A Bowl of Jello

Thursday, February 22, 2018 Written by

Facetime and Skype have brought a whole new perspective to grandparenting. Even the term itself would not have been used a generation or so ago. When I was a child, we just went to see Baba and Gido, Nana and Papa, Gramps and Grandma. Those were the days when you jumped in the car (minus the seatbelts, car seats, etc.) and went for a Sunday drive for dinner and, if they lived further away, maybe you got to spend a few days visiting. The telephone was used sparingly if they lived far away as the long-distance phone charges were expensive, though they were the least expensive on Sundays...

Phase 5

Magnolia played a few more gigs but eventually dissolved. We moved out and went our separate ways. I often reflect on the good times with the band.

When I was age 23, I was transferred to Beaver Home Centre in Saskatoon. I packed my belongings, including my acoustic guitar, loaded up my 1976 Mustang Cobra 11 and headed to the big city. After living in a small town for years, Saskatoon felt like a big city. At Beaver Home Centre, I enjoyed working with a team of retail salespeople and became good friends with Lorne, Paul, Curby and Lonny. I enjoyed the work but had a longing to go back to school.

Until They Rest in Thee

Thursday, February 8, 2018 Written by

As I am getting older and with each passing day, I am more keenly aware that I have a soul to save too. Do you know how a priest saves his soul? By working to save yours. And, I don’t intend to lose mine because I am afraid to tell you what you need to hear, whether you want to hear it or not. I care what people think in terms of accepting the message because the message is God’s message. I care about that. But, I do not care if someone likes me or dislikes me in the process, or whether the message is convenient or inconvenient, in season or out of season, it makes no difference. The truth is the truth. A lot of people think that it is the consensus that determines the truth. But, Jesus Christ never intended to determine eternal truth by listening to the opinion of the mob.

As we journey in this world, we encounter countless distractions. Many of us experience restlessness, stress, anxieties, and the feeling of something lacking in us. What shall we do when we experience restlessness? Some people are led to vices. Others are led to addiction. Still others become stressed or depressed as they become overwhelmed by such thoughts...

Lead, Kindly Light

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 Written by

A wise man taught me a dangerous prayer: “Lord, whatever you ask me to do, I will do.”

That was a little over 20 years ago. I have prayed that prayer many times. It can be scary. It requires trust, an awful lot more than I usually want to give. It requires faith, more than I sometimes have. But it’s led me on quite a journey.

Celebrating Life

Thursday, January 25, 2018 Written by

This past Thursday, I was observing the thousands of people make their way through the Cathedral to venerate the visiting relic of St. Francis Xavier. It was a unique encounter for many, and more than a few were quite obviously moved by the experience. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, there was nothing exceptionally unusual about it for us (aside from the presence of a 500 year-old arm). Each year many unique and varied activities take place in our facility. As a result, I can generally be found in the church during many of these events since one of my roles on staff is to run the sound system. So over the past six years I have had a front row seat (well, technically back row) as all kinds of different functions and celebrations have been held at our Cathedral...

Another Year, Another Adventure

Thursday, January 18, 2018 Written by

Another year, gone. Good bye 2017 and hello 2018! Isn’t it incredible how quickly time flies? And every year, it seems to go just a little bit quicker.

This year for New Years, I went with my parents to visit some good friends of the family, who I affectionately call my “Australian parents”. We rang in the New Year with some wonderful food (including tourtière… yum!), a few games of Uno (which I dominated) and a Canadian trivia game (in which I came in last… sorry Canada… but how am I supposed to know a bunch of random sports trivia from the 1970’s… I mean, really), followed by a glass of champagne and the countdown...

Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice Always!

Friday, December 22, 2017 Written by

Ahhhhhh…the season of Advent. The season of waiting patiently in joyful hope. The season we hear the word ‘rejoice’ so many times. Way back in November I had grand plans for the Advent season. This year, I was going to immerse myself totally into the season and reap the spiritual harvest of a blessed and grace filled Advent season. It was going to be great. This was going to be the year that I was going to reap the Advent fruit of rejoicing. I even planned a few vacation days to have an Advent “retreat” time at the beginning of December. Then Advent arrived, and my plans for a quiet waiting for Christmas spiralled out of sight. Once again, David planned, God giggled, and the journey went a totally different direction. The intent of my retreat days were changed, the pace of things tripled…maybe even quadrupled, and I dove in…2018 budget, financial reports, staffing, programing, hampers, meetings, blogging, quotes, complaints and issues, yada yada yada, the list would go on and on. It is a very busy hectic time of year. I would get home in the late evening to have a bite to eat and catch a few minutes of TV while I ate. I caught tidbits of all the usual December movies. A couple of highlights: watching the movie “Elf,” I related to the Christmas Spirit gauge on Santa’s sleigh registering at zero…exactly where my Christmas spirit was. I caught a few minutes of “Disney’s A Christmas Carol”, and seeing Mr. Scrooge at his desk tracking his accounts and counting his coins made me see myself sitting at my desk working on the 2018 Cathedral budget…bah humbug! ...

The Ghost of Christmas Presents Past

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Written by

‘Tis the season for the ghost of Christmas presents past to come and visit me once again. It started a couple of weeks ago while I was attending an orientation for volunteers for the Festival of Trees. We were playing games and the coordinator inquired about our favourite Christmas present. In a flash, my mind raced back to 1965. While watching the Friendly Giant, a Hasbro toy commercial came on. Who cared that it was 20 below outside and the winds were howling with the snow swirling across our front lawn, my nose was now about six inches away from our black and white RCA counsel television and the only thing I could imagine was the colour of the snow cone maker machine. It had to be at least two feet tall, cause it covered the whole screen. I imagined a bright red hat complete with syrup squirters. It had to be cherry flavour or maybe it came with grape – who cared! I could imagine my delight in making those snow cones and devouring them one by one...

And now the long-awaited continuation…

 

Phase Three

As I said last time, I was raised listening to Rock and Roll. My big brother was a record collector and had 45 records and 33 albums with a mono speaker record player.

When I was 14 years old, my cousin Doug began to play electric guitar and formed a rock and roll band. He encouraged me to buy an electric guitar. Without hesitation, I began saving my money for this musical purchase. Living on a farm 40 km. out of town, Mom bought many things from the Sears catalogue. That is where I bought my first musical instrument. It was a combo Silvertone electric guitar and amp for one hundred dollars. Back in 1968, that was a big purchase for me. The first song I learned to play and sing was “Massachusetts” by the Bee Gees.

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