In the book, Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie, wrote: "God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December." However, winter also has its own beauty. Each season blesses the Lord.
The psalms and canticles we sing for Morning Prayer on feast days include "The Canticle of the Three Young Men," which is taken from the book of Daniel. In it are the lines, Frost and chill, bless the Lord./ Ice and snow bless the Lord./ Let all the earth bless the Lord (3:69).
Speaking of seasons, our farmers and gardeners spent most of the summer growing our food and much of autumn harvesting it.
And the food-processors spent part of the summer but mainly autumn processing it and storing it for the winter.
Looking ahead to next year, they are sending out a plea to any skilled meat cutters who might be able to help us for one-to-five days in October, after Canadian Thanksgiving, when we do the slaughtering.
The food processors also need meat-cutting knives with 12 to 18-inch blades and size 14 rubber boots.
The laundry is in need of permanent fine tip fabric markers. Our new guests use them to write nametags for their clothes. The laundry also needs clothes line separators and Oxyclean, a base cleaner.
Also looking ahead to next summer, Joanne Weisbeck, who organizes our Cana Colony family camp is asking for badminton racquets, birdies, and coloring books.
The gift shop needs to replenish supplies: tissue paper for wrapping sold items, small paper bags, and calling card cases.
As for merchandise, they are asking for marbles; small decorative lamps; thimbles; and crystal cream and sugar sets and candle stick holders.
Also popular are silver-plated cutlery and candle stick holders; and matched crumber sets (a tray and brush used to brush crumbs from dining room tables). And customers love miniatures of any kinds: such as figurines, animals, and toy soldiers.
Do you have any small quartz alarm clocks? Why quartz? Well, actually what we need is alarm clocks that don’t tick.
We live in dormitories and these clocks are for when one of us needs to get up earlier than the others. The clocks can be put under the pillow to muffle the alarm, but those that tick keep the person awake.
St. Martha’s office is asking for 2014 calendars and desk-top organizers.
If you have any aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or wax paper you can send, the kitchen would be grateful.
The nurses are asking for rubbing alcohol and elastoplast bandages: (regular and fingertip). They also thank you for the vitamin C you sent and are asking for some more. Vitamin C is always needed in the winter, along with cough drops and low-dose and regular-dose aspirins.
The cleaning department is asking for baby baths (which are a perfect size for washing many different things), cleaning polish for stainless steel, long-handled bottle brushes, and 8 and 12-inch squeegees.
As for toiletries, which the cleaning department takes care of, these days we need unscented hand lotions and bar soap (some of us are allergic to scents), men’s shaving cream, toothpaste, and dental floss.
And everyone would be most grateful for some black shoe polish.
The canticle of Daniel also says, Spirits and souls of the just bless the Lord (3:86).
We bless the Lord, and we also bless you for your kindness. We pray that the coming Advent be for you a time of waiting for the Lord. Be assured of our prayers in this holy season.
In Our Lady of Combermere,
Susanne Stubbs and Mark Schlingerman (December 2013)
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