Transfixus Sed Non Mortuus

Here I Stand, Pierced and Transfixed

Browsing Posts tagged christmas

This song is from an album titled ‘A MURRAY CHRISTMAS’ due for release November 16th 2012. Check out more info at Luan Parle’s web page

Dear Santa

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Dear Santa,

As I’m sure you are aware, I’ve been way better this year than last. A lot of the improvements and efficiencies I implemented at the beginning of last year are producing results. My net niceness (shown in blue on the graph below) has definitely shown improvement over the last 11 months.

I know there’s plenty of room for improvement, but I think we both can agree that you should DEFINITELY put me on the “Nice List” this year. Right? Maybe? Well, when you are checking the list twice, please note that this month should be a new record in terms of net niceness!

Now that we’ve got that little presentation out the way, here’s this year’s list:

1. Sandra Bullock with a big red bow (as you may recall, I have put this as my number 1 since I was twelve…)
2. World Peace
3. Louis Garneau Power Seal Shoe Covers (Size Medium)
4. Some more energy and time management skills
5. Spanish-English dictionary
6. For people to learn more about the environment and work to protect it
7. Blackburn Voyager Bike Light or Blackburn Flea USB Plus Solar
8. More love and compassion
9. Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
10. Health and Happiness for all my family and friends
11. Tea Infuser and some loose tea leaves
12. Music CD’s or iTunes Gift Cards
13. Irish books, music, etc.
14. A Good Scarf
15. A gift certificate to Running Fit
16. Reflective Gear, such as long running pants, reflective bands to hold my pant cuff off my bicycle, etc.

But of course, I will be happy with whatever you think I deserve, Santa.

I hope you and the missus have a great holiday, and I hope to see you soon.

Sincerely yours,

John Walsh

What a Weekend

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This weekend went really well for me! I had a great time hanging out with good friends as we traipsed through downtown on Friday. We had dinner at Conor’s and then wandered around downtown while getting into the Christmas spirit. I even sang a song or two along the way. Overall, it was a lot of fun.

Then, on Saturday, I had my company Christmas party. The highlight from that was that I won a brand new iPad2! We had a drawing with a couple of door prizes, including the iPad, a 19″ flat screen TV, and a couple of gift cards. I was very surprised to win that. It was very nice.

Also, I was “double dog” dared to wear my kilt to the party, which I did!

Having Fun at the Work Party

We are having fun at the work party!

I had a lot of fun with it! The best reaction was from my coworker Lei. He asked if I had lost a bet or something of that nature, and he couldn’t stop laughing! All in all, I stood out a bit, but I wasn’t a bit embarrassed about it. I feel a bit embarrassed because I did win an award that one of my fellow employees (I’m not sure who) nominated me to. Everything that was said about me was really nice, and for some reason, I was embarrassed about it. My face turned a bright shade of red as I walked up to receive my award. I forget who it was, but one of my coworkers commented on that saying, “He has not problem wearing a kilt, but he gets embarrassed about an award.” Truly, that person was right!

On Sunday, I was able to catch up with a friend of mine and we went to Great Plains Burger for dinner. It is a pretty nice place. I had a buffalo burger and it was lovely. We both ordered fries, but they gave us so many, we had to split it. Next time I go, I will probably share my fries with someone rather than get a separate order!

So, yes, this weekend was quite the weekend, and I’ll say it was a great time!

Thanksgiving Weekend

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This past weekend was a lot of fun! I was able to spend a good bit of time with my awesome family and friends. I am a real lucky person to have so many lovely people around me. They give me a lot of hope for the future and for all the joyful moments ahead!

Thanksgiving was nice as always. My family rents out a cafeteria at a community college, so that makes it a very nice time in terms of not having to feel cramped in a house. We also have the use of the gym, so we were able to have a lot of fun playing soccer to work off some of the overeating we did earlier in the day.

Annalies and Maria on the Elliptical

We are having fun working out!

Preparing for Soccer

Getting ready for some Soccer

Playing Soccer

Playing Soccer

We went and got the Walsh family Christmas tree on Saturday as well. That was a lot of fun because my brother Dan was there, and he usually hasn’t been able to participate in that particular tradition! I think we got a great tree. It’s fat and sassy, and I think it will look awesome once it is decorated.

Overall, it was one lovely weekend, and I’m really grateful for the experience!

One Walsh Family Christmas

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I think I was about fourteen years of age that Christmas. The Christmas tree stood in the corner of my parents’ house, heavily laden with years and years of traditions and memories, from ornaments from my grandfather’s tree to cardboard cut-outs my littlest sister had just completed in school.

Most of us children had unwrapped our gifts, and were basking in that wonderful lazy feeling of coming down from the combination of Santa-high and the fact that our stomachs were full of fruit roll-ups and chocolate. On the “excitement” scale (from one to ten), we were at a healthy seven and that was slowly falling into a peaceful six.

My sister Rose and her husband Steve had just pulled in the driveway. Immediately, our excitement level went back up to a value of eight. We ran out to the car and welcomed Rose and Steve. I remember that the sun was shining that day, and I don’t recall much snow.

They brought a large bag inside the house, and we followed, excited to see them. After some cursory introductions, Steve and Rose told us that this year, times had been a little lean, and they didn’t have much to offer us in the way of gifts.

I remember that I felt a bit of sadness. In truth, there wasn’t a lot of “woe is me” in that sadness, even though I wasn’t getting a cool present from them. Instead, I felt sorry for my sister and brother who were trying hard to make ends meet. At that time, we Walshes understood hard times all too well.

Steve then opened the big bag he had brought in and reached all the way to the bottom. Gently, he pulled out some plastic wands about fourteen inches long and a quarter of an inch in diameter. They were made of clear plastic, and had little black and orange pieces of candy inside. On the top of every wand, there was a plastic toy ant, about three inches long. There was a suction cup on the bottom of the ant, and that was hollowed out so that it would stay on the plastic wand. Rose and Steve had probably got them from a clearance rack after Halloween.

Steve and Rose handed these wand-ants out to each of us one by one. Before we had all gotten our gift, (I think it was) Dan started using his wand-ant to playfully attack Joe’s wand-ant. As soon as I got mine, I attacked Rachel’s. Soon, all the children were engaged in an epic ant battle of exciting proportions. Across the room, the battle raged, while we were whooping, hollering, and laughing. I can’t remember whose it was, but one of the wands got bent into a ninety degree angle. We all laughed about it, and I think that person bent it back straight, held the wand at the break, and then joined the fray again! Our excitement meter went up to eleven!

I was so busy playing with my siblings, I hadn’t noticed Steve and Rose’s reactions. Apparently, their jaws were hanging out of their heads in sheer amazement, especially when they heard, “These are GREAT!”

After a few minutes more of this, they regained their composure, and the battle had begun to wane. I was making my ant walk up the boughs of the Christmas tree when I heard Steve tell us that it was supposed to be a joke. They had intended for us to be disappointed, so that they could reveal the true present, a new(ish) computer!

So, we followed them outside to their car, and lo, in the trunk sat a desktop computer and monitor, a Gateway 2000 4DX2-66. Before this, the family had had an old Tandy 1000SL, which could not even run Windows or any of the programs of the time. In contrast, this computer came with Windows 95 and Word 2.0!

We were all pretty excited about it, but in all honesty, I think we all had more fun with the ant-wands because we could all join in the fun. Only one or two people could sit at the computer at a time, and with six or seven kids still living at home, that made it challenging to use.

My sister Mary recently reminded me of that Christmas, and it made me appreciate the joy that I have for being a part of my family. I really like that memory because it shows off our “good side” as Walshes. My family isn’t perfect by any means. Heck, with that many people, there’s bound to be problems! Through it all, though, I have learned to love each member of my family uniquely and truly, and I am excited to see us through the years as we all grow and change.

That moment in Walsh history also reinforces truths of the heart for me, like the fact that money and family can never be compared, and that you can truly be happy and have fun, regardless of mean estate or circumstance. Those are lessons I hope I’ve really taken to heart, and I hope I’ll never forget them. I’m really grateful that I was taught truths like these, because knowing them seems to bring greater and greater joy in my life. Because of these things, I am very proud that I am a Walsh.

Happy Christmas

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I hope you and yours have an amazing, magical, and happy Christmas!

My Heart Opens Wide

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I hear the mountain birds,
the sound of rivers singing
a song I’ve often heard.
It flows through me now,
so clear and so loud.
I stand where I am,
and forever I’m dreaming of home.
I feel so alone, I’m dreaming of home.

It’s carried in the air,
the breeze of early morning.
I see the land so fair.
My heart opens wide;
there’s sadness inside.
I stand where I am,
and forever I’m dreaming of home.
I feel so alone, I’m dreaming of home.

This is no foreign sky.
I see no foreign light,
but far away am I
from some peaceful land.
I’m longing to stand,
a hand in my hand.
…forever I’m dreaming of home.
I feel so alone, I’m dreaming of home.
~Phillippe Rombi

I’ve posted about the Christmas truce before (Hope and Belleau Wood), and I’m not sure why I am so drawn to it. As Christmas approaches, I find myself thinking about “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.” So, maybe that’s a part of it. Dreaming of Home, which is quoted above, is a great song, because it hints at the larger context of many things, especially that peace and goodwill that Christmastide should bring. That song also has a lot of meaning for me personally, even if its meaning was meant in a different context than I take it.

The first verse reminds me of my childhood, especially of my time from about the age of seven till about twelve. Sometimes, I’m overwhelmed by the remembrance of some of those days in the woods, and the person I was then. I was a bit careless, but I also wasn’t bogged down by the truth of some of my more hopeless dreams, struggles, and ambitions.

The second verse really speaks to me as well. One part that always gets me is the lines “My heart opens wide; there’s sadness inside.” It hearkens me to times where I’ve peered in my heart to only find more of the deep dark sadness I’ve known before. It also reminds me of the time or two that I’ve opened my heart to another, and for various reasons, I allowed sadness to enter through that opening.

In spite of those instances of sadness, I continue to “stand where I am” and live in the promise that my inner joy and hope brings, continually dreaming of “home.” I realize how far away I am from that “home,” but I also see that I’ve made great strides in that respect as well. So I remain ever hopeful and “dreaming of home,” even in the face of the fact that “far away am I.”

This Christmas, I hope those who seek shelter and a “home” find it, and if they cannot find it, then I hope they find enough hope to continue their journey with their head up, heart open, eyes bright, and a song and whistle on their lips.