Usually at this time of year my winter coat has been worn at least half a dozen times,  snow could have fallen and night-time temperatures could dive below zero. Also this would be the time for me to write Christmas cards to relatives and in various parts of the world, some with a short note, others with a letter, all with a line or two of wishes and blessings.  My pattern has not changed for more than 40 years, my address has, though, quite frequently at times.  Hence my writing this note from Australia while my winter coat helps keep someone warm in Canada.  I find this tradition of Christmas letter writing to be peaceful and deeply satisfying, not only in taking the time to write special notes to special people, but in receiving cards and short letters from different parts of the world.  It is a time for me to connect again with those I rarely see but have shared special moments with through childhood, through births, marriages, and every facet that life and living brings. Sometimes I write or receive an email or letter that contains a sentence that begins with, “do you remember when?”  I received one of those “do you remember” letters via email last week from a friend I went to school with in the UK.  Bob and I were inseparable from about age 11, so much so that both sets of parents would ask us, “when are you moving in?”, or, “where are you two living this weekend?”  This kind of friendly banter continued throughout all of the school years and continues today, although the older generations have passed away and we now form the older generation.  A sad thing is that our kids have never met and find it hard to understand the depth and breadth of friendship that we share. This “do you remember” email was the story of playing indoor golf in the long downstairs hallway of the house I grew up in.   The hallway was long, more than twelve metres from front door to kitchen door.  We usually played golf with a nine iron,  six or so tennis balls, and a bucket. The idea was to gently, the operative word, lift the balls into the air with the nine iron and try to get them directly into the bucket without bouncing on the floor or wall.  It was a great game and quite often my parents would join in.  On this fated day, though, the greatest plans of mice and men, well in this case of two fourteen year old boys, went totally awry. The story:   The practice swing was taken – the ball was placed – then the swing – the ball was hit – it rose into the air – it kept rising – and then smashed through the window in the front door.  I remember being frozen in my place and thinking ‘run.’  My mother heard the crash and saw the ball come sailing out into the front garden as she was coming home from shopping.  She quickly retreated to a neighbour’s house for a cup of tea and patiently waited for the excuses.  Needless to say there were many. Bob’s email was an early unexpected gift this year.  One gratefully received.  We haven’t given shirts, or ties, or sweaters, or cuff links, as gifts for many years.  But the annual Christmas card, or letter, or email that we do write is by far the greater gift that we could ever ask for or imagine. …while finishing this short story this morning another email arrived.  This time from a friend who I had lost touch with, and yup, you are right in thinking it contained a sentence that began, “do you remember.” God continues to move in mysterious ways – great wonders to perform! Do you feel like writing a note, or letter, or an email…? With many blessings…
Brian’s recent visit to Hindu Bali
From Brian’s desk  
Mosman Uniting Church
Serving Mosman since 1877
From Brian’s desk  
Usually at this time of year my winter coat has been worn at least half a dozen times,  snow could have fallen and night-time temperatures could dive below zero. Also this would be the time for me to write Christmas cards to relatives and in various parts of the world, some with a short note, others with a letter, all with a line or two of wishes and blessings.  My pattern has not changed for more than 40 years, my address has, though, quite frequently at times.  Hence my writing this note from Australia while my winter coat helps keep someone warm in Canada.  I find this tradition of Christmas letter writing to be peaceful and deeply satisfying, not only in taking the time to write special notes to special people, but in receiving cards and short letters from different parts of the world.  It is a time for me to connect again with those I rarely see but have shared special moments with through childhood, through births, marriages, and every facet that life and living brings. Sometimes I write or receive an email or letter that contains a sentence that begins with, “do you remember when?”  I received one of those “do you remember” letters via email last week from a friend I went to school with in the UK.  Bob and I were inseparable from about age 11, so much so that both sets of parents would ask us, “when are you moving in?”, or, “where are you two living this weekend?”  This kind of friendly banter continued throughout all of the school years and continues today, although the older generations have passed away and we now form the older generation.  A sad thing is that our kids have never met and find it hard to understand the depth and breadth of friendship that we share. This “do you remember” email was the story of playing indoor golf in the long downstairs hallway of the house I grew up in.   The hallway was long, more than twelve metres from front door to kitchen door.  We usually played golf with a nine iron,  six or so tennis balls, and a bucket. The idea was to gently, the operative word, lift the balls into the air with the nine iron and try to get them directly into the bucket without bouncing on the floor or wall.  It was a great game and quite often my parents would join in.  On this fated day, though, the greatest plans of mice and men, well in this case of two fourteen year old boys, went totally awry. The story:   The practice swing was taken – the ball was placed – then the swing – the ball was hit – it rose into the air – it kept rising – and then smashed through the window in the front door.  I remember being frozen in my place and thinking ‘run.’  My mother heard the crash and saw the ball come sailing out into the front garden as she was coming home from shopping.  She quickly retreated to a neighbour’s house for a cup of tea and patiently waited for the excuses.  Needless to say there were many. Bob’s email was an early unexpected gift this year.  One gratefully received.  We haven’t given shirts, or ties, or sweaters, or cuff links, as gifts for many years.  But the annual Christmas card, or letter, or email that we do write is by far the greater gift that we could ever ask for or imagine. …while finishing this short story this morning another email arrived.  This time from a friend who I had lost touch with, and yup, you are right in thinking it contained a sentence that began, “do you remember.” God continues to move in mysterious ways – great wonders to perform! Do you feel like writing a note, or letter, or an email…? With many blessings…
Mosman Uniting Church
Serving Mosman since 1877