A long hot drive home brought our Canada Day weekend to an end. So grateful that even though our car is ancient, it does have a good air conditioning system. It only burns a little bit more gasoline when the A/C is on and since the week is starting off so warmly we don't care if we have to pay a bit more for comfort when driving.
It was a fantastic weekend for us. God bless our dear Curate who took one service and some capable lay ministers who took the other one. It is my husband's first long weekend Sunday off in several years and we made the most of it.
We actually got away on time Friday morning and made our way to Moose Jaw, the trunk of our car filled with books to take to a friend's second hand book store. It was a warm day, but not overly hot. The adrenalin of getting away kept us awake and talking on and on for the long drive. After we unloaded the books and visited our friend for a few minutes, we headed into Regina for dinner and overnight stay with our diocesan bishop and his wife.
They are a wonderful couple......friendly without overstepping boundaries, spiritually wise without being know-it-all's, honest with tact, down to earth but with excellent taste and sufficiently sophisticated attitudes so that they can relate to all manner of people. They cope well with living in Saskatchewan after rearing their family in Great Britain. They are the kind of Christian people that seem surrounded with unexpected ministry opportunities because they are well prepared by prayer and practice. In fact, shortly after we awoke the following morning, a young man appeared outside their house, limping along the sidewalk and crying with intense pain, disoriented between the pain and whatever drugs he had been imbibing at some point the night before. He collapsed on the lawn next door as our bishop and my husband were racing out to find out how they could be of assistance. Long story short, it turned out he had been badly beaten some hours previously and dumped off in the midst of that lovely middle class neighbourhood. He was looking for a church that is nearby, thinking perhaps he could get someone to call for some help for him. God is good. The church came to him, and drove him across the city to his parents' home, where they were ready to get him the medical help he required. Since my husband is a former biker and our bishop a former police officer, we wives had no concern for their safety as they squealed away in the bishop's car. We prayed and headed out for our morning of shopping downtown, relieved that our guys were able to help the young man.
While the guys then headed off to their meeting with some others at the diocesan offices, the bishop's wife and myself headed to a downtown mall to look for graduation gifts and some clothes and a good Booster Juice smoothie. Thankfully, in that little mall, we scored on all counts. I am elated to find someone at last that I can shop with comfortably. Usually I prefer to go alone, but she and I are on the exact same wavelength about shopping with another person and we had a great morning.
We met up with the men after their meeting and we all had lunch at a wonderful little cafe called Sweets. They had everything on the menu from teas and fancy coffees and lemon water to quiche's, pot pies, sandwiches, soups, salads and delicious desserts, all made in their little kitchen area. The portions were just the right small size for lunch and the food was so fresh. Yum! We had become so engrossed in assisting the young man before going our separate ways we had all forgotten to eat breakfast, so lunch became brunch and we truly enjoyed it.
That afternoon we were involved in a lovely ordination service for 2 of the new postulants in our diocese. It was just the right length, the families of the ordinands were able to take good photos as reminders of the day, the weather stayed warm and sunny and it was most exciting to watch the 2 young men starting off in their ordained ministries.
A lovely dinner for the 2 of us followed and then back to Moose Jaw for the night. Had lots of fun surprising my friend Patty who didn't know we were coming, so we had a great visit together.
Sunday morning we were able to worship at our former church in MJ. What fun we had seeing old friends, singing in the choir again, seeing my husband's former assistant doing a fantastic job as the new priest in charge. It was a treat to have lunch with him and his family. Then over to see some other friends for a blessedly quiet and sane afternoon of looking at beautiful photos of their recent trip to the Maritimes and into the Eastern USA. We looked at pictures for 3 hours and wanted to stay longer with them, but had arranged dinner plans elsewhere. Had a wonderful time with those friends as well, decided it was too late to head for home and stayed over one more night. Glad we did as it gave us an opportunity to visit another beloved couple before we forced ourselves to come home at last.
Although there was a fair amount of work related activity all weekend, it was work activity away from home. For some reason that always feels like a holiday is happening.
Now we are tired and ready for a good night's sleep. My husband has to hit the ground running in the morning and won't have a chance to stop for 2 full weeks. What a special time away to relax him and allow him to regroup for the frighteningly busy time ahead!