I know some wonderful women whose names you’ve likely never heard.
They aren’t famous. But each has done something special to help others in her community.
Raphaelita Walker was the wonderful Mrs. Claus, a role she performed at the Jamaican Canadian Association in Toronto every Christmas for more than 40 years. (Her husband Gifford was Santa Claus.)
The children loved her. Adults loved her. Being Mrs. Claus was just one of Raph’s contributions to her community.
Raph celebrated her 90th birthday in December. She died on Valentine’s Day.
Thank you, dear Raph, for all you’ve done, for so many.
The other women are members of my church community.
Jane Carson, a retired teacher, musician and painter, has attended St. Thomas’ church for decades. She’s done much to help families here and abroad – particularly families with small children. But Jane’s most quiet ongoing ‘ministry’ is sending cards and letters to people who she thinks need to be cheered up. Thank you, Jane.
Olive Ormiston makes prayer shawls. She’s one of the main knitters at St. Thomas’ Anglican. They create the shawls for those going through a tough time: personal or family illness, bereavement, and other times that test one’s soul.
Every shawl is blessed by St. Thomas’ Anglican’s priest, Canon Claire Wade. Claire herself is a woman of wisdom and great strength.
Joanne Schuetzl helps to distribute the shawls. Having survived some scary health challenges herself, Joanne keeps an eye out for others in the community who may need a prayer shawl, and gently approaches them.
Hooray for these women and other stars in our communities!
This tree, which I ambitiously tried to hug — in my own special lop-sided way — is a mighty oak indeed. It stands tall and wide in the front-yard of a beautiful brick home, and though the home is old, the oak is older.
I recently met the owners of house and tree at their home in the gorgeous heritage district of one of Canada’s nicest small towns: Bowmanville, Ontario. They’ve lived here for decades and have learned much about their home, the town, and of course, the tree.
“It’s more than 300 years old,” the husband told me. “Many people stop to take photos.”
As did my husband and I. I’ve even told friends about this tree, and directed them to it!
It is, indeed, a wondrous tree.
There are other large trees on this beautiful street. Maples, magnificent beeches and others. But none as massive and wondrous as the oak. Which is ironic as the street is called Beech.