Archive for July, 2013

It’s Been Too Long…

Posted: July 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I can’t believe it’s been almost a full freaking year since I updated this blog.  Ridiculous.  Especially when I factor in current events, which definitely require a substantial entry in order to catch everybody up on all things Ruttle.

First off, I’m mere days away from being on summer holidays.  It’s that time of the year where the paper shuts down for two weeks at the beginning of August, and a period where a guy can recharge his batteries, catch up on some rest, soak in the summer sun, and just disconnect from any and all problems for the time being.  And like any summer break, you might hop in the car or on a plane and jet off somewhere exotic for a few days.

And in my case, I’m going to Las Vegas.

You read that right.  Vegas, baby.  Sin City.  Where a guy can spend hundreds of dollars hitting the slot machines and win it all back in one fluke swoop.  I’m finally, FINALLY venturing to this city, something my friends and I have talked about doing since high school, and I can’t wait.

So what are my plans?  My schedule?  Well, I’m done work after next Tuesday when the paper is published, and I’m just gonna rest and relax for a few days heading into the long weekend.  On Saturday the 3rd, I’m planning to drive out to Calgary and stay with my older brother for the night, and my flight to Vegas is Sunday evening at 6:30.  Direct flight, too.  I’m not having any of that connecting, ‘stop in Vancouver or Denver’ bullshit.  It’s nonstop or nothing for me, and the airport in Calgary more than provides that.  Saskatoon really needs to get their shit together in that regard.

So, I land in Vegas at about 8:15 local time.  From there, a LIMO is picking me up and taking me to my hotel.  Yup.  A limo.  Riding in style.

My accommodations await me at the Platinum Hotel, where the suites START at 950 square feet, and my room even has a balcony with a view of the Las Vegas Strip.  I absolutely cannot wait to get into my room, drop everything on the bed, and peer out across the city skyline from that perspective.  I plan to eat many of my meals out there and just drink in the sights.  (And drink in some booze)

So what are my plans for down there?  There’s a few things I’d like to see and do.  I wanna see Penn and Teller’s magic show at the Rio, a wax museum, and there’s a cool Mob exhibit/attraction that sounds cool.  As for anything else, I dunno.  A strip show?  Topless revue?  Why the hell not?  I mean, I gotta experience just why they call it Sin City.

Whatever I find myself doing, I’ve got four days to do it.  My flight back to Calgary is Thursday night, and it puts me back in Canada at about 12:30 am, going into Friday.  From there, I drive home the next day and simply reflect on a very memorable few days.

I’m really looking forward to this vacation.  I bought the entire trip on Expedia, and when I compared the site with simply buying my flight and hotel separately, the difference was staggering, and I’ll fortunately have a few hundred dollars to keep in my bank balance.

And yes, I’m going alone.  I can already hear you saying ‘You’re going to Vegas by yourself?  In August?  In that kinda heat?’  Yes, yes I am.  Call me a trendsetter, call me a trailblazer, call me a fool.  I don’t care.  I’m going and you’re not, so THERE!!!

Someday I hope my friends join me on a trip down there, provided this first adventure goes as planned and the experience is as incredible as I hope it’ll be.  That’s been the dream for many years.  ‘The Gang Does Vegas’.  Or a more likely scenario, ‘Vegas Shakes The Gang Upside Down Til All Their Money Falls Out, And Leaves Them In The Nevada Desert Sans Pants’.  Yeah, that sounds more like us.

As for doing anything else on my two weeks off, who knows?  Other than Vegas, the ‘main event’ of the summer break, I think I’m just gonna take er easy.  Maybe the odd day down at Lake Diefenbaker, a good book in hand and a lawn chair on the beach.  Might even make my way back up to Candle Lake to the old cabin for a day or two.  And then there’s The Ex up in Saskatoon.  My brother Brendon and I had a blast up there last summer, and you know why?  It’s because we weren’t on anyone’s schedule and didn’t feel rushed.  So I wouldn’t mind taking that in again.

Above all else, this summer break is going to be about resting, relaxation, recharging my batteries, and reflecting on the past and the future.

The start of the annual holiday comes at a very bittersweet time, though.  My coworker Tim is leaving The Outlook newspaper and starting a new job and life in Humboldt.  It’s not by choice – apparently, our higher-ups are telling us the paper isn’t making enough money to pay three full-time people, and Tim opted to step away and start fresh somewhere else.  It really sucks, because in the six years I’ve worked with him, Tim has pretty much been the glue keeping things running around here.  He’s creative, outgoing, easy to get along with, and the paper in Humboldt is lucky to have him on their staff now.  I’m gonna miss Tim, and I fear his absence is really gonna be felt in certain situations.  I’ll miss his down-to-earth personality, I’ll miss his creativity when it comes to producing issue after issue, and I’ll definitely miss those lazy days at the office when I had nothing to cover and the phones weren’t busy, and we’d spend an hour or more just talking about anything and everything; movies, comics, current events, the way of life around here in a small town community.  I’ll miss it all.  Change sucks, but it’s inevitable.  You can either roll with it or get caught in the crossfire.  Take care of yourself, Tim.  It’s been nothing but a pleasure working with you for over six years to produce the best newspaper possible.  I’ll see you down the road, my friend.

Outside of work and on the home front, my family recently made the decision to put Dad in a long-term care facility.  You wanna talk about change, that has been a HUGE learning curve.  I don’t think any of us ever thought that Jack Ruttle would one day end up in a care home.  He’s Jack Ruttle, he’s JR, he’s the head of the family.  The man we respected from the day we shot out of our mother and feared when we knew we did something wrong as kids.  And now he’s this senior citizen with arthritis in his spine who gets around in a wheelchair and doesn’t live at home anymore.

At least this wasn’t something that just sprang on us out of nowhere.  I think we all knew this was coming down the pipe at some point.  It really all started back in January, just days after the new year began, and he was admitted into the Outlook Health Centre with a harsh chest cold that gave way to bronchial symptoms and even had Dad slurring his speech and acting delusional.  A short-form bout of dementia, they called it.  So he was in Outlook for about two months and came home in March.  Another two months went by, and he woke up on the morning of May 23 so weak that his legs couldn’t support himself on his walker, and he crumpled to the ground as my mom held him.  We called an ambulance to take him back to Outlook, and that was the last time Dad was ever inside his own house.

Last Sunday, he got a new change of scenery when the call came down to take him to Elrose, where they have a very large personal care home and a room was waiting for him when we got there.  I was impressed by the place, and Mom has heard nothing but good things about it, so I think Dad is in good hands in Elrose.  He’s actually on the top of the list for a room in Dinsmore, so there may be a day sooner or later that we get another phone call and it’ll be moving day all over again.  He spent two weeks down in Dinsmore’s facility and we were all impressed with it.  It’s closer to home, too.  For now, we have to make the hour-plus drive to see him down in Elrose, and we’ll adapt.

Dad’s old, and he’s just gonna get older.  That’s life.  He’s a guy who worked all his life to give his family the things he didn’t have growing up, and I’m eternally grateful to the man for that.  We always said that we’d never put Dad in a home, but we realized that it’s better to put him in the care of professionals every day than it is to try and manage him at home in Conquest.  With our busy lives, it would simply be unfair to just prop him in his easy chair in front of the TV, go off to work for eight hours, and expect that situation to work out for the rest of his life.  At least in this situation, we can make the time to visit with him and put all our attention on him, and we know that his needs are being met and taken care of.

So, it’s a time of change around here.  I just gotta roll with it and adapt.  I always do.  Life has a way of just spinning on and on without any sign of stopping, and you just gotta jump on and hold on with all your might.

And holding on I am.