Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What did you do on your summer vacation? (Part 1)

It seems like forever since I’ve posted an entry and I will be a couple of days catching up. Teachers often begin a new school year by asking students to write an essay about their experiences during the summer vacation . Later in life, we often have conversations with our friends describing our vacations. So if you’ll bear with me, I plan to do that here – in three parts.

In a recent adult Bible class Lloyd Hotchkiss spent several weeks showing the tight connection between the way human families function and the way the church (God’s family) functions. It is clear that family units have a big part to play in God’s ongoing work of restoring the relationship with his created beings that was destroyed by Adam & Eve in the garden.

Understanding how to build healthy family relationships will help us to build strong churches and vice versa. Jesus taught that we needed to put a higher priority on our relationship with his followers than on earthly families but he also reaffirmed the importance of strong families.

I mention families because both Linda & I come from large families (8 in my case and 10 in her’s). This vacation was primarily about family -- at least that was the plan. A couple of unexpected events intervened but they served – as is often the case – to provide an opportunity for richer family sharing than might otherwise have occurred.

We left home on the morning of July 25 and returned on Monday (August 7). It was a trip that might be classified as being in the right place at the right time and the right place at the wrong time – or something like that.

We experienced pleasant family visits, the “death” of a car, and a tornado (Yes that’s right –a tornado—but you’ll have to wait a couple of days for the details), However, after 2 weeks on the road, we (and the “BBB”) returned home safe & sound with many pleasant memories to fill our hearts.

Our first stop was Clear Lake camp. My sister Ruby and (most of) her family where there and we had a good visit.

Ruby & Art have three children. James and his wife January live in Waterloo. (They are in the foreground of the first picture -my sister Diamond & my Dad are in the background). Their daughter Eowyn (see second picture) is the oldest of 2 grandchildren.

Their second son Trevor lives in Toronto. He has recently met Sarah who was there with him. I think the relationship has possibilities since she appeared to survive the “inquisition” of all the aunt’s and uncle’s at a family dinner Tuesday evening. We played a variety of games in the evenings and we came to appreciate her “weird” sense of humor.

I’ve mentioned before that Art & Ruby’s youngest son Craig, his wife Jeri and their daughter Hannah moved to Papua New Guinea in May. That would be a bit of a trek for a family vacation so they understandably weren’t able to make it. For more information on their mission click HERE

Tuesday night we gathered at my (oldest) sister Goldie’s house. Goldie and her husband live year round on the shore of Bright Lake -- about 2 miles (3 kilometres) from the Clear Lake camp.

We had brought my Dad down with us. My brother Rob, Marilyn and their son Ken along with my youngest sister Diamond came down (from the Sault) for the evening and Goldie’s daughter Lori came by so there were eighteen of us there. (At last count including in-laws my Dad & Mom have around 100 descendents so it wasn’t really that big a family gathering).

(I think I may have mentioned this before as well but you may have noted the reference to the “family jewels” --the three ”girls” in the family -- Goldie, Ruby and Diamond.-- in the picture Ruby is on left and Goldie is on the right )

Art has just retired from his tenure as President of Great Lakes Christian College (in Beamsville Ontario) and he had also hit the milestone of entering his seventh decade in May (Linda says I’m crazy to put turning 60 in this way since it sounds even worse – however a mathematical fact is a mathematical fact and it doesn’t make any difference how you state it). Anyhow, the family here went together and gave him a gift certificate at Canadian Tire to use for one of the many home projects Ruby has lined up for him. (We also had 2 cakes - one for birthday and one for retirement)

Thursday afternoon we headed out and drove to North Bay and stayed overnight at Walmart (Oh boy – my favorite place – see my April 3 blog entry for an explanation of this)

Anyhow – to-morrow I will talk more about family and the “death” of Fredrick the car

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