100 years of Psalm 100
Editorial | Family Life | Opinion

100 years of Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,……..bring sunshine into every room, pass out smiles like peppermints. What tricks you must have played, having an identical twin sister, so alike that even your father had to tickle you both and watch for Paula’s dimple to say, “Oh, that one’s Ali!” Worship the Lord with…

Happy New Year?
Disability | Family Life | Opinion

Happy New Year?

In 1999, Ralph and I were living in Minneapolis, and there was hype over the impending switch from 1999 to 2000. Given that computers were programmed for just two digits (keeping 19 as the understood first two digits), experts feared the systems that ran everything, including banking, power plants and library fines, would not be…

A uniquely illustrated Christmas tale
Family Life | Holidays | Reviews

A uniquely illustrated Christmas tale

Young Jo, her infant brother, and ill, single mother are cast out into the elements on Christmas Eve. Though Jo plans to leave town on a bus with her family, the fierce, unruly winter wind pushes them in the direction of Franklin Murdoch’s barn and house. Jo is afraid of the man, known in the community as mean and crusty; the death of his wife and baby on a Christmas Eve long ago had apparently turned him into a nasty person.

An uneasy Christmas
Family Life | Holidays | Opinion

An uneasy Christmas

“Let’s pack this Christmas issue, our last of the year, with uplifting content” (Angela Reitsma Bick, CC Editor, in her pre-Christmas email to columnists). I have always had an uneasy relationship with Christmas. Perhaps that stems from my childhood upbringing in a conservative Dutch Canadian Reformed family. We went out of our way to distance…

Slowing Down
Family Life | Features | Holidays

Slowing Down

For 20 years, I hated Christmas. Or perhaps hate is too strong a word. It’s more accurate to say that Christmas was exhausting, and always I dreaded its arrival. As a pastor with four children I worked hard to have gifts bought and wrapped by the first Sunday in Advent because the month of December…

The waiting year
Family Life | Holidays | Opinion

The waiting year

“Heap on more wood! The wind is chill;But let it whistle as it will,We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.”Sir Walter Scott When I was little, my mother quilted an advent calendar. It was a pre-printed fabric scene – chipmunks making popcorn chains, I believe – that she made three-dimensional with batting and stitches, and 24…

WITH US
Family Life | Holidays | Opinion

WITH US

“So, when are we decorating for Christmas?” My oldest turned to me and asked, as she does every year when the calendar marks November. If you’ve read my column in the past, you’ll know she’s also the one who programs my kitchen radio to every station that only plays Christmas music. The kid has an…

Holding Our Own
Family Life | Opinion

Holding Our Own

Thanks to Gordon Lightfoot, I associate this time of year with the gales of November. Forty-five years ago this month, one of the largest ships of the Great Lakes sailed and sank – the Edmund Fitzgerald. The last words from the captain over radio transmission were, “We are holding our own, going along like an…

Short-staffed & Short-sighted
Disability | Family Life | Opinion

Short-staffed & Short-sighted

“The end of summer is not the end of the world. Here’s to October…” – A.A. Milne The cooler weather prevails, as do the yellowed leaves falling on our butterfly garden. The random scatterings make our new garden look settled, and I’m already looking forward to the spring when everything will bloom again. Mind you, I’m…

How CC Changed My Life
Family Life | Media & Culture | Opinion

How CC Changed My Life

When I was a kid, my dad would disappear into his study and close the door.  From inside, you could hear the steady clack-clack from the old manual Underwood typewriter as the letters slammed against the cylinder, punctuated by the occasional “ping” at the end of each line and a waft of pipe smoke from…

Theodore Koyzis (1928-2020)
Family Life | History | Opinion

Theodore Koyzis (1928-2020)

It is never easy to lose a loved one. It is especially difficult when the loved one is such an extraordinarily loving and gifted man as was my father. Theodoros Antoniou – his given name – was born in the village of Koma tou Yialou, in a part of Cyprus now under Turkish occupation, to Antonios Georgiou and Pezouna Theodorou.