The date - as I type this - is Tuesday, December 30 which indicates that the 'Christmas Season' is nearly over, For me it has been a busy - but interesting - time so I thought that I would share the events with you.
When I moved to Toronto in 1989 and located my new church home I met many people - most of whom I have remained friends with - and one of them is Frits Haselbarg. He is a Dutch immigrant to Canada who shares the same birth year as I but is six months the younger.
As he never applied for Canadian citizenship, he is forced to live in the most inexpensive residence as possible (I - and many other friends - as Canadians - are able to live in buildings which are more up scale and with the rent lowered due to 'rent-geared-to-income'). The lower rent areas are mainly found in the northwest area and that is where Frits lives. I knew that Christmas could be rough for him so I invited him to spend the holiday with me and partake of our mutual church activities.
One of these is to attend the Christmas Eve service conducted by the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto in the 2800 seat Roy Thompson Hall downtown on King Street West. The church covered the cost of those tickets and we had lovely seats in the mezzanine level and just above the left hand side of the stage. As usual, the service was truly wonderful. Also, one of the big 'perks' for me is to arrive early, go to the lounge reserved for the volunteers - Yes! I was a volunteer - and socialize with the many folk from the church whom we know.
On Christmas Day, Frits and I went to MCCToronto for the congregational potluck. In order to reach there we walked over to the Bloor/Yonge Subway Station where there was a lineup at the ticket booth and no attendant inside. I was standing behind a middle aged woman who exclaimed, "It is just like waiting for Santa Claus!' If you have seen photos of me you would have noticed my grey/white beard so I responded by saying, "I am right behind you , Madam" She turned with a look of embarrassed shock while all of us waiting laughed out loud. Maybe that was rude on my part but I could not resist!
Usually the potlucks at the church are very delicious but not this one which was a disappointment for me.
My friend, Frits, is lame so I forewarned him that - from Victoria Park Station - we would have a fifteen minute walk in order to reach the condominium building where my friend (Ian) lives. Frits used to be very hardy but now he is quite lame so he excused himself from accompanying me further.
Ian's parents immigrated from Great Britain to Canada when he was a boy and they settled in the British Properties area of West Vancouver. Ian is a very proud Canadian but there are many facets of his life which are quite British. Christmas dinner at his condominium is but one of them! Also - when we are together - we talk and talk and talk while savouring the very British meal, His condominium is quite different from the apartment in which I live but I am always very comfortable in his home
After dinner we sat and talked (Ian is a teetotaler so there is never any alcohol which is fine with me!)
After the visit was the lengthy walk back to the subway station and the ride home to Bay Street.