Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Not a white Christmas here (photo from last year), but that's fine with me. A lovely one in so many ways, too many to list.

However you celebrate this season, I hope it is festive and stress-free.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Comin' back

Once again it's time to observe (and celebrate) the return of the light, an observance that goes back to a past much more ancient than Christmas. Just imagine the significance of someone realizing the turn of shadow that must have meant the sun, with its warmth, was coming back again.

After so much discouraging news this autumn (especially with yesterday's turn of events in Washington), we need all the light we can get.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Ya gotta have art...

Every now and then, it comes to my attention that the arts community doesn't get the respect it deserves. I'm not sure why this is, as it's hard for me to imagine what life would be like without having art in it.

Not long ago, the city where I live changed its mayor and council. It was all above board, a civic (and mostly civil even) election, nary a Russian influence peddler in sight, I am sure.

But along with the change of persons, it seems as if the new government may have lost its heart, especially when it comes to the A-R-T part of that word.

Tomorrow night the Council will be voting on their new budget, a pared-down plan that withholds funding for so many of those things that enliven and enrich our lives. The proposed plan fails to allocate monies to just about anything that might be deemed cultural -- the expansion of community centres, libraries and museums, even athletic facilities.

With our city's population growing by 1,000 people every month, it seems short-sighted in the extreme to be taking this hard-nosed stance. After all, isn't the administration of a city supposed to be there to benefit its citizens?

So why, you might be wondering, did I post a photo of a choir?

Besides being safely camouflaged in among the altos, I'm pleased that, as a result of our annual winter concert, we helped raise money for an important community-serving group whose funding has been cancelled, the Volunteer Cancer Drivers. Audience members made donations which were matched and then topped up by anonymous donor, resulting in a total of $8,000 for the cause.

I can only hope -- in particular during this season that's supposed to be about giving -- that tomorrow night's meeting will see a reversal of the current mindset and will loosen the purse strings to the benefit of everyone who lives here.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Fallen soldier

This week the first person who comes to mind for most people when they read today's subject header must be President Bush the Elder, George H W. And while it was good to hear the way he was eulogized on Wednesday, the fallen soldier I have in mind to day is my dad.

Had he still been alive, he'd have been turning 100 today. He was born in 1918 on the date that would later be called the Day of Infamy, Pearl Harbor Day.

It's hard to picture him being 100, as he died a long time ago -- by coincidence, at the same age I've now achieved -- and I can't imagine lasting to be 100 either.

Not long ago, while cleaning out old items from the attic, we came across an ancient suitcase -- one he'd used decades ago, complete with fading stickers affixed. Most of them were fairly straightforward: souvenirs of towns he'd visited, a university he'd briefly attended, and several others with meanings long gone obscure.

One I managed to track down was a sticker from C&S Air Lines. Another -- one I haven't been able to identify -- is, I suspect, from when he piloted a bomber during WWII. I'm guessing it as maybe meaning Overseas Bombing something-or-other.

It's hard for me to try to think of what life might be like (though I'm hoping human life will still exist) in 2118. And I'm sure that no one in 1918 could have envisioned what today's world would be. Happy what-would-have-been-your-100th-birthday, JB.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Season for recycling

It's again been the time of year when my friend and I make Christmas cards.

This year I took a somewhat different tack than usual. Rather than relying on the wealth of supplies I've accumulated over the years, I decided to try using as many 'old' cards as I could -- recycling them into 'new' cards by cutting and pasting and decorating them.

Some were easier to use than others -- nice, tight little designs that lent themselves to being reused, sometimes even in combination with bits from other cards.

The results, if I do say so, were pretty good, with a few I almost hate to send away.

And I'll admit, because I even tried to use cards from specific people to make 'new' cards that will go to them this year, it'll be interesting to see whether any of them notice their 'old' card coming back to them with happy holiday greetings.