Category Archives: Holidays

The Kitchen Table and Thanksgiving

Perhaps The World Ends Here

 The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it.  Babies teethe at the corners.  They scrape their knees under it. 

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling down-selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table.  It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen  table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

 This poem by Joy Harjo seemed appropriate somehow for this Thanksgiving.

Our sons at the Thanksgiving table in our house in Kykotsmovi Arizona

Making cookies with my cousin at the kitchen table in my grandparents’ farm house

My father in-law serving up gravy for perogies while holding our son at the kitchen table in their home.

My son and his cousins puzzling at their grandparents’ kitchen table

My husband and son playing chess at our kitchen table in Hong Kong

Coloring Easter eggs around the kitchen table with my mom

Celebrating my birthday at the kitchen table with my sister and brother

My husband and our niece at the Thanksgiving table at my brother and sister-in laws’ 

Other posts………


Family Thanksgiving

Cooking Together

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Holidays

Easter Memories

Other posts……….

Easter Retrospective

I’m Trying to Draw Cartoons

Easter Inspiration


Leave a comment

Filed under cartoons, Holidays

Ten Good Things For Good Friday

Easter lilies in the lobby of our condo

Here are ten good things that happened to me my first week back in Canada after two months in Portugal. Ten good things to be thankful for on Good Friday. 

  1. The elderly Chinese woman at my gym who gives me a smile and a wave each and every morning…. ….came over and gave me a hug on Saturday when I returned to the YMCA after my two month hiatus. 
  2. I had a lo……………ng wonderful non-stop talking lunch with my good friend Esther.
  3. I got a cute photo from my grandsons in Saskatoon posing with the Easter treats I sent them. 
  4. I helped with a family afternoon at the Winnipeg Art Gallery where nearly eighty parents, children and grandparents turned up to do soap stone carving together. 
  5. I had a fantastic meal at my sister and brother-in-law’s house along with my husband, one of my brothers and his wife. We talked avidly about family, politics, work, religion, retirement and vacation experiences. 
  6. I had an interesting discussion with a fellow church member who came to the church library where I volunteer, to find a book about the Mennonite experience in Ukraine.  She is planning a trip to Ukraine. 
  7. My niece and I celebrated her birthday as we have done each year since she was eight with a visit to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and lunch out together. What a great time we had discussing books, education and all kinds of other things. 
  8. I gave a tour to a perceptive group of kids at the Winnipeg Art Gallery for a spring break camp and they found four details in an artwork I had NEVER seen before even though I have shown that same painting to hundreds of art gallery visitors in the past. 
  9. I went out for sushi with my cousin and we caught up on almost everything we’d missed talking about since I left in January. 
  10. We enjoyed a family Sunday.  Lunch with my Dad and in the evening a tea party with our daughter-in-law while watching the Jets win on television. 

Other posts……….

Thinking About Mary on Good Friday

Blood Upon the Rose

A Life That Adds Up To Something

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays

I Had A Moment

An illustration from Margaret Laurence’s A Christmas Birthday Story

I was having a conversation with someone recently about those moments of pure joy in our lives.  We were speculating about someone we both knew and hoping they’d had at least a few moments like that in their life. 

I had a moment of that kind of pure joy last week.  Our family was celebrating Christmas a little late, but it was when everyone could be together and it was great. The tree lights were twinkling. We’d had our traditional Christmas breakfast of waffles and white sauce. We had sung the three carols we sing every Christmas. We had all shared our highlights of the past year and our hopes for the coming one. I was sitting on the couch reading Margaret Laurence’s The Christmas Birthday Story .  We read that book aloud every Christmas. My five-year old grandson was snuggled up on one side of me listening to the story and then my one year old grandson crawled up on the couch and snuggled in on the other side of me. Tears welled and I had to struggle to control myself and keep on reading.  A moment of pure joy. 

Other posts……

Start and End Happy

Pura Vida

The Breath of Life

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Holidays

Christmas in Different Places

I’ve spent Christmas in many different places.  visiting wai o tapu thermal fields new zealandIn 2008 we spent Christmas Day hiking the Wai -O- Tapu Thermal Fields in New Zealand. 

cousins singing

As a child my Christmas always included time spent with my cousins at my grandparents’ home in Gnadenthal, Manitoba. eating-pretzelsI spent Christmas Day in 2010 drinking beer and eating pretzels in Germany. 

sitting on Santa's knee 1959In 1959 at Christmas my family was living in a residence for medical interns at the St. Boniface Hospital and the nuns there staged a Christmas party for the intern’s children.A number of my Christmases between 2003 and 2011 were spent in Hong Kong. Here we are singing Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming with our children in our Hong Kong church on Christmas Eve in 2004.

Many of my childhood Christmases were spent in Saskatchewan at my maternal grandparents’ homes in Drake.I spent Christmas Day in 2009 on the beach in Sydney Australia. 

In the early 1990s we spent one Christmas in Red Deer Alberta at my brother and sister-in- law’s home and went on a family ski trip in Banff. Here I am freezing in Prague one Christmas.We have spent many Christmases in Steinbach at my parents’ home.  Here we are singing as a family at Mom and Dad’s house on their country property just outside of Steinbach. 
I spent my very first Christmas in Winnipeg because that is where I was born. Here’s my Mom taking me out for a walk. Winnipeg is also where I will spend this Christmas.  I am going to take a two day break from blogging now.  Wishing all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas. 

Other posts……….

Christmas Stocking Crisis

She Was Thirteen Years Old


Filed under Holidays

It’s Beginning To Feel Like Christmas

There have been signs this week that Christmas is on the way. t-4s xmas partyI had a Christmas party with my friends the T-4s on Saturday.  christmas dessert egg nog tartWe had delightful egg nog cheesecakes at Oakridge Nursery in Steinbach and opened our gifts to each other. Some Christmas cards have started arriving at our house.  I went to a Christmas craft sale at my friend Audrey’s house and bought this beautiful birch log decoration she made. I am wrapping the Christmas books I will take to my grandsons in Saskatoon this weekend.  I always give them a new Christmas book during the first week of advent.  I’m including some Christmas socks for each of them. My son already sent me a photo of my grandsons in their new Christmas pyjamas in front of their advent calendar. A beautiful Christmas wreath arrived courtesy of a friend who was selling them as a fundraiser for a worthwhile charity.  My husband Dave is practicing the guitar chords for the carols he will play at his men’s choir Christmas concert on December 15th.  Invitations to Christmas parties are flying into my inbox.

There are still a few weeks to go till the official holiday arrives but it’s beginning to feel like Christmas. 

Other posts……….

A Forty Five Year Old Necklace and Scarf


Christmas Poker


Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays

Happy Halloween

Last Halloween we were in Saskatoon and went trick or treating with our two grandsons.  It was a lovely fall evening and we had so much fun!  Our older grandson was very excited about his costume and loved going door to door to shout “Trick or Treat.”   I was impressed at how people in the neighborhood had gone to such lengths to decorate their homes. They were so warm and friendly to the kids that came to their doors.  It reminded me of the Halloweens of my childhood. 

ready for halloweenHere are me and my sister in our bunny and cat costumes in 1960. I love the whiskers my Mom has drawn on my little sister’s face and the huge bunny ears she constructed for me. Those Eaton’s of Canada bags look pretty full!  We were living on Beaverbrook Street in Winnipeg at the time and so that’s the neighborhood where we will have gone trick or treating. 

trudeau family trick or treating

Canada’s Prime Minister trick or treating with his family last year. (Photo-Global News)

Probably the one difference between Halloween in my childhood and Halloween for my grandsons is that my sister and I went out trick or treating on our own even at ages five and seven while all the children we saw in Saskatoon last year were trick or treating with their families.  

Either way celebrating Halloween still gets people out of their homes and interacting with others in their neighborhood. In a society that is becoming increasingly insular and where technology keeps us more physically isolated from one another that’s a good thing. 

October posts from other years………

A Bone Rattling Introduction to Quebec City

In New York We……….

A Perfect Afternoon in Gambo Newfoundland


Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays