Rebecca Todd

Gin and Topics: Inspiration Edition

By: Rebecca Todd | April 19, 2013 | 
72

Gin and TopicsI awoke to my sister shaking my shoulders, holding me at the top of the stairs saying “Becki! Run! RUN!”

I ran down the stairs with her hot at my heels.

I had just turned 9 at the time, and while my memories of this fateful night are disjointed, they are also crystal clear.

My big sister Heidi running outside to take the car and get help.

My two big brothers running down the stairs, Cam managing his guitar, his skis, and an oil painting of him on his motorbike all under his arm, rushing out to dump his goods then right back in to be by my father’s side.

My mum yells “someone grab the leash I’m going up for the dog!” and disappears back up in to the thick cloud of smoke that has engulfed the upper story of our old farm house. She returns with the dog, Stew grabs me and the dog and pulls us out to the other car.

Mum slips on the ice, twisting her wrist. The ceiling collapses as Cam and Dad struggle vainly to rescue the hand written report cards, but end up with the national geographic maps; and dad deflects a piece of lumber, burning his fingertips.

The large picture window explodes, glass and flames erupting out in to the cold Canadian Winter. We ended up gathering in the homes of our neighbours, watching as the volunteer firefighters from the next town over bravely fought to contain the flames as our house disappeared in to ash.

The next day, two men walked down the street, still in bathrobes and slippers. One we knew well, but one was new to our sleepy little hamlet of Goodwood, Ontario. The man we had never met handed us the keys to his house. His family was leaving that day for two weeks in Florida, and he wanted to allow my now-homeless family free run of his home while they were gone. Even though we had never ever met.

I use this memory to remind me that there is so much GOOD in humanity. When tragedies strike, I do find it comforting to remember this. With that in mind, with this Gin and Topics I would like to share some videos to remind us how fantastic people (and animals!) really are.

1. I am a dork. A big nerdalinger. My friend tried to convince me to go out on a Saturday night recently, and I replied “Yes, sure, maybe…but Doctor Who is on…” Why I love this show so very much- it is the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.

2. When I face a daunting task, I watch this. Listen to this girl prep herself for her first ski jump. I love her analysis post jump. Amazing!

3. It’s a Great Dane and a Mini Pig caught snuggling! Your arguments are invalid!

4. Best Goal Ever- Kitchener, Ontario hosted the Special Hockey International tournament 2013 this year, and this clip sums up why this is such a powerful opportunity for people of all abilities. Watch both the diligence of this little player, and also the players around him that work patiently to support his success. And I dare you not to cry!

5. And, still on the hockey theme, I leave you with this little bit of inspiration. The recent events at the Boston marathon were beyond tragic. But in true American style the people of Boston picked themselves up and dusted themselves off. And they sang. They sang their hearts out. This might be the most moving rendition of The Star Spangled Banner ever.

 

About Rebecca Todd


Graduating with her bachelor's of education degree, Rebecca Todd knew the classroom wasn’t for her. Her passion for adventure carried her to educational publishing, and now she travels the globe and savors life on the road as a representative for Ivey Publishing. But she’ll always be an academic at heart, as evidenced by the meticulous annotations in the science fiction novels she loves to find in second-hand bookstores. When she’s not working on her list of the world’s best vegan restaurants, she enjoys hot yoga, hangs with her dogs, and sometimes thinks about working on her Victorian home.

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72 Comments on "Gin and Topics: Inspiration Edition"

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yvettepistorio
3 years 5 months ago

Great story Rebecca, and love the inspiration theme of today’s Gin & Topics. The great dane and pig…ADORBS!!!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

yvettepistorio You can find more of Brutus and Piggy on youtube…I love them!

Erin F.
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd yvettepistorio Is this the same piglet that goes down the stairs for the oatmeal?

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

Erin F. RebeccaTodd yvettepistorio No, that’s Hamlet! Another favourite. Hamlet has a bunch of videos up, too, but Brutus and Piggy stole my heart this week.

Erin Feldman
Erin Feldman
3 years 5 months ago

Rebecca Amy Todd – This is amazing and wonderful.

KateFinley
3 years 5 months ago

Rebecca, you are such a beautiful person. I love that you shared that part of your story today. 
Also, that little girl … I felt so nervous for her!! One time, I jumped off a 40 ft high ravine into a river and it was TERRIFYING. I totally felt that girl’s nervousness and then the success. Although, my jump ended in a fractured tailbone … What a darling!!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

KateFinley Thank you Kate! I was honestly a blessing to learn so young the difference between people and stuff. Stuff can be replaced. 
Yikes!!! Sorry to hear young Kate hurt herself, but I bet, knowing mature Kate, that it didn’t stop her from taking risks!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

KateFinley G’ah!! That’s terrible!

Rebecca Amy Todd
Rebecca Amy Todd
3 years 5 months ago

Good! I am glad you enjoyed it Erin.

Erin F.
3 years 5 months ago

I love this! Thank you for sharing your story and for the inspiring videos.
The girl who has her first ski jump makes me think I should do a pre- and post-cap Tough Mudder video.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

Erin F. YES do it!!! I would love that. I have a feeling that once you are done, it will all seem worth it. Great idea Erin!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd Erin F. Great idea Erin!!

allenmireles
3 years 5 months ago

Oh RebeccaTodd this is so wonderful and so timely. We need distraction today and your incredible story, and the videos you chose, provide exactly that. Well done! And thank you.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

allenmireles Excellent thank you! We were so lucky that night that we only lost stuff. My heart aches for those who have lost people this week.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd allenmireles It is a crazy story – one if my WORST nightmares. Brrrrrrr.

RobBiesenbach
3 years 5 months ago

Wow, harrowing story, well told! I hadn’t watched the national anthem video — what a moment. “Rampahts” — heh!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

RobBiesenbach Thanks Rob! Great to see some unity, especially with today’s events.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

RobBiesenbach Wasn’t that amazing! Hair raising.

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
3 years 5 months ago

Wow, I had no idea about your family and the fire. I agree that there is more good than bad in the world. Not so sure that hockey a sport, to paraphrase George Carlin the only place outside of a hockey rink that you ever see a puck is at the bottom of a urinal.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes You kiss your mother with that mouth!!?? #hockey

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
3 years 5 months ago

belllindsay I think we ought to ask Beckett to write a post about his mom.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes belllindsay I’ll have you know, Beckett thinks I’m the Oprah of social media. 😉

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
3 years 5 months ago

belllindsay Does that mean he wants you “off the air.” 😉

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes No. He thinks I”m fat.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

belllindsay Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes HAH!!!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

belllindsay Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Ooo Josh, thems be fightin’ words!

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd belllindsay Don Cherry is an overrated hack.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes RebeccaTodd belllindsay Well we all know THAT.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes But he’s OUR overrated hack. 🙂

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
3 years 5 months ago

Uh oh, I just received hate mail from Bob and Doug Mackenzie. A

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Actually, my original post featured Bob and Doug, but given the events of this week, I changed my tune.

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd I mentioned Bob and Doug to a couple of coworkers this week and discovered they had no idea who or what I was talking about. Young hosers.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes RebeccaTodd Heathens! Actually, Bob and Doug coined the word Hosers- before The Great White North, neither Hosers nor Hoseheads were in the dictionary!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes RebeccaTodd KOOrookookookookookookoooooo!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

belllindsay Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes RebeccaTodd We do that at least once per family gathering. It’s a Todd Family Rule. Like “If there are more than three Todds present, there must be a shrimp ring”.

John_Trader1
John_Trader1
3 years 5 months ago
Wait. Not one but two hockey videos make it to this week’s G&T? Oh boy.  Not only was the Boston fan anthem singing inspiring and a show of solidarity against terrorism and hatred, it was a symbol of pride for the community that can go unmatched. Being an avid hockey fan, I know full well that in Canada before hockey games Canadian fans sing their national anthem as loudly as we heard the Boston fans sing the U.S. national anthem, except Canadians do it every single game. We could learn a thing or two from them. Thanks RebeccaTodd for choosing these videos and… Read more »
RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

John_Trader1 Thanks, John! The post I had originally drafted seemed a little trite in the light of all that has occurred this week. You can tell a Canadian is at the helm with two hockey vids and no football, though, eh?

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

John_Trader1 RebeccaTodd AND we take our hats off. Jeeze that makes me mad when people don’t take their hats off during the anthem.

RebeccaAmyTodd
RebeccaAmyTodd
3 years 5 months ago

John_Trader1 SpinSucks Thank you very much, sir!

John_Trader1
John_Trader1
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaAmyTodd Stop with the videos that put a tear in my eye. Just stop it. 🙂

RebeccaAmyTodd
RebeccaAmyTodd
3 years 5 months ago

John_Trader1 If that one of the young kids in Kitchener doesn’t make you cry, you are made of stone!

John_Trader1
John_Trader1
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaAmyTodd It was my fav – reminded me of teaching pee wee lacrosse and watching them score their first goal. Unforgettable.

RebeccaAmyTodd
RebeccaAmyTodd
3 years 5 months ago

John_Trader1 Nice! I really love to see peer mentoring. The impact on both parties is astronomical.

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski
3 years 5 months ago

belllindsay SpinSucks That RebeccaAmyTodd made me cry.

RebeccaAmyTodd
RebeccaAmyTodd
3 years 5 months ago

jasonkonopinski belllindsay SpinSucks Mission accomplished!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

jasonkonopinski You’re a pretty easy crier though. 😉 SpinSucks RebeccaAmyTodd

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski
3 years 5 months ago

belllindsay True story. SpinSucks RebeccaAmyTodd

Cheri Disse Cimmarrusti
Cheri Disse Cimmarrusti
3 years 5 months ago

the little kid hockey player did make me cry – and the big kid hockey game already made me cry earlier this week! good ones!

HowieG
HowieG
3 years 5 months ago
I saw that ski jump awhile back it is amazing! GoPro is the only true brand to harness social edia into a billion dollar business. Or should I say Social enabled this. Very rare success story of that magnitude. So sorry to hear about your house @RebeccaAmyTodd 8( I know what it is like to lose everything I owned. But it happened much later in life at age 43. The difference was after the shock lasting about a month I felt free.  I disowned my recently deceased evil grandmother about 14 years ago. She knitted me a blanket. It was… Read more »
RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago
Howie Goldfarb Wow Howie! No matter when we learned it, we both now that the stuff you own can end up owning you. It really shaped who I am, that’s for sure. I really do not get hung up on “things”- if they get broken or lost- I don’t stress it. I also see objects as separate from memories. It was actually only a couple weeks after my birthday, so yes, I missed my Voltron, but mum just calmly looked at me and said “Becki, we can always buy more things. What we can’t buy are new people.” The very next… Read more »
belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 5 months ago

karimacatherine Thanks for the share! 🙂

karimacatherine
karimacatherine
3 years 5 months ago

belllindsay My pleasure!

jdrobertson
3 years 5 months ago

… the triumph of intellect and romance… Hah! Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

jdrobertson Hah!!! Now I do believe that the older you get, the righter you are. Even when you are wrong, you are wrong based on more information. Of course, The Doctor is over 900 years old…

jdrobertson
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd jdrobertson Hah!!!! You are absolutely right in your observation once again offering proof-positive that blondes are getting a bad rap! However, may I point out: Those of us of the octogenarian persuasion (four score and seven) are protected by divine rite from ever being wrong about anything. We are protected from contradiction by church, clergy and congregation. And above all you young whippersnappers. Aside from that Ms. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

jdrobertson RebeccaTodd I once had a discussion with my now-deceased next door neighbour. Cocky young me asked her what the greatest technological advancement in her time was, believing I knew the answer-certainly it would be tv or computers. When she replied “well, I guess it would be electricity in our home”, it humbled me beyond belief. While I did not always agree with her conclusions, that woman, even when incorrect, knew a hell of a lot more about EVERYTHING than I did. She passed finally at 99, and I only wish I had spent more time cataloging more of what she KNEW, right or wrong.

jdrobertson
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd jdrobertson Surely the joy of learning is truly a wondrous thing! Your line … based on more information…. has already been plagiarized in my computer for use in my next paper. Yesterday, I thought I’d show off for a group of kids who were playing with a yo-yo. I ended up spending the next hour with them teaching me a couple of tricks I’d never seen before. I can fly a kite too. Better than those smart-aleck yo-yo sharks. So there!

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

jdrobertson RebeccaTodd Caveat- not my line! From the new Louis C.K. special Oh My God! This link is probably NSFW… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXcWeFn-YYM

jdrobertson
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd jdrobertson I’m sure you meant caveat emptor –

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

jdrobertson RebeccaTodd In this case, not so, more of a general warning than a purchase specific one. I like the words Caveat in general, and use it to form all sorts of faux-Latinisms like “Caveat Fragro!” but both of my parents speak Latin, so in my household growing up, we gleaned a few random words.

Word Ninja
3 years 5 months ago

Good of you to share your story, Rebecca. The hockey videos…awesome, thanks.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

Word Ninja Thanks for stopping by! I just can’t get enough of peer-to-peer mentoring… the teacher in me I guess. So great to see these two buds working hard for that goal!

Word Ninja
3 years 5 months ago

RebeccaTodd Yes! Love to see that, too. I’ve taught college, and I volunteer (creative writing workshops) at the local teen center; it’s great to witness those moments.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

Word Ninja RebeccaTodd Wow amazing! Thank you for your volunteering efforts! When that light flips on…so exciting!

creativeoncall
3 years 5 months ago

Rebecca,  
Thanks for sharing a very personal, powerful story… and also demonstrating how to use a personal narrative and yet have it ultimately not be just about you. Nicely done.
As to the videos, I particularly like the young skier’s post analysis, which applies nicely to much of life… I won’t quote it to avoid spoiling the payoff.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

creativeoncall Thank you very much Chuck! Yes- the clip of the little skier is just so amazing. And I agree- it is the post jump analysis that really make it all worth it!

spinchick
3 years 5 months ago

Great story from your childhood RebeccaTodd . Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

spinchick RebeccaTodd Thank you! Maybe it makes me a Pollyanna  but I really do think that human beings are fantastic.

ExtremelyAvg
3 years 5 months ago

That was an awesome post. But you know me, I do love a story well told.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago

ExtremelyAvg Thank you very much Brian! The first draft seemed rather…trite after the events of the week. I hope this was suitable.

rdopping
rdopping
3 years 5 months ago

Awww, that was awesome @Rebecca Amy Todd How great was your neighbour to lend you a home? It just goes to show you how giving people really are when given the opportunity. Great selections. Love, love, love the little pig.

RebeccaTodd
3 years 5 months ago
rdopping Thank Ralph! It was amazing, actually. That was just one act of kindness that day. From Ms. Thornhill thoughtfully arriving with toothbrushes and deodorant at 6 am, to Ms. Bell bringing me a brand new cabbage patch kids at 7 am (how did she manage that?), to the whole Bunker clan who opened their house to us and the community in the middle of the night, made some coffee, and settled in for a night of laughter and tears with us while we watched it burn, Goodwood showed us what small towns are all about. People tell me I am a Pollyanna… Read more »
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