Archive for December, 2011

A song you can’t miss – two decades later

Friday, December 30th, 2011

In the summer of 1988 I toured with a ladies’ trio.  They were quite enjoyable, feisty and full-throated.  Today I came across a recording we did in my brother-in-law’s studio on tour.  Actually it was a basement room or two made up to act like a studio.  Depending on how your browser is set up, just click on the link and this should automatically start.  You can download the file (right click on the link below and save)

Slip sliding away!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

It’s December 29, 2011.  Should be snow on the ground and sleigh rides humming!

We awoke to a weird sound.  Rain on the roof.  Not reindeer – rain on the roof.

Our son was to head out on a trip to Edmonton.  He has postponed that for a few hours, or days.  He packed his suitcase into his car – after slipping down the driveway and finding the incline too hard to return to the house.  Instead, he walked across the lawn and was able to slide to the door.

This is unusual.  In fact, we cannot think of  a time when this happened in previous years.  And we can actually speak with some experience!

The weather is warming, but we suspect the ice will remain for some time. 

Change comes hard – particularly if you are hitting the ground!

Family Christmas Portrait – December 2011

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Here we are – everyone was able to make it home this Christmas!

Family Christmas portrait - Dec 2011

The kids are home

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Yesterday was the turkey dinner.  With all the stuffing and fixings.  And leftovers!!

Which is what I love.  For the next while we will have turkey sandwiches and marshmallow salad and potatoes and everything that makes up the big meal, only simply warmed over – and tasting just as good.

The afternoon saw us playing tile rummy while the turkey cooked.   At first we went without a timer – a little too boring.  But then we set 30 seconds as the limit for each play.  My daughter, who has always been able to see the next play, would lay down tiles at such a rate it was rather dizzying.  My older mind (which never was fast at this type of thing) just limped along and enjoyed the company.

And so, with the kids home this year, I’ve just been enjoying the bringing together of the nuclear family and not seeing it blow up, as other families have, who have become more nuclear than family.

God blesses – today my sister and some of her family join us for lunch.  Hamburgers and sausage – my favourite!!

The trials of travel

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

As we sat at home this afternoon we received a phone call.

In this case our faithful answering machine took the call.  “This is the Air Canada Baggage handling in Ottawa.”  They went on to explain that our son Tim’s luggage was in Ottawa.  With no tag.  They had found his name and cell phone upon opening the luggage.

We were left with a phone number to call.

Imagine – our son is somewhere thousands of feet in the air – probably just over Thunder Bay.  He has no inkling of the lack he is about to face.  Perhaps his cell phone is off.  He’ll arrive to a full airport – a twirling luggage roundabout with nothing of consequence to be found.  What to do next? 

Well, it’s not the first time his arriving in Saskatoon has been greeted without luggage.  But that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable.

So, the day will be a little more stressful, but I hope the anticipation of gathering with family will overcome some of that!

The Occupy movement

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

I suppose I’ve been somewhat mystified by the Occupy movement.  Seems that there was an emphasis on the poor.  Perhaps on the greed of the rich.  Maybe a protest against current authority.

So, we occupy land and present our case, holding the responsible to account.  At least that is the way the movement started.  The fizzle of the movement occurred as the weather threatened, as well as the courts!

Jesus said we should occupy until he returns.  I suppose the Christian version of the occupy movement is a group of people who know that the kingdom of man is not the kingdom of God.  But we are here, citizens of heaven living on earth.  We occupy a space on this earth – and we love our neighbours – while fully loving God.

The bitterness of the occupy movement is not ours.  Ours is a passion to see the very best for others, to live with grace towards those who treat us unfairly, to live contented in a society that breeds dissatisfaction, to find our peace in God in the midst of recession and disturbance, to be salt and light to those who taste only bitterness and see only the worst. 

Sounds like an occupy movement I would join!  Any day!!

To Grandmother’s house

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Soon we will see the grandkids.  Tonight is the making of caramel corn and haystacks / chocolate macaroons.  The smell is great and even the sight draws one in.  But no tasting until “the day.”

Tonight was also time to talk with my sister.  She recently had surgery for cancer.  All indications are that things were caught in time.  She will take some preventive chemo.  I’m praying all will go well.

The contrast of context is stark.  Heather lives in Oregon in a full blown recession.  Here in Kindersley we have much money in abundance flowing from deep wells of oil and plentiful ground yielding the grains of the world.

Her medical bills are paid through insurance – not a publicly funded insurance – but private insurance.  To keep premiums in the mere $1oo’s of dollars a month (which is what her job pays for), the deductible is $7,500 – per person.

I’m thankful to be living in Canada where basic health care is publicly funded!  I’m thankful for a family I can share time with.  I’m thankful for a God who became human to give to us all that was intended from the very beginning of time.

I’m just thankful!

Home for Christmas

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Well, we will probably have our daughter, her husband and children; our son; my sister and some of her kids; and how many others for a “Christmas dinner” – we’ll see!  That is still being decided.

Now, of course, that means preparation.  So we checked out the freezer tonight.  Amazing what you find under and in the midst of other items.  Buns beside steaks, Naniamo bars beside . . . who cares, as long as there are Naniamo bars!

It’s been awhile since we’ve had all of this gang together at Christmas.  Should be good!

Washing the car

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Now, this seems a rather weird idea!

We are literally hours away from the official first day of winter.  In this country we would be acclimated to the freezing weather already!  Except, the weather has been above freezing off and on for the last while.  Christmas day may find us basking in sunlight and out looking at fields that are stubble covered without snow!

Today I took both of our cars and washed them.  There is more slush than ice on our streets.  And more forecasts of possible rain than snow.  That is weird.

In the midst of this adventure I found that the tire pressures were slightly off and one windshield wiper was inoperable.  Good time to find out – I’d hate to be dealing with this in 40 below weather.

And so, there I stood outside pumping up tires and replacing wiper blades without needing gloves. 

I’m thankful!  And I must admit – I think God has a real sense of humor!!

The program

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Well, the most I can say is, “wonderful.”

With a line-up of dozens, the program came off without a hitch.  OK, a few times things were not as planned, but there was laughter and acceptance and the story of Jesus.  That’s all you can ask for.

My favourite?   A piece of music with a crystal clear soprano of a grade seven student, a piano accompaniment and an oboe creating sound waves of delectable proportions.  OK, there were other favourites of music – and a play that worked really well.  Can’t really just pinpoint one!!

And tonight to top it all off, a Christmas carol singing time with around 50 seniors.

Now we are winding down at home.  A day of praise, rest and relaxation.  What I would call a sabbath!