Temper Tantrums

21 Nov

Mother Nature Has a Mean Temper at Times.

I phoned Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, yesterday because we had a violent storm two days ago. Tuesday morning we awoke to wind and rain that intensified during the day. It sounded like the wind would blow in our condo windows. By ten in the morning, our power was off, and much of the city was shut down by the power outages. Mother Nature sure threw a windy temper tantrum. The storm caused in our city alone, 23 road closures, 75 trees blew down blocking roads, the Chilliwack Fire Department responded to 100 calls over 12 hours. The whole Fraser Valley, from Vancouver to Hope, got slapped around by the storm in a far-ranging assault. The forceful winds blew over trees and sheds, damaged roofs on both the houses of the cities and the barns in the surrounding farms. Our power was out 7 hours which was a brief time. Many were without power much longer. The cleanup from the storm will take a couple of weeks.

Ed critically said that I should have stayed in Saskatchewan where it can be a bit cold, but the weather is stable. According to Ed, “It is foolish to be so near the Pacific Ocean. Storms will come in from the ocean with gale force winds that will blow stuff over and roofs away. The constant wet weather will wither you up like a prune.” I can only hope something will wither my weight down about thirty pounds out here. It is harder to bike in the rain, but Ed sympathetically said that I should ride three or four times on the rainless days. That way, when we have several rainy days in a row I’ll have them covered. 

River of Rain

21 Nov

A River of Rain Headed Our Way

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, phoned yesterday and wanted to know how much snow we have here. We have been having lots of rain, so much, in fact, the weather forecaster said we are in for a river of rain the other day. Here in the Fraser Valley we are rain-soaked but in the mountains they are dealing with snow. It is a promising beginning for the mountain ski hills. I asked Ed what people were saying about this coming winter for Saskatchewan. What he has heard so far has not been promising, but he was certain that winter will be around from now until April. My old neighbor was positive that his curling and bowling have been good so far. He has hopes that his success will continue for the whole season.

Hope grows and dwindles in sports according to our wins and losses. The more we win, the more hopeful we become at keeping our winning streak alive.  Hope is a powerful medicine of expectation, an incentive for an attitude that something better is coming our way. It is difficult to be hopeful when we are not winning, and things keep going from bad to worse. How hard it is to remain hopeful when the illness is life threatening, or the bank account is empty. There always seems to be good reasons to forget about being hopeful. Terrorism, for instance, never seems to quit and has brought senseless attacks, on innocent people around the world. Recently, an aeroplane in flight exploded killing Russian tourists, and Paris and France were shut down by terrorist attacks. Not so long ago there was a terrorist attack on our Parliament buildings. It seems like world events grow more and more hopeless but thankfully, Christians rejoice in an endless hope through their faith in Christ.

Keep It To Yourself

9 Nov

Don’t Let Your Left Hand Know What Your Right Hand Is Doing

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, isn’t shy about showing pride. He insists that if you don’t toot your own horn no one else will do it for you. My old neighbor sees pride as a positive attitude for he feels it is a self-respect or satisfaction in something done or owned. He says that we should have pride in the accomplishments of our children, family, and friends. Pride, he feels, might turn into a high opinion of oneself, even haughtiness or arrogance for a few individuals, but pride isn’t a problem with himself. Is it possible that we mainly think we are humble enough, and not overly proud in our attitudes?

I was telling Ed that I have been doing a study on pride, and the need for Christians to serve God and others in hiddenness or secrecy, so they don’t get prideful. Jesus said the essence of spiritual life is to love God with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength, and one’s neighbor as oneself. Our pride or preoccupation with ourselves causes us to exclude God and other people from their rightful place in our hearts. Often we focus on how well we are doing, our image or appearance so that God and our neighbor are afterthoughts if any thought at all. Pride is why we evade, deny, blame and defend ourselves if someone or God’s word corrects us. It is the original sin as our desire and attempt to be equal with God. Pride is the reason we feel more important than other people when we are better, smarter, holier, etc. than others. Pride is at the heart of desire for approval and motivates us to impress others for their applause and recognition. When we act to impress others, we are showing off to get attention.


9 Nov

One Police Car With Flashing Lights Produces Several Rumors

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, found himself the victim of a variety of rumors last week. Ed was coming home from Yorkton last Friday on the highway when he had to pull over to the side of the road. His dog Rex riding in the back of the truck cab had bitten into a big bag of dry dog food. It might have gone unnoticed until they got home, except for a sudden stop for some deer bounding across the highway. Ed’s sudden braking sent the open dog food bag showering the back of the cab with dry dog food everywhere. Ed pulled over to manage the dog food spill and rearrange things in the back so Rex could not eat dog food all the way home. While Ed was pulled over, a police cruiser pulled in behind Ed and engaged his flashers. The police officer was checking on Ed pulled over at the side of the road. Ed had put his truck flashers on, and the police officer was checking to see if Ed had a mechanical breakdown.

My old neighbor being a talker had a ten-minute chat with the friendly RCMP officer. In that, ten minutes by the side of the road half of Melville spotted Ed’s truck there with a police car behind him. When Ed went to coffee Saturday, he found himself the center of attention. Ed’s explanation of the police car received little enthusiasm. Some were disappointed that the rumor that he was getting a ticket for speeding was not true. It was the most popular rumor about him. The next most popular rumor was that he had a flat tire. The third most popular was that the police were searching his truck for drugs. The least popular rumor was that he was sick, having in fact chest pains. They disappeared enough for him to drive home and the police followed him to Melville to make sure he was okay. Ed felt that he had let folks down because everyone liked the rumors better than the truth.

Flu Shot

28 Oct

Home Remedy Better Than the Flu Shot!

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, had trouble hearing me when he called yesterday. This last week was a sick week for me. I had a sore throat last Sunday night and instead of it leaving it settled in, and got worse day by day with extreme laryngitis that left me whispering through my teeth. When Ed called he had such trouble hearing me that, I had to put my wife on the phone to translate into a voice Ed could hear. Our talk didn’t get too far through my interrupter. It changed when, Ruby, Ed’s wife, found out Ed was talking to my wife. Ed got displaced on the phone as Ruby needed to tell my wife something. The women had their conversation so that Ed and I lost the phone altogether.

I did talk to Ed long enough to know he was sure that I was sick because I got a flu shot. I tried to tell him I haven’t had my flu shot yet, but with no success. Ed, everyone knows, keeps a bottle of whisky, and it prevents and cures everything known to afflict humanity. Ed does not trust the flu shot given into a person’s arm. “You cannot tell what they are giving you – with whisky you know what you are getting as it has been around for years.” Ed was sure that if I had taken a shot of whisky at the first sign of a sore throat, I would have cured myself right away. Ed is like a closed book on some subjects, and whisky as a no fail health cure is one of them.


28 Oct

Getting All Fired Up Is Usually Temporary

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, gave me a call yesterday. He was talking with a high level of excitement because the Blue Jays had an unforgettable 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers. On Oct. 14th, there may have been a sellout crowd of 49,742 at the Rogers Center, but millions of Canadians were at the game in spirit and interest. They were suffering from the contagious Blue Jays’ fever going around our nation. Ed, a big sports fan of baseball informed me it was Toronto’s first home playoff win since Joe Carter’s home run secured the 1993 World Series. Ed could not stop talking about the game filled with controversy, bad blood, and Bautista’s three-run seventh-inning homer. I wondered if he would be able to sleep that night as he was so wound up.

My old neighbor did not cool down when I asked him if there also was election fever in Melville. He had a lot to say about the federal election that was only a few days away. According to Ed, “Blue Jays’ fever across the country encourages folks and makes them feel good. Election fever across the nation, however, reminds people that they may get a headache from the results of the voting. Elections are won or lost, but it never seems to make much difference who wins.” Ed stressed, “Elections are like sermons in that nothing much seems to come from them. With the Blue Jays, every game they win gives more hope and excitement.  Election results are like another bad umpire call.”