Archives for Musings

In Praise of Grandparents

  In Praise of Grandparents   My grandfather died when I was five, many decades ago. I still remember him as though it were yesterday. I remember him taking me to the vineyards with the horse and cart, to help pick grapes. I remember him by the winter fire, telling me stories of his own boyhood in Hungary. And I remember playing hide-and-seek with him for the last time just before he died. A kind, gentle man with piercing blue eyes, who had loved life. My grandmother survived him by thirty years. She was a strong woman, with character. I
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.

On the brink of new beginnings

  On the brink of new beginnings Chocolates and roses! That’s what the month used to mean. For a while, she had treasured the familiarity of opening the velvet, heart shaped box. She had reenacted the comfort of placing each lush, red rose in the cool crystal vase. She had committed to memory the last poem he had written to her in the last card. All that − until his heart stopped and he was gone. All that − a lifetime ago. The month had come to mean other things for Gaby. February now represented the brink of new beginnings.
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.

Bullying has many faces

Bullying has many faces Childhood memories should be happy ones, recalling a time of kindness and nurturing by people who care. Yet all childhood memories are not like that. For some, they echo hostile words and cruel actions perpetrated by peers or adults. Bullying is not a new phenomenon. Many children suffer in silence, afraid to disclose. Many have adopted severe coping mechanisms to counteract their helplessness: alcohol, drugs, self mutilation, suicide. Schools, community organizations and provincial governments are attempting to address the issue. Finally, bullying is being taken seriously. What becomes of children who have been bullied, when they
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.

The treasured gifts

The treasured gifts At a time long ago, in a land far away, there ruled a gentle king. His subjects worked hard yet were content, because the gentle king was generous in his givings and fair at their trials. Thus, his people held great respect for him, for his queen and for his little princess. Peace reigned in the land for many years ‒ until one fateful day ‒ a fierce army from far away invaded the kingdom. The marauding soldiers devastated the country side, looting the cottages, stealing the livestock, and burning the fields. They chained the young men
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.

Christmas in Hungary

Christmas in Hungary   I was four that year. Mikulás had already come on December 6th, filling my little shoe on the window sill with chocolates and cookies. Now it was Christmas Eve and time for the most special celebration of all. For weeks everyone had been cleaning, cooking and baking. Glorious aromas hung in the air like decorations. Auntie Marika, about thirteen years of age, led me into the musty, dark wardrobe to hide and await the coming events. We both chattered and giggled in nervous anticipation. Then we heard voices outside, singing. “They’re angels!”  She whispered to me.
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.

Do you believe in magic?

Do you believe in magic? She knew about magic: deep magic tucked away behind that secret door, to be opened only at her command. In days gone by, the door was always half ajar inviting her in freely, without hesitation. The rooms behind the secret door had welcomed her whenever she desired to enter, even during waking hours. But these days, access was not as readily available. Locating the door itself had sometimes become a challenge. She had considered that perhaps she needed a special command to call upon it. So, she had tried to close her eyes summoning the
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.

My Favourite Place

My Favourite Place It emerges in the distance like a mirage, far off on a hill in the heart of Italy, in the magical region of Umbria. A mediaeval city first Christianized in 238 CE, Assisi is an unexpected oasis. I first heard about Assisi in the early 70s through the glorious film called Brother Sun Sister Moon, written and directed by Franco Zeffirelli. The film is a living, moving tapestry or painting. It tells the story of the life of Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone who was canonized in 1228. He became better known as St. Francis of Assisi. The words
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.

Neighbours

Neighbours Deirdre Jones had enough. This was the third set of neighbours moving in beside her home, in the duplex. The third set in as many years. They came and went. Always noisy. Carousing, if the truth be told. The rumbling engine on the massive moving van parked on the road, too close to her downstairs front window, was noisy and polluting the air. Big men, with thundering voices kept hauling in the bulky furniture. For hours. The falling snow was causing the sidewalk to be slippery. The blundering men swore streams of obscenities as they nearly dropped the dining
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.

Life Long Companions

Life Long Companions   It had been a long four months. Staying mostly indoors, Gaby needed a new distraction. Internet research projects were interesting, but her mind wandered elsewhere. For several days, her searches shifted to sites that promoted pets for adoption: specifically dogs. She had discovered Pugs a few years back – the small, piglet dogs with black, over-sized protruding eyes, twisted tails and snorting nostrils. There they were! Four blonde, busy puppies in the back room of the pet shop − all yelping, standing on hind legs, puppy on wriggling puppy trying to jump over the make shift
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.

Time and Space

Time and Space All she wanted was her wings. Why was that such a challenge to fulfill? Her first encounter had been with a cloaked, shadowy figure who ushered her into a wall-free room. There, she seemed to have been waiting forever. Waiting on a wooden chair.  Waiting for instruction. Waiting for time to pass. She complained to the figure about her lengthy anticipation in this place. The response was simply: “Time and space are illusions.” At long last, she was handed two forms to fill out for the Department of the High Council. Then much later, there came another
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Categories: Marlie Stories and Musings.