I’m Prepared for Anything…Almost
by Tim Reynolds
When I was a teacher, my classroom was on the second floor of a solid, old limestone school facing west. The two of us, whose classrooms had the best views, were responsible for watching for funnel clouds where the tornadoes came from.
If we sounded out the tornado alarm, the entire school population would march to the basement in a semi-orderly fashion with limited screams and tears and hunker down in the corridor, our heads between our knees or something like that.
We were trained. We were ready until, during a parent/teacher interview, we got hit by an earthquake. It was just a little rumble that made the light fixtures swing back and forth for a minute, but we were not prepared.
Since that day, I have been prepared. I was once an elite Boy Scout, a Chief Scout, which is Canada’s highest honor for Scouts, about the same as an Eagle Scout in the USA. I know how to be prepared.
I have nine computers, prepared for when I fall into a time vortex and wake up in the 1990s needing…
Continue reading in SEARCH Magazine’s Winter 2019 issue.
Once a Space Cadet, Always a Space Cadet
by Tim Reynolds
“Hello. My name is Tim, and I’m a Space Cadet.”
You laugh, but I am a Space Cadet, or better, a Space Fanatic. I always have been. I was born just before Yuri Gagarin went into orbit, and my childhood was spent watching the Space Race from the rug in the rec room right along with Dad, a former Navy pilot. Clutched tightly in one hand was my Major Matt Mason action figure because the whole idea of man landing on the moon fascinated me. The Moon! That waxing, waning white-grey shiny thingy hanging in the sky above the house!
I even built a monstrous (for me) plastic model of Saturn V rocket with removable Command and Lunar Modules. But a model, an action figure, and an old black and white television were all so abstract. They got me excited, but it wasn’t until the Ontario Science Centre opened in September 1969 (two months after Neil and Buzz stepped foot onto luna firma) that my love of space reached escape velocity. In that wondrous building were housed a real NASA spacesuit, a mock-up of the Command Module that I could actually sit in and flick switches and a Lunar Module Eagle simulator!
I spent hours trying to land that sucker on the “moon” and imagined that NASA themselves would pick the next crop of astronauts from the kids who could successfully land that Eagle onto that Sea of Tranquility. Sadly, I was never able to master the skill, and today I’m sure that’s why … Read more in the Fall 2019 issue
How to Catch a Rabid Squirrel and Why
by Tim Reynolds
Rescue missions were our specialty, though up to this point in time all previous missions involved only G. I. Joes. This was our first live specimen, zoological rescue, and no thirteen- and fourteen-year-old, two-kid team was more prepared than Ron and me.
We’d ridden our bikes up to the greenbelt area behind the local tennis courts that used to be the IBM golf course. Ron and I had done our traditional summer-day work out on the high-intensity obstacle course disguised as a playground. We were returning from the drinking fountain when we spotted him hobbling across the playground gravel. The wee squirrel was injured, and it was plain to see it wasn’t just a thorn in his paw. He couldn’t put any weight on one leg, and it was bent at an odd angle.
We sprang into action. You can’t catch a squirrel with your bare hands, so Ron observed Tripod, a name appropriate to his condition, while I went dumpster diving for a zoological specimen containment thingy … Read more in the Summer 2019 issue
Traveling with my Mom
by Tim Reynolds
Although I haven’t traveled much lately, I have always enjoyed my little adventures. Sometimes, though, I find myself in odd situations while exploring.
I was once questioned by a State Trooper in Death Valley, while I was trying to tie my shoes; risked arrest and beheading (okay, maybe not beheading), trying to photograph the British Crown Jewels in the vault of the Tower of London; been yelled at in more languages than I can count for trying to sneak photos in various museums and castles; was kicked out of a bordello-looking place for trying to interview a staff member as research for a novel; nearly died—twice—while hiking in the Rockies; had to pretend to be high on crack to evade drug dealers in downtown Toronto; and was almost shot in Italy.
I’m what I call an “airline brat”—someone who grew up with a parent who worked in the airline industry and took advantage of the travel benefits. Mom and Dad traveled quite a bit to the Caribbean when my two sisters and I were young, though they never took us with them. I suspect they needed the breaks. The first real trip they took us on was to upstate New York’s Finger Lakes District when I was ten. Ever the klutz, I managed to … Read more in the Spring 2019 issue
Making Life Easier for Mom: Tech & the Octogenarian
by Tim Reynolds
It’s hard to predict how a gift will impact the receiver’s life, but when I upgraded from my iPad Gen. 2 to an iPad Air 2, I gave my old one to my mother, telling her that she could use it as an eBook reader and play Bridge on it, for a start.
Mom isn’t particularly tech-savvy. She used to call floppy disks “flippy disks”, but once her youngest grandson sat her down to show her the ins and outs of the iPad, she’d found a new best friend.
You see, Mom is a seasoned and frequent world traveler, but her eyesight isn’t good enough for a smartphone’s small screen. The tablet, on the other hand, is perfect. Also, sitting at a desk is difficult on most bodies, but it’s especially troubling for older muscles and bones. The tablet allows Mom the flexibility of reading in the rocker, in bed, or out on the balcony.
She’s also petite, no more than five-foot-zip, so the weight of the tablet, even in its case, is much less than her big laptop. The tablet also fits into the same space once reserved in her bag for a hardcover novel. A small 17″ flat screen monitor sits on the kitchen counter in order to keep her company and au courant with the news while she’s eating or cooking, but the tablet now allows her to pull up a recipe and have it right there in front of her or the latest Arthur Hill novel. Read more in the Spring 2019 issue
I’m a shower man. I take a bath now and then, but by and large I take showers. Weekend showers are my little treat. Normally I have a quick splash around then out, dressed and off to work, but weekends, ah weekends. I laze about and slowly work the temperature up so it’s hot–really hot, and I’m in lather up to my eyeballs and just stand there sizzling. It’s like being in Heaven.
Perhaps before I go any further I ought to explain how our shower works, because it may be a bit different in England to yours in the US. Ours is an electric shower, just an over-the-bath job, you step in, draw the curtain, and away you go. It works on the amount of water flowing through the head and a restrictor valve controls the heat. The slower the water flow, the hotter it gets. Still with me?
So back to the story. This morning I was just lazing in there, at peace with the world. The water was just about as hot as I could stand, and the bathroom full of steam. My darling wife shouted through the door to hurry up as she wanted to shower, too, and that she was going to put in some washing. She constantly tries to improve efficiency in our house. She put in the washing, switched on the machine and spent the next few minutes puttering around the kitchen. Continue reading in the Winter 2018 issue of SEARCH magazine.
by Larriane Barnard
I’ve never been quite so embarrassed as when I asked my husband
to call roadside assistance. I stopped at a convenience store for a thirty-twoounce
soda. Caffeine fortification ensured, my next errand was a quick trip into the wholesale house for one item. For less to carry, I poked the keys into my pocket and tucked my purse under the seat. My wallet went into the oxygen tank bag I carry for my emphysema. As I crawled out, I flipped the auto-lock button. Once inside the store, I snagged an electric cart.
I was really trucking then, as fast as one can on those carts. When I got back to my car and reached in my pocket for my keys, no keys. I slapped every pocket. No keys. Tugged and pulled on the door. I even went to the other side of the car to tug and pull like I’d miraculously find the automatic lock hadn’t really locked all the doors. From there I could see the keys, lying on the driver’s seat … continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue.
I’m a Boat People
by Tim Reynolds
I come from a long line of boat people. Three hundred and ninety-eight years ago my ninth Great-Grandfather left his wife and five daughters at home to sail off on something longer than a three-hour tour. Richard never returned, although after three years, he had Elizabeth and the girls sail over to join him.
Unfortunately, five years later, he was dead, cause unknown. He was only forty-nine. Now, I’m not saying ninth-Great-Grandma had anything to do with ninth-Great-Grampa’s untimely and mysterious death, but maybe sailing away on the Mayflower without his family wasn’t his best decision ever.
The weighing of anchors and snapping of mainsails is so ingrained in our blood that my father bought a twenty-foot sailboat when I was a kid so the family could ply the exciting waters of Lake Ontario. We spent many “joyous” long weekends away from our friends, on… continue reading in Summer 2018 issue.
by Tim Reynolds
I loves me my trees. Not in a “that young fella needs some serious therapy” kinda love. More like adoration, appreciation, affection, and a few other A-words from the thesaurus.
Sadly, I have another A-word, allergies. Specifically, dust, mold, mildew, ragweed, grass, and trees. In other words I’m allergic to the entire world. Over the decades my allergies have tapered off, but when I was a young goat exploring the world I was always trying different places in which to hide from my two younger sisters.
The crawlspace under my parents’ bedroom was perfect. It had just enough hanging spider egg sacks to keep my sisters at bay. It also had enough dust, mold, and mildew to give me a serious respiratory infection for a month.
Next I thought of hiding in the grass in the backyard, but Mom had some bizarre fixation about having a nicely groomed short lawn around our suburban brick castle, so I would have looked like… continue reading in Spring 2018 issue.
What’s an article you’ve written for SEARCH that you enjoyed? And why did you enjoy it?
I enjoy them all, because I’m the lucky one who gets to write almost all of the humor articles for SEARCH. People may not believe this, but my articles are all based on true stories in my life, and there is no hyperbolic exaggeration for effect. And because they’re true, I have great fun remembering the incidents and getting them down on paper, to share with the readers, rather than just friends on the deck. One of my favorite stories, though, is the one about Santa, Seniors, and the Goat, mostly because it revolves around my favorite time of the year, Christmas, and one of my favorite places on the planet, Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
Make believe. Whether, making up covert ops for my G.I. Joes or creating plays for my two sisters and I to perform for our parents, it was all about make believe.
Do you have a hot tip for us?
I’m an introvert. I’m really not a big fan of listening to conversations I’m not part of or hearing other people’s music pulsing out of their headphones, but I spend so much time on public transit….continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.