Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lazy Gratitude

I admit that laziness makes up a great deal of my present gratitude for all the rain we had a couple of evenings ago.

The ground underneath the grass in our yard is, due to all the trees that block the sunshine and heat, still too muddy to risk running the lawnmower over.  While the greenery on the front street boulevard is getting  a bit too long, the intense heat for 2 weeks prior to the rain has kept the rectory grass short and stilted in growth.

There are to be more showers at some point over the next 3 days, but even if they don't materialize it will be at least 2 days before I will be able to mow.  In 2 days I will be in the city.  I won't be here and able to mow until at least 2 days after that.  At that point it will be nearly 3 weeks since I have had to mow the front lawn.

Aaaaaahhhh, such blessed timing for the heat and rain in combination with my overwhelming summer laziness.  For the past 2 weeks I have had no battles with mosquitoes or wasps while running the mower around the yard.  It has been a nearly perfect 2 weeks!!!

If the rain and heat continue to work together in my favour, I am figuring that I could get away with mowing the lawn only 4 or 5 more times between now and the first of October when it will be past time for yard work.  

There are some pipe dreams* that are particularly pleasant on a warm summer's day when laziness is peaking and the thought of battling bugs out of doors is more than I want to be bothered with.

*If you are too young to know what a pipe dream is, check it out and remember that such things started LONG before the '60's okay?

Summer Visiting Begins

I am getting excited about the rest of this weekend.  Tomorrow after church services we are driving to the city to meet with our very first priest and his wife who we have not seen in several years now.  We just live too far away from each other to get together any more.  However, the city is a central point where we all have elderly parents in need of some attention right now, so the 4 of us can meet up there tomorrow evening.  I do hope it works out okay.  There hasn't been time yet this summer for any non-work/ministry related trips away and July is nearly over!  We may be driving in the rain the entire trip, but better than too much heat.  

Hopefully my parents will be well enough for us to take them out for dinner the next evening for their 61st anniversary.  I have their favourite Greek restaurant in mind.

My husband is perking up as holiday trips begin to happen.  It is always interesting to me how most people are re-energized by the mere thought of a trip, a temporary change of scenery, a visit with old friends. 

I have to be honest and admit my own suitcase for this short trip has been packed since yesterday afternoon!!  Blush......

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Huge Deluge

For the past few hours we have been experiencing some rather stunning lightning and rolling thunder that make up a typical prairie summer storm.  Here in our town we just caught the edge of it, but towns to the north and east of us were not so fortunate.

In a town only 50km away from us the streets are flooded, basements are filled with water and there has been no power for several hours.  From what we have been reading online, it is not the only town in the area to be experiencing flooding and power outages.  Once again we are living in the sweet spot with storms all around us while we only get the shorter, less extensive version.  

We have had two major downpours in the past 4 hours and we so need that moisture. While lightning doesn't excite me, I can't help hoping the rain will continue overnight.  Our lawn is so dry it makes a crispy crunching sound when we walk on the grass.

So far no tornadoes have been spawned by this storm.  For someone as nervous about tornadoes as I am, it is not relaxing to be living smack dab in the middle of Canada's Tornado Alley!

So far so good.....hopefully I have not been premature in my blogging that we are unlikely to have a tornado tonight....hopefully.....

A Bit of a Nasty Surprise

I was speaking to my mother on the phone yesterday and found out she has just been diagnosed with an hereditary corneal disease.  She is following the specialist's orders to eat salads every day, twice a day if possible and to fill her tummy with fruit between meals, in an attempt to slow the progress of the disease and hopefully avoid a corneal transplant.  Apparently it is a nasty surgery, particularly for a woman turning 88 years old later this year.

I am very sorry for my mom as she has enough to deal with in caring for my dad, without having a major problem of her own to contend with.  Dad, as usual, is not completely on planet reality about how this will affect her ability to care for him, because he doesn't want to face his own medical problems if it means going to a nursing home.  I feel so sorry for them both as their future living arrangements are now in even more jeopardy.

The other half of the nastiness in this sorry surprise is that my own chances of developing the same degenerative corneal disease is nearly 100% and I may pass it on to my son.  I felt sick to my stomach when I hung up the phone.

On the good side, as a diabetic I have to have eye tests every year, so if I develop any pain or soreness or other unusual symptoms it will be discovered fairly early on.  My optometrist is very good and will send me to a specialist if there is any question about the condition of my eyes at any time.

Another good thing is that my son is very unlikely to ever have children,  so any hereditary health issues like the diabetes, heart and now eye problems from my side of the family, along with the Parkinsons and heart issues from his dad's side of the family will all be halted for our family at the end of my son's generation.

I am praying for mercy for my son to be able to avoid these things for as long as possible if he has to have them at all in the future.  I am asking for protection for my own eyes and especially right now for help for my mother.

News like this reminds me of why I am able to face life's little issues:  I have a heavenly father whose presence transcends every road block in life and gives grace to deal with all of them when they arise.  Life would be frightening for me without knowing him and seeing how he cares for me and for my family in the midst of the bad times as well as the good.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Good Canadian Attitude To Foster

Last night I watched an episode of The Amazing Race Canada and was impressed by a contestant couple who had to leave the race due to an injury sustained during one of the contests.  

Their response to being eliminated from the competition was, to me, so uniquely and deliciously Canadian.  There was no bluster, no fussing, no whining or complaining or overblown angry posturing in the face of their disappointment.  The fellow said, during his post-elimination interview, words to the effect that in order to hear the words, "I am sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from the race.", a person actually had to have been fortunate enough to have been in the race to start with, and wasn't it great that he had been in that position. I was so proud of his attitude and proud that such a response was, at least until very recently, typical of the Canadian response to not winning competitions:  "HEY, we got to play!!! Isn't that wonderful?"

I hope we never completely lose this somewhat humble attitude, but I see it changing, unfortunately.  Winning doesn't have to be everything and it bothers me intensely that to not win in this day and age, particularly in competitions where there is only one ultimate "winner", we are not more encouraged to also enjoy simply being able to participate at all.

Church Bloopers

In my husband's present position in our church denomination, we get to travel around to many different churches during the year.  It is a lot of fun, but sometimes we learn things we never knew before!!  Some of those things are unwittingly hilarious.

I have a few favourites from the past year:

--"A reading from the Book of Ephoosians" instead of "Ephesians"

--"Be careful to show hostility to each other".  Um, I believe that should be "hospitality", although the other rendition can be tempting at times.

--"We will now read the story of Jacob and Eeshew".  Must be Esau's big footed brother.

--And from a recent service in our own church:  "Let us turn to the Nicene Creed".  So of course, instead we said the Apostles Creed.  As well, my husband had posted our Eucharistic prayer as Prayer number 3 but he actually led us through Prayer number 2.  He announced an incorrect hymn number and then when we finally found it, he accidentally renamed the hymn because it was one he wasn't familiar with and he didn't have his glasses on so he misread the title.  Our seniors found this to be a most confusing service. 

--Then there was the time that the Book of First Corinthians became the Book of First Coronations.  Funny, I don't recall anyone being crowned king or queen anywhere in that particular book.

--The Book of Job, long "o", became The Book of Job, short "o" and during the rather extensive reading I nearly convulsed with giggles because it just sounded so darned cute.  I wondered if Job had started a new job no one told us about previously.

--One poor lady ended up doing an Old Testament reading she had not been able to read and prepare for ahead of time and it contained a geneology filled with long, tongue twisting names. When she reached that part of the reading, she stopped for a moment, wide eyed, then threw up her hands and said, "Well....he was descended from a big long line up of folks back in the day." You know, I would actually prefer that happening than having to sit in an agony of embarrassment for someone verbally stumbling and falling over the unfamiliar names of that time in history.

You never know what is going to happen with volunteer readers and I find the mistakes endearing.  It takes courage for someone to get up in front of other people and display their reading skills, or lack thereof.  i enjoy being in churches where no one freaks out when a reading or a prayer or a sermon is not "practically perfect in every way".  (thank you Mary Poppins)  I eagerly await more bloopers from the pulpit.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy Happy Joy Joy....A Good Friend on the Horizon

I am pretty excited today.  Recently my best friend from high school, who I have not seen in nearly 30 years, found me through this little blog.  We are back in touch and it is delightful.

Now, we are going to have a chance to meet this summer.  She and her husband will be visiting relatives in the city where my parents live and we are going to be able to drive out and meet them there for a visit.  That will be the first little trip out of here at the start of our holidays and it is awesome!!  I am just delighted that we can get together.

My friend is the person from my Grade 12 class who really rekindled my interest in Jesus and in learning more about God after I lost interest in the whole thing as a child.  She met him first, then generously and gently introduced me to him as well.  She changed my life by doing that, set me free from so many problems and fears.

So, 2 little "out trips" to look forward to in the coming weeks as we reconnect with our first priest and my best friend from high school.  GREAT STUFF!!  Happy summer to US!!