Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Unfulfilled Dreams

Dream...image(s) occurring during sleep; a visionary concept; usually something extremely pleasant.

We all have hopes and dreams. We all go through lives when we generate ideas of things that we would like to accomplish in life, places we would like to be in the years ahead. It's a natural tendency
to come up with an ideal that we would like to fulfill in our futures.

As a Senior in High School, I had a dream of becoming an “airline stewardess” with Trans Canada...travel intrigued me! Visit our Dominion (of Canada, as it was then known), tour United States, even Europe! To fly in the sky would be a marvel and an exciting career! But, alas, this was a dream I could not, or ever fulfill. Two basic qualifications I could not meet: one had to become a registered nurse (in which I had no interest), and second, I was one inch taller than the maximum height allowed. A Dream I could not pursue! therefore, remaining a fantasy in my life objective.

But what happens when the years go by and those dreams never come to fruition? What happens when we find ourselves, years later in a situation that is so far removed from “our ideal” that we can only think that we have somehow failed, that we haven't accomplished our life's desire? It can be very devastating!

Sometimes we get upset at God for not answering our prayers when we deem it necessary to depend on Him. Sometimes, I'm unable to be happy at the moment because of unfulfilled dreams. I have read that “real peace is internal”, yet others believe that the environment in which they spend their time makes a difference.

When my son attended university, financially it was a struggle. He was accustomed to working part-time jobs during his high school years. The first summer, home from Windsor, he had applied to several positions...but little available...a few days at a wire and cable industry, picking strawberries, etc. Result was insufficient funds to return to university. From the Teachers' Credit Union I took out a substantial loan. The following summers he worked two jobs. His Monday to Friday full time hours, reading hydro meters contributed to his university expenses; evenings and weekends, he delivered pizzas which was his spending money (gas for the car, etc.). The final year, I prayed for monies to support his education expenses. Surely God must understand my necessity, my needs, my years of serving Him through church and Sunday Schools, through choir and music efforts! All this should merit something!!! When no monies were forthcoming, in addition to my Independent Contractor status as a Sales Representative, I worked a secondary job to also support my daughter, still in High School.

It is a known fact that today, many people who have become successful is a result of many failures. Determination, patience and foresight have been the well-worn path to their desired achievements. Getting through the hard times is often been more beneficial (in the long run) than living an idyllic life would have been. Most dreams are available...if we are willing to take the risk and make the sacrifice.

In a church address, by Martin Luther King Jr. in May, 1968 Atlanta, Georgia, he spoke about Unfulfilled Dreams. Following are a few excerpts.
“My text is taken from the eighth chapter of the First Kings. David, as you know, was a great King. And the one thing that was foremost in David's mind and in his heart was to build a great temple. The building of the temple was considered to be the most significant thing facing the Hebrew people, and the King was expected to bring this into being. David had the desire; he started! The passage reads, 'And it was in the heart of David, my father to build a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. And the Lord said unto David, my father: Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that is was in thine heart.' As if to say, David, you will not be able to finish the temple; you will not be able to build it. Your dream will not be fulfilled'.
So many of us in life start out building temples: temples of character, temples of justice, temples of peace. And so often we don't finish them...because life is like Schubert's 'Unfinished Symphony'. At so many points we start, we try, we set out to build our various temples. And I guess one of the great agonies of life is that we are constantly trying to finish that which is unfinishable. And so we, like King David, find ourselves in many instances having to face the fact that our dreams are not fulfilled.

Life is a continual story of shattered dreams! Mahatma Gandhi laboured for years and years for the independence of his people. And through a powerful nonviolent revolution he was able to win that independence. He struggled to unite his own people, and nothing was greater in his mind than to have India's one great, united country moving toward a higher destiny. This was his dream! But Ghandi had to face the fact that he was assassinated and soon died with a broken heart, because that nation he wanted to unite ended up being divided between India and Pakistan as a result of the conflict between the Hindus and the Moslems. Life is a long continual story of setting out to build a temple and not being able to finish it. (Mahatma Ghandi...1869-1948)

So many of our forebearers used to sing about freedom. And they dreamed of the day that they would be able to get out of the bosom of slavery, the long night of injustice. And they used to sing little songs: 'Nobody knows the trouble I seen, nobody knows but Jesus'. They thought about a better day as they dreamed their dream! Yet, so many died without having their dream fulfilled.

Some of us are trying to build a temple of peace. We speak out against war, we protest, but it seems that your head is going against a concrete wall. It seems to mean nothing. And so often as you set out to build the temple of peace, you are left lonesome; you are left discouraged and left bewildered. You must face the fact that there is a tension at the heart of the universe between good and evil. Hinduism refers to this as a struggle between illusion and reality. Platonic philosophy used to refer to it as a tension between body and soul. Traditional Judaism and Christianity refer to it as a tension between God and Satan. Every time you set out to love, something keeps pulling on you, trying to get you to hate. Every time you set out to be kind and say nice things about people, something is pulling on you to be jealous and envious and to spread evil gossip about them. This is a civil war going on.
There's a tension at the heart of human nature...and whenever we set out to dream our dreams and to build our temples, we must be honest enough to recognize it.

If I can leave anything with you this morning, let me urge you to be sure that you have a strong boat of faith. The winds are going to blow. The storms of disappointment are coming. The agonies and the anguishes are coming. And be sure that your boat is strong, and also be sure that you have an anchor. And be very sure that your anchor will hold!”

Abraham Lincoln, born February 1809, dreamed of becoming a United States President. Being a politician in Illinois for many years, it was not until November 1860 that he became the 16th US President, working his way up the political ladder, with defeats along the way. He was shot in the Ford Theatre, March 1865...before several of his presidential dreams were realized.

Woodrow Wilson, the 27th President of United States dreamed a dream of a League of Nations; however he died before the promise was delivered. (1913-1921)

Adolf Hitler, too had a dream...with which we are all familiar.

We shall all remember “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. (a few excerpts)
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for our freedom in the history of the nation........................
And even though we face difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day the nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. And this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at Last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Well, Readers...that is the story of Life!
Consider that we endure storms...created by Mother Nature...the floods; the landslides; the forest fires; the volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis; snow blizzards and high winds that blitz our highways and cities; torrential downpours...but seldom a rainbow! How beautiful that is, when it appears...to quiet our lands and bring peace to our souls!

Perhaps we should adopt the Caribbean philosophy of living life...Be Happy! Don't Worry! Be Happy!
Harry Belafonte and Bob Marley, through their calypso music depicted the lifestyle and culture of the islands....e.g. “Day-O (Banana Boat Song). Remain calm and serene...Enjoy Life to its Fullest!

For several years, my cousin Zella lived in Toronto. She and her sister (who lived in Hamilton) never married, so lived independently with jobs of their choosing. Her sister had a profitable secretarial position, while Zella worked as a housekeeper in various homes, assisting the families. The two sisters spoke each Sunday morning by telephone “to keep in touch”. For many years, I had not known where Zella lived; nor did she know where and how to contact my sister or me. It was not until her sister's death that I, after several years, met Zella in her wheelchair at the Hamilton funeral home. From that time onward, I visited her every two weeks in her bachelorette apartment near Rexway Drive. We would share dinner together in the adjacent nursing home's dining room. We'd spend a few enjoyable hours together, often with eminating grins and smiles upon her face...before returning home in her
motorized “chair”. She was in her late 80's, yet rode with great gusto and spirit...with a small Canadian flag atop the rear aerial, blowing in the wind as she scooted along the concrete walkways. More than once did she misjudge her steering ...falling into the grass or curbside until someone would “up-right” her. Snow, rain and wind never prevented her from our bi-weekly meetings!

One time I asked her, “Zella, if you had the physical energy and desire to do anything you wished and which you have never tried, what would it be?” Quickly she replied, “I've never flown...never been up in a plane...what's it like?” I then gave her some impressions of my great experiences over the years.
“Would you like to travel some place?...I'd accompany you,” I stated. Simple answer was “No”.(Perhaps it was the stress of flying...or even the element of the unknown.) “But I would like to own a fur coat...a mink coat...it must be a mink coat!” she commented. We discussed the colour, size, length and style. “Where are you going to wear this mink coat?”, I asked. “When I visit with you...or going to the bank or shopping.” We discussed the amount of money she was prepared to spend. She knew of the furrier in Hamilton, whose owner is a personal friend of mine; I'd discuss it with her and relay the information. So it was, two weeks later, that with three coats separately bagged in the trunk of my car, I arrived to sell Zella a mink coat; she selected a light sable coloured (almost palomino), full length and with the softest fur she had ever felt! She hugged it...like a child with a well loved Christmas present. Then putting it on, she discovered that I had placed leather gloves of the finest kid and a colourful headscarf in the pockets...her only winter hand wear was a well-worn pair of woollen mittens. With a very proud face and smiling unceasingly, Zella seated herself on her scooter and off we went to the Dining Room. She felt very regal as she acknowledged her acquaintances...all she needed was to perfect the “Queen Elizabeth” wave!

Dreams...Sometimes Do Come True!

Another time, she sadly commented that, “No one comes to see me except you and Jack (the son of a family whom she felt she had raised from a young boy...now married with two children). “Whom do you think would visit you?”, I asked. “Friends in Mississauga,” she answered. Asking, “Do you believe they are still alive?”, she stated, “They've not been here in over a year...I'd like to see them.”
We discovered... this would be impossible!

Eventually, I had to place her in hospital due to a fall from her kitchen chair...fell asleep and broke her leg. Jack and I knew she would never return to her apartment to care for herself. We found a “rehab
place” for her in the nearby nursing home which she regarded “as temporary”. She was 92 when she passed away. The residents and patients missed her speedy scooter, her flying flag, cheery smile and greetings to all! At the chapel service, I was advised that she daily met with a few in the upstairs lounge to chat about...etiquette...the English language...diction and speech...Christian faiths or read chapters from a novel to them. What a Dear Precious Soul!

Did you ever dig to find a natural spring? You have to dig through the hard ground, move away all stones and rocks...and after labourious work, the thirsty ground becomes damp. Dig deeper and you uncover a beautiful underground stream that washes away everything in its path. This experience is as a parable...with a moral to attaining a goal inspired from our dream..

Yes, some dreams are fantasies; others are achieveable! If the latter, then one must strive to activate them. First, identify the dreams. Analyze any misconceptions. Consider the possible personal blocks to attain results. Dreams may come true with logical foresight...a) select the 3 most important dream wishes...b) write down 3 steps for each to be accomplished...c) estimate the number of hours, weeks, months or years to achieve each.

A couple of quotes I recently heard are so applicable here:
“Waiting for the Moment
Leaves one with an Undesirable Destination.”
(Solomon Fein)

“The Future belongs to Those
who Believe in the Beauty of Their Dreams.”
(Eleanor Roosevelt)

“Enjoy Life! Live it so you Die with No Regrets.
(from a recent novel)

Merle Baird-Kerr
April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Our total Life is spent
Searching – Searching – Searching
for the sublime Experience
of which we know not!

Is it the lengthy dramatic novel
or a few short simple verses?
Listening to the waves
as they tumble and roll
on a sand or pebbly beach?
Or is it the music of the spheres divine
that activate our senses?

Sitting on a hill at twilight...
is it the calm of pastel hues
as they lullaby the sun to sleep?
Perhaps the cosmic thrill
as moon and stars midnight float?
Or is it the faraway planets
and galaxies beyond our eyes?

Is Earth the Perfect Place We Seek?

We discover an experience...
be it woman or man,
be it sunrise or sunset
that serenes our inner spirit.
This is the Best we have achieved
and upon this, we temporarily thrive.

We've questioned our birth and the life span given us.
We've considered the occasions that rendered our being.
Is this our Eden? Is this Xanadu?

For many years
we've lived the months, the days, the hours
...yearning and longing
for what seemingly is far outside our grasp.

Time has a way of recompense.
'Twas like a Gift from Heaven
that landed on Earth one Special Day!

An amazing change of scene embraces our mind and soul.
Essences of Paradise...
waft like gentle seaside breezes
liberating us from our “chains”.
Is this a “Dream come True?”

Time has no name-ed days
nor numbered hours.
The “aura”...saturates us
created by togetherness
yes, even mesmerized!

A Perfect Place
of Beauty and Peace.

Merle Baird-Kerr
June 28,2009

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter...A Time of Resurrection!

"You are never too old to Learn!
You are never too old to Teach!
You should never be too old to Listen!”
(a recent quote by Solomon Fein)

As I reflect on the Significance of Easter, I have “learned” a few facts which increase my knowledge and devotion to this religious weekend. In the Burlington Post, a dozen or more Easter Worship Services are announced. Various presentations invite us to attend: Maundy Thursday; Good Friday
Services; communion; sunrise services at a lakefront park or within the churches; inspirational messages;
special Easter music with brass ensemble; breakfasts; tea and coffee with refreshments; nursery care
and Sunday School for children also provided.

From my previous writings, you will recall that I was born and raised on a farm. Yes, the small village churches held Good Friday and Easter Sunday worship times which we attended. The greatest joy for my sister and me was to participate (when teenagers) in “Youth for Christ” Sunrise Services on Easter Sunday in Brantford (our parents drove us there , then returned later to drive us home). It was “religious ardour” to meld with the many teens and young people at 6:30 AM in a waterfront park facing the Grand River. Here, we were enchanted with the rising sun as it edged over the eastern horizon, casting its rays over urban and rural lands, then settling on the cool water in front of us. The elation and emotion we experienced was indescribable! The music by a small piece orchestra and early morning messages rejoiced and inspired us. Following this service, we all breakfasted together, revelling in the fellowship and a fresh understanding that this Sunrise Service initiated “a new life experience”. This was also special to Eileen and me in that our parents gave us each a new coat, hat and shoes to commemorate this event.

Now, looking at these church announcements this early Good Friday, I question “What is Maundy Thursday?” Known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday and Thursday of Mystery, it is the Canadian Feast or Holy Day. Foot Washing Ceremonies are often part of Maundy Thursday services. The day honours The Last Supper when Jesus shared the Passover Meal with his disciples on the night before he was crucified. Prior to this, He washed the feet of his disciples. By performing this lowly act of service, the Bible says in John 13:1 that Jesus “showed the full extent of his Love”. By his example He demonstrated how Christians are “to love one another through humble service”. During the Passover Meal, Jesus had “bread and wine”and asked His Father to bless it. He broke the bread into pieces, giving it to his disciples.
Maundy is derived from the Latin word “mandatum” (meaning commandment).
It refers to the commandment Jesus gave to his disciples at The Last Supper...to love one another with
humility, serving one another and to remember his sacrifice.

Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer and penance. Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism as well as its position in the calendar. While many Jewish holidays revolve around the synagogue, the Seder is conducted in the family home. The Passover Seder is probably the best known of the Jewish holidays, mostly because it ties in with Christian history... (The Last Supper was apparently a Passover Seder). The primary observances of Passover are related to the “exodus from Egypt after 400 years of slavery”. It commemorates the fact that the Jews were hurried and did not have time to let their bread rise. The grain product during Passover called “matzah” is unleavened bread, made from flour and water and boiled very quickly.

Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but decorating Easter eggs is a common motif. In the Western world, customs such as “egg hunting” and the Easter Bunny extend from the domain of the church and often have a secular meaning.

The Easter Bunny is inspired through traditions that have come over one generation to another. Christians follow them as did their parents and grandparents. People believed that the Easter Bunny or the Easter Rabbit or the Easter Hare is said to reproduce very quickly and hence, they were “symbols of
fertilization and fruitfulness.” They represented “new life”during the Spring Festival.

Easter eggs are a widely popular symbol of “new life” in Bulgaria, Russia and Romania. They are often given to celebrate Easter in springtime. The egg is a pagan belief in the rebirth of the Earth in the celebration of Spring and was adopted by Christians as a symbol of “the resurrection of Jesus”. Many today still use dyed or artistically painted chicken eggs; however, a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans. These eggs are often hidden (allegedly by the Easter Bunny) for children to find on Easter morning. Otherwise, they are generally placed in a basket with real or artificial straw to resemble a bird's nest.

The Easter Parade is a novel by Richard Yates, first published in 1976. It is also a 1948 American musical film starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, featuring music by Irving Berlin. I recognize it as the Easter Parade in New York City along 5th Avenue from 49th to 57th Street displaying fashions and hats. The area around St. Patrick's Cathedral is said to be the ideal place to casually view The Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival from 10 AM to 4 PM on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011.

This morning I have “travelled” from North America to Europe, gleaned numerous new facts about Easter... and assembled in my thoughts the sincerity of this special weekend.
These cannot be better expressed than the following:

“For I remember, it is Easter Morn
And Life and Love and Peace are all newborn”
(Alice Freeman Palmer)

“Easter is the demonstration of God
that Life is essentially spiritual and timeless.”
(Charles M. Crowe)

“The Resurrection gives my life meaning and direction
and the opportunity to start again, no matter what the circumstances.”
(Robert Flatt)

Merle Baird-Kerr
April 22, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Magic of "Touch"

My dictionary states that “touch” is to perceive by feeling; to impress emotionally.
It is a sensation by contact.

Touching is an essential part of a young child's development. From the moment of birth, when
uterine contractions caress the baby, touch is a catalyst for healthy, physical and emotional growth.
Without “touch”, children do not thrive. The eventual attachment that is formed “as a result
of warm and responsive care” provides a child with a secure base from which to explore the world.

When we are weaned from the first form of human connection, we speak of “staying in touch” or we
speak of “being touched” by some act of kindness. When we shake hands with friends and/or
clients in a business environment, we extend greetings. This clasp conveys a message ranging
from coolness to warmth. If a hand touch to someone's shoulder or a hug is given simultaneously,
for example, it can be a heartfelt experience of caring. We are conveying emotions and feelings
through these gestures. There are degrees of appreciation and perception; touch can range from
low sensitivities to high sensations. When touching begins, love and humanity begin also.

When you are a Senior, you are in the least touched group in our culture. Part of the blame lies
with our culture's emphasis associating youthful skin with touchable skin as well as touch being
linked with youthful sexuality. Another factor is probably the greater number of people in this
age group, who live alone. Unfortunately, some families are busily occupied with jobs, children
and teens to raise, their individual personal interests, other commitments...all absorbing the hours
of the day, thus leaving little time so spend with elderly parent(s). Some Seniors become lonely
and depressed; others adjust to this lifestyle change remarkably well...even having opportunities
possibly to teach others about the Value of Touch.

We live, as humans, in an environment we share with Nature. Daily our sensitivities are aroused;
we are acutely responsive to a certain sensation stemming from the stimulation of a sense organ.
Touch is a requisite and is totally significant to the animals, to the birds and to us as we exist
among them. The Great Teacher is Observation...it opens our eyes, our minds, our souls. If we
are attuned to Nature, sensations will be triggered...desired feelings and emotions within us
are created. Consider “Touch” as a force of communication and its effect upon us.

What is your sensation with each of the following? Does it help to lessen “the woes” in your life
that are currently present? Does it stir an emotion? Does it promote a smile upon your face,
releasing you temporarily from some adversity, a difficulty or challenge ?
The First Touch of Frost on the Maple Leaves
The Touch of Spring at Winter's End
The Kitten that Purrs, Nestled beside the Family Dog
The Gorilla's playful Antics with its Young
The Mother Bird feeding her Hungry Nest Babies
The Hummingbird as it Hovers for Pollen from Colourful Flowers
The Cat's licking Touch of its Paws in state of Contentment
Dogs in the Park, Touching noses, testing for Friendliness
The Alpha Huskie Sled Dog who leads his Team, in Quest of winning the Race
The Sea Gull or Eagle, Soaring the Skies, Hunting for Meals...to Grab or “Talon”
The Glorious Rainbow against a darkened Sky as Sun shines through the crystally raindrops

A Child's Kite, tightly clasped, as the Wind lifts it Higher and HIgher
A Toddler's Touch of a Wavelet as it ripples upon the Shore
The Feeling of Sand through Bare Toes on the Beach
The Touch of a Baby's Hand in Yours
The Blind Person's Sensation at Touching Rose Petals
A Climber's Touch at the Mountain Summit
The Senior's Touch when Pets visit Nursing and Retirement Homes
The Tactile Touch of Braille by an Unsighted Person.

Emerson wrote, “Every Moment of the Year has Its Own Beauty.”

'Tis the Human Touch in this World that counts.
The touch of your hand in mine...
Which means far more than the fainting heart;
Than shelter and bread and wine.
For shelter is gone when the night is o'er
And bread lasts only a day.
But the touch of the hand and sound of the voice
Stay ever in the soul...alway.
(Spencer Michael Free)

Yet, the Greatest Sensation of All...
is the Human Touch between Man and Woman.

A dear friend once said, “I just want to touch you and hold you.”
This can be the most beautiful, exquisite sensation...
as is
A Man's First Kiss upon his Love's Red Lips.

Merle Baird-Kerr
April 6, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

The English Language


We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes;
but the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese.
Yet, the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a mouse or a nest full of mice.
Yet, the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always men,
then shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
and give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those.
Yet, hat in the plural would never be hose;
and the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of brother and also of brethren,
but though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him;
but imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim.

Let's face it...English is a crazy language!
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England.

We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly;
and boxing rings are square.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing.
Grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends
and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes, I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane!

In what other language do people recite at a play
and play at a recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.

We have noses that run and feet that smell.

We park in a driveway and drive on a parkway.

And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and wise guy are opposites?

We have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down;
in which you fill in a form by filling it out;
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

I would like to add that,
if people from Poland are called Poles
then people from Holland should be called Holes
and the Germans, Germs!

May the above bring many a smile!

Merle Baird-Kerr
March 17, 2010

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wise Sayings of King Solomon

King Solomon of Biblical times was recognized as a wise man, who in his writings taught many philosophies. A few of his many, can be read in the Bible's Book of Proverbs. Following is a sample of others which apply even today to our daily living.

An adage is a “short but memorable saying which holds some important fact of experience that is considered true by many people.” It also means a maxim or proverb.

Apply your Heart to Instruction
and your Ears to the Words of Knowledge.

Listen to your Father who gave you Life,
and do not despise your Mother when she is old.
Buy the Truth and don't sell it;
get Wisdom, Discipline and Understanding.
The Father of the righteous has great Joy.
Whoever fathers a wise child, delights in him.
Let your father and your mother be glad!
Let her who bore you, rejoice.

Through Wisdom, a house is built;
by Understanding, it is established;
by Knowledge, the rooms are filled
with all rare and beautiful treasure.

If you falter in the time of trouble,
your strength is small.

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,
but dwelling on it separates close friends.

Those who love their children
care enough to discipline them.

There are 3 things that amaze me...
no, 4 things that I don't understand:
how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on the rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.

All the rivers run into the sea,
yet the sea is not full.

How delightful is your love, my bride!
How much more pleasing is your love than wine...
And the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!

Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of his home for love,
it would be utterly scorned.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not seeking.
It is not easily angered.
it keeps no records of wrongs.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.

You are constantly as a muse within my mind... I share these foregoing writings with you, My King Solomon...(who has created some profound statements and beliefs during our frequent discussions):

“In the Quest of Knowledge, it has no Value unless it is offered!”

“Taking a tangent in a conversation, sometimes is not only humourous,
but falls into the category of Collective Wisdom.”

“Desire without Results is Unrewarded.
You will never know Love, unless you surrender to it.
Love is the Prize. Yielding conquers All!”

“Time is not always of the Essence,
even when it appears to be.”

“Stop worrying about What you Forget;
Start enjoying What you're Missing!”

“You're never too old to Learn;
You're never too old to Teach;
You shouldn't be too old to Listen!”

"Waiting for the moment
leaves one with an undesirable destination."

(Solomon Fein)

To a few of my articles, he has occasionally contributed a few lines.

Merle Baird-Kerr
March 12, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"First Aid"

Ariel, my grand daughter, was 11 last September and in Grade 6. Her teacher assigned all students in her class to present a 3 or 4 minute talk on a topic of their choice (subject to teacher approval). This is her talk on First Aid which I share with you.

"A body of another person falls; what do you do? A young boy drowned in a pool; nobody knew what to do. Would you? A girl fell off the monkey bars and hurt herself badly. Could you do anything?

Good Morning teachers and fellow students. My name is Ariel Baird-Kerr and I am giving a speech on the requirements of learning and understanding First Aid.

I will start with informing you of what to do first when a situation occurs. First, stay calm. A panic is the worst thing to happen when a situation arises. More people may get hurt if a panic causes chaos. Secondly, clear your mind so that you can think clearly. In order for a better outcome to happen, you need to think properly, clearly and calmly to come to a solution that would work best in the situation. Finally, you must decide if whether or not more advanced help is required. Ask an adult or someone you can trust who knows more than you do, about first aid for advice.

Next, I will explain and tell you about how first aid benefits other people. Think about a time someone you know hurt themselves; did someone help them? Think about what would happen to them if nobody was there to help them. An infection may arise; illness may develop; their health could be further endangered...or worse! Knowing first aid is important because if nobody else knows how to help the hurt person...you do. Any person can get hurt and most of them could use proper first aid. “Most” people is a “lot” of people.

I tell you now, about how knowing first aid can help even doctors. Doctors have patients and when those patients are organized, it is commonsense to arrange those patients by how much help they need. For example, helping a person who just had a heart attack comes before giving someone three stitches for a small cut on the hand. You can help doctors by being able to help someone before that situation gets worse. By doing this, the potential of that person requiring doctor-level care is decreased; and doctors have more time to tend to people who need more immediate care.

Finally, I will tell you a few facts about First Aid, as to who believes it should be taught and learned. First, all of Saint John Ambulance believe EVERYONE should learn basic first aid. Secondly , in a survey of whether or not first aid should be learned, a ratio of 21 people to 1 person said, 'Yes'. First Aid holds so much importance that an entire agency acknowledges it as a required amount of information.

In conclusion, based on the facts and situations I have given you, people should be taught First Aid to better support human society."

Presenting this to her class, she won top marks. Shortly thereafter, the same speech was combined with the Grade 5 students, also in the Junior Division, and again awarded high marks. She was invited to present First Aid to winners of these grades with 9 other schools in the vicinity. Ariel was dressed beautifully in a yellow tiered ruffled dress, her long black hair wonderfully styled and with a smile to the audience...a winning combination for her well delivered talk. To honour my grand daughter for this achievement, I gave her a long stem yellow lily with 5 buds ready to burst open...a card pinned to it "Best Wishes and Continued Success".

Merle Baird-Kerr
April 3, 2011

The Quest

To my Grand Daughter, Ariel

Blackie and Grey resided in a treed neighbourhood in Burlington. Their daily activities kept them busy locating food, finding a suitable place to build a nest, playing in the trees and nearby park. A favourite haunt was to climb brick walls on apartment buildings. With their small sharp claws, this was an easy feat as they would quickly scale them to gain access to the many balconies. What JOY! What FUN!

There were plants into which they could dig in the soil...a wonderful place “to nest”. Scurrying away they searched for string, twine, paper, twigs and small branches...even a lost glove. These, they readily hauled to the balcony of choice. Food was also waiting...the leaves of plants! Even a few humans would place food on their balconies for these hungry squirrels...they were so cute...bushy tails curled over their backs, small beady black eyes...here was “nature” so close to observe! This building was an exciting discovery for Blackie and Grey.

The following summer they playfully would sneak and crawl onto the balconies and reseek their niches for potential nests and food. Sad for them, the humans were smart and took their plants inside...due to further destruction and almost-death with the leaves stripped causing the plants to be deprived of their gorgeous blooms-to-be... including my hibiscus plants and hanging baskets of flowers. So the search continued for food. Sadly, also was that the tenants of their apartments were told, “Do Not Feed The Squirrels!”

Blackie and Grey were desperate for food from this vast “food bank”.

One sunny morning a woman was at her computer reading and sending e-mails. When she left her desk, she was surprised to find a small grey squirrel sitting on her Indian carpet...bushy tail, beady startled eyes and in a state of shock that “he had been caught” in this Break and Enter! She wondered “how” he gained access to her apartment. The balcony door, although open, had a screen door fully closed. In fright, Grey hurriedly ran to another room...her bedroom...probably under the bed. Quick thinking, she chair-propped the screen door open for his escape, then opened her apartment front door into the hallway, considering that he could easily be caught...after she called “the Super”. She searched the bedroom, but Grey could not be found. Then going to the balcony again, there he was in “startled fright”. Clapping her hands, he clamoured down the wall in a hasty retreat! In the hallway, she found “the Super” in charge and related the incident. A gentleman on a lower floor had a similar experience, she was told...a squirrel had torn a hole in his bedroom window screen.

The woman still questioned how Grey arrived in Her Apartment! With morning coffee in hand to enjoy on the balcony, she had another surprise! She saw Blackie...two apartments over and one floor below, attacking a bedroom window screen with his busy little claws. Also, in view was another bedroom window with drapes waving through into the airy breeze...No Screen!!!

She checked her Living Room window...no broken screen. Her bedroom window showed about a three-inch hole roughly torn, large enough for Grey's entry into her apartment in his search for food? for nesting materials? or just to explore?

The following morning at 6:30 she was awakened by strange noises and realized that one of her squirrel acquaintances must be attempting to re-enter. Yes! She banged her hand on the window to scare him then firmly closed it. Within a few days, the screen was replaced.

Resounding in her mind was the advice given on a memo to all tenants. “Do Not Feed The Squirrels and Other Wildlife” near and around your home. They can be a nuisance and destructive. Let Nature provide for them.

Ariel, the above story is true. This “Break and Enter” was experienced by your Grand Mother last week. Two beautiful hibiscus plants, enjoying the summer atmosphere and climate, had been destroyed. No more could she purchase hanging baskets of flowers to adorn her balcony.

Merle Baird-Kerr
August 1, 2009