I love

– riding home from work in the misty rain

– drinking tea on cool nights like this

– curling up on a big chair with a shawl and a good book (even if it is required reading for my course)

– watching my grandson grin from ear to ear as he takes a few faltering steps on his own

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Filed under Day to Day, Reflections

Why do we do it?

Kids can cause us a lot of headaches.  Last minute glitches in Patrick’s planning kept us up late in the night.  It would be easier to rollover and go back to sleep and let them sort out their mistakes.  But we love them and get involved.  Its what parents do.  Even if the kids are old enough to live with the consequences of their own, may I say it, stupidity.

Now Patrick and Amanda have embarked on their voyage.  Safely.  At least no more phone calls! 

Praying for their safely and an uneventful trip.  At the other end another set of parents will take over.  And that will be good.  Can hardly wait to hear that they have arrived – but that will take about 24 hours. 

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Filed under Travels

There are days

that seem longer than others.  This was one of those days.

Strange how on these days the time does not seem to be terribly productive, or an extraordinary amount of work get done.  This day had its good moments but it has gone on.  maybe I should just get to bed!

There were some good things we did get done around our house today.  The pergola is up – yeah!  It was good that several of our kids were home today to help.  It wasn’t terribly hard but rather unwieldy and it required one brave soul who was unafraid to climb up to the top to put it together – only 7 feet, but for those who tremble a couple of feet off the ground, 7 feet is HIGH.  Just as we got to the point of attaching the canvas that will allow us to shade our very sunny and hot deck, we were hit by a downpour.  At that moment I was also off the ground a couple of feet.  In minutes, I was soaked.  The rain was not cold.  I had nowhere to go that I had to look presentable so it really was kind of fun getting caught out in the rain like that.  Its been a while since I have played in the rain!

Meanwhile, Rachelle and Grace were inside trying to get several of the Biology sections done for the summer school class Grace is doing.  They were working hard so my next job was to look after the little ones while they continued to work.  Lunch was made, the kids watched over and then the students moved down to the quiet of the basement.  Then around 2 it was nap time and everyone left so the Zaka could nap in his own place while more studying was done. 

This evening after his gold game, Leo called and wanted me to join him and some golfing friends for supper.  Leo and his boss, Linda both have wicked senses of humor.  Linda’s husband is a "farmer" who also makes crossbows for hunting and had just returned from a visit with some of his customers to South Africa.  While there he was attacked by a dog.  I guess he sat on it and held it down so it could not injure him more and then had to have someone come and kill it to get free.  Then he got back here and had to go through a series of rabies vaccinations.  Still has some numbness in his hands but is recovering well.  He and I were the non-joke tellers at the table.  Our job was to listen and laugh and that we did a decent job at, I think, even if some of Leo’s jokes I have heard a billion times. 

Ok, maybe not a billion.  But more times than I can count.

Then my aunt has not been feeling real well so we stopped up at her place for a short visit on our way home.  I think she’s doing pretty good.  She is always cheerful so sometimes I think she forgets that she just had pain half an hour ago. 

Then home to a quiet house.  Some of the kids are at a friend’s wedding tonight – Patrick’s best friend from elementary and high school.  Then Patrick and Amanda leave Monday for their visit to the Congo. 

So it has been a good long day.

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Filed under Day to Day

Good friends honored

Some good friends and fellow missionaries, Roger and Eileen Thorpe, were recently honored at the Annual Meeting of the Covenant Church.  You can read the story here.

Dr. Roger and Leo worked together for almost all of the years we were in the Congo.  Roger and I did a few procedures together as well – stuff involving the head and neck.  Eileen attempted to teach my kids music at the missionary kids school but I mostly remember her gift of hospitality.

For the past two summers, they have hosted Randall and I as we studied in Chicago, living only a few blocks from North Park Seminary.  They are gracious in opening up their home to us.  And so, again this summer we (and Leo and Lauralea who will join us at the end of the course) will be privileged to stay with them.

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Filed under Africa, In the News, Reflections

Linnaea borealis

Couldn’t resist.  I changed my banner to reflect where my name originates.  This weekend there were thousands of them in bloom.  Just a tiny little flower but they bring a delicate beauty to the forest floor.  So, for awhile I will show them off for you to enjoy.  From a photo I chose to use as a screensaver as well.

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Filed under Photos

The end of a week of vacation

The last few days of my week and a bit off were spent at Anglin Lake.  Rachelle and Ronin, Zaka and Grace and I were camping.  We found a beautiful spot beside the lake, at the headwaters of the Spruce River (otherwise known as the Little Red River) in a pretty basic camping ground – out side toilets and no running water.  They really could use a good well since the closest drinking water is a good 5 Km’s away.  But the closeness to the lake and the beauty and quietness of the spot made up for this small inconvenience.DSCF0121

The spot is also not really great for swimming so we drove down the road a short distance to Jacobson Bay to the beach and playground. 

Monday was very hot but our stay at the beach was interrupted by a sudden rain shower in the middle of the afternoon. 



DSCF0102 It seems that this is the time of year for all mothers to take their children swimming but… 

we discovered that Zaka is terrified of the water.  Really scared.  He wouldn’t even walk out on the dock.  I picked him up without thinking that he would be so scared and his little body stiffened with fear. 



So here he is – enjoying the water toy!  This is about as close as he got.  Wouldn’t even put his toes in to get them cooled off.DSCF0098



His favorite saying this weekend whenever we did something that displeased him was, "I’ll tell my dad."  It was funny in a sad sort of way, since he probably hears this from other kids at day care.  His dad is not exactly around for him to tell much to, unfortunately. 

We spent Canada Day by taking a little jaunt up to Waskesiu.  Had lunch by the Waskesiu River and took a short hike during which time we battled thousands of mosquitos.  We all had bug spray on but for Zaka and Grace it didn’t seem very effective.Zaka is so allergic to them.  He’ll need Benadryl tonight.

We had planned to spend this day which was forecast to be hot and sunny on the beach but it was so windy and cold that we cut the beach time pretty short. 

Now all that remains is the unpacking!

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Filed under Day to Day, Travels

Just realized

That a couple of years ago, I would have blogged all sorts of events from the last couple of days. I mean, a lot has gone on in my life. I finished a great silent retreat where the subject material was on the “mystics.” I am not sure if I enjoyed the presented material most or simply the time and permission to be silent; to take a blanket out onto the beautiful grounds and lie out there under a tree looking up at the sky through a canopy of leaves; to lie there and carry on a quiet conversation with God and to be able to sense things that I needed to hear. The days included a session talking with a spiritual director that also clarified some things for me. And the hospitality in the place was great.

Then the evening with Dave and Annette and a wonderfully excited Kieran at the Cirque de Soleil. What fun. What magic!

Then introduced Jordon and Wendy to the Konga Cafe. On Ave. H and 23rd. Doesn’t look like much but the food and hospitality there is great. Food with a Carribean flavor.

And today, met another friend for lunch. Good talking times. Then home to celebrate a significant birthday with another friend.

So there has a been a lot that could have been blogged in great detail. It seems that these days I have been doing less writing and more doing things with people. Seems that if I am busy being with friends then there is maybe more things to say but less time to talk about it. So, I guess I will spend the time doing and being and enjoying. Maybe deep thoughts will emerge at some point but for now, I am enjoying friends, family and the warm summer weather.

Tomorrow after church I will head up to the lake with two daughters and two grandsons. We are tenting and going to celebrate Canada Day together at the lake.

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