Monday, September 07, 2009

goodbye hello!

On Saturday, our neighbourhood held a goodbye party for our wonderful groundskeeper, Joe Cordeiro. Joe has worked for our strata corporation for 30 years. He takes care of the lawns and shrubs, mows the lawns, blows the leaves, and in the winter he shovels and salts the slippery hill that is the road out of the complex so we can go to work and school. Joe works in the blazing sun, pouring rain and chill temperatures. He is a quiet guy, always ready with a smile and a wave for any of us, willing to chat, but fully devoted to getting a lot of work done. Joe will be 65 years old this month, and it's time for him to move on. We will miss him fiercely.

At Saturday's party, we met Joe's wife, Mari, and Joe's 3 daughters, their partners and their children. Joe has lots of people who love him at home and here where he has worked for so many years. We honoured him with gifts, cards, a big banner that everyone signed, and more handshakes and thank-you's than anyone could every think to receive in one evening. There were speeches and a few tears, and also wine, and Portugese music, and everyone's best potluck dishes. It was a neighbourhood party for a neighbourhood guy.

Joe's replacement was hired early in the summer, so the two could work together for a couple of months. The strata also voted to hire a full-time handyman, so in a way, we hired two guys to fill Joe's shoes, althought not really but yup, really. We all wish Joe the happiest of times in his retirement. And Maria, if he drives you nuts trying to wash the dishes, just send him over to us. We'll give him a lawn chair and a glass of wine and he can watch us mow our lawns. We might even let him use the leaf blower, for old times' sake.

On Sunday evening, Andy and I went to Thundering Word at Cafe Montmartre on Main Street. It was the 2 year anniversary of Wanda Nowicki and Bill MacNamara's revival of T Paul Ste. Marie's amazing spoken word and music open mic night. The place was jammed with good people, and the stage spilled over with able artists, each sharing a 10 minute set. Wanda featured, with her lovely Wanda Nowicki group, singing some jazz pieces from her new cd, and also some selections by her favourite songwriters. It was great to see Wanda performing. It was an evening of mostly music (you never know which way it will go at TW), with some spoken word. Of particular note: David King's song-telling - stories told to the rhythm and mood of classic big band music, and Bryant Ross's wonderful gritty and heart-felt storytelling. It was good to renew my acquaintance with TW and honour the work of Wanda and Bill, and Bill's lovely wife Diana. They have sustained T Paul's vision, and created a warm and creative evening of performances. TW is a good thing.

Now it's Monday, Labour Day. We'll say goodbye to the summer and hello to the school year. The kids are almost ready. I feel like I'm turning a page from lazy evenings of supper-sometime-nobody's-going-anywhere to a renewed calendar-conscious sprint-through-the-week way of doing things. I will iron my clothes tonight and pack my Tuesday lunch before I retire, so I know I'll be ready for anything.

question: were there any goodbyes or hellos for you this weekend?

mompoet - to everything there is a season

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your tribute to Joe ... I may go to other retirement parties that are just as nice, but I can't imagine one being any nicer!