Friday, March 3, 2017

What's in a name?

“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”
Today I will grace you with: 1) a funny story, proving that it is essential to have a well-thought-out name and to make sure you ALWAYS google everything before naming anything ever; and 2) some thoughts on getting older (or becoming seasoned as I like to say).

Funny story: Last week I had my blog all ready to go. All the links were triple checked and my cousin Deena did hours of work to get it looking pretty and.....What happened you ask? Why didn't we get to hear from Lea until this week? Well, right before I decided to share it, I googled my blog to see what it looks like to the average Joe. To my horror, google showed me page after page after page of a German Pornstar (you couldn't even make this stuff up if you wanted to!). Needless to say, I never did find my blog and I did some major rethinking of the name from there. So I'd like to start by agreeing with L.M Montgomery that a rose by any other name may smell as sweet; however, a name can evoke many images in ones mind that are almost impossible to erase (believe me I've tried)......So you are now reading "Life on the Seasoned Side" and I have spared you from having to have a serious discussion about your googling habits with your spouse :) You're welcome.

Thoughts on getting older: (Also a book review of "A Man Called Ove" by Fredrick Backman) I recently joined an online book club (The Blended Blog designed by my awesome blogger cousin Deena, which you should follow and take part if you love books like I do). The book is about an older man, whose wife passes away and how he struggles to stay present in his life, when all he wants is to be in the afterlife with her.

Each night when I went to read this book, I felt like I was sitting watching a movie of my grandpa Harvey. The author captured so carefully the unique characterisics of men from his generation. Our society has changed so much and I worry that we are slowly losing the wisdom and skills of a generation of men who could honestly build anything from anything. I'm not saying that our current men aren't totally awesome and handy. (Nothing makes me happier than seeing my husband and sons pull out their tool kits and matching tool belts and fixing random stuff in the house); however, there was something unique about my father's and grandfather's generations. Their basic life skills were so strong and the didn't have google and You Tube to help them through fixing something.

Anyone who knows me, has heard me speak of my Grams. She was such a strong influence in all her granddaughters lives and we were lucky to have her around during part of our adult years. I had the opportunity to listen to her stories and savour many of her stories about growing up and parenting. Because I had more life experience under my belt, I think I was really able to hear her stories and incorporate some of her wisdom into my life.

Unfortunately my grandpa passed away when I was just starting university, so I never knew him during my adult years. I really wish I could have known him better as adult. I feel like your 20s go by in a way where you don't really know who you are and you aren't necessarily prepared to think deeply about what your parents and grandparents have to offer. The real turning point for me was when I had my kids. I suddenly realized that there isn't an instruction manual and that our parents and grandparents had no idea what they were doing either. Teenagers reading this, read this line carefully: You truly will one day say: " Wow mom and dad were right when they said...Wait till you have kids".

Because this book evoked so many memories of my grandfather, it allowed me to really reflect on some of the values and things that we could learn from our older generation. The advancement of technology is awesome, without it I wouldn't be able to share these words with you now; however, there is something to be said for embracing some of those basic life skills that our grandfathers and fathers shake their heads that we can't do, such as back up a truck and trailer, or fixing a radiator or building a dresser from scraps of wood sitting in your yard.

Apparently this book has been made into a movie and this does concern me a little. I'm sure the movie is fine, but the fabulous thing about a book is that the Ove you envision while reading will probably look like your grandfather. The movie will probably ruin my visions of Ove. Ove (or Harvey to me) was a shorter man that smelled like aftershave with combed back flowy grey hair, who could fix or build anything that was put in front of him. My husband didn't read the book, but when I asked him to describe who he would have pictured, his Ove (or Jim) was a tall man with suspenders and thick snowy white hair watching a Blue Jay game, saying "Jesus Christmas" those Jays are having a good game. My heart smiled several times throughout this book, because I didn't know my grandfather when I was an adult and this gave me a chance to somewhat have a visit with him now that I am.

Last weekend my son went down to the basement and brought up the giant wooden monster truck that I took from Grams and Grandpas house before it was sold. The hub caps made out of prescription pill bottle lids made me smile. Grandpa Harvey seems to live on in the hearts and minds of his grandkids and great grandkids and a big part of that is because he built so many things with those two hands. The bed I slept in my entire childhood life. The playhouse my brother and sister and I played in as a kids. The doll bunkbeds that matched our own bunk beds that he built. The list could go on and on and on. I hope our generation will continue to embrace these types of skills so that our kids and grandkids will also have little reminders of our grandparents and the totally awesome generation they were and still are. 

Some favourite quotes from the book. 

" They say the best men are born out of their faults and that they often improve later on, more than if they'd never done anything wrong."

"If you didn't have anything to say one had to find something to ask. If there was one thing that made people forget to dislike one, it was when they were given the opportunity to talk about themselves"

"Men like Ove and Rune were from a generation in which one was what one did, not what one talked about."

1 comment:

  1. So very well said...found myself nodding along with you. Great post! I'm linking this to our linkup, FYI.