Don’t start…

Don’t start what you can’t win. Make sure that you are protected from what will precipitate an ensuing puzzling behaviour.

In my daily walk, not only do I stop and smell the roses, but I also stop to make connections and conversations with people. Am I weird? You betcha.

On my way home, two young men approached me and asked:

“Sister, are you a Christian? Do you believe in Jesus Christ?”

Me thinks… Hmmm… These men are ordinary looking wearing jeans and a warm toque hat holding a thick book I assume is a Bible. Interesting opening line. I was thinking to respond facetiously by saying “yeah, I have a direct line with Jesus or we’re BFF.” I thought for a while and responded hesitatingly…

“Ehem… I am a catholic (with a small c. Let’s see if they are good with definitions.

“Catholic churches are corrupt.” said he.

Gong bell! Wrong answer.

“Nononono… I don’t discriminate” I smiled and turn my back.

This is my Sunday Snippet to celebrate the National Puzzle day that RDP precipitated.

60 Minutes report on Divine Intervention

A recent episode of 60 Minutes saw correspondent Bill Whitaker visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. The footage offers inspiring views of the popular pilgrimage site, as well as interviews with faithful visitors seeking to be healed and even one nun whose sudden recovery after visiting Lourdes has been deemed miraculous.

Sr. Bernadette Moriau

The 60 Minutes report goes into great detail on how reported miracles are investigated and authenticated. Whitaker spoke with a team of physicians who examine each case under various criteria, in order to prove that a miracle occurred.The massive size of each case folder is a testament to how deeply they study their cases before coming to their conclusions.

Whitaker even had a chance to interview Sister Bernadette Moriau, the 83-year-old nun who is recognized as the recipient of the 70th miracle said to have occurred at the Lourdes Shrine. Sr. Moriau explained that she had a “dark diagnosis” of full paralysis that was completely healed within three days of visiting the shrine. Sr. Moriau explained that while she was at the shrine she heard a voice in her head:

“I really had that feeling that the Lord was walking with us. And I heard him giving me these words: ‘I see your suffering and that of your sick brothers and sisters. Just give me everything.’”

She said that when she returned home she was in debilitating pain for three days until she suddenly felt the strength to walk to the chapel to pray. While in prayer, she began to feel a great heat inside of her and suddenly she felt urged to remove her foot and back braces, which she previously needed to walk. Suddenly her foot was straightened and her back was no longer in pain.

In order to validate the miracle, Sr. Moriau subjected herself to rounds of testing, both physically and mentally, but no scientific or medical explanation of her sudden recovery was ever identified. Her case was eventually recognized as the 70th instance of a miraculous healing taking place at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

There’s more packed into the 60 Minutes report than would be possible to cover here, and the expressions of St. Moriau as she explains her miracle are worth a watch on their own.

Source: Aleteia

I am only a man

He is just another man, a real person that I would have very much wanted to meet personally. Unfortunately, he was born way ahead of me and died 20 years before I was born. If you ask him who he is, the response was “I am only a man, just like you.”

– Trait D’espirit / Drawn by the spirit

“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely
beautiful pictures,” said St. André Bessette.

André Bessette is a native of Canada born frail in a poor family in Quebec. He became an orphan at the age of 12 and had hardly any education at all. In his early twenties, he entered the Holy Cross congregation in Montreal. Nobody wanted him. The main task given to him was menial as a porter, someone who opens the door and greets people who come to visit the Oratory. Yet he did his duty for 40 years accepting the little he had and turning it into a holy act.

One would not think that he lacks formal education when he is an effective teacher of faith by his action, love, kindness, and example.  He used the simplest means.  It is his complete trust with divine providence is what made him an exceptional person.

His dream was to build a church devoted to St. Joseph.  He trusted that if he is really doing the Lord’s will the Lord would bring it to fruition.  And it did happen.

How I would have wanted to see him open the door for me when I visited the Oratory in Mount Royal.   I felt small as an ant standing at the first rung of the steps looking up at the Oratory.

In a world filled with educated minds and an era of countless celebrity, glitz, and glamour, I am amazed at what a simple man can do.

Brother André is what I call him and has left me a legacy to place my trust in Jesus.

Surprised by Joy

What would your reactions be when you found out that the painting you were commissioned to do was gifted to Pope Francis recent visit to Canada?

Surprise by Joy!

Icon of St. Kateri

The painting of the Icon of St. Kateri, below, was gifted to Pope Francis on the occasion of His visit to Our Lady of Seven Sorrows (OLSS) Church, in Maskwacis, Ab. on July 25, 2022. Gratitude for the gift of this painting is extended to Fr. Mario Fernandes, OCD, Susan Hauck, and the Artist, Dan S. Siglos.

The artist, Dan S. Siglos, explained the following: Yellow represents God the Father, Orange represents God the Son, and Red represents God the Holy Spirit. Regarding the Clothes, the Seven ‘Points’ in the design of St. Kateri’s green dress symbolizes protection, the perfection of God and the seven days of Creation; Triangles represent the Trinity, There are Triangles on St. Kateri’s head band, collar, cuffs and orange shawl. The Turtle on her necklace symbolizes St. Kateri’s Tribal Clan, the Turtle Clan. St. Kateri’s love for the celestial realm is represented by the Moon. The Twelve Lilies represent the Twelve Apostles. The White Lily is the symbol of Purity and Virginity. St. Kateri is known as the ‘Lily of the Mohawk’.

Source: http://www.skt4.ca/

Brief background:
Dan S. Siglos was commissioned to paint St Kateri by his sister, Susan Papas Hauck. Dan researched about her and felt a connection. He took his time painting/meditating.

Susan Papas Hauck presented the painting of St. Kateri on her feast day to Fr. Mario in April 15, and was placed in the church in Alberta. She also made prayer cards 3×4 inches, a photo of St. Kateri on front and inside is her prayer, and Infant Jesus with the relic fabric touched by the miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague at His Shrine. At the back is a powerful 9 days or 9 hour prayer. Susan’s intentions was “May St. Kateri intercede for us and Infant Jesus, prayers to stop this pandemic, heal the sick, stop abortions, guide, protect and bless us all abundantly.”

Modesty aside, Dan, Susan and I are siblings. I am so honoured to be affiliated with them. i’m just a story teller.

How do you plea?

Plea the Fifth Amendment. I refuse to answer for this might incriminate me.  In Canada, we call it Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Self-Incrimination. 

“Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.”  And then I swore on the Bible.  This was my experience as part of a Jury for 10 days.  A priest once told me when he is called on to swear on the Bible he refuses because he has already taken the Oath when he decided to serve God and mankind.  Of course, I forgot about this when I was asked.  I placed my hand on the Bible, and I said:“I swear.” 

It was quite an experience and an honour to serve Canada being selected as a Jury.  It made me think that the future of this man lies on my hand should I decided against the other jurors.  I was Number 8.  Mind you, we were given a manual on pointers on how to become a jury and how to make a decision based on just law.  No bias, no discrimination.  The jurors came from all walks of life.  One juror, in my opinion, was very fashionable.  She made sure that she is well dressed for the public and for the Judge.  This is not a criticism.  It’s important that we are dressed properly.  But once we deliberate behind closed doors, we have to divest ourselves.  Not our clothing, but our just minds.  We have to have an open mind without the probability of a doubt. 

We did reach a verdict.  NOT GUILTY.  Whew.  I was glad we came to a conclusion.  What was the case, you asked?  Joe vs. the People.  Joe was accused of killing his brother.  Just like in the Bible, Cane killed Abel.  But Cane was guilty; Joe was not. 

Back to swearing on the Bible to tell the whole truth; when I was a child, my Mother always reminded me to tell the truth.  That is so plain and simple.  Should you ask me WHY, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.  (click to play the song) 

Tell the truth, try, you might like it. Nothing adversarial.

One Minute Meditation:

“Why is everyone here so happy except me?” “Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere,” said the Master. “Why don’t I see goodness and beauty everywhere?” “Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.” || Anthony de Mello, SJ

Sunday Snippet

This is supposed to be a reblog but I am having difficulty doing it in my second generation iPad.

The source is from friarmusing, I call him FrG as a term of endearment, short for Fr. George.

His writings are enjoyable to read and exceptionally good reads. This post is about a list of reading materials.

This post is by no means complete, thorough, or makes any claim to being the last word. It is just a slice of what is out there on September 4th that caught my eye, looked interesting, and so I gave it a read. Maybe you will too.

▪Worried About Breakthrough Infections? Here’s How to Navigate This Phase of the Pandemic – New York Times.

▪Long-Haulers Are Fighting for Their Future – The Atlantic

▪Six Important Questions About Booster Shots Answered – Smithsonian

▪The Coronavirus Could Get Worse – The Atlantic

▪Pandemic Psychology – The Guardian

The Pandemic Psychology from The Guardian surprised me. As I dig deeper, a Canadian Psychiatrist from UBC Department of Psychiatry published an article that I never encountered in our news media written by Steven Taylor in 2018 pre-covid era. I have so much respect for this department because they helped me reshape my faulty thinking due to brain disorder.

He interpreted that pandemics “are essentially a psychological phenomenon and about the behaviors, attitudes and emotions of people” and that “the psychological footprint is bigger than the medical footprint”.

That, Taylor says, is not to downplay the significance of the disease to those that have become sick or died, but that many more people have been psychologically affected. The analysis was fleshed out in another academic paper, published in Canadian Psychology, in which he wrote that “pandemics are not simply events in which some harmful microbe ‘goes viral’”.

He wrote: “Psychology plays a central role in pandemics, influencing the spreading and containment of diseases, and shaping pandemic-related distress and socially disruptive, divisive and potentially harmful phenomena such as panic buying, racism and protests against pandemic mitigation restrictions.”

Lesson learned: Sunday sermon is not all about the Gospel.

Let Us Ask Ourselves

Let us not lose the memory preserved by the elderly, for we are children of that history, and without roots, we will wither. They protected us as we grew, and now it is up to us to protect their lives, to alleviate their difficulties, to attend to their needs and to ensure that they are helped in daily life and not feel alone. Let us ask ourselves: “Have I visited my grandparents, my elderly relatives, the older people in my neighbourhood? Have I listened to them? Have I spent time with them?” Let us protect them, so that nothing of their lives and dreams may be lost. May we never regret that we were insufficiently attentive to those who loved us and gave us life.

Source: World Day for Grandparents and Elderlies

Photo: Dear My Friends Korean Show

Living for something bigger than myself

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to live the words of the prophet: “I, the LORD, have called you…I have grasped you by the hand…I formed you…and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations” (Isaiah 42:6)

 

via A view from the kitchen window

Pilgrim Progress

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Here I am, another Sunday, another sacred space of faith and spiritual journey, more memories and reflections. There are times I don’t want to understand the course of our actions that affect other people similar to a “butterfly effect.” Still, … Continue reading

Black Mother

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Someone told me to read the lives of the saints to help me in times of the dark night of the soul.  Not just the saints but as well as people who had the courage to come back.  These are … Continue reading

Your Best Self

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To commemorate the occasion of Jean Vanier turning 90, he released a YouTube video laying out his “ten rules for life to become more human” by sharing his thoughts on life and on growing older. He speaks about success, vulnerability, listening, fear … Continue reading

The House of Belonging

The House of Belonging

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,

this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging.

The House of Belonging- David Whyte ©1996

What do you see? Spellbinding masterpiece door that led me to Caravaggio.

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A glimpse of blue sky, a wisp of clouds, birds, cathedral and concrete buildings is what I see in painting along the hallway wall of Malta’s airport.  Looking at the mural makes me want to run outside and feel that … Continue reading

How do we reconcile? We hope…

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“We hope that your faith inspires you to be just, loving, humble and merciful. We hope that your faith inspires you to encourage the church to be more just, more loving, more humble and more merciful.” “We hope you find … Continue reading

Sacred Ordinary

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… simple prayers are sacred acts. They’re tender and profound. They aren’t the formal prayers of the institutional church. They aren’t the ecstatic utterances of a miraculous vision. They are dignified, homely and eloquent, the ordinary and yet sacred stuff … Continue reading

Trip of a Lifetime

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 I would like to stay longer and soak up the three world’s religion: Islāmic, Judaism, and Christianity.  I want to be with the Muslims, Jews, and Christians: and have interfaith dialogue. At the hotel in Jordan, waiting to leave for Canada, I … Continue reading

Reaping the rewards

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  “Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed” – John 20:29 It is with his scientific mind that he has proven black holes, gravity, and wrote the book a Brief History of Time, Steven Hawkings absolute cannot reason … Continue reading

Approaching Good Choices

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  Decision making is challenging because sometimes we have no idea the impact of what we have decided. Just thinking about what to choose to wear is a grueling daily event. Some outfit brings happiness, others blah. What made us … Continue reading

Painted Prayers

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The primary emphasis in this work is based on evolution distinctively a combination of three persons, one God: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. He is drawn and inspired by The Trinity. The Prayer of St. Augustine … Continue reading

Sophie’s Choice

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Making a choice in cutting off ties in any situation is difficult when it’s a no-win situation, an unbearable option that one is forced to choose. Even thinking that it is the lesser of two evils, it can still remain … Continue reading

In Praise of Books

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  It was a stormy windy night that I ended at Vancouver Public Library for shelter and kill time on my way to a concert. I am not the only one seeking refuge here. From the main floor, the children’s … Continue reading

I am a Pilgrim, not a Tourist!

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It is a challenge and a hair-raising experience to go on a pilgrimage. It’s not an ordinary travel just because we paid an enormous amount of money to travel in luxury and be catered to. I join a pilgrimage because … Continue reading

The Person and The Saint

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Historically, Birgitta and Saint Birgitta are not really the same person. It is difficult at times to know what parts are historically accurate and which part is the image of the saint. As a person, Birgitta was born in 1303 … Continue reading

What’s Next?

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The past is seeping into my thoughts. It happened long time ago. Drawn to the memories like a bee attracted to a flower. The bee couldn’t help it. Who is she? Only a monk can answer that. She lived with the monks … Continue reading

We are not made of sugar. We are the salt of the earth.

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The rain came when we visited the ruins of Cistercian Alvastra Abbey in Östergötland. We are the salt of the Earth. We are not made of sugar. We will not melt. With high winds and strong rain, we aborted the walk … Continue reading

What is it about Mary?

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Between Time and National Geographic, these magazines are constantly in search for Mary featuring the many images of her face. It sells. I must admit I bought the Time special reissue of Life’s Classic edition not that I am searching … Continue reading

Memory

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THERE ARE TWO WAYS of remembering. One is to make an excursion from the living present back into the dead past. The old sock remembers how things used to be when you and I were young. The faraway look in his eyes is partly the beer and partly that he’s really far away.

The other way is to summon the dead past back into the living present. The young widow remembers her husband, and he is there beside her.

When Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me,” (1 Corinthians 11:24) he was not prescribing a periodic slug of nostalgia.

~ Frederick Buckner

Wandering Wonders

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Somewhere in Canada, I was given four glorious days to spend time at Victoria, BC. It was a gift for being part of belonging in a delegation to make a better British Columbia for the working class. The timing was … Continue reading

Good vs. evil: The answer is found in Easter itself

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It’s God’s gift that enables peace. The supernatural message of Easter is that Jesus overcomes death, and when people believe that and act upon it, it changes the headlines. Spiritual beliefs change how people respond to evil. The bloody cross … Continue reading

Rough edges of security

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Do think that I am weird and uncouth. I give you permission. I allow you to talk and discuss about me with others even in front of me Or pull the rug underneath me Hoping that I will fall flat and … Continue reading

Amber Alert

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When a child is missing, we can make a difference by sending out Amber Alert to secure the child’s safety as quickly as we can. Meanwhile in Vancouver, BC, an infant is venerated by thousands of people at the Cathedral, the image … Continue reading

The Gift of Prayer

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We have just finished our third night of prayer for our dearly beloved, Lorena when her sister’s mother-in-law followed Lorena’s footsteps. Now, we have to remember the mother-in-law in our prayers as well. Tonight will be the sixth evening that is extra … Continue reading

As close as you can get

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Imagine that you inherited the land below this mountain, as far as your eyes could see in the middle of the desert. Thinking of Las Vegas, this is a gold mine that could easily be transformed into a watering hole … Continue reading

The Calling

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It was there calling to serve and now they are both called in the afterlife. First Barb on September 2015, then Brenda on February 2016. The call becomes important to them not to save the world, solve all problems and … Continue reading

Border Security

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With heightened awareness on the growing tension crossing the border to USA, we make sure that we bring all proper identification. Canadian passport might not be enough because our passport states our country of origin, Philippines. Should we ever get … Continue reading

Tetris, CareNotes and Prayer Beads

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Wall Recreated: Love is the answer

He was willing to bare all if even one person could relate to any part of his story and find strength in their family and friends, but most importantly within themselves. – Repurpose a story.

Safe. I felt safe being there. Stay. The ward is a lock-down facility to keep me safe. Mind. I didn’t mind the least bit. I don’t know where to go; don’t know where to stay. When in doubt, do nothing. Minding what is safe, I stayed, for a while.

The ward is equipped with TV, funny magazines, pool table, jigsaw puzzles, coloring books; items to keep me amused or occupied but none of these interest me. So I sat on the floor at the end of the long corridor looking out through the glass door. Here alone I played Tetris, read CareNotes and rolled the prayer beads with my fingers.

Tetris, a gift from my sister Poteet. A game she took away from my nephews. As I recall, the new computer game was causing problems that the boys were glued to it and neglecting to go outside to play the real stuff. I don’t like any kind of computer programs. I was once a computer geek in my younger days writing programs, test programs and application. It drove me crazy trying to solve someone’s programming that has no logic. But Tetris became a real stuff for me inside the ward. It helped me focus. It helped me solve problems. It helped me shape and organized my mind objectively. It helped rewire, build blocks and expand the plasticity of my brain.

CareNotes is all I can find at the Chaplain’s office. The Chaplin’s office is always closed. Never saw him, never met him, and never talked to him. The notes hang outside his office. I know he came around when there are new CareNotes. I collected them all. Dealing With Suicidal Feelings, Climbing Up From Depression, Believing in Your Own Inner Goodness, Finding Strength to Survive a Crisis or Tragedy, Making Sense Out of Suffering, Bearing the Special Grief of Suicide, Easing the Burden of Stress, Encountering Midlife, Emerging Renewed, Finding God in Pain or Illness, Walking with God Through Grief and Loss, Letting Tears Bring Healing and Renewal. CareNotes is an endless resource giving meaning to my question “Why Me?” Now, these CareNotes are my bathroom companion, at home. Good reads not just for me but as well as anyone that uses the toilet.

Prayer Beads enclosed came in a card from my other sister and she wrote: April 5, 1992. Dearest Lady, A priest in Toronto who cares deeply is giving you his personal rosary. This has been blessed and carries with it his own prayers for your well-being and that you will find it in you to pray the rosary. Lady, believe in the power of the rosary and you will be fully alive again. Love and prayers, always. Thelma.

I did not pray the rosary. I do not know how to pray, then. I carried it with me, though. I clutch it when I go to bed, never let it go. Should I wake up in the middle of the night with no prayer beads on my hand, I panic.  Searching for it in the darkroom, the beads glow in the dark and with a sigh of relief of finding it, I kissed the cross and went back to sleep. The rosary is now gone; I don’t know how I lost it. But I still go to bed with a rosary on my hand. Can’t sleep without it just like a child with a teddy bear to snuggle with to have a goodnight sleep.

My family reads my blog and provides me articles in relation to the topic that I write. My sister Carmen sent me a Report on Business at the Globe and Mail about ‘Irv’. Irv and I share a common ground: Mental Illness.

It has been a long week of Let’s Talk. Stay well and be well, Perpetua.

Words

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What is prayer?

You take words,
everyday words,
and all of a sudden they become holy.

Why?

Because there is something
that separates one word from
another and then you try to fill
the vacuum.

With what?
With whom?
With what memory?
With what aspiration?

So when words bring you closer
to the prisoner in his cell,
to the patient who is dying on his bed alone,
to the starving child,

then it’s a prayer.

words by Elie Wiesel

An experience we will remember for a long time ~ Trout Lake

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We discovered that there is no language barrier to strike up a friendly conversation, have a few laugh and just enjoy a frozen lake on a perfect sunny day.

The atmosphere was heavenly. An ambience we could not ask for anything more and an experience we will remember for a long time.

I thank God for this amazing day!

Let the children play

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Children nowadays play with technology. It’s quiet this way. Only the adults are noisy from telling stories, asking too many questions, laughing and plenty of dark jokes targeted at you.  One has to have broad shoulders to deflect shady puns … Continue reading

Finding Advent at the Inn

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Yesterday’s destination at the Quay is to attend a conference at the Inn. It’s a conference that most people would shy away from attending since the main focus is people with (dis)abilities. People with vision impairment and hard of hearing, with walking … Continue reading

In Search of Advent at the Quay

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The parade just started when I got off the SkyTrain station at the Quay. Motorcades with signs ‘Season’s Greetings’, ‘Dream, Live, Celebrate’, ‘Merry Xmas’, ‘Only Santa delivers more’ drove carrying Gingerbread Man, Frosty the Snow Man, Rudolph the Red Nose … Continue reading