Home

Home sweet home

Leave a comment

Tonight I wanted to post another one of my assignments that I was given in college. I’ve been missing home like crazy again lately as its been over 6 months since I’ve laid eyes on all that is old and familiar so I thought this was a fitting post for tonight.

 

The place where I live

If you drive by today you will see a BC box style house with an addition on it. Two gravel driveways flank the house on either side. Preceding the front of the house is a ditch. Many summers were spent on homemade rafts or wading through the ditch in our bare feet searching for clear jelly sacks full of frog eggs and the frogs that made them.  Beyond the ditch is an expanse of grass that is kept green with sprinklers in the summertime.  A second story sundeck wraps around the right side of the house toward the backyard.  A couple of big trees dot theyard in front and along the right side of the house across the driveway. The big window of our living room is front and center framed in with creamy yellow siding.  It is an eye into a part of our life on a dark night.  On most nights my dad will be in his lazy boy, a glass of his own homemade red wine in his hand.  My mother will be reading her book.  Perhaps my brother or I are with them in the living room, perhaps not.  During any time of the day you can always make out the numerous flowering plants that my mother has lined up on the window sill for as long as I can remember.  On the far right side of our house, rows of my dad’s grapevines grow, protected by trimmed evergreen trees. The vines give our property a sort of romantic look.  A large stained wooden fence, built by my dad, partially blocks your view into the backyard.  If you could see past it you would see a large backyard equipped with a circular trampoline and a fire pit that is well used during evenings in the summer.  Their is so much more to see but what you see is so different from what I see.

When I look at the place where I live I see my family adn the only place I’ve ever lived. I see the memories. I see the house and barns my father built. I see a front yard that I sprinted across many times in search of hiding spot during a game of kick the can. I see the place where I first got stung by a bee. I see the endless hours I spent on the trampoline with my sister and my best friend learnign to do flips and handsprings. I see the shady places under the nut trees where my siblings and I used to sit and eat nuts or complain about having to pick them up.  I see the spot where I first rode a two-wheeler bike.  I see the trees I climbed and snow forts that I’ve built.  I see the spot where I got my first kiss. I see a sundeck where many summer evenings have been spent in great conversation or gazing in awe as the lightening hit the mountains and the thunder rolled ominously above our heads.  The doors on the outside lead into a house that is so full of memories and warmth, of love and laughter, of fights, disagreements, and tears.  If you took a look you would only see couches, carpet, and tidy rooms, You might even be able to look at my house and think about all you could do ith it. You might be able to picture a future but for me it is my past and it is my present.  It is a place taht is deeply embedded inside my soul.

 

The end.

 

Some things have changed physically on the property but it remains home. As I re-wrote that assignment I’m pretty sure I thought of a million more things I could say. I was thinking about the time I scribbled my initials in some paint on the underside of the railing by the computer room when my mom and me were painting the dining room yellow one summer. I was thinking about when I was really little and I can remember watching my mom folding laundry at the dining room table with the sun shining in. I’ve always loved the way our yard looked when it would rain really good, the sky would be a combination of dark and light clouds and then a rainbow would appear and the sun would come out and make everything look drenched and sparkly somehow. I was thinking about how familiar it used to be to look at the sight of my Dad walking down the driveway coming  in from the barns, his hat perched on his head. I treasure the memories I have so much and knowing my parents will read this I just want to say thanks for such a great childhood and giving me more then you probably even think you did. Hope to lay eyes on the old familiar soon!

Snapshots of summer

2 Comments

Here is a photo update since I’ve been uninspired to write:

Sitting on the roof watching stampede fireworks

Some of the fireworks 🙂

Enjoying the stunning scenery that the canola fields offered on the way up to camping! ( I have like 20 more pictures pretty much of the same thing but hey, I could only pick one)

On our camp-site…tarp city…it was a pretty sweet set-up and helped block out wind off the lake and rain off our heads 🙂

I went for a jaunt one night down the beach by myself and couldn’t stop taking pictures…it was so beautiful

Drinking beers out on the sand bar at night….love doing this kind of stuff…yep i do!

My man all stoked to go fishing 🙂 He caught 3 fish! and we ate em! I caught my first fish but it got away when we were trying to measure it…I snagged two more but they got away too…lets just say I get pretty excited and loud when I get a bite! It was a lot of fun!

heading out to do some evening fishing 🙂

Dinner on a Sunday night at a park by the bow river with some friends 🙂

This is an up close of my first star gazer lily that bloomed and I just noticed it today…I’ve been waiting veeerry patiently for these guys!

So I did go to Stampede this year but it just wasn’t what it was last year. I wasn’t really feeling like hanging out with 100,000 people the day I went and my boyfriend had gotten a flash burn on his face from welding…we tried to have fun but we really both just needed some down time. My summer has mostly been made up of work, sleep, eat (maybe) and the odd beer or nap tucked in here or there. 🙂 Work has been challenging this year to say the least but ultimately I would say that I feel blessed for whats happened in my life in the last year. Looking back it’s very easy for me to see the Lords hand in my life and how He has guided me. I have much to be thankful for. I did get to spend some time with family too. It is such a joy to see my siblings and catch up with them and their kids. My heart is still melting from the words my nephew yelled across the mall parking lot…”I love you to the moon and back!”.  Other than that life has just been normal and stable and I’m thankful for that. I am a very blessed and thankful person. I hope that you enjoyed the pictures and I’ll be trying to post more often! God bless!

An update

1 Comment

May is a crazy crazy crazy month at work for me and you can probably tell that since it’s   been about one month since I’ve last posted.  I love being busy but it is truly exhausting.  It takes a lot to train and get everyone up to speed and to try and catch mistakes and errors before it costs the company money. I like the challenge though and I’m definitely up to the challenge.  I feel pretty lucky about my garden situation this year. Last year was a bit of a crop failure at my residence. My lettuce did just dandy but my carrots were stunted, I forgot to thin out my over-planted radishes and I got one zucchini growing and then it promptly shriveled up on me. I got a couple of beans but their was an obvious lack of abundance.  This year I’ve managed to score a sunnier location in the back 40 at work.  I was given a nice size little plot for nothing and I planted it all up last week on my day off. I planted lots of zucchini (bound and determined to come out with more then one shriveled up zucchini!), I planted peas, beans, carrots, radishes (which I fully intend to thin out  properly this year) and some onions.  When I went out to plant I wanted to plant seed potatoes but their was none to be had in store so I was going to try and force my own potatoes at home to sprout when the other night their was someone else who also gardens in the back their and I was sharing my sad no-seed-potatoes-left story and he replied, ” I just threw out a whole bunch of seed potatoes on the compost pile that I didn’t need anymore”. WOO-HOO! I never knew how joyful one could be over a bunch of sprouting potatoes! I jumped on it and got a nice little row of potatoes planted that night. I watered it and then it proceeded to storm and lightening the next two days and so I’m sorta happy about that.

A pic from work…gorgeous!

Speaking of storming, it was raining and lightening like crazy the other night and it was about 11:15pm when I said to my room mate Rach, “Wouldn’t be so cool to watch this storm on the ridge right now?” She agreed and said we should do it. My bed was calling me but we decided to go anyhow.  I am like a little kid still when it comes to thunder and lightening. It is remarkable. I think it’s kinda funny sometimes how science can explain the chemical reactions but still, who and how were those chemical reactions created? Right?. Sometimes I can really start twisting things around in my head and I imagine, what if we never needed water or never seen water, what if we just never experienced it or knew what it was. It’s hard to imagine life without it right. Well then I just imagine if their was something else God could have created but he just didn’t.  It’s like this,  imagine that their is a million more additional colors then what we know. It seems impossible but it is possible with God.  Someone once twisted my mind in this manner by saying, “What if we were both looking at this color and we both say its red but you see it as blue and I see it as green but still, we both call it red.?”  I kinda love that concept. It makes me think of God as bigger then this world and what we see in it.

My family came to Alberta for a family wedding awhile ago and it was awesome. It somehow ended up that it was just the immediate siblings that showed up and man did we have a blast.  Family is everything and I feel so completely blessed to be able to be a part of such a great thing. I love my whole family so much, I love my in-laws like crazy and have grown closer to them then I knew I could. My sister’s in law feel like they just are my sisters too, my brother-in-laws are my brothers. It doesn’t feel disjointed, it feels like they were all always meant to be a part of the family. I do have one funny story which my brother told me about.  He was leaving and he said to his young son, “I’m going to see Auntie Fay!”. My young nephew looked up at his dad, my brother, and said, “But we don’t have an Auntie Fay”. His older sister piped up, “Yes we do Darius! We do have an auntie Fay!”.  Oh, it makes me laugh and breaks my heart all in one! I’ll have to get reacquainted with that little guy! Haha.

Not a great pic but here’s Ma, Pa & the kids

Their’s not too much else at the moment but Iguess right now I have to say that I’m just really really happy.  Maybe it sounds funny to say this but I have so much thankfulness in my heart to God for how he has been leading my life in the last year and a half. It hasn’t all been easy but I know he’s taking care of me! I know He forgives me for my mistakes and He knows my heart.  It is my prayer that He remains with all the people in my life that I couldn’t and can’t be with right now.

 

 

 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”  Psalm 28: 7

Less robot and more human please

Leave a comment

The last bunch of days I’ve had a missed call from one of those 1-888 type of numbers every day.  This morning I woke up to my phone buzzing and it was that number that was showing up on my incoming call so I answered it.  The girl on the other end of the line began talking, she was associated with my bank and was offering some kind of identity protection program which could be mine for the first month free and $8.99 per month from then on. Clearly I sounded sleepy still so she asked if it was a good time to call or if she should call back later.  I didn’t feel like getting more calls and missing more calls so I told her she may go ahead and tell me what it was about so she launched into her entire spiel.  I could tell that she was reading off of a paper or a computer or something because she didn’t even sound human the way she droned out this message that she was probably going to be droning out all day long.  Finally I interuppted her because that is the only way it seems you can get a word in edge-wise with these people and I told her I didn’t want to buy her product and I was actually okay. I wasn’t rude, I just let her know that I would not be buying into it.  She changed her angle and kept talking, so I interuppted again and said, “No I’m okay, thanks for calling, I appreciate you letting me know about it but I’m okay”. She said okay and kept talking about the virtues of this offer.  This time I interuppted and I said, “Look, I said no and I’m being nice about it so please be respectful in return and lets say goodbye to eachother”. Only after I said that did she say thanks ma’am and hang up.

After this brief morning encounter I was just lying in my bed thinking about the call.  She probably has to keep trying to sell to me  until I hang up and she is probably following some script that was made up by someone else sitting in an office who thought up this sales pitch. I thought about this unknown girl and I thought, she must cry, laugh, love, and have hobbies. She has a character and yet she has to turn herself off  when she gets to work and begin to recite and repeat and recite and repeat a bunch of pushy lines that some big bank thinks is the best thing to say and the best way to sell something. I don’t think she could veer from the script if she wanted to unless I, the customer, steered it in that direction since the calls are ‘recorded for training and security purposes’. Good to know we are all being held accountable and being babysat by the corporations on our phone calls. I would rather talk to someone who can display a little character and who was given the freedom to act human while making the call any day of the week. Any day. I can’t stress that enough.  The detachment really, really bothers me.

It drives me crazy that that is what big banks and corporations do for service.  I get just as annoyed when I have to call my phone company about something on my phone bill and I am talking to some lady in Nova Scotia and if the call is dropped or if I want to call back , next time I am talking to someone in Quebec. What bothers me the most is that whoever is getting these little guys like you and me to recite this or that to the customer is so untouchable. I wish I could march into the office of whoever has ordained this system and tell them exactly what I think of it. I work on orders over the phone too and let me tell you, when you know you’re actually going to have to meet the guy on the other end of that line, shake his hand, and look him in the eye it makes you think about how your talking and treating each other.  It makes you act less robot and more human.

If I could meet that girl I talked to this morning I don’t think she would be who she has to act like on the phone.  I’ve always thought that interactions and meeting people is one of the richest things in life. When I spend time with a person, whether it is 30 seconds or 10 minutes, whether I’m helping them out or being helped out by them it’s the people who look at me and not through me, who talk pleasantly or venture a joke, who share a small tidbit of news from their life, those are the ones who make a difference in my life.  Those are the type of people who I want to write about. I really think that we are not meant to live so detached and I also think that technology is going to do its best to detach us despite all it’s claims of bring us closer and connecting us. In closing I’ll just say that I don’t really have a big message today, I’m just ranting a little and trying to bring some attention to the matter and for now that is it and that is all! Take care everyone!


It’s beginning to look a lot like spring…

1 Comment

A Mayday tree beginning to blossom (same type of tree in my back yard!)

So the blog may be a little stagnant for awhile. Spring is beginning to officially be sprung if you know what I mean. I just raked up my garden yesterday again and I planted some stargazer lily bulbs into one of my pot containers.  With all this spring it means my days have been picking up as well.  My days have been 9-10 hours long for awhile now and next week they will be increasing to 10-11 hour days until the end of summer. I have to say I love my job and I do enjoy learning about plants and trees, I like training new employees and I like to be able to be a go-to person.  I have been working on getting my domestic pesticide license as well (by ‘working on’ I mean putting off studying before I have to write the test). Today I had to train two people at once, by lunch (at 3:00pm) I physically had a sore jaw from talking too much. Still, I go home feeling fulfilled and when I leave in the morning I don’t look against work at all, I find myself already gearing up on the way to work thinking about who I need to touch base with, what quotes I need to work on, and what things I might catch up on if the phones aren’t ringing off the hook and the customers aren’t crowding the desk.  I like being busy, especially after feeling like things have been so slow all winter but I have to admit that it is very exhausting.  This year I have a lot more responsibility on my shoulders and I don’t mind to work long days but it is physically and mentally draining and I often don’t feel like moving at all by the time I get home and sit down.  Even as I write this now my eyes are drooping..hahaha. I don’t write that to garner your pity, I only write it to let you know why you might hear less from me in the next few months.

Overall I would say that I’ve grown a lot in one year with this company and I feel like I have a future and some direction for the first time in my life.  My mother is witness to the many tears I’ve cried over my feelings of lack of direction and lack of goals.  Sometimes you just don’t figure stuff out as quickly as others and it takes some bouncing around to figure out where you should be and what direction you should head.  I really think that having to be completely independent changes your perspective about things. I still want to pursue my writing but for now God is giving me a tangible way to live and work and to be able to fend for myself in this big, sometimes unforgiving, intimidating world.  Not only does he provide for me but he allows me to enjoy the work he sets before me and that can only be interpreted as an immense blessing in my eyes. May you all know that joy to be your own in the daily tasks that God sets before you as well!

” Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.”

 – Colossians 3: 22-25

Just as a funny side note, one time when I was at work I was chatting with my boss and he said to me, “Thanks for looking out for me” (It was something about the peanuts he always eats out of the 25 cent candy dispenser, I can’t remember exactly what led to him saying that).  I responded to him, “Don’t worry, I think everyone around here is looking out for you…” He looked at me with a quizzical expression and I said to him, ” yeah, you know, ‘look out the boss is coming! Look busy!’ “. I was still pretty new at the time and the girl who was training me at the time was gaping at me with an expression of disbelief on her face.  I’m guessing that she probably couldn’t believe I had just said that to the head honcho and  I did have a brief moment of wondering if I had stepped over the line but was relieved when my boss just burst out laughing. I think he appreciated the inkling of truth in my joke.  You shouldn’t have to try to look busier when your boss is around, you should be able to just keep doing what your doing if your working the right way in my opinion. Anyways, that’s it and that’s all for today! Take care everyone!

Swimming upstream

2 Comments

Here she is! The train bridge we used to walk to...clearly a popular spot...(this is not my pic, I borrowed it off of panoramio.com

I used to spend long summer afternoons beside the river with my friend Sheila.  We would wander down the train tracks behind her house all the way down to the train bridge and then follow some beaten dirt paths to our little spot that we liked to swim by.  We would jump in at one point, and let the current carry us down a little way and then we would either run ourselves up on some shallow, rocky part of the river or paddle off to the side.  Inevitably, we would get out, run back up and let it carry us right back down again. Sometimes we used floaties and other times we would just jump in and let the water swirl around our bodies and effortlessly carry us downstream. Sometimes we would see if we could swim against the current and we would kick and paddle our arms as hard as we could but we always, and quite shortly, lost that battle to the incessant, powerful pull of the river. We were careful to stay in certain areas since we would often be fore-warned of the danger of under-currents that could pull us under.

I’ve always had this metaphor stuck in my head about the life of a Christian and here it is: we are all swimmers in a river.  The river is life and it’s current is the lures and temptation of the world. Like the current of a river can pull and push at us, so the world around us, the devil, and our own flesh seek to pull and push us into all kinds of evil. The pressure it creates entices all of us to just give up and go with the flow. Do not forget that the Devil is always trying to make it look better to give up fighting and  just go with it. The life of a Christian demands that we swim against the current while the world effortlessly floats on by us. The river never stops flowing and it never changes it’s flow of direction, when we choose a moment to give up fighting the current, we lose that ground. Life doesn’t give us second chances and we cannot go back in time,  we don’t get any do-overs. If you sin, that sin happened and its irrevocable. When we give up swimming it means we stop fighting our sin, it means we give in to temptation and we take the easy way out.

God is stronger

Fighting sin is indeed tiresome and exhausting at times just like           constantly trying to swim against the current would be tiresome and  exhausting. This is where something completely nonsensical steps in.  God’s grace. Life may not give second chances but God does. He forgives  us as often as we come to him in repentance. Whenever the world just looks too lovely to let it pass us by and we stop swimming and start floating, when we give up and we lose ground God gives us grace. I believe that God is that shallow part in the river that gives us time to consider what we are doing and what we have done. His grace keeps us safe even in our lack of judgement. Through prayers of fellow Christians and ofcourse, His grace, we may grab hold of a branch for awhile. He hangs onto us  so we don’t go plummeting over a waterfall to our death and destruction.  His grace allows us to realize what we’re doing or what we’ve done and when we repent it is like God plucks us out of the river and puts us back upstream where we were, he strengthens and renews us and we get to try again. That is God’s grace in our daily life.

I know life as a Christian doesn’t make sense in the eyes of the world the same way it wouldn’t make sense for any of us to jump in the river and spend the next hour furiously paddling upstream, seemingly getting nowhere, while people float by on rafts and laugh at us but it’s the life we’re called to live.  God’s grace doesn’t make sense to us either all the time but without it we would foolishly and ignorantly spend our lives floating downstream instead of doing what we ought to do with joy.  Don’t you think that if you swam upstream every day for an hour you would get stronger and better at it? Just some food for thought.

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”    – 1 Timothy 6: 11-12

Still a country girl at heart

5 Comments

Lately my days at work have been sneakily getting longer on me. I start earlier, leave later, and the business of the day makes me not even realize the time going by (just the way I like time at work to go by!). The weather today in Calgary was absolutely irresistible. It was about 12 degrees out I think. I was walking out to my truck at the end of the day in my t-shirt and a pleasant breeze was tugging at my hair and I found myself wishing for my running shoes so I could go for a run. It was so peaceful and beautiful outside and I was enjoying the weather so much in that moment  that I didn’t even feel like getting into my truck. Nothing in me felt like heading home to my tiny basement suite so I decided to drive myself out into the country instead of right back into the busy, trafficky, just-not-the-country, cramped city.

Today- takin black beaut's for a cruise

As I got further and further out of town I just felt like weight was being lifted off my shoulders. Its tiresome feeling like I’m so locked down and into the city sometimes. I don’t know how to explain that locked down feeling, I guess I just miss speeding down a back road and I miss seeing nothing but fields around me. I miss not having to see people everywhere. I miss seeing animals in fields and I love all that open space. I miss smelling manure in the air. You read that right,  I’m going crazy enough that I miss smelling manure in the air.  At one point I was just so inspired by the view that I pulled over on the side of the road, I turned my music completely off and I sat there for five minutes, soaking in the view and just listening to the beautiful sound of grass rustling, enjoying the complete lack of all sounds ‘city’. It’s so great to just put my foot to the floor and bring ol’ black beauts up to speed and not have to be ready to stop at yet another traffic light, or be stuck behind 10 slow-poke vehicles, or worry about keeping my eyes peeled for yet another photo-radar van. Good luck trying to do photo radar in the flat country side of Alberta.

Listening to the grass rustle

I feel like it’s harder to find God in the city then it is to find Him out in the country. It’s hard for me to find any inspiration in skyscrapers, business suits, buses, c-trains, traffic lights, neon signs, liquor stores, grumpy looking people, the list goes on and on. I find I am always closest to God when I’m closest to creation. I know that it is only by God’s will that those buildings are able to be built and all the infrastructure can be there and can work but really would you be inspired by a littered street full of unsmiling, unfriendly, unfamiliar faces or golden colored land that catches and shimmers in the sunlight set against a great, big, blue sky full of untouchable, puffy,white clouds? It’s a no brainer for me. When I lived 3 hours south with my sister and brother-in-law the stars, the milky way, they were something to behold at night. Where I live now you do not ‘behold’ the milky way and you can only really see the bright stars. I used to have no problem finding the small dipper. Good luck trying to find it through the orange glow of the city at night. I felt the weight of the city coming back on me as I got closer to home again eventually. Instead of watching two horses chasing each other around the field and kicking up their back legs and joyously jumping around I was back in bumper to bumper traffic looking at the person in the car next to me tappity tap tapping away on their cell phone.  I had to go through at least 6 traffic lights just to get home. Their is something so restrictive and impersonal about the city. We live so close to all those people and yet none of us are really close at all. Why is it that when you live in the country you live further from your neighbours but you usually actually know them? Anyways, it was good to get away from all the hub-bub today.  I guess I’ll just keep dreaming about the country until I can actually live in it again!

Out on a gravel road somewhere- just finished watching a train rumble past

PS. I hope you enjoyed my pictures of pictures that I took on my cell phone today! lol…I’m technologically inept…don’t laugh! hahaha…

Older Entries Newer Entries