Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thinking Out Loud At Christmas

                                  All photos taken at family get-together last weekend.

You know when you have had those 'special moments' in your life that stand out from all the rest?


Well, whenever I hear O Holy Night I am immediately taken back to one of those moments at a school Christmas concert. I was in grade six and the year was 1960.

                                                               My father arriving.

I went to the' boy's ' school in St.Joseph's Parish in the north end of Halifax. It was strictly a 'working class' area in the city. I have always considered this my home. 

                                            Our niece Jami and her 'bump'! Due in March.

My family lived here from the time I was seven up to when I was 17 years old. Oh, in case you are wondering, the 'girls' school was across the street from the 'boy's' school. Another story....

                                                     Sister Jo-Ann and brother Freddie.

Back to the concert.....we had been rehearsing for months. And considering the mix of characters in my class, I can understand why we needed the rehearsal time.

                                               Nephew Matt and partner Erika.

You see, the north end had a reputation of being the 'rough' area of town. And this stigma still exists today. So it would stand to reason that a few of the students in my class were pretty rough!

                                                                    Nephew Jacob

I always realized that some kids had it more difficult than my family.....and my family was not well-off by any means.

                                   Sister Mim, her partner Michael and Sister-in-law Jackie

I am trying to set a scene for you here. My teacher, Miss Burke ( the BEST teacher I ever had), thought it would be a good thing to have one of the roughest kids in the class to have the main solo in our class' presentation.

                                 This guy keeps following me everywhere......Ron, my husband.

Looking back, I can remember thinking: 'Is she crazy?!' This kid, his name was George, couldn't sit still for one minute and had a mouth on him that would have made a sailor's head turn around!

                                                             Sister Paula and Jacob

Nonetheless, Miss Burke was relentless in getting George into shape for the concert. We, the class, didn't hear him practice very much because he didn't want to show this side of was bad for his 'reputation'!

                                                  Our own 'whirling dervish'! Julia

 So the night of the concert arrives. The school gym was packed. I could see my Mom and Dad and sister in the audience.

Being an elementary school that went to grade seven, we were one of the last to perform. Finally, it was a long wait, our class was up.

                                             Brother-in-law Milan and brother Dennis

We took our places and the curtains opened. And we began our couple of Christmas songs. I forget the first one. The second one was O Holy Night, the one in which George had the solo.

                                                           Colin and niece Brynn

And as I mentioned we did not get to hear him rehearse his solo part. Well, I will never forget the reaction from everybody in that gymnasium. There was a hush that went through the gym!

        Part of the Laurie lower left and niece Jacqui, lower right (hostess this year)

The sweetest sound came out of George and I could not believe it was the same kid. It made Miss Burke cry. He sang it beautifully and got a good round of applause at the end.

                                                   Sister Mim and her daughter Brynn

I looked at George and the other 'Georges' in the class a lot differently after that Christmas concert. It was a real 'life education' for me.

So whenever I hear this Christmas carol I am forever thankful to George and the lesson he taught me so many years ago.

                                                                      Mim and me

The version below of O Holy Night was on a fellow blogger's post this week. As soon as I heard it  I thought of George.

I will be taking a little blogging break over Christmas. I want to thank you all for taking the time when you do to read my still surprises me to get a comment! And I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and here's to a Happy New Year!!! See you next year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Laughing Out Loud

This, in my humble opinion, was one of the funniest 'sitcoms' on TV. I believe it ran for 13 years and this episode is a 'warning' to all of us to not overeat this holiday season! lol

I know it is a busy week and this is a long clip but may I suggest, if you are interested, to split it up in to 3----5 minute segments. Enjoy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Contemplative Monday

Being so close to Christmas I thought this to be appropriate and a way to remain focused on what is really important in life.

"What can we do about the high level of materialism in our culture?"

"You can set up an environment where people live simply and happily, and invite others to come and observe.

"That is the only thing that will convince them to abandon their materialistic idea of happiness.

"They think that only when you have a lot to consume can you be happy, but many are very rich without being happy at all.

"And there are those who consume much less, but who are happier."

Question asked by Andrea Miller in her interview with Thich Nhat Hanh in the Shambhala Sun January 2012 edition.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Selection

This video clip blows me away! How talented are these two!

Enjoy and have a great Sunday all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Retro Saturday,Christmas Past

Christmas is all about the kids.......some things never change!

Have a great week.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday's Frequent Flier

                This is Marcus, the Basset Hound. We have seen him a few times at the Park.

          This week I saw him walking quite far behind his human with not a care in the world.

                      Sophie of course gave him the obligatory sniff. He didn't care to notice.

                     Meanwhile I was down to ground level trying to 'record' this character.

                He gave me this look as if to say 'why do you bother?' and proceeded along.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thinking Out Loud

Not too much to think out loud about today.

It is Wednesday evening . I am very tired. 

Just spent the day 'sitting' with Dad. He wasn't feeling well at all. 

By 4 P.M. he was getting back to himself somewhat. My sister arrived to spent the evening with him.

Its not that it is difficult spending time with my father, it just uses a different kind of energy.....more emotional energy.

It is my hope that if we all live to be 95 years old that there will be someone to sit with us when we need them to. For that matter, at any age I can imagine it to be a great relief to know someone is there with you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Media.....Reflecting Society?

I got this article, written and presented by Dan Rather, the noted American journalist, from Jim at 'Digital Existence Daily Life'.

Click below to read article:

Another reason to maybe reconsider taking a look at what the whole 'occupy' movement has been telling us.

And they HAVE been telling us a lot.

They have not been confused about their concerns about our society.

Their message just may have been 'buried' and they continue to be labeled by the media to be a bunch of confused and disorganized individuals. 

It's no wonder that their message hasn't been clear.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Laughing Out Loud

Since 'customer service' appears to have become a universal problem, I thought this Seinfeld episode was particularly appropriate and demonstrates how we could all react the next time we are confronted this somewhat disturbing trend in our culture.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Contemplative Monday

"Rather than going after our walls and barriers with a sledgehammer, we pay attention to them.

"With gentleness and honesty, we move closer to those walls.

"We touch them and smell them and get to know them well.

"We begin a process of acknowledging our aversions and our cravings.

"We become familiar with the strategies and beliefs we use to build the walls:

"What are the stories I tell myself?

"What repels me and what attracts me?

"We start to get curious about what's going on."

The above taken from: Heart Advice----Weekly quotes from Pema Chodron.

    Full moon in November 2011

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