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Artists who paints in oil en plein aire. Member of the three member Plein Aire Cottage Artists. Members: Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Chandler and Helen Tilston

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Oh My Shattered Nerves

Being a creature of habit and walking the same route most mornings,  I decided to take some steps and a new route through downtown Toronto.
Via Casa Loma and beautiful homes and gardens
Approaching a intersection, I hear a voice "Excuse Me Miss,  can you help me please"

Leaning from the window of his truck, the Driver asks if I will please go to the middle of the road, stop all traffic from 3 directions and re-direct him as he reverses from a street that is blocked.
I mutter that I don't think I can but he assures me that I will be able to do it.  With all the confidence I can muster I take to the middle of the road and stop traffic from three directions. All drivers respond favourably and before I know it I am being a traffic bobbie.

 I hand signal my truck driver  to reverse  towards me. We meet with success and my truck driver is on his way, waving enthusiastically  and smiling brightly. One car driver starts it and  honks at me and all cars follow suit.  I blush and and wave my appreciation.

As I resume my journey and glance over my shoulder I see another nod of approval.

Have you been asked to do something you felt was out of your league?


  1. What a nice story you tell.
    Enjoy youre weekend.

    Inge, my choice

  2. Well done, Helen, that was quite a challenge. I am not so sure I could have carried that off. So you are in Toronto now! We spent two weeks there with our daughter years ago, and visited Casa Loma - so unusual to find a castle in such a modern city. Happy painting xx

  3. Oh my goodness Helen ..... that was brave of you. It must have been bad enough, standing in the middle of the road but, directing traffic at the same time ?!! Good for you. .... and, to be called 'Miss" ..... I can't remember the last time I was called Miss !!!! XXXX

  4. What better way to start the day Helen than with a chuckle - I can see you now, and can just imagine how alarmed you felt at first - well done - good on you.

  5. Helen, I LOVE this post! I felt this funny wave of joy wash over my scalp and arms as I read it and the ending might be my favorite bit! Oh, I'm so glad you shared this. :) :)

  6. I would have done it, just as you did, but I would have been shaking like a leaf when I finished. You stepped up to the plate and helped him out of a pinch. You are an excellent Good Samaritan Helen.

    We have friends that live in Toronto that have been encouraging us to come for a visit. I look forward to seeing more of your trip.

  7. Standing and applauding....bravo!

  8. Dear Helen,
    This post brought a smile to my face. I could just imagine you there stopping the traffic. Also pretty dangerous too. ):-
    I have no doubt , that the truck driver thought you very brave.
    well done.
    Happy Sunday Helen.
    val xx

  9. I laughed out loud at your tale, Helen! I thought you were going to say a street person was begging for money or something. I have directed traffic as a volunteer for our annual 4th of July Parade activities and have not been comfortable even with the brightly colored vest I was wearing and walkie-talkie that I held in my hand, so kudos to you for doing such an act spontaneously!

  10. Dear Helen,
    Well done!! I would have been much too afraid to step out into traffic like that. I am glad you here to enjoy the wonderful weather we have been getting this past week. (So much better than the previous week, which was so unbearably hot.) Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

  11. Well done Helen! I would not have been sure of myself either!

    Happy week!

    Madelief x

  12. Such a cool story!
    We never know what we are capable of until we try!!!!
    Sounds like you are more than well my friend.
    Lots of love,


  13. Well done! Just goes to show - there are many ways to stretch yourself!
    I'm visiting from Rosemary's Where Five Valleys Meet.

  14. My dearest Helen, This is very courageous of you. It shows what a good citizen you are. Someone who would not say "no" to anyone if she can contribute a little bit of help even if it means standing in the middle of the road and directing the traffic. Just as well, they didn't ask me because I don't know what's left and right - never mind navigating the traffic on the busy road. Have the best possible week ahead. Best wishes, ASD x

  15. Us Canadians are very supportive of those stepping out of their comfort zone. Good for you. My friend is a truck driver and it is very stressful. Toronto would be a truckers nightmare!

  16. Big responsibility! Not a task I would want. Good job!


    Well, Helen you must know that I always wanted to be a singer and I do love singing! When I was a little girl, I was chosen to be in the Schola Cantorum, at my church, in Italy. Every night I would go to rehersals and sing my heart out. Which was a bit painful, as I didn't like priests, or the chruchy songs, but... things we do for art!

    And I did sing in the School Choir, when I was at middle school. But... About three years ago I was asked to sing on a big stage in Italy, in front of quite a large number of people. I wanted to, but, at the same time, I didn't think I could do it. It may seem a silly thing, but... one thing is doing public speaking (which I am good at, as... let's say I can talk... a lot!)and another is singing, on your own, on a stage and, the song which had been chosen for me was "Insieme" by an Italian singer called Mina. You do need a big voice for that song.

    I was apprehensive, but in the end I said I would do it, though I soon regretted it "What if I forget the words?"

    A week later, there I was, microphone in hand, singing on that big stage, in front of a large audience. It felt wonderful and I sang so well, they asked me to sing a Beatles song, one of my least favourites: Let it Be. My husband was so embarrassed, he run away, to hide, when he should have been proud of me!

    But that was fine, as I really didn't care. I sang Let it Be and the crowd waved their arms above their heads (which was funny!)and shouted: "BRAVA! BRAVA!" WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!

    Thank you very much, audience for making me feel like Mariah Kerry! I loved it! And I still think I should have been a singer, or a dancer, or... oh, I don't know! "LET IT BE, LET IT Be, Let it beee... LET IT BEEEEE!!!!!"



  18. You are awesome...what a funny experience...glad you waved when they honked. I don't think I have had any experience nearly as fun as yours : )

  19. Good job! I would not want to be directing traffic!! lol

  20. Helen!

    You are a trooper!! One with great aplomb in any situation. Well done! Well done!!

    Have a wonderful week.
    x Loi

  21. Lyn Tebrugge has sent you a link to a blog:

    Helen I am impressed!! Just the thought of doing what you did is SCARY. You go Girl!

    Blog: Helen Tilston Painter
    Post: Oh My Shattered Nerves
    Link: http://helentilstonpainter.blogspot.com/2013/07/oh-my-shattered-nerves.html

    Powered by Blogger

  22. Dear Helen, you were very brave to do this!! A very kind Samaritan indeed!

    2013 Design Series

  23. Hello Helen, kudos to you! If it were me, by all means, I would have melted into a puddle there or worst, would have got myself hit accidentally. You are a true braveheart! :-)

  24. You are a braver girl than me Gunga Din! heehee! I would have freaked out probably! But you did great and I know it made you feel good, too! Here's too safe travels down familiar roads! Sweet hugs!

  25. Nice work, Helen. Proves we can do more than we think we can! I would loved to have seen you out there directing traffic. What a good Samaritan you were. Have a lovely week, Helen!

  26. In general I think it's good to be nudged out of one's comfort zone, so long as it's not too far! Still, you would not have expected that particular request coming your way, when you got up that morning, would you? :)

  27. Feel the Fear and do it anyway is always a good lesson. And what we learn about ourselves can sometimes surprise us. Looks like you gals have a great time painting and I enjoyed the performance by Mary O'Hara. Thank You for stopping by Weedy Acres Home.

  28. Helen,
    You are very brave. That is a very cool story. I would have loved to have seen you in the middle of the intersection directing traffic!!! :)

  29. I love this story. Nice work, Helen!! I wish I would be as courageous as you on a similar occasion! Being a traffic bobbie must have been really something!!

  30. Helen, thanks so much for the kind words on my blog...it's always such an encouragement when you comment!

    I love to park my car and take a walk in a different neighborhood. The town I live in has some beautiful old homes with such character and dignity. Sometimes I take pictures as well.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life

  31. You never know what adventures will ensue when changing a routine! That was definitely a courage & bravery building experience Helen...well done!!! :)
    xo J~

  32. WOW! I don't even know if I would have done this! TRULY! But you certainly stepped out of your comfort zone when you took that alternate route, Helen! Yes, I have done many things where I felt were out of my league, and the latest is taking a poetry class!

    Thank you for coming today and you brought back a sweet memory of SPOTTY PONY and our dear Abby. I have lost them, I cannot find them ANYWHERE on-line, and that breaks my heart. I hope they are well.

    Stay safe! Anita

  33. You are a brave soul. Good for you.

    I have felt out of my league many times. Most recently, taking a BA in French was a challenge that I wondered if I'd ever complete.

  34. Yes, sometimes I have done what I thought I couldn't do with knees knocking - dug deep and stepped out of my comfort zone. But, forever I will regret... my favorite magazine of all time wanted to feature me and even my wedding and I said 'no' because I knew it wouldn't be perfect!! Forever I'll regret... ;) Perhaps, it was a lesson learned for when I'll really need it?

    =) xo

  35. Ha Ha! Helen you are Starry! How wonderful was your experience with directing the traffic. I always wanted to do that! Although friends who were policemen way back, doing just that say they got very different reactions from the traffic to yours. How brilliant that the driver didn't feel he had to wait for some 'big strong male' to come to his rescue.

    Hugs to you, and a big gold-star,