A volunteer stint, and a stent

First, about the two-week volunteer adventure, which we don’t want to forget. End of November, H. and I drove down to Lake County, California for two weeks, to serve with Mennonite Disaster Service, which is re-building homes for a community devastated by wildfires. When it comes to construction, H. is the experienced one of the two of us, of course, but there was plenty for me to do too, whether go-fering at the work site or helping the cook, a longtime friend from Winnipeg. We enjoyed the camaraderie of a diverse and interesting team, and when someone asked (“if it’s not too early to ask”) whether we might do another MDS assignment, we said Yes. Continue reading

In a crazy time, remembering to breathe

“Please do not forget to breathe.”

I follow former CBS news anchor and journalist Dan Rather on Facebook, and this was the opening sentence of his Saturday (Oct. 29) post. “We wonder and we worry,” he went on, referring to the current U.S. election. “We refresh our social media feeds and favorite news sources by the minute looking for affirmation of our hopes or amplification of our fears. There is always more information–always more spin.” Continue reading

Good advice from the kids

The palm trees down the middle of this small city’s main street still seem surreal to me. It’s not California, but Tsawwassen, north of the 49th parallel but just barely, tucked into the southwestern corner of the B.C. coastline, and somehow, in spite of our visits to our son and his family over the years, I’d forgotten about the palms. And now I’m walking by them nearly every day and they’re disturbing my notions of Canada. The cold north and all that. img_5900

It’s not a bad adjustment, I don’t mean that, just an adjustment. We’re here and more or less moved in, books unpacked, numerous trips to IKEA behind us, some pictures hung. Car insurance and driver’s licences and healthcare applications and internet installation are done and when I complained to our son about one of these procedures, which managed because of a system error to last several hours, he reminded me that these are things we only have to do once. Right. Continue reading