Seniors Situation Room. By Dawn Ford – Happy Hanukkah & 2021 Guide Dog Calendar

DECEMBER 9, 2020 – Our Jewish friends will be celebrating Hanukkah beginning at sundown December 10th until sundown December 18th.

I asked a friend of mine, Sidney Horovitz in Calgary, whom I had gone to school with many moons ago in Cornwall, what Hanukkah celebrations might be like this year with all the COVID 19 restrictions. This is what he said: “How Chanukah has changed! During this time of year we like to watch the classic movie, “A Wonderful Life”. This year it seems like all we’ve got is a ‘Virtual Life’. In fact, most of our life seems to be conducted online, such as meetings, festivals, socializing with family and friends and even shopping.

In the years past this is what the first night of Chanukah looked like:

However, our politicians and health authorities have forbidden socializing in our homes. That means that celebrating Chanukah with grandkids will not happen in our home this year. We won’t be retelling the story of how one drop of oil in the ancient temple of Jerusalem lasted eight days instead of just one day, lighting of the Chanukah candles, playing dreidel, singing Chanukah songs and watching the little faces as they open their Chanukah presents. Even putting up a few Chanukah decorations will not seem as meaningful. Instead, we will try to simulate the celebration over Facetime. We’ll miss the personalizing aspects of being with everyone and giving presents. In addition our synagogue is having virtual celebrations via Zoom during the first two nights of Chanukah.

But there’s another option. We are allowed to have a family gathering of up to 10 people outdoors. That’s right; we can have a Chanukah picnic in the mountains as long as each family keeps its required distance. And the kids love to picnic in Kananaskis or Banff National Park. We can have a bonfire, give the kids a sleigh ride and throw sticks for the dog; luckily, he’s not counted as a person. And we can enjoy all the other celebrations that we normally do. Life’s really wonderful after all!! We like to make a “Horovitz’ difference.”

Sounds wonderful for sure.

Happy Chanukah, Sid, to you and all your family and to all our Jewish friends.

Here is an interesting phrase origin: In the late 1700’s, many households consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board was folded down from the wall and was used for dining. The ‘head’ of the household’ always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the ‘Chair man’. Today in business, we use the expression or title “Chairman’ or ‘Chairman of the Board’.

I rec’d my CNIB Guide Dog calendar for 2021. There are wonderful photos each month of one of the magnificent Guide Dogs. There are three career options for these dogs. The Guide Dogs are partnered with adults who are blind of partially sighted. There are Buddy Dogs who are partnered with children with sight loss. And Ambassador Dogs who are partnered with the team members to promote CNIB Guide Dogs at community events and raise awareness of the role of guide dogs and buddy dogs.

In this calendar is a story told by a man named David and I quote:

“I’m the kind of person who has never let my sight loss slow me down”, says David. But after going through a hip replacement just a few years ago, David knew he had to be extremely careful especially during the winter months.

When David brought his Guide Dog, Lilo, home for the first time, everything changed. With Lilo by his side, David regained his confidence to get back out into his community again – back to his active lifestyle.

“I feel so much safer-especially in the winter”, says David. “I’ve started walking just for the fun of it. now I’m staying active and discovering new places. I never used to do that with my cane.”

For more information on CNIB Guide Dogs, please call 1-800-563-2642 or go to their web site at:

Christmas will soon be approaching .It will be different for a lot of us, for sure. I will miss going to church Christmas Eve and singing all those wonderful carols. But, as Sid was talking about finding other ways to celebrate Hanukkah, I guess we all can also wonderful ways to celebrate Christmas also.

Here is a photo of a Christmas card I received years ago. I love it and have always kept it. It was painted by a Foot Painter, Lena Maria Klingvall of The Mouth and Foot Painting Artists organization. It is no. E812, “Blessed Journey”. It is so beautifully, yet simply painted to tell us the story of the ‘Blessed Journey’ of the Magi on their way following The Star to the stable in Bethlehem to visit the precious Babe in the manger, Jesus.

Lovely painting and so meaningful at Christmas time.

For more information go to their website: or call the toll free number at 1-866-637-2226 for more information.

Tiger is amazing cat. Now he would like me to bring his food dish to the edge of the bed and let him eat it there. He sometimes sits at the foot of the bed to see, I guess, if I am gonig to bring him something to eat or if I might go back to bed or he is just being nosey. A bit senile maybe. If I just place a dish of food on the floor he will jump off the bed and get it but seems to like to be a pampered pet in his old age. His food dish and water are normally in the kitchen on a little kitty mat but he likes it better now in the bedroom. I don’t want him to just lay around and not get exercise. He is 17 1/2 years old , still playful and loves to get brushed. Likes to sleep too. Cute as they come, though.

A few funny lines from a friend:

1) Most people don’t think I am as old as I am until they hear me stand up.

2) I got myself a senior’s GPS. Not only does it tell me how I got to my destination but it also tells me why I wanted to go there.

3) >Enter new password: chicken. > Password must contain a capital: chickenkiev.

4) I don’t always go the extra mile, but when I do it is because I missed my exit.

5) I swear we’re fighting two pandemics: Coronavirus and stupidity.

6) Don’t let them take your temperature on your forehead as you enter the supermarket because it erases your memory. I went in for macaroni and cheese and came out with two cases of beer.

Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish friends, Dawn

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