Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on December 13, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with one comment


No explanation required


“You’ve got to try a little kindness,

Yes, show a little kindness,

Just shine your light for everyone to see.”

Try a Little Kindness – Glen Campbell


We’re living in troubled times.

The war in Ukraine.

The war in the Middle East.

Democracy under threat.

Rancor in politics everywhere especially south of the border.

Skyrocketing food prices.

Unaffordable housing.

Covid overstaying its welcome.

Natural disasters galore.

It’s easy to be discouraged.

Many people feel helpless. In times like these, ordinary folks do what they can. Some donate money for disaster relief. Some take to the streets to protest war and violence. Some pray. A lot of people simply tune all of this out because it’s too hard on the head.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, might I suggest something that we can all do which doesn’t require a lot of time, money or emotional energy?

In the words of Glen Campbell, “Try a little kindness”.

I attended the funeral of a good friend on Friday. Over the years, we played a lot of golf together. He was a sports enthusiast in his youth playing ball, golf and skating on outdoor ponds. He added handball to his resume later in life. He never coveted greatness at any of these sports to my knowledge but let’s face it, very few people reach levels beyond respectability in sports or any other endeavor for that matter. Above all else, he was a good sport.

However, my friend was a great husband, father and grandfather and a role model for me and many others. He was the definition of a gentleman and one of his most endearing traits was kindness. I never heard him utter an unkind word in all the years I knew him. He was smart and even keeled and yes, from time to time, he enjoyed a rum and coke.

Athletes, movie stars and business moguls are overrated. Kindness is underrated.

As we head into the Christmas season, let’s all pause a moment and undertake to do one random act of kindness. It doesn’t have to be anything grand like buying someone’s coffee at the drive thru at Tim’s. A smile is always a good choice. Bring back chivalry and open a door for someone. Utter a kind word to someone who may be struggling. Visit someone in a nursing home or hospital. Let somebody go ahead of you in a lineup.

Unremarkable acts of kindness.

Be like Barry.

Be kind.

“And the kindness that you show every day,

Will help someone, along their way.”

Have a great weekend.

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Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on December 6, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with no comments yet

Ready for Christmas!


“Rockin’ around the Christmas tree,

At the Christmas party hop.”

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree- Brenda Lee


It’s just up the road and around the bend. In less than three weeks, the jolly old man himself will make an appearance, filling hearts with joy while, at the same time, emptying our bank accounts.

“Oh, dear god, Len. Don’t go full curmudgeon on us.”

Take heart, dear readers. Au contraire. I might be suffering some early signs of the Christmas spirit.

Let me first dispense with two things that make me want to go “full Scrooge”.

Number 1. “Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?” I would put that right up there with, “Have you had Covid yet?” Why are we, as a society, forced to drag out these banal queries every year? Truthfully, nobody but your banker or credit card company is really interested in the answer to this question. “What’s in your wallet” is the tag line for a credit card company. If it’s January, the response is, “Nothing”.

Number 2. “I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need.” When this song by Maraih Carey was first released in 1994, it was new, fresh and catchy.  Twenty-nine years later, it is old, stale and aggravating. Why must we be bludgeoned on a daily basis with this song? We got the gist of this piece almost four decades ago. Why not try something relatively new (circa 2003) and daring like Ron Sexsmith’s “Maybe This Christmas”?

“Ok, Scrooge. You can go back to bed.”

I am having an existential crisis.

When should I put up my tree?

I know a lot of people respectfully wait until after Remembrance Day to put up their tree. The smell of balsam fir is addictive. I don’t think I have it in me any more to sustain the Christmas spirit for two whole months.

My days of having a real Christmas tree have passed. I acquired a small, two foot high, porcelain tree several years ago and I typically wait until a few days before Christmas to take it out of the box and put it on my dining table. Last year, I was exceptionally late getting this done. My tree was trimmed and plugged in on Christmas Day evening. No, it wasn’t a lapse in memory, (which, too is lurking around the bend), but rather, major travel snags. It took me five days to get home from Northern Quebec. That was a Christmas I won’t soon forget.

Storm stayed in Montreal on Christmas Eve, I was taken in like a stray cur by friends’ parents and was forced to eat truffles and drink expensive red wine!

If all had gone well, I would have been home on the 21st, hustling around to get my last-minute shopping done. NOT. The majority of my Christmas gift giving is done by e-transfer (!) and I like to donate money to charities. The few times in my life when I actually bought presents and wrapped them, the results were less than satisfying. Somebody who had undergone shoulder surgery and had their arm in a sling would have done a better job wrapping my gifts.

This is the first December since 2019 that I am home in December and there is absolutely no excuse for me not to get my tree up early. It’s only 15 feet away from where I’m standing, and it takes all of 5 minutes to assemble. A few days ago, while walking to the mall, I noticed that Edward Chisholm’s Christmas tree lot on the mall parking lot, was going gangbusters. An old synapse in my brain fired and I thought, momentarily, that maybe this year, I would buy a real Christmas tree. Common sense overtook me when I realized that other than the bathtub, there isn’t much room in my apartment for a full-sized tree. And now that I am carless, (I can be careless too) the thought of dragging home a tree down Church Street is embarrassing.

Not only did I put up my Christmas tree early but, in a radical departure from tradition, it now sits on an old wooden stool, which is an interesting story in its own right.

I caught a small snippet of the Christmas spirit last week when my daughter Betsy, and I, performed at the tree lighting ceremony at St.F.X. University. There were quite a few children present and we had them come up and sing a few carols with us.

At my age, receiving gifts is not all that important unless it’s the gift of good health.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. With apologies to Mariah and her fans. Brenda Lee released Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree 65 years ago!

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Tri Mac Toyota!

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