Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mountains, Ocean and (mostly) blue skies (May 5 – May 18)

Two weeks – where has the time gone. We pulled into the Tynehead Campground in Surrey mid-afternoon May 5.

We had been on the road 10 days traveling over 5000 km (3000 miles) after leaving Aurora on April 25, ( over 5000 km (3000 miles) from Sault Ste. Marie) – not the most direct route – which is just a tad over 3500 km (2200 miles)

Our route west had us driving in the mountains a lot more than any other trip we have made since we were in mountains most of the 1000 plus miles from Salt Lake City (and several hundred miles before that)—that’s what happens when you drive diagonally – northwest through the mountains - lots of good scenery – reminded us of the awesomeness of God’s creation.
We see mountains every day as we drive back & forth to Kevin's place (unless it is really foggy - which has been rare). We are very close to the Burrard inlet and Stanley Park (on the Pacific Ocean) and have been severalplaces were we could look out over the ocean . We have been experiencing cool but often sunny weather so this has become a daily reminder -- of something we can easily take for granted when we are in the "rut" of daily living at our homes.

Of course, we are also reminded of the downside of the natural forces when we hear of the tornadoes and damaging storms that have been occurring over the past few weeks. Our prayers are with those whose lives are turned upside down because of these storms. Every time I hear about something like this I remember our friends in Pascagoula and the first hand knowledge we gained last year of the impact these storms (Katrina in that case) has on people's lives.

While I certainly don't claim to understand why these things happen to some and not other and why "the rain falls on the just and the unjust" -- I am convicted that God is there and he is able to work good in tragedy and trials -- whether these massive highly visible storms or just the samll day today things that happen that can wear us down and discourage us. The question is always the same -- will we look to God for comfort and help and trust in his promises or will we believe this is proof that he isn't there or doesn't care.

Something to think about -- well back to what's been going on with us. (and what have we been doing that has kept me from writing in my blog?)

As we came north across the border on May 5th, I discovered that I had not brought the information about the campground where I had made a tentative reservation. I knew it was in Surrey just off Highway 1 near the Port Mann bridge. Our BC camping book didn’t have a listing for anything that met that description. I tried unsuccessfully to pick up a wireless signal so I could find it on the INTERNET. Since I had a general idea were it was located I decided to see if we could find it by watching for signs. As we came up Highway 15 we saw a sign for a campground – which turned out to be Tynehead. After we checked in I did an INTERNET search and found the reference to Dogwood campgrounds which I then remembered was the one I had been talking to—however – we were in a good location so we just called and cancelled at Dogwood.

The neat thing- some might say luck – we prefer to give credit to God’s providence – is that Tynehead seems to be a better location. We are just across the road from Tynehead regional park where we have gone hiking several times and - from our drive by visit to check out Dogwood – we ended up in smaller and probably quieter campground. So sometimes it pays not to be organized.

We are 2 minutes from Highway 1 and (depending on traffic) 15 to 20 minute drive to Kevin’s. It always takes 5 minutes longer to go there in the daytime – because traffic is always heavy at the bridge - but coming backing the evening we usually just sail through.

After we arrived we went to visit Kevin, Sarah & Will. It was really neat to have Will recognize me after 16 months. He had seen Linda last fall and he went to her as if she had neverleft. It was a great time catching up withwhat was happening with Kevin & Sarah and playing with Will.

Sunday we attended services at South Burnaby. We saw Irene & Shirley Wood (My sister-in-law Marilyn’s mother and sister) – more “almost relatives” (click HERE for my definition of this term) and visited with several others we have come to know from earlier times that we have been here. I really like the preaching style of Kirk Rauch the minister at South Burnaby. It is down to earth but insightful and challenges one to grow in their relationship with Jesus. He has been doing a series on Hebrews –with the general theme “God speaks—it is really important to hear what he says about Jesus - and to underscore that importance -- there are ”bad things” that happen if we fail to listen—BUT most importantly there are good things for us if we do listen. His analysis of Hebrews is that this is a repeating cycle throughout this collection of writings.

We have been at Kevin & Sarah’s everyday except one since we arrived. It seems the days fly by. By the time we get up and do our daily routines it has been time to head over. We have dinner with them and by the time we get back in the evening and spend a little time relaxing – TV or reading -- it is time for bed and the cycle repeats.

I have been getting about an hour a day on the “computer” and that seems to be enough to keep up with email and chip away at the backlog- but not enough to do much journaling. I did have to spend several hours updating and issuing the course outline for the statistics course for engineers that I have been working on with one of the math profs at Algoma U. I am also able to do a little bit of webmail work at Kevin’s when Will is napping or watching his videos. – mostly that has been dealing with my AlgomaU email

The weather has been cool but sunny – last week we had 3 days with temperatures in the low 20’s (70F) so we have gotten some tan—and had to use sun screen frequently. We have been to several parks at the Burrard inlet and spent one afternoon with Sarah & Will at White Pines beach. Will was wading but the water was pretty cold. We had our first taste of rain this last Friday (18th) but it was in the evening. It rained more yesterday and is raining steadily this morning (Sunday) as I write -- just in time for the long weekend.

Sarah had a list of “fix it” jobs she was hoping I could work on – so it was good that I had brought my tool box. So I have fixed a deadbolt lock assembly that wasn’t working properly, repaired a drawer hanger to keep the drawer from falling out of the cupboard, replaced the burner on the BBQ and several other small jobs. There are a couple of bigger jobs that I’m still trying to work out how to do them – with limited money and limited tools- we’ll see what happens in the remaining 2 weeks.

Linda has been doing some gardening planting some annuals she bought for Sarah for Mother’s day. I also spent an afternoon mowing grass and generally cleaning up in the yard.

The main variations in “routine” are that we have several days gone for a walk at Tynehead before going over to Coquitlam and the other variation is which park we go to with Will. We have been watching him for a couple of hours in the afternoon when Sarah goes to work to allow Kevin to spend more time at school working on his thesis materials. He is at a tough point in this process and is somewhat discouraged at his lack of progress – Hopefully he will get all the approvals for his method sand be able to get into the data collection phase soon.

Well it’s now Wednesday (23rd) so I’ll close this off and get it posted. More later.

No comments: