in between bites & sips ...

thanks for stopping by! here's where i put various thought, quotes or stories. most will be brief, some may be extended - but all will be somehow connected to my world. enjoy your stay!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving - Round 2

Oh ya! You just gotta love Thanksgiving!

A long weekend of family, food & football - and lots of them all! Even getting to go shopping on Black Friday was fun (although - I didn't buy anything, I just liked being a part of the frenzy).

I can remember looking at Thanksgiving in the US from a Canadian perspective and just not getting it. Like, why have the holiday on Thursday (shouldn't it be on Friday?) or why have the holiday so close to Christmas (October just makes more sense) or why is Thanksgiving the biggest traveling holiday (even bigger than Christmas!).

In fact, for my 1st Thanksgiving in the US, I was 1 of a handful of students at CBC that didn't go home and we went to Taco Bell for our 'special' dinner. No family, no good food and, quite frankly - no fun! If I recall correctly, I was invited to a few places for a Thanksgiving dinner - but - I turned them all down.

Why did I turn them down? Cuz I just didn't 'get it'.

(get ready for the sermon!)

Some people turn down Jesus just cuz they don't get it. How could Jesus' story be true, why would Jesus do that even if he WERE God, and, many many many more!

The Bible says ...

"Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see - how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him." (Psalm 34:8 in The Message translation of the Bible)

Thanksgiving in the US only made sense to me after I experienced it. If you really want God to make sense to you, you're going to have to try Him first.

Kinda like Mikey in the old Life cereal commercials -

"He tried it! ... HE LIKES IT!"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How I got hooked on coffee.

I didn't grow up as a coffee-lover. In fact, I didn't like coffee for the longest time. I thought it was gross.

But that all changed when I worked as a secretary at Concordia University in Montreal.

A co-worker kept offering me coffee ... again and again and again and again.

I was feeling really bad about constantly turning her down, so, eventually I started saying yes. She was thrilled. I really think she just didn't want to make a pot for herself, so if I wanted some as well, it would give her the excuse she needed. Thing is, I wouldn't drink it. It would sit on my desk, and I would drink just enough for her to see that I was drinking it. One sip when she gave me the cup - one sip when she walked by my office - just enough, but not much - it was gross!

Then, the impossible happened.

I started drinking more and more of it - until eventually I was drinking the whole cup!

Mmmm - cofffeeeeeee ...

That reminds me, I should go to the kitchen for a minute ... I'll be right back ...


Poppy's Forever

In the US Veteran's Day has come and gone. But for Canadians, the same day is called Rememberance Day. Where in the US the date is used as an opportunity to thank those that fought for the nation's freedom, in Canada the date is used as an opportunity to remember those who died while fighting for the nation's freedom (more like the US's Memorial Day).

Another difference between the US and Canada is that Canadians where a red plastic poppy on their coat or lapel or shirt for the days leading up to November 11th. Now, when I first moved to the US in 1992, I would make sure I wore a poppy. Most thought I had picked up a dollar store flower and wear it to be silly (kinda fits my image ... being silly, that is!). It would be perfectly understandable for any individual outside of Canada to not know the poppy's significance.

So, typically, I'd be asked why I was wearing a flower and I'd use the opportunity to share a little bit of Canadiana.

But not this year. This year, I had decided that I didn't want to reveal my culture - rather - I wanted to blend with the new culture I now live in. I mean, my church has heard more stories of snow and hockey in the last 10 months than I'm sure they have heard in the last 10 years! I plan to live in Youngstown for a long, long time - there's plenty of years in the future for me to share my culture.

Then, came the chat in the church foyer ...

I was talking with Kim L. & Dennis N. - talking about Veteran's Day, they told me what they did for Veteran's Day and I mentioned the Canadian tradition of wearing a poppy to remember those soldiers that had died fighting for our freedom. Then, they essentially told me that I should have worn the poppy! I should have know better, but I was surprised ... they were very interested in my culture and thought others would agree with them!

It's amazing really ... that we sometimes think we need to protect the world from us sharing who we really are, when, in fact, it has more to do with us being afraid of what the world might think of us if we were to share who we really are!

So, I've made a decision. From now on, from November 1 to November 11, I'll wear my Poppy. I'll tell the story of Canada's freedom, while at the same time of the year - I will thank a veteran of the US Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force & Coast Guard for their service in securing a freedom that I and my family now enjoy.

THANK YOU, SOLDIERS! I will never forget!