Saturday, October 27, 2007

God’s Paintbrush

It is Fall in our little resort town of Salmon Arm. The hills that hug our streets and homes are full of the crisp autumn colors- vibrant orange, sunshine yellow, crunchy brown, velvety maroon, deep red, and shocking pink- red! The evergreens remain tall, stately and green. Richard has had the chance to walk the hills and woods and spotted a little fawn staring with big round brown eyes at him, sitting perfectly still as if posing for his portrait. Salmon Arm usually has sunshine and clear skies and when I look up I see God has brushed the clouds as wispy bits of cotton wool. Yesterday I noticed a small pink rose bud still tenaciously holding on for the last bit of life before the frost gets it. This morning the lawn, roofs, trees and roads are softly dusted with frost and the air is still as if waiting for something.

Wow, this is a breath takingly beautiful country! Richard and I are traveling the highways these days going between our parents and kids (4 hrs), and this gives time to say thank you to our Master Creator for his Fall Canadian painting!

My life is rich

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Some things we keep

Here is something I just got from my sister in law. The truth of this is what helps make my life rich- hope it does yours too!

I grew up in the 40's/50's/60's with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a Name for it... A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return. So... While we have it... it's best we love it... And care for it.... And fix it when it's broken..... And heal it when it's sick.

This is true... For marriage.... And old cars.... And children with bad report cards..... Dogs and cats with bad hips.... And aging parents.... And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special.... And so, we keep them close!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

New stuff here in Canada

It is fun to notice the new things Canada has come up with while we have been gone for three years. I walk in the huge ware house grocery store and find every chemical to remove stains from clothes, teeth, bathtubs and floors- without scrubbing! Just apply and wait to see it disappear. The Swifer- wet (with strip for hard to get off spots) and dry cleans all the floors. No need for a broom, mop and water bucket. Tide pens that you carry in your bag and apply the second you drip spaghetti sauce on your shirt. (Where was this when I was raising kids?)

We are finding a Tim Hortons on every corner. That is the store. We are finding Tim Hortons coffee cups in people’s hands EVERYWHERE: in church, walking the malls, sitting in the sunshine on a park bench, riding a bike or driving a car, even in their own kitchens! I guess Tim makes better coffee than mother does.

Basically you can find anything to make life faster, easier, more comfortable and cleaner. But does it make people happier? Less stressed? More content? I am not sure. I think of my Filipino friends, many who are still washing clothes by hand in a basin outside. Are they really “missing out” on all this stuff? What brings contentment to them?

Are we more content when life is easier and more comfortable? I wonder… I guess I find my contentment not in an easier life but when my relationships are in tack. When I can rely on the unconditional love of my husband. When my adults kids want me to be around. When people greet me with a long, hard hug and remember my name after not seeing them for 3 years. And when I am at peace with myself, knowing I am God’s child, unique and loved and accepted by him.

So while I am enjoying all the new stuff, I am trying not to get used to it and keep my life rich with relationships and not gadgets. How about you?