Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spring has Sprung

The past few days I've been reminded of this little ditty.

Spring has sprung .. the grass has ris ..I wonder were the birdies is .. Oh look there's one flying in the sky ..Oh what is that in my eye ...I'm sure glad that cows don't fly.
(Well no grass yet!! and so far I've avoided flying objects!!! )
It has melted enough and gotten warm enough that I've removed the "rhode house" in the back (this is the small mansion that I built to protect Linda's rhododendrum's from the winter snow.

As noted in the following excerpt from the Sault Star, we have had the 2nd highest amount of snow in 47 years including a serious winter storm (4 inches of snow) on April 1 ( some April Fool’s day - who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor )-. (For those not quite converted to metric 450 cm is about 177 inches or 14 feet of snowfall)

THE SAULT STAR (Byline Dan Bellerose)
We’ve tirelessly shoveled and snow blown our way onto the medal podium Sault Ste. Marie.
Tuesday’s 10.7-centimetre snowfall brought our winter of 2007-2008 accumulation to 450.8 cm, according to Environment Canada, the second-snowiest of the past 47 winters, since 1961-1962, as far back as such data is readily available.

With the snow-accumulation silver securely around our necks we are an improbable 60 cm short of gold, the monster 511-cm winter of 1995-1996, with a little over three weeks remaining in our seven-month winter weather watch.
This marks the seventh time in 47 winters that snowfall at Environment Canada’s Sault Airport climate station has exceeded 400 cm, including three of the past seven.

Finally, the past 4 days have had the scent of spring. The snow has disappeared at a tremendous rate—our roof is almost free of snow and the lawn has bare patches and we have heard our first robins. There is new hope that this long winter is behind us.
But the banks still have a ways to go before we’ll be snow free and the dirt that accumulates as the snow melts will be cleaned up) .

Life has continued to be hectic for past 3 weeks.
We took a break and made a trip to visit Chris, Tammye, Hunter and Camdyn over the Easter weekend and for the last week of March.
It was Hunter & Camdyn’s March break so we were able to have the pleasure of being there with the kids while Chris & Tammye were at work. I did a little bit of work around the house - helping CHris put down some interlocking "tile" flooring in his basement.
We did our annual “Birthday lunch with Grandma & Grandpa”.
For Hunter, it was late since his birthday is February 10
For Camdyn it was early since her birthday is May 3 and,in addition to the lunch she got a visit to "ToysRus" to select her present. (Hunter had already received a cheque by mail)
We also took them to see “Horton hears a Who” – It was interesting to see the animated version of this Dr. Seuss classic that I had read countless times to our children as they were growing up.

Last week we spent 2 more days sorting and organizing at Martha’s house and Saturday afternoon 9 of the 10 children were there and all of the items in the house were either allocated to one of the children or marked for recycle. (Silly me - I neglected to take my camera so none of was captured on "film" for posterity which is sad but can't be changed)
It was a bittersweet time – lots of laughter as some item triggered a memory of the younger years growing up together but also the sadness of marking the end of an era. Linda had prepared a chili dinner and it was a goodtime together but as one of her brother’s remarked “This is the last time we will be able to come to Mom’s house” for a family gathering” so there was nostalgia and even a few tears as well..

In a way, the family breaks into 3 parts for Linda (& I because I have been close to this family for 46 years and they seem more like my own brothers & sisters than “just in-laws”).

Anyhow the 5 oldest Linda, Terry, Frank, Carol & Dan - 2 girls, 3 boys – 10 year spread) are really the core family of brothers & sisters that Linda grew up with.

The next 3 (Joe, Theresa,& Arliss) are more like “next generation” – Linda always referred to Joe as “her boy” because, when he was born, she was old enough to be expected to help her mother look after the house and the other kids. The next oldest had some health problems and with 5 children already “underfoot” her mother was very busy so Linda took Joe under her wing and spent a lot of time with him. The next 2 girls were born during the time we were dating and – as Linda sometimes reminds them – we often babysat them and were there feeding them, changing diapers, setting up the presents at Christmas time -- etc.

The 2 youngest (Erin & Stephanie) were born after we were married and away from home so we weren’t around for their early years. Linda’s Mom was 8 months pregnant with Erin when we got married and Stephanie was born 6 months after our oldest son Chris (When he was a teenager he once was asked at a social event about the lovely young lady he was with -- and he said this is my aunt - which really floored the person who thought he had brought a date)

The good news is that we are done with the house closing project and have started thinking (again) about heading west.

In addition to, the “housecleaning” Linda & I continued to be involved in the counseling situation that I mentioned last post. Hopefully, our advise and support has been helpful – time will tell.

The time has been very stressful for Linda and she has had to watch her BP – she has been monitoring it constantly because it has a tendency to “spike”. She has to back off and take time some time in her “quiet place” to get it back down.

However, we are finally packing up the “beast” and Lord willing we will be on the road tomorrow morning. The past 2 days I have been out running errands to finialize our preparations while Linda has been washing, cleaning and packing. All that remains is to load – which is no small job but we know it can be done in a matter of hours.

Of course there are no certainties- yesterday morning I had a call from my Dad and had to go over to be with him. He was experiencing some pain but eventually we (after phone consultation with my sister who is a nurse) concluded it was the result of too much activity – At 91 he had been on the go steady for 5 days with no breaks – on a schedule that would have wiped me out so mostly he needed to rest.

To my friends in “bitland” – I’m sorry I haven’t been able to come by and the few times I have it has been mostly “hit & run”. I miss our visits and hopefully as we travel I will find hot spots in the evening and will be able to catch up with “y’all”

I’ll close with this thought that I posted to our church family list yesterday.

This week I am concentrating on Hebrews 6:13-20 (The Message)
13-18When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, "I promise that I'll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!" Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they'll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can't break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.

18-20We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.

The main point that I want to make more real to myself this week is that Jesus gives us hope - no matter what circumstances we are in -- and because God promised it, I can count on Him as an "unbreakable spiritual lifeline"

When I feel challenged - when I begin to wonder "Where is God and Why is this happening?" I can have the assurance that he is there and all I have to do is reach out and "hold on" -- I want people to see that confidence in everything I say & do this week.
God Bless


Tim Archer said...

Beautiful scenery, beautiful family. Blessings on you, my friend.

Grace and peace,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great report. Glad to hear from you guys!

Dee Andrews said...

Charlie -

Glad to hear from you, friend!

I've been missing your comments over at Finding Direction. Really!

Good post and I hope spring is really there after your hard winter. It's lovely here.

Cheers & Blessings to you all today!