Looking back

What shapes us into the people we are? Who and what are the influences that change us? Didn't Dr. Phil say something about 10 defining moments, 7 critical choices and 5 pivotal people.
I wonder if this is an accurate list of my influences...
Best childhood friends - Doris, my favorite playmate who died in a cave-in at age 11. Sabrina, a newcomer from India who showed me some of her way of life (loved the saris, hated the curry), Janet, my tomboy friend who shocked me with a great rendition of Classical Gas! Peggy-Anne who accepted me as I was/am. As an adult, I have many friends across this great land, but most importantly, I have my soul mate - Joe!
My most surprising award - Most improves swimmer after I almost drowned in the Manitouwadge Lake - I was supposed to know how the tread water BEFORE they threw me off the dock! I still can't swim.
Contests I've won...a Fire Prevention week poster contest when I was 8...I still have the red straw fire hat...it fits me better backwards! A cash prize of $500 just before leaving for university. It paid for my books...Dad won $100 for selling the winning ticket...he wouldn't share!
Smartest thing I did was take first aid with the St John Ambulance in Bathurst. I went on to candy strip in the hospital on the geriatrics floor. I also spent the summer doing first aid at the Boy Scout Jamboree.
Probably the least known things about my past - I did a live guest appearence on community TV in Kingston. Joe was on lighting. I also had a chance to see a live night firing exercise on the Suffield Range - after filling out all the appropriate release forms. I was also part of the rookie crew sailing a whaler around the Victoria harbour...Charlie directed his little fellow, Joe, Heather, Lesley, myself (did I mention I can't swim?) Don't ask where the whaler came from!
The most practical thing I ever did was to take a Ladies Woodworking class. I had watched PBS and This Old House for years and dreamed of being Norm's apprentice. This was almost as exciting. I can now use power saws (table, jig, band) routers and drills. Oops...almost forgot the most important thing - sanders and sandpaper! I can now talk shop with the best. So much for these pink and blue jobs!
My biggest personal challenge was getting back on my feet after my back injury and surgery. It was a rewarding day when I was finally able to walk around the block with the help of my walking stick and Joe on my other side.
Some unique people I have met - Mr. Mahoney, my English teacher; Denis the outlandish Greek; Father Reg, the motorcycle riding Padre; Mr. Woody family friend and fitness mentor; Gerry & Kirk who pushed me outside my career comfort zone and Maria Paul, our gypsy friend with the heart of gold.
A road I didn't travel - taking my own PC station when Joe was posted out of the area. Business can wait for another time, my family couldn't.
My biggest regret - my Mother not seeing me become a grandmother...er...Nannie. I'm doing a good job so far. I had some excellent teachers along the way.
My biggest reward has to be being the mother of 2 such wonderful independant daughters, Heather & Lesley. They are awesome women to know and love!
My dream for my future is open to whatever may come along as long as it includes my first husband Joe! I don't think many others could tolerate me!


Betty said...

Hello Berta. Nice to see you have a blog, nice reading whats going on your way, keep up the good work

Lesley said...

Aaaaah Mom, you bring tears to my eyes...it's nice to finally know where that red straw hat came from...only 2 1/2 hours to go before the big 5-0!

New MrsIngram said...

Happy birthday Auntie Berta!

I thought we weren't suppose to tell our ages? Well you certainly have a lot to show for your time here on earth. For every one person that touched your life, I'm sure you have touched atleast three times as many!

Have a great birthday .. ***holds glass up*** a toast to another great 50 to come!

Henry said...


Hope you have a great day and wishing you many more happy years to come.

Alberta said...

Thanks everyone for all the good wishes. At this point in my life age is just a number and it's all how you feel inside!

Cheers everyone!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you
Looking forward to seeing everyone in August.
Anne & Derek

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday Berta!

You are obviously very blessed! You have raised two great daughters along the way and I bet have some great stories to tell.

I hope you've had a great birthday!
Cheers to many more to come!