Sunday, July 02, 2006

Canada Day (+1) - A busy week

My last posting was on Tuesday June 27 – featuring the Lansdell’s and the impact that their moving away would have on our church family.

It seems like a long time since last Sunday afternoon when our longtime friends Len & Tracy Roetman were over for visit. We have been involved in each others lives for almost 30 years ever since they moved here to Sault Ste.Marie. We are older than them but they started their family at a young age where we delayed a little so (some of) our kids grew up together. Tracy was one of several younger women that Linda grew close to as a “mother/nurse/friend”. Their daughter Christie was especially close to Linda. Our daughter Melissa was recruited at the last minute as a bridesmaid at Christie’s wedding last August. (Len & Tracy are at the back of the picture. Len Jr. is at the left, Heather & Christie (bride) in front center and Rachel on the right with Rachel's 2 girls are to her left)

Tracy is confined to a wheelchair due to spinal injuries suffered as a result of a serious automobile accident more than 15 years ago. Len is on disability due to injuries suffered in an industrial accident several years ago. Tracy has a passion for helping people with disability get fair treatment from insurance companies, government agencies and the like. She has recently become an expert on accessibility issues and is a spokesperson for that issue within the community and is advocating in the political arena for better legislation to level the playing field for those with physical disabilities. Len is an excellent carpenter an, while he has to work at his own pace and can’t take on “paid projects” that required a sustained effort- he continues to enjoy working in his shop and fixing up their home. Len also has a real heart for people and is a good listener when you need someone to bounce things off of .

Anyhow, since Tracy’s accident it hasn’t been easy for her to participate in church assemblies. We have attempted to provide a telephone connection but that has had sporadic success. For a variety of reasons, we had hardly ever seen or talked to them during the past 6 months. SO it was great to visit and catch upon each others lives.

Monday morning I went golfing with my Dad. Monday afternoon was filled with telephone calls to/from people who were concerned about “what would happen when Roger left?”. That plus normal household chores and starting to put together an “agenda” for the congregational meeting planned for Wednesday was more than enough to fill up my Monday. Monday evening we had Lloyd & Barb Hotchkiss over for coffee and some conversation about how our lives might be affected when Roger left.

Tuesday was devoted to planning an agenda and preparing some “discussion papers” about how to fill the gaps in our ministry efforts that are currently being filled by one of the Lansdell’s.

The day included at breakfast meeting with Lloyd & Roger to be sure we had a current understanding of where he had been spending his time. Tuesday afternoon Linda met with Marilyn (our sister-in-law) and Sharon Seeler to discuss teaching materials for Sunday school over the summer.

Wednesday, I worked on the plans for the congregational meeting, reviewed them with Lloyd and finalized them. The meeting itself was well attended (31 people) with a good cross section of the various “demographic” factors . We got lots of valuable feedback and a number of people volunteering to take on various “projects” and “ongoing tasks” that need to be done to ”fill the gaps.

I also made my second run as a Red Cross volunteer driver. Linda spent much of the day painting some things that we had brought in to the garage from the “garden” and doing other work with her flowers. ”. I will need to re-install these next week.

Thursday we had dental appointments in the morning (cleanings) and then in the afternoon we had the privilege of attending Jessica’s graduation (from White Pines CVS). Jessica has received a $3000 scholarship at Lakehead and, in addition, she received several awards for her academic efforts and school participation. We went back to the Lansdell’s for a BBQ supper and had a good visit with Roger’s parents (Clyde & Wilma) (1st picture) and Sandra’s parents (Weyford & Wilma Smith)

Afterwards Linda went to help Travis with the twins so Tracy (her niece) who is a high school teacher could attend the graduation dance at her school (Sir James Dunn).

I’ll confess I crashed and didn’t do much that evening (although I had been stymied by FreeCell game 1941 for a couple of weeks so I looked on the INTERNET so I could at least find out what the first few moves were. With that help I finally cracked that one – one less frustration in my day. (I know- I know, -- What should I be frustrated? After all what’s the difference if I’m spending (wasting?) time on one miindless attempt after another on a single game or the “same mindless routine” on several games that just happen to be easier to complete.

Friday was devoted mostly to yard work and other house work to get ready for dinner with Steve & Shelly Slawson. As I mentioned in my posting about Vicki & Kirk’s wedding, we first met Steve & Shelly last July. .We had gotten to know them a little bit through contact at various church activities but this was the first time we had had a chance to have them over. We really enjoyed visiting with them and finding out more about their “life journey”. We discovered that we knew some of the same people and it was encouraging to hear about their commitment to following Jesus no matter what life has thrown at them. This short visit deepened our emerging friendship and we look forward to future visits.
(Picture shows Shelly & Steve with Sandra at Vicki & Kirk's wedding a week ago)

Friday was also the 2nd anniversary of my last day at work as I entered retirement. Time has really flown and I realized Friday that for the first time in a long time I really wasn't missing it. We havespent over 6monthstravellingin the BBBover the2 years so we certainly have taken advantage of the new-found freedom.

At the same time I was appalled at how little progress I had made on these big projects that I was dreamingabout accomplishing when I retired. But in balance I am very happy that I left when I did. This was especailly hammered home afew weeks ago when I learned that Michel who had followed me in the IT Director's job had had a heart attack and was off work for a few months.

Saturday was July 1 (Canada Day). Linda was out to a shower for Anna in the morning and I spent the morning “browsing” the INTERNET looking at some “discussion groups” on religious topics that are of interest to me. I saw some very open and loving discussion of issues where there were strong difference of understanding about what God I wants of us in certain areas of becoming and being a Christian. I also stumbled into some debates were some people were a lot more focused on “being right” than on “being loving”. Since exhibiting loving attitudes (patience, kindness, etc. – I Cor. 13:4-7) is at the top of God’s hit parade (I Cor. 13:13) I sometimes wonder how people with such a passion for truth in some areas can fail so badly in this most important area. Truth is important but efforts to show truth to others must be done in love or we condemn ourselves by the very truth we are trying to promote.

Marilyn had asked us over for a BBQ Saturday evening. Linda had suggested we could do it here (but to bring their hamburgers) so we had Marilyn, Rob, Ken & my Dad here last night..
I sometimes “complain” to Linda that we spend too much time “doing stuff” and not enough time ”visiting”. This week that wasn’t a problem .In fact by Thursday we had decided to reserve Monday “for us” to do whatever came to mind—likely finishing up some projects in the yard and maybe getting my truck cleaned up for sale. We did find time to talk to Meliss and Chris during the week. We’ll be calling Kevin to-night.

God Bless
Charlie & Linda

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