Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's important in life

This afternoon I attended a funeral.  It's interesting how celebrating the life of someone else makes me think about my life and how I would like to be remembered.  Once again I was reminded that it's who you are in your relationships and how you treat other people that comes across as the most important and memorable.  Yes, the little quirks and idiosyncrasies of each of us are a part of who we are.  Like the fact that my sister's mother-in-law was a terrible driver and that she loved chocolate.  (That's whose funeral it was today.)  But as those who knew her best spoke, it was her relationships and the ways she showed her love and the way she journeyed through life that shone through.  What truly matters is this - how you treat the people in your life and how you honour God as you deal with the valleys and mountain tops in this life He gives us.  

I was reminded again of the importance of seeing the grace of God in the moments God gives us.

1146) a friend getting engaged, and enjoying her joy!
1147) finally making new cushions to replace ones that were fraying and breaking down
1148) getting my doors painted 
1149) the opportunity to spend time with my brother-in-law and talking about his mother who had died very recently
1150) the peace and contentment I've felt being home this summer - really that should be more than one gift
1151) the smell of freshly mown grass
1152) the smell after rain
1153) cool air in the evenings
1154) free breakfast
1155) Canmore Canada Day parade (obviously these are not in chronological order - see the previous list)
1156) clowns that make me smile
1157) getting rid of old computers (at the e-recycling station)
1158) getting data transferred from my old computer to the new one
1159) listening to the delighted laughs and talk of a family as they enjoy a summer evening and splashing each other with water
1160) the gift of neighbours building and painting a new fence
1161) the gentle and kind way a grandfather talks to his grandsons as they build the fence
1162) the tenacity and patience as a husband and wife rebuild their fence over the course of a week
1163) summer evenings
1164) sharing gift cards with friends
1165) watching a man lovingly care for a wheelchair bound woman
1166) watching these same two "dance" together
1167) the idea of a friend to help me finish my quilt effectively and beautifully
1168) binoculars to help see musicians better
1169) being able to delight a friend with a small, simple gift
1170) the cooling gift of a breeze
1171) a parking spot a block from the folk festival
1172) voices harmonizing beautifully
1173) enjoying one of my quilts at the folk festival - and the feeling of satisfaction of being able to use it
1174) hanging pictures on the wall - finally - a year after repainting the walls
1175) having a bed in Canmore and not having to join long weekend traffic home to Calgary after a long day at the Canmore Folk Festival
1176) chemicals that kill weeds!  (truly a daughter of my father)
1177) Anne of Green Gables in Rosebud with Weening women
1178) My Name is Asher Lev in Rosebud with Sharon and the Montagues
1179) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and the laughter of enjoyment
1180) finally sitting down to write down gifts - and having the opportunity to revisit the last couple of months
1181) sugar snap peas fresh from the garden
1182) walk with SP at Big Hill Springs
1183) water streaming over rocks
1184) yellow canola fields and blue Alberta skies

Summertime....and the livin' is easy

I have been having a simply delightful summer.  Simply delightful.  I've managed to do many of my faithful standby activities.  One of these is the Canmore Folk Festival, which was this past weekend.  I really had no intentions of buying any new CDs.  But as so often happens, I found a new group of singers that speaks to me.  As I drove north yesterday, I enjoyed listening to their music and found a new favourite line of music.  This is from the song "Summertime" by Red Molly.

"Morning rose up singing hallelujah; every evening whispered its amen."

That's been true of my days this last number of weeks.  While I wasn't always thrilled to be awake early, I decided to enjoy slow mornings of tea with the paper, a walk in the fresh morning (before it was too warm), puttering in the garden, and then deciding how to finish my day.  And there's been no trouble doing that.  I've found a great balance of enjoying people, enjoying some of my favourite activities, and accomplishing things.  

I sat in the park in Canmore, pulled out my list of gifts and starting writing about my summer.  It was delightful to revisit my summer and to see how many gifts God has blessed me with.  (Some of these are from the spring)

1058) the smell of spring in the river valley on a walk with my dad
1059) being able to walk with my dad
1060) celebrating birthdays with family
1061) longer hours of daylight
1062) sitting on my front step and reading
1063) a friend helping with garden work (Thanks, S.B.)
1064) that same friend building a new bed for my garden
1065) finishing a quilt for a fund-raiser
1066) Heritage Park quilt festival with a friend
1067) being stopped in my tracks by the beauty of trees in bloom
1068) the smell of rain
1069) the sound of rain, when I'm safely inside my house
1070) the delicate beauty of lily of the valley
1071) the strong smell of lily of the valley
1072) a gift of plants from a friend (Thanks, T.M.)
1073) coming home to a clean home
1074) an evening chat with a dear girl from down the street
1075) celebrating my birthday with friends
1076) celebrating my birthday with family
1077) student saying that today was the first time he was able to understand what an index was and that he was able to use it
1078) surprise gifts of movie and lunch with the Stefeks
1079) finishing a school year
1080) words of thanks from students
1081) words of encouragement and thanks from parents of students
1082) no serious injury despite a serious fall 
1083) fresh summer mornings
1084) pedicures
1085) visits with friends, such as.....
1086) JN
1087) SB
1088) SM
1089) AV
1090) JH
1091) JK
1092) CV
1093) H M-W
1094) visit from a sister
1095) time with family
1096) hugs from children at church
1097) short but meaningful conversations after church
1098) The Saskatoon Farm
1099) turn lanes painted on the road
1100) impromptu times with friends
1101) a friend who is game to join me on mini-adventures
1102) the satisfaction of finishing off quilts
1103) the increased delight of these finished quilts after they've been washed
1104) working on a quilt to surprise a cousin for a wedding gift
1105) delight in the ways fabrics and colours work together
1106) a friend who jumpstarts me to finish a quilt project that had stalled in 2004
1107) finishing that project
1108) feeling a sense of accomplishment as I do "projects" that had been sitting on my unwritten list of things to do for ages - such as
1109) bank account adjustments
1110) RRSP stuff
1111) buying a new car
1112) selling the old car
1113) and the neighbour who really sold the car
1114) cleaning kitchen cupboards
1115) the "clean" feeling of bringing things to Goodwill and hoping they will be of use to someone else
1116) cleaning out the basement - resulting in such a free feeling when I go down there
1117) having places to bring old paint
1118) having places to bring all the empty boxes for recycling
1119) getting rid of horrid orange "curtains" in the basement after living in the house for over 20 years
1120) enjoying time on my from steps on summer afternoons
1121) enjoying impromptu dinners with a friend (Thanks, F.B.)
1122) a rogue raspberry cane that has ripe berries very early in the season
1123) picking raspberries and enjoying them immediately for breakfast
1124) summer morning walks
1125) Shakespeare in the Park
1126) rain God sends to water plans and grass
1127) delighting in the variety of flowers

1128) coming home to my welcoming front step  (The flowers lost a little bit of their punch when I was away for two short periods of time.  They didn't like being left to fend for themselves on a hot long August weekend as they are not so good at finding water for themselves.)

1129) the miracle of plants, growing from seed to plant, to flower, to fruit

1130) books
1131) movies
1132) Summer Olympics
1133) graciousness in defeat
1134) graciousness in victory
1135) satisfaction of doing best
1136) Canmore Folk Festival
1137) enjoying family at the folk festival
1138) enjoying the folk festival with a friend
1139) enjoying music at the folk festival
1140) shade! so the warmth could be appreciated with the Folk Festival
1141) fresh carrots
1142) discovering new musicians
1143) lemonade
1144) sunscreen
1145) refreshing cold water

Time to go.  To be finished later.