By Ingrid Sapona
As I’ve done the past few years, I’m ending 2013 with an
alphabet-inspired list of thoughts, events, and news items that I’ve reflected
on over the past year.
is for Aleppo
Though for many of us it’s just the name of a city in Syria, it seems
appropriate to start a list of reflections on 2013 by thinking about, and
praying for, people in Aleppo (and elsewhere) who are suffering as a result of
is for beautiful,
breathtaking, and Banff If I were compiling a thesaurus these would be
synonyms. My sisters and I experienced the splendor of Banff this past summer.
If it’s not on your list of must see places, it should be.
is for Crack
Smoking Mayor – Sadly, this is the phrase that folks around the world have come
to associate Toronto with.
is for doorknobs
Vancouver has amended its building code to prohibit use of doorknobs on all
new construction. Doorknobs are considered a partial barrier to entry so lever
handles will have to be used on all new city buildings beginning March 2014.
is for Edward
Snowden For me, the biggest surprise was not what Snowden “revealed”, it’s
that so many people didn’t realize – or pay attention to – the fact that, in the name of the war on
terror, many laws have been enacted that expand the U.S. government’s powers.
is for foraging
The slow food movement is so yesterday. Foraging is the next gourmet wave.
Mind you, I can’t imagine how well that’ll work out for those of us above the 44th
parallel from about November to April.
government The founding fathers definitely didn’t agree on everything, but they
realized that governing is about compromise and working toward the greater
good. Why have so many politicians forgotten that? Why do people re-elect
people who have forgotten that?
is for typhoon
Haiyan A few years ago I met a couple (friends of a friend) who had a place
on an island in the Philippines. I recently heard that typhoon Haiyan wiped out
that whole island – not so much as a palm tree was left standing. I can’t even
is for icewine
I urge anyone who likes icewine but who questions the high price of it to
spend a morning picking the frozen gems. The precious nature of the nectar will
is for judging
I’m not Catholic, so I’ve never paid too much attention to what popes have said,
but Pope Francis’ “who am I to judge” comment revealed an outlook and way of
being that I wish were universal.
is for just
kidding The recent “tweet heard around the world” by the PR person en route
to Africa is a good reminder that inappropriate behavior or comments can’t be
explained away with a simple: “just kidding”.
is for lottery
A commentator from the U.S. had a particularly positive spin on the odd story
of the Ontario woman who won $50 million but didn’t know it until provincial lottery
investigators tracked her down. The commentator noted that it was refreshing to
hear of government employees (whose efforts are usually focused on investigating
fraud and denying prize claims) putting equal effort into rewarding an
is for Mandela
Even for people with seemingly little in common with him, Nelson Mandela provided
is for Naheed Nenshie
He’s the mayor of Calgary -- you know, the mayor the rest of Canada wishes it
Obamacare I truly believe that in time it will be remembered for more than
just clumsy web design. It will take its place alongside social security and
medicare as a program that Americans can’t imagine living without.
is for puzzles
I’ll bet I wasn’t the only one surprised to hear that crosswords have only
been around for 100 years!
is for quiet
Something we need more of in our lives. (Especially if the government or
airlines are crazy enough to start allowing folks to use their cell phones on
is for rain – Last
summer’s record-breaking flooding in Calgary and Toronto was terrible for many
and I can’t help wonder if it’s like the canary in the coal mine – a warning of
something – I’m just not sure what…
is for scandal
As hard as it may be to believe, the crack smoking mayor wasn’t the biggest political
scandal to hit the Canadian landscape this year. That dubious honour goes to
the senate expense scandal. Though, on the surface, the story was about
outrageous housing allowances and travel expenses claimed, some of which has
been re-paid, nothing is being done to address the roots of the problem: a
sense of entitlement and a lack of accountability.
is for texting
In the fall I took a road trip through New York State and all along the
highway (not just along the Thruway) the rest stops have become “texting stops”.
I guess folks don’t need to rest any more…
unlikeliest – The now famous “butt goal” is surely the unlikeliest way a goal
has ever been scored in the NHL. The incident happened when a Sabre defenseman –
who ultimately was credited with the goal – flipped the puck up and on its way
back down it dropped into the pants of the Phoenix Coyote goaltender. When the
goalie backed into the net he – and the puck – crossed the goal line, resulting
in a goal for the Sabres.
is for voice –
This year I discovered Microsoft Word’s Speak function, which is especially
helpful for typo-prone writers like me. You select and highlight text and click
on the Speak icon and the program reads the text out loud.
is for war Sadly,
I know there are wars going on that many of us haven’t even heard of. That’s
shameful, as well as tragic.
is for xtreme
(well, it is if you’re a bad speller) In so many ways 2013 was a year of
extremes. G, H, and R above provide prime examples but, thankfully, so does B.
is for yikes – At
over 1000 words, yikes is this column long! Thankfully there’s just one more
is for Zen –
given that Zen is a type of Buddhism that emphasizes meditation, it seems a
fitting word to end this column with, as I hope that over the year one or two
On beings … has given you something to think about.