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Showing posts from August, 2009

england part two

One of my most memorable moments from our time in England was the day we went to Bath. The lovely Emma took us there for the day to visit another one of our wonderful friends who had spent some time with us in Montreal a few years ago. After we arrived at Hannah's place we had a cup of tea, caught up on life, prayed for good stuff, and headed downtown for a yummy lunch.

Then we wandered the streets of Bath, one of the most beautiful and interesting places I have ever seen. I was snapping pictures left and right as we walked past the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, and street after street of unique architecture. Several times I almost lost the rest of the gang while I stopped to capture a particular scene or ran into a tourist centre for some information. Hannah, Emma, Eden, and Dean were all very gracious in waiting for me as I tried to take it all in during the few hours that we had in Bath.
As we leisurely walked to one of the most famous places in that city, The Circus, Dean pointed out…

england part one

I got back from my trip to England yesterday around noon. It was a fabulous 8 days filled with new sights and foods and adventures, and lots of very precious people encountered along the way. The reason for going to London was to attend a friend's wedding, after which we were taking 5 days to see other friends and a bit of the country.

It started off not looking so good when I arrived at Heathrow just before noon last Friday after an all-night flight and heard my name paged in the luggage area. A nice man informed me that my bag had missed my first flight to Halifax and had then been sent to Toronto where the weather was not so good. He hoped that it would arrive the next day. Okay. There was nothing I could do about that, so I headed off to my hotel, checked in, and then jumped on the tube to spend the day seeing the sights in downtown London. I came back to the hotel later that evening to have dinner with a friend and my bag was still nowhere in sight. The next morning I checked …

on the road

I leave for London, England tonight at 7:50 pm. Dean (whose flight leaves tomorrow night after work) and I are going to attend the wedding of a good friend on Saturday in Egham. I am still amazed at how the plans have come together for this trip. At times all the details and flights and arrangements seemed almost impossible to untangle, starting with our not able to fly together due to one flight being through Aeroplan and the other one the most convenient for Dean's work schedule. It is also a challenge to try to see London and friends in neighbouring cities without a car and within a limited Canadian budget.

In the end, everything has worked out better than I imagined. We are going to be moving around a lot, traveling to 5 different locations and meeting up with friends every day, going to places I would never have thought to include in our little trip. Unexpected delightful detours! Through the helpful suggestions of various people, we now have a self-directed walking tour we ca…

good and bad

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. - Rick Warren

Someone sent me a Rick Warren interview just over a week ago and as I have been thinking about this excerpt, I have found that there is much truth in it. I do tend to see things quite black and white, good and bad for the most part, and that means I miss much of the richness and depth of the multi-dimensional life we live, not to mention the accompanying mystery and beauty of it!
For example, I know that I am sometimes easily influenced…

thank you A-Z

Just for fun, I thought I would name 26 things I am thankful for today, alphabetically, of course.

A - air. I like having plenty of it all around me all the time. Cool stuff!
B - breathing. It happens all day and all night without supervision, keeping me alive.
C - clothes. I have clean clothes to wear every morning, and most of them look good on me.
D - dreams. Awake or asleep, I love thinking about things that are bigger than me.
E - exercise. My body was made to move! I love to walk and run and jump.
F - feet. They take me lots of places every day, what would I do without them?
G - gas. I just ate fresh pineapple followed by cream of carrot soup. Bad mix, but nothing that a good belch didn't fix!
H - hair. It covers my pointy head and gives me a reason to buy nice smelling shampoo.
I - iced coffee. I had a medium one from Tim Hortons on this hot and sunny day...mmmmm!
J - Jazz the cat. She follows me around and purrs loudly when I pet her. Nice to come home to.
K - Karen my osteopath. My…

consistent and persistent

This is from a learning session that I led at a church gathering last night.

I read the story of the persistent widow again this week. You know, the one that involves a slacker judge who is not all that interested in justice and the woman who keeps badgering him to make things right for her until he finally relents and does so. Jesus told this story to teach us the value of consistent and persistent prayer. Kind of a backwards way of doing it, don't you think? He contrasts God to an unwilling and uncaring judge who gives the woman what she wants only after she has worn his resolve down by her constant asking.
Sad to say, many times the contrast between God and this dead-beat judge does not seem to be all that great. We can ask and ask and ask him for something and when nothing seems forthcoming, God does indeed seem unwilling to act on our behalf. Does he need convincing? Is he slow? Is he trying to teach us a lesson?
Let me give an example. Someone comes to me and asks me for 10 dol…

travel agent

This morning I booked hotel rooms for our trip to London, England in 2 weeks. If you have ever checked it out, you will know that London is an expensive place to visit, especially when you are used to Canadian prices. I just don't think that breakfast at a hotel is worth 25 pounds, or 45 Canadian dollars, do you? They obviously think that I can eat 45 dollars worth of food, so perhaps I should give the Brits credit for their extreme optimism.

Anyway, after weeks of research and asking around, during which time I found a lot of overpriced hotels, a few reasonably priced rooms accompanied by horrible reviews, and one or two deals that disappeared while I thought about them, everything fell into place last night. It's funny how waiting can bring clarity. The foggy impossibility of the task, given the myriad of locations to research and the limited budget we were working with, vanished as the right choices became clear, like someone was highlighting them. It was all so obvious last…

the younger

I am the youngest of three children. And yes, I exhibit a lot of the characteristics of this particular birth order station in the family. I want to differentiate myself from others, I sometimes battle feelings of being inadequate and small, and I can be outgoing and lots of fun when I have had a few cappuccinos.

This morning I read the story of the father and his two sons in Luke 15. The youngest one demanded his inheritance early (a typical desire not to be overlooked or treated unfairly) and went out to do his own thing (stop comparing me to my older sibling!). But that's where the similarities to the baby of the family end for me. You see, I have never run off and done something really stupid, causing lots of people to worry about me. For the most part, you can find me faithfully going about the necessary business of life, so dependable that it's almost boring.

I tend to lose patience with people who mess up and need lots of hand-holding to get back on track. I tota…

the bird

It was Alfred Hitchcock day on Friday. I was watching an old movie, called Rebecca, by the famous director around noon on that fateful day. Really, I was supposed to be cleaning my house in preparation for guests, getting some groceries, writing this blog, working on my fiction, and picking up some dry cleaning. But, in doing some research for our book club, I stumbled upon this movie and started watching a few clips. Besides, viewing a classic movie is an excellent warm-up for housework, isn't it?

As I was watching the unnamed heroine interact with the evil Mrs. Danvers, I heard a strange noise coming from somewhere. I looked over the balcony rail to see if there was any unusual cat action happening, but all was quiet. I continued my movie and again heard a rustling. It was coming from my right. I walked over and saw Jazz intently staring at the fireplace, her face with its big eyes pressed close to the glass. And then I saw a brown flutter and heard that familiar rustling again. …