Saturday, 3 September 2016

Delta Beach

The other day, Mike, Sara and I went on a driftwood-hunting expedition to Delta Beach, a 15 minute drive north of Portage la Prairie, along the southern edge of Lake Manitoba. It had been a number of years since we had last been there, long ago enough that Sara couldn't remember having been there at all. Mike remembered being there on a field trip in grade one and on church excursions but what we both remarked on was how different it looked. How beautiful and peaceful and clean it was.

We hadn't been there at all since the floods of 2011 when Lake Manitoba outgrew itself to engulf beach cottages and farmers' fields and roads, and before that, we remembered Delta as a basically untended destination, not well-maintained, overgrown, dirty. Evidently, a lot had happened since then.

The beach was pristine, only full of gorgeous soft, clean sand and stripped, overturned trees turned white from staying under water and sun so long – no garbage to be seen anywhere. Birds of all kinds were in the air: sea gulls, Canada geese, a hawk, a pelican, sand pipers. There were a few people but not many. We strolled down the beach and waded through the warm shallow water for what felt like miles and were only greeted with beauty and the mesmerizing sound of lapping waves. It was the Delta beach it had always been, only better.

We came away with the necessary driftwood, many photos and a collection of feathers and seashells. We weren't there long but we all had a wonderful time and vowed to come again.

That's what I'd like for myself, at the beginning of this “new year” - to be myself, only becoming a better, improved version. Clearly altered by the past but fitter, wiser, more creative, more disciplined, more comfortable in my own skin, more accepting of others in theirs'.

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.”
Aldous Huxley

Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Books for Sale

I ordered more copies of my book, Along the Way.  They are on sale for $10 if we can connect in person, or $15 if you would like one mailed to you.  Perhaps you would like to give one as a gift;  Mother's Day is coming up!  Share with others you think may be interested.

Thank you once again for all the support over the years.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Wild Animal

My brother invited my husband and me over the other day to watch a couple of movies. I took a break a few minutes into the second one and went for a walk down the lane he shares with my parents, the one I have walked down many times over the course of my life. It was a brisk spring afternoon and his dog, Mitsy, decided to join me.

We were almost all the way back to where the two driveways split apart, down by the last swamp, when all of a sudden, I heard this blood curdling – sound – that I could hardly describe, but it stopped me in my tracks and made the hair on my neck stand up. I turned in the direction of the sound, up on the hill behind me to see what made that sound, but all I saw was Mitsy high-tailing it home. Well, there was no way I was sticking around to see what animal it was. If the dog was afraid, so was I! The sound came again and again, and I was off and running.

I'm not a big runner, well, not a runner at all, but I was that afternoon! That was the fastest 500 m dash I'd ever run, probably in my life. I ran towards my parents' house instead of my brother's since it was closer. I was pretty sure if the animal was going to take chase, I would never make it all the way to my brother's. Even then, I couldn't run the whole way. I had to slow down to a speed walk to catch my breath. I did manage to make it to the house in one piece – and I never did see the animal.

At first, I assumed it was a coyote, since that's the most common wild animal that would theoretically scream at a dog. But it was so loud and so unlike any coyote howl I had ever heard, I thought maybe it was a rabid coyote. Later, when I told my story, my parents suggested a wolf, or bobcat, or cougar, all of which have been known to frequent the area. Regardless, I was glad to be close to safety and still alive.

But then I had to make my way back to my brother's. There was no way I was going back down the road towards the wild animal. My other option was to head through the bush, which was shorter, but also more hazardous for running should the animal come after me there, and also closer to other potential wild animals. I was pleased the dog came back for me. Maybe it was not too dangerous anymore.

Long story short, I made it back in one piece. Caught a cold from inhaling so much cold air with such heavy breathing. Was kind of one edge every time the dogs barked for the rest of the evening.

What I learned from my little episode is that:
1. I'm quite out of shape. My doctor had suggested that I might want to engage in more vigorous exercise than walking to remedy constant low-grade fatigue; her suggestion might be helpful for a variety of things, including escaping danger!

2. Even if I had been in better shape, my best efforts would have been insufficient for the task of saving myself if I had indeed been chased by a wolf or cougar.

3. I had little control over the situation. Sure, I maybe contributed by walking unsuspectingly past a wild animal who didn't want me there. Sure, my speed, or lack thereof, could have had an affect on the outcome had there really been a wild animal after me. But essentially, it wasn't through my efforts that I happened to come out unscathed, nor would it have been my fault if I had been attacked.

When bad things happen, or we manage to avoid bad things happening, we either want to blame something or someone, or perhaps take credit for side-stepping disaster. I don't think it's as easy as that. Sometimes bad things happen; sometimes they don't. Sometimes we are prepared for a crisis; sometimes our very best efforts are not enough to avert a tragedy. This is the world we live in: “[God] causes his sun to shine on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45). Our job as humans is to help each other, to do what we can to alleviate inevitable pain, to do what we can to lighten each others' loads.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another
if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:12 - 14

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


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Friday, 4 March 2016

Wonton Soup

The kids learning to make wontons for wonton soup with our friends Chai and Bo.