Accessorizing Milk

I was a big drinker of milk well into my adult years. When I took a youth-hostelling trip to New Zealand in 1983, I loved getting my milk in the solid glass jars they had there. I said so once to an Auckland girl who was showing me around. “Why? How does milk come in... Continue Reading →

Quest for Communication Part II: We Heard Already!

  A Greek messenger runs through a Greek countryside with an important message. After a grueling twenty-six miles he finds the Athenian leaders and delivers his report: victory at Marathon! The Chief Athenian glances at his fax machine and says to the runner, “We heard already!” This was a 1970s commercial on TV when I... Continue Reading →


In 1972, my Dad and his sister Anne went to Ireland to visit their cousin Basil. They stayed on Basil’s family property near the town of Clones, in the far north of Ireland, anxiously close to the border of troubled Northern Ireland. Basil suspected that his farm foreman belonged to the IRA. One evening, Dad... Continue Reading →

Vignette: Demographics 101

  My family attended St. Barnabas, St. Lambert’s Anglican Church. Sometime in the late 60s, my two sisters and I decided to join the junior choir. This choir, made up of children and teenagers, sang the full Book of Common Prayer liturgy, led the congregation authoritatively in all the hymns, and performed a weekly anthem... Continue Reading →

Book Review: What Defines Us

On February 15, 1965, the new Canadian flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. Of more immediate relevancy to my family, it was also raised – later in the year – over the Sarnia city hall. That’s where we lived. On that summer day, Mom and Dad and their four little children,... Continue Reading →

Ruth’s Christmas Story

My Mother-in-law, Ruth Rath, wrote this article for her church newsletter 14 years ago. I've always liked this interesting peek into the kind of Christmas her Welland-based family enjoyed.   When I was growing up in the '30s and '40s, our Christmas routine never seemed to change. Amid great excitement on Christmas Eve we each searched... Continue Reading →

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