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Archive for January, 2016

Home again, home again jiggedy jig.

I made it.  After six hours of driving today, through wind, snow, rain and sun we finally arrived.  C, my Warden was here with keys and hugs.  There were flowers with a card signed by the congregation.

It’s a beautiful day here…views from mountains from most every window.  The living room window looks out over a brick wall from the building next door.  Otherwise every window has a spectacular view.

Looking around the office, the boxes have arrived.  They just need to be unpacked.  There is food in the fridge, ice cream in the freezer, and tea bags on the counter.

There are two beds in the house that are made and ready to go.  Everything I could need is here.  Bed, dresser, bedside table…amazing.

This afternoon we took a walk around the downtown and need to decide somewhere to go to supper.  Tomorrow will be spent unpacking, buying little things needed like a boot mat and a garbage can.

I can have a bath in my bathtub.  Sleep in my new bed.

In my new home.

I’m home.

I went to the Church and checked out the worship space.  I was overcome with emotion, shed a few tears, feeling like I am where God has called me to be.  I showed my traveling companion the place and she shed a few tears as well.  “This is where you need to be”.  One of the stained glass windows behind the altar says “The Sower”.  That’s what she feels I am called to be; what it is that I am going to do; what I am called to do here.

I’m exhausted, exhilarated and ready to go…but first I need to eat and then to sleep.

Life, as they say, is grand.

God is great.

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This morning we left Winnipeg, Manitoba and tonight we stopped in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.  It was about 9 hours of driving and 800 kilometers.  We made stops for food, gas, stretches and giggles.

This has been a remarkable journey thus far.  The landscape changed from cityscape to rural, from hills to plains and prairie.  We saw Ice Roads, rivers, wheat, trees and rock.  What a remarkable country we get to call home.

I’ve seen all manner of vehicles on the road.  Traveled at the speed limit, below it and occasionally above it.  Cruise control is wonderful.

So tonight as I reflect back on the time my friend and I have traveled I have literally shaken the dust off my shoes from Ontario and begin to embrace my new life in the West.  We are not yet in the mountains, but I find myself yearning for my new home.

I’ve never lived outside of Ontario, so this will be a new chapter and adventure.  I’m excited to see what the future holds.

And for right now I’m going to have a long soak in the tub, check out tomorrow’s route and pray for restful sleep.

Tomorrow is B.C. or bust!

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We decided last night that we wanted to travel earlier today and possibly be off the road a little sooner than last night tonight.  We definitely traveled farther today, and definitely traveled further tonight then we have yet.  A total of 11 hours of driving, with short breaks, filled the gas tank twice.

We started at 8:00 am and checked into the hotel tonight just after 7:00 pm.  A very long day, but worth it to make up for Thursday’s lousy weather day.

The roads were icy this morning but the further we traveled West the clearer they got.  Had some rain in Minnesota, but other than that, the weather was great.  It was -12 when we started out from Ironwood, and +3 when we landed in Winnipeg.  Definitely a strange winter.

Started this morning in Michigan, crossed into Wisconsin, then Minnesota, then North Dakota and finally into Manitoba tonight.  The sight of a Tim Horton’s; the first we’d seen since leaving London, Ontario bright a slight tear to our eye.  Ah yes, steeped tea…nectar of the Gods.

The first day of travel we went 500 kms.  Yesterday we traveled 600 kms.  Today we traveled 950 kms.  That leaves just over 1,400 kms to go.

And now to plot tomorrow’s route, and find something for supper.  All in all, an excellent day.

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It snowed overnight in Gaylord, MI.  We woke to a lovely dusting on the ground.  And about three inches covering the car.  It was still snowing gently as we pulled out and continued our journey.  We crossed the most amazing bridge into St. Ignace before stopping for brunch at 11:00 am.  We met two of the loveliest ladies who helped us choose which route to take…and we’re glad we followed their advice.

The one main challenge was the long stretch between Marketta and Ironwood.  We were hoping to stop for the night about an hour after we left Marketta, but there was nowhere to stop.  The motels along the highway were all booked because of SnowFest happening this weekend.

The driving was much slower than yesterday, the roads were slippery and at times we were driving through freezing rain.  But we made a point to stop, stretch, check out local places of interest, usually involving cheese and/or jerky, and then continued on our way.

I left my pillow behind in Gaylord and realised it only after about six hours of driving…so I sent them an email asking if they can ship it to me in B.C.  If they say yes that’s awesome.  And if not, it means I need to get a new pillow.

Tonight we chose a hotel which again had a pool and hot tub.  So after we walked to supper and back again we donned bathing attire and headed to the pool.  I repeated last night’s bliss of floating silently on my back.  While the water was not as warm, it was just as soothing.

We haven’t looked at tomorrow’s route yet, but I’m thinking it will involve Wisconsin, Minnesota and possibly Manitoba.  We have crossed into Central time.  Today we traveled 600 kilometres, that’s 1,100 in total.  We’re getting there…nearly half way!

And now to make a cup of tea, relax and look at maps.  Life, as they say, is good.

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Today started a mess, and ended quite well.  I didn’t get as much done yesterday as I had hoped and this morning when I started packing the car I realised I still had too many boxes. So eight of them were shipped, the rest, including my clothes were loaded in and my traveling companion and I headed west.

Crossing the border at Port Huron was a breeze.  I was asked to put down the rear window and the border guard asked if it was like playing tetris trying to get everything in.  He asked where we were going and then advised us on how far we could get before we stopped for the night…Gaylord, Michigan.

Tonight, after a long day on the road and the emotions of saying goodbye to the home I’ve known for eight years, it was good to simply float in the warm water of the hotel pool.   I exercised myself for half an hour and then I floated…it was bliss.

Not much to write tonight, still processing the past couple of weeks, especially the last week and weekend.  Tonight is for relaxing, something fun to watch on Netflix and early to sleep.

Then tomorrow, once again, we will be on the road as the adventure calls us West.

Thus far we have traveled 500 kilometers.  Only about 2,700 to go.   🙂  Look out, here we come!!!

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This past three weeks has been a huge challenge.  Everywhere I turn there’s boxes, paperwork, unfinished “stuff”…in short there’s piles and piles of chaos.  Time is getting short where I live, as my last day in the pulpit here is Sunday the 24th of January.  I have commitments every day between now and Monday.  Then Tuesday is a day with absolutely nothing scheduled.  Wednesday the car gets packed up and we head west.

Generally I don’t cope well with chaos.  I like order, structure, routine.  And I find myself emotionally all over the map.  I’ve got forms to fill in for my new Diocese.  I’m working with the current Parish Council to work out changes to the new slate of officers.  At the same time I’m writing reports for both congregations…all awesome but still quite scary.

Everywhere I look – at the Church, the Church office, my home, there is a pile of stuff to sort through.  I’m giving a lot of stuff away as it no longer holds a connection for me.  I have been given and have aquired a lot of “stuff” and while there was a plan and purpose for that “stuff” it is no longer the case.

What I’ve been doing is cleaning and holding a piece of pottery or an object and I think of who this reminds me of…then I give it to that person, explaining that this is a gift to them from me, and that it came from my home.  They can keep it and/or give it away when they are finished with it.  This may sound crazy, but it is something that I’ve begun to realise about myself.

I’m not materialistic.  I don’t pay a lot for my clothing and I don’t have a lot of clothing.  I pared down my books, which was very difficult.  The books I have now all have meaning and will be used for reference, etc.  I’m being specific with the way I deal with “stuff”.  Does it make me smile, is there a blessed memory to go along with it?  Can I live without it and not miss it or pine for it?  And if I say yes to these things, I let it go.

It’s been very freeing and peace-filled.

I realise there are things I’ve held on to because of who gave them to me.  They don’t mean anything to me other than that.  There is no “sacred connection” and so, those things, I’m choosing to let go.  And it feels great.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been sorting through computer files.  Deleting, merging, updating, and while that’s electronic, it’s also been very therapeutic.  I’m taking what there is too much of and making it manageable.  Do I really need Epiphany bulletins dating back 8 years?  Even electronically?  Nope.

My goal is to take the files I have on my home laptop and transfer them to a memory stick for the Church and one for back up for me.  At the Church I’m doing the same thing.  And it’s oh, so freeing.

So while I’m not yet at the place of tidiness and cleanliness in my house – I am in a place of great peace with the “stuff”.  And I like that.

 

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All my life I’ve had a love/hate relationship with food.  I am a self-described food addict.  When I eat, I tend to eat a lot and when I crave, it’s never for healthy food.

Something that I’ve been seeing a lot of lately is articles about foods you should “never” eat.  Foods that are “poison” and foods that can kill.  Seriously?  Toast is evil?  Give me a break.

I should eat better than I do.  And I will admit that on occasion supper is a bag of Smartfood.  Which really isn’t all that smart.  I know what I need to do to eat healthier and better.  The problem is being motivated enough to actually do it.

In just over two weeks I’m heading to southeastern British Columbia.  A whole new way of life.  A new culture, a new geography, new grocery stores, and a whole new level of panic and anxiety.  I know my local grocery store.  And I’m sure it won’t take me long to learn my new grocery store.  But the fear is real.

I am not moving with any food.  I’m taking some of my favourite tea with me, the rest I will buy when I get there.  Stocking a pantry, buying spices and condiments is both exciting and terrifying.  I’m taking reusable bags with me to never use a plastic shopping bag again.

I will buy cookwear when I get there.  And bakeware.  I’d like to stay I’ll plant a little garden, but the reality is, I likely won’t.

I’d love to homestead where I grow my own food.  But the reality is I don’t have the knowledge, experience or motivation to do any of these things.  And that’s okay.

I am recommitting myself to a pescatarian lifestyle.  A pescatarian is a person who is a vegetarian but eats fish.  I have the proper supplements so I will be healthier in myself and in my diet.

Yes, I’m fat.  Yes, I shop in fat girl stores.  I’d like to lose weight but I don’t think my body is ready to let go of a lot of the stress it’s been holding.  If I was a betting person I’d say that my cortisol levels are extremely high, due mostly to the stress with which I am surrounded.

Once I get moved I will re-establish a healthy routine that will include exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer and silence.  I will eat healthier than I am right now.  Because I will be ready.  The weather here has been mild but also slippery.  I’ve fallen a couple of times in the last two weeks, and while the injuries were minor, it’s scared me, to the point where I don’t want to venture outside.

This morning it was raining.  Rain in January scares me because when it changes it’s almost always to ice first, then snow.  Sure enough a winter storm whipped up, and there’s a thin layer of ice beneath the snow outside.

I’m not sure why I’m so scared.  I suspect, in part, it’s because I don’t want to arrive in my new pastoral charge physically damaged.  They hired someone with all appendages intact, I’d like to arrive that way.

I’ve started bookmarking recipes again, especially ones that replace pasta noodles with veggies.  That kind of thing makes me very happy.  I’m looking forward to buying a soup pot and I have two special soup bowls that are coming with me.

My goal as I pack and prepare to move is to downsize and simplify my life.  I don’t need much to be happy.  Open space, uncluttered, is good.

I think I will be writing more regularly as I prepare to move.  I may even blog at the end of each travel day.  Only time and wifi will tell.

 

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