Grandpa and Me

grandpa and meMy Aunt Nettie sent me a photo last week that I had never seen before.  It is a picture of me and my paternal grandfather Diedrich Peters on my grandparents’ farmyard in Gnadenthal Manitoba.  I must have been around two years old. My aunt said she thought my Grandpa’s expression of pride and pleasure was priceless.  Looking at the photo reminded once again how incredibly fortunate I was to have grandparents who loved me and thought the world of me when I was a child. My grandfather’s joy in the future generations of his family didn’t wane as he got older. joel great gp - Version 2He’s got that same look of delight on his face as he holds my son, his great-grandson twenty-four years later. 

Other posts about my grandparents……

Remembering My Grandpa

My Grandparents’ Honeymoon

My Grandma Was a Guitarist

Leave a comment

Filed under Family

Icy Inspiration

icicles on the Royal Albert Hotel Winnipeg

The city is caught in the grip of ice–
Trees, walls, snow, are as under glass

by Anna Akhmatova

hoar frost winnipeg exchange district

Job 37:10 By the breath of God ice is givencrossing seal river sawatsky statue  winnipeg

Winnipeg has been caught in the grip of ice for the last few days.  It is almost impossible to walk safely on the slippery sidewalks and yesterday we had a minor accident with our car trying not to slide into two other cars that had just collided on an icy street.  I thought it might be inspirational to remember that ice can be beautiful too. 

“Ice contains no future , just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way- cleanly, clearly. ”
― Haruki Murakami

Other Inspiration posts…….

Thoughts About Children

Wild Flower Inspiration

Eagle Inspiration

1 Comment

Filed under Religion

Our Guides in Asia

During the six years Dave and I traveled extensively in Asia we were fortunate to meet many wonderful guides who not only introduced us to their countries and cities but were also willing to share a glimpse of their personal lives with us. At one point I had thought to write a book about these interesting and amazing people. I don’t think that’s going to happen but I don’t want to forget all the hospitable and friendly men and women who made our travels in Asia so memorable.  Here are just a few of them. dee dee snorkel guide in boracay philippinesIn the Philippines Dee Dee gripped her crucifix and prayed when our snorkelling boat ran into a violent patch of water

tour guide in beijingIn Beijing Max rented a rickshaw to drive us through the huotongs

mango in vietnamIn Vietnam Mango was working hard to save money to send his daughter to Harvard

wendyIn Yunnan, when our arranged guide didn’t show up Wendy took us on an amazing hike down to Leaping Tiger Gorge

cambodia land mines museum guideIn Cambodia, Khom had lost his arm to a land mine

biking in xianIn Xian Evelyn rented a tandem bike for us to ride along the top of the city wall

pei in yunnanNear the border of Tibet Pei ordered a supper of yak cheese, yak butter tea and yak meat for us

golfing at nirwana course in tanalot baliIn Bali Sunlini took an offering to the temple on the golf course to pray for the success of my game

with rong in yangshouIn Yangshou Rong told me the dragon had dug the river with his tail

sherry in chongching0001In Chongqing Sherry took us to the Great Square of the People

charupa in bangkokIn Bangkok Charupa introduced me to the sweet taste of tamarind fruit        

In Asia the guides opened their hearts and their lives to us

I won’t ever forget them!

Other posts about tours with guides…..

Meeting the Street Children of Dehli


Dave’s Vision Quest


Leave a comment

Filed under Travel

They Never Made It to the Manger- Christmas 1994

they never made it to the mangerI found a program in one of my journals for the Elmdale School 1994 Christmas concert. They presented a drama called They Never Made It to the Manger. It was a play written by my husband Dave who was teaching grade five at Elmdale School in Steinbach at the time. The entire school was involved in the performance and each child manipulated a hand held puppet they had created. My husband’s version of the Magi story included a fourth wise man named Henry and a wise woman named Gertrude who didn’t make it to Bethlehem. I noted in my journal there were gigantic camel puppets for the Magi to ride. they never made it to the manger

The show’s music was arranged and conducted by teacher Craig Cassils. The Elmdale student performers staged a lively party in King Herod’s palace with the puppets dancing and singing Twist and Shout by the Beatles. My husband played the harmonica for one of the songs in the show- Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight. It won the Academy Award for best song in 1994 as part of the soundtrack for the movie Lion King.

My son's grade four school class that performed with the angel puppets in the musical They Never Made It To the Manger

My son’s grade four school class that performed with the angel puppets in the musical They Never Made It To the Manger

Proud mama that I was, I wrote in my journal that our younger son who was a grade four student at Elmdale that year, used a Marlon Brando voice to play the role of King Herod’s advisor. He accompanied a song on an Orff instrument. He maneuvered one of the angel puppets and sang a duet at the end of the concert.

This all happened twenty years ago but I can still remember sitting in the audience and marveling at the talent and creativity of both my husband and my son and the enormous amount of work done by the Elmdale School staff to create such a memorable Christmas experience for both the children and the audience. 

Other Christmas Memory Posts………

My Mother’s Childhood Christmas

This Christmas Will Be Different

Christmas Eve

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Holidays

Dali’s Christmas Card

The Holy Family Christmas Card by Dali

The Holy Family Christmas Card by Dali

A Christmas card Dali made for the Hallmark card company is part of the Dali exhibit currently running at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.   An article in the St. Petersburg Independent in December of 2011 tells the story of Dali’s Christmas card.  In 1959 an art dealer met with Salvador Dali in his St. Regis hotel suite in New York to explore the possibility of Dali creating designs for various holiday cards .  The dealer placed a few calls to different greeting card companies but only Hallmark would agree to Dali’s terms. He wanted a $15,000 cash advance, no restrictions put on the medium he used or the subjects he depicted, and no deadline for his work. A Hallmark representative arrived shortly with the cash and the contract. 

Dali Christmas Design 1960

Dali Christmas Design 1960

Dali retired to the bathroom of his suite where he kept his easels and art supplies and set feverishly to work. He appeared a few hours later with brush and pen creations he declared some of his greatest work.  But they were only half finished.  Dali left for his home in Port Ligat Spain and forwarded ten completed works in a paper bag to the dealer in New York some time later. Hallmark only deemed two of them suitable for Christmas cards and rushed them into production so they would reach store shelves by Christmas 1960. But people wouldn’t buy them and they became so controversial  Hallmark eventually pulled them from the shelves. 

A 1974 Christmas design by Dali

A 1974 Christmas design by Dali

Later Dali designed a series of Christmas cards for the Hoechst Iberia company in Barcelona. They became quite popular in Spain. 

If you’d like to see one of Dali’s Hallmark Christmas cards in person visit the Dali exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. It will remain in Winnipeg till January 31.

Other posts about Dali……

A Personal Dali

The Exquisite Corpse

Dali – I’m Scared

Dali- Twirl That Mustache

Dali- Memories of Home

Dali- Hidden Pictures

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Holidays, New York, People, Spain, Winnipeg

The Christmas Spirit

A couple of days ago I put up a sign in the lobby of our condo building asking if anyone had an extra parking spot we could rent over the holidays. Our son and his family are coming from out of province for a visit over Christmas and we needed a place for them to park their car. We live in a busy downtown area where there is only metered parking on the street.  Within twenty-four hours we had received lots of calls from people in our building willing to let us use their spot because they would be gone over the holidays or had two spots and were willing to let us use one.    Not a single fellow resident who called was willing to take money for the favor. “You can just use our spot,” they volunteered. Now that’s the Christmas spirit!  I put this sign up in the lobby to say “Thank You.”Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 7.32.03 AM

Other related posts…..

Residential Parking Crisis in Winnipeg’s Exchange District

We’re Living in a Piece of History

And So This is Christmas



1 Comment

Filed under Winnipeg

He’s a Winner!

Dave's is one of the winners among Manitoba's retired teachers

Dave’s is one of the winners among Manitoba’s retired teachers

My husband Dave won a $100 recently for being a volunteer.  The Manitoba Association of Retired Teachers did a survey to find out what kind of volunteer work its members were doing.  As an incentive to fill out the survey participants’ names were entered in a draw for a $100 reward.  

The latest issue of Keep in Touch a magazine for the province's retired teachers was all about volunteerism.

The latest issue of Keep in Touch a magazine for the province’s retired teachers was all about volunteerism and how retired teachers continue to serve their communities. 

My husband Dave filled out the survey, sent it in, and lo and behold he got a phone call a few weeks later saying he had been one of the lucky winners.  When they called to tell him about his prize they asked him to provide a few more details about one of his most recent volunteer assignments.  dave reads with ashmoniqueHe told them about his work as a tutor in an after school program in Jamaica last winter.   

Feature in the magazine for Manitoba's retired teachers- KIT or Keep in Touch

Feature article  in the magazine for Manitoba’s retired teachers- KIT or Keep in Touch

Dave is no exception among Manitoba’s retired teachers. The survey found that 82% of the province’s retired educators had been involved in some kind of volunteer work within the last year. The majority were volunteering about 500 hours a year. More than 50% of those surveyed still worked with children or young people as volunteers. 

I was pleased to learn that most teachers continue to serve their communities in some way even when they are no longer getting paid to do so.  

Other posts about teachers and education……..

My Dad Was Once A Teacher

Teacher Can You Spare a Dime

I Don’t Want a Tax Break


Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Family