Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

24 July, 2012


I read something this morning that really made me think. Happy people do not always automatically make other people happy too.  Nor can miserable people instantly cast a spell of sorrow over everyone they come in contact with although, more often than not, they do a good job of it.

There has to be a degree of susceptibility on the part of the potential recipient, however. It also helps greatly if the person who is feeling the mood has a genuine desire to inflict it on someone else.

I think that we all would do well to consider what we would most like to receive and then do our best to become the giver of that very thing.  Who was it that said "we get exactly what we give", or something to that effect?

11 July, 2012


It is not my intention to bore readers with talk about my recent total hip replacement surgery, but...something funny and most unusual has happened to me. I feel psychologically lighter, emotionally energized and mentally positive. I have renewed intellectual curiosity, physical stamina and overall happiness, almost like a new person. Kind of scary, in a way.

I seem to be enjoying things in general at lot more. I have more tolerance. I do not sweat the small stuff that used to get under my skin. I find myself smelling the roses more than in the past.

While still in hospital people were saying how good I looked and how well I was doing. Twenty-two days after surgery I am sailing through my physio sessions and I'm now walking with only one crutch. There are times when I strike out walking and after a dozen steps remember that I have left my crutch behind.

After coming home from hospital I had difficulty focusing and was not interested in reading the newspaper or working at the computer. With mobility severely reduced, I felt like an invalid -- helpless and dependent on others.  I slept a lot. But after a few days all that began to change. It was as if I was being overcome by an unexplained state of euphoria.

I have since learned that what I am experiencing is a neurochemical high because my endorphins had been in overdrive for so long. It could have been the agonizing journey through grocery and departmental stores; the pain of walking behind a lawn mower or simple things like getting in and out of a car, settling into bed at night or walking up and down steps, that played a role in wearing me down. It hurt in more ways than one to catch a reflection of a struggling, limping figure in a window or mirror and realize that it was me.  No light at the end of the tunnel was, likewise, another negative contribution.

Chronic pain drains your battery, and leaches color from everyday life in so many ways. When every step hurts, you dread literally everything. It also drains you mentally — something I had not considered, so automatic had it become — as you constantly calculate how much it is going to hurt before doing even the simplest things.

Remarkably, since my four days in the hospital, I’ve needed only one dose of major painkiller and a couple of Tylenol 111. Unlike most others I talked to in hospital who had THR along with me, at no time did I feel the need for narcotics. The old pain and ache in my hip, groin and thigh is gone, replaced only by a certain stiffness and diminishing tenderness surrounding my new artificial joint.

I have even started to lose a little weight and feel my stomach muscles tightening as a result of the prescribed exercise regimen and using arms and upper body while walking with the aid of crutches.

Contributing perhaps to my recovery and the remarkable high that I am feeling, has been the support of family and friends (you know who your friends are at times like this). It is assuring to know that people care about your welfare. Little acts of kindness can mean so much. Thanks due, also, to a wonderfully talented young orthopedic surgeon and caring nurses and therapists who went out of their way to give me personal attention.

I have a way to go physically before getting back to my old active self, but every day I notice subtle improvement. I have no idea how long my post surgery state of euphoria will last. I'll just take it and make the most of it for as long as I can. It is one of life's unexpected discoveries and a real blessing.

And to think that I had trepidation about all of this in the beginning...

Thought I'd share some happy news with you guys today!

07 July, 2012


Author Herman Roote (right) leads a dance of honour.
We in white society have little appreciation for the heritage of our First Nations people.  Brief news stories of what goes on in Canadian Indian reserves are more often than not negative and given a short shift by readers. I think that is a shame.  We miss out on some wonderful and colorful traditions.

For instance, Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON), located a few thousand yards north of Southampton, this past week celebrated the launch of a book at the Saugeen First Nation Amphitheatre with a ceremony complete with singing, drumming and dancing as depicted in the accompanying photographs.  It was a celebration truly fit for a celebrated author and respected elder who is one of their own. 

Vernon Roote, former chief of Saugeen First Nation and Council member, shares his personal teachings and how they apply to men today through his new book M'daa Kendaaswin - To Look for Knowledge.

Roote not only relates personal stories in the book, but explains how many men grow up without fathers in their lives.  He also speaks to those boys and men who are searching for advice on "how to be a good man". "I wanted this to be a simple teaching of how men should grow and support their families," says Roote, also a talented nature photographer.

The forward to Roote's book was written by Wab Kinew, a CBC radio producer and host who exemplifies what it means to be multicultural.  He holds a Bachelor or Arts degree in Traditional Medicine Training and is also a recipient of the Adrienne Clarkson RTNDS Award. In the forward to Roote's book he wrote:

"There are many problems facing the First Nation people today.  Yet for all of the problems in our community, there is one solution: to raise a new generation of people who know they are important enough to be healthy, feel good about themselves enough to achieve, and who are strong enough to keep going even when the chips are down.  We have the power to conquer all of the obstacles we face.  We can do it together.  But it starts with you."

The book is available through Ningwakwe Learning Press in Owen Sound and is well worth reading.