“There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.”

At the end of 2002, a group of Christian Peacemakers went to Iraq, just before the war started. Their mission was the same as it always is: protect innocent people, document injustice, and do whatever they can to help the people living in and affected by the war zones of the world. One of the men on this team was George Weber, a friend of my parents, and a Mennonite and retired teacher from Chesley, Ontario. Lena, his wife, didn’t want him to go. As I recall, he left on Boxing Day. George died in Iraq, killed in a car accident before the war even started. As terrible as his death was, bringing his body home was a nightmare. Bureaucracy, diplomacy, regulations… A man named Jim Loney stayed behind to bring George’s body home. He is a good friend (not surprisingly), of George’s widow, Lena. Mom knows him, too.

Jim is one of the workers kidnapped in Baghdad on November 26th. He and the others are accused of being spies. They have been “displayed” on Al Jazeera.

I have no delusions that I have any great currency with the higher powers, but my Mom asked for prayers for them. For her, and for George, and for Jim, and for anyone with the balls to walk willingly into a war zone, the soul is on its knees.

We have a winner!

Finally, in week three of wine class last evening, we got to the reds. Of the four we tried, I liked two. The Zinfandel, which was nice, is rather summery, though. I don’t want to drink a big glass of strawberry jam in the winter. My favourite, however, was the following Spanish one. (Listing courtesy of the LCBO web site.) Too bad the web site also tells me no one in KW has any in stock. Hmph!

‘CONDE DE VALDEMAR’ RESERVA RIOJA 1998
VINTAGES 947309 | 750 mL bottle

Price: $ 20.95
Wine, Still Table Wine, Red Still Table Wine
13.0% Alcohol/Vol.

Sugar Content : XD

Made in: Rioja, Spain
By: Bodegas Martinez Bujanda, S.A.

Release Date: Sep 3, 2005

Tasting Note
Big and broad, with aromas of burnt sugar, leather, tomato and mocha. The palate delivers ample raspberry and plum flavors amid meaty tannins and healthy acidity. Finishes lively and tannic. (Wine Enthusiast, Sept. 1, 2004)

Fun with trivia.

From this month’s mental_floss newsletter:

An estimated one million Americans make a living selling items on eBay. If they were employees, eBay would be the nation’s third-largest employer, just behind McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. And with more than $10 billion of sales to U.S. members in the first half of 2005 alone, it’s easy to see why it’s an attractive option for those wishing to work from home.