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Uncovering laughter, joy and sanity in everyday life.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Most people don't know that I am an accomplished dramatic actor... But I've performed in several Shakespeare productions including Hamlet, except in this version, Hamlet lives in an apartment with two women, and has to pretend he's gay so that the landlord won't evict him." - John Ritter

My mother wrote me last month with her latest ordeal. It seems she is fighting an eviction notice and may need to leave her apartment. I've done as much as I can to write letters on her behalf to help her, as I know, with her cancer, the move could do more damage than good.

November 9, 2010
Office of the Mayor
26 Francis St., Lindsay

Dear Ric McGee,

My mother - Catherine, living at 906 Cresswell Rd. in Little Britain Ontario, was sent a hand written notice that she is to vacate her apartment of six years, on November 30th of this year. A complaint was made to the city of Kawartha Lakes, telling her landlord's Robert and Diane McFadden, that their property does not comply with the Township of Mariposa Zoning By-Law 94-07. The property in question has been a rental unit for the past 20 years to many college and university students. My mother was told, that renting the unit was income spent paying the property mortgage, and she could never be late with payment - this was 6 years ago. I do not believe she has ever had a problem making payment.

My mother is on social assistance for mental disability, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer this year, and I doubt she is in any condition to move - or will be a problem for the McFadden's much longer. I understand my mother is an odd character, however, I worry for her health and safety. She recently this year, had a disturbance with the landlords, for not delivering her mail in a timely manner, or for not letting her have a post office box. She does not own a car and only installed a landline phone for the first time this year. The primary method of correspondence with my mother, is done through the postal system, and she has not been getting my letters/packages/notice of packages - in a timely manner.

If the landlord would like my mother to move, and they -> will not/are not -> applying for re-zoning, what are they doing with the apartment? If they are having a relative move into the place, they should be giving proper notice. As it is, they never filled proper eviction papers from what I've been told.

Again, this is a complicated story and my mother is very ill with cancer. I live in the Kansas City area, and can be contacted for further details.

Now after speaking with the mayor of Lindsay, I've come to find out that this all started because she fought for her rights, started a crusade to get a mailbox. The zoning commission investigated where she was living, found out it was an illegal use of property and thus... she screwed herself. This is a typical situation my mother would get herself into. So when she complains to me, "how could this happen" my sympathy for her circumstance is lessened. She was warned that pressing her mailbox issue could trigger this event.

The only good that could come out of this eviction: she will need to move into a better location, with better services. I hope my mother can suck it up and comply, conform with more regulation and the rules of society - this isn't a strength on her part. She has her own ideas, wants and needs that are not mainstream in the least. My mother is the bag lady you would pass on the street, if not for the luck she has had. My wish for her is to live a more normal life, one without anxiety and the fear of actually living. I want her to enjoy her time left on this planet.

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Experience will be the teacher - we just need to be paying attention.

Being Canadian - culture is very important to me. With a Hispanic foster child, we are trying to teach values and respect heritage. With Christmas coming, many traditions of the people in our lives may be overlooked by our own. With a foster child, we need to be tolerant of diversity and not show prejudice towards our neighbours, our children or birth families. This can be a difficult task when truly thought about. That would mean being nice to my family and my husband's family without hesitance and genuine forethought.

Recently we were at a KU basketball game in Lawrence. My first game ever, and even with my most knowledgeable local historian/good friend, the debate and education of basketball's origin continues with James Naismith here in the state of Kansas. I'm Canadian you see - these facts are very important to me and my heritage.

At the game, our 11 year old foster daughter grabbed my arm, really hard with great determination. I immediately realized she was trying to force my hand on my heart for the Pledge of Allegiance, and I snapped my arm back. Telling her I'm not American and it would be like taking communion from a church not of my faith. But I don't go around burning American flags either - this is just citizenship protocol.

A civilization is a heritage of beliefs, customs, and knowledge slowly accumulated in the course of centuries, elements difficult at times to justify by logic, but justifying themselves as paths when they lead somewhere, since they open up for man his inner distance. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 How do my friends keep balance? What family traditions do you use to preserve heritage?