Apparition, Excess and Poverty

Iris arrived back home last night. At least I think she did. Maybe she was just an apparition; a figment of my imagination; a piece of undigested beef as Scrooge would say. I thought I saw her getting off the plane and coming home with us for dinner. But then I blinked and she was gone – off to a friend’s house. I haven’t seen her since!

It’s still cold here….cold enough that I wore my warmest duds again today, including these beautiful mitts made by a special family friend who has since passed on. I especially love the detailed beading on the thumb.


My bus this morning was all decked out for Christmas. I suspect it’s the bus they will use for the city’s annual Christmas Lights tour. Hank Karr, who is a musician/songwriter when he’s not driving bus, devotes an evening to taking folks all around town to see the light displays. It’s a ritual that I don’t think many people partake in any more. When I was a kid, that annual drive with my parents was like magic. Today, it fails to impress most youngsters.

In fact, it’s pretty darned hard to impress these days. Kids have so much that it’s almost impossible to find something that will register on the ‘special’ scale with them. For example, when Iris and I were in Argentina earlier this year, I purchased what I thought was a lovely Noah’s Ark, hand made by a woman who was struggling to make ends meet. I appreciated the care she put into her work, and thought my nieces would like it. However their reaction when I gave it to them was ho-hum, and two minutes later I had to rescue it from the floor where it had been left for someone to bump into and break.

This Christmas I’ve sent these same nieces a whole manger scene, all hand made. But I doubt they’ll appreciate that either. I really am at a loss as to what to give them that will have any meaning for them. It’s sad really. I don’t blame the kids so much as I blame our society. Somehow, the Western world’s excess, instead of enriching our lives, has led to poverty…poverty of spirit, of simple pleasures, and of special moments and memories.

Hmmm, aren’t I the cynical one this morning!

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