Wednesday, December 28, 2011


   I wrote a while ago that I was not a happy Catholic and after reading many blogger comments in recent weeks I discovered that there are quite a few others who have opted out. Historically the church played a major roll in all facets of daily life for a large population but as the fear of going to hell for sinning seemed to have shifted so did the desire to participate actively at the local parishes. And the corruption within the organization has also made some worshipers question whether to continue supporting their parishes.

   I have enjoyed visiting the old cathedrals that one can find worldwide and I am respectful of those who made it their mission to commission them and those who are willing to maintain them. But I wonder how their history has impacted our way of life now? Something new is happening. The traditional teachings are no longer reaching the masses. And wealth and power is shifting.

    The recent holiday time has jogged many bloggers memories, mine too, of earlier times when we were led by our families to follow certain traditions. We remembered them with both passions of delight and of discomfort. And we set out to teach our own young ones to participate in what we set in front of them. Our community and social instincts seemed to need an outlet and some sort of order and togetherness. Perhaps that is why we still carry on? We want to believe that our past had purpose and was meaningful. Perhaps we need this confirmation of our existence? I ponder. Did we do a better job?

    Could we be kinder? Could we be more respectful and more inclusive of others? Could the most wealthy learn to do away with greed and find a better way to balance equality? Major religions seemed to have failed in helping many of their followers to get that point across. And now parishes are beginning to get less support. Other charities are growing and taking in large sums in hopes of sending aid to others. Sadly that's not going well either. Why?
   So what is it that causes such an imbalance? Are we all born with a 'greedy' gene? Do we measure success by what's been acquired? Why is the balance of power in just a few hands, those with the biggest wallets? And why do so many less fortunate believe they'll be better off once they have some millions or billions?
    My thoughts keep going back to my days as an educator. There is a solution out there. A search for a new way to reach the depths of minds ought to be discovered along with a new value system. We need to change in the way we lead our youth. Our old ways are really old!! I can't get over the fact that most of us hate war and killing but we allowed the creation of the number one software game enjoyed by perhaps billions (including fake copies)recently, 'Call of Duty', Modern Warfare 3!! No way will that promote a more caring youth. That's not it's aim! Profit by the company and its shares drive it and many others. It comes with a disguise, a liberty to choose. A democratic right. Hypocrisy ??
    Will there ever be a software that can help us be smarter, kinder, better people? If so I sure hope it is released in the shortest possible time. Our world needs a miracle, one that can be seeded deeply into the brains of the future leaders and followers. Away with deadly crime games! Why must evil be the best seller? Rethink this. Shift away from the hell on earth.
    Watching the North Koreans march like robots just leaves me wondering what's being done to their minds. They even seem to cry on demand! When will we use our intellectual potential to do much better than that? The power should be with those who use more potential to maximize the goodness of humankind. War has no place in that better world. And perhaps newer political systems will be created to be fair to all?
    I believe in miracles. And I believe we must work for them.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I got the tree and decorations up from the basement and with my sister's help it is up!
My Dad is getting better and my Mom is happy that I helped. Now we are almost ready. I love this time of year :) BUDDY

Friday, December 9, 2011

Soft Glow

  Already two Sundays of the Advent season have passed by and I've hardly noticed. The turmoil of hubby's heath and some of the other recent events have interfered a bit with our traditions. With Buddy's help we did manage to put up some wreaths on our entrance doors and a few lights in our front window.
  But there is something seemingly magical about lit candles. During my childhood years my mother (and other family members) fondly celebrated the four advent Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve. It started with a trip to the forest for some fir branches. These were fashioned into a wreath to be decorated with some ribbon and placed on a specially embroidered square table covering. Four bright red advent candles were evenly placed into metal holders that were fixed into the fir.
  One was lit each Sunday until all were done. In the eves we sat around that table where the candle light would glow and we sang carols. I recall my family enjoyed singing in various harmonies, alto, soprano and so on while my dad added beautiful chords and made the melodies seem so much more vivd from his accordion. The adults would sip some warmed up wine while we got hot cocoa. And all this led to a greater anticipation for the upcoming event, the celebration of the arrival of the Christ child.
For Christmas there would be a fir tree full of white candles that made the ornaments shines when they were lit but this did not happen until Christmas Eve. In fact the tree was kept locked away in an unheated parlour hidden until that special night.
  Of course there were a few packages wrapped in simple paper held together with some string set on the table nearby where the wreath had been.. Gifts were usually hand made unless it was a printed book. I recall waiting eagerly to get into that room. But there was a tradition passed down from my grandparents. The simple meal of fish and potato salad came first. And after that we had to sing carols. Only when this was completed could we enter the room with the lit Christmas tree. It was cool in that room for we had no central heating but it felt warm in no time.  I think maybe the candles helped add some warmth but actually I believe it was because it was time to share our gifts with each other. It was grand. Everyone glowed with contentment. Even though we had very little right after the war it still felt like a lot. The best part was that the joyfulness and thankfulness could be felt. Everyone's spirit was high!
  Today I still love the warm, soft glow of cable light. It feel good.
  Soon there will be lights on our Christmas tree but very different ones. Candles have had to be replaced. Today LED bulbs put that bright sparkle on a fake or sometimes real tree.
  Ours will be set up in our family room a bit late this year (even though we've changed to a more Canadian tradition) but definitely before that magical eve. And we'll make time to open a gift that night too. That's my favourite time.
  Gradually our kids led us to opt for Christmas day to open most gifts (maybe because they still had to  wrap them?) because that's what they've learned over time. It's the way it's done in their circle of friends whose families have also adapted this North American way.
  And here in Canada things are blended together forming a colourful palette of traditions that we can opt to enjoy and we do. Christmas time is celebrated in many ways even by non Christians. Maybe we all like that warmth and joy that comes from sharing?
  Still I prefer the flicker of a real candle. It makes me happy.
  How about you? Do you have some very special memories you wish to share?