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A Sig Blessing

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard to today’s flight to Edmonton”.

I was so busy getting things stowed and getting comfortable for my flight to Maui that I didn’t notice “Edmonton” until there was a little nervous laughter in the cabin.  I’ve been in Edmonton in November and I would not have been nearly as excited had that been my destination.

The flight attendant had indeed been joking and we were relieved, and maybe even a little more excited.

The trip had been months in dreaming and planning.  My husband and I were going to the Magic Isle for our third visit.  This time we were taking our eldest daughter with us and, if everything worked out, we would be meeting our second eldest daughter at the airport in Maui.  We hadn’t seen in her over 18 months and she was due to come in from the other side of the Pacific just an hour after we landed.  Miraculously, after a journey of 42 hours she and her luggage arrived at the Kahului airport on time.

Later, while we were at dinner I mentioned that I felt weird.  In the excitement of the day I realized I had been holding my breath.  Now I could breathe again.

Truth is – I had been holding my breath a lot in 2011.

For most of the year everyone in my family had been holding our breath as we waited for Mom’s much needed hip replacement surgery.  She was considered high risk and all of us breathed a big sigh of relief when the surgery was booked and even a bigger sigh we heard that she had come through it well.  A huge thank you from all of us went up to God.

There were other breathless moments in 2011. A lot of joy at the two weddings we attended.  I may have even been a little breathless after dancing at one of those occasions.

In June I caught up with some friends from elementary school, one of whom I hadn’t seen in decades.  There was non-stop laughter  as we pooled our memories of growing up together.  We’ve met a few times since and each time I come home looking for my asthma meds.

There was a quick trip to Alberta where we managed to visit people in four different cities in 10 days. Yeah, that left me breathless.

My work has been growing and for about six weeks I ran the department without an assistant. That left me gasping for air.

These are just a few of the examples of why I am naming my 2011 journey “Breathless.”

I am grateful for every day I was given in 2011, for answered prayer, calm in storm, the big and little joys of everyday living and especially for the beaches in Maui where I was able to fully catch my breath.

What name would you give your 2011?

Makena Beach - our favourite of the 10 Maui beaches we visited.


A Sig Blessing

Most of us prefer to curse technology when it doesn’t work, but rarely do we bless it or even acknowledge when it does work.  I am guilty of muttering unkind words at my PCwhen it doesn’t respond fast enough, does something unpredictable or can’t read my mind. (I know…my son-in-law reminds me often that I should have gotten a MAC)

Today however, I feel compelled to recognize that my PC is a blessing.  Honest.

Besides being a faithful holder of thoughts and memories, editor of words, organizer of numbers, rehearsal partner for choir, fact checker and researcher, worthy opponent in word games, supplier of youtube entertainment – this week my computer has helped me:

  • See photos of Karen’s brand new grandson just hours after he arrived!  He is tiny, amazing and a miracle! (Karen will be writing about him shortly).
  • Find a friend that I thought I had lost
  • Keep track of my daughter’s adventures through her new blog
  • Be amazed at my other daughters’ tireless blogging and amazing viewership
  • Sync my ipod touch
  • Debrief last Sunday’s concert
  • Contemplate buying a new CD (have decided to wait)
  • Check the weather in Vancouver, Borneo, Edmonton, Calgary, Oxford, Sudbury and Maui. (decided I’d rather be in Maui)
  • Learn about healthy food choices
  • Make better grocery shopping choices
  • Connect with many friends
  • Work from home when I wasn’t feeling well
  • Crop and post a better profile picture (I experienced a remarkably good hair day – see below)
  • Track my blessings

This is just  a partial list.  I will now give my PC the rest of the weekend off – and just in time.  According to my PC’s clock it’s 11:50.

Well done PC, I appreciate you.

– A Sig Blessing

I can’t believe how long it’s been since we’ve posted a blessing.  It’s not like we haven’t been blessed, in fact, there have been so many blessings pouring in that we have been busy dealing with them.  We have been:

  • Taking time to enjoy to blessings (otherwise they would be squandered, right? I wouldn’t want to be accused of squandering a blessing)
  • Assisting others in experiencing blessings
  • Managing the details around the blessings (in some cases blessings need organization)
  • Resting up from experiencing such blessings (they can wear you out).

Some of the blessings I’ve been saving up for posts are:

  • Update on Heidi (this one had her vibrating with excitement)
  • Springtime in Vancouver (magnificent)
  • The Gift of Parents (mine in particular)
  • Finding Old Friends  (what’s 30 years…)
  • The Art of Being Together

I will start with the biggest distraction to ever hit Vancouver – The Games. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with the Olympics. After all that had been said about the thousands of visitors, security zones, road closures and general traffic mayhem, I seriously considered hiding under my desk until it was all over.

That thought evaporated when we watched the Opening Ceremonies on TV.  Wow.What an amazing show.  I was truly proud of what Vancouver had done to welcome the world.

I had heard the phrase “welcoming the world” but couldn’t have imagined what that would actually be like.  It was sensational. The pride I felt as the athletes came into the stadium just kept growing throughout the next few weeks. It dawned on me somewhere along the way – perhaps with the torch relay to the lighting of the Cauldron, Canadians changed the way we viewed ourselves and how we are viewed by the rest of the world.  The pride kept growing.

Even though I was in the middle of a huge project at work, I found myself checking the medal standings, watching hockey even when no-one else was home and cheering on curlers.  Who knew it could all be so exciting? And emotional.

I went downtown to see some of the sights and feel the vibe everyone had been talking about.  Accompanying me were two young friends who came from Edmonton to have some kind of Olympic experience and my friend Jeanette who clearly knew her way around downtown better than I did.  Somehow Jeanette got us VIP passes to the Irish Pavilion which was full of singing and the occasional dancer. Everywhere I looked there were Canadian flags – painted on faces, pinned to coats, waving from cars and stretched over entire buildings.   Astonishing how cool it had become to be Canadian.

Even though I had resisted, I finally embraced the Olympic spirit before it slipped away.  This was a time to be proud, put on my new red mittens and sing O Canada – with a glowing heart.

And then I was given tickets to the Opening of the Paralympic Games.

But that’s another blessing.

– A Sig Blessing

Last weekend my husband and I took a rare weekend away together.  Since I work weekdays and he works every Sunday, this kind of opportunity doesn’t come along often. Somehow we were able to untangle ourselves from our usual responsibilities to spend a couple of days reading, relaxing and being with each other. After more than 30 years together, it’s a nice thing to do.

We headed to Harrison Hot Springs, a little resort area just east of Vancouver and checked into a quiet B & B that was tucked into the side of a mountain. We walked along the lake, read by the fireplace, talked, watched other people (which is one of my favourite activities) and enjoyed a couple of nice meals. Side note – if you’re ever in Harrison Hot Springs make sure you work up a good appetite for an authentic German meal at the Black Forest. Whatever you order make sure it comes with the spaetzle. Also pick up some flavoured honey at Papples Market.

Here’s as many blessings as I could count:

– The quiet

– The beauty of Saturday – bright blue skies and sunshine after a week of rain

– Laughter

– Talking and then not having to talk. Just being together.

-Shared memories

– The pleasure of reading

– Good food!

– The fireplace

– Crocuses (or something like it) spearing through the garden – can spring be far away?

– Safety in traveling

A lake to walk around

– Being able to walk

– No access to internet (too bad – guess I don’t have to check in)

– A waterfall running down between two properties near our B & B.

– Playing scrabble apple with my mom-in-law when we stopped at her place on our way home.

– The kids that managed without us.

For all the above and more – I am blessed.

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