Thursday, 21 February 2019

Random thoughts

I think of certain people at odd times. I am sure everyone does.

My father died in March 1997. You think of people on the important dates, and at unexpected times thoughts of them will come up during the course of your life.

One of my father's great loves was peanut butter on toast, sometimes with jam, for breakfast in the morning with his coffee before heading off to work. He would be up before anyone and have his toast and coffee and share it with whatever dog we had at the time. I can remember a lot of times he would get up and have it as a midnight snack. Quite a few times he would have it for dessert. I inherited the same habit. I like to have grape jelly with my peanut butter and toast.

In 1974 my father spent over three months in an intensive care unit, first in a hospital in the town we were living, then he was sent to a hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia where they could do more for him. He was suffering from blood clots and came close to dying from them during that time. I do not recall seeing him during that time.

We knew a few families quite well on our block at that time. Most of them were blue collar types. My father was a heavy duty mechanic, the guy right across the street was a welder. One of the neighbours was a guy with the last name of Lane. My parents were friends with him and his wife. Mr. Lane was a guy that was on a different path. He was smart, had a university degree, and was a professional who owned his own company.

Mr. Lane and his wife were in Vancouver when my father was in the hospital and they stopped in for a visit. Dad was quite ill. Mr. Lane and his wife were dressed up as they were going to dinner in a high end restaurant. Mr. Lane asked if there was anything they could get him. My father said he was dying for a toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich, for some reason he could not get one in the hospital. Mr. Lane and his wife went off to dinner and near the end the waiter asked if there was anything else they would like. Mr. Lane asked for a toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich to go. From what I heard the waiter did a bit of a double take and said he would check with the kitchen. I believe Mr. Lane said it was important and would appreciate it if they could accommodate this request. The restaurant came through and they charged him six dollars, expensive for 1974. He delivered it to the hospital and my father was damn happy to get it. Dad talked about getting peanut butter and jelly delivered to him for years.

Dad got better, we moved from that town not long after as dad accepted a transfer, and I only saw the Lane family one or two times after that.

Not sure why I was thinking about this event recently. Maybe I was thinking that a small gesture can have a big impact on someone else. Or that I was thinking that I hope there is peanut butter and grape jelly in the afterlife. 

Summer reminder

There was a nice short break in the cold snap and temperatures are set to dip again. Daylight Savings is March 10 this year and winter will soon be on its way out.

From July 14, 2018.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

A Baker's Dozen

I always appreciate a stained glass window, no matter how small and simple or large and detailed. They unfailingly catch my eye and make the day a little brighter.  Here's a very small selection of personal favourites from churches I've seen over the past few years.   


Saint Paul's United Methodist Church, Helena, Montana

The rose window from a church of modern/industrial design.  The clear and yellow round pieces are about one and a half inches thick in the centre and give the captured light a dimensional quality...when you move, the light moves along with you.

Directly below:

Saint Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Medicine Hat, Alberta

Some sections of the windows at Saint Pat's are constructed with glass that's at least a half inch thick.  Unlike the thicker rounded pieces mentioned above, here the edges are chipped to fit into the leading.  These chipped edges catch the light at different angles to create quite a dazzling display.  See how the crosses in the upper and lower sections have "extra sparkle."

Saint Andrew's Anglican Church, Tompkins, Saskatchewan

A small town church with an exquisitely designed triptych of stained glass from England behind the altar.  I have a friend whose father was the reverend here in the 1950's.

Saint Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Parish, Weyburn, Saskatchewan

A window of modern design.  The "rays of light" in upper part of this window are spectacular and remind me of the "Jacob's Ladder" effect when sunlight streams down in rays between the clouds.  My sister played organ here when she lived in Weyburn.

Saint James Catholic Church, Powers Lake, North Dakota

The arched window above the front doors. There are another seven larger windows of like design inside the church.

Nazareth Lutheran Church, Kenmare, North Dakota

One pair of windows from a large church in town.  It was open and I could hear activity coming from the door leading downstairs . . . about a dozen ladies were quilting.  I was just in time for afternoon tea.

Saint Luke's Catholic Church, Noonan, North Dakota

A rare combination of burnt orange and purple in this, the smallest of eight windows in the church.  Many of the traditionally styled stained glass windows in this part of the world were designed and assembled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as are these.

Zion Lutheran Church, south of Noonan, North Dakota

The Ladies Aid donated this window to the church . . . I'm sure lots of cookies and Christmas cakes were sold to finance the purchase.  Finding the maker's name in the lower left hand corner of the centre panel was a rare treat: Studios Ford-McNutt Glass Co. Mpls.

Lesje Lutheran Church, near Souris, North Dakota

It was frigidly cold outside and in the distance I could see smoke rising from the chimney of a big country church. It was warm inside and all ready for the Christmas service. It also had bathrooms! These are the windows that surround the front doors.

Trinity Lutheran Church, near Ambrose, North Dakota

An abandoned country church with simple stained glass panels in the windows.  I was both surprised and pleased to see the windows mostly intact with only a few panels missing or broken.  A bird had attached its nest just inside one of the broken panes. 

Saint Barnabas Anglican Church, Medicine Hat, Alberta

I love this large five panel window.  The expansive use of turquoise coloured glass around the main lower panels is unusual and attractive.  The windows here are all from England.  The same friend's father was reverend here in the 1960's.

Bethany Lutheran Church, Tilley, Alberta

These stained glass crosses are on the front doors of the church. The church itself is of Danish design and is quite a rarity in these parts.

Saint Paul Mission Church, Hays, Montana

My personal favourite in this collection of windows. This is the only church I've seen that visually celebrates native Americans. Nice to see that.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

- Michael Truman

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Just wanted to thank . . .

Michael Truman. Including tomorrow's post he has contributed one hundred posts to this blog and helped me keep this blog going. I certainly had no idea it was that many and I appreciate all the posts he has contributed. All of the posts that anyone has contributed are tagged with their name if anyone wants to search them.

2nd Avenue and Thunder Road

A few photos from this past summer . . . the "Pool" elevator in Glentworth, Saskatchewan.

The hotel/bar/restaurant here is still open and caters mainly to locals and hunters; they make a great Denver sandwich. 

It was beastly hot outside and the sky was filled with smoke from all the forest fires.  Inside the restaurant was cool and homey.  Friendly people.

- Michael Truman