Other Words

Sometimes you hear words first-hand that stick with you and sometimes you have words given to you by others.  This is the case with words spoken by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, a leading voice in change management and gender and business studies.  Her words were heard by member, Dianne Foglesong, which she shared with me by email. …

No Closed Doors

An open door policy is a wonderful thing, except when you would really like an actual door to close and remain so. We have 3 doors in the museum in Benedict House that offer a true challenge. One door will not close nor open – because there is only a hole where the handle should…

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…

First World Problems

How to stop the bunnies from eating the lettuce in the garden before I do. How to sleep through thunderstorms. How to weed the garden and spread mulch without straining my back. How to decide what to have for lunch when the fridge is full. How to fit in a trip to the gym. How…

The Buzz

Being on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution in spring is akin to being inside a gentle giant that is waking up after a long winter‘s slumber.   As the air warms up, the giant starts to stretch and becomes active.  Legions of tradespeople start working on landscaping, house building, house repairs, road work and of…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…