Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What An Day Without Me!

At the request of someone dear to me I have removed this blog post for now.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

While I Was Out...

It's sort of funny really.
Since I was elected onto Village Council I didn't get much media coverage.
This was understandable.
I haven't had too much of interest going on to warrant coverage so I understood.
This morning Cheryl emailed me that I made the front page of the Gleaner.

When I read the article I was surprised and couldn't believe that someone outside of my friends and family was really looking at my blog!
Then I realized that it was because my pal Charles mentioned it in his blog.

At least I know that Charles is taking care of business while I am here in Ontario.


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Monday, December 29, 2008

Re: Agenda for Dec. 30th Special Session

I am not prepared to write a long blog right now since I am still with my Mom in the hospice in Ontario.
She is still giving a fight.
I do want to show you a letter I send to Council last night though.
This had been bothering me and I was relieved to get it off my chest. For those not familiar with this topic I will try and post a link to the article later.
I may be reprimanded when I get back, especially if anyone actually finds out that I put this on my blog.
From Mayor Dunn's reply today I understand the vote is going to proceed without me.
I am not pleased about this and know that at least two of the other Councillors are not either.
This will be interesting but is not of great concern to me at this time.

Mom is continuing to battle bravely but is so tired.
She has been asleep for almost three days and hasn't eaten or drank anything.
I stay here holding her hand and tell her it's okay to let go now but her body doesn't want to yet.
I haven't left this building since Christmas day or this room except to shower or eat.
Sleep has been very unusual since I wake up at least every hour to make sure she is still breathing.
I've lost track of the days and if it weren't for the clocks you could tell me any time and I would believe you.
There will be plenty of time for sleep later.
My Mom doesn't want to leave yet so I'm not going anywhere until she decides that it's time.


------Original Message------
To: Gisele McCaie-Burke
To: 'Cynthia Geldart'
To: Frank Dunn
To: Judy Wilson-Shee
To: Frank Dunn
To: Paul Leblanc
To: Scott Sparks
Subject: Re: Agenda for Dec. 30th Special Session
Sent: Dec 28, 2008 1:42 AM

Good evening everyone. As some of you know I am presently in Ontario with my mother to be with her for her remaining time in life.
She has been deteriorating as I have sat here with her and I don't expect her to last too much longer.
However, my sister was also a fighter and stood her ground for a good amount of time before succumbing.
I may or may not make it back in time for the December 30th meeting but either way we are going to have an issue with 40-01-2008 Bylaw reading.
If Your Worship wishes I can present the following personally at the next meeting I am in attendance but this is also for you all to read.
Last week I received a call from a resident who also lives on Phillips Drive. She had a question to ask me but also wanted to express her displeasure at what I am doing with the water and sewer rates.
Please note that her displeasure was directed at me personally because I am the Chair of the Water and Wastewater Committee.
She did not wish to direct her anger at the Council but to me personally.
She said that she voted for me because she trusted that I would be working for those who elected me and now she sees that I don't care about residents with fixed incomes or financial difficulties.
I tried to explain to her how we were calculating the water rate and that we were working to lessen the impact of a loan for the future water tower.
She did not seem to even want to hear it but remained focused on something that I am doing to affect residents of the Village which will have a great impact.
It occurred to me afterwards right or wrong this lady had a valid point.
What right do I have to make a push for something that will affect so many of the residents but not myself?
If my name is to be attached to something as far reaching as this then it should be something which involves me too.
Otherwise I don't feel that I have the right.
That is my feeling on that.
The day following the election I personally attended the Mayor's home with only one pleading request, that I please don't be given the Water and Wastewater Committee chair position.
I was completely willing to be co-chair of the committee but I made it completely clear that I was not comfortable with taking the chair role.
Even though I had been a member of the committee for four years I did not feel qualified and correctly realized that there was some information that I would not be fully aware of in a public member capacity.
For some reason my request was disregarded and I was given the exact position I had asked not to have.
Up to this point in time I have been a trooper and have done my best with things I do not claim to be an expert in.
I am not going to do this any more.
It has been suggested to me that with the meters and the tower was also to come much protest from the residents. It was suggested to me that who better to have the displeasure and protest aimed at but the new guy on Council? What a perfect way to assure that he does not stand a chance at reelection? The difficult items are sent through and the new guy will be disposed of come next election.
Of course I scoffed at this theory as conspiracy minded.
The problem that we are going to have with 40-01-2008 Bylaw reading is how am I to be the one reading it when I am now planning to vote against it?
I feel that the water tower project and water meters have been pushed by others and I have been along for the ride.
I expressed my displeasure at the financial burden on the residents quite a while ago and never felt that displeasure went away.
When Deputy Mayor Wilson-Shee presented her disagreement with the figures I felt distraught as I felt that we had done so much number crunching and figuring based on data and statistics that we HAD to be right. It had taken so much work.
I now agree with our deputy mayor fully.
I realize that we as Councillors hope to present a united front to the public as far as our decisions are concerned but I feel that if the Village Deputy Mayor is able to publicly voice her displeasure with what is occurring on Council then I am permitted to do so as well.
I do not feel that I have been treated fairly and I am prepared to express these feelings publicly before my public image is completely destroyed.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going back to holding my mother's hand and watching her breathe.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Fall

Cheryl, the boys and I arrived in Ontario in time for Christmas Eve a few minutes after mom got here at Hill House hospice.
This place is quite nice and the boys can play games in the basement.
There are only three patients in this place at a time. Usually with only a month or two remaining.
We read "The Night Before Christmas" last night with Mom here in her room before going to Mom's house for the night.
We brought a little tree to set up since no-one has lived in Mom's house for a few months.
I was looking for Christmas wrapping paper in the basement and found Mom's boxes of Christmas decorations.
There were all of the things that Hayley and I had made when we were little.
Mom had still been using them all of these years.
I wasn't too bad while looking through them all but when we were eating dinner everything hit me at once and I broke down.
Cheryl and the boys comforted me very well.

We will be driving back to New Brunswick on Saturday after visiting Cheryl's mother.

I am staying here tonight in Mom's room sleeping in a spare bed in her room.
Earlier this evening I was looking around the place, especially at all of the books in the front room.
Practically all are about dealing with grief and explaining death.
There are a few that are meant to help explain death to young kids.
I browsed all of them and one really struck me as a wonderful book, considering the topic.
Fortunately I was able to find it written out in full on so I don't have to type it all out to show it to you.

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages,

by Leo Buscalgia

Spring had passed. So had Summer.
Freddie, the leaf, had grown large. His mid section was wide and strong, and his five extensions were firm and pointed.
He had first appeared in Spring as a small sprout on a rather large branch near the top of a tall tree.
Freddie was surrounded by hundreds of other leaves just like himself, or so it seemed. Soon he discovered that no two leaves were alike, even though they were on the same tree. Alfred was the leaf next to him. Ben was the leaf on his right side, and Clare was the lovely leaf overhead. They had all grown up together. They had learned to dance in the Spring breezes, bask lazily in the Summer sun and wash off in the cooling rains.
But it was Daniel who was Freddie's best friend. He was the largest leaf on the limb and seemed to have been there before anyone else. It appeared to Freddie that Daniel was also the wisest among them. It was Daniel who told them that they were part of a tree. It was Daniel who explained that they were growing in a public park. It was Daniel who told them that the tree had strong roots which were hidden in the ground below. He explained about the birds who came to sit on their branch and sing morning songs. He explained about the sun, the moon, the stars, and the seasons.
Freddie loved being a leaf. He loved his branch, his light leafy friends, his place high in the sky, the wind that jostled him about, the sun rays that warmed him, the moon that covered him with soft, white shadows. Summer had been especially nice. The long hot days felt good and the warm nights were peaceful and dreamy.
There were many people in the park that Summer. They often came and sat under Freddie's tree. Daniel told him that giving shade was part of his purpose.
"What's a purpose?" Freddie had asked.
"A reason for being," Daniel had answered. "To make things more pleasant for others is a reason for being. To make shade for old people who come to escape the heat of their homes is a reason for being. To provide a cool place for children to come and play. To fan with our leaves the picnickers who come to eat on checkered tablecloths. These are all the reasons for being."
Freddie especially liked the old people. They sat so quietly on the cool grass and hardly ever moved. They talked in whispers of times past.
The children were fun, too, even though they sometimes tore holes in the bark of the tree or carved their names into it. Still, it was fun to watch them move so fast and to laugh so much.
But Freddie's Summer soon passed.
It vanished on an October night. He had never felt it so cold. All the leaves shivered with the cold. They were coated with a thin layer of white which quickly melted and left them dew drenched and sparkling in the morning sun.
Again, it was Daniel who explained that they had experienced their first frost, the sign that it was Fall and that Winter would come soon.
Almost at once, the whole tree, in fact, the whole park was transformed into a blaze of color. There was hardly a green leaf left. Alfred had turned a deep yellow. Ben had become a bright orange. Clare had become a blazing red, Daniel a deep purple and Freddie was red and gold and blue. How beautiful they all looked. Freddie and his friends had made their tree a rainbow.
"Why did we turn different colors," Freddie asked, "when we are on the same tree?"
"Each of us is different. We have had different experiences. We have faced the sun differently. We have cast shade differently. Why should we not have different colors?" Daniel said matter-of-factly. Daniel told Freddie that this wonderful season was called Fall.
One day a very strange thing happened. The same breezes that, in the past, had made them dance began to push and pull at their stems, almost as if they were angry. This caused some of the leaves to be torn from their branches and swept up in the wind, tossed about and dropped softly to the ground.
All the leaves became frightened.
"What's happening?" they asked each other in whispers.
"It's what happens in Fall," Daniel told them. "It's the time for leaves to change their home. Some people call it to die."
"Will we all die?" Freddie asked.
"Yes," Daniel answered. "Everything dies. No matter how big or small, how weak or strong. We first do our job. We experience the sun and the moon, the wind and the rain. We learn to dance and to laugh. Then we die."
"I won't die!" said Freddie with determination. "Will you, Daniel?"
"Yes," answered Daniel, "when it's my time."
"When is that?" asked Freddie.
"No one knows for sure," Daniel responded.
Freddie noticed that the other leaves continued to fall. He thought, "It must be their time." He saw that some of the leaves lashed back at the wind before they fell, others simply let go and dropped quietly.
Soon the tree was almost bare.
"I'm afraid to die," Freddie told Daniel. "I don't know what's down there."
"We all fear what we don't know, Freddie. It's natural," Daniel reassured him. "Yet, you were not afraid when Summer became Fall. They were natural changes. Why should you be afraid of the season of death?"
"Does the tree die, too?" Freddie asked.
"Someday. But there is something stronger than the tree. It is Life.
That lasts forever and we are all a part of Life."
"Where will we go when we die?"
"No one knows for sure. That's the great mystery!"
"Will we return in the Spring?"
"We may not, but Life will."
"Then what has been the reason for all of this?" Freddie continued to question. "Why were we here at all if we only have to fall and die?"
Daniel answered in his matter-of-fact way, "It's been about the sun and the moon. It's been about happy times together. It's been about the shade and the old people and the children. It's been about colors in Fall. It's been about seasons. Isn't that enough?" "That afternoon, in the golden light of dusk, Daniel let go. He fell effortlessly. He seemed to smile peacefully as he fell. "Goodbye for now, Freddie," he said.
Then, Freddie was all alone, the only leaf on his branch.
The first snow fell the following morning. It was soft, white, and gentle; but it was bitter cold. There was hardly any sun that day, and the day was very short. Freddie found himself losing his color, becoming brittle. It was constantly cold and the snow weighed heavily upon him.
At dawn the wind came that took Freddie from his branch. It didn't hurt at all. He felt himself float quietly, gently and softly downward. As he fell, he saw the whole tree for the first time. How strong and firm it was! He was sure that it would live for a long time and he knew that he had been part of its life and made him proud.
Freddie landed on a clump of snow. It somehow felt soft and even warm. In this new position he was more comfortable than he had ever been. He closed his eyes and fell asleep. He did not know that Spring would follow Winter and that the snow would melt into water. He did not know that what appeared to be his useless dried self would join with the water and serve to make the tree stronger. Most of all, he did not know that there, asleep in the tree and the ground, were already plans for new leaves in the Spring.


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Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I don't have time for a long blog and may or may not get to one in the next few days.

Our family has decided to head off to Ontario tomorrow to be with my mother for what is likely to be her last Christmas.

Cancer is the nastiest, most horrendous disease that has ever plagued the Earth.

It's not done ripping out my heart and soul yet. It started years ago with my close friend Andy, then my step-father Tom almost 6 years ago, Hayley a couple of months ago and now it's going to steal my mother from us.

They say that if these things don't kill you they make you stronger.

If that's the case I'm ready to be Hercules.

The weather has been a nightmare. Last night we had what I believe is the worst snowstorm since we have lived in New Brunswick.

Last night the blowing blizzard felt like it was about to blow the windows in.

I am crossing my fingers that the highway from here to Ontario through Quebec is a little less terrifying than it usually is during the winter.

We are driving through the night when Cheryl and I get home from work tomorrow.

There is nothing pleasant about this trip at all.

We have a beautiful Christmas tree here but we aren't going to be here on Christmas morning to see it. The boys are being real little troopers about this and I'm very proud of them.

We all realize that no matter what we have to endure over the next few days it's nothing compared to the thought of my poor mother in a hospital bed without her family with her on Christmas.

We will do our best but I honestly don't feel that it's possible to have a Merry Christmas this year.

I hope that everyone else is able to do so on my behalf.


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wish Us Luck

I'm just going to get political again for a moment to say that New Maryland Council is presenting our first budget tonight since I have become a Councillor.
We changed this meeting from the usual Wednesday to Thursday night because Fredericton did their budget last night.
We decided to be nice and not steal their thunder. :)
I am a little nervous.
An awful lot of time and work went into this. I can say with confidence that this is a good budget.
However, we have all heard the saying that "you can't please everyone all of the time".
I won't say any more now but will comment further in the next little while.
Wish us luck!

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Friday, December 12, 2008

THAT'S serious rain!

I know that these little pictures aren't going to do this justice but this rain is crazy!
Last night we had snow then freezing rain and rain ever since then.
The roads have huge puddles (lakes!) everywhere.
When I left my office there was a stream that had backed up flowing across Cliffe Street.
I took these clips with my real camera.

Hey! What happens when I don't close my car window fast enough when another car drives past me? Have a look.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Amazing Birthday Girl

I'll bet my wife is going to see this headline and think that it's about her.
Her birthday is tomorrow (12th) and it's a milestone for her.
Sorry sweety. You are amazing but I want to mention someone that I've known a little longer.
My whole life actually.
My grandmother was 96 years young yesterday (10th).
What a fantastic lady! She lives in her own house in Fredericton.
Granny loves it when anyone visits her and can always tell you of what's transpired along the street that day.
She is the best Neighbourhood Watcher the world has ever seen.
If she isn't doing a puzzle of some kind, reading or playing cards she watches the world go by from her favourite chair.
I really wanted to do this blog on her birthday but haven't had a chance until now.
I'm sure she won't mind.

Happy Birthday Granny!
We all love you,


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Could we please stop for a little while? Or just slow down?

I am the first to admit that I can be a little slow to pick up on things sometimes. This morning was another perfect example of this.

I was in the shower planning my day in my head when a sudden realization struck me. As I got out I said to Cheryl
"Did you realize that today is the last time we will ever see the boys in a Christmas show like this?"
She had already thought about this of course. (She's quite clever.)

I had not realised this until now. Suddenly I felt very sad. The next time I go to a show like this should be when I have grandchildren in it.

I can still picture that day just over 5 years ago in September 2003 when the boys were ready for their first day of Kindergarten at New Maryland Elementary School. I have a picture somewhere of them and their little backpacks with their snacks and supplies in them. They were so little and it really doesn't seem like that long ago to me.

Suddenly, they are 10 years old and in Grade 5! They will be gone from this school at the end of the school year! This is happening far too fast for me. I'm still digesting the fact that their shoes are as big as mine.

Why can't I slow this down? It's not fair. Our whole family has put so much into this school. I'm not ready to let go of it yet! When the boys started Kindergarten I joined the Home and School Association. I was President of that for 2 years. About 4 years ago I figured that I had too much free time on my hands (I'm joking, honest) and was elected onto the Parent School Support Committee.
I am still a member of both groups but I'm not as involved as before since getting onto Village Council and the boys being active in their music and sports.

It just feels so odd though that I have spent the last 5 years doing everything that I can to help make the school a better place, and they won't be there anymore. I feel good thinking that future students will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labours.

When I was president of the Home and School Association our huge accomplishment was getting the drainage problem and groundwork resolved in the Grades 1 and 2 playground. That was an enormous undertaking and a lot of money had to be raised.
In Ontario we were used to the fact that the school board took care of these things. In New Brunswick groups of parent volunteers raise money to look after the school grounds and equipment. That's hard to adjust to.

My legacy as Home and School President is the Grade 1 and 2 playground. It's not a swamp anymore.
I think I'll get a teeny tiny little plaque with my name on it. I'll go over one night and hide it in the gravel or on a tree.

Many years down the road maybe someone will realize how much the Scammells put into New Maryland Elementary School.
We will never forget how much we got out of it.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'd like to try something

I want to try and add videos into my blog like Charles does. Let's see if these work. They are one of the hat-trick goals as well as a clip showing my little defenceman in action. Wish me luck!

My guys are numbers 4 and 6.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

How's this for timely?

If you happened to see my last two blogs you will understand what a coincidence this is.
The boys just played a hockey game against a team in Burtts Corner. They lost 4-1.
Neither of our lads scored the goal but one did get the assist.
It was fun and nice to play against a team they've never played before.

Anyhow, as I was in the main hallway waiting for the chaps to take to the ice I saw these signs on the big bulletin board.
They relate exactly to what my previous blogs talked about with the pressure some parents put on the kids and taking the whole thing too seriously.
I just wanted to share that. I thought it was rather cool.

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I would like to dump a little cliché in here if I may.
What a difference a day makes!
Or in this case six days.
You recall my last blog that one of our sons scored three goals in their team's 5-4 hockey victory last Sunday.
This morning I could feel that something wasn't quite right and the energy was not quite there.
Sure enough, our lads lost 8-0.
The other team had some amazing little players.
We didn't seem to have a chance.
Many of our kids have a natural chemistry with each other. On the good days they just click. One passes the puck and knows that the other is there to get it.
This skill is rare.
Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr had this magical ability.
It was a foresight that they used to place themselves exactly where the puck was going and place it where they wanted it to go.
I suppose even the greatest players of all time had their off days.
This morning it seemed like our entire team was feeling funky.
They just seemed to meander around waiting to see if the puck would come to them so that they could go with it.
The other team made sure that it didn't get to our scorers.
I'll tell you something though. I was really darn proud of our boys.
Nobody complained when the puck went into our net or if they missed a breakaway shot.
Everyone took it in stride as an experience on the other side of the win/lose equation.
They all lined up after the game politely shook hands with the other kids.
These guys are just happy to be out there playing!
My little superstar used to have a difficult time accepting a loss situation last year. He wasn't the worst but I wasn't happy with it.
He has completely changed now and is like his brother.
Our other star is a solid little defenseman who digs in and gets the job done.
You want that puck cleared out of our end? Give him a moment and he will be delighted to take care of that.
Keep the puck in the blue line? Not a problem.
And if he does happen to miss it he hustles and chases that thing.
His heart is in the game. He doesn't want to try and be a Bobby Orr and score a bunch of goals.
He wants to play and have a good time.
They both do.
For that we are enormously proud.
It seems Cheryl and I are doing pretty good so far.
Forward we go.
They have an exhibition game tonight against a team not in the FYHA in Burtts Corner.
Let's have fun.
By the way, the picture above is of the arena we usually play in. The Willie O'Ree Place.
I took it as I was driving away this morning.


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Friday, December 5, 2008

The Greatest Doctor Who Ever Lived - Part 2

I suppose that I could jump into this one with comments and opinions about the silly state of our country's federal government and the bizarre fear that Canadians were mere days from being taken over by Separtists, Socialists, Anarchists and the morons that accompany them.
Or, I could talk about how my photo pal Stephen Harper convinced the Governor General to giving him and his minority Conservatives (including my pal Keith Ashfield) a reprieve until January 2009 from being overrun by the twerps mentioned above.

No siree, I'm not going to do that. There will be plenty of time in January to talk about that if I choose to do so.

I'm going to start this one off my announcing to the world that one of my sons got his very first hockey hat trick on Sunday morning!!
In all the years I played hockey I only scored two goals. That's all.
Last year they only had one goal each but so far he has scored 5 goals in 4 games.
Darn right we're proud!
That's real NEWS! Isn't it? These are the most important things in the world.
Seeing our children doing well and having fun at the same time.

Cheryl and I do not push and nag our boys to excel and be the best at everything they do. We would like them to do their best, but they don't have to BE the best.
They are playing to have fun!

If they happen to develop or discover that they have an extraordinary skill in the process that's wonderful, we'll nurture it in a loving way.
Don't get me wrong. We will continually tell them that they have the ability to be great if they put their minds and soul into it. That's inside them as it is with us all.
But that's up to them.
Far too often we have seen parents pushing or pulling children to win and that nothing else will do.
It's not up to me to say that they are wrong. In fact, I'll bet that their kids do win quite often.
I just hope that they enjoy the path getting there.

The only thing we will insist on is that they are involved in some type of sport or activity in the summer and the winter.

Their interest in music has been a fabulous bonus to us.
Cheryl and I are overjoyed that the lads enjoy playing the drums and piano.
They are pretty good too! The lessons are not wasted by any means.

I suppose this big preamble is a perfect lead-in to my next Dr. Seuss book item.
My favourite book ever written by the good doctor also happened to be his last. I wonder if he knew that he wasn't well and set out to write the most brilliant and educational story of his life?
The first time that I saw this was when the boys were very little and we lived in Mississauga, Ontario. That was at least six years ago and they are ten now.
The public library in Meadowvale Town Centre was perfect for kids. The children's area had big piles of books on the floor with mats to crawl around and get comfy while reading everything in sight.
I thought that I knew all of Dr. Seuss' stuff but I had never seen this one before.
I sat down and started to read it. As I did so I knew that I was holding one of my favourite books ever.

I bought a copy of my own so that I could read it to the boys (or myself) whenever I wanted.
I have done just that. It has been a little while but I guarantee I will be digging it out tonight to read to them again.
I'll talk about it more after you have a chance to read it yourself but there are certain parts that I choke up every time I read.
Hopefully you'll see what I mean.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! was first published in January 1990 and talks about life and its challenges in the way that only Dr. Seuss could do.
It is written in the style of his classics such as Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat, but this one has specific characters including a narrator and the person reading it.
He calls the young boy “you” and this boy initiates the story's actions. This character helps us to identify with the book.

I learned on the internet that in the United States and Canada, Oh, the Places You'll Go! is a popular gift for students graduating from high school and college, with its biggest sales every spring.
This book sells up to 300 thousand copies every year! That's incredible!

I'll stop rambling so that you can read this for yourself. See if you agree with me.

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

---Dr. Seuss

See what I mean? Was I wrong? I don't think so.
The story is so motivational while being cautious at the same time.
The title tells you that you're setting out on a big wonderful journey. The content emphasizes this too but warns you of the speed bumps that you will encounter.
I can't think of any other person or possible way to talk to kids about the trials they will face in life.
Youngsters may not see past the Seussisms and wonderful pictures in order to see the deeper wisdom of this story. But I'll bet that as they get older and start to experience life this story will make more sense to them.

As I read this to my sons they don't understand why Daddy gets tears in his eyes and chokes up when he gets to the " All Alone! Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you'll be quite a lot." part.
One day I hope they have children of their own. Then they will understand this feeling.
The feeling that I can't bear the thought of them being alone in the world at any point and there will be nothing I can do to stop it.
As a parent I wish beyond measure that I could always be there for our babies and shield them from the ugly parts of life and the "dragons" that are hiding out there.

Reluctantly, I see it realistically and know that this is not possible. I can't always be there.
One day I won't be there at all and that thought pains me.

You and I need to have faith that when our children reach those "waiting places" and arrive at their "mountains" that they have equipped themselves with the right equipment to make that climb much easier and have surrounded themselves with the right people to make the journeys a little smoother.
As parents it is up to us to educate our kids so when they "look up and down streets" they will have the knowledge to see why a street may be a "not-so-good" street and say "I don't choose to go there."
With the help of the great Dr. Seuss I should be able to do my part.
Could there possibly be a more fun way to do so?

Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss (1904-1991)