Just stop and smell the ocean…

Just a couple days ago, while completing a task on behalf of my employer I had the pleasure of taking an extended drive to a community by the name of Conception Harbour, Newfoundland.  I had never been to this place before, but I was elated that I had the opportunity to visit this small town because it left me with so much inspiration.  This little hamlet was absolutely gorgeous, being that it is now the fall of the year gave my early morning drive that much more character.  The trees painted in oranges, reds and greens stretched along the harborside, the perfect morning for such a delightful cruise.  The homes both new and old were nestled amongst the ever growing assortment of trees with an ascent of wood smoke that scattered the tree line and dissipated as it lazily rose to the sky.

I had completed the task at hand concerning my job, so I took five paces, crossed the small street before me and stood there to enjoy the panoramic bliss.  I took a big deep breath, the salty air filling my lungs brought me right back to the days I would venture down to the shoreline and visit my grandfather as he was salting the daily catch of cod fish and mending his nets.  As I perused the coastline I could hear my own heart beat, the sound of the tide rushing in and out was therapeutic; in the foreground seagulls were quietly sitting atop of a weathered bait shed that seemed as if it was paused in time, rich with history.

It seemed virtually void of any time, quiet, peaceful and not a soul was around to disturb my moment of reflect.  I thought about being a young boy again, scavenging the shore for whatever treasures the tide would bestow upon it.  I thought of the yarns that were spun as my grandfather and his buddies would sit all day and talk about what is and what was.  I looked across the harbour, the trees were several shades of October, and every home that I saw was a place I would love to call my own.  For a moment I felt like I could just stand there forever, it was so calming, and made me instantly homesick.

We take our lives for granted most of the time; we are way too busy to sometimes appreciate where we live.  For me time goes too fast, everyday a monotonous, robotic ritual that tends to consume my ability to enjoy the small things in life.  We move at such a pace that before we know it so much of our lives have passed by, technology has taken our attention away from the beauty that is before us when all we really need to do is look up.

I read all the time how we slowly lose touch of reality, handheld devices have turned a lot of us into electronic zombies.  Nobody really talks to each other anymore and when we do we always take that quick peek at our phones because somebody just took a “selfie”.  I had a conversation yesterday with a good friend of mine and that’s what we spoke of, we talked about what we did before we had these distractions. “How did we get by?”  The answer to that question is simply this, we just enjoyed each other, we enjoyed places, and we just enjoyed “life”.  Like I said before, my grandfather would stand on the side of the road where all his peers came religiously every morning and they would talk all day, to each other, face to face, it wasn’t much but it was genuine.

As I stood there in that brief moment of time I was lost in my thoughts, completely in awe of the sight before me, I smiled and began to walk to my car.  As I mentioned earlier, I became instantly inspired, I was itching right away to tell people about my excursion, I couldn’t wait to write about it, I literally could have stayed there for the rest of my life and just wrote, it was so good for the soul.

People fly all over the world for an experience that I had virtually in my backyard, I mean a forty minute drive from town can have that much of an impression on me, well, it certainly did.  I’m a small town guy, I grew up in a community much like this one and I guess that is purely what it was for me that morning, it’s in my DNA, I lived this laid back life for much of my youth, a part of me still misses that.

In closing, I thought that I would share this with you; I hope you too can take a moment to enjoy what you have around you.  Enjoy your family, your friends, take time for yourself and reflect on where you are in your life, how far you have come, and even where you are going.  We have so many other distractions in our lives on a daily basis that we fail to give ourselves a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of the real world.  Never take what you have for granted, we only get a short time on this planet of ours, so every now and again we just need to stop and smell the ocean.


Well, Halloween is just around the corner, pumpkins are being snatched up left and right, blow up decorations are popping up on lawns all over the place, and last minute costume ideas are being googled right now at this very second.  I have always enjoyed Halloween, as a kid, as an adult, no matter if I did anything or not.  I just love the buzz that day creates, the joy that is brings.  People all over the world are gearing up for another night of fending off ghosts and ghouls for the big sugar rush.

The fall colours allow for the perfect backdrop for such a holiday, pumpkins pop with shades of orange as leaves turn a deep red.  There’s a chill in the air for character and the wind tends to whistle, all keys assets in creating the perfect eerie atmosphere, and yeah, it’s a different kind of dark out.

By now most kids are planning their routes meticulously making sure not to fall victim to the door knocking hordes that only affect your candy bottom line.  Nope, it has to be perfect, each home studied in years past and marked with its own payload of tooth aching loot.  I know for me mobility was everything so an actual Halloween night costume had to be a stark contrast to the school dance one, it was all about the candy tonight baby.

Halloween night has a feel to it, it was and is still is a night you just know is different from the rest.  The anticipation of the looks on people’s faces as they caught a glimpse of the costume you were wearing, and if you were wearing a legit winner, then all the more satisfying.  We all lose our minds coming up with ideas and spend tanks of gas gathering up the parts we need across town, and mind you, you still need to put it all together.  Opting for one of the store bought costumes will save you years off your life but there’s no better feeling when you had everything to do with the costume you are wearing.

Kids are no different, when they have a super sick costume on, they beam with happiness, they want to stay like that forever, or at least go to bed wearing it.  Being a kid is what Halloween is all about, the mystery and excitement of living out your fantasies with friends.  Picking that perfect costume and having the benefit of changing your mind every year thereafter, it’s about imagination, sometimes teamwork and most of all creativity.   Then there’s the candy, the candy is the best part, pouring your exploits out on the living room floor and beginning to allocate the treats to their designated tastiness was a sense of accomplishment mixed with sugar highs.  The candy acted like a timeline of matching treat to house and rating the house on whether or not we would return next time around.  The following week I would have pockets of goodies to please my sweet tooth and enough to use as currency on the schoolyard, I was in a good place.

I was more of a two bag guy; I know there were some who would spend all night collecting treats trying to break their old distance records and padding their house count totals.  They would plan ahead and stuff an extra pillow case under the heavy sweater they were wearing and bring that extra mask for the deceptive maneuver of retrying a house wearing a new identity, bold move.  Halloween has so many good memories like that for me growing up, some of the best times to be a kid, a lot of fun.

As an adult we still get to enjoy Halloween, its actually encouraged, we too can make believe and have fun with the annual spooky night.  Some of the best parties that I have attended were Halloween parties, people put a lot effort in pulling one of those off, and it was fun to be a part of.  Some places that I have worked took part in costume contests, I once earned a day off because of the costume I was wearing was voted the best.  Pumpkin spice is the new orange, hands are hanging out of trunks, and your spook meter has gone up a few notches, Halloween is all around us so we may as well have a good time with it.  Everybody loves a good scare, right?

No matter what your age, Halloween is a great escape from our normal lives, as kids we loved dressing up and getting to see our own kids or grandkids play those same parts are great memories in the making.  Be a kid again, it’s ok, “trick or treat” resonates with all of us and when we think of Halloween the next thing that should come to all of our minds is candy, candy…..candy.

Happy Halloween

I think I’ll take a walk…

Tonight I got the urge to walk to the corner store, the foggy mist was low and sky was getting dark, a beautiful night for a brisk wet stroll.  I grew up without a car in my family, both my grandparents, who raised me, were relatively old and never had a need for a vehicle.  So for me, that meant anywhere that I needed to go I had to walk, I didn’t complain either it was no big deal.

Anyway, usually when I resort to walking these days it has a tendency to bring back old memories of my ventures when I was a young boy.  My walks to a friends house, those nights coming home from a school dance,  and my adventures to the wooded areas behind my house are some of the memories that would come flashing back.

It’s funny how familiar we get with the paths we choose to get us to where we have to go,  the rickety old fence, that big crooked tree that looks like its about to fall to the ground with the slightest touch, or maybe it’s an annoying barking dog that just wouldn’t shut up.  If you paid close attention I’m sure there are things to this day that you remember from your own journeys.  I sometimes would have to hop fences, stopping by the blueberry bushes would almost always distract me for a moment or two, and oh yeah, passing through the broken street light section definitely put a lump in my throat.  I knew those paths like the back of my hand, I bet I could still do some of them with my eyes close, well ok, maybe not.  The twists and turns I took felt like they were my own, I’m sure many people traversed the same route everyday as well, but I bet they are not writing about them today like I am, hehe.


Walks allow me to clear my head, for that short time you forget about everything,  no technology craving your attention, void of all traffic aside from the odd fellow passerby with their dog whose usually in a manic sniff leads the way.  Tonight was just me and the sound of my own steps, the air was clean, the leaves sparkled orange as they change with the season, the mist was refreshing with my mind free of any ill thoughts.

Sure, I could of gotten into my car out of the rain, driven to my destination in less than a couple minutes but no, not tonight, why make it so easy and deprive myself of such an experience.  I enjoyed that walk, I felt like a young boy again, tempted by the puddles of water, curious of what was glimmering at the trailside just ahead of me, don’t get excited it was only a pop can sticking out from the ground.  But a walk can do that, its always an adventure, you never know what you will see or who you will meet.


The next time that you need to clear your head, collect your thoughts, or seek inspiration much like I did, hence this post, take a walk, go on you will thank yourself for it, trust me.  A lot like me something like a walk to the convenience store doesn’t really have to be such an inconvenience.

Bullies…can’t beat ’em, don’t join ’em

A few weekends ago I was dropping my fiancé off to a coworkers cabin for a retirement party with several of her colleagues.  In doing so, I had to take an off-road which lead essentially to a crescent of cabins, a beautiful area just outside of the city of St. John’s but the road was a little worse for wear.  Once we made it to the cabin I gave my fiancé a kiss goodbye and began my trek back home. Instead of backtracking,  I decided to continue on around the crescent not truly knowing when I would meet the main road again, but I had lots of time. So, I was in no hurry.

Continue reading “Bullies…can’t beat ’em, don’t join ’em”