Friday, November 14, 2008
Yep, life is really good! Enjoyed my day off work today, got so much accomplished despite spending time on .
A lovely day off
I'm so excited that Kathy's calendar arrived and she is happy with it!
A nice healthy Sonama Chicken salad at lunch time, shared with my husband.
The lovely hall tree bench that I found yesterday, well Garry said that we could get it. He gave me some money to use as a down payment, and I'll just pay the rest off over the next 6 weeks until it arrives! I'm so thrilled...an early birthday present! We had to order it as I wanted the "mascara" (black) stain on maple wood, and we got the sale price!
All the laundry and ironing is complete.
A God who blesses me every day and helps me to grow spiritually.
Life is just so good when you look for the goodness in life.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Each year as this day rolls around, I struggle with emotions. This day brings my father so close to me once again. I still miss him. Although he did not have to make the ultimate sacrifice during the war, he instilled in us the respect and responsibility that we must have towards those who did, those who do and those yet to come. Only by remembering, can we hope to change our future to one of tolerance, respect, peace and love.
Let me share a bit about my Dad. He was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of 8 years. The youngest in the family with an uncertain future ahead of them. His mother had been given only 6 months to live due to TB and need for a different climate. They moved to the Schuman farms in Bladworth, Saskatchewan and like any farming people worked hard to make a living. His grandfather moved with them and spent his remaining years in Canada. Although has now been re-interned to the family site in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
Dad received his grade 8 education (the highest he could formally go in the country school) under the tutorage of his eldest sister...the school marm! He was an avid learner and continued on to obtain his grade 9 & 10 education by correspondence with first class honors. Unfortunately although he had enrolled for grade 11 he was forced to drop out due to finances and was sent to work on a farm away from home. Education was always something extremely important to Dad, something that he tried hard to instill into his own children.
Dad spent the next few years where ever the work and his wonderlust would take him. He was a very dedicated and hard worker and well respected by those he worked for or with.
He spent time in construction and never lost his love of building things, usually building things from nothing....he loved to experiment with designs and making the unusal. He built an wonderful wood shed for our home using scrap 2x4's hunted out from the local dump, cut into 1 foot sections and stacked in such a way as to be sturdy, eye appealing and looked like lattice work. The holes he said were to allow the wood to air dry! He constructed a beautiful cedar hope chest for Kaeli out of small pieces of cedar that he found somewhere and painstakingly pieced together in small stripes until he had a gorgeous large chest made. She still cherishes it to this day. He constructed a lovely set of baby furniture when Quin was born, we didn't have any furniture other than a crib and because I had mentioned how I wished that I could get a dresser and a toy box,when he came out to BC to visit, he set about designing an constructing not only the toy box, but the dresser and a second dresser with open shelves on one side that I was able to use as a change table. We still have them and use them! Another example of how he used nothing to make something...Dad built a lovely bassinet for Shyra out of cardboard. He wanted her to have a bed to come home to! I only wish that I had been able to transport that bassinet back home with us to BC. He managed to build that beautiful gift in a small apartment with Quin and I living there too! and me being none the wiser. When I became pregnant with Shy, I had to bring Q with me and we moved to live with my parents for 6 months due to being a high risk pregnancy. Garry and Kaeli remained in BC while Q and I live in Alberta. Not only did Mom and Dad willing give up their own lifestyle to accomodate two additional people in their small apartment, Dad was always available to take me into the city from where they lived every week for my assessments and then crawl out of bed in the wee hours of morning, with snow beginning to fall to transport me to the hospital when my water broke and I went into labor early. Family was very important to Dad and to Mom and I will eternally be grateful that they shared that and instilled it within each of us. They may not have said the words "I love you" to me, but Dad always showed it.
Dad's life experiences included many things, from farming, to construction, to working in Alaska at a placer gold mine, to digging up a mamoth tusk, to working on a dragline, freight line driver (probably where my brother comes by his career naturally), travel, to finally finding his passion in life....Flying! He was not afraid to try new things, life was an adventure and he enjoyed it.
Althought still an American citizen, Dad enlisted with the Royal Canadian Airforce in 1942 and obtained his license, which took him into the war. It was during this time that he met my mother and they were blessed with 57 years together before his passing. Another life lesson he taught, was that no matter how difficult things get, you find a solution! He was a hard man in a lot of ways, but always someone that you could count on in the difficult times. He had his point of view and if you didn't agree with it, that was your problem! Not always appreciated as someone growing up in his household, but you did learn to compromise and you did learn that you didn't have to always agree, but you did have to live together. I think alot of his thinking was a carry over from his military training and his experiences during the war.
Dad went on to obtain his commercial license when the war was over and spent most of his career years as a commercial bush pilot. As a result we spent our growing up years living in remote locations and usually at the airbases. Prior to Dad getting his commercial license, he and Mom owned a small fur trading store, which also housed a small cafe, gas station and post office. It was very hard work and very draining on both of them. I think they were both glad when Dad finally got his license and could begin doing what he really loved.
For me remembrance day will always include memories of my Dad. A tough man, but one that could be counted on. His gentle side was always there for his grandchildren and their memories of him are plentiful. He missed out on his own children's growing up years to a great degree because of his job, but, I think because of that knowledge was determined to be a part of his grandchildren's lives. Something we truly treasure. It's also a time for me to reflect and remember my Dad's brother, Uncle Harry, who was severely injured during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, my cousin Bucky, who served in Vietnam, my great-grandfather (same one who immgrated) who joined the Pennsylvania Volunteer regiment and fought during the Civil War and the numerous other friends and family who served and continue to serve in the present day wars. May God bless them and forever keep them safe.
Thank you for allowing me to share my memories and to in some small way honor those who gave me the life I now enjoy.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
What a great day today. Up early and headed for my Yoga class...so enjoyable! Did discover that I have very poor balance when trying to balance on one leg with the other leg bent and clasped close to my chest! But didn't feel bad, as everyone else was having the same problem. It's a great opportunity though to see how much my balance will improve by the time this 8 week session is complete. A goal to aim for. YAY!
After yoga, I had to make a quick dash for my monthly massage appointment. Needless to say, by the time that hour was up, I felt very much like a wet noodle!
Home to find that my wonderful husband had already completed all the cutting in with the primer and all I had to do was rolling on of the primer. It went very quickly and we even managed to complete 2 coats of the "harbor mist" color. Once that was done, the trim and the doors looked really bad...so Garry went and purchased some lovely high gloss white trim paint and set to work painting all the trim. The doors are going to have to come off and be painted. Now that Garry has gas heat installed in the garage, he'll be able to complete those doors out in the garage. We still have th alcove where the washer and dryer is and the inside of the hall closet to complete....but over all a very productive day and it went so much quicker with the two of us tackling it.
At Yoga class this morning they made some annoucements about a few upcoming events. There are two that I would really like to attend. I have to go in on the website for details and costs though. One is a drumming session, sounds like fun and the other is a meditation workshop given by a Tibetan monk. I'll keep you posted on both of them.
The hallway is almost complete...once the alcove where my washer and dryer are and the inside of the coat closet are all painted...it's a done deal! Course, now the flooring looks bad and Garry said "that is going to have to be done too". Yay.
A great morning at Yoga and then getting my monthly massage.
Quin has been able to move back home for the winter months. He was having to stay in the city with a friend because of transportation issues for his job. But one of his fellow co-workers on the night shift only lives about a block away from us and offered to drive Q to work and back for the cost of some gas money.
Although I'm a bit nauseous from the paint fumes, it's not as bad as last time and I did have an opporutnity to get out of the house for awhile this afternoon between the two coats of paint.
More monkeys off our backs...the load is lifting and the house is taking on a brighter appearance.
Laundry is almost done, last load in the dryer.
A husband who understands how difficult it is for me with fumes and despite hating to paint, volunteers to help out.
Have a wonderful evening all, Serenity Sunday is coming up.
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