Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Christmas Day has come and gone so now I will finally tell you how I reacted to the sound of angels singing recorded on ED’s cellphone.

First, I need to tell you, the recording was very brief, no more than a second or two. Secondly, when I heard it, I didn’t weep as Ed had done. But I did get those little shivers down my spine that one gets when you round a bend in the road and see a great lush valley and an aquamarine lake surrounded by the grandeur of mountains bathed in the golden light of a sunset or some other wondrous thing. And thirdly, I wanted to hear it again. It was like immediate addiction.

Now we all know that no more than five syllables can be crammed into a one-second blip, but I heard the sound of a thousand voices crammed into that same space. A harmony of sound interwoven like silk mixed with steel. Soft, but at the same time crushing. Unfortunately, however, ED and I only got to play it twice because through some technical (or celestial) glitch, with the third attempt it was gone.

But (as ED has already said), it was not the words. I didn’t understand any of them (perhaps they were in German), but the melody and blend of voices that was so delightful. And with the adoration that I felt, there came subtle gratuitous gifts for the season. Peace, joy, contentment, comfort, gratefulness for life and conscience, reason and faith, and every blessing.

For those without hope and faith, it would no doubt be a sound that would only bring disgust, irritation, and provocation, particularly because of its uncanny welding quality. A welding to the mind that leaves you utterly helpless. Because no matter how hard you shake your head, no matter how much you seek to deny it, no matter how much you seek to erase it, it will not come loose. Despite the ease with which it disappeared from ED’s cellphone, I am certain it can never be erased from my consciousness. Despite my inability to remember what I did yesterday afternoon or even this morning, that tiny little bit of melody has anchored in my brain like a steel pillar welded into a huge slab of concrete.

Now in order to find the metaphor that will give you an understanding of the purity of those voices I want to compare them to something untouched, uncontaminated, unaltered by human hand. And in this world how can I hope to find such a thing? We no longer have pure water, pure air, a pristine bit of countryside, or an unadulterated stretch of sand. Even the heavens are corrupted with star-like bodies that are man-made. So without benefit of any clarity that a metaphor could bring, I can only tell you this.

The voices came out of the darkness. Anonymous voices. Voices unattached to any particular identity. And because of this there was no contamination. No will in any one singer to gain prestige, recognition, or even, some greater level of appreciation for their cant. No self-edification. No competitiveness. No list of credits. No hope or expectation of accolades, starpower, or applause. And without the accompaniment of instruments none of the fears or cautions or even comfort that go with that.

No striving of any one individual to be heard above the rest. No striving to reach and be visible from front and center stage. To display physical beauty or fashion of dress. Voices pure and pristine. Uncontaminated by this list of impurities that affect every other voice that we hear – whether singing Stars or Starlets, or Hopefuls, or Church Choirs, or anyone on stage who is positioned and identified by a circle of light.

Voices with one and only one intent. To celebrate and laud the meaning of Christmas, without any of the contamination I have mentioned. And this brings me to a statement that Buffy made on my previous post.
A statement that staggered me because it was unexpected and so closely linked to my own assessment of angel voices.

Buffy said:

“Years ago, I used to play in an adult concert band. The performers were incredibly talented and we played some very complex music. I realized at one of the concerts that I could hear women’s voices singing a decant above the performance, and wondered who could have been singing along with us.

Another member of the band explained that when musicians…play “in tune”, you can hear endless degrees of harmonics…above the chords being played.”

How incredible is that? This is how ED initially described the voices – with a harmony that was unequaled. Sounding like a multitude of voices when there were no more than ten.

It follows that for angels to sing there has to be a refinement similar to that which Buffy described. But like our many endangered species of plants and animals, there is no climate left for angels to sing that has not been contaminated with the toxicity of each singers’ desire for self-recognition. Or the toxicity of a waving baton, or a Theatre Master’s instructions, or a Singing Teacher’s whims, etc. etc.

Except perhaps, within a darkened simple school building on a Hutterite Colony. That is the one place left in this world where you still can and might hear angels singing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


You know and I know that hearing ‘Angels Singing’ is uncommon. A mystery of sorts. It leaves a lot of unanswered questions. So for the sake of my story, and for the sake of no alteration of the facts, I asked ED if she would guest-spot my Blog and give a statement of what happened in her own words. After all, it was her own unique experience and I wasn’t there when it happened. So after giving her a couple days to calm her emotional state, she supplied me with this statement of what had taken place.

“We were at a Christmas Concert at the Colony. There were a few interruptions prior to ‘IT’ happening. Brief periods of darkness when the lights were turned down low and props changed between acts. When the lights were lowered, I could hear feet shuffling and whispers in German and English but could barely make out the face next to me in the darkness. It was between the third and fourth Act of the play when the lights were lowered that I first heard it.

It began as one solitary voice somewhere in front and to the right of me, then like switching to Stereo sound, it was joined by an equally beautiful voice coming from a few rows back. Within no more than ten notes a few more voices had joined in and the music suddenly seemed to come from everywhere in the room. The sound enveloped me and carried me with it to a place of uninhibited innocence. Even though some of the songs were familiar English Hymns, it was not the words that touched me so deeply, it was the voices. What I felt cannot be compared to anything I have ever experienced before. Even though each voice came from a different section of a Hutterite Schoolhouse, it was as if one single entity, one Great Being was responsible for the whole effect….

And when I think about it, He was.

Merry Christmas!


P.S. More discussion of ‘Angels Singing’ on the next post. More discussion about why they sing the way they do.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


This morning I answered my phone and immediately heard this direct, but astounding announcement.

"Mom, I know what angels sound like because I’ve heard them."

Inconceivable as it sounded, I did not laugh. In fact I had no desire to laugh. I can generally tell when Eldest Daughter (ED) is serious and when she is bluffing and I knew by the tone of her voice that she wasn’t bluffing. There was silence for a few moments as I churned about in my mind what she might have heard.

Whatever it was, there is a reasonable explanation. Perhaps she heard a radio playing in her sleep. Maybe she heard the song of a bird. Or the fluted sound of the wind. Or perhaps she heard the crackling-cellophane sound of the Northern Lights coming out of the heavens. Or a chorus of these notes.

"There is no way to describe it. It was so beautiful," she continued. (This coming from someone who has listened to the whole spectrum of music. Golden Oldies, Hillbilly Country, but mostly popular Hard Rock or Rap that I can’t bare to listen to).

At this point, I could only think of one question to ask. "Where did you hear them—you know, the angels?"

"At a Christmas Concert at the Colony. I went with my friend from the Colony and while the children were changing scenes for their play, in the darkness I heard voices singing throughout the room. Sounds so haunting. So soft and pure. Like nothing I have ever heard before. No music—only the sweet, sweet, harmony of women’s voices. I knew instantly it was the sound of angels. And I cried.

Here I am at a fun-filled celebration, surrounded by happy faces, and everyone, including my friend, is looking at me because I am sobbing like a baby. No Kleenex, of course. You know how we are, Mom. We never have Kleenex when we need it. All I could do was sniffle and mop my eyes and nose on my sleeve. But I managed to record a bit of one song on my cell phone."

I was still trying to fit the pieces together. I could tell ED was not making this stuff up. And so I’m thinking, ‘It happened before to shepherds in a field a very long time ago. So it could happen again—you know—the angels singing.’

ED is coming on Christmas Day. She promised to bring her cell-phone. As for me, I have no grand gifts under my tree to open but I’m as excited about this Christmas as when I was a child. I can’t wait. ED heard angels singing and I’m going to hear them too.

I’ll get some Kleenex.

Monday, December 19, 2005


One of our poster-boys for today’s discussion is Louis Armstrong for his rendition of "Hello Dolly" and "Blueberry Hill". And our other poster-boy, or mascot, is "Eeyore", that little Donkey of Winnie-the-Pooh fame for his rich basement-bass voice muttering something about the rain.

The reason I have chosen these two celebrities is because of their deep rich voices. I love a low voice and tone. I love the sound of a tuba, a bassoon, a monster cello, bass drums, and rumbling low-whining motors. I even prefer the low bay of a basset hound to the sharp soprano yip of other dogs. And despite the threat, I smile with enjoyment when I hear the bumbling low-toned buzz of monster bumblebees. And when it comes to birds, you can have your peepers and twitterers. As for me, I revel in the low-pitched macho sound of an owl’s unabashed demand to know ‘Whoo?’ is walking in his domain.

I’ve always loved bass sounds. When I was a kid, the ‘Pied-Piper’ that could have easily led me out of town was any boy or man with a deep voice. Bass voices had such magnetism I wanted to follow them to the ends of the earth whether I heard them in the street, the church, or the train or bus station. And the few performances I attended of men’s quartet or choirs, before the evening was out, I was madly in love with that tiny fringe on the left of the group that sang the basement notes. I think the whole appeal of some of the singers and actors of the 60’s and 70’s was their deep throaty voices. Dean Martin had a low voice and Man, could he purr. I mean pu-ur-rr.

It just seems to me that high notes rattle the soul and the psyche like a jack-hammer. But those bass tones massage the heart, sooth the soul, and nudge the hammer against the anvil in my inner ear as softly as an erotic whisper. And that is scientifically understandable because low notes have a much slower rate of vibration than high notes.

Now just hold those thoughts while I tell you what this week’s project has been. With the election debates and the numerous voices on radio and TV involved in those debates I became quite bored with content or lack of content and amused myself by tracking the sounds of voices. Also this week I tracked the voices of newsmen, sportscasters, and other TV personalities. And what I discovered from this tracking is that the sentimental void I am feeling is caused by a lack of the purring, slow-massaging sound of phenomenally low basement-baritone male voices. The best I could find in my hunt was the voice of the narrator on "City Confidential" and Larry King’s mid-range baritone voice.

That’s when I realized that something is happening here that we need to pay attention to. That’s when it came to me that when I was a kid, one in every four males had a deep bass voice. That is certainly not the case anymore. I am frightened when I realize how close to extinction bass voices are. Of the many voices I monitored this week – all those callers on the phone, all those television personalities – most had pitchy soprano voices. So following this exercise, I formed theories that might account for why this is happening. These are my theories:

1. Years ago, when the macho-chauvinist image was cool, boys and men concentrated on developing bass-sounding voices. It was fundamental to their image. But that is no longer the case. Where swaggering men with caveman growls were once sexy, now only sensitivity is sexy. And sensitivity is a soprano-toned communication. There is a harsh conflict between caveman bass-toned grunts and growls and the soprano tones of sensitivity. You can no more make the roar of a lion or growl of a wolf sensitive-sounding than make males with macho bass voices sound sensitive. So boys and men are deliberately changing their voices from the attractive purr of bass tones for the sake of sensitivity.

2. Or perhaps today’s phenomenon is caused by too many growth hormones in the food. Hormones that are affecting the tone of men’s voices. Hormones that are causing a gradual evolvement from 'basso profundo' to 'castrato'.

3. Or maybe, just maybe, men need to wear looser underwear.

Whether my theories have substance or not, it is a critical problem that we need to pay attention to. I am sad, close to broken-hearted, to think that sometime in the not-too-distant future, the sounds of this world will be nothing but one high pitched soprano wail.

But the irony all this is that in the midst of the eminent danger of losing our Eeyores and Louis-Armstrong male voices, I see droves of women singers and actors trying to forcibly make their crystal soprano voices sound coarse, husky, dusky, harsh, macho, and insensitive. So what’s with that?

Saturday, December 17, 2005



Timelines are tight. Only eight days until the big one. But starting right now I’m going to be Bad, Bad, Bad. As Bad as I can be. So I will get more than a chunk of coal. More than a pathetic Size-7 sockfull. I’m going to be bad enough to get a truckload of coal. And I’ll use it to heat the house…
Cause who can afford natural gas?

What kind of stuff can I do to be bad enough in Eight Days to get that much coal?

Not so difficult. Day one I’ll start by being thoroughly distasteful. Day two I’ll ignore good manners. Day three, I’ll stick out my tongue, pout, be rude, and cantankerous. Day four, now that I’m getting the hang of it, I’ll go to ultra-extreme-evil bad. So bad, so evil, that I will ignore political correctness and others’ sense of dignity.

And Day five will be worse. I will go about and shout from rooftops at the top of my lungs ugly phrases like “Merry CHISTMAS Everyone! MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

And Day six I will set up nativity scenes.

Day seven I will belt out Christmas Carols, and on Day 8, I will quote Bible stuff like, ‘Unto us a child is born…’ etc.

And if Christmas morn, I don’t get a truckload of coal, I will know for a certainty that somehow we have ‘badness’ and ‘goodness’ all mixed up.


My teenage granddaughter works evenings after school as a cook’s helper. And of course (and this has absolutely nothing to do with her being my granddaughter), she is the most gorgeous young lady that ever walked the face of the earth. Truly she is.

Now the other night when my stunningly beautiful GD burst through the door after work in a particularly joyous mood, prancing and spinning and doing a happy dance and singing, I listened carefully to hear the murmured words of her soft little song as she spun about the room.

“I’m too sexy for my apron, I’m too sexy for my hair-net.” And yeh, that’s when I noticed she was wearing a hair-net.

Now normally, because of the huge generation gap, her and I seldom agree on anything. But when I heard what she was singing about her hair-net, I couldn’t have agreed more. She is absolutely right. She is too sexy for her hair-net.

But all that aside, what joy, what relief, to know for a certainty that despite the beyond-the-bounds-of reason non-sexiness of hair-nets, some restaurants still require kitchen staff to wear them. I am pleased about that.


Did you know that with the coming of the digital age that the double space between the period at the end of a sentence and the next sentence is now ONE space rather than two? How twisted is that?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I have a couple of things in mind today. First thing I need to do is redeem the positive side of jigsaw puzzling after that last post. And secondly, I need to discuss a seemingly unrelated theory on the art of conversation.

So scratch the negativity in my last post about jigsaw puzzles because truth is, no matter how grabby, rude or inconsiderate the puzzling participants may be, I will not give it up. Despite all my complaints about piece snatchers and hogs and the deceitful tapping of those who pretend to be making progress, there is another side of jigsaw-puzzling with friends that is more important than that stuff.

What is more important is the conversation that happens during this process. Amazingly, what I have noticed, is that when we are engaged in assembling a puzzle, with eyes focused on puzzle pieces rather than each other, surprising thoughts are revealed and vulnerabilities are exposed. In fact, discussions of delicate or grim matters that so often congeal at the onset now flow like water. ‘Soul’ enters into the dialogue in a significant way. Façades crash and burn. And rather than ‘flat’ subject matter, I find reserved people speaking freely about things that they would not normally discuss. And so, puzzles will remain on my social agenda, despite the chaffing behavior mentioned in my previous post.

Now I want to sideline this discussion for a moment and turn to the business of looking directly at another’s face when conversing. Have you been led to believe, as I have, that looking another in the eye is critical to good communication?

I don’t know how you feel about it, but I don’t get it. As a child, I avoided looking anyone in the eye. Now whether eye-avoidance was part of my self-conscious personality (extreme shyness), or a symptom indicative of Autism, or the watershed effect of instructions well instilled in my mind to “never stare at anyone”, I can’t be too sure. But I avoided looking anyone directly in the eye for years. I found focusing on their eyes uncomfortable and my discomfort was even greater when they focused on mine.

But then came the day that I attended a Communications Seminar offered at my workplace. And the Communications Goddess instructing this seminar could not stress enough how important it is to look another straight in the eye. How focusing on a speaker’s eyes and face is an act of attentiveness, good manners, and socially compulsory. She assured us that there is no point in talking about work situations with a boss or supervisor unless you look them straight in the eye while doing so. And although you may be perfectly qualified for that promotion, there is no point going to the interview if you are not prepared to look each of the interviewers straight in the eye. In fact any in-person conversation becomes null and void if you do not look the speaker or audience directly in the eye.

So after this seminar, I began working on the matter. It was a painful process. Disconcerting and difficult. And although, eventually with the passage of time and with practice, it became a bit easier, it still didn’t feel right to me.

So last week I decided to investigate this matter a bit further. And guess what I found out? Research in the art of ‘conversation’ and ‘conversation-openers’ leads to a totally contradictory view of this business of looking someone straight in the eye. Researchers have discovered that if something matters, really matters, it is best discussed, it is more openly and honestly discussed, when the conversationalists are engaged in activities that prevent them from looking directly at each other. That to get to the bottom of another’s problems, whether it be something upsetting your elderly parents, or the sexual preferences of your mate, or teen anxiety, or problems younger children face, it is important to have a discussion WITHOUT looking them in the eye. Because, without the discomfort of eye-contact, emotions such as fear and anxiety will start to surface. Things that need to be said, but are difficult to say, will be revealed.

So we seriously err when we say to our mates, children, or friends, “Come here, my dear, and sit down across from me so I can talk to you.” And by doing this the trusting conversation we intended to have takes on the sensory chill of a police interrogation. Which is fine if one is solely on a fact-finding mission. But so often when talking to those we really care about, we are looking for root causes, emotional stuff that stems from buried concerns. In-the-face conversations become stilted and awkward, and we wonder why every comment on either side is highly suspect. It so often seems that all that is said is not right or real. Well, that is because it isn’t right or real. But the problem can be fixed.

Just get out a jigsaw puzzle, go to the kitchen table, look closely at those pieces, and while doing so, have a right and real conversation.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Each year Hub and I get together with our neighbors for a fun evening. And each year after a festive meal, we bust out Hub’s 40% fortified Rhubarb Wine and settle down with a jigsaw puzzle at the dining-room table—Mr. Nearby, his wife, the kids, and our family. And every year, Mr. Nearby also brings his hammer "for slamming in the pieces that are a bit tight" according to him.

Now we have the best kind of neighbors. I can not over-emphasize how kind, sensitive, funny, and caring they are. But jigsaw-puzzling can radically alter these good qualities.

Take fair warning, if you are going to assemble a jigsaw puzzle with some friends you need to know there are things you will have to ignore, things you will have to put up with, and things you will have to fight for. And although it is always hoped that all will abide by the rules, most seldom do.

Rule number one is when the box is first opened, any pieces that are still intact must be separated, but someone will grab them and separate them by a microcosm and set them right in front of them so they can slam them together as soon as assembling begins. Just to give the rest of us a hopeless sense of inadequacy. And at the same time to give themselves the appearance of utmost efficiency and puzzle-making magic.

And once the puzzling is underway, there are those who will hog all the pieces, or those who will take a piece, that you selected with diligence, to their side of the table for examination and then leave it there rather than giving it back.

And then there are the sloppy souls that leave pieces strewn about on top of the puzzle where they blend in and cannot be seen. And there is also the chaffing business of others who allow their long sleeves to continually skid and disperse pieces that you have painstakingly sorted. And will they properly roll them up? Not. They just scrunch them up about the wrist and two seconds later their blasted sleeves are back dragging and destroying another’s hard work.

And then there is the disruption over the piece that two discover in the same moment. It is blue. One is certain it fits in the sky, the other certain it fits in the water, and so a feud of sorts develops. And in the end it fits in neither place. It fits between the branches of a tree that were cut off in the picture on the box lid.

And there are more wrangles because two people on opposite ends of the table have taken ownership of the red barn roof. Each unwilling to give up their collection of red pieces to the other. And then the annoyance of those who would start in the middle when everyone knows full well that the proper way to do a puzzle is by completing the edge first.

And then there are the rituals. One of our long-standing rituals is this. If you get a piece nicely placed, you tap on it loudly with your fingers to announce to all that you are making good progress. Which is all well and good but then when someone is really on a roll, really moving along, we get the deceitful one that taps loudly when no one is looking. And truth is the wretch is so busy sipping their 40% Fortified Rhubarb Wine and eating chocolates that they haven’t found a piece that fits for more than forty minutes.

But most annoying of all is the Smart Ass (SA)that pockets the last piece because that is the most self-fulfilling move – a move of grand importance – the thing we all aspire to and for.

Usually the identity of the SA is revealed by the invigoration of each participant once the pile of pieces has diminished to a mere fifteen or so. At this point, the Smart Ass will tilt back his or her chair and sip his Fortified Rhubarb Wine while the rest of us plunge our arms and heads and shoulders into the fray sometimes until our skin is even scraped and bloody to get the thing finished. This is a time when puzzle pieces are rudely ripped from your grasp. Some palm as many as five pieces in tightly clenched fists. And then, as we all gasp with dismay and disappointment because there is a piece missing, that is when....

With much arrogance and a broad flourish, Smart Ass puts in the missing piece!

Come to think of it, maybe my neighors are kind, caring, sensitive, funny 364 days out of the year, but come jigsaw puzzle night, all that flies out the window.


P.S. You know how every board game has that little slip of paper with the rules stashed inside. I think I might make a condensed list of jigsaw-puzzling rules for puzzle manufacturers to slip in the puzzle boxes. Just to clean up the confusion and to settle the many disputes.

By the way, did I miss any rules or rituals?

Friday, December 09, 2005


Today I got a very unexpected early Christmas present. So unique, that I think duplication is as remote as the chance of you spending this Christmas on the moon.

Now I’m sure you all at one time or another have thought it was Sunday when it was Saturday or Thursday when it was Friday. But when you’re retired, as I am, sometimes more than a week can go by without any need to know what day it is. So sometimes, for days on end, I haven’t a clue what day it is.

And last Monday was one of those days. On Monday, December 5th, I sat down at my table to write out cheques for each of the various bills I received in the last couple of weeks. I knew it was Monday, but when I glanced at the calendar for the day number – in my usual early-morning state of abstraction and distraction, I decided it must be December 12th. So I dated every transaction December 12th. And the more things I dated the more convinced I was that it was the 12th.

Then just yesterday, I was scanning the Television for something interesting to watch and I realized that I had lost, and thus gained a week on my calendar. That was my unexpected gift – an extra week – that’s a whole seven days, extra days, bonus days, gratuitous days, to prepare for Christmas. But oh the horror, to realize that for the very first time in my entire life I had sent out post-dated cheques.

But despite that grievous fault the whole time-warp was a double bonus. Because during my distracted phase, when I thought a week had passed that was still pending, I panicked. And in my panic, I wrapped all my gifts, brought up the tree, house cleaned and organized the refuse and clutter, reluctantly put aside my knitting, wrote the previous blog fully expecting it would be the last I would have time for before the big day.

And also, last week, while in my state of panic, while I was yet distracted date-wise, I even added that dirty four-letter word to my vocabulary – P-L-A-N. With so little time to complete pre-Christmas stuff I had to plan. And in that plan today was supposed to be a day for baking bread, shortbread, and making nylesnky (sp?) to freeze and bring out later for Christmas dinner. Also in my plan for today there were chocolate truffles and gum drop loaves. But now that I have an extra week, why panic? I have seven extra days to do all that.

So don’t disturb me today. I’m busy knitting, listening to Christmas music and reveling in the joy and leisure of a most appreciated and unexpected surprise gift – an extra week before Christmas.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Christmas – BAH, HUMBUG! A whole lot of anxiety, expense, merchandising and customer exploitation – for what? Yeh, sorry folks, there was time when it all came together for me but that all ended with the rise in popularity of upside-down Holiday trees and politically-correctness and society thumbing their noses at the real reasons that we celebrate Christmas.

But amazingly, in this ‘Season’, (that once was so charming with Carolers, Nativity scenes, decked-out horses, Church Bells, home-made gifts, and joy and peace), and in this ‘Season’ (that is progressively a celebration of nothingness), I sit here in my cozy kitchen feeling as warm and happy as any Holiday Fanatic. I did not realize until today that this same feeling comes to me in a timely fashion every winter.

When the cold weather sets in, I get a feeling radically different from the self-centered, self-indulgent days of summer when all I can think is that someone else should be making the ice for my cold drinks, and serving them to me, and weeding my garden as I lounge like a lazy cat in the warm sun. But self-indulgence flies out the window come winter. What hits me then is a greater sense of intimacy with friends, a greater connectivity, a greater appreciation, and greater gratefulness for these blessings. And all of this has nothing to do with Christmas. What it does have to do with is plunging thermometers and howling winds.

So now, in order to explain this, I must first ask, “Have you ever noticed how even loosely-knit people with diverse cultures, values, religions and political persuasions rally and come together when threatened?” Quite surprisingly, this even includes remote areas with scattered citizens that have no sense of kinship, ionization, or communal bond. But yet, if there be danger, any danger, people come together.

It only takes a small rumble on the seismic scale to shatter individualism. It only takes one vulnerable moment to reshape individuals with distinct personalities into a homogenous mix of ‘groupees’. Insecurity leads to a combined and condensed effort to cope. Amidst one small peril, pride is sacrificed with ease and all become an essential part of a solidified and well-jelled concoction of humble people.

So now, if you understand that, you understand why Canadians are the way we are. For six months of the year we are blasted with extreme cold, mountains of snow, blustering winds, and ice fog. And as if that weren’t already enough, we have the added complications of snow removal, jelled gas lines, icy impassable roads, battery boosters, stalled cars on main thoroughfares and frozen septic tanks. In this kind of threat, one can’t retain individuality. Caring and sharing become the order of the day. If Hub’s tractor won’t start, the neighbour cleans our driveway. If their car battery is froze up, we give them a boost. And when we are battling any of these problems, from doorsteps you will hear the cry, “Yo! Sorry I don’t know your name but you get in here right now and warm up.” And so it becomes apparent that in the midst of winter peril, we all come together in mind and soul and spirit with others in the same boat.

And so even those of us that are muttering BAH-HUMBUG come together with the same force and assertiveness and common thinking as lovers of the ‘Season’. With eyelashes frozen shut, face and fingers numb, booster cables connected and a heat-source of some sort strategically placed under a vehicle to warm it up, with sidewalks finally cleared, we become woven together in a common endeavor to survive another harsh winter.

And so, at Christmas time, love and appreciation for all of our fellowman reigns supreme. The season doesn’t allow anyone to rise above their own needs or the needs of another. So we are forced, in this climate, to scrap individualism and engage in a common mind, thought, and purpose. It just so happens, that all this occurs, when the Holiday Season is upon us.

"So joy and peace to you.
Stay warm, m’love."

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I thought I loved knitting slippers. I really did.

The first slipper is so much fun. A new pattern is so exciting. But that second slipper, that one I need to make to make to match the first, seems such a drag – "so redundant" (as youngest daughter says).