Giving Tuesday

What I Did for Giving Tuesday in 2017

For the last six years, Black Friday has been followed the next week by a day encouraging people to be charitable–Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday of the week following the notorious Black Friday, and also Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

 

I had already been aware of it, but this year I took more of an interest in it, as my dad is spending his retirement years operating a little cemetery, seeing how he was involved for years with a municipal cemetery.  I am his partner operating it.  I am the more junior of the two of us, clearly, but I do play a role, and I have access to the cemetery we have as we present ourselves on Facebook, which serves as a utility for visitors (offline and online) to reach out to us when there are observations and requests.

 

What I resolved on, in the end, was to present a token donation to the website Wikipedia, which felt right because I try Wikipedia at those times when I need a quick answer, or otherwise a fast piece of research.  Wikipedia wasn’t asking for much (which is good because I don’t have a lot) and I retweeted an appeal of theirs on Twitter asking for donations and I was even delighted with a swift reply from them on Twitter, to which I immediately responded by clicking “like” and smiling broadly, because it’s what I think of as “cool” (to each his own).

Giving Tuesday
11-28-17, 1:01 PM

I may give Giving Tuesday another go next year, as it was a lot of fun crafting tweets that encapsulated what I was going for with my Giving Tuesday campaign (my Twitter handle is @findingenvirons).  I also posted to Facebook plentifully throughout November, leading up to Giving Tuesday (the cemetery page is www.facebook.com/LouthUnited).

 

If you’ve never been aware of Giving Tuesday each November, perhaps you will be aware of it in 2018 and you will feel like you are joining in the day to be charitable with your time and with your money.  This blog has been active, generally speaking, over the last three years, and I want to continue to pursue it with diligence in mind in a manner that is pursuant to being part of a modest not-for-profit.

Advertisements

Requirement To Proceed Gingerly is Essential

We have to worry about the weather. Most of our volunteers are senior citizens and they walk very gingerly.

Alberta Stima

Alberta is right, that treating senior citizens gingerly isn’t always easy.  While some remain young at heart and reasonable, others are less capable, frankly, in some situations.

632
https://pythom.com/New-10-Pitch-511-on-EEOR-Near-Canmore-is-Alt-Left-2017-10-21-34716

I’m in operations at a not-for-profit cemetery (in fact, you can find us elsewhere on the Internet at http://maplelawncemeteryorg.ipage.com/oldchurchcemetery/24701.html).  It is somewhat taxing doing such funeral work, but the serenity of the environment and the relative freedom I have in addition to the work I do make it worthwhile.

 

November 28 of this month celebrates Giving Tuesday, which is like a holiday for not-for-profits (chiefly in the US, but elsewhere as well, I should think).  I am posting to Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited) as well as to Twitter (my page is https://twitter.com/findingenvirons).  It is true that Twitter is busy unrolling its new vision for its tweets.

 

The new tweets will be up to two hundred and eighty characters in length compared to how they were, for ten years, which was tweets up to a hundred and forty characters.  I am not sure how Twitter will fare in the future with this disregard for tradition (a decade’s tradition) evident.

 

Many Internet users rely on Facebook, and on Twitter, for their news (as in the case, for example, they wish to be good citizens).  Twitter’s reputation will most likely change as new developments there come up, but while Twitter appeals to someone like me, whose forty years old and been on the Internet since before the days of Napster, it is discouraging.

 

If I were to relent a little for the sake of a greater good for my family, who are supportive of the decisions I make, and for the cemetery, which is operated efficiently and consistently, perhaps I would abandon Twitter now.  I don’t want to, however.

 

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word gingerly and because I think the WordPress prompts are great, I thought I would venture to blog again thoughts I have.

#GivingTuesday Ambassadors for Maple Lawn Cemetery

As a kid, I got to trick-or-treat.  It’s what a kid thinks of as being cool.  I have my mother’s skill–at times she lent assistance to costumes that helped me fit in for the walkabout going door-to-door.

 

I think it always seemed to feel shorter than it was.  The other disappointment was reaching adolescence.  It was no longer very advisable to try trick-or-treating if you were too big for your breeches.  You’d see those porch lights go dark.

 

Four years ago my father decided that in his retirement years he would take on the responsibility of operating a little cemetery on the outskirts of town (doesn’t that sound like it’s from a horror script or something of that kind?) and we are partners in the cemetery’s operation, although generally speaking, he is the boss.  Is it ghoulish?

 

Well, it kind of is.  Not everybody could handle it.  For me, it is nice to be part of an operation of that kind, and I feel I’m inclined to do it.

 

DSCF7804
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 8:36 AM

November 28 is known among not-for-profits as Giving Tuesday, and it is like a holiday for charities, when they ask for gifts.  There’s only a couple of things that are pressing on us.

 

For example, when the car lost control and drove into the tree out by the church, it tapped the sign for the church and one of the legs of the sign was cracked nearly in two.  Getting a new sign would be nice, although our budget is strictly limited to operations.  It does require replacement, however.

 

We don’t make much doing what we do.  It isn’t entirely true that we scrape by, but we’re not getting rich.

 

We’re comfortable and we’re honest, given that we deal with funeral practices on a regular basis and we understand that discretion is required, as is respect and common decency.  We’re Christian people.

 

It isn’t necessary to help, but if you have any interest in the ghoulish, and you would like to help by becoming a fan of our Facebook page, retweeting my tweets about November 28, or reblogging this post, you are welcome to leave a comment expressing that you would like to be a Maple Lawn Cemetery ambassador.  We’re on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LouthUnited and my twitter handle is @findingenvirons  We also have a website that you can click through to see with http://maplelawncemeteryorg.ipage.com/oldchurchcemetery/

 

Although Giving Tuesday is six years running, this is the first year I’ve decided to try my hand at participating in it.  It’s not a race, it’s just that with the damaged sign, and even the wear and tear on the John Deere that I employ to assist with the operation of the cemetery, any help at all would be appreciated.  If you are a freelance creative, and you work for cheap, you are welcome to inquire if you think your talent would fit in with what my father and I are doing on the Internet.

 

Naturally, even if your thoughts for the season are all about Hallmark, I understand completely, and you are more than welcome to like this post or even to follow the blog.

DSCF8287
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 11:40 AM

Have an amazing Halloween in 2017, and maybe we’ll even see you back in 2018.  I wish you good tidings.

Busy Stillness: Layered by the Seasons and Solemnly

Often a photo is “layered” with clever perspectives and subjects, and open to interpretation.  Most weeks of the year WordPress offers a weekly photo challenge, which is to help bloggers on the platform to find inspiration in a picture.  The challenges are published Wednesdays, and you can read this week’s photo essay about layered photos https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/layered/

St. Catharines
Amid Maple Lawn Cemetery

Over the last few years, most of my photos have been taken in the setting of Maple Lawn Cemetery, where I co-direct operations, acting as a junior assistant to my father.  I take photos out of a love for the creative, and I thought back a little as to how best an assessment of “layered” might apply to my pictures.  Being a nature setting, there is quite a bit to photograph there that could be described as layered because it is an accessible setting to photograph.

 

A photo I took of my dad taking a mental measurement of the cemetery is layered in that you can see how movement “through” the cemetery field might be explored, how it is that the subject, my father, is of interest despite being solitary amid cemetery headstones, and how it shows texture since fall leaves are scattered in a way that delineates the foreground.  It illustrates layered as a photo that tells a bit of a story about what is happening, and if unknown to the viewer might require imagination as to what is going on in the photo.

 

If you are also blogging your photos for the sake of the WordPress photo challenges, or otherwise enjoy the picture here, you are welcome to like, comment, and/or follow.

  

Good luck with your own photography, and happy autumn to you.

 

Waiting, The Milestone that Identifies Another Piece of the Puzzle

And why not return to blogging, I say? The weekend finds me reading Wednesday’s WordPress photo challenge, an essay on waiting. Also, the daily prompt is the word Overcome.

The photo challenge and the daily prompt have me going back a little in time to see what I have done with my camera that might prove workable, for the purposes of the WordPress Prompts & Challenges. I think of nature, typically.

August 23, 2017
Sky over Maple Lawn Cemetery in St. Catharines

I am starting with a cloudy churning sky, shot the twenty-third of August when the heavens above seemed to speak dismay as I helped take care of my duties at the cemetery where I work. You can see the trees on the crest of the hillside standing with authority, and stones beneath, marking the plots where the dead rest and where the living mark time.

It was near the end of summer, and I tend to think I am nearer that more than anything, as the days go. It’s not depressing, but always a reminder to keep active, to keep living.

It would be mad not to act because the consolation as it happens is what freedome we have, to do a little, a little more, and then some. The stake put up in a blog is for me the rather sociable activity of reflecting on the challenges and prompts, such that I’m thinking along the same lines as what other WordPress bloggers think about the same ideas. A few people relate, although maybe not all that many.

Waiting isn’t easy and the moments of waiting, when the time slips away a little more, are never to be recaptured. It is a madcap time in these days of remaining connected far and away, but it is also when I want to stop, for, I take it, all have the same experience, that we are merely waiting.

The inertia of waiting passes and we gravitate back to what is fulfilling. In the meanwhile, all I might do is take a photo of what feels elusive. Sometimes not even that, I guess.

February 22, 2017
Louth United Church 1429 Third Ave, St Catharines

My second photo is another in the spirit of the photo challenge, which is looking at how it is I get away from the church that oversees the cemetery there, the physical route. The photo hints at motion. This picture is from the twenty-second of February, two thousand and seventeen, and I wanted to get away from the cold that had everything in its grip and would not give.

I like the photo despite its flaws, for the long tree shadow that guards the exit from the church and cemetery. Winter holds the moment together and few brave the elements. I am there, however, in that place of calm and possibly eternity–only time will tell.

The photo challenge asks us how we can show how it is to wait and how we choose to deal with it. I like to think up an interaction between the weekly photo challenges and the daily prompts, such that the two overlap. It is hunting two birds with one stone.

There is a week’s relief from the photo challenges ahead–the Waiting essay is the last one for two weeks. It is a respite, I suppose.

.If you are interested in any of this, you can like, follow, and/or comment as it suits you. You can also investigate our cemetery further on Facebook, at
www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
.
Thank you for visiting my blog. All the best.

Thinking I Have Been Misguided

Late in June this year, I had the good fortune to read an interesting 2007 Live from the NYPL interview with filmmaker Werner Herzog

https://brickmag.com/was-the-twentieth-century-a-mistake/

The films the chronographer points to include Nosferatu the Vampyre, Aguirre the Wrath of God, and Fitzcarraldo, three films which I viewed quietly when I was in college when such things were far less frequently available.  One of my college essays included observations about Herzog, and, perplexingly enough, my teacher mentioned to me the last we spoke that the young gentleman was planning to write a book about Herzog, to establish himself as a writer (and as a “serious” academic).  The interview in the literary journal here recounts Herzog’s observation on adventure:  “I cannot stand the term adventure nowadays–I lower my head and charge–it has degenerated into such an obscenity that you can go to the travel agency and book an adventure trip to New Guinea, to the headhunters, to the cannibals.”

I was reminded of my June 24 post- https://findingenvirons1.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/what-might-have-been-adventure-can-show-the-rust/ which was titled with the unfortunate word Adventure.  I have thought how I can correct the mistaken impression, but to the post’s credit, it did receive the favor of a blogger with a much larger profile than I have got myself.  beautybeyondbones you should read, and you can find what she was characteristically saying on her own blog this summer (it is hard hitting):  

https://beautybeyondbones.com/2017/06/22/the-exploitation-by-to-the-bone/

Compared to me, she’s very good.

Yesterday my nephew to move to his new college town, and while we’re not close I am interested to see how he will do (he anticipates he will become a teacher).  He has his own dorm room now and his studies will shortly begin, once he has acclimatized to being in his new life situation.

Bryce House
Jean-Royce Hall

I think how hard it is to be by and large confined to the area which is local.  Personally, I am not easily discouraged, but I think compared to beautybeyondbones, who has gone through tremendous suffering and come back strong, it is a daunting outcome to contemplate being powerful enough to effect insight.  I sometimes tweet links to articles that argue for the relative merits of blogging, and I feel the odd person who could click through what trending posts I share on Twitter may occasionally see something that works for him (or her).  

You can find me on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/findingenvirons

There is a plenitude of blogging advice available on the Internet, but the best advice I know of is this tidbit.  You should not tell people what to post.

Any passion, any ingredient for inventiveness or what is usually referred to as authenticity, should not be filtered out of an individual’s content for the sake of conveying expertise.  It is not a good idea.

I shall include another photo, which I think implies transience, simply which inspired the blog post which beautybeyondbones saw, impressing me greatly.  If you are of a mind that this is favorable to you, feel free to “like,” “comment,” and/or “follow.”  I seldom know what this will turn up, but I was moved by the Werner Herzog interview.

Uploaded 5 October 2015
Freeway exit

On the corner in the place I inhabit

When you’re growing up in a small town
You say no one famous ever came from here
small town, Songs for Drella, Lou Reed & John Cale

Today’s WordPress daily prompt is the word inhabit and this week’s photo challenge is an essay on the corner. I wanted to say something on my blog before too much time had passed so I looked to see what the daily prompt was saying today and I went out and took a couple of photos to participate in the weekly photography challenge again. I am beginning to understand that for my blog to have the faintest chance of being readable I have to dispense with the grade school rules of writing and begin to think more about how a blogger need think and how a blogger need write, and I’ve been on WordPress five years now and I know it doesn’t really amount to much.

Corner theme
Friday, August 25

It doesn’t mean I’m frustrated or full of self-doubt or anything like that. I’ve become convinced that there are new rules for writing on the Internet, and what need be done in the fashion of blogging, you can see plain as day from the words in front of you how a style of blogging best resemble. Similar to how it is now.

angles and intersections
Friday, August 25

What should be said? Perhaps as little as possible. Perhaps a little more, though, because why shouldn’t your life include a blog?

It’s near-essential. I don’t like much about the place I inhabit, I admit, but I grew up in this and I remain, despite the diminishing odds for success and the relative poverty and narrowness of opportunity I shoulder. I have family here and other supports and resources and it is a comfortable life, just not a daring one (you can find the website for our family-operated not-for-profit here).

Does it depress you thinking of something like what it is to be from somewhere that is mostly unknown? Don’t let it. For every withered self-help tome that exhorts the benefits of change and proffers a philosophy of optimism, don’t overlook the relative advantages of leading a comfortable life.

You should work hard and you should be kind, but never let the gloom in the streets extinguish the fire of passion you feel or clamp down on your enthusiasm or ruin your day in the least. Everything is as it should be, I whisper.

The times are exciting and even with only relatively scarce resources you can try this, and you can chase your dreams if they’re gathered in your arms or you can at least make out that you are having a good time. Living well is the best revenge, it’s said, and I would encourage you, if I really knew you, to put that into practice and to have a bit of fun what with everything you’re required to do and what you think you can do, to make your life better for yourself, and to experience a comparable level of satisfaction with your living in light of what you profoundly wish and desire.

That being said, I thank you, for reading this and for taking an interest of any kind in WordPress. If you relate to what I’ve said here, feel free to “like,” comment, and/or follow if it suits you. Good luck!

Jenna Marbles for President