Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Posts Tagged ‘Toronto

Scary Day …

leave a comment »

… yesterday . Bev had terrible time trying to breathe early in morning but improved as the day progressed. Calling for more shots of morphine. The hot-and-humid monsoon weather isn’t helping. Plan to discuss steps-to-come with hospice and long-term-care insurance folks in next few days.

Interesting to note she’s monitoring her own progress in this blog — so, if anyone has a response, they can do so here and she’ll see it.

Mike called before his trip: he’s flying to Toronto tomorrow for Lou’s b’day Thursday, Scaglione tribe picnic Saturday in Hamilton and gathering at Lou’s place next Sunday. Then it’s train to Windsor and final-day with a long-time friend in Ann Arbor the day before he leaves and gets back to Detroit airport two weeks from now. Lou called and he’s getting ready for the visit and the weekend activity. He and Jean are sked to be here in a month. We’re both looking forward to that, Bev much more so to chats with Jean and Lou.


Written by Cecil Scaglione

July 15, 2018 at 4:09 pm

We made it …

leave a comment »

… barely.missed_flight_100
Had we scheduled our return trip home ending our three-week R & R (relatives and reminiscing) hiatus a day later, we might still be in Toronto.
Our Air Canada flight home lifted off at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday. That same flight Wednesday was among the dozens cancelled or delayed because of the massive rain/snow/wind storm that flopped over much of the eastern portion of the continent.
At the same time, Bev and I basked in 78-degree San Diego as we refilled our larder – er – freezer with goods from WalMart and Sam’s Club and settled into the sparkle that Mike created by painting the interior of our home while we were away.
It wouldn’t have been all that bad if we’d been delayed. It would have extended our visit with brother Lou and his wife Jean. We spent a week with them for Canadian Thanksgiving and drove down to Pennsylvania to visit with Bev’s uncle Donald and aunt Nancy Linderman for a week, during which we attended a 90th birthday party for her cousin, Bernice Kleinsmith. Then it was back to Toronto for a week to help celebrate Jean’s 75th birthday. She chose dinner at Rodney’s Oyster House for tuna tartare. Bev selected the chowder and mussels while Lou and I washed down a couple of dozen oysters with Canadian beer.
Now, it’s back to catching up on paying the bills…

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 30, 2015 at 7:47 am

The Best Present for any Birthday …

leave a comment »

… is being present, followed by the presence of family and friends.


And what a birthday party I had this past week.

Bev worked hard on this gathering and it showed as what felt like dozens of people poured through the front and back doors last Saturday (after my 80th birthday Dec. 2) shouting Happy Birthday and tossing hugs at me and each another.

Brother Lou and his wife Jean flew in from Toronto for a two-week visit. Joe Brown, a longtime friend and former newspaper colleague from Kitchener, Ontario, and his wife Edith drove over from their winter digs in Phoenix. Daughter Heather with husband Steve and the grandkids, Dean and Melia, flew in from the Valley of the Sun. My daughter Cris, and her mother, Peg, from Culver City arrived about the same time as my son, Mike, who lives nearby. Rounding out the group were close friends ex-TV staffer John Beatty and wife Pat, our masseuse Ofelia, former neighbor Dru, and current neighbors Keri and Dave who live in Dru’s former house.

The weather was grand so the group gravitated to the back yard and everyone chatted with everyone else and – the key to any good gathering – enjoyed each other’s company. Bev (and I) forgot to point out in the invitations that gifts were not part of the day. As a result, I amassed a hoard of loot.

Thickening and sweetening the icing on the birthday cake were calls from Kay and Jerry Salyer, despite his disturbingly debilitating illness, and from Colleen and Fernando Cicci from Toronto to wrap up the weekend. The success of the entire event was due to Bev’s planning and pains.

The socializing continued into Sunday when the kids and grandkids came by and we tangled at dominos and on to Monday when Mike dropped in for a few hands of scopa and scopone  It really didn’t end until this morning (Tuesday) when Lou and Jean were dropped off at the Air Canada terminal for their flight back home.

While the motion and movement of people in and around the house have ended dramatically and abruptly, the memories will only become burnished as this time slips slowly and silently into the past.

— Cecil Scaglione 

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 9, 2014 at 11:51 am

Surprisingly pleasant…

leave a comment »

… the hot muggy weather just hit us today here in eastern Pennsylvania.

Toronto’s layover was a gem. Bright and cool — AND NO MOSQUITOS — and Lou’s 75th birthday gathering could not have moved into history so well. Everyone schmoozed with everyone else and the food and family and friends were all mellow.

Drive to PA was eventless — took about 9 hours — and we’ve managed to squeeze in a quick tourist jaunt to Jim Thorpe (hadn’t been there before). Took some fotos and had some excellent food and then slept it all off before the heat hit today. It was 97 when I checked at 2:20 p.m. and the humidity was off the charts. Bev drove for about 15 minutes through an intense thunderstorm with rain drops that sounded like hail on the windshield. Seems to be cooling off in the evening.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

July 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

Time for a change…

with one comment


…not only for this blog but for us, too.




We’ve taken the luggage down to get ready for an about-a-month-long visit Back East.

We have our house sitters lined up and calls made to credit-card companies to let them know we’ll be on the road and alerted the alarm company, cops, relatives and neighbors so all we have to do now is decide what color slacks and tops we want to take. And how many.

We’re traveling in middle of summer — ugh — the unpredictable-weather and busiest-travel time of year to attend brother Lou’s 75th birthday. We agreed several months ago we’d attend his and he’s to attend my 80th later this year. We’ll be in Toronto for a few days for the festivities, drive to visit Bev’s folks in the Reading, Pa., area for a week, and back to Toronto to hang around with Lou and Jean, play some cards, sip some scotch, drink some wine, and snag a table in some of Toronto’s fine restaurants. In Pa., we’ll do our usual shopping at the Bethlehem of outlets —  at the Vanity Fair complex in West Reading — and get our Amish-food fix at one of the several such eateries peppered over the rolling countryside.

We don’t worry about gaining weight during these sessions because we do a lot of walking. As those of you who are familiar with the cities back there, they’re more conducive to walking around than the stretched-out metros of the Southwest, like Phoenix and San Diego and Los Angeles, where it’s normally long-haul to walk anywhere from where you are.

As always, we anticipate a fine R & R (relatives and reminiscing) time but do not look forward to the airport and airplane crunching and scrunching both going and coming. But the excitement of being there and enjoying the folks is beginning to build. And we’ll take a few photos to accompany the travel pieces we write when we return home.

— Cecil Scaglione


Written by Cecil Scaglione

July 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

Want Beer? Go to the Source.

leave a comment »

What better way to get our Canadian-beer fix than to head to where it’s brewed. So we blew into the Steam Whistle facility in the Roundhouse at the foot of the CN Tower. Got a bottle and glass of fine pilsener (and a souvenir tasting glass) before heading out into the reconstructed station and pump house and locomotive roundhouse that was a loud and major working railway yard about a century ago. With appetites whetted, we headed west on the Queensway to Prego where Lou reviewed memories with owner (and chef) Angelo before we feasted on one of the house specialities — roasted rabbit. Sun’s out but wind off the lake still has teeth in it…

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 18, 2013 at 7:43 am

Posted in Canada, Travel

Tagged with , , , ,

A tip of the toque to Cecil

leave a comment »

(A tickle and treasure by National Editor Don Wall in the February 2013 issue of FYI — “Forever Young Information, Canada’s Adult Lifestyle Publication,” online at

     It’s a familiar byline to longtime readers of FYI, and recently came word that veteran travel writer Cecil Scaglione has earned a citation in the San Diego Press Club’s 39th annual Excellence in Journalism Awards, for the second year in a row.

     Scaglione may run an editorial service out of San Diego these days, while we are here in snowy Ontario, but this colleague and I share a special link. Some time back in the mid-1990s, soon after FYI entered into a deal with him to use his writing services, we realized we were both raised in the same town, North Bay, Ont.

     Have you ever noticed how home towns seem to become more important to you, the further in time it is since you lived there? Coming from the same small town can link spirits together, and this was the case even though we determined that Scaglione never lived there when I did; he was born in the 1930s and left town to work down south (that’s Toronto!) for the Telegram in 1955, while I was born three years after that. (This means, as the North Bay joke goes, we never went to separate schools together.) So there has been a regular, soulwarming swapping of stories as we share our love for the beautiful city on the shores of Lake Nipissing.

     As for his career, after the Telegram, Scaglione moved on to the Windsor Star, the Detroit News and the San Diego Union. He started his editorial service in 1991. The feature that earned Scaglione his travel-writing award this year ran in FYI in April and was titled Chartwell: Churchill at Home. His award-winning travel piece from last year, called The Naples Nobody Knows, saw my friend visiting the hometown of his Italian ancestors. Both stories are posted on our website at

     Cecil, keep up the good work. – Don Wall

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 10, 2013 at 12:05 am

We’re Packed!!!

leave a comment »

It’s R & R time — relatives and reminiscing — again. And it’s our favorite month for travel. October weather usually is more  amiable and amenable than the rest of the years, especially when you head where we’re going — Back East. We’re going to visit Bev’s folks in Pennsylvania for a bit and then freeload off my family in Toronto for a bit more.

We also plan to pick up some travel-story material by visiting a handful of factories in Pennsylvania, which is the factory-tour capital of the galaxy. And we might take a jaunt to Ottawa — Canada’s capital — when we’re Up North.

Not even worried about bills because house sitter will alert us when they slip over the transom.

Stay tuned


Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 1, 2012 at 12:05 am

Surprise Visit

leave a comment »

The visit was not a surprise. We’d planned it for at least half a year. What happened was a surprise.
We flew into Toronto, where brother Lou was to lend us a car to drive down to Pennsylvania – our original destination – to visit Bev’s folks for a week. The savings from the use of his car made it possible to fly into Toronto and extend our getaway a couple of weeks.
Then we’d beatle back to Toronto and visit with Lou and his wife, Jean, and maybe get to see a few more long-ago and long-time friends. There was even a Kitchener-Waterloo Record alumni dinner on the calendar.
That all was aborted.
The week before our Tuesday departure, I gor a pertussis (whooping cough) shot because the disease has been declared an epidemic in California and Michigan. I had a flu shot the week before that and there were no after-effects. My concern was (and still is) my current immune-system quandary.
The Friday after the w.p.shot, I got ailing – shivering and shaking and quaking and sweating. But nothing more than most folk get with a flu attack. Saturday wasn’t much better, nor was Sunday. I sent my Internist (G.P.) Dr. Land and endocrinologist Dr. Chang a e-mails explaining my plight, pointing out I was due for a flight on Tuesday. Neither one said stay home. Land said stay hydrated and the endo said it was not a reaction to my meds, which I knew because I’ve been on the meds for three months now.
N.B. The meds are designed to stabilize what has been diagnosed as autoimmune hepatitis, weaning me off one as they wean me onto the maintenance drug. I had been progressing nicely to the point where I can eat a regular diet, eschewing booze until the final hurdle is cleared when the stabilizing med holds fort.
Then my immune systems was overwhelmed, as my GP e-mailed today – but still will not state flatly that the pertussis shot did it.
So rather than spread my doom and gloom, we headed back home Saturday.
Gave lab blood this morning (Monday) so hope for some sort of definitive news later today. Weighed 140 pounds this a.m,, which means I’ve lost eight pounds in the last 10 days and more than 45 pounds since January. Nothing, but nothing tastes good. Some food even turns me off.

Home Is Where the Garbage Is
It’s always psychologically comforting to get home, but it’s muuuuuuuuuuuuch better to get home when you’re ailing.
Even when it’s all torn apart.
Fortunately, our bedroom had been restored so we camped there about 90 minutes after we deplaned about 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
But portions of the rest of the house look marvelous: we’re having the place re-floored. Laminated wood and carpeting. What’s done looks wonderful. Workers doing a fine job. The rest stinks. But we were supposed to be away for another two weeks.
Dave, our neighbor, is a home renovator/remodeler and he’s honchoing the project.
Workers returned today and it looks like they’ll be here a couple of or three more days. We’ve emphasized that I don’t want them to rush. We want the job down well, not fast.
So got out of the way earlier today by going to get lab work done, then went to breakfast. Oatmeal is actually one of the few things that taste good.

Canadian Medical is Spelled O-b-a-m-a-c-a-r-e

For those who know, this is a reminder; for those who don’t, this is to remember:
I was born and raised in Canada and spent my first 3 ½ decades there. So I’ve grown up with the Canadian medical system. The closest thing to it in California is Kaiser Medical, for those familiar with that.
As my body was reacting in Canada to a pertussis shot, Chang said get a blood test and fax her the results asap.
Lou retired recently after a 35+-year career that included being head of the photography department at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto – one of three premier sick kid’s hospital’s in the world until the Canadian medical system began to tatter more than two decades ago. That’s when “universal health care” meant there was no room for such a highly specialized research facility in the system and doctors fled to the U.S. – Rochester, Menninger, etc. In fact, Sick Kids now rents operating rooms to doctors from Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY and Cleveland and other U.S. neighbors.
Jean is an operating room nurse at Cedar’s Sinai Hospital in Toronto. So we aren’t muddling around in a dark closet when we talk Canadian medical.
It was 10 a.m. California time, 1 p.m. in Toronto, when Chang faxed a blood-test work order to jean’s work station at Cedar’s Sinai. I couldn’t get a blood test at that hospital. Lou called a clinic he worked with and goes to regularly. They said they could take the work order BUT it would have to be authorized and rewritten by a Canadian doctor. We would have to take the work order – you need a piece of paper in your hand before doing anything medical there – to the clinic and,  while they didn’t have a doctor on site, they would send us to one of their regular medics to handle the matter. Then we would take the Cdn-signed work order back to the clinic for the blood work, which would have a minimal fee – less than $50.  We would be brushing the clock really close to get the test done before 5 p.m. Assuming we did, we asked how long it would take to fax the results to Chang in California. The response was “About five working days.” This was Friday afternoon before their Thanksgiving weekend, meaning, that if we got the test done before 5 p.m., it would take more than a week for Dr. Chang to get the results. Even a rush is 24 – 48 hours. The turn-around time at Scripps is 40 minutes. That will certainly change as “universal coverage” creeps through the U.S. system.
So Bev called the airline and we got home in about 28 hours.
A handful of years ago, our surrogate mother in Toronto fell as she was hit by a heart attack/fainting spell/stroke/whatever while she was moving from an apartment to an assisted-living complex to be nearer her son. They rushed her to the hospital, where she was asked for her medical card. She didn’t have it but this was a facility where she’d been treated poked and prodded several times over the years and she was in their records. NO MATTER. She didn’t have that piece of paper in her hand so she had to lay in a gurney in the admitting corridor for nine – NINE – hours (NO FOOD, NO MEDICATION, NOTHING) while her family rummaged thru her stuff to find her medical card and get back to the hospital.
The process trumps the patient.
And folks, they said it can’t happen here.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Posted in Canada

Tagged with ,


leave a comment »

Among the changes in preparing for this trip was having to clean out several  bookcases, and store away heirlooms and antiques and stuff from shelves so contractor  won’t spill or break as much when they remove  the existing floor to replace it with hardwood and carpet. They start Tuesday, the day we leave. Ross and neighbor who remodels and renovates houses are honchoing the project. Should be thru Friday or Saturday. Neighbor Dave will do a walk-through a week from Tuesday and then give the contractor the final check.

Also this time, because I’m on this medication testing and switchover, I’ve had to marshal what seems like several gross of  prescriptions and supplements and still have room left in my carry-on.

Also learned it was a good thing to have called credit-card company and bank to let them know we’re traveling because the changing rules probably would have caused their systems to refuse our credit and debit  cards, especially out of the country — Canada.  So it’s a good idea to call before you go  and  give them the dates and travel sites.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Canada

Tagged with , ,