Monday, December 31, 2007

Birthday-Christmas Season

I blew the dust off my facebook account. and tossed a whack of pictures up. Here are a few of 'em for those of you not inclined to book your face.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Remembering Allan.

Stacey has put together a memorial website for her father. It has the tribute video, Stacey and Shannon's eulogies and many comments from people who knew and loved Allan.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Four years ago, Stacey and I were camped out in the hospital through the holiday season. Our new babies, Emily and Kaylee had to stay in the Special Care Nursery for ten days after they were born, and we stayed with them. One floor above us, Stacey's Uncle Kinley lay dying. And Christmas was right around the corner.

Now we find ourselves in the tensions of life and death again. Stacey's father has just died. Emily and Kaylee are about to celebrate their fourth birthday. And Christmas is right around the corner.

If Christmas is just about gifts, and a little bit of good will, it has little in it that speaks into times of loss and times of wonder. But if Christmas is about the incarnation, God walking among us, as one of us, God entering the human situation, then it has a lot to say. God is with us in our loss and our celebration. He weeps. He bleeds. He laughs. He is near.

And Christmas is right around the corner.

Remembering Allan.

Stacey's Father, Allan Smith, passed away just before 11pm on Monday night. Stacey and her sister Shannon were by his side. They have been by his side since he entered the hospital over six weeks ago. The three of them have spent countless hours together. And Allan was in very good spirits, right up to his final day.

Stacey has created a website in memory of her father. Over the days to come it will be added to. And you can add your memories and reflections to it as well by leaving a comment.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

At the Lonely End of the Rink

I hear your voice ‘cross a frozen lake
a voice from the end of a leaf
saying, ‘you won’t die of a thousand fakes
or be beaten by the sweetest of dekes’

- The Tragically Hip.

I'm midway through the process of making a skating rink in our backyard. Emily and Kaylee are skating machines. Every day after pre-school we go slide around on the community rink, and I have to drag them off kicking and screaming. The only thing on their Christmas lists this year are "big kid skates." Kaylee's favourite story is about a little boy who loves hockey and builds a rink in his backyard. She is adamant that our rink be the right shape and have red and blue lines.

Beyond my girl's love of ice, there's a legacy-thing at the heart of flooding the back yard. My grandfather and namesake used to make a rink in the backyard for my mother and her siblings. Stacey's dad used to make one for her and her sister. And Stacey and I made one together a few months before we were married.

The first step was communal: Kaylee and I shoveled snow ridges and sprayed them down, while Emily acted as foreman overseeing us through the window, from behind a cup of hot chocolate.

Thanks in part to the warm weather, the latter steps have been solitary: wandering out into the darkness at 9 or 10 pm with a hose over my shoulder.

Something about standing in the darkness, listening to water flow, feeling the chill and reflecting on fathers now gone, fathers facing their last days and the fatherhood I find myself in the midst of feels right. Solid. It feels like a place I'm supposed to be.

Just don't laugh when you see how poorly I skate.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Morgan ... Uh Uh Uh.

Playing the president of the United States? Playing God? Driving Miss Daisy? No way. This clip is Morgan Freeman's greatest acting achievement.

Bad Vicar

I have a new career aspiration now (thanks Milton).