Saturday, December 27, 2014

Why I Dread January 9, 2015

" 'tis the Season to be jolly, fala lala la lala la la...."

My whole family was home for Christmas. That makes me happy. 

Last year it wasn't so. Our youngest daughter was in South America, and to be honest we all were kind of schlepping through the day. This Christmas Day all were home and all was right. 

My December calendar this year consisted of volunteer work in church, 

shower for our son's fiancèe, cleaning, lots of cooking and baking, Christmas programs, Christmas Eve service, hosting family Christmas, gathering with relatives...

It still consists of preparing for a wedding and for my dear big sister to come for a visit.
Everything joyous or for joyous occasions. All should be just perfect with the world.

January, however, is approaching with the speed of light.
January 1 my sister arrives. A much anticipated day.
Jan. 1 also Olliebollen with wonderful friends, dress rehearsal for our son's wedding and more preparations. Weddings are a joyous occasion. Yet part of my heart is still sad.

January 2 is the big day. Our son is getting married! There will be a big celebration, a big party, a dance...

I'm sure there will be a lot of joy and laughter and we will all celebrate with him.

But Jan. 2 he will not be coming home for the night anymore. I know, he is old enough and we've had him home longer than one usually does. But we grew accustomed to it. It's just the way it is. Or was...

Jan. 6 unfortunately my big sister will leave again to go back home to her family. What a blessing that she can come and be here with us for this big day. But there will be goodbyes.

Jan. 6 will also be a Farewell family dinner. A last dinner together as whole family before our youngest daughter leaves for Australia for 6 months. It is a wonderful and great thing that she is able to go to YWAM. It is God's way for her and we all support her in that.

But come Jan. 8, there will be more goodbyes. She will leave on her very own adventure with God, and there will be tears of sadness to let her go that far all on her own. We will miss her terribly.

Why I dread Jan. 9 coming around the corner -

Empty nest. Complete and total empty nest in less than a week.
Aren't I too young for an empty nest?
I thought I was ready for this. Or did I? Maybe not. I don't know anymore. I've been too busy. So busy for a whole month and then Jan. 9 - nothing. I can sleep in, I can do my daily chores, I can chat with friends far away, I can do whatever I please.

Haven't I been looking forward to that? I've come to realize that - no, I haven't. I have not been anticipating doing what I please. Well, there is work, too. But I want all my family around me all the time. I'm in trouble. I am not prepared. 

I realize I need Jesus more than anything now, to prepare me and to guide me and to help me in this new chapter in life.

We all need Jesus all the time. But I have a feeling I will need to grab hold of Him a bit tighter than usual. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Through the Eyes of a Third World Girl - Part 1

     “I'm a third world girl living in a first world nation...” is blasting in the car. Never has a song seemed more fitting for me than that one, and I have never even been to Jamaica yet and I definitely didn't grow up with Reggae music.

     How can one person have an instant connection with someone they have never met?

I have asked myself that question more times than I can remember.

     How come we had that instant connection with a Kenyan married to a Canadian? How did they become instant family to us? Why do we feel most comfortable when we're around them? We've never even been to Kenya.

     Why do we connect instantly with South Africans, and how come they can understand part of our Plautdietsch and we often know what they're saying in Afrikaans? You guessed it – no, we've never been to South Africa either.

     How come some of my very best friends are Dutch? Okay, I do have ancestors who originally came from Holland, but I certainly have never been there.

     A lot of us believe in spiritual DNA, our divinely embedded design for spiritual identity and function. But have you ever given any thought to cultural DNA, or maybe even Third World or First World DNA? (It's a thought.)

     I'm a third world girl from a half desert region with long droughts, heavy rains piled up in a short time period, two seasons a year and too much dust (sand), living in a first world nation with a lot of rain, cold winters with snow, and FOUR seasons.

     When others look forward to a couple of months of summer, hot sun, and less rain, I dread the feeling of the hot sun on my skin, on my windows...although I do love the ocean in the summer. I am thankful for air conditioning, which I didn't have growing up. When temperatures went close to 50 degrees Celsius, we had fans and prayed for a little bit of cooling wind.

     When others dread fall coming too soon, I get overly excited for colorful trees, crunchy leaves and cold brisk air. I prepare more for fall than any other season. I only met fall in 1990, I fell in love and never looked back. I take most of my pictures of fall and we've been on many long wonderful walks together.

     I am not partial to fall, though. I love winter, too. (Fall doesn't mind.) Snow and I only met in 1990 as well. And boy, did we hit it off. I will never forget my first snow angel, my first very crooked snowman, the first snowfall when I couldn't help but stay outside and let it all fall on me. I love the cold, but not when I can't sleep because of it. I am thankful for heating, for hot chocolate and lots of coffee, for walks in the crisp cold air, for hot soups and a family who loves soup just as much as I do.

     I like spring, because all the flowers remind me of my Mother who used to work so very hard to keep plants and flowers growing at home. She was a desert Mrs. Greenthumbs. Every spring when the flowers bloom I show them to her (in my mind), I take pictures of them, I hear her admire them and in my head we talk flowers. I remember the time she came to visit and we took her to Butchart Gardens, how she could've stayed there “forever”, in awe of the vast amount of colors and sizes and kinds, because she as well was a third world girl in a first world nation, and we needn't say a word in order to understand each other in that grand sea of colors.

     My heart rejoices every time it rains in wet BC, because my heart remembers the feeling of the sand hitting my legs and my face on the way back from school. I don't have to close my eyes to feel the sand in them, in my ears, between my teeth, and everywhere else.

     My heart also jumps joyfully with every thunder I hear. I remember that thunder usually means rain, and rain at the right time means a good harvest. When you pray for rain for months on end, you run out at the first drops and you dance in the rain (provided the lightning and thunder isn't too close). I do like thunder and lightning. It's an exciting display of nature.

     And this is all mostly just the weather. There is so much more...

“Don't forget where you're from. Never forget where you're from....”

Avion Blackman - Third World Girl

Saturday, October 19, 2013

When Children Grow Up

     I miss children's shows like Mr. Dressup, Sesame Street, Theodor Tugboat, Puzzle Place, and most definitely Dig, and Doug, and Daisy.
     I miss all those wonderful, silly, annoyingly repetitive, upbeat, super exaggerated children's songs.
     I miss preschool rhymes, alphabet and number songs, children's poems, children's books....
     I miss the smell of new school materials that just arrived in boxes via UPS.
     I miss seeing my children's faces when the new books arrived, when they first got their hands on their new workbooks, the way their eyes lit up, the big smile on their faces, and sometimes the jumping up and down when it was everything they had hoped for or even more.
     I miss braiding my girls long hair and styling my son's hair just so with gel.
     I miss children's shampoos, children's bubble bath bottles, rubber duckies in the tub.
     I miss wrapping the children in towels after their bath, carrying them so they wouldn't slip to their room to get dressed. I miss them wiggling out of the towel and run away naked so we'd have to chase them down to get them dressed.
     I miss reading classic poems and bedtime stories to them. 
     I miss giving them their snack during recess, preparing lunch for them while they were finishing some school work, having them help me make dinner. 
     I miss school-free Fridays, which were sleep in, clean up, bake and TV days. 
     I miss 5 o'clock dinners with Full House playing on the TV.
     I miss hearing the every day hour and half to two hour practice time of piano and violin. 

     I don't miss the countless nights in dark Hospital rooms and overfilled emergency rooms, fearing for a life so fragile and so young, not knowing whether those little innocent eyes would see another day. 
     Although I don't miss those times, I do treasure them as well, as God was never closer than in those darkest hours.

     My children will always be my children, no matter how old they get. And as much as I miss and cherish those younger years, I treasure them now as I did then. God gave them to me to love and care for them. For that I will be forever grateful to Him, for children are a blessing from God.

     I love you, my treasures. May God's blessing be forever upon you.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Behind the Curtain

Three grand-babies up in Heaven - none down here to hold. 
To those around me I'm just being silly when I call myself "Oma". But very few know the reality - 
I am Grandma...with no Grandchild to spoil.

To everyone's naked eye I am Mother of three - deep down in my heart I treasure being Mother of four.

Like so many of you, I've lost my Mother, my child, my grand-babies. 

Some losses are big and visible to those around us. They bring encouraging words, comforting hugs, flowers, many cards written in love.

Some losses are big and hidden inside our hearts, hard to explain, hard to voice - no flowers, no cards, no memorials...

God knows all our losses, public and hidden; His words of comfort and encouragement reach deep inside our soul - deep inside where our treasures are hidden. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dee Wundamedezin

von Karharina Fast

    Desse Nacht schiend sich mol wada endloos hea to tratje. Etj dreihd mie von eene Sied noh dee aundre, oba dee Weehdoag enn miene Schullre en dee Allboages piesakte mie soo seea, daut uck dee groote Portioon von Ibuprofen en dee vele Schmerzpflausta nich holpe! Aun Schlop we eenfach nich to dentje! Aus etj dan verrem Sonnenopgang schliesslich enn eenem korten Schlop foll, tjlinjad de Watja. Etj schratjd, aus eene Besopne opp. 

   Noch haulf em Schlop stratjd etj miene Haunt ut, omm dee Portioon Pelle, dee etj jieden Morje jeajen den hogen Blootdruck, de Schilddruese en aundre Krankheite ennehme mott, to schlucke. Doch aus etj daut Glaus Wota nauhm, omm de Pelle leichta nunja to tjrieje - floch mie daut ute Haunt, wiels dee mol wada ennjeschlope we. Etj flehtjd enne Jedanke, stehnd en tjweld mie, miene stiewe Jlieda utem Bad rut to tjrieje, omm mie to dee Oabeit reed to moake. Etj feehld mie soo, aus wan eene Kooh de gaunze Nacht lang opp mie rommjekaut haud en schliesslich utspejd, wiels ahr disse oole Kost em Moage nich vedaue kunn. Een Blitj ennem Spejel verod mie, daut etj kratjt soo utleet, aus etj mie feehld: Unjre Oge lage dunkle, meist schwoate Schautes, de Tronesatj haude soo to saje noch de tweede Sautz Tronesatj jetjreaje, de Kraujefeet were noch deepa jeworde en miene Mulwintjel honge noh Unje, aus bie eine Bulldogge, ewre Backe trocke sich lange Tjnettafolde, de Jesechtsfoaw kunn maun mett eenem eensjen Wot beschriewe - auschgrau!


 Etj vesocht mett vel Spachtel en Foaw miene vom langsamen Vefaul jezeichnete Fassade een bet aunseehnlicha to moake, doamett etj mie weinichstens unjre Mensche tjitje lote kunn. Etj vesocht soo to saje rade waut noch to rade jintj. Oba woo heet it doch soo scheen em Voltjsmul? Ne oole Kebes blifft eene oole Kebes, uck wan du dee noch soo straum aunkaultjst! Etj musst mie mett dem Erjewnis von miene Buoabeide toofred jewe en mie porre to dee Oabeit to kome, wiels etj we aul lot draun. 

   Aus eschtet hol etj ve jeweehnlich de Zeitunge vonnem Zeitungsveloag auf, doamett etj daut wichtijste doa rutkopiere en dem Chef per E-Mail schetje

kaun. Etj we lot draun en doaweajen porrd etj mie ziemlich. Aus etj derchem Staudtzentrum jinjt, moatjd etj, daut eene Grupp Buoabeida vonne Sied opp mie tookaum. Etj regestried dens kort mett eenem Og en porrd mie wieda to kome. Opp eemol hed etj hinja mie een leiset Piepre. Em eschte Moment schentjd etj dem noch tjeene Oppmoatjsaumtjeit, doch aus etj dan een tweedet Piepre en nohdem fots een mett Aufsecht jetjweldet Hooste hed - huschd een leichtet Jrinse ewa miene Leppe. Daut erinnad mie to seea aun mienen Maun. Onnbewusst fankt hee naemlich uck emma aun to piepre, wan hee eene straume Fru hinjaraunglotzt. 

   Neuzheli piepe dee mie hinjahea? Lat it mie doch noch nich soo vetjneddat, aus etj mie veakaum? Etj spead, woo mien Ridje sich noh hinje derchboch en utstratjd, dee Kopp onnbewusst noh hinje schloch, en dee Gang fadernda en leichta wort. 

   Dee Mana jinje emma noch hinja mie hea en hede nich opp to piepre en to hooste. Etj jintj opprecht, ohne mie ommtodreihe, wieda. 

   Juhuu, etj sie noch nich oolt! - jubeld etj bennalich! Dreih die bloos nich omm, - fuhr it mie derchem Kopp, - doamett dee nich seehne, woo oolt du wertjlich best. Mie kaum ennem Kopp, woo mien Sehn opp miene Froag "Woo etj vondoag utlot" netjsch auntwode deed: - Von hinje noch gaunz straum.

   Mien tweeda Jedanke we: "Diss korta Rock en dee hoge Tufli sent mol wertjlich eene jelungene Jeldaunloag jewese! Jo, maun kaun saje, fe daut Wunda, daut dee scheene to vebrinje - we daut doatoo soogoa noch een Schnaeptje! 

   Endlich, bie onsem Kentooa aunjekome, dreihd etj mie mett eenem sarkastischen Schmustre oppe Leppe haustich omm. Aus etj enne vedutzte Manajesechta tjitjd - zwintjad etj dens kokett too, schmeet dem Kopp noh hinje en veschwunk mett eenem lostjen Tjichre hinjre Dea. 

   Dee Oabeit jinjt mie den gaunzen Dach ewa bloos soo vonne Henj, etj feehld mie opp eemol nich meea oolt en utjemoltje, miene Jelentje deede uck nich meea soo weeh - etj spead, daut etj soogoa, wan it senne mott, enne Loag we, soo aus enne junge Joahre, dee gaunze Nacht derchtodaunze! 

   Wott, waut een tjraftja Schuss von Adrenalin moakt, docht etj, aus etj jeajen Owent emma noch schmerzfrie vonna Oabeit noh Hus jinj. 

   - Vleicht sull etj, aunstaut dee vele Pelle to schlucke, leewa jieden Morje bie eene Busted vebie gohne, omm mie fots aum Dachaunfank miene Porz Wundamedizin to hole? - Sennd etj noh. Daut ess bestemmt vel jesunda, aus dee vele Pelle, dee etj jieden Dach schlucke doo en doavon woat maun bestemmt nich Tabletensechtich. 

   - Ooada doch? - mald sich dee tjliena skeptischa Ploagjeist, dee sich faust enn mienem Jehirn ennjenast haft. Aul vele Joahre vesetj etj daut Beest vejewlich ut mien Jehirn ruttotjrieje. 

   - Waut ess, wan daut Velange noh bewunderndem Piepre vonne Buoabeida fe die to ne Sucht woat, en du nich meea ohne dissem Piepre lewe kaunst? Du woascht je schliesslich, woo du daut secha selwst jieda Dach bemoatjst, nich jinja - jrinsd mien Ploagjeist mie haemisch aun. - Woomeajlich mottst du dan soogoa noch eene Suchttherapie moake? 

   Miene Schullre sackde noh unje en fonge furchtboa aun weeh to doone, de Feet vesajde, daut Hoat pompd lud aus eene oole Daumpmeschien, de Blootdruck stech jefearlich hoch, etj schnaupd noh Loft en sackd aus een Sack Edschke oppem Divan toop... 

   Een Dievelstjreis... 

   Een Joah lota... 

Enn onse Gauss en enne Nohbaschgausse woare dee Wotaleitinje en dee Weaj nie jemoakt. Von dem jespoaden Jelt fe nich jekoffte Pelle hab etj mie een niejet straumet Tjleet en Tufli mett seea hoge Aufsata (high heels) jekofft. Eene kloke Jeldaunloag! 

   Soo lang it enn Dietschlaunt Bustede jefft, bruck etj mie omm miene Jesundheit tjeene Sorje moake!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Celebrations Book Giveaway

Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Celebrations Book Giveaway: Hello Friends! We are very excited to announce that our new book Celebrations due to be published May 2 is now available for preor...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Marichje ea Jung - Mary's Boychild by 3MP Band Low German

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Talking To Dementia Part 5

"Hello, Papa."
Dad had the saddest look on his face.
I took his hand and held it gently. He didn't say a word, he just stared at me with a very discouraged look.
Suddenly he said with a weak voice, "I am close to dying."
I asked "Really? How do you know?"
He replied "It is time. I'm dying. There is nothing you or anyone can do."
Tears rolled down his face as he spoke ever so softly. 

This was a different Dad. Not the Dad I knew. The Dad I knew was tough and strong, and in his illness often aggressive.  This Dad was weak, fragile, and spoke far too softly.

He let me hold his hand a little bit longer than usual. 
The first words he spoke when we got there that day kept being repeated.
After a while he started to become a little anxious. He asked, "Why are you not going? They're waiting for you."
"Who's waiting, Papa?" I asked.
"The nurses and doctors. There's a lot of work to be done. They're going to operate."
"Who are they going to operate on?"
"Me. They have to operate NOW. You need to go. They're waiting."

I hadn't heard Dad speak so many sentences in actual connection to each other in a long time. 

After he wiped a few more tears and urged us to go a few more times, we did say bye to him and left. Our time was up according to the clock (man, how I hated that clock), and it was obvious, which ever way he expressed it, he'd rather be alone that day.
I walked away feeling sad.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Talking To Dementia Part 4

"Hello, Papa."
"What happened?"
"I don't know."
Dad had a big wound on his forehead above his left eye and another one right on his nose. He was scratching his head, feeling over the wounds, wondering why there was mending tape on his face.
"Are you in pain, Papa?"
"Does your head hurt?"
"Does anything else hurt?"
It is best to ask questions that require a yes or no answer. Otherwise we might not get any answer at all.
I asked Dad's wife and the nurse what had happened. 
At the time an old classmate of mine was on shift, and I knew from being there a lot that he checked on Dad frequently. Even when he was fast asleep. Between two of those frequent checks Dad must have gotten up from his bed and fallen to the floor. There was blood on the floor and on his sheets, they said. Poor Dad. He must have been dreaming.
He kept feeling over his wounds, trying to figure out what was going on. I asked him "Did you fall, Papa?" He said "I don't know."
There was a little bit of blood left on his arm. He saw it and asked "What happened?" - "Who died?"
"Nobody died, Papa. You hurt yourself."
"Do you remember?"
There wasn't much conversation after that. It was quite visible that Dad was in pain and I hated it. As if he didn't have enough to deal with. 
As usual his wife was there, holding his hand from time to time, telling him it would be okay. He trusted her and seemed relieved each time she said it. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Talking To Dementia Part 3

"Hello, Papa. I'm Synthia."
"Hello. Mhm."
"Are you doing well today?"
"That's wonderful. I'm so glad."
Dad's wife: "Let's drink some Terere (cold tea)?" 
Dad: "Yes, let's. Would you go and set some up?"
His wife: "Sure."
Meanwhile Dad was already holding the guampa (cup) in his hands. He handed it back to his wife. She held it for a bit, then gave it back to him. 
After trying a few times, he sipped it empty and handed it back to her. 
The Terere made its rounds, and sometimes Dad would drink his, sometimes he would give it back untouched. 
He would eat the snacks his wife handed him with great pleasure. She gives him snacks not only for reasons of food intake, but also that he will get thirsty and drink. Otherwise he refuses to drink.

We had been there about 20 min. when Dad turned to my sister and said quite excitedly: "Synthia wants to come." 
I couldn't help but smile. I don't know why, but I find that even in the state he's in, Dad is kind of cute. Childlike, at times, if you will.
My sister: "Yes, in fact she is already here."
Dad: "She is?"
Sister: "Yes. She's sitting right next to you."
Me: "Hi, Papa." smiling at him.
He turns to me: "Hi!"
Right then I could see it in his eyes that yes, my Papa knew I was there. My heart skipped a beat as I held back tears of joy. For just a moment I saw MY Papa. 

The so called conversation went all over the place, sometimes it made sense to us, sometimes only to him. But he seemed content that day. It was a good day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Talking To Dementia Part 2

A different day, a different Dad. Almost every day a different Dad.

We went to have terere (cold tea) with him. We took him out of his room to give him a change of scenery. We all sat in a circle. 
Dad seemed incomprehensive that day, but I still went, took his hand, made eye contact and introduced myself. 
He didn't seem to care except for a faint "Hello".

However, as soon as his wife showed up, his eyes lit up. I got up to let her sit beside him. She grabbed his hand, he turned to her, and it seemed as though everything was right with the world again. 
At least for that moment. 
It didn't last long at all, and he wondered off in his world again, the world of dementia, the world we can't enter because it exists only in his mind. 
We became strangers yet again and again his words made no sense. At least not to us.
It wasn't spoken of at the time, but some eyes were fighting back tears. Eyes who had seen so different from what they had hoped.

But hope itself was not gone. We refuse to let that go. 

We hold on. 
We keep on keeping on, for that one moment, even a glimpse of a moment, when I will see in my Father's eyes the reassurance that - 
yes, he knows who I am and he knows I am here. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Talking To Dementia Part 1

My sister (sitting down in front of my Dad, making eye contact with him): "Hello, Papa."
Dad: "Hello."
Sister: "I brought someone with me." - "Synthia is here."
Sister is moving so I can sit down in front of Dad. I take his hand, make eye contact with him and say: "Hello, Papa. I'm here."
Dad, staring at me, then turning to my sister: "It doesn't look like Synthia."
Pause. Dad looking at me again. 
Me: "I changed my hair, Papa. Do you recognize my voice?"
Silence. Dad staring at me, pulling his hand out of mine. 
I move from the chair to let my daughter sit down in front of her Opa. They make eye contact and I say: "Naomi is here, too, Papa. Do you recognize her?"
Naomi: "Hello, Opa!"
Silence. Staring.
Me: "Remember we call her Putchenut?" (Pʊt-tʃə-nʊt)
Dad: "Well, if you say it THAT way, then I know."
His first whole sentence in a while. He doesn't finish sentences anymore. Only very rarely.
The smile on my daughter's face - priceless. 
She moves to give room to my husband.
I say: "Sieghart is here as well."
Sieg: "Hello, Papa."
Dad: "Hello." 
Me: "It's Sieg. - Sieghart."
Dad: "Mhm."
Staring. Wondering. Scratching his head. Too many people in the room, perhaps.
We move back a little to give Dad some space.
At this point we're not sure if he recognized me or not. I hoped and prayed. I was told he most likely would not recognize me anymore. At the time it didn't matter. I still knew who he was. He was my Papa.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


At times pain blindsides us -
we hurt and we miss,
and we start to wonder - where is God's will?
We read of God's peace, of wholeness and joy,
but our hearts feel disturbed, broken and sad.

We miss and we mourn and we grieve and we miss,
loved ones long gone and others just now. 
The world keeps on turning, 
the cars keep on rolling,
the crowds keep on rushing,
the rain keeps on falling.
As if no one knows of the pain deep inside us,
life keeps on going - right beside us.

How many, I wonder, among all those crowds
are missing and mourning and hurting like we.
How many have buried their loved one just now,
the same day we buried you?

We try to go on, step after step,
weighed down by a broken heart.
God knows all and sees all,
and He holds us tight,
but sometimes we feel not His presence
in all this pain. 
We hold onto Him day after day,
hoping that somehow the hurt will give way
to His lasting joy, comfort and care,
knowing that you feel no more pain. 

We walk and we trust and we mourn and we miss,
we cry and we pray and we trust.
We know not God's ways but we follow Him close,
for the blessed assurance that He has you home. 
                                                                                Synthia Friesen

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We Are Not There Yet

"...the promise of a better day. We are not there yet. Let it come, let it come in. Love is here and love is coming..." Gungor filled our car with his amazing music as we set out on our journey to downtown Vancouver.

Drop-off by car at the Surrey Central Skytrain station and off we went, Naomi and I. It was going to be a beatiful day out on the town, just the two of us plus the company of a lovely new friend.

The ride to downtown went without a hitch, Naomi being a little nervous about the exam she was about to write at the UBC office, but all in all excited about going shopping and having coffee....the weather was perfect, if a little humid.

Upon arrival we sought out the office, found it right away, and went for lunch as we had enough time to do so. Lunch was great and we looked around which stores we were going to hit first after her exam.

Back at the office, all checked-in, I left to meet a friend. She was held up on the road - so much traffic - it didn't bother me. I took pictures, sat on the stairs at the Vancouver Art Gallery, watching the fountain and the variety of people passing by, thinking 'God loves every one of you.'

Different groups of people meeting on the stairs - business men and women having their lunch; after lunch different groups of smokers gathering. I was on the other side. Some people were drawn to me as I was sitting there for quite some time all by myself, not eating lunch, not smoking...just enjoying the fountain. As I started to smoke weed right along with them (second hand, of course), conversations were started with me, about random things. I did not know these people, but I knew God does, and I knew He loves them, so I was not bothered by being talked to by any of them.

My friend showed up and as we left I noticed I had not talked to them yet about how much God loves them, yet they were sad to see me go. "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35) Could it be?

I had a lovely, fun time with my friend. She bought me coffee, we shared some good over-the-top stories of adventures we had been on, had a lot of laughs....Naomi was done early with her exam and joined us, and off we went shopping.

We had a great time shopping, topped it off with the most delicious cupcakes from the Cupcake Ladies and parted ways with our friend to head home.

It would be a smooth ride home; just as smooth as the ride in. Or would it?

As we were relaxing on the train, talking about all sorts of life things, we suddenly heard the name for the next station - Sapperton. "Where's Sapperton?" Naomi asks. I don't know. We both quickly read the map on top of the train - we're on the wrong train. We took the Millennium train instead of the Expo train. "There are two different trains?" "I guess so." We get off at the next station, quickly cross over and take the train back to Columbia station, where we will then take the Expo line.

Being all confident yet feeling a little bit creeped out by the empty wagon in front of ours which doors would not open, we stop in the middle of "nowhere", with all passengers looking at each other "Why are we stopping?" "This is not a station." etc. After a while, with no announcements of happenings, we keep going.
Having notified our ride home from the last station we happily get off at Columbia station and very happily enter the next train, the Expo line to our destination. Doors closed we are told "This is the Millennium Line." "What!?" At this time we felt like we were stuck in some time loop.

Getting out at Sapperton this time we yet AGAIN endeavour on our way to Columbia station.  This time it HAD to be the right train. It just HAD to be. With our ride waiting for us at destination station we felt quit NOT-so-streetsmart.

At Columbia station we pretty much asaulted other passengers "PLEASE, please tell us is THIS the Expo line!?" "Yes, it is." "Are you sure? Are you absolutely positive?" almost shaking them for re-assurance. "Does the train go to King George station?" "Yes, it does." "Thank you! God bless you! All of you!"

As we board the train a man calls out "Pretty lady, you can always tell which line is coming by the red sign on the top at the station." he says smiling. "There's a sing?! that tells us this?" I am just as grateful as I am ashamed. Where has my public transit knowledge gone? I used to do this with three small children all the time.

Relieved is not a strong enough word to describe when we heard the announcement of the next station. This is OUR route. We are going in the right direction and yes, we WILL get there.

With my husband waiting at the end station, we bolted off back to our home town - exhausted, mixed feelings about the day (not everything is included in this story as it is too personal), 7 minutes late for our 7 o'clock meeting, but not the last ones to be there, we did it. We arrived. We were there. We were home.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Your presence is a present to the world.
You are unique and one of a kind.
Your life can be what you want it to be.
Take the days just one at a time.
Count your blessings, not your troubles.
You will make it through whatever comes along.
Within you are so many answers.
Understand, have courage, be strong.
Do not put limits on yourself.
So many dreams are waiting to be realized.
Decisions are too important to leave to chance.
Reach for your peak, your goal and you prize.
Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
The longer one carries a problem the heavier it gets.
Do not take things too seriously.
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.
Remember that a little love goes a long way.
Remember that a lot ... goes forever.
Remember that friendship is a wise investment.
Life's treasure are people together.
Realize that it is never too late.
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Have heart and hope and happiness.
Take the time to wish upon a star.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Breathe by B. Reith

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Facebook Hamlet - by Synthia Friesen

 To like or not to like. That is the question.
To reply or not to reply. Another question. 
Whether 'tis nobler on the status to suffer
The comments as arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to ignore against a sea of troubles
a friend request and by opposing end them. To join—to block,
No more; and by delete to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand notifications.

That flesh is heir to: "accept" Devoutly to see more. To chat, to upload;
To edit, perchance to dream—ay, there's the poke.
For in that free gift what dreams we share,
When we have hugged all of our friends,
Must we pause for the request
That make the games most recent news.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of all,
The event - not attending; the proud man's contumely.

The agony of editing information, so personal,
Political view, religion, and the spurns
of page suggestions, groups and strangers.
When we ourselves our quietus make
With a reply? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary app,
But that the dread of someone's comment,
The undiscovere'd rare egg, from whose search
No traveller returns, must hunt,
And makes us bear those ills we have
To fly and kidnap others that we know not of.

Thus applications do make players of us all,
And thus What's on your mind?
is greatly overused with the pale cast of thoughts, emotions. 
Enterprises of great wall posts and messages -
With one more turn to recent news
Then loose the action to - log out.