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Families

22 Oct

Related For Better and Worse, Keeps Families Interesting

“Granddaughters have a way of amazing you with their maturity and independence,” I told Ed.  Hannah, our oldest granddaughter, came last week for a short, whirlwind visit. “Being nineteen she wanted to see the campuses of the University of the Fraser Valley, here at Chilliwack and in Abbotsford. She also conspired with her grandmother to accomplish lots of shopping and nonstop activity. Usually, our family is a quiet two, but when children or grandchildren come, it is a whole different, welcome, world.”

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, had to remind me of the comment of George Burns, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”  Then Ed added, “A comfortable two-day drive away.” He also had to add that families can be messy since we are related for better or worse. He ended with the saying, “Being related is no guarantee of love.”

Less Is More

10 Oct

Having Many Tickets Is No Guarantee, Only One Ticket Wins The Lottery

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, was not interested in hearing about my watercolor lessons. “No one cares about light and shadow, mixing colors and changing color intensity, except you and the other old geezers playing with paint in your class,” Ed said. “The rest of the world takes a picture with their camera or cell phone, instead of, wasting their time on drawing and painting lessons. Waste less time by using a camera with better results” was Ed’s conclusion.

One of the emphases in the art lessons, I have been taking is the idea that less is more. Leaving blank spaces, not filling in the whole subject with color is a hard thing to do. I am kind of stuck on the idea that more is better than less in many instances. Wouldn’t you agree more money would seem better than less money? More food to eat beats less food? More sleep rather than less sleep is appealing? I would rather have more time to do something than less time.

One In Ten

9 Oct

One Out Of Ten Say, “Thank You!”

“It seems we should be counting our blessings that we are still alive, and not the victim of someone out to commit mass murder,” Ed said. My old neighbor from Saskatchewan was barely home from helping his family in Edmonton when a man acted with murderous intent there. The man ran through a police barrier hitting a policeman and then got out of his car and started stabbing the injured policeman several times. “How the policeman was able, to fight, the man off is a wonder,” Ed said. The same man then intentionally hit people on the sidewalks with his vehicle while being pursued by the police. Four people needed to be hospitalized. “It is a dangerous situation when individuals or groups set out to kill or injure as many people as they can find near them,” Ed concluded.

It is true that we take peace and personal safety for granted. We do not expect to be the victim of someone set on mass killings. We may tend to take our lives, and who, and what we have, as what we deserve or have earned. The hardest arithmetic to master is counting our blessings. Counting our blessings is not something we do automatically. All life long, we are challenged to grow a thankful heart within us, in both the best and the worst of experiences.

Complicated

28 Sep

When Your Good Choice Turns Bad, Don’t Blame Me

“You have no one to blame but yourself, so suck it up,” is a favorite saying of Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan. Behind his, ‘serves you right attitude,’ is a big heart ready to help when things turn complicated, and others are stopped in plans that will not work. Ed is off for a week helping his family in Edmonton. There, he is a welcome chauffer, babysitter, and the grease to get his family through work and school schedules that would not function without his outside help. Babysitting is no challenge for Ed as his grandkids never know what he will do next as their babysitter, and they also know about a week is enough for them. Then they need a rest!

Hearing about Ed in Edmonton made me think of a story by Andrew Greeley which is a favorite of mine. He tells of two neighborhood babysitters who were sisters. One evening the new couple on the block hired the younger sister to babysit their children. They returned to find the house a mess, with the babysitter half asleep on the couch. The next morning their children were excited to tell their parents how the sitter had played with them, told them stories, run races with them, and helped them say their prayers before bed. Still, the parents decided they would try the other sister next time because the younger sister left the house messy.

No Record

25 Sep

Invalid Email and Password Combination, You Don’t Exist!

My old neighbor from Saskatchewan called last week because rain had put a stop to his harvesting. Ruby, Ed’s wife, uses the computer at their house. She graciously finds grain prices and other agricultural information that Ed desires from time to time. Ed could not understand how I could be so frustrated when I could not log into an account I had been using for years on my computer.

“Aren’t you as a Christian supposed to be patient, and not easily angered?” Ed asked me.

Greatest

25 Sep

The Greatest Among Us Is A Matter Of Debate and Distaste

“One thing for sure, sometimes we all get along and sometimes we cannot agree on much,” I told my old neighbor, Ed, about our family reunion. He said that families are full of competition, and the age-old debate of who has done the best or who is the greatest of the bunch. He assured me that in his family there is no debate or distaste about who is the greatest. It is evident because they all understand that when he sings with his guitar, he is the King another Elvis!

I asked Ed if he remembered how they did a television program in 2004 to determine who is considered to be the greatest Canadian of all time according to those who watched television series and voted in the program. Ed was amazed that no one had submitted his name, but I said it wasn’t personal just a slip-up, a human error thing.