Marty (foreground) and I did this walk in April with the Southwest Cornwall Footpath Preservation Society. Location is Prussia Cove on Cornwall’s English Channel side. Glorious! Preserve the path!

t’s July 3, 2015 and some neighbors are having a blast. The city’s fireworks takes place at dark, but some folks are in the boom business even as the sun shines.

Today I learned about the Windsor-Detroit International Freedom Festival. The fireworks part of the festival took place this past Monday. I watched 24 minutes of it on Youtube. The advantage for me was that I could turn down the volume. The finale was pretty amazing.

This was the 47th annual Windsor-Detroit Fireworks Festival. It marks Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4). An estimated one million people gather on the waterfront in each city to watch the aerial and aural display. The festival in Windsor goes on for 19 days. I like the fact that the two cities jointly celebrate the multi-day festival, attracting some 3.5 million visitors. Now that’s a plug for the international celebration of freedom.

On a sad note, one of my grade school mates died recently, Friday, June 19. David Reibling was an intuitive inventor, visionary and pioneer in organic farming. In 1975 the Reibling family established Canada’s original organic mill. The business continues today as Oak Manor Farms, located south of Punkeydoodles Corners, Ontario. There’s no Post Office for the three homes in Punkeydoodlles Corners, I’ll dig into my file bag sometime to comment on the intriguing name. One year the Prime Minister celebrated Canada Day there.

Google Oak Manor Farms and you’ll find a good article by Lauren Carter on the business in Edible  Toronto magazine, fall 2011. Best wishes to the family as they carry on a vital philosophy “that  healthy soil yields healthy food and healthy people.”

Books I’ve read recently include 10 things they never told me about Jesus, by John L Bell, a member of the Iona Community in Scotland. John was the resource person for Funk Fest at Prairie Street Mennonite Church on June 13 and 14. (Funk founded the church in 1871 and the festival focuses on one of his contributions, including music, mission, mentoring, migration and media).

One thing we don’t often notice about Jesus is his fondness both for eating and for talking about food. If we’d take such food references out of the Gospels, the four books would be full of holes. In chapter 10, “Giggling for God,” John makes the case for God’s humor, using, as his first example, the story of 89-year-old Sarah and 99-year-old Abraham when told they would have a son and start a new nation.

Books, what would we do without books? I found Farley Mowat’s Aftermath: Travels in a Post-War World, for sale for $1 at Elkhart Public Library. It’s the story of his and his wife’s visit in 1953 to places where he had been part of the Canadian armed service in WW 2. I’m taken with his statement in the Foreword, “It is in our nature to travel into our past, hoping thereby to illuminate the darkness that bedevils the present.”

I traveled into the 7th century in a book by Peter Tremayne, Smoke in the Wind. The Tremayne series is about Sister Fidelma of Cashel, a dalaigh or advocate of the law courts of seventh-century Ireland and her companion and future husband Brother Eadulf of Seaxmund’s Ham in the land of the South Folk. These are engaging stories of the spread of Christianity across Britain, intrigue and bloodshed of the times, mysteries solved by Fidelma and Eadulf often at the peril of their own lives and insight into the dual streams of Celtic spirituality and that of Roman Catholicism. “The law is a more sacred thing than the sword which you carry,” Fidelma tells a scheming, brutal bandit. Peter Tremayne is a Celtic scholar with more than 30 books on  Ancient Celts and the Irish.

One of the last book I read was Making the Rounds::Memoirs  of a Small Town Doctor, by Gerald Miller and his daughter Shari Miller Wagner. I can say it is an excellent read not just because we’re related through marriage (to sisters Marty and Mary), but that the book is a truly engaging one of a doctor listening to his patients, being involved in church and community, building a practice of 10 doctors who are able to support a clinic in Haiti and being immersed in the life of a small town and region. Shari adds detail, sparkle, tapestry and connectivity of past and present to the story. I read it’s 288 pages almost nonstop. You’ll find my review on

We’ve been able to walk more this week given the weather’s ideal conditions. No rain, cooler in the morning, errands that can be done on foot. Way to go. It’s almost time to watch over the tree\s for the fireworks from Rice Field. No turning down the volume on a few of the neighbors, though. Best! -John

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