A fun day at the Casino

I live in an active vibrant multicultural condo complex. Many young retired seniors, a few families and a few dogs as well as congenial staff make up our cohesive community. I recently joined the social committee and at the first meeting I found myself  part of a    subcommittee formed to organize a day trip to Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls Canada. The casino agreed to send a complementary  fifty-six seat passenger bus  to pick us up and transport us to Niagara.  Not only that, but upon arrival we would be given a ten dollar downloadable voucher for slot play. What a sweet deal. Who could ask for anything more? But here is the thing. We had to guarantee a minimum of forty- five people.

There was so much excitement and anticipation about this trip that we were confident that we wouldn’t have any problem meeting this quota. We were so confident that we requested  a second  bus. Luckily the casino turned down our request. We chose a date just a few short weeks away to avoid inclement cold weather and to enjoy the vibrant fall colours on the two hour drive. We forgot how busy people in our building are. Some had planned trips, some  had family commitments and many had doctor appointments or medical procedures booked. It is not an easy thing to rebook a medical appointment or procedure. To register one had to sign the book at the front desk, sign a waiver  absolving  the condo of any liability and pay two $2 towards a tip for the bus driver.

About six days before our planned excursion it became apparent that we might be a little short of our quota. We decided to open up this offer to guests. I registered six of my friends.  Signed up residents and guests indicated that we would surpass our minimum, But alas! A few cancelled due to illness and the day before because of the threat of torrential  rains broadcast by our weather network that sometimes can be a little over dramatic. Our weather had been beautiful, but we were expected  to get the tail end effects of Hurricane Patricia, I called the casino and they said “don’t  worry, it is only rain and  our buses are new and safe and the drivers well qualified.” But some did worry . I was worried because I had no idea how many people would be in the lobby the next morning at 8:45 to board the bus. Miracle of miracles forty seven people boarded without incident except that someone had to return to her unit to retrieve a piece of government issued photo I.D as requested by Fallsview. She returned with her drivers licence and we were on our  way.

We didn’t see any vibrant coloured leaves on the way, only rain. Nevertheless it was a good ride. We provided water and all kind of snacks. Someone led a sing song , some one else told jokes . We arrived at Fallsview in good spirits and anxious to play the slots. or go to the tables. Most of us took time out for lunch at one of the many restaurants and some did a little shopping and went outside to take a look at the Falls. Some didn’t leave the casino. There were a lot of winners. I wasn’t one of them. There were only a few losers. I was one of them. We had fun and got to know some of our neighbours a little better.

We all slept well that night. Who knows?  Maybe we will make this a yearly event.


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 Since the passing of my spouse whom I  miss terribly,  I have taken on new roles.
In this new chapter of my life, I am now the matriarch of my family. I am matriarch to my children and grandchildren. And I can’t forget about the grand dogs .I  have also taken on the role of bookkeeper, financial planner, payer of bills, replacer of batteries and emptier of the dishwasher–the one and only household task that D. half performed, He put away a few mugs and dishes and left the rest for me to deal  with—but that was okay– a half emptied dishwasher was better than one not emptied at all
 I was once part of a we. But now I am a me.
But just who is this Me?
That is what I am trying to figure out,  Like most individuals I am an enigma. I am complicated and  I am constantly learning about myself.
 I am a senior, sometimes I am a younger woman. I  am often a giddy teenager, and sometimes even a child.
I Am a gamer. I play mahjong, canasta and bridge.  I play scrabble, and a bunch of inane computer games that make no sense at all.
I am not particularly athletic but I enjoy walking, Pilates and swimming–but only in water the temperature of a warm bath.
I am a reader and a writer.
I am a thinker and a worrier. I worry not only about me, but also about my family, relatives and friends, strangers and the world. I am a listener and I have a compassionate nature.
I have empathy for others; so much so that I often take on their worries, problems and concerns as  my own. Maybe that explains why I am often stressed out and a little nutsy .I am emotional and I cry at movies and weddings and giggle uncontrollably (sometimes inappropriately) if something strikes me as funny.
I Am a disorganized organizer. I Am disorganized by nature but since I like my life and house to be in order it takes longer for me to get things done. It doesn’t help that my memory isn’t quite as acute as it once was and I spend an inordinate amount of time searching for misplaced things.
I am a social  butterfly and I am also a loner. I love people I am  a people watcher and enjoy mingling, but I also cherish my alone time and need my space.
In my twilight years, I hope to discover more about myself. I intend to travel, live my life to the fullest with family and friends and to be the best me that I can be.


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Me and my blonde escort — chauffeured home from the cottage

Mindy Blackstien's photo.

My escort and chauffeur’s name is STOMP. Isn’t he a handsome fellow?

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Do you remember the last time you sat down and listened to someone? #compassion

Source: Do you remember the last time you sat down and listened to someone? #compassion

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Book Launch–ART ROSS- The Hockey Legend Who Built the Bruins by Eric Zweig

My friends son, Eric Zweig is launching his new book :ART ROSS- the Hockey Legend Who Built the Bruins. Ross is a celebrated Hockey player and one of the founding fathers of the Boston Bruins. He was one of the first players to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Eric has been a lover of sports especially hockey since he was a child. He has written several books for children and adults about the game and he is managing editor for the publishers of the Annual National Hockey league Official Guide.

The launch is taking place Saturday the 19th of September from 1 to 3 P.M.                            l

Location: Ben Mcnally books

366 Bay Street

Toronto, Ont.

M5H 4B2

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Happy New Year–it is Rosh Hashana

It is the start of the Jewish New year -a time  to  wish friends and relatives a sweet and healthy and peaceful  year. It is a time for new beginnings. As is the custom our family gathered along with guests  at my home to feast and socialize on Sunday evening,-the start of this years celebrations. Each family contributed some gourmet delights and laughter to the evening.The three generations enjoyed the food, and each others company. The sweet memory of that evening lingered  long after everyone left,  thanks to the honey coated small fingerprints left behind on glass tables and walls and the  sticky floors. The sweet stickiness was the result of following the tradition of dipping apples in honey to signify a sweet year. I attended religious services with my family the following day. Watching the  young people celebrate the holiday triggered my memory and took me back to my childhood.
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