Tag Archives: believe

Puddle Jumper

I can leap tall buildings,

With a single bound.

All the while keeping,

My feet on the ground.

 

With a switch and a swirl,

The world disappears.

Wait just a moment,

And it all reappears.

 

Trusty old rain boots,

Keep my feet warm and dry.

As this silly old girl,

Likes to stomp on the sky.

 

The rain leaves a world,

Just at my feet.

Another dimension,

New marvels to meet.

 

A child’s imagination,

Is a joy to behold.

In a simple old puddle,

More wonders unfold.

 

When the rain leaves a gift,

Don’t ever walk by.

Take just a moment,

And let logic defy.

 

 

The accompanying photograph was provided by Dan over at nofacilities.com. He and Maddie are most generous with the fruits of their walks. Thanks Dan!

 

 

 

Turtle Eyes

There’s a turtle sitting on my desk,

He staring right at me!

He makes me start to wonder,

Of a life that is carefree.

 

My little turtle is not real,

He’s made of stone you see.

But he reminds me of the ocean,

And of life there being free.

 

To race the waves without care,

To play beneath the kelp.

Prey and predator have a place,

They really need no help.

 

If only we could understand,

The synchronicity of life.

Then perhaps we’d have a chance,

To mend our world of strife.

 

To live in peace would be the dream.

When all would be as one.

Reach your hand out to another,

And then my work is done.

 

There’s a turtle sitting on my desk,

He staring right at me!

I think he likes what I have said,

I’m sure he does agree.

 

A Fallen Leaf

He lay on his back,

A slight dusting of snow.

He knew he was done,

There was no place to go.

 

His time in the branches,

Were glorious and free!

But time is not static,

His memory the key.

 

You see he is a symbol,

of Summer and Spring.

The days full of frolic,

That memories bring.

 

As he shivered with cold,

On this bright chilly day.

He knew with conviction,

What others would say .

 

Soon will be spring,

And buds will appear.

Leaves will start growing,

Never you fear!

 

 

 

The accompanying photograph was provided by Dan over at nofacilities.com. He and Maddie are most generous with the fruits of their walks. Thanks Dan!

 

Love and the Lancaster Bomber

Barb Taub, over at barbtaub.com, wrote a lovely, humorous piece about how she and her husband of 40 years, met. It had me smiling as I remembered how my parents met. So, I promised her I would regal you with their story.

Whenever people ask about how my parents first met, I start by saying that my mother picked my father up in a bar. That usually gets everyone laughing. Including my mother. But things were only slightly different.

If you would first allow me to put their story into context. The year is 1945. World War II is over and servicemen are returning home from the war. Picture if you would an Avro Lancaster heavy bomber flying not very far over Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The young men inside were celebrating having won a World War so they thought that they would give the people of this downtown neighbourhood a bit of a thrill. They took their heavy bombers and flew low as if they were making a strafing run. (shooting bullets at people on the ground) The people in the offices got quite a thrill that day! Their next stop was to do the same run, on farmers’ fields. That didn’t go over quite as well. When they handed over their planes, they found fencing materials wrapped around the wheels. The commander was not well pleased. They were told later that the cows stopped giving milk for a week.

During that time there were canteens or coffee shops set up where returning military could get a cuppa coffee, a sandwich and perhaps a conversation with a pretty lady.  In the evenings my mother was one of many women who was working as a hostess. It was a way to thank the service men for their service and welcome them back into civilian society.  As my mother was making the rounds and chatting with everyone, she noticed someone that she recognized. She went over to the table with two young men in uniform, sat down, introduced herself and said to one of the young men “Are you Norm  . . .?” He replied in the negative but the three of them struck up a conversation. ‘Norm’ asked my mother out on a date and she agreed. After a few dates they parted amicably.

   

Short time after that my mother was walking in downtown Winnipeg and ran into the second man she had met at the table. They had a long conversation that day and then they started to date. Another week goes by and the young man is greeted on the street by his brother who asks why he has not been home to see his mother since he is now back from the war. He didn’t tell my mother that part.

Many years later even more of the story unfolded. My father was regaling his family about his bomber run on downtown Winnipeg. It was at that point my mother stated that she was one of the people in the window watching his plane go by!

They were married for 58 years and were true partners. They completed each other. My mother was a social butterfly and my father was a wanna be hermit. But his job as a salesman succeeded in large part to his partner. In those days clients were entertained in a salesman’s home. Deals were made on golf courses. It was a much more intimately social time.

When my parents married, my mother admitted that she didn’t know how to cook. My father simply handed her a cookbook and said if you can read, you can cook. He bolstered her confidence when she didn’t believe in herself and she provided the social outlet that my father found so difficult. I read once that a good relationship is 60/40.  Some days you would give 60% some days you would give 40% and a good partner would pick up the slack. That was my mom and dad. And those dinner parties my parents would throw for his clients? My mother’s cooking ended up being a highlight!

My father died 62 years after he met my mother. He always maintained that he was a better person with her. And she believed she was too. I grew up surrounded by love, laughter and common sense. My parents let me make my own mistakes and never judged. They were always nearby when I needed them and they gave the best hugs ever!

And one more interesting fact for those who believe in such things. My father was in the hospital for five days before he died. My mother was in bed for five days before she died, five years after my father did. I grew up in a family of five. Spooky? My parents would see the humour.

The image of the Lancaster is from istockphoto.com.

The Last Christmas Gift

Elsie looked around the room. There was carnage everywhere. A tornado passing through would have left less damage. Bodies were strewn throughout the mayhem. She chuckled. Just another Christmas morning with children.

One of the bodies stirred. A little fist came up from beneath the wrapping paper it had been curled up under. A pile of boxes sneezed. Another child was stirring. Elsie thought perhaps there were a few more to come. But she knew the fresh smell of coffee would probably wake all the adults up. Sure enough, the love of her life wandered into the room, his hands wrapped around a hot steamy mug. With no hesitation he handed it to Elsie and returned from whence he came to get another.

A few more adults showed up with coffee at hand and a tray of hot chocolate for the children. It was Christmas morning. It was after the frenzy of opening gifts. After breakfast. Everyone had been up so early for the main event that the naps became inevitable. The children slept curled around their newfound bounty while the adults found more comfortable settings. Elsie didn’t need a nap. She wanted to watch her charges. There is nothing more spiritual then the breath of sleeping children, safe and secure in their surroundings.

There was a different feeling in the room as everyone gathered once again. They all knew what was coming. Except for one. Malcolm was new to the group, to the family. He was still getting used to the Western dynamic. He had been born into soul crushing poverty in another country. His family had been killed in a local war that no one understood.  He was alone. But he had been found by people who cared and so began his journey to this moment.

“Malcolm,” send Elsie, “There is one more Christmas gift for the family. That includes you. But you don’t know the history so I’m going to tell you how this all started.”

Malcolm set up straighter, he was interested to know how things worked here and he was curious about his new family. So, he listened very carefully.

Elsie continued: “When my Great, Great, Great Grandfather came to this country he was very poor. But his parents believed they could find a better life, a better future in the New World. They risked everything. The first few years were hard but they were a hard-working family. That first Christmas looked like it was going to be pretty bleak. There was barely enough money for food let alone presents. But there was a wise patriarch and he refused to be sad. He said the goose had wandered across the street and died. His beloved wife said nothing as she picked the buck shot out of the breast of their Christmas goose.

They said grace and gave thanks for their bounty. The light was dim and the curtains were thin but they knew that others were worse off so they gave thanks. And that’s when my ancestor brought out the Last Christmas Gift.”

Elsie sat back in her chair and smiled.  She looked at the faces around her beaming with anticipation. She loved this part of Christmas.

“Ever since then we have honoured the tradition that was started so many years ago.”

As if by magic a small beautifully wrapped package appeared in her lap. There were many ooohs and aaaahs from her audience. And not just the children!

With studied patience Elsie peeled back the wrapping paper. And then with a flick of her wrist a small wooden carving appeared in the palm of her hand. It was a little drummer boy.

Elsie smiled. “Would anyone like to tell me what gift this is?”

Malcolm looked confused. He didn’t know the story of the Little Drummer Boy. And then something miraculous happened. A little tow-hair girl stood up and walked to Malcolm. She wrapped her little arms around him and said:

“His gift is to us all. He was a little drummer boy who had no presents to give the newborn King, Jesus Christ so he played his drum. He gave all he had in his heart and it was the most precious gift of all. That’s what we all need to do. And it will be precious.”

 

The end

 

 

 

 

Santa Claus is Dead?

 

This is one of my favourite Christmas stories that I have written and also one of my most popular posts.  I hope you enjoy it.

‘Santa Claus is dead.’

When Sebastian Phillips finished writing that phrase on his bulletin board, he turned around to see what the reaction had been on his students. He was not disappointed.    Because this was a first-year philosophy course he expected them to be a little green when it came to abstract ideas.  After all they were just kids.  Truth be told, Professor N. Sebastian Phillips wasn’t all that much older than his students.

When he looked around the room Sebastian saw surprise, humour and perhaps disbelief, it was also very quiet.  Here he was, a college professor talking about a white haired, fat man in a red suit as if he were real.  Well real and dead.

“When you signed up for this course, I am quite sure you were not expecting to talk about a symbol for a religious holiday that has come to mean the excesses of commercialism that are rampant in our society.”

Sebastian looked out at his students.  They seemed relieved; this was more like it.

“Santa Claus does exist.”

Now Sebastian heard a few giggles and was that a grunt?

“Professor, those two statements cannot both be correct. There either is a Santa Claus for isn’t there? I mean really! ”

Sebastian grinned, “Actually they can Adam. A thing can only be dead if it first existed. “

“Come on Professor there is no Santa Claus!  That is only a marketing gimmick to get parents to buy more for their kids. Commercialism at its best:  vulgar!” These words were spoken by a young woman with an earring in her nose and one in her belly button which flashed every time she turned around.

“Well Cindy, yes and no.”

At this point the room erupted in confusion. A great many of the students were arguing about the wisdom of using symbols, some about the evils of commercialism in general and the western world’s corruption of money in particular.  Sebastian noted which students seemed to think he was demented and which students were curious.  Curious minds are open minds.

Very quietly Professor Phillips spoke.  “Amanda did you believe in Santa Claus as a child?”

The room was suddenly quiet. Everyone turned and looked at Amanda, eager to learn her answer. The professor had chosen to ask the one person in the room who appeared normal.  She was conservatively dressed with no strange piercings throughout her body.  She also preferred to observe any heated discussions without actually joining in.

“Amanda . . .” her professor coached.

“Yes.” Was the quiet response.

“And how did you feel when you learned that the jolly man in a red suit was just a marketing ploy.”

The answer was a few minutes in coming and it was not the answer everyone was expecting.  “I still believe in Santa Claus and I do not believe he is dead professor.”

For the second time that morning there was complete silence in the room, a stunned silence.

And then there was pandemonium.  Only snippets of conversations could be heard.  “I always knew that woman was nuts!”  Geez I wish I had taken a mathematics course, that would of made sense.” “It is going to be a very long day.”  “Do you want to go to the pub afterwards I think I could use a drink?”  “I don’t know who is more insane: that Amanda chick or that Professor?”

Professor Phillips let the arguments roll about the room for several minutes. During this time Amanda just sat and looked at her hands as if she was too timid to become involved in a conversation she had helped to create.

“Okay everybody pipe down, you have had your little discussions and each one of them has some sort of validity.  Problem is you’re not listening.  Does Santa Claus exist?  Yes.  Does he exist as a fat, old man in a red suit?  Yes.  That guy in the red suit is on every corner in the Western world ringing a bell and selling products. Something can exist in more than one embodiment.  We see the jolly, old fella and we equate him with shopping at Christmas.  Do you know where the idea for Santa Claus came from?  Amanda might.  Because she alone seems to understand what Santa Claus represents, and who he is.  Let me tell you a little story.”

“In a coastal town called Patra, in what is now Turkey, in the year 260 AD a child was born.  His name was Nicholas.  His parents were taken from him when he was a child and yet he still grew up with a generosity of spirit and a love of children. He was a rich young man who tried to use his money to give other people happiness.  He did ‘good’ in secret. Eventually he became known as St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra and his generosity continued.”

“Over the centuries St. Nicholas has become beloved by many religions.  Our Western tradition of Santa Claus and Father Christmas originated with St. Nicholas.  His faith and his actions make remembering him more important even in our day and age. He is our Santa Claus and people need to remember him.  In essence it is his spirit of giving that is behind our traditions at Christmas.  The spirit of Santa Claus is alive and well.”

“A beautiful character is more powerful and more memorable to more people than any marketing ploy or religious dogma.  Santa Claus, even if he comes in the guise of a human being, is still the loving spirit of the good Nicholas. Santa Claus does exist and should continue to exist for as long as we remember what he stands for.”

There was total silence in the room.  Not a single student had a humorous quip, or disparaging remark to make.  In fact, when Sebastian looked around the room he saw only understanding and awe. Finally, these supposedly well-educated young adults had picked up on something that all children knew from a very young age: if you believe, it will endure.

“Class dismissed.”

Sebastian smiled to himself and started to gather up his books and notes. The class had gone well, better than he’d expected.  But the year was getting on and there are places he needed to be so he was going to have to tender his resignation and move on.  But at that point Sebastian realized that not every student had left the room. He looked up.

“Amanda, how can I help you?”

“Professor Phillips you haven’t been completely honest with us, have you?  I know that Santa Claus exists and not as the jolly, red suited man, but rather as St. Nicholas.  You see my family can trace its roots back to that same town in which St. Nicholas was born.  As a matter of fact, we’ve kept a very close watch throughout the years on the descendants of that family.  It has always been the responsibility of my family to ensure that yours is protected.  I’m surprised you didn’t know that.  What’s your first name Professor Phillips?”

“Yes, I thought perhaps you did know,” Sebastian’s grin was even more pronounced. You know I won’t be here next week.  I have a lot of preparing to do and Christmas is not far away. And yes, I am St. Nick. ”

 

The end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Snowball’s Chance

 

He was brought into being,

On a cold winter’s night.

Two warring young factions,

And a friendly snow fight.

 

He was cold and quite round,

With a definite flair.

His head full of snow,

Instead of with hair.

 

He flew through the sky,

With an abundance of glee.

Then splat it was over,

On the side of a tree.

 

He picked himself up,

And patted his head.

“No more of this!”,

I think that he said.

 

He played in the snow,

But away from the boys.

“Life is for living,

I’m not one of their toys!”

 

Seasons do change,

At least here in the north.

And soon it was warmer,

The flowers burst forth.

 

Everyone thought,

Their snow friends had gone.

Perhaps then next winter.

Once again they’d be spawn.

 

But our hero of note,

Had just made a plan.

He’d stay though the seasons,

And come forth as a man.

 

On a warm summer’s day,

When the freezer is humming.

Behind ice cubes and creams,

He might just be slumming.

 

So remember these words,

As you shiver with cold.

Our hero is near,

He’ll never grow old!

Cannoli

Now I have heard a tale,

Of some pretty mighty folk.

Who one day tried to band together,

Searching for a joke.

 

They searched the wilds far up north,

Then east and west they went.

Lakes and oceans, fields and hills,

But still they did lament.

 

Then someone had a simple thought,

A cult might just be right.

They could live pure and free,

Without some nasty fight.

 

There would of course be rules,

They’d really have to follow.

But some of them were cool,

And none were mean or hollow.

 

Food and drink would be the norm,

Laughter the song of choice.

Friendship for all together,

And all would have a voice.

 

What a perfect place to live,

Far away we all would be.

No hate or strife belongs with us,

I think you would agree.

 

Now I think I’ll rest my head,

And dream of big blue skies.

Perhaps I’ll eat cannoli,

If that cult would be my prize.

 

Covid Fatigue

 

 

I am tired of living,

In fear for my life.

I am tired of the anger,

The hatred, the strife.

 

My hands are rubbed raw,

But sterile of course.

My mask is in place,

And now I sound hoarse.

 

I measure the distance,

Between me and then you.

I watch very carefully,

The things that you do.

 

A vigilant eye,

Is required these days.

But sometimes I swear,

I’m in such a craze.

 

Yet I will continue,

To do as I must.

Because hope for the future,

That’s what I trust.

 

This angst we are living,

I call Covid Fatigue.

I know we can beat it,

With little intrigue

 

So, do as you’re told,

A little bit longer.

And I’m sure we will be,

So very much stronger.

 

The end is in sight,

A vaccine is quite near

There will be a day

When there’s no virus fear.

Walk With Pride

 

 

They can’t really see me

They don’t know that I’m here.

Then why all the fuss

The hysterical fear?

 

This Halloween craze

Is really bizarre.

People pretending

To be what we are.

 

They wear their costumes

And go out for a lark.

Then I and my kind

Can wander the park.

 

I know you’re pretending

But I’m certainly not.

And once in a while

It ok to get caught.

 

I hide from your view

The rest of the year.

But today I’m quite close

Inhaling your fear.

 

Over your shoulder

Just by your side,

Are others like me

The dead walk with pride.