There have been signs this week that Christmas is on the way. I had a Christmas party with my friends the T-4s on Saturday. We 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.
A Forty Five Year Old Necklace and Scarf
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.
Here 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.
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
Photo taken by my husband Dave in 2015
The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
– Joyce Kilmer
American poet Joyce Kilmer is more famously known for his poem about trees. “I think that I shall never see…….”. But I love the imagery in this Easter poem too. May happiness and beauty and song fill your Easter Day.
Two paintings displayed side by side at the Winnipeg Art Gallery have an Easter message for me.
The first one is And Peter Followed From Afar Off by American painter William Ashby McCloy. It is a Good Friday scene. Jesus is hanging upside down on a cross shaped like an X. Over to the right you can see Jesus’ disciple Peter who denounced Jesus three times. The cock that crowed after the three betrayals is pictured. So are the people Peter spoke with denying he had any connections to Jesus. Could the man in front be Judas who betrayed Jesus for money? Artist McCloy gives us a grey, sad canvas full of rejection, violence and guilt.
Right beside the crucifixion painting is this vibrant and heart lifting canvas by the famous First Nations artist Daphne Odjig. It is called Friends Rejoicing. A group of women are celebrating the birth of a child. Easter is a time of rebirth and new beginnings and Daphne’s painting fairly bursts with the joy of a new beginning and the happiness it brings to a community of people. For me it beautifully captures the spirit of Easter Sunday a day to celebrate the resurrection of hope.
I have no idea why the curator chose to place these two paintings side by side, but I love their juxtaposition. One of our former guides at the WAG Perry Nodelman gave a talk at the University of Valencia in Spain in March. He said that in an art gallery…..
…..where pictures are hung, how the floor plan of the galleries invites viewers to move through them— makes each picture part of a larger text, a larger story…
The way these two paintings are placed in the gallery makes them part of the Easter story for me.
Blood Upon the Rose
A Storyboard in a Painting
Whale Bone Sculptures
Taking the train into Phoenix
The art gallery was closed! We took the train into Phoenix yesterday to visit the art gallery in the afternoon and attend a Phoenix Suns game in the evening. When we arrived at the front door of the art gallery the information on the door said CLOSED MONDAYS. Why hadn’t any of us thought to check that? Many art galleries, including the one in Winnipeg are closed on Mondays. But wait! Were those people inside the foyer? Yes! Were those ticket agents behind the front desk? Yes! Were the doors open? Yes! It was Martin Luther King Day in the United States and in honor of the holiday the gallery was open to the public.
A painting from Kehinde Wiley’s Brazil series
We had a wonderful afternoon at the gallery including a lunch in the gallery restaurant The Palette and a tour that introduced us among many other things to the work of celebrated African-American artist Kehinde Wiley.
The Phoenix Suns lost a nailbiter against the Utah Jazz. An exciting game.
At the Suns game in the evening they were also honoring the holiday. Quotes of Dr. King’s ringed the stadium, a special video during the game paid tribute to his legacy and another showed the Phoenix Suns visiting the new African-American History Museum in Washington DC. Various players were interviewed about what their visit to the museum had meant to them. The game opened with a few words about Martin Luther King Day shared by player Alan Williams whose mother currently serves as the first female African-American chief of police in Phoenix.
We had a good Martin Luther King Day!
Art From All Kinds of Things
Art in the Airport
Five Things I’ll Remember About the Movie Selma
The final question in my Christmas series is…… What is the best thing about Christmas? For me it is the opportunity it provides to get together with family and friends. In the last month we’ve had so many chances to do that. We went to a Christmas banquet staged by the car dealership my husband works for as a shuttle driver. I hosted my writers group here at our place for a Christmas potluck and gift exchange.
My brother Mark and his wife Kathy hosted a lovely family dinner party featuring salmon my brother caught on a British Columbia fishing trip.
After the choir my husband sings in put on their Christmas concert there was a party to reminisce and celebrate another year of making music.
In the week leading up to Christmas we have been blessed to host our Hong Kong friends Meena and Anil for a week.
I had a lovely Christmas celebration with the T-4’s the group of friends I meet with every month. We played the Christmas question game which I have been featuring on this blog. Our friends Don and Marlene invited us out to Steinbach for a Christmas lunch and my cousin Lynne and her husband Rod had us over for a Christmas supper. Because we are off to Arizona for a couple months we had a ‘good-bye for now’ movie and dinner with our friends Bruno and Caroline and took out our friends Beatrice and Jean for Chinese food in Steinbach. We had another Chinese dinner at our favorite restaurant here in Winnipeg Noodle Express with our friends Dave and Wendy after enjoying a play at the Manitoba Theatre Centre. My friend Arlene hosted a special Christmas party at her condo for the group of ladies I volunteer with at the Thrift Store on Selkirk Avenue.
Our friends Bonny and Jim hosted the Christmas party for our church small group which has been meeting together for more than fifteen years.
And there are many Christmas get togethers still to come… an extended family gathering at my sisters, our own children and grandchildren arriving from Saskatoon to spend four days with us, a dinner tonight at my brother’s house and a Christmas movie this afternoon with our son and his wife.
We feel very blessed indeed to have so many family members nearby and so many friends with whom we can share the joy of Christmas.
Merry Christmas everyone! Hoping you too have some folks near and dear to share it with.
Christmas in Hong Kong- Good Memories
Dali’s Christmas Card
This Will Be
What homemade gifts have you made for others? That’s the ninth question in my series for the month.
The first year my husband and I were dating we made each other Christmas gifts. He made me a blue and white beaded necklace, a skill I believe he learned from a friend he lived with in the Yukon, and I knitted him a brown and gold scarf with the help of one of my college dorm mates. Although they may be a little worse for the wear we still have those gifts forty- five years later.
A Honeymoon Adventure
Bucket List for Marriage
Filed under Family, Holidays