Friday, October 26, 2007

Ask and It Shall Be Given

Several Sundays ago, I stood up at Trinity Lutheran Church (TLC) and asked if there would be any support for a Canadian Lutheran World Relief project called "We Care". If interested, you would purchase 11 items and a $5.00 bag to put items such as a writing pad, pencils, toothbrush, hand towel and washcloth inside and a toy attached outside. 39 hands shot up and the pictures shown are the results.

Sometimes, you need to stick your neck out and just ask. The group picture doesn't show the remaining 23 kits that were made up after the Sunday collection. They have all now been boxed up and ready to be shipped off to CLWR in Winnipeg. My wonderful mother and I had such fun putting these kits together last Wednesday afternoon. It is my hope that the school age children somewhere in need will experience the same joy in receiving them as we did preparing them.
(November 1, just added:) Photos of my beautiful Mom, Laura, assembling one of the kits, the end results of our fun afternoon, and the picture of me leaning on the mountain of "love".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

To All The Working Mothers

Today I woke up profoundly sad, sad for my daughter April and her little bundle of Sunshine, Abby. Today is the last day of Mat. Leave and April returns to work tomorrow. Such big changes in their family life. In my heart of hearts, I know they will adapt and adjust and while it will be challenging, it will work. Wonderful childcare by Wendy and Irene, has been arranged. Little green tippy cups that match, for each location have been purchased, "practice days" with Abby's new caregivers had been arranged. A myriad of other details, big and small, have been capably and lovingly arranged by Abby's Mommy and Daddy.

This morning we went out for our daily walk, the gloominess of the day didn't help my mood any. On our way back home we caught up with a neighbour's Nanny pushing a baby stroller, having just come from walking one of her little charges to Kindergarten. We've often waved in passing. She always smiles so beautifully at us. Today we walked together and it was during this walk that we discovered that she is looking forward to her holidays on December 31st. She is married and has three children herself. All of her family lives in the Philippines. She is a working mother hoping for a better life for her family, hoping to bring them to Canada. So very far away.

My beautiful niece Andrea, and Cynthia, Irene, Wendy, Tracy, Chris, Laura, Kara, Stephani and Jennifer, to name but a few who come to mind, all juggeling work and motherhood. All working for the betterment of their families. My hat goes off to you. The journey isn't easy. You have my utmost respect and admiration.

What's the Bare Naked Ladies line: "if I had a million dollars, we'd all be rich."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Reunion-Thanks Facebook!

Slowly but surely one of your friends or family will invite you to participate in the latest phenom, a fairly new thing called "Facebook". And eventually you get sucked into all of the wonders of finding friends you've lost touch with over the years. People I have wondered about from time to time, old neighbours, relatives, friends you've lost touch with. Since signing on, I have found several former neighbours at Manoah Village in Richmond-not the parents-the "kids". A family with triplets, a young man who lived down our section, a neighbour "boy" who moved into former aquaintances' unit. It is so cool.

Last night we went to dinner at dear friend's home, all because as "S." referred to his wife "M" and myself as two computer geeks! Geek if I must be termed, then Geeks rule! These were friends we made because Cathy's Godmother "A" and her husband "M" then living in Calgary, introduced us to their friends S and M because they were moving to Richmond. This was way back when in the early '70s, probably '75. A wonderful bond developed and when Elvis died, it was me who had to tell "M" who was at that time hospitalized, that Elvis had indeed left the building! We were there when they adopted their wonderful son, "M". These are bonds not easily broken! But sadly as often happens, life gets in the way, we do this, they do that, busy, busy lives being lived.

Jump ahead perhaps a decade and 4 of the 6 of us are retired, and "A" and her husband "M", talented artists that they are, will never retire, which is good for the art scene! We dined at M and S's, as their talented son, a professional chef, prepared a feast fit for the gods! It was marvellous. Marvellous to be reunited, to catch up on family news and dynamics. To laugh at ourselves and to reminisce. To pick up where we left off so many years ago. Making plans to visit an animal sanctuary in Fort Langley where A and M's daughter L works. Making plans to soujourn downtown to visit the artist's loft. Making plans to renew old friendships. It doesn't get any better than that. All because two computer geeks embraced technology meant initially for college students! And who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Thanks Facebook!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vignettes from the Week Past

Being with our grandchildren while their Mommy and Daddy had a little getaway

-Colouring with the grandchildren. The ideas they put on paper are fantastic!

-Catie sitting on her Nona's stoop while eating her dried cranberries.

-Cameron napping on the couch after being ill, so pale and tired.

-Sneaking in an covering up all of the children as they slept.

-Bringing Caroline to bed in the early a.m., and her falling back to asleep on my chest.

-Catie deciding that she too needed to wear tights, under her pants.

-Carly singing to me.

-Big hugs from Claire.

-The children singing Happy Birthday to Pappa when he came down for breakfast.

Remembering with love both Amy and Cathy on their birthdays too!

Taking Cameron, Claire and Carly to church.

Their finding the hymn numbers and singing along.

Their high 5-ing the Pastor as they left the Sanctuary.

Eating at the Cloverdale McDonalds, the same one we used to take our kids to.

Watching the rain come down in torrents.

Falling fast asleep on our couch on Sunday afternoon when we got home!

Thanksgiving Dinner at Cathy and Cliff's

-Amy and Tyler's Mashed Potatoes - their secret recipe!

-Sitting at one long table sharing our meal.

Being thankful for all of the family we have.

Missing April and Nick and Abby while they dined at his Aunty's home.

Happy Birthday Abby!

Today our darling Abby turns One! How can it be?

I remember so clearly sitting in a little cafe innocently doing a puzzle in the Province while my beloved was at the doctor's office. My cell phone rang and it was April announcing that they were on the way to the hospital. I'm sure half of the cafe heard me all excited and crying. A new grandchild is being born into our family today! What a day! What a night! At 8:19 p.m. the light of our life, Abigail Autumn was born. And what a light she is, her gleeful smile, and wonderful looks and laughter melt your heart. With her copper-top head of hair and her inchworm crawl, the way she turns pages in a book (just like her Mommy did), and the way she reaches out and touches the touchy feely things on the page make me smile just thinking of them. Our almost weekly visits since the day she was born, the weekend in November while Daddy and Grandpa went to Gray Cup and I got to sleep over, her Baptismal Day, our walks in Ladner, feeding her her lunch, making her laugh, the way she looks sideways out of those blue-blue eyes, all add up to one darling little grandaughter. I remember visiting one evening and she was in bed, our first visit that didn't include a love and an Abby cuddle, it felt so wrong, the family was out of balance, that is how much this darling girl has wriggled and giggled into our hearts.

Happy First Birthday my darling Abby! Nanny and Pappa love you so much and we look forward with great interest to see what your future brings. Whatever it is, you can be sure, that we will always love and support you!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend Begins

Wishing each and everyone a Very Happy Thanksgiving!

The sun is shining, and the berries on our tree are almost picked clean by the bluebirds, robins and starlings. How I ask, do they know that this tree is ripe for the picking? They hardly even sit on the tree when the berries are growing and then magically one day, in they swoop and pick the tree clean. Thank goodness details like that aren't left up to me to manage. Life is good!
Today I spent a good portion of the morning collecting items for Canadian Lutheran World Relief. Simple things, essential things, yet items that are so hard to come by in other parts of the world. A toothbrush, comb, ruler, 5 pencils, a pencil sharpener, pad of paper, package of kleenex, a bar of soap, a wash cloth and a handtowel and for the very first time we can add a soft little toy. Twelve sets filling up my dining room table. I give thanks that I was able to go out and buy these things. All the contents must be the same, except for the toy, all will be packaged up in a yellow "We Care" bag or packpack and shipped off to Winnipeg for distribution to a destination unknown to us. I send a tiny prayer to each child who receives these packages. Gifts from strangers. A fine tribute of thanks for all that we have been given! Wishing each and every one a very Happy Thanksgiving.