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Lifejacket #9

27 May

Will Your Lifejacket Float You to Shore?

“So you were probably seasick on the ocean,” is the way my old neighbor Ed, dismissed the news that we had just returned from a cruise to Alaska. “Stuck on a boat for seven days with a bunch of strangers, must have been great fun!” scoffed Ed. “Why would you spend money to look at glaciers, whales, and bald eagles?” he asked.  I assured him it wasn’t because I like to waste money, and that there is no explanation for what we do.

I told Ed that people on our cruise had an opportunity to fish, kayak, pan for gold, and fly in seaplanes, and helicopters, and more. They could also explore Juneau, Haines, and Ketchikan as well as, get up close and personal with the Daws Glacier. What got Ed interested was the size of the cruise ship; 785 feet in length, 106 feet wide and a weight of 63,000 tons. The fuel consumption for diesel generators was about 85 gallons per mile depending on the speed. Its maximum speed was 21.5 knots.

Worst Driver

10 May

Canada’s Worst Drivers are not Just on the Television Screen

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, phoned yesterday while I was watching Canada’s Worst Driver. He could not figure out why I would watch Canada’s Worst Drivers on the television when I could see lots of them anytime I was on any highway. I said that at least on TV they were not as scary as when you share the road with them in your car. I asked if Ed had ever noticed how safe drivers can quickly become terrible drivers in some situations.  He ignored my question.

We both agreed that the thousands of people fleeing the fire at Fort McMurray had a terrifying experience, evacuating their city. What a nightmare they experienced in their drive to get away from a fire that would not be controlled or stopped. Of course, Ed pointed out that prayers that the wildfire would avert the city failed. God was not listening. Of course, I noted that the fire had not claimed scores of lives which might have been the case without God’s protection in answer to prayers. We both agreed that the natural disasters that swallow up lives are the worst; for you can rebuild a house after a fire but not a person killed in a fire.

Try Harder

10 May

Sometimes When You Try To Do Right, Wrong Happens!

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, was in a glum mood when he called yesterday. A good portion of his farming equipment is getting older, resulting in an increasing cost and frustration. Even though, Ed keeps working harder to make sure his machinery is maintained in good working order, breakdowns keep coming with his machinery.

I told Ed that his old equipment was a blessing as well as a problem. It may break down more, but the longer he can keep it working, he is escaping the expense of new machinery. I asked Ed if he would feel less glum with all new machinery. He said that spending money for new machinery would leave him feeling downright gloomy.  I asked Ed if he realized that his equipment was saving him money, that is, the significant expense of new equipment. He changed the subject of our conversation.

27 Apr

Name and Claim it Without Complaining

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, had an envelope returned to him last week. He threw a storm of lightning and thundering irritation and grumbling over his ‘return to sender,’ letter. It was due to a mistake on his part, but he blamed Canada Post that his letter came back and that he had to send it out again. Ed had filled out the address by memory. He had written on the envelope a wrong postal code. “The postal code was not off by much,” Ed told me in disgust. I didn’t comment as I knew it would be six months to a year before the storm clouds disappeared over his returned letter.

Many of us repeatedly chew on little and big grievance like a dog on a bone. Offenses and sins committed against us are not easy to forget or forgive. The more we chew on them, the bigger they grow. God sent Jesus his Son into our world as an eternal answer to endless prayers concerning the devastation of sin and death troubling us.

Birthday Wants

21 Apr

What You Want and What You Get May Not Match

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, phoned last week to wish me a happy birthday. He had to inform me that I’m becoming a genuine, antique, with every birthday.  “What did you want for your birthday and what did you get?” Ed asked me. I had a list ready because my old neighbor has asked those same questions, each year since I have known him. He needed to chew on my answer for at least five seconds.

I told Ed that as an antique I still wanted Freud’s primary needs met, which are to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. I also wanted another year when I didn’t lose my mind or control over my body. What I wanted and didn’t get was a smaller potbelly, fewer wrinkles and hair growth instead of baldness. It would have been great to become less dull and more upbeat, but it didn’t happen as a birthday gift. Nor did I become able to eat whatever I like without gaining weight. Last of all, even on my birthday no one recognized me as talented or brilliant.

Garden

21 Apr

Maybe I will, or Maybe I Won’t!

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, was convinced I should not take a plot in a community garden here in the city. “Gardens are no place for any man, even an old geezer like you,” Ed insisted over the phone last week. I have a few weeks to decide if I will garden here in Chilliwack. A community garden plot would allow me to try gardening in BC. I have gardened in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Now I have a chance to garden in one more province. I feel it is an opportunity too good to pass up, but I’m stuck between maybe I will, and maybe I won’t.

“The weather, weeds, bugs, and blights are just as troublesome in British Columbia as they are here in Saskatchewan,” Ed warned me. I could not argue with him as gardening is always a challenge, but the frost free days are considerably longer in number here in Chilliwack as compared to Melville, Saskatchewan. My old neighbor believed that golfing and fishing should consume my time and energy in the days ahead. I admit that saying that I have gone golfing or gone fishing, could be viewed as better by some, rather than saying that I have gone to the garden. Ed does not want to hear that I am a gardener.