25 August 2010

"Friends for the Journey"

It’s almost midnight and I got home an hour ago from another of my Tuesdays with Tammy. What a gift it is to have accountability partners, siblings in Christ, kingdom companions and other friends for the journey, to use L’Engle and Shaw’s phrase (and book title). Thinking of “Friends for the Journey” reminds me of Sue Bethune, my kindred spirit in St. Catharines, who first introduced me to Madeleine and Luci, co-authors and lovers of literature. On this note, my writing partner, EGM, has filled corners of my soul I never knew were empty.

My circle has been abundantly blessed by newcomers and old, alike (and I like them a lot). Most recently I have met a wondrous trio in Ontario: BG, JK and EB (more about each of them later; I suspect they’ll become old and dear friends; already I feel as if we’ve known one another for years...although we’ve yet to meet in person). [Inserted later: I am about to meet yet another member of this Ontario kinship circle: sweet Bee, my penpal, who will write to me faithfully and then fly out west to meet in person in late Oct/Nov.]

Twelve years ago I met Tammy and her Little family (Mom & Dad Little; hubby, Bernard; siblings Terry & Jenn, and Tony & Sylvia); a bit later I befriended my trio of Calgary sisters (all from SA): Eleanor (whose hubby unexpectedly brought us home from church one Sunday), Judy (who walked through the same DCC church doors we entered and never left) and Claire (a former neighbour and friend-near-and-far, who officially adopted me in March this year).

I am inspired by two Annemaries: one whose generosity of spirit touched me on our OCC trip to Mexico many years ago, and the other who graciously opens her BC home to us each year; both have taught me what true heart-hospitality looks like. Speaking of which, two coffee companions come to mind: Warren Harbeck (and lovely Mary Anna, whose birthday is tomorrow), and, born on the same day as WH, Phil Minnaar (who is currently recovering not only from cancer surgery but also from several cardiac arrests: Godspeed, friend and brother).

At seminary I was privileged to study and spend quality time first with Kim, and then Shari and Lori, and later with Ellen and Mel and Kris, women who crept into my heart and stayed; and my colleagues Kathy and Kathleen (among other sweet ladies: Barbara, Susan, Sabine, Sherri, Diana, Corinne, Marion...) make working on the hill each week a joy. My lovely Lynne-Twin works there, too (we’re born in the same month and year and apparently sound similar), while my other SA “sussie” and gym partner, WB, gets to see me first thing in the morning, (long) before I’m my cheery self. And yet she returns, week after week.

My fabulous “Guy’s Girls” (Barb, Chris and Rhonda) have recommitted to getting together once a month to grow (old) together and share life. All these precious partners enrich my life in Canada in different ways, spiritually and socially.

My oldest (pre-Canada) friendships include Bronwyn in Botswana, Bridget in Australia, Heidi in Chicago, and Meg and Moira and Leoni and Stasha in South Africa.

Several others come to mind: JD, my “goodie” of a friend and RJR across the Pond and CW in BC and MR in CA and RL and BH closer to home, and fellow teaching-preaching tea-drinking pie-baking left-handed kindred PJ, to mention a few of my men-friends...but it’s now past Pumpkin Hour and I’m heading to bed. This was merely a reminder to myself to be thankful for all my friends for the journey, even (or especially) when the road seems long....

The longer I sit here, the more faces I see! Just this week I heard from a school friend I’d been close to years ago...and now we’re back in touch. Write to me if your name belongs here as a “friend for the journey” and I’ll gladly insert it. :)

The thing I value most

A friend sent me the following link this morning; enjoy:

After reading that, I thought I'd post my midnight "CrossLight" message here.

21 August 2010

Sampling of our salad days

Every day we enjoyed BC's bounty: the colours, textures and tastes
were unbelievable!

Here's just one example.

(I know, who photographs their salad?!)

Sunset in BC

Each day ended serenely as we watched the sun set over Kalamalka Lake.

Often waterlovers remained on (or in) the lake until late in the night...

"Lake of many colours"

Kalamalka Lake swimmers

The Fairmans enjoy an early morning swim in their BC lake of many colours.

Blue train, BC

I have a great fondness for trains (especially blue ones), so when the
sound of this one caught our attention during one of our memorable
meals, I ran for my camera...

BC highlights, part 4

End of splendid boat ride.

BC highlights, part 3

BC highlights, part 2

Enjoying a boat ride on Kalamalka Lake, Vernon.

(Kalamalka means "lake of many colours.")

BC highlights, part 1

We've been back from Vernon, BC a week already and I
forgot to post these to my blog in the excitement of being home.

What a wonderful time we had with our Fairman friends. Their home
is a sanctuary; their food divinely inspired; their words wise and gentle.

Being with this couple is like having a quilt wrapped around you on a
snowy eve; they soothe our spirits and renew our strength.

{Kingdom blessings on your household, dear friends.}

Birthday week: savoury 'n' sweet

For his birthday, Robin bought himself a George Foreman
grill/quesadilla maker. Already we've enjoyed cheese, chicken and
mince quesadillas--not all at the same time, of course!

What a treat to have my hubby cook for me (after 20 years of gentle
prompting and subtle persuasion). I provide veggies and salad; he does
the meat prep. (Guess who does the clean up?)

My kind spouse also does almost all our grocery shopping--that's one
job I enjoy less than he does--and now that he's willing to grill some
of our meals, we've decided our kitchen compromise is working for us
both. :)

The other photos, taken on our sunny deck (rebuilt by our landlord
last August), feature one of my favourite Chinese meals: sweet 'n'
sour pork, from a local venue.

For my hubby's b'day this year I gave him my usual gift of a book (an
old tradition we don't want to break!) as well as a mailed letter and
cheery hippo bath day card, featuring hippos in a river accompanied by
yellow rubber duckies.

I also renewed my commitment to eat more of our meals together. So far so good!

17 August 2010

CrossLight is here!

In the wee hours of this morning, I began a new blog:


Please let me know if you'd like to read these entries as I write them: that way we can encourage each other in our Jesus-journeys. 

Dear NLSC readers and kingdom community companions,
I'm f-i-n-a-l-l-y ready to admit that I'm struggling spiritually. May our living LORD help us all....

16 August 2010

EP and WB

WB is my gym partner, sister in Christ and dear friend. I am thankful
for her faithfulness (sometimes even at 7 a.m.) and appreciate our
mutual accountability.

(Okay, the truth: I'm not a morning person, and yet WB endearingly
puts up with my less than sweet-natured self for the first hour of the
day a couple of times a week...and then treats me to steeped tea at
Tim's after gym! I do love that girl.)


The sunset kept getting more beautiful.


I bought this T-shirt in the Kruger Park for my sweetie pie's birthday.

Birthday sunset

A perfect end to a perfect day.

Balcony view

Photo taken at the home of our "balcony friends"--the kind who cheer
you on when the going gets tough (and feed you your favourite food on
your birthday).

Birthday rusks

Robin's favourite kind: home made!

Birthday boy and Amy B

Just dessert

Peach cobbler fresh from WB's oven...

Birthday supper

Curry and rice on Robin's birthday--WB is a wonderful chef!

Birthday supper with our stripey friends