A Few Charms pandora charms and meanings

A Few Charms

These are my stories, chronicling my journey of recovery from depression, anxiety and an eating disorder, using Pandora charms as my reward on the road to being healthy and happy.

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A Few Charms (Banner)

Friday, 29 September 2017

Just call him crazy


I can't believe I haven't done a blog post since June! But I have been thinking about this one since my husband's birthday at the end of June.

I think after seeing these photos and hearing these tales of Mike's pranks and shenanigans you might just agree with me when I say Mike is a pretty "crazy" guy. And you'll see why I added these "crazy" clips to my red "Always and Forever" marriage bracelet. You won't believe Mike's latest caper. It even had my teenaged son saying, "Ewwww."

My family went to see "Wonder Woman" on Father's Day in June, and I took this photo of my husband posing with the emojis. As I shook my head and thought, "What a crazy guy!" I realized I should gather some photos and let you get to know my crazy husband a little better.


Video: My crazy husband telling a story on his birthday

Upon meeting my husband, most people think he's quiet, serious, dependable, and level-headed. But those of us who know him well - and that now includes most of my Facebook friends - we know that he's very funny and really just a kid at heart. Mike collects comic books - lots and lots of comic books. He loves LEGO - of course he's into the much more expensive Architect sets. And on Christmas day he puts on every piece of clothing he receives as a gift - all at the same time. Whenever I share a photo of Mike on Facebook it's a photo of him being silly.





When our daughter Taylor needed a photo of both Mike and I for a school project it took a few shots before I could get one of him not being silly.


Mike is known in the neighbourhood as quite the crooner. At the elementary school end-of-year barbeque they used to have karaoke. The first year Mike got up and sang "Copacabana." All the other moms spoke to me afterwards because they were so surprised that this serious quiet guy was such a singer - and more importantly a performer. The following year he sang, "I Will Survive," and in this photo he was singing "Roxanne." He tried to get our twins to be back-up singers but they chickened out at the last minute.



Mike also has the freakish ability to remember the lyrics to almost any song (like those above), or a jingle from an ad. He will also make up his own lyrics to a song. On this occasion, he had us all in stitches after a buffet dinner at the hotel when he sang "Had too much buffet."

When Mike ran the New York City marathon (over 20 years ago now), he ran much of the race beside a guy dressed up in a Gumby costume. So one year, when the Salvation Army had a race on Boxing Day, called the "Santa Shuffle," Mike decided to dress up as Gingy from the Shrek movies. Just like Gumby, he had lots of people cheering him on and many people wanted to take their photo with the famous gingerbread man who ran ran as fast as he can.


Mike's partner in crime was supposed to wear the angry Gingy costume

When Taylor and her friend Jia Qi trained with Mike to do the Colour Run, Mike went out and found something to wear. Because powdered dye is thrown at you during the race he wanted to find something white. He didn't tell the girls what he bought at the thrift store. So when they arrived at the race he made a big production of ripping off his tear-away sweatpants, revealing his full-length white frock. You can tell in this photo that the girls are just a little embarrassed to be seen with this crazy guy. Mike has declared it his mission in life to embarrass our kids.


Mike is always ready to jump in and do things with the kids. I've shared pictures previously of him taking the kids downhill skiing or tubing, but he will also jump on giant pillows, go rock-climbing, zip-lining - you name it. He was even willing to humiliate himself when the kids first tried Just Dance on the WiiU. If you read my story about Games Night you might have seen this video taken while Taylor was trying to make a shot in pool: Is this distracting?

Before our kids were born Mike's office desk was covered in figurines of Superman and other super-heros, as well as characters from The Simpsons. More recently it's been vehicles from the Cars movie, Perplexus, and LEGO mini-figs.


When Mike was moved to a cubicle he said, very sarcastically, that he had enough room for a swimming pool. Didn't one of his staff go and buy him a blow-up kiddie pool! And so, just like people with a pool in their backyard, Mike had an end-of-summer pool-closing party. The kids and I stopped by to check it out.



One year, Mike played a trick on two of his employees. When they returned from holidays their offices were filled with balloons. It took them (he and the other staff) four days to blow up all those balloons. His staff paid him back on his birthday. His office was too big to fill with balloons but they hung balloons from the ceiling, in the doorway, and covered the floor in balloons. They even decorated his desk and gift-wrapped the conference table!


When they took Mike out for a birthday lunch there was a clown that made Mike his very own bowtie and clown nose. It has now become a tradition to do something crazy on Mike's birthday.


The next year on his birthday his staff filled over 500 plastic cups with water and food colouring and completely covered the surface of his desk and the floor.


Last year they had a little get together for Mike's birthday and served him cake made from Pop Tarts and filled with Jelly Belly jelly beans - they know him so well!


When Mike was moved from an enclosed office to a cubicle he realized he didn't have enough room for all his books... or his exercise ball... or his conference table. So he managed to remove a wall between his office and the adjacent cubicle which just happened to be empty . He used his bookshelf as a sliding "hidden door," just like you see in the movies. Only recently, with another reorganization of their offices, Mike did sadly lose that extra space.


Very recently Mike and his staff moved to these new cubicles. One day, he and two of his staff were all talking to each other, each leaning over and peeking out from the doorways of their offices. Mike realized that all the others could see was his head, his lower legs, and his feet. So he wheeled back into his office. Still wearing his shorts, he slipped his jeans over his sneakers and rolled back out so the staff could see him - looking like he's sitting on the can. And that's the reason Mitchell said, "Ewwww!" when I showed him this photo.


Today is the last day for a valued employee who is moving to a different department. Yes, the employee who blew up balloons, filled all those plastic cups, and has been an enabler in the collecting of toys. This morning the kids and I were all shaking our heads when we saw that Mike is wearing all black today, on this day of mourning, when he will have to say goodbye to one of his favourite employees. Why would you want to stop working for this crazy man? Lord love him.





What I stack with my "Always and Forever" bracelet.
The bangle and the "I love you" charm were gifts from our Anniversary in July

Related Posts

My home, my marriage, my husband, and my honeymoon - all wrapped up in one little lighthouse - a story about the lighthouse charm and all that it represents to me, including how to keep a marriage strong. And there's a little poem I wrote, about my husband.

The lighthouse part 2 "I'm higher up in the lighthouse" - a story about the importance of the lighthouse when you're battling depression or feeling like you're not getting anywhere.

Two babies, two parents, many "unforgettable moments" - a story about finding out we were pregnant with twins (and the charm to represent it), about our time on parental leave, and why I call a charm "Ring around the rosie."

The beginning of "Always and Forever"- a story about how we met, the meaning of the original clips on this bracelet, and why my husband said kissing me was like kissing his sister.

My home, my marriage, my husband, and my honeymoon - all wrapped up in one little lighthouse

Originally published August 2014

There are so many potential meanings for a lighthouse charm! In fact, I had so much to say about lighthouses I'm going to have to do a Part 2.

The Northwest Arm at the end of my street.
First of all, lighthouses remind me of home. I grew up by the sea. You never knew what today's weather would be until the fog burned off in the morning. My daily chore was to get the clothes off the clothesline before the fog rolled in again in the late afternoon - before my mom got home from work. And fireworks were frequently cancelled due to fog. Lighthouses were necessary in Nova Scotia!
 
I could walk ten minutes from my house and sit and look out at the ocean - which I did quite often. Going for a hike would afford even better views of the wide blue expanse. My husband and I live in the centre of Canada now and I miss the sights and the sounds - and even the smells - of the sea.

 
Looking out to sea from York Redoubt


A tall ship passing by the lighthouse on George's Island

This lighthouse is on a small island in the mouth of the harbour in my hometown of Halifax. During earlier times of tall ships, as well as more recent years of naval business, and giant container ships and ocean liners, this lighthouse would guide ships safely through the narrow mouth of the protective harbour.

Carter's Beach on the south shore of Nova Scotia

The province of Nova Scotia, where both my husband and I grew up, is an isthmus (almost an island) edged by rugged coastline (and white sand beaches) and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean - and fog! And all of that coastline is protected by lighthouses.
 

Probably most famous is the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove, a popular tourist attraction, but also well-known as the site of the crash of Swissair flight 111.

Peggy's Cove lighthouse (photo by Edna Bingham)

For centuries Nova Scotia's lighthouses were used to guide and protect sailors, leading them away from rocky shores and dangerous cliffs. For sailors or travellers who had endured many difficult months at sea a lighthouse was a beacon of comfort and brought joy that they were home.

In a storm the lighthouse may have been the only light. When the skies were too dark and stormy to see the coast, the lighthouse warned that land was near and guided sailors safely home.
 
With a history of shipbuilding, fishing, pirates and rum-running, the lighthouse, "standing proudly against the elements," is said to be a symbol of the province's maritime history and spirit.
 
In addition to representing "the home of my heart," the lighthouse represents my marriage on my "Always and Forever" bracelet.
 

Lighthouses
The lens that magnified and concentrated the beam of light
are stable structures that have endured many storms, just as a marriage does. The lighthouse keepers worked tirelessly to ensure light for those at sea, saving many lives and bringing sailors home. The lighthouse can represent the persistence, diligence and steadfast determination required to keep a marriage strong. And the lighthouse reminds us that there is always someone out there watching over us.

The symbolism of the lighthouse so aptly describes many of the attributes of my husband, especially as he provides stability when I struggle with depression. This may sound a little cliche but here goes.

He reassures me when I'm navigating difficult times.
He gives me light in the midst of darkness
and he reaches out to me when I am drowning.
He keeps me safe when I am in a storm
and he guides me home when I am lost.
 
The western lighthouse on Brier Island built in 1809
And finally, the lighthouse reminds me of our honeymoon.  The 8-sided Pandora lighthouse dangle resembles this iconic octagonal wooden lighthouse on Brier Island (at the far western end of the province) where we spent our honeymoon hiking and whale-watching - in the fog!

The lighthouse dangle on my Always and Forever bracelet

Related Posts:


The lighthouse part 2 "I'm higher up in the lighthouse" - a story about the importance of the lighthouse when you're battling depression or feeling like you're not getting anywhere.
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