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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Learning, Teaching, Sharing and of Course, Gratitude

Real Conversation in a Taxi cab
(June 12th 2018) about The importance of 
Learning, Teaching, Sharing and of Course, Gratitude:

Fred: "You must be Wendy."
Me: "You must be Fred!"
Fred: "I'm so glad you said that! Because my real name is Fredrick and I hate it. "
Me: "Well the phone app told me Fred, was picking me up with a description of the car! "
Fed: "Oh, I don't know anything about technology. I didn't know that is what happens."
Me: "I can relate a little, I just got this phone a few months ago. My first time with a cellphone in 10 years."
Fred: "Well, let me tell you something, my first experience with a cell phone was in the 80's. My wife, who took computer science at Dal got me a cell phone. It was huge!!! Like a walkie talkie! She said she got it to keep track of me Hahaha. But back then you could drive and talk. And she was on the phone with me one night, I was driving a man in a 3 piece suit to the airport.. She was going on about something.. I dunno what she was going on about but anyways, I threw the phone out the window! "
Me: "Hahaha"
Fred: "She asked me after why I hung up on her and I told her I threw the phone out the window. Then you know what SHE did? She got another one. And she bolted it to the transmission somehow. Then said, you won't throw THIS ONE out the window!!!"
Me: "That's awesome, I like your wife. She sounds smart."
Fred: "oh you have no idea... But technology is fascinating hey?"
Me: "Yes, it's evolving so quickly now. Every new thing just blows my mind!!"
Fred: "Well, listen to this, I remember my mind being blown when we got a TV. I was 10. They didn't invent the TV, until I was 10!"
Me: "wait, what??? How old are you?"
Fred: "I'm 73."
Me: "Oh wow! Here I am remembering the internet as AMAZING, at a young age and tv wasn't even invented when you were that age."
Fred: "You could tell me that cars can fly and don't need people to drive them at this point and I will believe you!"
Me: "This is my stop on the right... Here is the phone app I booked the cab with. It shows all the cabs around and when you book, you get a name, cab number and you can watch them drive up to you in real time!!!"
Fred: "Wow!!! I didn't know that! That's something my wife didn't show me yet. That will be $8.25."
****I hand him $10 and tell him to keep the change***
Fred: "No. You take 5 back!"
Me: "Wait, what?"
Fred: "People ask me all the time, at 73, why are you still driving a cab? It because of this. People like you, who teach me. I'm still learning. You showed me something I never would know. That is what keeps me alive. I'm still learning. In my head, I am still 30 years old. It's just my body that tells me and everyone else, my age. As long as I keep learning though I never feel old. Thank you for that."
Me: "Fred, you couldn't have said that to someone who would appreciate it, more than me. I am so glad that it was YOU, who drove me tonight. Thank you!"
Fred: "No. Thank YOU!"

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The Best way: A HitchHiking Story

You meet people hitch hiking, that you never would have had the chance to know. These people sit with you, in a moving metal box, for sometimes, hours.
Much of the time, they think they are never going to see you again.

So they share with you their most personal experiences and stories, their thoughts or feelings that haunt them and their deepest fears. 
Sometimes, when they inevitably drop you off, on the side of the road, both of your lives are changed forever. 
The perspective of the human experience that you can gain from these interactions, is monumental.

This is one story I will never forget:

(True story from the Summer of 2016)
While hitch hiking from Halifax Nova Scotia, to Minneapolis Minnesota with my husband Caesar, I met MANY interesting characters.
So many, kind people. 
In New Brunswick we hitched a ride with a retired, high school secretary and her 96 year old mother. They were on their way back to ontario, driving from Halifax, after visiting the mothers sister, who lives in a retirement home.
The mother could not fly to visit her sister because she had a bad hip, so her Doctor had recommended it was better to drive the long haul to and from Halifax.
These two were a funny, witty, talkative and caring pair. They shared stories of their many travels around the world and mentioned one of their favorite places, (which I had not been to at the time) Jamaica. 
 When we stopped at a gas station, they bought us a bag of chips and gave us some bottled water and snacks they had in the back seat.
We all used the washroom and returned to the car but the daughter, who was driving, could not find the keys to the car.
In a panic, she and my husband got out and searched the parking lot. 
 While they were searching, the mother turned around and said: “Wendy. NEVER send your kids to university!”
I was taken back by this statement, as it came out of no where. 
I felt this woman was about to impart some true wisdom upon me, so I asked: “Oh? Why is that?”
Her reply: **Making fun of her daughter who had lost the keys** “They come back stupid!!! hahahaha!!!”
I almost spit my water out from laughing after just taking a sip. 
Finally they got back in the car and the daughter found her keys, right under the coffee she had just bought. The mother couldn’t stop laughing at her and making fun. She had us all cracking up, making silly jokes.

Then the mother asked: “So how long have you two been married?” we told her it was a few years and gave her details about the wedding.
They were amused and interested, in the non traditional style we chose and said they both wished they could have been there.
The mother then said: “I had a good 66 years with mine. He died last year” I replied: “Oh wow, that’s a LONG time. Sorry for your loss.”

She said: “Don’t be sorry darling. He went in a good way. He was sat down with his very favorite, pecan pie and a glass of milk. We were going to watch a movie on t.v.... I turned around to make a joke and he was gone.”
**My heart sank as she continued to speak**
“I watched so many people die.. and suffer until they died. With cancer and sickness. When I go, that’s how I want to go. Like I walked out of the room in the middle of a conversation and just never come back.”
We all agreed. That was the best way.
And since that day I have contemplated sharing this story.
After we parted ways, we all hugged with sentimental tears. I said to my Husband Caesar, that I felt like we had been adopted by these two. Like we were family now.

There aren’t many ways, that I know of, to meet 2 strangers, spend a few hours with them and feel like you truly belong in their lives.
*Stay tuned for more hitch hiking stories*