Tuesday, September 27, 2016

strangest thing

crossing a street in Fort Langley,
leaves blowing on the wind,
I felt the strangest thing.

That the wind could blow
and there I would be,
18 again and a student at Trinity,
walking in Fort Langley without having experienced all the things that have happened in the interval of time.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

now and always

I snipped and turned the thin sheet of black paper and snipped some more.
And then there she was in my hand, a little girl just like my daughter once upon a time.
My 'once upon a time' little girl who loved rainy days grew up to be a wise and winsome woman who still loves the rain. This birthday card is for her. May the steadfast love of the Lord rain down on her now and always.

Friday, September 9, 2016

ocka bocka

If you find an old book,
and its covered in linen,
especially if it is wonderfully vintage orange linen,
and especially if it is a collection of children's counting and skipping and bouncing ball rhymes,
just like the collection I've been enjoying,
chant a few for me.

Here, what do you think of these jewels?

Bouncy, bouncy, ball-y,
I broke the head off my dolly,
My Mom came out,
And gave me a clout,
That turned my petticoat
Inside out.

My brother broke a bottle,
And blamed it all on me.
I told Ma,
She told Pa,
Brother got a spanking.
Ha ha ha.
How many spanks did he get?
1,2,3, etc.

My mother, your mother,
Live across the way,
Every night they have a fight,
and this is what they say;
Ocka, bocka, soda crocka,
Ocka, bocka, boo.
Your old man chews tobacco,
And so do you.

What's not to love?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

one of the few

Image result for one of the few

I've just finished reading One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview by Jason B. Ladd. It is such an articulate and powerful book. 
Skillfully combining story with analogy, Ladd offers an immensely practical and passionate defense of the Christian worldview. He is disarmingly genuine and personal while achieving a rare universality that makes this book widely readable ( and highly recommendable). 
His stories span childhood to adulthood with enough action to appeal to even reluctant readers. 
One of my favourite things about this book is the use of dual quotes to begin each chapter. They made me want to cheer!  
I found this honest recounting of the journey of faith incredibly encouraging and challenging. It rings with truth and hope.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

still summer

Summer slips through the fingers of August don't you think?
I had almost forgotten that feeling.
Children make you remember.
School age children.

With August almost in the rear view mirror, my daughter and my grandchildren and I  hastened to the beach yesterday.
The great wide wondrous beach.
Windy too.
I had forgotten how cool that wind can feel, like an air-conditioner on high.

We built smallish castles and my grandson studied the power of erosion by water. Great calamitous overhead water while his little sister joyously sloshed pailfuls into her castle moat like a bucket brigade gone mad.
Her big sister drew and drew in the sand, happily adding sea weed hair to a giant face.

We got all of the usual scrapes, chafes and contusions that are a necessary part of The Day at the Beach.
And we come home with a random assortment of stories that are also a necessary part.
Stories about more Canada Geese than seagulls patrolling the beach. Was there a seagull convention out of town?
Stories about little yellow crab apples arriving on the incoming tide. Dropping from the branches of a mysterious far away tree, leaning and laden.
And a sad story about a dead harbor seal. It looked like a very young one.

A train chugged past, bedecked in especially fine graffiti.
There were sand dollars and jelly fish.
Shells like tiny pink butterfly wings.
Special pebbles.
Sand molded by the waves.
Sand and sea and sun and surf.
Still summer.  

hundreds and thousands

"I'm just going to read for a bit," I say to my husband.
"Emily Carr's book," I add.
He looks suspiciously at me.
"I'm feeling sad already," I say by way of explaining.

I love Emily Carr.
I thought I'd read all of her writing.
Then I discovered This and That: The Lost Stories of Emily.
I rushed home and commenced reading.

I discovered that the real title for this collection of stories was to have been Hundreds and Thousands. It was the title she chose, the title she wanted but she died before it was published. It is absolutely fitting that someone else decided upon an entirely different title. It is somehow reflective of a good deal of Emily Carr's life and I feel a little bitter about it on her behalf.
Emily Carr was an enigmatic, whimsical, talented...no....gifted, charming, likeable....no....lovable woman. Her family...no....her sisters, were not.
My heart broke into tiny little crumbs when I read this collection of short stories.

Tears trickled down my cheeks and I sniffed and coughed the first time I tried to finish it.
I didn't do much better the second.
Then I dipped in here and there, reading a happy snippet or two and a great gray melancholy settled like autumn rain.
She had so much to give.
So much sweetness.
Hundreds and Thousands.

Friday, August 26, 2016


Through the window I saw a squirrel balancing on the narrow rim of the oak rain barrel. Hanging by its toes, it leaned down, down, down for a drink.
I wonder what it thought when the goldfish zipped up for a closer look, eyeball to eyeball?