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Developing Character

28 Jun

Hiccups, Headaches, and Hot Weather Can Be Controlled

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, was always certain anything can be controlled. He claimed that even hiccups, headaches, and hot weather need not be a problem. I thought of Ed when we faced moving into our condo in Chilliwack at the end of June. The day we got keys to our new home, Chilliwack was facing a heat wave. The thermometer was hitting higher than 34 C or 93 F. Our condo did not have central air so we could not control the heat with air conditioning. Ed even has air conditioning for his tractor, as that is the way he beats the hot weather.

It is easier to beat the heat with air conditioning, but when Ed heard we had no air conditioner his bright idea was for us to go naked and get a fan. Talking to Ed by Skype is not always productive. Nothing should be a problem, for me, my old neighbor claimed if I would have a little self-discipline in my life. According to Ed, “All the hiccups and headaches of moving and relocating to a new province should make the wife and me, masters of self-discipline.”

All The Time

27 Jun

You Did Not Have Time, or You Forgot To Do It.

Ed, my cousin from Saskatchewan, told me last week, why he thought that I do not always signal when changing lanes or turning right or left. My old friend feels that signaling needs to be done, only if there is traffic behind your car to see your signals. When I talked to Ed by Skype last week, I said that my son-in-law, Eric, told me, that I needed always to signal when changing lanes, and I sure didn’t appreciate his observation. Usually, I like my daughter’s husband well enough, but hearing the truth did not sit well with me. The truth was that when I changed lanes there was no traffic immediately near me on the interstate. Yes, the law always says signal your lane changes and turns.

Apparently, about a quarter of drivers do not signal turns and lane changes faithfully. Such drivers have claimed that signaling is optional, or they forgot or did not have time. Some also explain that they may not signal because if they signal, they forget to shut it off, and so they just don’t signal at all. Studies of causes of automobile accidents have suggested that nearly one-half of car accidents reflect a failure of one of the drivers to make a needful signal. Failure to signal, consistently, may reflect a lazy, bad habit that needs to be corrected. No one likes to hear they have a lazy, bad habit that needs to be corrected. At least I didn’t. Ed told me that since we have moved closer to family, I will suffer from more complaints from others because even grandkids will tell me what I do wrong. My old neighbor claimed it was like having more than one wife.  

Plant Food

27 Jun

Lukewarm Growth is a Problem in a Short Growing Season

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, told me last week that he went to a farm auction north of Lipton, SK. When he mentioned the farm and the name of the people who had the sale, I told him that I had been at that farm. Ed didn’t like hearing that I had visited farm families that were members of our parish when I was a pastor at Lipton. My old neighbor shuddered at the idea that clergy types could show up at a person’s farm. He complained that surely a person should be safe from religious fanatics at his barn or Quonset. When I suggested that members welcomed a visit from their pastor, and he was skeptical. Ed scoffed at my comment. He said that I should hear what people say about their clergy at coffee chats. I asked Ed if most people spoke only the truth and nothing but the whole truth at a coffee time. “Mostly, they do,” he assured me, “unless they have an ax to grind.”

It seems we all have an ax to grind about one thing or another. My daughter told me that she was very disappointed with her hanging flower baskets on her porch. They were sickly and bedraggled looking. I asked her if she had picked off the dead blooms, and if she had given them any plant food or fertilizer. She pleaded guilty to not doing either measure of plant care. After removing the dead flowers and watering with liquid plant food, the hanging flower baskets became impressive in growth and new flowers. They needed applications of plant food and personal care to perk them up.

Rain or Shine

27 Jun

Sometimes Rain or Shine Do Not Matter.

Ed, my old neighbor, told me last week that since I moved away the weather has been great. He reports that it is just one more thing that took a change for the better once I took off for the BC coast. The way Ed tells it, things are now so good that it does matter if the sun shines or if it rains, as it is all good. I’m glad my old neighbor is finding everything looking up after our departure. Our weather, after we moved was some of everything; cloudy, cool, rainy, sunny and hot. Being near our daughter and her family in Washington State was so good that the changing weather was just fine no matter if it was rain or shine.

The weather always acts inconsiderately no matter where you are living. I helped my daughter with some landscaping for their front yard. They are to have their house painted and wanted to improve the street appeal of their house’s shrubs, hedges, lawn, and flower beds. I offered to take on the project, but the weather went from cool and cloudy, to sunny and hot as soon as, I transplanted bedding plants, specifically flowers. It turned out to be the hottest day of the year to date, and it ushered in a week of blistering hot weather. Cool and wet is best for the transplanting of flowers but I got the landscaping done in the hot sun. A, 50, sunscreen, made my face white as a ghost and stuck on like glue, but it kept me from being sun burnt. When you need to do something, you cannot dictate if you will have the weather you would prefer. You have to make the best of what comes your way.   

Devoted Friend

4 Jun

Spend Spare Time Wisely Playing Golf or Watching Baseball

Ed, my old neighbor, and self-adopted cousin told me last week that he will regularly be golfing at the Melville Golf Course this season. Other years, he liked to golf with me out at Neudorf. The golf course there wasn’t much of a challenge for Ed, but he liked it because I always drove. We both loved the extremely reasonable price to golf at Neudorf. My lack of skill at golfing gave Ed constant amusement. He could not believe that my aim with a golf club sent my golf balls to places that no golf ball had ever gone before. Ed will vouch that I have an astonishing talent for amazingly bad and unpredictable golfing. My old neighbor claimed that my golfing made him both laugh and duck.

Ed knew that while we were waiting to get settled at Chilliwack, that we had some spare time to kill. When I informed Ed, that it was a chance for me to do reading he was not surprised or impressed. Ed believes that reading any book is a huge waste of time, right up there with gardening. When I was his neighbor, he devoted a lot of time to telling me that both activities were only for women. I told my old neighbor that I was reading the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde. Ed said, “Glad you’ve moved away, for sure, you going into your second childhood. Stop the nonsense of reading fairy tales and play golf or watch the ball game on television.”

Hopelessly Devoted

4 Jun

Hopelessly Devoted to Seed Time and Harvest While Watching Farm Commodity Prices.

Ed, my old neighbor, and self-adopted cousin from Saskatchewan has talked to me every week since we moved.  He was grumpy last week that he had to try three times before he reached us. I explained that, we were visiting with our daughter and family, and we had been away watching a stage production of Grease. Our son-in-law is a professional musician, as well as an engineer and was part of the band playing for the musical. Ed remembered the movie with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Ed likes to sing, and he plays his guitar, with some regularity, so he told me that his favorite song from the movie was “Hopeless Devoted to You.” My old neighbor is sure Olivia Newton-John would have been singing it to him if she had been lucky enough to meet him. Ed was deadly serious, so I tried to move on in our discussion.

Ed has his seeding wrapped up and is preparing for spraying as the right conditions present themselves. My old neighbor was appalled to hear that I was cutting lawn and trimming hedges at our daughter’s house. He said that I could have done that at Melville, and not wasted my money moving nearer our daughter who put me to work. Ed wouldn’t believe that I offered to do their yard work because I like to do it. Anyone who likes to cut lawn and trim hedges was weird according to Ed.