Friday, June 24, 2011

Oh! The Places They're Going.

Once in a while something comes along that makes the job of being a Village Councillor truly worthwhile and worth all of the hard work.
Last night was one of those occasions.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Graduation Exercises for the Fredericton High School Class of 2011 at the Aitken Centre.

I had received invitations in the last couple of years but for whatever reason was unable to attend until this year.

I really didn't know what to expect as I had not been to one of these before.
Heck, I didn't even go to my own high school graduation ceremony.
Actually, when I earned my Grade 12 Diploma at A. Y. Jackson Secondary School in North York I intended on continuing on to Grade 13 the following year.
The Grade 12 diploma didn't seem like a big deal to me so I skipped the ceremony.

I suppose I could say that a representative of Canada's postal service presented me with my Grade 12 diploma. (It came in the mail).

I did go into Grade 13 but didn't quite get that diploma at the end. I dropped out that year and went back the next year to try out "Grade 14".
I didn't get the diploma that year either.
It's a long story that I won't bother telling right now but I WILL say that I made a lot of friends and had a very good time that year. :)

It was a weird time in my life. I'll leave it at that.

What I wasn't expecting last night was to see a class of almost 500 kids take a very large step into their adult lives.
I had no idea that there were so many! Granted, FHS has over 1900 students in Grades 9-12 so I should have figured it out that about a quarter would be graduating last night. FHS website

It was incredible to see so many kids down there. I was in the reserved area of the stands. There were at least 1000 family members and friends filling the stands.

It was almost like being at a UNB Varsity Reds game except that it was very very hot in there last night.

Usually in such a situation I may try to find a way to escape and get air but last night I sat there in the heat for the whole time and applauded while every single student's name was called and they went up to receive their diplomas.

It may sound a bit odd but I was okay with that. Really.
I only knew a few of the kids that were graduating but I felt very proud for all of them.

I know that I would never be called upon to speak at these ceremonies but I sort of wished that I was.

I would like to have told them what was going on in my head as I watched the ceremony.

I would have told them that just a couple of days before I was stunned to realize that even though it felt like my boys had just gone into middle school they were in fact ending their second year.

I wish I could have told them how scared I am to know that before I know it my sons will be heading into that very school that they are now leaving after 4 years.

I would have told them that even though there may have been days that FHS felt like the last place in the world that they wanted to be, in fact, their days at FHS are probably going to be the ones that they look back with the most fondness as they move on in life.

I would have said that it scares the hell out of me to know how fast the day is coming that my two "little" boys will be sitting there in those seats at their own graduation ceremony.

I would have told them that I was pretty certain that those parents up in the stands with me were feeling a worry that every parent will always feel that their "babies" will be okay as they grow up and move on in their lives.

I wish I could have told them that wherever they are going and however busy and wild their lives will become tomorrow, please sit down once in a while and talk to those who love you.
Because they really do want to know how you are and what's going on.

Finally, I wish that no matter what places they go and what wonders and worries they are certain to face that they come out happily and safely on the other side.

Stay well,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I'm stuffing the blog with this post and our family is stuffing this week.
We are stuffed with things to do and I really don't think we could fit any more in.
I'm not complaining though. It's an awesome week.

I'll start with Sunday. Even though the weather wasn't the greatest it was a great day.
Coincidentally, it was Father's Day.
I don't think that I have mentioned this but the boys have started their summer hockey league and have already played 3 of the 10 games.
I'm the main coach of the team.

This is the league that mixes all levels of boys and girls from beginner to Triple A. The biggest rule is that they have fun. Another rule that I greatly admire is that any one player is only allowed to score 3 goals in a game. If they score 4, they get a penalty and the goal doesn't count.

Our team hasn't started off so well. We've actually been pounded in each game so far. We're trying to be positive about the whole thing but I can't help but notice how mismatched the teams are.
I won't dwell on it but there was some shiftiness when the teams were being selected by some who have been doing this for a while and enjoy winning more than some other people do.
Not to worry, we were told that if the teams are eneven that there will be a realignment soon. We'll see.
Honestly? I don't care. I like the kids we have on our team and would prefer not to lose any of them for the sake of a few more goals.

Anyhoo, the kids played a game on Sunday evening and I enjoyed it. Even though we lost.

My father and step-mother made it out which was great.
They are very busy folks and don't really live very close to us so it becomes difficult for getting together.

After the game the boys, Cheryl, my dad and step-mother and myself headed over to Swiss Chalet in Fredericton for a late dinner.
We were pretty hungry by this time and fortunately the Father's Day mobs were long gone when we arrived. We practically had the whole place to ourselves. Sweet.

The next item of awesomeness (awesomeality, awesomeivity?) is that our Baseball season started last night! I'm an assistant coach this season.
It feels like so long since we last played. Actually it has been a long time.
We've been having practices but gametime is where it gets good.

The team that we played last night was actually the team that we beat in the final game last season.
They were pretty good but didn't seem to have what they had last season. Not yet anyway. The season has just started and much can, and likely will change.
Our guys won 14-4 which set a good tone to start the season off.

As always, we were very proud of T and B.

The pitching duties were divided into two innings each. B played first base and was the second pitcher on the mound.
At first he let a couple of pitches get away and seemed to be getting a little upset but managed to rein it in and bring his focus back all by himself.
He pitched two solid innings.

T was outstanding on third base and center field.
One huge shot was smacked out toward him and would certainly have been a triple. That is, if T wasn't on the job. He made it look easy as he jogged over and pulled the ball out of the air to make the out.

How did these guys get so good? I don't remember being that good. :)

Continuing in my awesome week, TODAY is my birthday.
I know that you Facebook pals out there already know because I spent quite a while this morning thanking everyone who posted birthday wishes on my wall.
Thanks again everyone. I have the best friends in the world.

For my birthday present, I want a nice sunny day outside and to watch my sons play baseball again.
What luck! It's a lovely sunny day out right now. I hope it stays that way for another 7 hours or so.
And look! There just happens to be a baseball game scheduled for tonight in Nackawic. Nice.
We have never played against a team from Nackawic before and have no idea what to expect. Nackawic is a mill town and for all we know the baseball players will all be lumberjacks built like Paul Bunyan. :D
It will be fun no matter what.

Nackawic is about halfway from my office to Fredericton so I will be meeting my crew at the ball field near the big axe.
It's true! Go here and see for yourself! It's the world's biggest axe. It's huge.

Town of Nackawic

After the game if all goes well, we'll be celebrating the victory and having birthday cake at my dad's house a short distance along the river from Nackawic.

That's a pretty amazing week isn't it? And it's only Tuesday. :)

Tomorrow we just happen to have another hockey game at Base Gagetown.

As thrilled as I am at how this week is working out but the boys are more thrilled than I am.

This is their last week of school.
Grade 7 is a wrap.

Holy moley, wasn't it just recently that I posted about their first day at Middle School? Two years can't be done already can they? They are? Wow.

I distinctly remember asking very politely for time to slow down just a little bit to let me keep up.
I suppose that's not going to happen.

I'll just try to enjoy the ride then.

Stay well,

Friday, June 10, 2011

Picture This, My Friends

I was in Fredericton the other day at lunchtime and made a detour over to the York Street Train Station/New NB Liquor Store to have a visit.
I knew that not much would have changed since the last time that I was there but wanted to have a look regardless.
Plus, I realized that I had not posted recent photos in a while and felt that I should.

For my part and that of the Fredericton Friends of the Railway it appears that our work is done and we can all be proud of the wonderful newly spiffed-up landmark in the City of Fredericton.
Still, after all these years of driving by and taking thousands of pictures of the station's decay and feeling depressed I owe it to myself to take happy photos and feel good about the place now.

So I think that I'll probably continue this habit for a while longer.
I won't post thousands of happy photos but will store them somewhere with the others.

I've found a few of my pre-repair pictures from about 6 years ago that I'll post for comparison purposes with the new photos.

The difference is stunning.

Have a look. These are the the old photos.

Pretty sad, wasn't it?
Now have a look at this. As it appears today. This will cheer you up.

Awesome isn't it?
As you see there is a little more work to be done and a few things to be tidied up.
I'm not certain what will be going on with the ground surrounding the structure but I'm sure that it will be quite nice.

If I'm not mistaken they may be realigning the City walking trail from the far side of the property closer to the station. At least that was the plan a few years ago.

One thing that I will be sure to do is to get inside at some point and take a multitude of photos. I'll post quite a few of those.
When I was there the other day the front section was locked.

Not to worry. I've waited this long. I can wait a little longer.

Stay well,