In 1970, Queen Elizabeth bestowed the "Royal" designation on Manitoba's Winter Fair, making it one of only three worldwide with that distinction. The fair has continued to grow and has become a Spring Break tradition for Manitoba families. The Royal Winter Fair also includes a bunch of competitions in the show ring at Westman Place, and it was there that Al Friesen met Albertan Jeremy James Ockey, a jumping competitor and asked Jeremy about the fair and his just completed ride
It's quite the story. Don Dietrich is a resident of Deloraine. He is also a former NHL'er, having suited up for Chicago and New Jersey,....and since his mid 30's, Don is one of the 100 Thousand Canadians who live with Parkinsons. Most recently, Don can claim another distinction, participating in the world's highest altitude shinny game. Don recounted the experience for the CJRB morning show
MCC Manitoba is gearing up to celebrate their 50th Anniversary with a concert. It's a concert that was supposed to have happened in November 15th, but had to be postponed.
The good news is that they have a new date for the concert -- April 18th -- and what a road they have travelled between then and now.
Michelle Sawatzky will have the honor of emcee'ing the concert when it takes to the Knox United Church's stage... and it was at a planning meeting yesterday at the MCC offices in Winnipeg that Executive Director Ron Janzen shared with Michelle -- the journey they've been on to get to here.
The concert will include the Faith and Life Men's chorus and women's choir, the University of Manitoba women's chorus, The Buffalo Gals Drum Group, and a mass choir singing a piece commissioned especially for this event by composer Timothy Corliss.
If you'd like tickets for the event -- they're free with a hope that you will come with open hearts to celebrate along with them and to give to their next big project with Eden Health Services... just call the MCC Offices in Manitoba to reserve your spot.
MCC's 50th Anniversary concert will take place Saturday, April 18th at 7:00 pm at Knox United Church in Winnipeg.
You know how sometimes you think you know everything, and then it turns out you don’t? That happened to me once. True story.
Last week I shared some memories of my grandmother. I had really just focused on one of my grandmothers, but it brought me to a place of missing them both. The two women were very different – or so I always thought.
I could probably call the woman I described last week as my Hang Loose Grandma. The other lady could well be described as my Git’er Done Grandma. This lady was meticulous. She seemed to master everything she put her hand to.
She had a garden and canned the tartest-but-sweetest choke cherry jam. She was an amazing seamstress – my sister and I always had hand-made Easter dresses. She made the most intricate needle point projects – she had embroidered tea towels – which were always pressed (who does that?). She knit us sweaters and crocheted afghans. Cream cookies were always on hand. She made huge turkey dinners at holidays and served them on what was a nearly complete collection of Old Country Roses china. I’m pretty sure the kids ate off of Corelle, but hey, let’s be smart about this.
On a regular basis, she cared for two children with special needs – one a grandchild and one a neighbor from down the street. I’m not sure, but I imagine it was a time before many government services were in place, and people relied on the support their family and neighbors – neighbors like my grandmother, anyway.
When I stayed at her house as a child, she would sometimes give me a dollar to walk to Highway Inn to buy a box of Smarties and a Pepsi. Once I came up five cents short. Of course the lovely owner at the store told me it was all right, I could still have both treats. I got back and told my grandma that I had been a bit short, but that it was fine with the owner. She sent me back with the five cents.
When I stayed there, she would take time to try to teach me her crafts. Knitting was a challenge because I was left-handed, but she stuck it out. Once I showed her my progress – a six inch square ‘scarf’. She noticed a mistake in the middle, and pulled it apart for me to start over. Admittedly, as a 6-year old, this was fairly traumatic – I remember it quite vividly. But it was not in her to settle.
Although I think she came close to giving up after I stitched my needlepoint, hoop and all, to my pajamas and again, had to take it all apart.
We were probably a little more careful at her house – there were nice things to break, finger smudges were noticed and quickly taken care of. But so were we. And even though we were part of a large brood of grandchildren, we always felt special and welcome and never in the way. Well, we weren’t in the way because in those days the children got sent out to play. This was always fun – we never even caught on that it was so we’d stop pestering the adults.
Two different ladies who lived and loved in different ways. We can spend time putting more value on some expressions than others. And we can spend time devaluing character traits in ourselves, when we should be recognizing and accepting and celebrating what has been built into our selves by our creator.
Sometimes I wish I was more easy-going and calm and accepting – I don’t like that I get riled and neurotic over every dang thing. And then I bemoan my lack of organization and selfishness with my time. These are things to strive to improve, for sure. But it needs to be less about lamenting my natural leanings; and more about showing upevery day to try to make the very best of what is there.
Maybe my grandmothers didn’t spend too much time analyzing their gifts, or fretting about perceived shortcomings – somehow it doesn’t seem like it would have been a thing back then. I feel like more energy was probably needed for milking cows and avoiding childhood diseases. But I could be wrong. Maybe, as Henri Nouwen put it, ‘…our endless capacity for self-loathing... ‘ is just part of the human struggle. At least to some degree.
Then again, these days there’s not much time to try to be someone you’re not. And in that way my grandmothers were very much alike – they both knew their very self, and lived their lives true to it.
The City Of Brandon hosted a highly successful senior's event in mid March.
The Senior's Summit attracted about 250 people from across southwestern Manitoba. The program was organized by Brandon's Age-Friendly committee.
The Summit featured close to 20 break-out sessions dealing with everything from elder abuse to finances.
A highlight of the program was a keynote presentation from Canada's most trusted newsman Lloyd Robertson. He talked about his time in media including the moments that stick out in his mind such as Canada's Centennial in 1967.
Robertson also took time to talk about his mother and dealing with mental illness. He encouraged seniors to stay active because they have a vital role to play in their communities.
The announcement came direct from Heartland Community Futures...
Big Eye Leather Inc. from La Riviere, MB is debuting on the hit television series Dragon’s Den, in the form of a web pitch on March 19th, 2015. Clint Boyd, founder and President of Big Eye Leather Inc, from La Riviere, MB pitched his product to the Dragons’ Den in Toronto on March 26, 2014 where he showcased his unique walleye leather products, including wallets, filleting knife cases, slippers, and business card holders. And so, last night was a day of celebration and thanks for Big Eye Leather, and that's where Al Friesen stopped in to hear first hand, the story of Clint's experience on Dragon's Den
“Soaring to New Heights” was the theme of the 11th Annual Agriculture Awareness Day and highlighted some of the drone technology being established in Manitoba. The day also included three Manitoba chefs who participated in a friendly competition to create a new dessert using a puree from Portage la Prairie's Canadian Prairie Garden Purees...And that's where farm reporter Cory Knutt spoke with one of the chefs -- Justin Bohemier who operates "La P'tite France", and is also responsible for all the food inside the Manitoba Legislative Assembly...
The northern lights were dancing away Tuesday and Wednesday night this week -- And many Manitobans and Canadians were outside, either taking it in, or snapping photographs. We can thank a powerful solar flare on the sun for causing the "aurora borealis" - an event which hits earth with a burst of energy, causing air in the upper atmosphere to glow.
Northern light activity usually happens in 11-year cycles, meaning it may not be as visible in the next few years.
photo taken at Oak Hammock Marsh, by Garry Shepherd
Spring is just around the corner, and with some beautiful weather at hand, many have taken full advantage of their ATV's -- all terrain vehicles. The ATV Association of Manitoba promotes and encourages safe and responsible use of ATV's, and this morning we spent some time with Gary Hora....Gary is a director at large with the ATV association of Manitoba
One of the kids came home with an assignment for their history class. They were asked to bring something from their family history, that is old – and tell about it.
Presentations of my grandmother’s butter churns and milk buckets and those solid cast iron clothes irons moved through my head. “Okay! We could go hunt through Grandpa’s shop – there’s TONNES of old stuff in there.”
“Oh, I already have something. I’m bringing that original Nintendo system that you had when you were a kid.”
WHAT??!! That’s not OLD!! There’s no HISTORY in that!! There’s nothing INTERESTING in chronicling your aunt and uncle and me planted in front of the TV for hours, barely leaving long enough to scrounge around for sustenance. Only speaking when it became necessary to re-establish the Mario/Luigi pecking order.
But out loud, I said casually, “Oh… Nintendo is old enough for History class?”
Then again, I’m pretty sure that my grandmother, in her younger years, would have been hard pressed to find anything interesting about her butter churn or clothes iron.
Even so, she would have been very enthused about the project. Grandmothers are like that – always having time, always interested.
My grandmothers were like that. You know the type – the lady that everyone loves. She never scolded us, or looked down on us. We knew what she believed by how she treated other people. She had a way about her that made you feel better to have seen her that day – just because she liked having you around.
We would all go to the beach together, and she’d enjoy sitting over to the side, in the shade, watching us splash around, exhausting our parents. I asked her why she didn’t ever go into the water. She said that her bathing suit had a hole in the knee. That made sense to me. It seemed like women of a certain age would prefer to have ample coverage. Of course that certain age is not so far off anymore, and the ample coverage is getting ampler every year.
You didn’t ever want to do anything to disappoint your grandmother, but on some level you also knew that you never really could. That no matter what you did, she was always proud of you – even though she could see, better than you, the stumbles and face plants that likely awaited you along your path. She loved you just because you were there.
What do we tend to say after we have known that kind of person? That kind of unconditional love? What seems to be the general response to the unlimited grace that grandmothers exude.
“I want to be like her.”
In Vanishing Grace, Philip Yancey writes, “… Jesus demonstrated a model for relating to a pluralistic culture. We dare not disdain the choices others have made, for that would not show love. Instead, we should tune in to the underlying thirst.”
Grandmothers don’t get hung up on our every misstep (like us moms tend to do). They have the wisdom and big-picture thinking of their experiences to see the underlying thirst in all our ridiculous stunts.
I think maybe this is what God is like. This is who Jesus is – always welcoming, always understanding, always ready with cookies.
These days, if it is summer, and I’m in the kitchen, I need to have the windows open so that I can hear the wind move the leaves of our poplar trees – even when it’s hot and dusty out. I can feel my spirit settle when I hear it. Sometimes, when it’s hot and dusty, my husband tries to shut the window without me noticing. He tells me that my grandma used to mention how much she liked to listen to the trees, too.
I just hope to improve on the grace part before old timey, knee-length swimsuit season hits.
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