My father had some sarcastic words for the people who showed up at church once (or twice) a year and made sure that their offering was visible to the other other people in the congregation. One guy actually snapped his hundred dollar bills as he put them in the plate. Money can actually purchase the illusion of redemption. These people were invariably in the front pews and decked out like it was the Oscars.

I was brought up to be Anglican. This was very un-Anglican. My father actually had weekly envelopes in which he put an undetermined (to me, anyway) amount of money. He was an Aeronautical Engineer, so I am sure his contribution was commensurate with his salary. He was discreet. 

Dad volunteered for all sorts of things over the course of his life including: leading youth group, being warden, singing in the choir and giving people lifts that were more elderly than he was. He walked the talk. 

One of his hitch-hikers was Hermann “Jackrabbit” Johannsen (1875-1987) who is a skiing legend in the Laurentian mountains. Jackrabbit thought I was a girl (I had long hair back then) the one time I visited him at home in Piedmont. I was 18, so it was probably his hundredth  birthday. I remember that I asked him how the got to 100. and him saying that aside from skiing and clearing trails that he smoked and drank daily. Jackrabbit told my dad that the only way he could stand the sermon from Canon Huffenstuff Humbug(not his real name) was to turn off his hearing aid and take a little nap. 

Both my father and “Jackrabbit” are buried in the tiny Protestant cemetery in St. Sauveur-des-Monts, Qc. They are roughly eighty feet apart. The great leveller. 

Getting back to contributions. As Sharon and I prepare to hand over funds we have raised for charity, I am torn between being discreet and being public. I checked to see how different organizations do this. I am sure many of you have seen those giant cheques that are built for these photo ops. I thought that might be kind of nice. They are not cheap. I nixed that idea after seeing the prices on Amazon. Waste of money. We want to turn over the full amount (without $50 wasted on a photo op). We could have handed them an envelope of cash, but these things can be lost or stolen so finally just got a “cashier’s cheque” which only cost $7. 

I am not entirely sure how the exchange will take place, but it will happen at a holiday party today at the St. James Drop-In Centre. It will be a private (no press)turnover, but semi-public (photos on Social Media) mostly because there were so many people who purchased the CD, and I want them to see the fruits of their and our labours. 

As I get ready for retirement from a career in Music Teaching and Music Therapy, I am happy to think that I can still contribute to society through my music and through volunteerism. 

One thought on “Trying To Walk The Talk

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