Surviving Ikea with kids, the inspiring courage of an Imam in Gaza, Starbucks caught with its hands in our digital cookie jar.
Three things this week and a poem that just might be an epiphany
The first week of 2024 is behind us. Have you had any epiphanies yet?
Yesterday was the celebration of Epiphany for Christians around the world. I’m a bit embarrassed to say I know little about the official celebration. The church I grew up in never marked the day when Christ was revealed to the wisemen (aka the Gentiles) on January 6, the twelfth day of Christmas.
It’s a beautiful word, though, epiphany, this sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something.1
Here’s to meaningful revelation to all of us in the year ahead!
Thanks for spending time with Things I Wrote Down this weekend. Now, here are three things that stood out this week and a short poem that may be an epiphany.
1. Surviving Ikea with kids
We took the kids for a day-trip to Toronto during the Christmas vacation. To avoid traffic near the big smoke, we took a Go-Train in Burlington (kids under 12 travel for free) and landed at Union Station. The Sky Bridge allows you to walk right to the Ripley’s aquarium without stepping outside into the cold. And we spent a few hours in under-water wonder.
The big win was the return trip to Ikea. If you’ve been to the import furniture store than you know that there’s a minimum requirement to get trapped for hours in a furniture maze on your way to eat meatballs at the cafeteria. And, with kids, this turns into a rollercoaster of emotion. Our parental experience was increased 100% by the furniture maker’s genius new treasure hunt for kids, which ends with a free stuffie. Each section had a hidden clue, so the kids quietly searched for it with the promise of a prize. God bless those who design experiences with parents of young kids in mind!
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2. A courageous Imam in Gaza
The horror of terrorism and war in Israel and Gaza continues to be told in the news. And daily we see stories of the ideological turf war around the world that’s broken out, one that’s riddled with so much anti-Semitism.
But we don’t hear a lot of stories of every-day people trying to live or survive. The Free Press has been doing a series called Voices from Gaza, a partnership with the Center for Peace Communications and I highly recommend both the FP and this series.
3. Starbucks caught with its hand in our digital cookie jar
Do you just reload your card before getting to zero?
Then perhaps you’re one of the people that has been, allegedly, duped. This week, the coffee giant Starbucks was accused of rigging payments in app for a nearly $900 million gain over 5 years by consumer watchdog group.
I laughed a little, because, ultimately, aren’t we all in control of our spending cycles, even when we choose to automate payment in a service? But hey, if there’s a class action law suit, I’m in!
A short poem - What's left
Short verse sometimes says the most and says it best. I hope you enjoy:
It wasn’t inhibitions we shed
didn’t leave them behind
like a trail of clothes on the floor
from the hallway to the
or a line of pigment, streak of red
traced against the skin by eager lips
Quietly, almost silently
they slipped between us
the most tangible thing
we have left