A Withered Hand

reach out your hand

The man with the withered hand had a problem. Jesus told him to stretch forth his hand. But he was not capable of stretching that hand because it was crippled. And yet the Lord told him to do it. How could he do it? There was inherent in the command the knowledge that he could do it in Christ. Until that moment he could not have done it. [Read more…]

Calico Cats and Chopper Birds

Nathaniel and I sat at the kitchen table doing our homeschooling for the day. I gave him the picture of a cat to colour. He said it was a calico cat. Okay… this could take a minute or two, depending on how detailed the markings would be. He carefully drew a brown circle around one eye with a small bar extending down the nose. And coloured it very carefully. Then he made a brown band around one front leg while telling me this story about how the leg had been put through a scanner and this whatever it was would help it heal. I rolled my eyes at his teenage sister, Vicki, and asked why I am blessed with such creative kids. Actually, I take that back. I’m glad my kids are creative!! [Read more…]

Music in My Heart

I’ve always wondered why Mrs. Smith chose to teach kindergarten as a profession. She never seemed to enjoy it.

Her favourite form of punishment for the smallest misdemeanor was to send a child to stand in the corner — behind the big upright piano. Her victim didn’t have to be a wayward kindergarten pupil. Sometimes it was an older kid, making faces at us through the window. Occasionally Mrs. Smith would forget she had sent someone there. One hapless 7th grade student was forgotten until noon when he timidly spoke up from behind the piano and asked to be allowed to go home for lunch. [Read more…]

What’s in a Name

On this day 61 years ago, my parents were married. James Michael Cummins and Willena Mae Livingston… the best mom and dad a little girl could have had.

And now, a little story that tells something about my parents…

I was born Willena Rose Cummins, first child and only daughter of my father.

When I was a small girl, I didn’t like being the only Willena in my entire school. I didn’t know anyone by the name of Rose either, except for my Great Aunt Rose, for whom I was named. I liked Aunt Rose, but saw her as old lady with a very old-fashioned name. [Read more…]

Little Robbie’s Big Day

It was a beautiful October day in Rabbit Hollow. The afternoon sun shone brightly in a cloudless blue sky. The trees were brilliant red, gold, and orange.

Harvesting was done. The storerooms overflowed with carrots, turnips and cabbages. The village was alive with excitement and delicious smells as all the rabbit families prepared for the big day tomorrow — Fall Harvest Festival.

No one was more excited than Robbie Rabbit. Tomorrow all his aunts, uncles and cousins were coming to his house for the Festival! [Read more…]

Groundhog Day or Karen Killilea – Which Will it Be?

Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? Morning after morning he wakes up to live the same day over and over again. until he gets it right. Day after day he lives in utter frustration until finally one morning he wakes up to a brand new day.

“Karen” is the biography of Karen Killilea, who was born with cerebral palsy, and was fiercely independent even as a young child. She would spend an hour and a half in the mornings putting on her socks and shoes by herself, rather depend on her mother to do it for her. At age 11, after seven months of coaching, she wrote an original sentence by herself. It took her 36 minutes. When she was finished, she looked up at her proud and beaming parents and said, “I can walk. I can talk. I can read. I can WRITE. Mom Pom, I can do ANYTHING!” [Read more…]

A Baby for Mother’s Day

Last week, on the first of May, I shared a little of my family with you because that day was the anniversary of my Granny Cummins’ birthday.

The truth is, the first half of the month of May is a special time in my family. May 10th is my birthday, and May 13th is my mother’s birthday. Since May 10, 1953 was Mother’s Day and I am the eldest in my family, I’ve always liked to say…

“I made my mother a mother on Mother’s Day, three days before my mother’s birthday!”

It’s a mouthful, and it’s fun to watch the expressions on people’s faces when I say it!

This picture doesn’t go back quite far enough to mirror the events of this day 60 years ago. But it’s close. I was only a couple of months old. [Read more…]


A glimpse into the life of a girl growing up in a small town in southern Ontario, Canada….

My stepfather was the town garbage man, which meant an unpleasant stigma, and unkind teasing from the kids at school. But it also meant dented cans of soup or fruit, bags of perfectly wearable clothing, and even boxes of books, that Clifford would bring home from the garbage… Beautiful Joe, Uncle Titus in the Country, and a host of others that I treasured as I was growing up. They aren’t garbage men any more. Last I heard they were sanitary engineers and had to have a Grade 12 education before they were hired. And they aren’t allowed to bring anything home from the garbage. [Read more…]

Pyromaniacs and Wannabe’s

Note: This was written in January ’05, when all the kids were still living at home. Irene was 22, James 20, Raewyn 18, Vicki 16, Andrew 13, Timothy 11 and Nathaniel 5. The house seems empty now with “only” three kids at home! ~ Willena

Pyromaniacs and Wannabe’s

Keep in mind as you read this, that it happened on the coldest night of the winter so far… [Read more…]

The Ring

Katie Higgins sat on her bed, chin resting in her hands. Her eighteen-month-old brother, David, played quietly at her feet, with three tiny plastic kittens.

What a waste of a perfectly fantastic day, she fumed inwardly, to have to spend it cleaning my room. She looked glumly at the jumble of clothing, shoes, books, and stuffed animals that was her side of the room. She had been here an hour and made very little progress. [Read more…]