Saturday, December 28, 2013


Let me be the last, or at least one of the last to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I trust you are turkey stuffed and all wrapped up with your Christmas celebrations. I know I am! Tree came down today, all little christmas knick-knacks stored back in bins and my living room is back in order. 

Now, let's move on to our Glassy New Year! We in Ontario were hit with one crazy ice storm that left many without power right over the Christmas holiday, some very hazardous driving conditions, and one of the most incredibly beautiful winters I have ever seen. "A beautiful disaster" as they say. 

My daughter was flying home for Christmas from England and Sheldon the wonder husband drove over 2 hours to Toronto to pick her up. In his words, "it was the worst I have ever driven in." 
Church was cancelled.

Taking Amelia for her morning or evening walk, both in the dark, was tricky to navigate. But everywhere you looked the trees, shining through the street lights were completely covered in ice and looked as though they were made of crystal. 

Here is a shot I took of the back yard later in the day.

Here is another I took from the car as we drove along the Hwy.

Really, it was amazing to see!

Today when I got up for Amelia's walk it was noticeably warmer  and the tell-tale drip-drip-dripping of melting ice was everywhere. On the road it looked like someone had taken huge plate glass windows and dropped them from the tops of each tree. Shards of broken ice lay everywhere underneath them! The trees creaked and snapped all around me, thankful to finally drop those armfuls of ice they had been holding. 

So here is to a Glassy New Year. I hope you too, like those ice-laden trees, can lay down your burdens carried over this past year and move on to the next one. It may be a beautiful one or it may be a disaster or it may be both. But we are all in this together. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013


There are some gifts we receive that we never forget. They stand out in our memory permanently imprinted and larger than life. I can think of a few: the little doll's kitchen with cupboards, a fridge and stove, the ping-pong table my sisters and I played for hours, Morrie the cello, Amelia my dog. They are sugar sprinkled throughout my life adding an element of great joy and wonder and thankfulness.

But there is one gift I have received that truly is the best gift ever. It humbles me daily when I consider this gift is part of my life. 
That gift is you.
Yes You - All of you. 
You may not think you are such a big deal but you are. 
I mean if the Creator of the Universe figured the best gift he could give was a very special child to those He loved then surely you  would make a great gift to me. 
Each one of you who are a part of my life, whether you are family or friends or people I have connected with at work or church or even briefly in a lineup are so very unique. 
You bring me joy and laughter. You bring me answers and comfort. You make me think.You sometimes bring me great sorrow. But alas, I have fallen in love with you all.  It's very humbling. Some of you I see every day,  some not so often, some only through technology. And some of you I won't see again until I'm done with this earthly life. But you all have left your imprint on me. I'm not very good at goodbyes because I miss you when you are not around. And be assured, you are not forgotten. Apostle Paul, when writing to the churches often spoke of how he felt about the people in his life. To the Phillipians he writes:
"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy". Later on he says "It is right for me to feel this way about all of you since I have you in my heart".
True dat, Brother Paul, true dat.
So let me just say, to all of you, thanks for being a part of my life, whether for a very short time or for a lifetime. I hope you consider that I, as well, am a gift to you. I am a part of your life to help season and/or encourage you in one way or another. You don't have to get as mushy as me but it's Christmas, the time of love and gift-giving. And you are the best gift I have ever had.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


"I really can't stay -Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away-Baby it's cold outside
This evening has been-Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice-I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice"

This week, that is a pretty fair description. I was walking Amelia this morning in the dark with a wind chill of -28C. Sheesh! Hurry up and pee already!

Sometimes we get these extreme temperatures in Canada. In the summer, on those days when the thermometer is pushing 35C above we are all running from air conditioned homes to air conditioned cars to air conditioned offices. Ditto the same routine except in the winter we are pumping up the heat. 

I have been expending a lot of energy just trying to stay warm this week, with minimal success. The core of me is doing all right but my fingers and toes are not making a passing grade. Right now I'm wrapped in a blanket, sweatered up on the couch with a cat on my legs doing her part. Much appreciated Sasha, for the effort! And when I get up in the morning I send huge thanks above for a furnace starting up regularly (with a big bang, which makes me kinda nervous) and the fireplace I can start with the flick of a switch. 

Warmest, and I do mean warmest holiday wishes to you all. I hope you are toasty, right to your fingers and toes and I will receive the same blessing back, thank you very much. Maybe we should all consider a quick flight to the balmy south. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I was getting groceries after work yesterday. As I'm making my way through the soup section a couple walks by me and the lady says with a big disappointing sigh "Another Canadian Christmas." You could hear the chagrin in her voice!
Well, I got a little perturbed! Come on lady, is it that bad? Yes, it's cold and probably snowy. Yes the traffic and endless shopping will exhaust you but it's not unbearable. Besides, we Canadians are so darn nice in the midst of Christmas craziness. 
Today, I was out shopping and we Canadians were in top form. At Mark's Work Warehouse I waited in a lineup that went halfway through the store for over 1/2 and hour. At 10:15 in the morning, I might add. But we all waited patiently. The couple behind me making jokes about the mannequin that "lost her head" and the young Mom ahead of me out shopping with two little ones managing her stroller expertly and keeping everyone happy. 
At Chapter's the man behind me struck up a conversation and we talked about the cat book he had just bought.
"I have that book" I said. "It's a good one!" He smiled.
The mall was at the height of madness. I was starving so I picked up some Sushi but the eating area was full and chaotic so I made my way through the mall to an empty bench. A little old lady sat down beside me with a muffin and coffee.
"I got chased out of the eating area" she said.
"Me too!" said I. We talked about our shopping and the weather, of course. She was adorable in her little hat. 
I had coffee with a friend and we shared our table with another dear soul who was waiting for her daughter to pick her up. She had locked her keys in the car. But she was not sighing or complaining. No, in very good humour indeed. 
There is a scripture that says we should be kind to strangers as you may be entertaining angels unaware. I'm thinking I may have ran into a couple today.
Yes, I know it is busy and stressful. I would be embarrassed if you knew how much I actually did today. I was some kind of machine.
But it's another Canadian Christmas. And it's not that bad.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Certainly would not be any secret that I like, correction, love words. I love interesting words and how they are put together. I love to find out what they mean. As a little girl I would play a game involving randomly picking words out of the dictionary and discovering what they meant. I'm some kind of word freak.

This week a few people put words together that struck me as rather clever. I like the way they flowed together and what they meant. So if you are a word freak, like me, read on. 

One of my co-workers went out for a quick shopping trip over the lunch period. It was the day before "Black Friday" but things were already starting to ramp up out there in retail land. When I asked how the shopping went they mentioned it was busy with "a dash of  Geriatric." Gosh, I love that statement! I mean, we all get the picture. Those sweet but moving at warp speed ladies and gents, with reflexes that are not what they used to be and insist on counting out the EXACT change for a purchase. When a car is moving along at less than 40 km, I can pretty much guess it is being driving by an old man with a hat or a frail little old lady who can barely see over the steering wheel. The thing is, that will soon be me. I seem to be shrinking all the time and the steering wheel seems to be getting larger. It will someday be you, too. So let me just encourage all who are out Christmas shopping to be patient in those lineups and bustling crowds and nonstop traffic. And remember there is a "dash of geriatric" out there trying to be independent and get things done as well, albeit at a much slower pace.

Yesterday, I went to an information session for a new drop in centre planning on opening their doors in January. This is a Christian-based centre run by volunteers. It will be a safe place to build relationships with all people, including the poor and disenfranchised. We can hang out together, play cards or chat and have a coffee and a snack. No major agendas other than loving and getting to know people. One of the videos we watched involving the poor stated "it is not charity, it is justice." How true! We, the well-to-do middle and upper class with warm houses and full bellies often think of it as charity when we donate to a worthy cause. Perhaps we should remove the word charity altogether! Because the fact is we are all on the same level ground and justice cries out that those who don't have a roof over their heads  or food in the cupboards have that right as well. 

Finally, I went for a swim at the local pool with my Mom who is now in her mid 70s. She was and still is an excellent swimmer. As we were doing laps back and forth I went for a dive mermaid style to swim along the bottom. Upon surfacing my Mom says
"I can't do that anymore, I'm too buoyant."
"What do you mean?" I ask 
"I think my bones are lighter and my fat is fluffier."
Dang, that is a good statement! And also a bit of an eye opener as well. Had no idea that swimming along and then bumping your bum up for a vertical dive down, down, down, would be off my things I can still do list when I reach my 70s. 

Ah....words....I love ya.

Let me just end this post with a couple of  photos, cause we in Ontario got our first whopping of snow this week and if you don't live in snow country, you might enjoy looking at it. 
This is what my neighbourhood looked like at 5:30 in the morning. No filter here, this is a true image. The world is in black and white.
My backyard, a little later in the morning. Beautiful!