“Why don’t they rebuild this old stone building Grandpa?”
“You know well, Gertrude, it costs a great deal to repair a historical building. They can’t even take it down because this building is a designated historical site.”
“That doesn’t seem right. Why would we leave something so valuable to history, to fall apart? Eventually it will only be a pile of rubble and everyone will forget its significigance,” Gertrude mused.
” Maybe someday someone like you, Gertrude, will restore the building. It’s a painstaking process and you must use and find authentic materials.”
She nodded. “I understand Grandpa, but sometimes certain cities choose not to rebuild. Like in Venice, many buildings are left to disintegrate and collapse into the water. They don’t let architects even plan to rebuild. Many once grand buildings are in such dangerous condition, they’ve been left so long.”
“Restoring old buildings can be good Gertrude. They are a part of humanity’s history. We need to remember our history to learn from it. But sometimes we need to knock old buildings down and design better ones from our present day knowledge. Future generations can learn from us through newer buildings too,” Grandpa said.
Gertrude nodded. She was training to be an architect but was only a freshman in university. Her Grandpa had been a great architect and was still well known.
“What will future people learn from our buildings, Grandpa?”
“Hopefully, they’ll learn our buildings are stronger. Made with more thought to design, to the environment, and how the everyday person lives. Our simple routines we take for granted are our history as much as the calamities of our time.”
Gertrude frowned, turning to her Grandpa. He was wearing his WWII uniform for the Rememberance Day Ceremony; he was going to walk in a parade as well.
“Will they remember men such as you, Grandpa? Men who fought for their freedom in Normandy and in other places in Europe? Will they understand why you and other soldiers have nightmares from war? Will they remember why you had to fight and saw so many of your buddies die brutally?”
A tear escaped Grandpa’s eye and he shook his head, not able to speak. He was too afraid what he and his fellow soldiers had fought for in brutal war, would melt away in time.
Lest We Not Forget. November 11th is Remberance Day in Canada.
“In Flanders Fields”
John McCrae, 1872 – 1918
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
Ah, sweet youth. No matter whether you grew up sporting a fedora, penny loafers, poodle skirts, bell-bottoms, leg-warmers, skinny jeans, Madonna-inspired net shirts and rosaries, goth garb, a spikey mohawk, or even a wave that would put the Bieber to shame, you made a fashion statement, unique to you. Describe your favorite fashions from days of yore or current trends you think are stylin’.——–
I think I have always been interested in clothes and shopping. I remember being a small girl helping my Mom decide what to wear when she was going out for dinner or to something with my Dad’s work. We didn’t have a lot of money when I was little so my Mom often sewed her clothes and even some of ours.
Mom has been sewing since she learned how to sew when she was a young teenager. My Baba and Grandpa Wilson didn’t have much money and Mom could stretch her dollar by buying fabric and thread and not buying something ready made. Not to mention, when my Mom sewed she could sew so her outfit fit her perfectly. She is short so she could make her pants whatever length she wanted and her dresses could be any fabric she chose.
In elementary school, Mom made my first two winter jackets. The one I remember most was a purple jacket with purple snow pants. I got to choose the color. I never chose pink because when you’re a blond girl whose young everyone wants to dress you in pink clothes. I don’t think I ever wore pink again until high school.
I went to Brownie’s for a bit on Tuesday nights at this church. I loved how all the girls wore these dresses with big skirts that were frilly. So, my Mom made me this black dress with pink and purple flowers and we bought a frilly white skirt to put underneath. I wore that dress along time.
As I became older, my Mom worked a bit as a supervisor at our school lunch program so we had a bit more money and could afford clothes from stores more. Also, my Mom had less time to sew. There was this store I liked when I was around eight to ten-years-old called Please Mum and I fit their clothes well. I was stocky as a little girl. We didn’t go to the mall often but when we did my Mom would often by me something. She bought me this white blouse once and it had a frilly clown collar. I told her I would wear it but you know what I hated that collar it was too girly for me then.
Later, there was a store Northern Reflections for Kids and my Mom bought us clothes there. I was fashionable for the nineties I suppose. I wore jeans in various colours that were ‘Mom Jean’ like in a relaxed fit and went skinny at the ankle. I wore ugly sweater vests and mock knocked shirts.
In grade six I began to thin out and all I remember wearing were oversized T-shirts and flares. The flares weren’t too big in grade six but I remember they got bigger like to “elephant” pants in grade eight. My Mom made me a pair of green cord elephant pants. I also loved these sweat pants I had with a rainbow ribbon down the side of each pant leg and the flare was pretty big coming down from the knee.
In high school for the majority of it, I wore a uniform. I wore a grey kilt, a white blouse, a navy sweater/cardigan/vest and tie. I wore knee socks and dress black shoes. There were casual t-shirts and long sleeved shirts and casual pants but I mostly wore a kilt with little gym shorts underneath with a pair of name brand converse type shoe. I cared about fashion and tried to dress my most stylish on the few non-uniform days we had. I bought my clothes on sale at The Gap or Jacob. I loved Jacob clothes for along time but they shut down in Canada last year. I wore flares in jeans and khaki’s and I liked pink a lot. I wore pink three quarter length shirts and I had the cutest black jean jacket that I received for Christmas with Ruffles at the top of the shoulders. Plus, we all tried to find substitutes for our uniform clothing that a busy teacher wouldn’t catch. Needless to say, the vice-principal started calling almost everyone to the obvious one day a month and we would all get written up for having uniform infractions. The rest of my high school clothes were gym sweatpants and hoodies, team shorts, and team t-shirts. I played both volleyball and basketball so those things were a must along with good runners. My parents paid for items such as a winter coat or new shoes but everything else including skincare and makeup I purchased with family allowance money. Both my parents had good jobs, in fact my Dad was the principal at my high school, but they paid for my tuition partially because in junior and senior high school I went to private schools.
In university, I worked on campus at the bookstore. I paid for half my tuition, got scholarships, and received my books at cost because I worked at the bookstore. I liked yoga pants and sporty tops especially by Fila and Adidas. My jeans were flared and from the Gap. With my birthday and Christmas money I went shopping before each school year. And I bought other clothes with money earned during the year.
Lululemon became a huge thing in university. Despite being an expensive yoga store, all girls bought hoodies, shirts, zippy’s, and yoga pants/crops there. I still have my first Lululemon top and it still looks good. On the other end of the sporty spectrum was the bar shirt spectrum. We shopped for sexy black shirts and tiny skirts to wear out to the bar. Not to mention a comfortable enough pair of high heels. Somedays in university I dressed up with heeled boots, jeans, and a tight long sleeved top but because I was hauling around boxes of books and going to the gym everyday, sporty clothes were good. We also had one or two formals every year in university so I had a few pretty dresses for formal occasions from Le Chateau. My favorite was this slinky pink dress I got for $13.00 and it had no back. But it fit tight and I paired it with some silver sandals and it looked great.
After, I left university I looked through my wardrobe and realized I had only two blouses and one pair of dress pants. I wasn’t making much money yet, I was just temping but a place called Ricki’s had a sales rack with pairs of pants all my size, a suit that fit me, and I found a couple blouses at Jacob cheap. That did me for my first job before I became sick and went on disability. I hated how cheap Ricki’s material felt. My Mom always made emphasis on good material but $80.00 for four pairs of pants, a jacket, and a couple blouses was truly a good deal.
When I was sick I lost a lot of weight so at first nothing fit me. Then I gained it all the weight back and then some. Once I reached about 175 lbs I was able to shop. Even though I was on disability, I had more spendable income because it was too hard to go for more then coffee with friends so I wasn’t spending money at the bar or out with co-workers at lunch. I wasn’t even paying rent at that time.
I bought Lululemon and I had just started to begin getting into Banana Republic for clothes for work that were more expensive but of quality. I started shopping online because it was easier and found that BR clothes went 40 % off often. But I liked how their clothing fit, the material was nice, and if I bought clothes on sale, it was a good place to shop. Skinny pants have come in so I buy jeans and black pants from them. They are great for sweaters or cardigans with wool and cashmere blends. Their shirts fit well. I liked the blendability of the pieces and especially the dresses and skirts.
I cannot work now,so I dress up when I go out for an appointment or to see a friend. I like Simons too for a little cheaper clothing that is more of a fad. Jacob is no longer, as I said. And I love Anthropologie and its boho look but it is too expensive with the rate of the Canadian dollar.
When I see fashion I think they want us to wear big bulky shapeless sweaters over skinny pants. On most people even if you’re skinny a belt that gives you a waist or a tighter shirt underneath a cardigan looks nicer. I hate the wide wide pants that are trying to come in. I don’t think they will because they are too big and don’t look good on anyone. But I could see flares coming back in as they seem to have a little bit.
I like that there is colour out this winter, not only black or grey. I think skinny pants look good on most people it depends how you wear them. Sometimes a shirt a little more tunic length looks better but I have seen nice looks with moto leather jackets and blouses too that are shorter. Peplum has been in awhile and I think it is a flattering shirt or dress style. I love pearls and pearl like jewelry and I like to mix my mettle colours of jewelry. I like high heels and tall boots. But I think the shorter boots might be in for awhile now. Booties are good in Fall in Canada but I like the taller boots in Winter for warmth. The problem is it’s hard to get boots for smaller or thicker calf sizes. I like flowy tops that give you a waist and float out and cover stomach problems. But I like tighter shirts honestly most of the time, the show shape. I still like Lululemon for anytime and for Yoga and workout wear. I like to look put together in general and look for classic silhouettes. But I do find a modern thing here or there I like. What about you?
I would like a little more time please, just to figure my situation out. I would like you to stop asking questions about the state of my life. Because when I tell you how things are for me, I’m not sure that your listening to me. I’d say at least half the time you are off thinking about something or listening to something else. I know you can’t multitask but some of those conversations I had with you ( or with myself ) they were important to understanding me and how my life works.
Yes, I want to work. I want to work more than anything and more than most people who work actually do. But I can’t, that is not a privilege I have. So don’t tell me ” I don’t want to work! ” because if I could go to a job where I was content at and make it through the whole day, be able to concentrate on my work, and not become so fatigued I’m useless at my desk, I would be there. If I could be along side colleagues for 8 hours, making friends with some of the girls my age I work with I would, and If I could build a career and learn more, take school at night to understand my job better I would. But I was 23 years old the last day I was at work and I had a breakdown. Things had been wrong for awhile and I didn’t know I was having a psychotic episode and I didn’t know that that episode would change my life forever.
Why would I take a certificate in Residential Design after deciding in the end it is something I can’t do? Because it was 2009, I needed something to do and The Faculty of Extension at the U of A had a daytime course called Residential Design and it seemed interesting and I liked it. It was 3 hours a week and I could spend time in the other days of the week working on the projects and papers. I didn’t do the best work at first but I improved, the course was a way to measure my mental improvement. It was also related to commercial development, the type of company I worked for before I got sick. I kept taking courses in design in the day until I couldn’t, until the only courses I needed to take were at night. It was extremely hard for me to do night courses and I have one left. I decided I might as well get the certificate after taking 6 of 9 courses even though I knew I won’t really use the certificate. I don’t have the energy levels to be an interior decorator, nor if I’m honest the passion. It was more something I did for myself.
It was not a waste of money, education is never a waste of money and teaches you way more than just the subject your taking. Education helps you to think, to weigh decisions, to think practically and logically. Education is portable knowledge so don’t ever ask me why I am taking Residential Design, I will use it, just not the way you think.
Why am I doing practically nothing right now? Well you see, mental illness or physical illness that causes mental illness, whatever I have, is not black and white. Little things that you can no longer do due to your illness can have repercussions on the rest of your life. Doctors, medications, therapy, and healing (if it’s possible) all take time. Not to mention if you read any of my other recent blogs, you’ll understand I’ve been regressing this past year and my psychiatrist can no longer help me. I have spent the last 4.5 years trying to solve my illness with psychiatric medication and it helped a little. But I still have no energy and there’s a physical reason for that. So now I turn to my family doctor to help me find some hope of recovery physically. Do you know what it’s like to never wake up refreshed? To never not be fatigued? Do you know how it is to have to cut short most of your evenings, and I only get a few, because you can’t handle being out anymore, you’re just too tired? Do you know how hard it is to do just usual every day activities such as studying or house work? Do you know how hard it is not to be able to cardiovascular activity when you so desperately want to lose the weight you’ve put on through medication and inactivity?
You did not get these things yesterday. You were asking for the 3rd or 4th time. And some other things just to clarify: yes I can drive. But I gave that privilege up because paying attention, and the speed of the road was too much after I was sick. I had my license for 2 years and passed the test. Now it’s been about 4 years since I have driven and I can’t afford a car or insurance to drive my parent’s cars. Even if I could, they take their cars to work in the day when I possibly could drive.
Yes, I can cook. It may be only a few dishes but I can do those dishes well. My own diet is pretty simple and cooking foods together often seems to make them fattier so cook simply. Also, worst of all, my Dexedrine wears off right around supper and I become useless from the withdrawal until about 7 pm or later.
Yes, I have money but I’m living off of about $1500 a month right now and that doesn’t go far. I try to save some money to see you and take cabs but it shouldn’t be such a big deal giving me rides sometimes and paying for things a little more since you make 4 times my wage. I realize you have more expenses but I have bills too. It’s not like I can do any better, I’m stuck with what I make. Plus, you know I’m trying to pay down debt and stay on budget. On the same note, when I have the money to contribute please let me. Let me pay for lunch, or buy you a small Christmas gift, it’s not that hard to let me give back.
I think that’s it. Do you understand now? Just give me more time, I can’t fix everything on my own or maybe even at all. Just like me for me right now. That’s all I ask.