The weekend has been busy with visiting, getting the routine stuff done as well as getting ready for the course I will be attending in a week.
We celebrated and recelebrated Kieran’s birthday. He is definitely initiated into his third year. Yesterday we had cake. Tonight we had a picnic at the Little Red Park and more cake. Grandma and Kieran climbed a very tall hill, got bitten by mosquitos and got very dirty feet. It was fun.
This morning in the morning service we watched part of the DVD on Paul Carlson. Besides the fun of singing again in Lingala, the movie Monganga Paul brought back all sorts of memories for me. I was a teenager when Paul Carlson was killed and I already had aspirations of going into missions. I remember clearly the tension leading up to the day the news broke of the paratroopers landing in Kisangani and Carlson’s death.
Eleven years later, there we were. I guess it was another year before I visited Wasolo. Then we were given the task of reopening the mission, going up to the hospital where Leo was the first medical doctor to take up residence there since Carlson. People in the area still carried guilt for what happened to him, powerless as they had been to do anything to prevent his death.
Memories – it is weird the things the are prominent in that storage bank: the sermon or series of them, very similar, same text, that went on interminably on the theme of ‘women obey your husbands”; Eric running around wild as usual falling on a stick and pushing it into the roof of his mouth, Leo sick as a dog with TB coughing so hard he threw up almost every evening yet going off to do an emergency appendectomy for a Swiss lay missionary pregnant with her first child, parking the LandRover on the hill so we could push start it, Tim falling through the roof as he worked on getting another house ready to live in. The stuff of a missionaries life.
It is very hot in our house! I refused to cook tonight. We have enough leftovers to microwave for a day or so anyway and no one in our house in starving. I decided to sit outside to eat and to read. There are hardly any mosquitos till it begins to get dark around 9:30.
Looking up into the evening sky, there were swarms of dragonflies. They eat mosquitos. I like dragonflies!
Oh, yeah, I also had a chat with a son about what Leo and I had in common. That was after he asked to borrow my vehicle to drive to S’toon for a date Saturday night. My answer was that we had some core values in common, a love of helping others, a love of medical things and that for the most part we were different except for these.
But being different is not a bad thing in a marriage, I don’t think. We have helped each other round out the jagged and pointy edges of our personalities. We have taught each other a lot in areas where we needed some teaching. We have provided checks and balances for each other. And we have seen each other’s strengths and encouraged each other where by ourselves we would have been self criticizing.
And soon we are coming up to 36 years of marriage and as has happened so often – we will be apart again this year. Maybe we will celebrate it early. Leo’s ideas of how to celebrate a wedding anniversary – that would be too much information I think!
Today Kieran is three years old. Showing how old you are with fingers is the hardest at three. He hasn’t quite got the dexterity to do that yet. But he can drive!
Yesterday I decided to make a quick trip to Saskatoon to take him(and his mom) out for supper and take him a few presents. I must be running low on hugs from little guys cause I really wanted to see him. I have missed him the last couple of times when they came by to our house going to and from the lake.
So yesterday we went out to Jerry’s in Saskatoon. He mostly had fries and ketchup.
And about 10 cents worth of ice cream. Mostly he played with the legos – till some nice little girls came over and wanted to play too. He hasn’t quite got the idea that other kids should be played with, that toys can be shared. He burst into tears. The mother of the girls thought maybe they had been mean to him. Nope. They were just in his space.
I suggested maybe he needs a little brother or sister.
There is a special beauty to the large white pelicans against the blue grey of the water behind the tip of the sandbar in the late evening sun. Behind the water stands the dark green of the evergreen forest, casting a narrow green reflection on the still water near the banks of the river.
More to be wondered at is the fact that my eyes can register all this and my mind can still see the picture even though I am in my house now at the computer.
It is amazing that we are so wonderfully made.
Praise be to God for he is good to us.
Today I went with Marc and Dixie, Toni and Chris to Bellevue and Batoche. Showing off our historical sites and giving them a taste of our local culinary delights – tourtiere, poutine and pea soup.
You can really see the smokey haze that hung over everything. But the day was beautiful and the trip was fun.
Batoche holds an interesting bit of our local history. A dispute that cost lives. It probably could have been averted if both sides had talked. Instead a bad mix of arrogance and misunderstanding resulted in a battle.
To finish the trip we took the St. Laurent Ferry across the South Saskatchewan and the #11 highway back to Prince Albert.
I think these words just about sum up who most of us are. Yet we are all unique. Maybe that is what makes meeting new people so interesting. We are never quite the same as we come across in these blogs. In real life the bloggers I have met have almost always turned out to be extraordinary folks.
Meeting the Ertle’s this week has been a real treat. Down to earth, easy to be around, kindred in God’s family that we would never have met if it weren’t for blogging.
Tonight I went for a ride and stopped by Sharon’s (my stepmother). This morning during the service I noticed her wiping her eyes during the offertory – There is a Balm in Gilead. It has been a long time since I just went over to her place to visit.
Grief is an interesting phenomenon. Another person’s grief brings memories of other griefs to the emotional surface. Maybe that is part of working through it. It gets easier and the pain is less acute but it bubbles up sometimes at unexpected times. Maybe it is part of the way we share in other’s sorrows too – we know what the feelings are from first hand experience.
The Ngbaka people have a custom. They “sit on deaths”. In other words, they simply come and sit to be with the grieving family. It has certain drawbacks like the expectations to provide for these “sitting” guests which is pretty hard on the economy within that family. But the idea of just being present – sitting with the suffering family to be with them and to express your solidarity with them is good. When this happened at my mother’s death, I did not understand the custom – we had arrived in the Congo only days before. When the church leaders and friends came to sit with us at the time of Leo’s mother’s death years later, I could appreciate their coming, sitting, praying. It didn’t matter that they didn’t know her, they were well acquainted with suffering and understood ours.
Just before I arrived at Sharon’s, my sister Faith called. She was only about 45 minutes away so I waited to see her. She had just dropped off my niece at camp where she will be a counselor for awhile. And as many of my family, she will be victim to my ministrations on Tuesday. But tomorrow morning we are going for breakfast and a long talk.
I just got one of those phone calls; “Mom, I had an accident.” Patrick was on his way to Saskatoon, driving David’s big new truck. He hit a deer. Smuked it directly on the grill. Has done enough damage that the truck cannot be driven. He however was not hurt at all. Thank God. And the dogs are also fine – they are Michelle’s babies and it would be serious if they got hurt. Ebony is likely traumatized – poor thing.
David’s vehicles have the worst luck.