Archive for December, 2012

Meeting people

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Sunday was one of those days.

The start of the visiting began with my son arriving for just a few minutes.  He was here to pick up some things on his way through to Calgary.  Then off to the church for practice with our worship team for the day.  Church service saw various people there.  Then out for lunch and afternoon games with two couples.  Back for supper with relatives.  The evening ended with funeral preparations.

These are days I enjoy.  I appreciate moving from one activity to the next.  I enjoy the interaction of friends.  And I see God in the unexpected moments of the day.

Today looks to be busy as well.  Starting with breakfast with friends at 8:00, a funeral at 10:00 and a family meal (in Swift Current) at 3:00.

May your day today be filled with God’s presence in the midst of the activity of life.

Visiting with Cynthia

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

I had mentioned previously that I was courting a lady by the name of Cynthia.  These last few days she has had the opportunity to meet some of my community.  This has included my children, church folk from here in Kindersley and touring around Kindersley.

Now, first time meeting and greeting is never easy.  You are put in a place of being vulnerable.  The person you are talking to has no experience with you.  They may have heard stories that introduced you, but they don’t know you.  Tiring might be a way to describe this.

By mid-afternoon yesterday a few minutes break was just what we needed.  I, the planner, had of course set up all sorts of meals and coffee times.  At the best of times, even pastors seldom have this many appointments.

Into the evening, with more than enough names and faces running around her brain, Cynthia headed off to her lodgings at 10:00 last night.  She will take the early part of Sunday morning by herself, come to our church service, and again start the round of meet and greet. 

So far, so good.  And, might I add, she is a great person to be with as we socialize with my world!  I forgot to mention that the weekend will also include a funeral we will attend for my aunt, a meal with some of my siblings and much more of that meet and greet stuff (I hear my relatives saying – “be nice to the girl – give her some time off!!”).

Family Gathering

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Well, I’m back. 

A few days down at my daughter’s over Christmas was refreshing.  My son, Tim, was able to drive up from Chicago, my daughter’s family were all there (although sickness was also present), and Cynthia, the lady I am courting, was able to come and meet my kids!

Each morning I was out walking.  The town of Birch Hills, where Alli lives, is small enough I could march around it in less than 40 minutes.  I bundled up in long underwear, scarf and good mitts.  That was good for me – exercise never hurt when you are eating.

And eat we did.  We cooked a turkey and made pies.  Ate a cheeseball and snacked on a myriad of other foods.  All good but fattening.  5 pounds worth. So now I’m working that off at home.

Here are the kids, grandkids and I.  What fun.

Family photo - December 27, 2012

5 Canadian Religious figures

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Well, this is interesting.  Out of 5 Canadian religious figures who ended up in the States, two are Christian and Missionary Alliance related people.  One is the founder of the Alliance – Albert Benjamin Simpson.  The other is Erwin Lutzer, a Regina product who was affiliated with our Hillsdale Alliance Church – which I once attended. 

Amazing what shows up in McLeans magazine!  And the Alliance is mentioned as a significant denomination in Canada.  Take a look for yourself.

Failed Miserably

Friday, December 21st, 2012

The discussion around the supper table last night centered on words.  Do two negative words make a positive?  What would “failed miserably” really mean?  Would it not mean that you were a success?  And so the conversation went – as the evaluation of my turkey supper was undertaken.

Experimental Turkey December 20, 2012 small In the end, the verdict?  A very good supper, tasty and well plated.  The gravy worked well, as did the turkey, accompanied by green beans and corn, along with a tossed salad.  Completed by mint chocolate ice cream. 

And then we figured out I had left the stuffing in the oven to warm.  So Ted and I both indulged a bit more repast, enjoying the delights of the stuffing all by itself.

A success?  Yes.  Did I fail miserably?  Yes. 

How good is that!

Turkey day

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

I am practicing today.  On Christmas day, at my daughter’s house, we will cook a turkey.  My son, my daughter, my son-in-law and I have never cooked a turkey.  Despite the reassurances from my brother that this is no great deal, we all are not so sure!

So, I decided to invite a family over tonight to try out a turkey.  One that I would cook.

Now, I guess I got this approach to cooking from Jill.  If you are going to have to cook something, make it something new.  If they don’t like it, you can call it a trial.  If they like it, you put it in your recipe book.

20 minutes per pound (this is 4 kgs – so 3 hours).  And don’t put the stuffing inside – keeps the insides from heating up.  Make the stuffing separately.  The three basic instructions my brother gave me.

I can hardly wait.  Might blog about this in the next while.  Or, might not, depending on how it goes!!!

Dead truck in the middle of the ditch!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Yesterday I came to the intersection of two major highways in Kindersley.  Kindersley is known to have heavy truck traffic.  I expected to see trucks headed this way and that.  But none to be headed into the ditch.

Truck in ditch - Dec 18, 2012 smallI guess I arrived a few minutes late.  The truck was already in the ditch.  Apparently ice under foot (or is that under tire) had surprised the driver.  Although the driver may have been going slowly, the ice demanded too much.  And into the ditch they headed – truck, trailer and driver.  I’m sure the driver was more embarrassed than hurt.

Lesson for this morning?  For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere – watch your step, or is that your driving!

The rose of the 17th

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Over the past few months a rose has shown up.  I’ve been in various places, but somehow the rose tracks me down.  Sent anonymously, the date is not insignificant.  My wife, Jill, passed away on May 17th. 

I’m sure the rose comes as a reminder of the shared grief that we have.  I appreciate the gesture and have taken a moment of silence in remembrance of Jill.  While life continues apace, there is space for memory and the encouragement of a past well spent!!

Dec 17, 2012 rose small

Choir for Christmas

Monday, December 17th, 2012

I’ve talked of the Christmas Choir I have worked with at our local high school.  Of our three performances, we have never had the same people there twice.  Tonight was no exception.

Which is also a good sign.  A group that can adapt and keep things in tune (well, almost tonight – the piano was too far away and we tended to go off a bit).  I have really appreciated each one who has worked with us.  Below is tonight’s group – an octet to be sure!

KCS Christmas Choir - Dec 17, 2012

Christmas program 2012

Monday, December 17th, 2012

We filled the program with people.  The kids ranged from 2 and 3 year olds up to the want-to-be kids who are 97 years old.   Each played their part well and we finished with an amazing dessert buffet.  I figure around 200 came out.

When we were finished, I assisted in the break down and by around 9:30 we had returned equipment, cleaned up the venue and exited with grace.  I imagine I will spend a day or two recuperating from the travels and programs of the last while.  And then off to Christmas with my kids and some of my siblings.  Should be fun.

Oh, and here is a picture of an angel and Mary.  OK, the boy who plays the angel is mostly an angel, except for some days!!

Enunciation of Mary - Christmas Program 2012 small