Well, this Autumn was a good run

The snow continues to fall tonight here in this field, really for the first time.
The fact that the weather has held off until today isn't lost on me. It's been a good thing, a very good thing. I secretly hoped we could make it into December without snow.
But here it is.

It changed our plans for the day, from a day off in the big city, to a focussed day of Christmas Shopping in Camrose. The good news is that it looks like we are pretty much done the shopping, but in so doing we maxed out our daily limit on the debit card, and we didn't get to the big smoke. We made it back home when the snow was starting to stick, and I'm glad we made it back by then.

Its still snowing pretty good out there and starting to drift a bit.
Tomorrow will be our first day of shovelling for this year.
Winter may now be here.

Life been tough? How are you handling it?

A dog fell into a farmer’s well. After assessing the situation, the farmer decided that neither the dog nor the well was worth the bother of saving. He’d bury the old dog in the well and put him out of his misery.

When the farmer began shoveling dirt down the well, initially the old dog was hysterical. But as the dirt hit his back, the dog realized every time dirt landed on his back, he could shake it off and step up. “Shake it off and step up; shake it off and step up!” he repeated to himself.

No matter how painful the blows were, the old dog kept shaking the dirt off and stepping up. It wasn’t long before the dog, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well. What seemed as though it would bury him actually benefited him—all because of the way he handled his adversity.

The adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to bless us. Forgiveness, faith, prayer, praise, and hope are some of the biblical ways to shake it off and step up out of the wells in which we find ourselves.

—Bruce Shelley, Denver, Colorado

Sideways thoughts on the human condition: Aloneness

Tonight I met with an individual in my office.
Their story is personal and painful and is very unique. And bless them they were willing to trust me with it. I listened and prayed and reflected on the struggles they faced.
And I was glad I was able to be present to them, and that it seemed that what small insights I had to share with them were helpful and occasionally insightful.

However, I came away with an increased sense that so many people around here these days are hurting so deeply. Deeply, as in where do I go for help, for some answers. That kind of deep pain.

The levels of personal struggle, loss and pain felt by so many people, are real and often hopeless. And all I am able to do is spend some time and in a way be with them, and listen to them. As this individual stated, "Sometimes its a helpful thing to be able to speak the words out loud." And they are right. Being heard is a help in and of itself.

And while our chat was going on, my phone in my breast pocked was giving me a short vibration each time a couple of friends were communicating with one another. It was too late to pull the phone out and shut if off, but each vibration was a communication of care. I knew that they were communicating and that they were watching out for each other, because that is who they are. It was oddly comforting, their vibrating presence there.

And I think that is a good part of life's biggest struggles. That we don't always have somebody to talk with or to listen to us when its needed. When comfort is required or a gentle push is the answer for us.

Yet there can be life there in those good supportive relationships.

As I tell the kids, being married doesn't mean you always have a built in listener, nor does being alone mean you have no listeners either. Learning to listen is always a good thing. Always. And learning to be heard, to communicate is also one of life's great helps.

So maybe this aloneness we experience as humans can be helped by learning to listening, and by practicing the vulnerability needed to share your heart with another.

You may find answers in the places you least expect them.

Window Washer

Today was probably the last beautiful day for the summer. And so it was my last chance to get the windows washed.

The manse has, wait for it, 30 windows to clean. Most with two panes. The outside gets pretty dirty from the road dust and field work, so its my job to wash the outside each autumn.

I thought I had missed my opportunity this year. But alas, today the sun was hot, actually hot.
I got it all done.

And herself caught me at it.