Thursday, January 19, 2012

My 40′s Years

The post below appeared at
yesterday (January 18, 2012).
My friend Heather who operates the site asked me if I would like to provide a guest blog. I was happy to do so.

Stay well,

My 40′s Years

My Twitter pal Heather Held from asked me a couple of weeks ago if I would do a guest blog post for her site.
I guess she had read a couple of my personal blog entries and liked what she saw.

For those that don’t know, is a web site started by Heather and Dena Pollack as a cool site for people in their 40’s to hang around, read interesting articles, seek expert advice and share things in common with other folks in their 40’s.

Heather asked me if I could talk about being in my 40’s. At first I felt kind of weird about it since I am at the far end of this age group. I’ll be 49 in June.

When I mentioned this to Heather she said to do a piece summarizing something about my 40’s years. Now why didn’t I think of that.

At first I was wondering what to say. Then it came to me.

Some huge and very important things have happened over the last 9 years.

In January 2003, my wife and I packed up from Ontario which was the only province we had both ever known as home, and moved our family to New Brunswick.

Second and more importantly, I have watched my two little twin guys go from being wee kids of 3 years old to become pretty darn close to adults at 13 years old.

These boys were barely up to my waist when they were 3. Now, they are 5’10 and 5’11 tall and have size 12 feet! The good thing with this is that when I am going out I can have my pick of the shoes at the door. They all fit except that the boys shoes are actually big on me. I’m serious. My feet are only a men’s size 10 ½ to 11. Lol.

Think about this though.

In my mind, there are really only 2 stages in life. Childhood and adulthood.

The teen years are sort of a limbo in between but I classify them as almost being in adulthood. Of course old age is adulthood as well but sometimes with a sad regression to childhood.

Within one decade of my life, my 40’s, I have watched my twin sons go from childhood into adulthood.

When I was 39, my sons were little guys singing in their car seats in the back of the car as we travelled.

Now I am almost 49 and both of my sons now have wonderful young ladies as girlfriends and sit in the back seat holding hands with them as I drive.

Many who read this are probably thinking “Girlfriends?? At 13??”. I would usually agree with you but I have to tell you that these kids are mature, responsible and polite about their “relationships”.

Cheryl and I have become friends with the girls’ parents and spent New Year’s Eve with them at our house. It was very nice.

When I was 39, the boys were barely able to stand up on skates and needed us walking with them on the ice holding their hands.

Now I am almost 49, these same boys stand over 6 feet tall on skates and fly like the wind out there in their hockey games.

One is consistently one of the top scorers on the team while the other is one of the best defencemen in the league and guards that blue line like an officer on the beat.

When they were little almost every moment of their young lives was tied in with my wife and I.

Over the last little while we are becoming less of a factor in what goes on in their lives.

That’s not really a negative thing. It is terribly sad to me but it’s a sign that my sons are maturing and becoming more independent. This will serve them well in the years to come.

Two little boys into two handsome young men in less than one decade of my life. That’s pretty huge.

The last and unfortunately the saddest thing about the years in my 40’s have been those that I have lost.

When I was in my 20’s I lost one of my closest friends to cancer. At that time I had never experienced the passing of someone that close to me before. It took a very long time for me to be able to put that loss into a section of my brain so that the pain was lessened. I didn’t think that anything could hurt as much as losing a close pal that I had known almost all of my life.

Then about nine years ago shortly after we moved to New Brunswick we lost my stepfather to cancer. He and my mother had been together for over 20 years but had only been oficially married for a couple of years when this happened.

The worst thing about losing him was that I was all the way over here in New Brunswick while my mother and sister were in Ontario trying to deal with his passing.

It wasn’t easy trying to help mom but we did the best that we could do a couple of provinces away.

Uncle Maurice was my great-uncle. My father’s uncle. He was one of my favourite people in the whole world. I had loved him like crazy for my whole life. One would be hard-pressed to find someone as personable, easy going and fun as Uncle Maurice.

In fact, people in Fredericton still talk about him with great fondness.

When we were moving to New Brunswick one of the biggest things that I was looking forward to was finally being close enough to Uncle Maurice to be able to see him often and let our boys get to know him.

Uncle Maurice passed away with the first few months of our coming out here and we never did get to hang out with him as I had hoped.

In August 2008 my beautiful little sister Hayley passed away of cancer.

A few months later on New Year’s Eve we lost my mother to cancer as well.

As hard as Andy’s passing had been to me when I was in my 20’s the passing of my mother and sister a couple of years ago has had the most profound effect on me.

I guess if one tries to weigh things out the years of my 40’s haven’t been so great but they haven’t been completely rotten have they?

I’m not going to say anything to predict what my 50’s will hold. I don’t dread them as many people do. A year is only a measure of time after all.

True age is a mental state.

Just try to enjoy today and continue along safely and I think everything will be just fine.

Stay well,


Tim is a 40-something part-time municipal councillor, current provincial government employee, married father of 13 year-old twin sons who lives in New Brunswick, Canada and has no problem telling the world exactly what is on his mind.

His personal blog page can be found at

Monday, January 16, 2012

Safety? Who cares about safety?

There's something I'd like to mention that happened last Thursday night.
I've discussed it on Twitter and Facebook already but I'm able to give more details here.

Our boys' hockey team was registered to play in a hockey tournament in Fredericton Junction this past weekend.
For those who don't have a clue where the heck that is, this is from Google Maps. Fredericton Junction is the B on the bottom. New Maryland (where we live) is the A at the top of the purple path line.

It doesn't look like much really. It's about 35 kilometers (22 miles for my American friends) and takes about 1/2 and hour to drive on a normal day.
A NORMAL day. That would be without a wild blowing snowstorm or freezing rain.

I should add that you can't tell from a Google map but that road is pretty well unlit the whole way and is mainly forest on both sides.

Anyway, back to the topic.
Last Thursday started out pretty well. The daytime weather was nothing out of the ordinary.
However, some nastiness and freezing rain was forecast for the late afternoon to early evening.

I've always loathed this but many tournament organizers don't seem to realize or care that people have jobs and kids have to go to school. They begin weekend hockey tournaments on the Thursday night in order to squeeze more games in.

Our sons were actually going to miss the team's first game that night.
It may seem crazy but there was a good reason. Really.
They were going to the school dance which was supposed to have taken place just before Christmas but was postponed due to the weather (sigh) and rescheduled for this night.
Both boys had been looking forward to that dance so much. Both of their girlfriends were going with them and it was going to be a really nice evening.

Guess what? The school heard the weather forecast and postponed/cancelled the dance again. I guess it will be a Christmas/Valentine dance.
They cancelled all after school activities for that day.

Ah well, that meant that they could now play in Thursday night's hockey game.
Before that I had to take T to his piano lesson and then pick up his young lady friend to go to the game with us.
Cheryl was taking B to pick up his young lady friend and we were going to meet at home and head to the game from there.

Somewhere around 5:00 or so Mother Nature decided it was time to give it to us.
It started out looking like a misty rain except that it froze into a sheet of ice on my car windshield.

As I was waiting for T at his piano lesson I had a call from Cheryl that the hockey game that night was cancelled due to the weather. That made a lot of sense to me.
Especially as I drove along in a line of cars trying to slide and skid our way up the Hanwell Road hill in Fredericton.

The weather wasn't nice at all. Truth be told, I was a little anxious at the thought of travelling that icy dark road to get to the game.

Here's where it gets weird.

What I didn't realize was that the decision to cancel the game was made by our team's coaches and Cheryl who is the manager. Not by the tournament organizers.
Our folks made the right choice.

However, when they called the tournament organizers they were told that by cancelling we would forfeit the game and it would go on the board as a 3-0 loss for us.
There was nothing in the tournament rules saying this but they made it up right then.

I also found out that the president of the Tri-County league who was running the tournament commented that the roads weren't bad.
It's possible that what he saw out his window was different from what we saw but I don't think it could be that far off.
I'm sorry pal. The roads WERE bad.

He made a snarky comment that the Grand Lake team had made it there so we should be able to as well.
What he didn't account for was that the Grand Lake team played over an hour before us and did their travelling before the storm hit.

Of course our first game was against the home team who could probably walk over to the arena. There's no reason for them to need to cancel the game. They didn't have to drive in what we did.

Something completely floors me about this guy's mentality.

Exactly 4 years to the day on Thursday, a horrific accident took the lives of seven young basketball players and a teacher and injured four others who were in the vehicle near Bathurst, New Brunswick.
They were returning home from a basketball game in Moncton in a 15 passenger van. There was a light freezing rain and poor visibility.
The coach who was driving lost control of the van and veered into the path of a large truck.

This struck the hearts of everyone and saddens and haunts New Brunswick.

Many lessons were learned and new rules and regulations came about as a result of this terrible tragedy.

The one biggest thing which I take from it is that no matter what, no matter what type of event or game is on the line, it doesn't matter who is supposed to be somewhere doing something, OUR KID'S SAFETY HAS to be the priority.

It's a shame that there are still people out there who haven't learned this yet but their education isn't going to come at the expense of anyone else if I can help it.

There was no sense arguing about it.
We accepted our loss and played the other two games on Saturday.
We didn't win but the guys played solid hockey and enjoyed themselves.

B had a goal in the second game and won player of the game. T shut down several plays that were heading towards our end with his defensive skills.

We were proud of them all and everyone got home safe and sound.

Stay well,