Gifts money can’t buy

It took my dad far too long to set up his B&H movie camera and light rack, before allowing us near the Christmas tree.

It was a time before cell-phone selfies and video. Heck, it was even before video. Each Dec. 15 morning, our parents wouldn’t allow us into the living room where the tree sat until the time was right. My sister and I had to wait until Dad wound up his Bell & Howell movie camera, and turned on the powerful electrical lights so that the camera would register an image on his 8-millimetre motion picture film.

“OK, I’m rolling,” he would say finally. “You can come in now!”

Whereupon, my sister Kate and I, blinded by the movie lights and unable to see a thing until our eyes adjusted to the bright lights, would stumble into the living room.

Food for thought and comfort


Last Friday, when the tributes, reminiscences and spiritual acknowledgements at our neighbour Ronnie Egan’s funeral came to an end, many of us retired to the basement hall of the church for conversation and, well, refreshments. There was lots of coffee and tea and something to tide everybody over. The banquet tables were laid out with veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, fruits and sweets and, of course, sandwiches.

“What else?” I heard someone say. “Ronnie wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, but to have egg-salad sandwiches.”