know many find it challenging to just put one foot in front of the other / but keep on doing that and with time - I believe that your journey will get just a bit easier.

we are all different, all of us have circumstances  unique to each one - and I send you hugs as you travel.

fall is in the air although there has been no frost in northern ontario yet - the trees are ever so slowly changing to yellow and bronze - and the fall rain is visiting us 

I have kept busy all summer and find that being busy really helps me get through days  that otherwise would be hard to handle 

never stop writing, sharing and supporting each other
i wish you each a good evening 
night to all and thanks Kathetime for the uodate

 keep well!
natR πŸ™…πŸŒΉ

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Reply by frustrated
19 Sep 2016, 1:56 AM

It has been awhile since I have given an update. I am still adjusting to living in the woods. It is so beautiful here. I usually have a doe with her twins visit me in the mornings. It is starting to feel like home. 

It is lonely and it is hard to live the dream that Gary and I had all by myself. My kids and grandkids have visited. But I realize that no matter where I live I will be lonely. I am still trying to find my place in life. But I am learning to take one day at a time and to enjoy what I have one day at a time.

I am learning how to fly fish. I actually caught(and released) some. I am making new friends. I have really good neighbors who help me. So life goes on and I know I will survive and it is up to me to find my own happiness.

So take care everyone.  
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Reply by Jimmie
22 Sep 2016, 12:15 PM

Good morning, everyone

My regular computer has been in for repairs for the past week.  I have resurrected my older one which, like myself, is well past it's best before date and particularly tempermental in the mornings.  With luck, I'll be able to get this post written and delivered before my contrary technological friend here awakes to the fact that it is in fact working and immediately and spitefully shuts down.

Katherine, I am really happy to hear that you are going on a trip in the good company of your sister. I wish you all the best. New country, new sights, and sounds, and experiences - new worlds really.  I hope the experience will be both rejuvenating and relaxing and provide an opportunity for you to let go of all your responsibilities. In terms of "nothing left to offer", from my own observations, particularly of late, that seems to be both an occupational, as well as life hazard compounded by stress, loneliness, and a kind of weariness that can take up residence in the marrow of your bones. There are times you need to let the world hold you, so that you might take a rest from trying to hold the world.  Sometimes, becuase our feet keep walking, however awkwardly, we feel we can still stand, when in fact the weight of our weariness is longing for a deep rest, to lie down and rest.  And just one final piece of advice ( I am particularly wise and ready to give advice for the first 8.5 minutes of each morning.  It's all down hill after that)).  You do not have to have anything to offer, you are allowed to not have answers, or comfort, or energy to offer.  Your friends and collegues and all those on this site love and treasure you for just being.  It's enough for them that you just are there - with them.  Let go of all the rest - and rest.  

Frustrated, I want to hear more about your life in the wooods.  I am hoping to retrieve my good computer by tomorrow and will write again.  This one is starting to play one of its favourite tricks which is "hide the cursor".  It's other irritating game is "chase the cursor" where as soon as I think the cursor is settled and begin to type, the curson will randomly leap to another part of the scipt like a dog refusing to be caught and put back on a leash.

All the best to all of you ...north, south, east, and west.  It is a bright sunny morning here, alovely fall day.  The trees are still.  One of my favourite memories is of being four or five and standing on the sidewalk of our little side street in the older section of Halifax.  Someone was burning leaves (which I guess you were allowed to do at that time).  I love that smell, like I love the sight and smell of salt water (which again you could see and smell in those days when the harbour was still visible from our street level view rather than, as now, from some tenth floor condo window.

take care, everyone. Things change.




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Reply by Nouce
22 Sep 2016, 12:29 PM

Getting ready for work, I attempt to send Melinda Nolitha, a South African friend working in Austria, a message on WhatsApp. I didn’t think last night at 10, when I found her request, was good timing for Vienna.  In a minute, a reply: Good morning. Have a good day.

Put my godson Jonathan’s Amazon packages out on the porch. He forgot to change his mailing address (to where?) so UPS is picking them up—to take them where? He is in New Jersey (I think) training for some kind of chemistry job in Liberia.  

The young woman student housemate comes home at 7:15. She’s been with her boyfriend in a nearby town all night. Apparently her car, which I long ago sold to her father, is drivable, since the front fender smash up is visible and unrepaired. We usually don’t see each other.

Riding my bike to school, I feel a silent presence behind me. Suddenly, it’s a twelve-year old friend. Don’t you know, I say, that bike etiquette is to call out “On your right!” ?  OK, he says, on your right, and speeds past.

Pushing my bike up the final hill to the classroom building, I see a mockingbird feather on the pavement.

Over lunch, I will go to see Pablo, bringing him a fresh local golden delicious apple.

I open my computer, and you are all there.  May your days be blessed.





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