Here’s a little story, about a guy who took a terrible tumble only days before Christmas, 2015.
His family hurried to his bedside and found their son/brother/uncle was zombie-like, not making sense when he communicated back at all. He wasn’t the guy they knew.
But even while waiting in hospital wards and in hospital waiting rooms with television on in the background for a bit of distraction, his loved ones wondered if he’d make it home for Christmas, while he recuperated and slowly began to wake up.
Check out this holiday themed tune that my brother and I released yesterday and a Happy Holiday Season to you all:
I took a piece of music, already created, and I wrote lyrics to it. Then, nothing happened with the song for a whole year, until we got on the project for a rather unconventional and gloomy Christmas, 2022 and it feels fitting somehow.
We’re calling our particular creative project Ski Patrol. Again and again this may come up, but no…we are not writing music about skiing. I’d like to try it once, but haven’t yet.
We are siblings who write and create and play music and our last name ends with ski.
My sibling creates for other projects and has for years. I am finally able to get my writing set to song, his songs. Again, like with podcasting, we make a good team.
vocalist: Imogen Wasse
Percussionist: Alex Rolston
Song idea, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, synth, and producer: Brian Kijewski
And lyrics by me! Kerry Kijewski
If you want to support a group of musicians, give Riker
a listen and help support some related artists who make quality music.
December 21st was the winter solstice and I love this time of year, but January looks like it’s going to be a long, difficult and gloomy month, until we can get ahead of this pandemic. So why not put on a little music to help get through to February and beyond.
: You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch / You’re a nasty, wasty skunk / Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk / Mr. Gri-inch / The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote: Stink, stank, stunk!
Two holiday favourites I like to watch this time of year are The Grinch and A Christmas Carol. I wonder at if the real life Grinches and Scrooge’s of this world could grow a heart and see the error of their ways, but sadly, I doubt it by this point.
Also, as I was sitting in the gymnasium from my youth, watching a new generation of children singing about Santa and snowflakes and all the other traditions of this time of year, I felt the ghosts of my own childhood, all the years I spent in elementary school. I also listened to songs about snowflakes and I thought about that.
I get on my own case for letting it bother me at all that the idea of a snowflake has been hijacked by those who have started referring to “liberals” as “special snowflakes” and saying all the “special snowflakes” need to go and hide out in their “safe places”.
So just what exactly is so wrong with that, anyway? Huh? Hmm?
I want a break from worries. As much as I love the advice I’m often given, to try not to focus on those things that upset me, I refuse to let something as beautiful as a snowflake be a negative thing. Or, as if a safe place is somehow a bad place to be.
Oh, no no no. I…Don’t…Think…SO!
So, here I am, starting this pre-Christmas TToT with a rant or two, but I wish I didn’t have it on my mind to rant about anything at all. I do plan to give myself the gift of a break from all that once Christmas does come.
(this is a real single snowflake showing all of the tiny details)
I’m thankful for snowflakes.
Snowflakes are special, this is true. They are nature at its finest. They are the most delicate things and I am lucky to have grown up with them, here in Canada. I recently had a fascinating conversation with someone who didn’t grow up with the kind of snow we have here. He spoke of his thoughts about it now. I enjoyed hearing his perspective, so different from mine.
They are all different, snowflakes, and that makes them special, not one being the same as another. They may be delicate on their own, but as more and more of them fall, eventually they become a collection of flakes, which makes snow and the results of enough snowflakes, all packed together, this can become the most unstoppable of forces: an avalanche.
I’m thankful for safe places.
Wait until war ravages where you call home and then see if you look for a safe place to run to.
In a world so full of harsh weather and cruel human behaviours, and a safe place is something we all would cling desperately to.
I thank everything I have for home, which is my safe place/space, where family are and where I know I am loved by someone. I desire greatly to explore the world, but I’m sure thankful I have the safe place right here to return to. If that makes me winy or pathetic to some, so be it.
I’m thankful for solstice. Man, do I love that word.
December 21st is the first day of winter. I am ready for it.
I think there is something beautiful about winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. People are thrilled this means the days, from here on out, begin to lengthen and commence in June. That will be another big month in my life, but for now, I enjoy what transpires in this part of the world and astronauts have seen it and word it best:
Generations of astronauts, after looking at Earth from space, have professed a profound new understanding of it. Edgar Mitchell, who, in 1971, became the sixth man to walk on the moon, said, “From out there . . . international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’ ” Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong’s crewmate on Apollo 11, expressed similar sentiments in his memoir, “Carrying the Fire,” which was published in the midst of the Cold War. Seeing our home planet from afar, he wrote, prompted an epiphany: “The earth
Must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or Communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied.”
Mike Massimino, in his memoir, “Spaceman,” reports having spent almost a full day staring out a window of the Space Shuttle Columbia, watching sunrises and lightning storms (“like a form of communication, like a sequence, like the clouds are alien creatures speaking to each other in code”). On his second spacewalk, Massimino told me recently, he had a spare moment to “take in the view.” He recalls being struck not only by Earth’s incredible beauty—“We are living in a paradise”—but also by its fragility. From out there, he said, especially during night passes, “you can see the thinness of the atmosphere,” a bluish-green line. This sudden perception of Earth as a delicate, intricate system is so common among astronauts that the writer Frank White coined a term for it: the overview effect.
Astronauts are endlessly fascinating to me, in part because they have a knack for poignant quotations. Buzz Aldrin, for instance, described the lunar landscape as a vision of “magnificent desolation,” a grand phrase for a bleak truth. Unlike our paradisiacal, blue-and-white Earth, the moon has no atmosphere and no real sky—just gray dust and black space, such that color photographs from moonwalks appear mostly black and white, as though someone colorized the American flags after the fact.
NASA brought six flags to the moon, on poles outfitted with horizontal crossbars so that the stars and stripes would show, as though caught in a nonexistent breeze. The flags are still there, but radiation is presumed to have left them in tatters—monuments to our love of Earth, or maybe just litter.
I’m thankful for the chance to return to my childhood for an afternoon.
It was a tad emotional, I admit, but it brought back a lot of worthwhile memories that had me thinking.
I have so much wrapped up in that building, both good and bad. I found it highly moving to return there. It gave me a lot to think about.
Speaking of ghosts at Christmas time, they were everywhere there.
I’m thankful I got to see my nephew’s Christmas concert.
Oh, aw, ah all those little boys and girls, trying so hard and singing their hearts out. They tried their best, especially the youngest ones like my nephew, to remember the words they practiced and my nephew, for one, was nervous when he walked on stage and saw how many of us there were in the audience.
I couldn’t pick out my nephew up there, as I am unable to see anywhere that clearly upon returning to that school as an adult with considerably less sight, but I am still glad I went, even if he couldn’t see me either.
I’m thankful for safeguards and protection for natural places.
President Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau working together once more, for one of the final acts together, to preserve parts of the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
They are protected against off shore oil drilling in those places. I don’t know how foolproof it will be, if what they’ve done will stand the test of time and Trump, but we shall see.
I am glad the two men are working together, once more, at something worthwhile. Sure, it may not be protecting everything that needs protecting, but it is something.
I’m thankful for a return to my library writing group.
I had missed a few, but I am glad I returned for this final meeting of “The Elsewhere Region” of 2016.
There were cookies and chocolate with mint and chocolate and raspberry tea. I don’t normally drink tea like the rest of them like to do, always afraid I might spill mine all over my electronics, but this time the tea sounded just too good to pass up. I took precautions, but the tea was delicious. Just the perfect thing for the occasion.
I wrote a story, dialogue and a conversation between two young women. The mystery object one member brought in was a strange family Christmas decoration. It was a frog wearing a fancy outfit and hat and his tag said something about him being named Mistle Toad.
Okay, so I guess he was a toad, not a frog, but it made for some interesting ideas for a writing prompt. We discussed and most wrote about the popular idea of kissing a frog and making it turn into a handsome prince.
My story confused some, but it really illustrates how, like snowflakes, all our writing styles are so diverse and so very much our own.
My imagination is a lot different from many of the other writers in the group. This always makes for a fun time.
I’m thankful for understanding doctors and nurses.
I have a doctor who hasn’t given up on me, even though I am a bit of a difficult case, and who promises I can call and come see her if anything comes up, even if it’s before our next scheduled appointment. That’s the sort of empathy and understanding I have always hoped for.
Also, I have a nurse offering to give me an iPhone case she no longer needs.
I’m thankful for my flu shot.
I know many people think it totally unnecessary. Some have gotten sick soon after getting one in the past and feel it can cause more problems than it helps prevent. I must say that I do take my low immune system seriously enough. If I can ever prevent getting a bad flu one of these times, I will get the shot.
My arm hasn’t even really bothered me this year, since getting it, and after the initial stinging and burning of the injection itself.
For those who are in perfect health, who are young and strong, there’s likely no huge need for it. Either way. I don’t get too worked up. It’s easy enough to get and so I do.
I’m thankful for a surprise Christmas card.
Thank you Lizzi
for the surprise. I also enjoyed the tactile parts on the front of the card and the surprises to be found inside.
I admit I don’t do up Christmas cards myself. I find it hard, all so visual and I guess I’ve lost a little of my artistic streak, which I could draw on to make cards still for people.
As for Christmas cards, having them sent to me, not many are. I suppose many people think I won’t be able to see them anyway, so what’s the point? I don’t know. I may feel somewhat left out, but there are other ways of expressing holiday cheer. It’s just nice, once and a while.
: He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!
: Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.
Today the north pole will see no light and the south pole no night. I guess, as a child, this is how I could imagine Santa’s home. He would take off in total darkness, his red suit and the gleam of the white snow under foot.
Maybe some day I will get to witness, in person, the feeling of Solstice in either the north or south pole. I know that many people have trouble with the amount of darkness around this time of year, adding to feelings of depression, but it’s important to note that without night there can be no day, eventually.
I guess we here in the northern hemisphere cling to the fact that from here on out the days will slowly be growing longer, a thought necessary to get us through the coming winter days.
This planet of ours is endlessly mystifying and wondrous to me.
Last spring it was the author of another one of my childhood-defining books, Spot, who died.
Now another dog to live on through the magic of children’s literature.
One of my favourite books to be found in the school library or the one in my town was Clifford The Big Red Dog. I loved him for the two most obvious and simplistic reasons: he was big and he was red, but wasn’t that what they were going for with the name?
I loved his huge red presence on the page. He went on adventures with his friend, Emily Elizabeth, the female version of Winnie the Pooh and his pal Christopher Robin.
Bridwell was rejected multiple times before Clifford would go on to entertain and educate children, like myself, for fifty years.
I hope the character of Clifford will go on to draw young children into his bright red world for years to come.