Life is like a boomerang

What we give, we get.

That’s something that my uncle used to say. In my last post that I spoke about him I mentioned that he was always someone who believed it was better to give than to receive. Since writing that post, with a little encouragement, my family has begun sharing stories about my uncle through an email chain.

These are largely the type of stories you’d talk about and reminisce about at a memorial service, but since that’s been put on hold, the family has decided to share them digitally.

To preface this, I will say that my dad was one of eight kids. There were seven boys and one girl in his family and his father passed away when he was just four years old. As a result, the family grew up without a lot and largely relied on the help of others to to get through… at least until he and his brothers became teenagers and old enough to work. I attribute this way in which they grew up to be a big reason why my uncle was someone who believed in the power of giving.

When I went to the store today to fetch toilet paper I saw that the store, in wake of Covid-19, is selling girl guide cookies for the girl guides so that they dont risk illness by going door to door. When I saw these cookies it brought back a memory of my uncle, one that I know my brothers and I will remember but one that I am not sure the rest of my extended family knows about. I’m contemplating sharing it with them in the email story chain.

STORY TIME:

When I was a young pip squeak I was a part of Girl Guides for a couple of years. Every year we were required to sell cookies as a part of being a Girl Guide. This didn’t sit well with me because I am largely an introvert and have been my entire life. Approaching strangers to sell them something wasn’t my idea of a good time.

Knowing how uncomfortable I was with selling these cookies after seeing me try for just one day, my uncle actually bought $300 worth of cookies from me so that I could meet my quota and didn’t need to sell any more.

My uncle never liked cookies.

I remember asking him what he was going to do with all of the cookies that he had just bought and I distinctly remember him telling me he wasn’t sure.

The next year that I was in Girl Guides my uncle immediately purchased $300 worth of cookies from me. I remember being baffled by this because I had suddenly realized I didn’t even know what he had done with the cookies from last year.

When I asked him what he was going to do with all of these cookies he told me not to worry and that he could find someone who would enjoy them.

By the next year my family had moved cities and I was no longer a part of Girl Guides. The thought of cookies had dropped from my mind and wouldn’t be picked up again until two years later when my brothers and I went to spend a month at my uncle’s house.

I was about ten at this point. I remember walking in and seeing his kitchen table covered in a giant stack of Girl Guide cookies. I’m sure at this point my brothers and I laughed and said something along the lines of “are you trying to bribe us to be good kids? We can absolutely be bribed with cookies!”

Nope. The cookies were not for us. My uncle actually told us that he had been buying big batches of girl guide cookies every single year since that first year I was in girl guides and thus this wasn’t a special occasion he’d bought cookies for having kids around, no. He had a plan for these.

Again, we asked him why he buys cookies when he doesnt like cookies.

He told us that he bought the cookies because he knows that it helps out the girl guides organization and that he always likes to make sure he supports programs for kids, even if it’s just a few extra dollars. To him, girl guide cookies was an easy way to support kids.

So we asked him what hes been doing with these cookies he had been buying all these years.

I distinctly remember him saying “I’ll show you on Saturday!” Saturday was his day off work and his typically only free day of the week.

That Saturday he loaded us all up in his vehicle and brought out a giant container filled with boxes of cookies. He told us we were going to give them to people in need.

I remember thinking that was ridiculous. I think I probably told him that homeless people dont want cookies, they need a real meal. Nevertheless, he persisted that this was a good idea.

We drove to some lesser developed areas of the city where there are more homeless people who live on the streets and I remember him telling us to stay put and hand him a box of cookies.

The homeless individual took the cookies and shook my uncles hand and then tried to give him a hug. My uncle backed off because he hated hugs, but I distinctly remember thinking that it was bizarre of him to be giving cookies to homeless people when what they needed was a real meal. I also thought that no homeless person wanted cookies and that they were likely going to just ask him for money. 10 year old me thought that I was smarter than my uncle and I tried to lecture him when he got back into the vehicle.

Naturally, not having my smartass attitude, he cut me off. What he said was something that has always stuck with me.

“I don’t care who you are or where you’re from, I don’t care what your circumstances are or the hardships you might face in this life, everyone deserves a treat every once in a while. Someone who is homeless is not going to go out of their way to treat themselves, so we are going to treat them for them. It might not be a full meal but food is food and if they need a treat, they’ll appreciate it.”

I remember thinking that was so incredibly kind of him to say and do. But I also remember thinking about money, which my brother ended up asking him.

‘What if they do not want cookies and only want money?” My brother asked.

My uncle pulled out a box of cookies from the bin and showed us the bottom of the box. He had taped a 20 dollar bill to the bottom of each box of cookies.

“Anyone who is in dire straits and need of food will never turn down an offer of food, even if it’s a box of cookies or even a tin of tuna.” He said. “If they don’t want cookies then they don’t need our money. And if they take the cookies and treat themselves, then I hope they take this (pointing to the 20 dollar bill he taped to the bottom of the box) and get themselves a meal, or more, depending on where they go.”

The rest of that day we spent just wandering around in his car, finding homeless people to offer girl guide cookies to.

It was truly one of those life changing days in a person’s life. It sticks out from my childhood memories so vividly in my mind. He had taped $20 to the bottom of probably 70 boxes of cookies and was giving them out to homeless people who would accept them. And he’d been doing it for years without telling any of us before now.

I’m pretty sure he kept on doing it right up until this year, too.

When my siblings and I got a little older he’d let us come with him and actually get out of the car to offer them to people. Only when he thought we were safe to do so. I remember helping him four or five times over the years. My brothers stopped by and helped him a few times over the years as well. It was his “thing”. Sometimes he’d go back to the same neighborhoods two years in a row and the same people would be there. I remember once, when I was probably 18, one homeless man screaming “the cookie man is back” when he saw my uncle and I walking towards him.

That was just the way my uncle was. He was the kind of guy that you could rely on to be a consistent source of good in this crazy world. He didn’t want attention, he didn’t want notoriety or even hugs. He was just happy with a handshake from a stranger and knowing that he’d done a small bit of good for someone’s day when they likely really needed it.

And he always bought as many girl guide cookies as he could… because, though he never had kids of his own, he never missed out on an opportunity to support kids. (Girl guides was just one organization he supported, he donated to all kinds of soccer teams and band programs and summer camps and basically anywhere he felt that his money would positively impact a kid, even if just in the smallest of ways)

My uncle was a consistent ray of light and kindness and giving. He always believed that giving was better than recieving. I guess I must’ve given something really valuable in a past life because growing up with my uncle around and having him as a part of our lives… it was a pretty big gift. Or, if life really is like a boomerang and what we give we get, then I have already had so I should start giving a heck of a mot more. Cheesy? Yeah, but it is true.

I’m reminiscing tonight. Should probably rewrite this a little if I decide to share with my extended family through email. Just so they dont think he took us into dangerous situations as kids. They’ve all been a little on edge lately and I think a nice story like this might make them smile.

Who knows!

Strange… and also a little scary.

A few days ago I got notification from Google to my phone that there were three failed sign-in attempts for my email address.

I was creeped out. I was scared. I wasn’t even near my computer at the time.

So, I went to my computer and I changed the password. I tried to think about who might be trying to log into my email address and I really wasn’t sure.

Tonight I got another notification from my phone that there had been three failed login attempts for my email address.

Now I’m sitting here really scared that someone, or some thing is trying to gain access to my email.

I’ve enabled two step verification for the time being, and again changed my password.

This is a really off feeling. I really don’t like it. It’s making me feel really anxious. I’m not sure what I should do. What I can do. What can I do?

Is this Instagram or Reality?

I love Instagram. I really do. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve likely seen just how much useless nonsense I share on the platform. My stories make zero sense. Anyways, quarantine has given me a lot of extra time to browse. There’s so much of a fake reality on the platform that I just breeze past typically, not giving it a second glance. But hey, now that I’m under quarantine, I’ve got lots of time to look.

Disclaimer: I have no ill will towards any of the people who posted any of these photos. I am merely sharing for the purpose of 1) Good Fun and 2) To remind everyone that a little brightening or lightening can make a photo pop, but please don’t take it too far. A curated life isn’t really a life… just bits and bobs of photoshopped memories that won’t mean as much as the over the years.

I really hope each of these people kept their originals. I bet their originals were so much better.


  1. PILOTS FLY THIS LOW?

Firstly, Paris is offended. One of the most beautiful cities on earth, where virtually EVERYTHING seems to be ‘Instagrammable’ so to speak, and you feel the need to do this?

Secondly, who do you think you’re fooling? Is there anyone on earth who would believe this realistic? Are there people in this world who believe that pilots fly this close to freestanding towers and internationally renowned tourist destinations?

2. JUST A BAREFOOT GAL IN ROME

“Don’t mind me. Felt cute just going on bare-foot frolic next to the Colosseum. How perfect is my life?”

ROME? ROME? You don’t think people are going to be able to tell when you’ve photoshopped yourself into Rome? I see what you did there, being on your toes and all. That’s a clever trick to make it easier to plant yourself on any surface. Next, lets take this exact same photo to… the Vowing Hands of Vietnam.

3. WHEN THE SKY AND THE CITY ARE ONE AND THE SAME

The caption said this was at the Chicago Skydeck. This photoshop is bad. Just baaaaaaad. The stitching around each of their frames is so evident, the sky has been far too saturated to look real, and somehow, they managed to catch a windy enough day… inside, for their gowns to blow.

Just ignore the bottom left and right corners where the city is the same colour as they sky. They did not photoshop the sky and accidentally photoshop small bits of the city too and hope no one would notice.

4. NORTHERN LIGHTS AND A UFO!

As someone who lives in Northern Canada and sees the Northern lights several times a year, I can assure you, this sky is not real. Can you see stars at the same time as you see the Northern Lights? Yes. Do the stars shine through the Northern lights like you can see in this photo? No. Because her stars are fake. Also, is that a UFO in the top left, or did she bring a spotlight with her, or is there absolutely zero light pollution from the moon?


There’s a big beautiful world out there filled with wonder and amazement. If you are one of the lucky ones who gets to see it, or at the very least pieces of it, and you feel like sharing it on Instagram, please don’t take the editing too far.

Word to the wise.

Do not answer your phone whilst you are doing the dishes. You will, in fact, drop your phone in the sink. I don’t care how careful you think you are. Lightning does strike and phones do drown. Don’t make the same mistakes I make.

Today is off to a great start.

It’s currently sitting in a bowl of rice. Rice is good for so much. I mean… cross your fingers for me.

KEEP ON SMILING. Don’t let them know your inner penguin.

‘Give em hell, kid.’

My Uncle was an extremely kind, socially awkward genius who cared about two things in life – his family and sports. He never married, never had children. He treated us like we were his kids. Actually, to that point, at one time in our lives, he took my siblings and I in for an extended period of time so that we didn’t have to be placed in foster care. Family was everything to him.

His profession was accounting and his passion was sports. His superpower was analysis. Numbers always came easy to him. I think that’s why he liked accounting so much, everything had balance if he worked at it long enough. Where the majority of the population looked at a page of numbers and saw a headache, he looked and saw potential. Whether through accounting or through sports, numbers were always his answer.

Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, Horse Racing, Golf… you name it, he loved it. He loved studying sports. He analyzed statistics and he used them to create a pretty lucrative career for himself just from sports betting alone. I remember the day he told us he made his first million from betting, we presumed he was going to phone it in and sail off into the sunset. Nope. He easily made triple his accounting salary from sports betting every year and it never changed him. He got up every day at 6:00 am and went to his accounting job for 42 years.

He treated my siblings and I as though we were his own kids. Gave us lectures when we made stupid choices, purchased us things (wants and needs) just because he could, never forgot a birthday, Christmas or anniversary EVER. When we had all graduated from highschool and went on to University, he made it a point to visit each one of us every single year at least one time. He’d pull the regular parent move of just casually happening to find a toaster on sale, after only 12 hours earlier noticing I didn’t own a toaster. And well, ‘it’s here kid, so you might as well take it’, he’d say.

When he retired in 2017, he told us that it was his dream to watch an MLB game from every MLB Stadium and an NHL Game from every arena. And that’s what he set out to do. He’d spent the majority of the past two and a half years travelling across the continent, watching any and all sporting events he could get himself tickets to. He was, in the truest definition of the phrase, living his best life.

Yesterday my dad got some of the things from his home. Memorabilia he’d collected over the years, a watch collection (he loved his watches), things he’d held onto that he never told us about, and lots of pictures. Lots and lots of pictures of us kids. Pictures I don’t even remember taking. Pictures I didn’t even know existed. Graduation programs of each of us that he’d gone through and highlighted each of our names in.

My uncle will forever hold a special place in my heart. There was this one phrase that he always said to me, when I was 3, when I was 20, when I turned 30. Every time he saw me, he’d find some way to say ‘Give em hell, kid’, in the midst of our conversations. Actually, with respect to that, in 2015 I was working as a Communications Director for the World Championships. I had the ability to get tickets for someone, and, knowing that he’d be able to cross that off his bucketlist of tournaments to attend, I gave the tickets to him. I remember during the final, the place was packed to the highest capacity the Fire Marshall’s wold allow. I brought him up to the press box so that he could see the game with an unobstructed view. Canada ended up losing that game in over-time and morale sunk for 20,000+ people in about fifteen seconds. I told him that I had to head down to the scrum, gave him a hug and pointed out the staircase he’d need to use to exit. As I walked off to face an onslaught of journalists from around the world, not looking forward to what was coming, he laughed and said ‘You’ve got this. Give em hell, kid’.

That moment will forever stand out in my mind. I was about to get bullied by a group of journalists from around the world and he knew I could handle it with grace.

Now, as I see this extensive collection of photos of my siblings and I from over the years, a watch collection (that was literally the only valuable things he ever bought for himself) and some bits and bobs from his home, I’m reminded of how much of his life he spent doing things for others, rather than for himself. I remember how he bought the home he and his siblings grew up in and gifted it to his brother for a place to call home, again. I remember how he would drive four hours on a Saturday just to watch his great-nephew’s hockey game, to turn around and drive home.

In a world filled with selfish, hyper-consumer driven, unrelenting divisiveness, he was the glue that tied our family together. He was that shining halo to always see the brighter side, the softer side and that giving was far better than receiving.

Everyone grieves differently, I understand that. The majority of the family seems to fighting over who’s going to get his money. Not just his savings, but who’ll profit from the sale of his home, and the few possessions he owned. The rest of the family who isn’t fighting about money are all grossly disappointed and frustrated that we can’t have a Memorial Service for him due to the present health pandemic sweeping the globe. I honestly don’t care who takes his money. I just want to make sure that he’s remembered in the way that he deserves to be remembered.

He ALWAYS remembered each of us. And I think now more then ever, it’s important that we remember him in the way that he deserves. Since we can’t give him a proper Memorial right now, I’m not really sure what that looks like.

I think I’m going to see if I can get my hands on his list of stadiums and arenas he’s visited. I’m honestly not even sure if he made it to each of them or not. If he didn’t, though, I think it’d be a nice thing if we went for him.

Anyways, I guess we’ll continue to see how this unravels.

That’s all for now.

A fascinating sight for Hockey Night in Canada

Photo from CBC.CA (Note the blue pads, gloves and helmet that is all Marlies branded gear)

I can’t even begin to imagine the feelings that would come with experiencing both the scariest, and coolest, moment of your life at the exact same moment in time.

On February 22 (last night) the Carolina Hurricanes enlisted the use of an Emergency Backup Goaltender in their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

David Ayres, a 42 year old Zamboni Driver for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, stepped in as goaltender, MAKING HIS NHL DEBUT, for the Carolina Hurricanes. Ayres finished off the second and third periods for the Canes after the their goaltenders, Petr Mrazek and James Reimer, went down with injuries.

Stopping 8 out of 10 shots he faced in the period-and-a-half of play, Ayres was named the games’ first star and helped the Canes to a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In one night he made his NHL Debut and clocked his first NHL win.

Ayres’ game winning stick will go on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame and Ayres, a kidney transplant recipient, will be in Carolina this coming Tuesday to celebrate with the Canes and help raise money and awareness for the American Kidney Fund.

One day you’re driving a zamboni and the next day you’re the game-winning goaltender of your NHL Debut.

Anything can happen in this life, all you really have to do is believe.

Canadian Neighbours

It’s not a smart idea to go for a walk when the neighbours are out. Actually, when these neighbours are out, we tend to just let them be and avoid even driving past them. It’s a little ‘extra’, sure. But they don’t like it when humans bother them and we Canadians, we like to accommodate one another. They might look nice, docile and cute but I promise you, if they feel threatened you will wind up in a lot of pain.

Normally we don’t see the kids (just the grown ups), but they’re extra territorial when their babies are with them. People say Mama Bears are protective, I swear to goodness, the Moose are a lot more protective of their little ones.

And yes, the plural of moose is moose.

And yes, this is a Mama Moose and baby. Only male moose grow antlers.