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Monday June 28th was our 35th anniversary. My wife, Ella, has graciously put up with my shtick never ever complaining. We have the good fortune to raise two children, Ari and Sarah who are both teachers and who have also found their mates.

Not to break up our usual routine we made our way over to the downtown Y. Ella took in her Light and Lively class and I made my way to the gym for a walk and stretch.

Into every life if we are lucky we find a kindred spirit to lift our day. Beside me on her treadmill floated Emily who was a fairly large women of colour who had a great attitude. She told me that she turns 65 on the week-end and she was looking forward to telling her bosses at the call center that they could stuff the job where the sun does not shine.

Emily still calls Glace Bay Nova Scotia home after many years of living in London. Her mom, bless her 93 year old soul, had 23 children. She sure started motherhood early giving birth at the tender age of 13. The first husband died after fathering 15 kids and mom remarried a very brave man who blessed the family with 8 more mouths to feed. Mom practiced birth control the old fashioned rhythm way which was fun but very predictable. Oops she would laugh, I am pregnant once again.

The family sure looked forward to the baby allowance checks that the government mailed out every month to help feed the brood. No one ever complained of being hungry. Peanut butter and jam sandwiches were the staple that filled the lunch bags that the kids took to school every day. Momís skill with a needle and thread helped cloth the children for school and church.

There wasnít much money left at the end of the month but loads of happiness and laughter made growing up very enjoyable. No need to look for friends or teammates to play with, with. The family had 23 kids; enough to field two baseball/soccer teams from within the family home. Everyone shared bunk beds and the delight of water fights with 3-4 children in the bath at the same time.

Imagine, no television or computer games to waste away your day. There was a free magic carpet of adventure awaiting at the local public library where you were invited to travel to far off adventures every time you turned the page.

The twenty-three children all finished high school and found employment and they have had children of their own.
The matriarch of the family now lives with her oldest daughter who is 80 years of age in Toronto. Mom last winter went on a cruise to the Caribbean. She threatened her children that if they didnít take good care of her that she would certainly entertain the distinct prospect that she would bring home a very young handsome young man to keep her company in her old age. Think about it she laughed: a brand new sugar daddy to sing and dance with in our retirement years.

Monday was a wonderful day. Jogging with Emily and hearing her laughter and stories of her life. My three year old granddaughter, Georgia, called and wished her Booby and Zayde a very happy anniversary.

I took out Ella, the love of my life, for to dine at East Side Marioís with the Italian Wedding Soup/ salad/grilled salmon, garlic toast. For desert we two shared a decadent delicious piece of chocolate cheese cake. Our attentive waiter Chris Cleary informed us that their was no cost. East Side Marioís wanted to help us celebrate our special day.

London is a very nice very friendly place to live.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com