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This article was published 5/8/2011 (2148 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: We have a beautiful pool in our backyard and it's very attractive to the neighbours. Once a year we have a great big pool party -- to start off the season -- and give them all a lovely night at the pool. This has not caused problems until Big Mouth, my husband, went overboard and this year has turned into a nightmare. My husband, who loves his booze, drank to excess at the opening party, and gave a big sentimental speech about "loving your neighbours" and then issued a blanket invitation to people to come over to swim with their kids. "Just knock!' he said."My wife's always at home." It has been an open house all summer and I'm ready to leave home. Please help me to close the door to the neighbours. -- Selfish Neighbour, Southdale
Dear Selfish: Post a sign on the doors that reads: "Hello Everyone: We are doing renovations in the month of August and the pool is closed to everyone but family." Leave it vague as to the renovations, but definite as to the complete closure. Decide with your husband as to what those renovations will be (to make an honest woman out of you and give him an excuse, too). Have him do most of it to make it up to you for a month of entertaining all the people he invited over when he wasn't home.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I am extremely sad because my mother has died. I didn't think it would hit me like this, but I have been crying a lot, and not really crying for my old mother but for the wonderful young mother she was to me when we were at home many years ago growing up. She got kind of crabby and critical with me in her old age. I really mourn the person she was in earlier times. I feel guilty about feeling resentful of her in her later years. I don't know what to do with this conflict of grief and guilt. Please help me. -- Ungrateful Child, Brandon
Dear Ungrateful: Private candle-burning rituals and writing poems or remembrances can be a great way to honour someone who has died and pay tribute to the good things they did in the world. At the end you can ask that the good memories come to the fore and the unhappy memories you have together move off now. If you are less than pleasant in your older years, you would want those memories to be forgiven and forgotten, right? Your mother is gone. You can be selective about what your remember and honour about her.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: There's a ghost out at my cabin that creeps me out. She only appears to me and she is never bad or nasty, except she holds her finger to her mouth to say, "Shhhhh." I have no idea why. We bought this old, old cabin two years ago and this is the second summer we've had it. I told my husband I saw her more than once, and he laughed it off, as I expected. She didn't come back for a long time. But last night I saw her again when he was in town! What should I do about this? She only comes to me. Why does she want me to be quiet? -- Scared, Winnipeg
Dear Scared: Start by working on a history of your cabin by talking to all the neighbours. They may be able to fill you in on what's happened in that cabin over the years and that will help you decide what help you want to get. The nearest newspaper which might have back stories if there was a crime or a fire, and go to any museums or libraries in the vicinity to ask. I don't know much about this, but have sensible friends who have had experiences with "ghosts" that shocked them, so I'm open-minded. I invite anyone who feels they can help to write in with advice for you.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email email@example.com