Russ Sanders

Those Were The Days
“And Then A New Year”

I fondly remember when I was a boy – my grandfather standing on our front porch, taking out his pocket watch and at exactly twelve o’clock in his beautiful English accent proclaiming loud and clear, “Appy Noo Yeeah”; his personal welcome to twelve new months of special days and holidays.                                           

I guess the most special day of the year is our own birthday when we look forward to many wishes for happiness, a birthday cake with candles and hopefully a present or two. I am not sure when it happens exactly but there comes a time around my age when birthdays are just another number and candles on a cake? Oh my, heaven forbid such a bonfire.                                                                                                        

In the New Year our wedding anniversary is to us a special day, so much as this coming March will be our sixty-fifth. The Valentine card will once again be placed in a drawer as we look forward to both Mother’s and Father’s Day, two of my extra special days. My parents have long since taken their place among the angels but every night without fail I still look at their picture and say good night.

Of course we honour and respect our sons and their wives, our grandkids and great-grandkids – their birthdays and anniversaries and meaningful holidays such as Good Friday and Easter, but I guess in my own mind the two days each year that stand out for me are Remembrance Day and Christmas Day. I have devoted many pages in my book to the men and women who gave their lives so that we may enjoy today’s freedoms although having no idea why I feel such a strong kinship with those who fought and died long before I was even born and to those who gave their all in wars I too vividly remember.



They came,
Some in wheel chairs,
Some with canes,
But they were there.

They marched,
Some slowly,
Some out of step,
But all with pride.

They stood in the cold,
Some erect,
Some bent and shivering,
But they endured.

They wore their medals,
Some with many,
Some with few,
But each one earned.

They saluted their flag,
Some with newfound strength,
Some with feebled strain,
But all with patriot heart.

They heard the hymns,
Some with steely gaze,
Some with teary eye,
Each in private thought. 

They looked into the past,
Some with blank stare,
Some with mirrored eyes,
But all with memories.

They came,
To remind us,
Lest we forget,
….. Some for the last time.                       

by Russ Sanders

And then Christmas, the most wonderful time of the entire year. A time when Peace On Earth has real meaning. A time when strangers shake hands with strangers wishing each a very merry and healthy future. A time when we feed the hungry, give to the less fortunate and exchange gifts with friends, loved ones and even strangers. I remember our family Christmases, each one a bit better than the one before. We can celebrate many things in our lives for various reasons and various memories but surely Christmas is one of my most cherished holidays. A Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year to all my readers.

Russ Sanders

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