After four days at St. Michael’s College and Starting Well at Toronto School of Theology I flew back to Winnipeg. It was wonderful to spend Father’s Day in Kenora with my Dad and enjoy a dinner of one of my favourites, Sorrel Soup. Monday we returned to Winnipeg via Anola, Manitoba and picked up a canine addition to our family. We have been with out a dog for a little over a year now. My Darling has been missing the click, click of nails on the hardwood. He found this boy on Kijjii, he had been previously owned by an elderly lady who had returned him to the breeder when she went into a seniors’ home that didn’t allow dogs. Not surprisingly he is a little undisciplined, although he walks on a lead really well. His worse habit is the impulse to herd cars. He didn’t anwer to his name (the same as my Darling’s!) so we have renamed him Haggis. He is 2 1/2 years old (birthday is one before my Darling’s — Whaaaat?!) He thinks he is a lap dog and at sometime in his life called permanent and perpetual ‘Shotgun’. Wrestling a 80 pound dog into the back seat for 1800 kilometres was not fun. He is settling in quite well, a bit of separation anxiety when we leave the house, but it is decreasing all the time. He is a gentle boy, very friendly and is becoming quite attached to his new parents. Plus, he is beautiful!
The fabric is left over from the Advent Banners. It is coming together well. This little project is going on a trip to Oklahoma on the 20th of June. The top should be completed by the end of the day and on the long arm this evening.
Genesis 33:12 “Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you.”
A week’s holiday did not materialize as planned. We only had three and a half days. We had been planning a golf and wine tour of the BC interior for some time. Similar to a weekend two years ago, when we went to Whitehorse for dinner and a movie, this time it was Armstrong for lunch and a golf game. It was a lovely time, though much too short. The golf game was fun, in spite of rain on the last two holes and dinner with a classmate from seminary was great. On the return trip we stopped in Prince George and picked up a Boler trailer that my sister had purchased.
Here it is pictured at a stop we made at Bijou Falls.
We were so impressed that we had to stop for a while and take pictures. Even these do not do the scene justice.
Beyond Bijou Falls we had some amazing views of the last of the Rockie Mountains as we crossed the Pine Pass and then headed east to Chetwynd.
Holidays! It’s an event packed weekend. My parents are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary. My brother is turning 47 on the same day. And Sunday my first grandbaby-daughter is being baptised into the family of God.
Today my two sisters, my parents and I traveled to visit my brother who lives 2 hours away from the Farm. The day was filled with laughter, strange movie references “These are not the ‘droids you are looking for!”, stories that might have sounded like a kidnapping to someone evesdropping, “You are not listening to me. I have the pizza.”, and twenty questions on the trip home that started conversations about food, bucket lists, places we’d been and a few tales out of school about school. Nana, sisters M and N played Wii Dance Off 4 with nephews GR and Y. Even dad had a pretty good day. Naturally we had to stop at Morden’s Chocolates for Russian Mints, Mixed Nut Brittle, bags of ‘seconds’ and Almond Crunch Clusters (I should have bought some of the latter…).
Pictured above is the quilt I am racing to finish by Sunday for my grand-daughter. I am half done the binding as I type. Cute, isn’t it? Just like my A.A.E.P!
This weekend I was in Toronto (otherwise known by themselves as the centre of the universe) for a Pension and Benefits meeting at the denomination’s office at 50 Wynford Drive. They have this lovely quilt hanging beside the door to the Assembly Council office. There are some inspiring techniques used that I will keep in mind for the future. The leaves have craft wire down the centres attached with a sewn zigzag stitch. At the extended end of the wire is a little eye hook that allows the leaf to be sewn to the quilt.
We are currently on our way back home, waiting for our connection in Edmonton.
In 1950 Col MacLean (yes, of MacLean’s magazine fame) left 250 acres of land near Pulinch, Ontario to the Presbyterian Church in Canada. It has been and is a blessing to our denomination and is rich in history.
(For more information or if interested see here)
Currently it serves as A place apart … to come together, a peace and beauty filled retreat from our busy world, it is a destination for a variety of groups and individuals for meetings, visioning, building community, meditation and study.
My first opportunity to visit Crieff was for the Guidance Conference required by the denomination for people entering ordained ministry.
This fall I returned, as a member of the Pension and Benefit Committee of the PCC. We gathered on a Sunday evening for fellowship and dinner followed by a meeting. The committee stayed overnight in Lodge accommodations, either St. Matthew or St. Mark.
Even though the work load is quite heavy mentally, the time spent there was lovely, restful and had all the elements of a retreat.
Once the ‘business’ was concluded, I confess the temptation to remain was strong. Life is rather crazy at the moment, I could use a break from it all.
1 Corinthians 14:26
What then, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
On Sunday we drove to Wanham, Alberta to attend the retirement potluck picnic for a colleague. It had the potential for a beautiful drive, but smoke from forest fires in Northern Alberta has blanketed the region. The canola fields are blooming in full glory, some places it give the impression of descending into an ocean of yellow, with copses of aspen floating as green islands.
The smoke was pushed by winds from Mackenzie County, which is more than 900 kilometres to the north of Edmonton, or roughly the same distance from Edmonton as Seattle. There are a dozen wildfires brining out of control in Mackenzie County, including one near Zama City that has consumed 155,000 hectares since it was spawned by a lightning strike June 21.
Last night we were spellbound by a lightning show illuminating and backlighting huge columns of clouds to the north of us. It was so intense that the even was referred to during the weather forecast on Global News this morning. I expect there may well be new fires as a result. We did get some rain over night and are expecting more today, via thunderstorms. We really need the moisture, hopefully there will be no hail with it as the crops have great potential this year.
(Photo courtesy of Wikibooks, High School Earth Science – Weather and Atmospheric Water)
We have been told by a few people that taking a trip to view Kinuseo Falls in Monkman Provincial Park is a must. Yesterday we travelled to Tumbler Ridge, then south on 40 kms of loose gravel roads to the falls. It was definitely worth the trip. I was surprised by the number of people who took the risk to drive out there. We learned today that the local tire shop supplies three new tires a day due to people getting flats on that road. Almost at the falls we passed a Volkswagon on the side of the road, a path of dark oil drenched gravel leading us right to them. We stopped to offer assistance, but they assured us someone was on the way. We gave thanks that we made it in and out no worse for wear.
The first thing that impressed me the most was the crazy rock formations on the opposite side of the river. The layers of sediment from eons ago were bent like ribbon candy, in some places the angle was greater than 90 degrees! It is difficult to imagine the forces and pressure that managed to bend rock into pretzels. Quite incredible.
Kinuseo Falls is slightly higher than Niagara Falls, 197 feet, although not nearly as wide, but just as LOUD.
The falls were beautiful. They can only be viewed from above, there is no access into the canyon. We did take a trail that followed along the edge of the cliffs and up to another viewing point that did give a better perspective of the height. It was a bit of a climb, but more than worth it.
It was a lovely day, slightly overcast. Unfortunately I did not have my polarizing lens on so the sky in the shots is washed out.
The gray trees devoid of needles are pine trees that have fallen victim to the mountain pine beetle which have decimated the forests in British Columbia. The devastation of the forests is heartbreaking. All the dead standing timber is subject to huge wild fires, the evidence of one was passed through on our way into Tumbler Ridge.
On the descent from the upper viewing point I turned my attention to the wooded slope in search of other possible interesting shots. I am so thrilled that I had! There, gracing the pine slopes were Calypso Orchids. It reminded me of the excursions my father took us on about this time of year to look for them in Northwestern Ontario. Tiny, they are gorgeous gems set in isolation along the forest floor. I saw at least a half-dozen bright blossoms blushing pink and yellow. What a blessing!
Yesterday we drove up the Alaska Highway to Fort St. John. I was leading the ecumenical Good Friday Service at Fort St. John Presbyterian Church. The drive always provides amazing vistas of the South Peace District in British Columbia. On this trip, I was not the driver. As navigator I was able to dictate when to stop for a few pictures. We have had an unusually mild winter. There is precious little snow left. I say ‘precious’ as the way below normal snowfall has the farmers concerned for this summer’s crops.
The appearance of the fields with their lack of snow may indicate spring, but the colours prove otherwise. There is no hint of green yet, the nights are still quite cold and the ground has not warmed enough to encourage the tree buds to swell or the dandelions to push forth. The scenery remains grey, beige, old gold, with shrinking patches of bright white as the snow retreats before the lengthening daylight and increasing warmth.
A half hour along the highway the pavement gradually rises to a breathless view of the Peace River near Taylor, BC. Suddenly one is above a panorama of this deep cut into the prairie stretching the entire breadth from south-west to north-east. The descent is severe, tractor trailer drivers are instructed to check their brakes before heading down the 10% grade to just before the Taylor Bridge. Provided is a link by a truck driver descending Taylor Hill in winter. It’s snowing so you won’t see much of the view.
It is apparent that this driver frequently drives through the Peace, notice the windshield chip – left side a little more than half way up. Almost every person living in the Peace has either chips or a full width crack in their windshields. They do not sand the highways in the winter. They use gravel, otherwise the wind, strong and persistent, blows it off the highway. Here is our windshield after a trip to Fort St. John a year ago. People around here say, “Until you’ve replaced your windshield, you can’t call yourself a resident.” When you do replace one, your first chip repair is free. Ones the size in the picture don’t count. (click on the picture for a larger view, or any picture for that matter) In this case if you don’t replace your windshield you are liable to receive a ticket from the RCMP.
Giving up on that rabbit trail, here are some more pictures of the vistas at the Peace River.
Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.