Saturday, 28 December 2013

In Retrospect

The Final Reckoning

When that bell tolls for me up yonder
And my time on earth is gone
I hope I’ll leave with no regrets
About what I should have done.

I hope I’ll have accomplished
All things I set out to do
That I won’t have to pad my slate
And my account of life is true.

There won’t be unfinished business
Those regrets that burden souls
The “should’ve”s “would’ve”s “could’ve”s
Those missed unfinished goals.

I didn’t put off those travels
That gave my life its wings
I’ve lived life to the fullest
And enjoyed the simple things.

I didn’t forgo important dreams
Or put off till tomorrow
Those hopes for great adventure
Those thrills I did not borrow.

I tried to live within my time
Though I was always aiming higher
But I did achieve some fair success
To which I did aspire.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Christmases Remembered

Being of Ukrainian  ethnic origin, I have memories of many old European traditions that seem to be fading into oblivion here in our "affluent?" society of today.  (Or is it just our North American society?)  I don't know which.  What I do know that our old European heritage ways were rich and vibrant with cultural traditions  that were more than just Santa Claus and presents under the tree.

They were watching for that first star to appear in the heavens so we could start a supper that was served on a table over a bed of straw brought to the house by Dad that evening to represent a stable.  To further the "stable atmosphere", the meal contained no meat, no milk, and no egg products, in honour of the animals that shared their humble abode with the Christ Child who had been refused lodging in the "people's inn".

Not only did we have the special traditional Christmas dishes like the boiled wheat with poppy seed and honey representing sweet and plentiful harvests, and the tri-braided (for the Trinity) round circle of bread that had no beginning and no end, but it also held a burning candle in the middle to represent the light of God in our midst.  Every food served on Christmas eve had some meaning.

Carols were always part of the evening and the season. How well I remember the next day, when the carollers would come to the house. The distant jingle of sleigh bells would announce their impending arrival, as they came in an open sleigh with hoarfrost on their moustaches and on their eyebrows.  After they finished carolling, there was always much merriment as they helped themselves to the mounds of food that Mom put out for them and of course Dad would reward them with his treat which was the home-brewed whiskey that all major events always had to have.  I am certain that that whiskey was what helped to keep them warm --- and eagerly going --- in that 30 below weather.
Those Christmas traditions were truly meaningful and definitely memorable!

But regardless of how you celebrate, traditional or modern, have very Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Decorating A Christmas Tree

It Just Is Not "FUN" Anymore

Putting up a Christmas tree is just not fun any more.  It used to be such an exciting day when the children were small.  It was a big issue, a huge job and an extremely momentous event.  I can still feel the thrill of stomping through snow that reached well above our knees, as the five or us, my husband, our three kids and I, searched through the woodland for just the right tree to grace our living room for the holiday season.

When we brought it home, we would very carefully maneuver a heavenly smelling spruce - or, if we were really lucky to find - a fully-branched Scots Pine, (the ultimate prize) through the door that was always way, way too narrow an opening to get through, then drop down panting - often on the floor to rest after the struggle.  Always there were excited, smiling faces, eagerly waiting for us to get up and start setting it up.

Tree decorations were few and simple, a silver star for the top, some old garlands that were begging to be retired years ago, a few plastic and several handmade paper decorations to hang on the tree plus a few very colorful glass balls that were more precious than gold because they were so fragile. (I have wrecked my brain trying to remember where those glass balls came from,  but for the life of me I cannot remember.) They were just there from as far back as I could remember.  I recall buying a couple of strings of Christmas lights after we got hydro in,  so it was really such a special pleasure to see the Christmas tree all lit up. The smell in the house was always of a fresh pine forest.  That was always the added bonus.

Now I have many fancy decorations, lots of flickering colored lights  not just for my artificial tree but for the whole apartment, but the Christmas season lacks its most important ingredient --- the excitement in the eyes of eager children!

Anyway I know many homes are now decorating trees, and hallways, and stairs, etc etc. etc.  If you have kids to help you celebrate, enjoy that bonus!  They grow up and leave!  Me, I am going to spend Christmas with my GROWN-UP family.  Someday, - Hopefully - Great Grand kids! ( God willing, they will help me decorate a real tree!)    
Merry Christmas to all!  

Saturday, 14 December 2013

A Freebee

Free Pre-Christmas Giveaway

Is anyone out there looking for snow?  It is really pretty and white.  Good for skiing, tobogganing,  sledding,  snowshoeing and all manner of winter sports. We won't charge for it.  We'll give it away for free!

We usually kind of like it ourselves, but in more reasonable amounts and, as a rule, somewhat later on into the winter season. However at the rate we are going this year, we can spare much for just giving away to anyone in need. We are confident we'll acquire more for ourselves as the season progresses.

 So come on folks, any takers???? We have enough to spare! And just in time to provide you with a really MERRY WHITE CHRISTMAS!   Get your freebee before this offer expires.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Still Kicking

Still Kickin’

They advertise the merits
Of those creams and smart elixirs
That promise to make you younger
All those magic “old age fixers”.

But I’ve earned every wrinkle
Every crease on there is mine!
I’m past the point of lying
That I’m still “just thirty-nine”!

I proudly display “age spots”
Dark “liver spots” or blotches
All those blemishes that tattle
My complexion now has splotches.

My hair’s no longer dark now
It’s “bottle-blond” for a reason
You won’t detect the gray now
I’m in my “autumn” season. 

But I still keep on dreaming
Of triumphs that may occur
I can’t afford to slacken now
My brain I have to spur!
So don’t you write me off yet
I’m still within the class
I’m happy that I’m kickin’
On the green side of the grass!

Monday, 9 December 2013

A Past Remembered

A Life That Was Never Meant To Be
Sadly she gazes at a photo
In black and white, taken long ago
A baby girl, so sweet and precious
A life to cherish and watch her grow.

She sees a life of bliss, contentment
Her little family is growing fast
Her hopes, her dreams, her life evolving
Her fervent prayer comes true at last.

She pictures images of great successes
She smiles with pleasure and delight
At stumbling steps, and proms, and grad nights
Those wondrous “firsts” for her neophyte,

Her maternal heart dreams, envisions
Such timeless pleasures, with wistful thrill
A golden future of life’s great moments
A glorious prophesy yet to fulfill.

She sees a wedding, a bride so radiant
A white mirage floating down the aisle
An apparition of life enraptured
Her heart so full it lights her smile.

But fate was cruel and life was stolen
Those dreams she’ll never come to see
A poignant memory still full of sorrow
A perfect life not meant to be. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

A Lasting Legacy

A Lasting Legacy  -  Nelson Mandela

The world has lost one of its greatest icons!  I know many people, worldwide, are mourning his loss.  What he stood  for. and the lengths he went to, to stand by his beliefs, will forever be a tribute to his memory.

His philosophy of equality for all peoples is an inspiration to the world - not just this or that country. I just read one of his quotes the other day that said "A winner is a dreamer that never gave up".  That man certainly had a dream and he definitely did not give up on it.  May we all aspire to emulate Nelson Mandella!

Thursday, 5 December 2013


Humble Pie

Seems like my menu for this whole week is strictly Humble Pie  - all the way!

I had planned a lighthearted poem for this posting but  I have to forego that notion.  I just do not feel lighthearted at all tonite.  I feel far too humble to be able to spew trivialities from such a full and grateful heart as mine is at this moment.

I had a very interesting day today.  A friend asked me to accompany her for an Appreciation Luncheon at a Group Home where she works with  handicapped people. If seeing those unfortunate individuals did not debase me enough, seeing the sensitivity and compassion of those care workers certainly cut me to the core.  Their unfailing patience, their cheerful and positive attitude, their calm  understanding and love for their charges truly strummed my heartstrings.  How fortunate the world is to have such people in our midst to take on such benevolent work!

Let’s all just take a good look at our lives and count our many blessings - whatever they may be. Things could be so much worse!
(Sorry to go heavy on you folks again.  I’ll lighten the load next time, I promise.)

Monday, 2 December 2013



I  opened the TV the other day and the program happened to be W5. They were talking about  various disabilities that different people have to live with - physical, mental, emotional, or social ones like poverty, abuse, injustice, etc.  Some people just fold up with a disability. It becomes their master, totally crippling their life. What fascinated me however, were the ones who were able to do something positive with their lives in spite of their handicap, sometimes even capitalizing on their the very handicap that disabled them in the first place. That takes tremendous courage, determination and sometimes even anger or spite!

When the threat of eminent of danger confronts us, it can trigger that "inner warrior"  within us that makes all of us instinctively defend ourselves - sometimes utilizing mechanisms that we were unaware that we even possessed.  That survival instinct is probably stronger in some folks than in others, but perhaps some of us accept defeat too quickly. We have probably all seen the videos of the young fellow who was born with no arms and no legs who is so positive about his life that he now makes a living by giving motivational speeches at schools and social events.  You can see him on  

Now I know that is an extremely extreme case!!! However, determination  can take you a long way. I once wrote a poem called "Who said it was impossible?" Perhaps some of you may have read it, further back in this blog (also in my book "Roots- A Life in Review"and  in my upcoming poetry book "Images From a Pensive Mind").  One of the verses starts out with  "Who said it was impossible  to reach the rainbow's end?"

Life is all about --- Reaching.  If something is beyond our scope of capabilities, we try a different goal or perhaps a different route the the same goal or perhaps we modify the goal! The thing is Do not give up!  It is not our handicap that is our worst enemy, it is that defeatist attitude that disables us worse!!!

When my eye went back in '98, a doctor told me "We don't carry spare retinas!  Learn to live with it!  Other people do, you know".  While I would certainly not recommend that doctor to anyone, he did make me mad enough to fight my way back. Sometimes it takes "mad" to make you do something for yourself.