Toilet Training

Long ago at our summer cottage, my father posted a sign in the bathroom. It read “this toilet is out to get you” followed by a list of instructions on how and what to flush. Toilet design is better now – and yet in our IOKDS houses we do have some older style toilets that…

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The Blanket Exercise

2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday and different forms of celebration are happening in many communities. The biggest party will be on July 1 (Canada Day). But I wonder if every Canadian sees reason to celebrate? Recently at our Ontario Branch Convention, we participated in a blanket exercise. You see, as a Branch, we have been…

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The Ask

What stops you from asking? Are you comfortable asking for funds, asking for help, asking a friend to join, or asking your Circle to try a new way or a new project, for example? I do better with some forms of asking. I can and do write proposals for grants, I can suggest a new…

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Training Day

This week at the gym, Taylor, our personal trainer, did what he does best. He had John and me push to a new level of activity. We work up to these new levels bit by bit. But when we start something just that much harder, it challenges not only my strength, agility, and endurance but…

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Only One Will I Serve

On April 7, Stephanie and I spent the day at Highclere Castle, more popularly known as Downton Abby. While lined up outside waiting to get in, we noticed that above every ground floor window was the family motto carved in stone. Repeated at least a dozen times across the front of this magnificent house was…

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You Can

Not far from Basingstoke in England, there is a very old, tiny church where Jane Austen’s father once preached. It’s a simple unadorned building with a “porch” area that we would call the church vestibule. Curious markings are faintly visible in the stone work. Scratches in the shape of crosses, symbols of the trinity and…

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Developing Friendships

Many years ago when I was the Director, Chautauqua Scholarship Department, Kevin Sixbey was a summer employee of the Chautauqua Department of Religion. He and his colleagues organized programs and events for all college aged students on the grounds. Fast-forward 10 years…I ‘m at Chautauqua sailing downhill on my bike when a friendly voice hails…

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Stuff

Recently, I learned that according to the LA Times, the average home in North America has 300,000 items. About 10% of us rent extra off-site storage. Regularly my favourite Bible study teacher would ask, “do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you?” So, when my church issued a re-purposing challenge I decided…

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Grief

It’s the hard part of life’s journey and one that none of us can avoid. Last Sunday Susan Summerbell died after a long, long battle with an unusual form of cancer. She is among the many KDS members whom I miss. I think of those who welcomed me into the Adanac Circle more than 25…

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Gentleness

Regularly John and I go for an urban hike, walking about 5 kilometres. It’s a must that we stop at our local coffee shop. One of the regulars is a large man who, from all appearances, has not had an easy life. “His” table is the one nearest the bathrooms – not a place that…

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Kindness

Ever since my hair turned white, young people hold the door open for me. In the old days of my feminist leanings, I would have felt somewhat put out by that. Now I just appreciate it for what it is – a small act of kindness. Those small acts – a gesture, a word of…

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