Friday, May 22, 2020

More May

Ever since he was little, he would take off his socks and shoes as soon as he entered the house.

And put them on the table.

Decades later, he still does the exact same thing.

I suck at parenting.


This has become my favorite meal during these Days of Covid.

1/2 a cucumber
1 tomato
1 avocado
Salt n Pepper
Splash of Olive Garden's Italian Dressing

(Sometimes I'll add a boiled egg.)

I've even licked the plate.
(Who does that to a SALAD plate? What?)
I'm not proud of this.

Keep in mind this is my second most favorite meal:

KD and bacon.
With a couple oranges for dessert.

I'm also eating chewable vitamins to round out my nutritional needs.

Just thought you should know.


This is the underground, secure parking garage where I used to work before The Virus chased us all home.

I visit this garage, occasionally, and use it as a drop off/pick up facility. For example, those three packages leaning up against the wall? Are chocolate thank you gifts for three co-workers. I emailed them to let them know which parking stall they should park in to get their tokens of my appreciation.

Or, if, say, I need something from the creative department, I ask one of the 7 people who still work in the building, to bring it down to parking spot 29 . I'll pick it up from there, not entering the building or seeing anyone.

This, my friends, is Covid Creativity.

Also, during Covid, with my team all working from home, I have become a delivery service.

Last Thursday afternoon, I dropped off books; to A in Willoughby, to A in Walnut Grove, to E in Coquitlam. I just got back to my mom's house to discover there was a mix-up (courier error) and a set of print proofs were incorrectly delivered to G in Fleetwood. So after work, I picked them up and delivered them to S in Burnaby. From S, I picked up the Pantone Books to deliver to A in Abbotsford. (Also that evening, I picked up some turkey roasters I was borrowing from friends for my upcoming dinner for the homeless.) And seeing I was heading East, and would be doing my final stop at around 11 pm, I decided to just head up to the lake for the (Maylong)weekend.
(In case you're getting all judge-y, I didn't actually talk/get close to anyone. Drop off and pick ups all happened with no contact at all. I know the rules; the only one I break regularly is my love of driving for non-essential reasons.)

On Friday morning I realized I'd forgotten my laptop in Surrey, so I drove back. And worked (from home) in Surrey, THEN DROVE BACK TO THE LAKE when my work day was done. On the way, I made a few stops (because I can NEVER drive in a straight line) picking up and dropping off things, arriving at the lake at midnight.

Some people have barely used their vehicle during Covid. Mine has been used extensively. As per usual. It occurred to me that I take it's dependability for granted. It always starts. And gets me where I need to go. Almost have 300,000 km's on it so one of these days its gonna be too tired to play on the freeway. But until then, my 2008 Ford Escape has been a good companion.

Thought I'd mention that, in case you were wondering.


Do you have a favorite book in the Bible?
I have 3 - 4 favs. (Ok, maybe 6 or so.)

One of them is Esther. And my favorite line?
"For such a time as this ..."


ANYWAY, the reason I'm talking about this, is because Northview is doing a sermon series on Esther. It started last week.

Here, listen to the first installment. (Esther's story is so good).

And if you want to prepare/dig deeper, they have a study guide available. Here is Week One and here's Week Two.

I hope if you don't regularly listen to sermons, you'll give this one a try.
It's like a well-done podcast.


Song of the Week ...

Earlier in the month, the UK did the same thing. (Martin Smith of Delirious is on that version). (Brian Doerksen is on this Canadian one.)

The first time I listened, it was lovely. But on that rainy Saturday morning, alone at the lake, on the May long weekend, I played it again. And the words seemed more powerful and personal and made my eyes trickle:

The Blessing:

The Lord bless you
And keep you
Make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you
The Lord turn His
Face toward you
And give you peace

May His favor be upon you
And a thousand generations
Your family and your children
And their children, and their children

May His presence go before you
And behind you, and beside you
All around you, and within you
He is with you, He is with you
In the morning, in the evening
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you, He is for you
He is for you, He is for you
He is for you, He is for you
He is for you, He is for you


And then, at 4 pm, Clint showed up. Unexpectedly Drew and Dani arrived at 6 pm. And Max followed at 8 pm. And just like that my heart and the house were full. These people. They make me happy. Most of the time. (See photo at the top of this post...)

We spent the evening eating (LATE BBQ dinner at 10 pm) and dreaming about lil changes we should do (replace gate, put in a fence, add some cabinets, change the flooring ...) and my face smiled for hours.

I just felt so spoiled. I hadn't seen them for months, and then TWO WEEKENDS IN A ROW.
Max, Drew and Dani left on Sunday afternoon just as the weather was improving.
And on Monday, the temps rose to 30 degrees, so I took off all unnecessary clothes and spritzed myself with a No 4 tanning oil and sat on the deck. Then the lawn, chasing the sun around the eastern facing back yard. While Clint kayaked around the lake. His activity was probably the healthier choice.

It was John's birthday on Monday (and my dad's)(but he's in heaven) so I picked up a couple packages of Peanut M & M's for him and celebrated with them by sitting in their back yard (6 feet apart) watching their neighbour plow the back fields.

So much peace to be had in that little corner of the world.


I worked from the lake deck on Tuesday, then went for a walk along the Vedder that evening.
It's becoming my favorite place to walk. There's just so much green.

And purple:


This week is the start of my reduced hours/reduced pay season. A number of us have volunteered to cut back in order to save the organization some $ during a time when funds are tight due to cancelled events and a slow down in donation giving. So, til the end of June, I'll be working 4-day weeks. I'm hoping to take the sunny days off. Failing that, it'll be Mondays.

I'm kinda giddy thinking about that extra day per week to sleep in, exercise do errands.


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Colours. And textures. And scents. And shapes. And life.

2. My people.

3. Words. Lyrics. Singers. Songwriters. Collaboration. Team work.

4. Dr. Bonnie Henry and this province's response to Covid.

5. Answered prayer.

6. My dad.

Peace, friends.

Dear God,

Thank you.

Thank you for this beautiful earth. It is SO ALIVE in the Spring. Everything is bright and fresh and new and very lovely. You did a good job designing all the flowers and leaves and weeds. Thank you for not being boring.

Thank you for doctors and nurses and care aids and hospital workers and scientists and firemen and therapists and everyone who is working to care for us when we get sick. Thank you for giving them wisdom and energy and patience. God, I pray a special hedge of protection around them and their families, so they don't catch the virus. Bless the work of their hands, give them rest when their day is done.

God? There are people I love, (well, people we both love) who are hurting and scared and need peace, or healing, or a job, or relief, or hope. Could You do that thing that You do that makes them feel better? Remind them that You love them, that You've got this. That You're not surprised by their situation and You have plans to use it for good. Use all the tools at Your disposal (creation, emails, books, songs, sermons, whatever...) to get their attention and calm their fears. God, You are able to do far more than I could think of or imagine, so I'll leave my people in your very capapble, wildly creative hands and pray Your will be done.

God, I pray for our leaders. Surround them with wise counsel, provide them with the resources and information they need to make sound decisions. Give them foresight and knowledge about the impact this virus will have on our families and finances. I pray our national and provincial leaders will not get decision-making-fatigue but have the energy to carry on for as long as it takes.

I pray for the leaders/pastors in our churches. Give them boldness and creativity as they figure out how to 'do church' during this upcoming season. Show them how to navigate through this. Protect them and their families from being discouraged, overwhelmed, depressed, anxious. Enable them to lead well. May Your church grow and flourish during Covid.

Thank, God, for listening to us me and my never-ending requests.
I pray for those struggling with addictions, Your will be done.
I pray for those whose marriages are breaking up, Your will be done.
I pray for those who've just received shitty cancer news, Your will be done.
I pray for those who aren't working right now, Your will be done.
I pray for those new moms who desperately need sleep, Your will be done.
I pray for those parents who're juggling working from home and homeschooling their kids, Your will be done.
I pray for those who need a break from All The People in their house, Your will be done.
I pray for those who're struggling with mental health issues, Your Will be done.
I pray for those who're lonely. Who are hurting. Who are discouraged. Who are angry. Feeling hopeless. I pray for those who don't know you. God I pray Your will be done.

You are good.
You are faithful.
You are just.
You are Holy.

Thank you for loving us,

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