Back from women’s retreat

That was a good weekend. We retreated in a new venue this year – up at Quest, a Baptist camp and retreat centre. Very nice! They even have wifi for those of us stupid enough to bring our computers along on a retreat. I was finishing up some writing stuff but was pleasantly surprised when I booted up the computer and there was an internet connection.

It was interesting in that the theme of the weekend was on becoming tools in the Master’s hands – in other words on discovering and developing our gifts.

Kathy George

The speaker handed out one of the gifts assessment tests that we have been offering the congregation for over a month with no takers. So there we were – sort of a captive audience as far as taking the test went. And we learned new things I believe – good things about ourselves.

The weather was also beautiful. Lots of outdoor activity happened. Look at our budding American hockey player:

The purple phantom

The windows of the main building looked east over the lake and on both mornings the early risers were greeted by a view of the sun rising. It was a beautiful spot. A plus was that all our meals were provided so I had lots of time to relax as well as quiet time to get some work finished on some papers.

sunrise ove Christopher lake

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I set up my laptop to write a bit and they have wifi out here.

My kind of retreat centre!

Well, as for a real retreat it might be better if it wasn’t here, but I do have work to do and this will help a bit.


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It has been a busy week

There has not been a lot of time to blog this week. I’ve had a very important visit from my daughter-n-law and the grandchildren on top of an exceptionally busy week at work. Work has gone past 5 most nights and then it is home to organize supper and whatnot. It seems as if every night I have needed to go out for picking up stuff at the store or back to the office for some more writing.

Last night was to meet a potential assosciate. I liked her so maybe there is hope for me of slowing down. This is just the start of checking things out so we will see. But that hope is good. It makes me realize that slowing down at work is something I really need.

Today I pack up and head up to the lake for a women’s retreat. I look forward to some reading and will pack along the laptop for some writing.

Before I go I have to make a visit to the hospital to get attached to a Haulter monitor. Just following up on those irregular heart beats I had about a month ago. Stress test comes in a couple more weeks. Ever since my irregular heart beat incident I have been feeling great so I doubt there will be a lot of abnormal things found. But one never knows!

I wonder what next week will hold.

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Family Day

Well, I don’t know as this has been a restful holiday – Family Day.

Family Day sometimes means the family can do what they want but I have work to do. It meant that this weekend.

However, I have gotten a lot of work done on two writing assignments. I have done a rather longish essay. Have to see if I can trim it a bit over the next week. I am verbose, I guess. But my in house writing critic says it is good – well balanced and he said it was interesting to read and that he learned some things.

(Sometimes I criticize him for being a bit arrogant, what with his amazing memory and ability to write quite well himself besides having a gift for teaching. Just the other day he came out with one of his old lines about the “spiritual” ones who attend his class – as opposed to us who like to spend time visiting following the service – and it made me fairly mad!)

I will grant him the pleasure of my forgiveness for his smug words since he is fairly lovable anyway and since he was such a big help today. And since it is Family Day I guess we can be benevolent towards the guy who is a big part of this family.

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This afternoon, I was at my office where I have a spot in the basement – my private office – sort of. It is really our lab but we don’t do a lot of actual lab work. I have a desk in there; there are no windows and no one in the office to distract me from my writing. I was getting deep into the writing of my paper: Mystical and Ecstatic Experiences in Christian Spirituality when I heard my dentist partner coming in the back door. Maybe he wondered who was in the office since I had driven my daughter’s car there instead of my own.

Nope – He was responding to the call of one of our patients whose foster daughter had had a skating accident a few minutes before.

Amazingly, Roger just returned from a course on endodontic emergencies. He began telling me about a new technique that could be used with teeth broken just at the root level in young people so that the root would remain in place preserving the bone for future restoration.

Wouldn’t you know it, this amazingly calm, sweet and cooperative child had broken her tooth off just where the enamel of the crown joined the root. He got to try out the new technique and I, since I was there at the office anyway, was able to assist him. Next week we will take the broken crown of that tooth and I will attach it to an orthodontic wire so that she will no longer be toothless.

One of those interruptions in my day that make life as a dentist so rewarding. And I am just about finished my paper too. Tomorrow should finish it – unless I have a new interruption to distract me.

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Trying to sum up the week

A week ago Leo had his surgery. Since then he has made another trip up to Thompson to speak – on addictions, I think. he is back home now and his diet has gone from clear fluids to food that one could drink through a straw. Such a variety of foods – soup, tomato juice, yogurt with no lumps, milk.

He was eating his soup watching me eat a pork chop and vegetables with envy tonight. A few more weeks and he will be back on solids – just small, wee, tiny portions! A whole life style change and for the better.

And as usual, because of his speaking engagement, we were apart for the umpteenth year in a row for Valentines Day.

It has been a topsy turvy week – from the warm weather of Mexico back to the icy north. From a hotel room back to the comfortable familiarity of home. From time off back to a busy week of work. Friends going through surgery too and now entering the recovery stage. From office routines to the school dental program and six spacers on their way to the lab.

I was telling my spiritual director that in many ways this month for me has been about hope – hopes realized, some hopes yet to be fulfilled but now possibilities. I think this week was a little bit like a condensed version of the hopes of this month – pretty intense but good.

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Picture us – a middle aged man, too heavy by far and a middle aged wife( who would not look so dumpy if she was skinnier and trim) sitting together in the confined space of an airplane seat. After three hours it gets old. But there is absolutely no where to move. One wiggles their toes but that is about all the space allows. I was in the middle seat, wedged between Leo and some strange man. It was not the most fun trip in the world traveling back from San Diego to Minneapolis.

But you know what? The next time Leo and I travel together will be better. He will never again be as heavy as he is now. Even when he flies to Winnipeg tomorrow, he will be a bit smaller than he was yesterday.

For Leo and I that is good news. We look forward to some good years enjoying life together. The surgery that Leo had has brought a lot of hope to both of us. We spent some of our traveling time anticipating places we would like to go together in the next few years.

Hope is a good thing. Love is a good thing. The two seem to mix well.

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