The best rendition of our national anthem EVER!
Yesterday we had some wicked weather. It had been hot and humid all day which is not typical Saskatchewan weather. Indeed, it was so muggy that I felt like I was back in Hamilton (minus the smog of course!) And then in the early evening, the clouds rolled in. The storm chasers were out as almost the entire province was under a tornado warning.
So what do the fine residents of 5th ave in Caronport do? Why we stand out on the street and watch the storm roll in! Nevermind that this one cloud (in the picture above) was a rotating swirling violent cloud. Nope until the fire truck sirens went off we all stood and stared.
At the sound of the sirens we all scurried into our houses and down to the basements…for a few minutes anyway. The cloud quickly passed, and we were back out on the street staring up into the heavens. Adults, kids, babies. Some of us had cameras in hand; others had glasses of wine.
Meanwhile across the highway, not more than twenty minutes to the south, an actual tornado had formed:
According to the storm chasers it stayed on the ground for about ten minutes.
And then the thunderstorm came, full of fury and lightning, thunder and hail. Once more we ran into our houses. But as soon as the rain passed, out we all came again.
What a strange way to build community.
A wicked and potentially devastating storm draws out the neighbours. Community and conversations were abundant in a way that I have not yet experienced in this town. Even neighbours who are rarely seen out made an appearance. And with school finished tomorrow, families will be leaving on vacation, the town will get even more quiet than it already is since the college kids left in April. So, for a few short hours, the threat and thrill of the storm allowed the residents of 5th ave to share in one last block party.
Well we are officially under a tornado watch. The epicenter of the storm is supposedly a 100 km circle around Moose Jaw, which means we’re right in the middle of it.
From the official community email:
With the recent predictions of an increased risk of severe weather in our area, the Fire Dept. wants to remind Caronport residents that the lower floor of the Food Services building (Green Room) and the lower hallways of the high school/college/music rooms will be available for residents who want to seek shelter. These structures are deemed to be among the safest in our community during a storm and have several exits for after a possible event passes over. If the local Fire Dept. receives adequate warning ahead of a pending tornado, fire trucks with sirens will circle through the residential areas to give warning. American statistics indicate that those living in mobile home parks are at higher risk of injury/death from tornados. There are also many good websites that give advice on the making preparations and finding the safest places to take refuge in your own home; small windowless rooms on the lowest level of your home are usually thought to be safest.
Rod Appleby, Fire Chief
So the Cheese-wearing family is sticking close to home with a well stocked basement all ready to go just in case.
Prayers would be appreciated, especially for those Caronport families that live in mobile homes.
I had a bad day yesterday. It was a “find aggressive music and beat something up” type of day.
I made an “AttiTUDE” playlist on my iTunes. I played it at full volume. And I didn’t care if I scandalized my neighbours with Bitch, Mr. Hurricane and I Want it All. In fact I was daring people to judge me.
Come on; tell me how bad a Christian I am for listening to this music. I dare you.
Come on; tell me that I fail as a wife and mother. I dare you.
Come on; tell me that I’m not an ideal seminary student. I dare you.
I was aggressive. I was growling on the inside. I danced and sang to the music. And it felt awesome.
I didn’t tryto hide my frustration and my anger and my rage, I embraced it. It made it better. The emotion passed. Because I didn’t swallow it and hide it, it didn’t manifest itself as stress or sleeplessness or despair. A couple of hours of pounding music and snarling and it was gone.
Friends came to supper. And the most encouraging thing to hear is that they go through that too. And they didn’t look down on me for what I was going through.
Wahoo! People like me. I’m not alone.
I glimpsed community last night. We ate steak and chicken. The kids ran wild and played in the street. We debated whether or not Chris Nolan can/will kill off Batman. We got eaten by ten million mosquitoes. We told our “first” Joss Whedon stories. A friend declared that the worst part of Firefly was the Simon and River storyline: “I don’t care about Simon’s man-pain!” We ate pound cake and strawberries. (And no, I didn’t have time to bake so it’s just store-bought dessert tonight, so deal with it.)
Why is it that we’re taught that Christians are supposed to be happy-clappy all the time?
The fake standards we put on ourselves are just that: fake. How much damage does the happy-clappy veneer cause? Not only is it hiding what is truly there, but it makes it worse.
I’m done trying to conform to a fake ideal. I did for a while mostly as a survival mechanism. But it’s not me.
And if you don’t like that kind of honesty, that’s okay. But for those who are looking for something more than the fakeness, I think we’d be good friends.
And if you ever want to borrow my “AttiTUDE” playlist, you’re more than welcome!
One of the downsides of living in the middle of nowhere is that one has to travel to do basic (and advanced) chores. This week, some family administrative paperwork required us to drive eight hours to Calgary. So we turned it into a mini-vacation and it was full of all kinds of lessons.
I learned that…
The Toronto Consulate is more family-friendly than the Calgary Consulate. Much, much more family-friendly (much much much much much).
When Chuck doesn’t sleep well, no one in the family sleeps well.
A hotel swimming pool is the best invention ever.
The things that dot the scenery through Alberta are called Pumpjacks.
Just because Chuck has been saying for years that the Smothers Brothers are hilarious, doesn’t mean that he’s right.
Shopping for clothes means being confronted with the fact that the 80’s are back. I’m not sure how I feel about this. One of the shirts I bought is 80′s metal. All it needs is a stretched out neckline so that it hangs down over one shoulder to make it complete.
Saskatchewan and southern Alberta are beautiful. I love the open space.
Four days without actively checking my blog reader or twitter feed was not only not chaos, it was actually quite relaxing.
I now need a vacation from the vacation. Oh, to spend two days in my pyjamas and not go anywhere.
When we were looking to move to Caronport everybody raved about how it is such a great place to raise kids. And, it is. Unfortunately, we found that that meant kids that are school-aged. For toddlers, it gets a little more complicated. The majority of the school housing units do not have fenced yards, so the only fenced play area designated for kids under six is the sadly neglected Tot Lot on third.
The village of Caronport has undertaken an exciting project that will be complete this summer that will see a spray park added to the Tot Lot. The cost for this project is $100,000. A $50,000 grant from the province has been secured and $40,000 has already been raised from the community. Only $10,000 needs to be raised.
The spray park is a concrete slab 50ft in diameter that will go in the south-east corner of the Tot Lot (translation: where the sandbox is). It will have several different water spray devices that provide different levels of spray (from mist to a bucket being dumped on the kids’ heads).
Any extra money that is raised will be going to refurbish the existing Tot Lot structures. What is not clear, is if there is any money already set aside by the Village and the Rec Board that maintains the Tot lot to repair the currently broken equipment if extra money isn’t raised to replace the existing equipment.
Also, the sandbox is planned to be relocated to another corner of the park. Several parents voiced concern and a desire to not relocate but to just remove the sandbox as it serves as a giant litter box for the many, many, outdoors cats that roam Caronport. The presenter suggested that parents like the sandbox, so if you’re like me and hate it with a fiery passion, please contact the Rec Board, The Village office, or the Spray Park committee and let them know.
In anticipation for the spray park being added to the Tot Lot, speed bumps will be going in on third around the park.
The planned operation time of the spray park will be May long weekend to September long weekend. The spray park operates on a timer, that is activated by a push button so that the water is not running unless there are kids playing there.
If you are interested in donating to the spray park donations can be made payable to the Village of Caronport and taken to the village office. Donations of $250 or more will be honoured with an engraved pavestone in the park.
The project is anticipated to start in May with a tentative open date of June 15, 2012.
I am looking for submissions for guest posts. If you are attending an Anglican church (Mainstream or Network, doesn’t matter) I would love for you to contribute. The theme is What I Like About Anglicanism.
Some suggestions for reflection:
You could write about how you began attending an Anglican church (especially if you came to Anglicanism from another tradition).
You could write about an element of the service that is profoundly meaningful to you.
You could write about your local parish.
You could write about being a part of the larger Anglican community.
You could write about an Anglican who inspires you (N.T. Wright, C.S. Lewis, your priest, a deacon, an active lay person, etc).
You could write about liturgy.
You could give a shout out to a ministry in your parish that is being salt and light to the community.
You could write about Anglican theology, Anglican praxis, Anglican values.
Deadline for submissions is March 1st. Submissions should be 500-1000 words long. You can email your submission to [[[cdntheologianscholar]]]]] at [[[[mac]]]] dot [[[com]]]]
You can see some of my Adventures in Anglicanism reflections here.
…during the freakiest Hamilton snowstorm of all time, the inconceivable happened. In the midst of snow, rain, sleet, ice, ice-fog, thunder, and lightning (yeah lightning in a February storm, weird, huh?), we were married. I was so sick, and ended up toasting our wedding with shots of Nyquil instead of a glass of wine. Mere hours before the wedding, my diamond engagement ring disappeared. Could we have had worse luck? And yet, here we are.
Six years married. It can’t be only six years because we’ve been together forever. On the other hand, six years already?! Where did the time go?
In six, short years, we’ve had a wild ride haven’t we?
We went to Disney for our honeymoon. (We need to go back for our 10th anniversary!)
A psychotic cat found our engagement ring months after the wedding.
You wrote a book, and every time we’re in a bookstore we run to see if it is on the shelf.
We had marathon Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Star Trek/Angel/Firefly/Criminal Minds/Bones/Big Bang Theory) weekends. We would curl up on the couch to watch an episode, only to say, “let’s watch another one.” Two days, and five discs later, we’d finally uncurl ourselves from the couch and snuggles.
We had a road trip adventure down to Georgia in your noisy, clunky green pickup truck. Our lesson from that trip, the bucket seats in that car were not designed for long-term travel.
We struggled with the news that we probably couldn’t have kids, and endured the agony of a miscarriage.
And then, just when we had begun to accept and embrace the reality of infertility, we became pregnant.
I’ve watched you delight in being a daddy, as well as becoming the master diaper changer.
And then, miracle upon miracle, we became pregnant again. Our lives will never be the same, and we are so blessed.
We moved across the country in the middle of winter (who’s idea was it to move when it was -40?)
We’re learning to juggle family and life and work while I finish up my master’s degree.
We’ve filled up all our bookshelves. We won’t get rid of books, so it’s time to buy more shelves. At this rate, by our 12th anniversary we’re going to need to have a separate house just for our books!
We’ve grown theologically and spiritually.
I have discovered Karl Barth and N.T. Wright, and dragged you along on that journey (“Chuck! You have to read this! Chuck! Look! Asymmetric Dialectic!”).
We have plugged ourselves into an Anglican church, and are learning the rhythms of the Christian calendar.
We’ve fed off each other’s geekiness.
We speak in the language of Whedon and Star Trek, and people look at us sideways. And that’s okay, in fact we
sometimes delight in people thinking that we’re weird.
I love you, my husband.
2012 is gearing up to be a very busy year for me academically. The plan is to have all of my courses done by Christmas and then all I’ll have left is my thesis. While this is very exciting, it is also a little overwhelming.
Here’s what this year looks like for me:
Next week: Theology of Forgiveness and Reconciliation
February: Finish my Greek II course (by distance learning)
March: Reformation Era
May: The Patristic Fathers
June: Theology of Christ and Reconciliation
Fall Semester: Spiritual Formation; Theology of God & Creation; Research Methods; Pauline Epistles
Any tips on how to stay sane?
This morning it is -30 C. With the windchill it is -38 C. For my American friends, -40 is where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet.
In other words: IT’S COLD.
It’s the “too cold to go anywhere” cold;
It’s the “if you haven’t plugged your car in, you may not get it started” cold;
It’s the “if you live in one of the trailers, you may have frozen pipes.” (and yes, there have already been several people this morning who woke up to that wonderful gift).
The deep freeze is going to last a couple of days. But, in perspective, it’s already the middle of January. We’ve had a very mild winter. At the beginning of January we were dealing with double digit positive temperatures.
And so, this cold snap isn’t nearly as depressing as it could be. Even if it lasted for a couple of weeks, remember that winter is already half over and March is just around the corner.
So try to make the best of it.
Stay inside with a wonderful cup of cocoa.
Put on a movie, and curl up on the couch under a warm blanket.
Unless, of course, you have class today. In which case, make sure you’re bundled like this (starting @1min 11s):