Three Provinces, Four States, and 4600 kms in Two Weeks

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We took some holiday time and hit the road to connect with all our children and grandchildren in a fairly short time span. Some of the days, like the one pictured above, were a little intense and fairly dangerous as cars were sliding off the road left and right in the dangerous rain and wind. But otherwise, it was a very good trip.

It's so good to see the kids doing well. To watch them in their environment, living life, facing challenges, growing, adapting, even dealing with hurt and disappointment. It was really fun to spend time with them and to let them grow up in my mind.

I've come back with a sense of distance and maybe some sense of loss because we don't live closer and as such we can't develop deeper relationships. Maybe that's ok for now, but I'm not sure. I do know that it is what it is and we will all make the most of it.

It was fun hanging out with them and snooping through their communities. 

It was so good to see them, and it's so good to be home.
That's a good thing, right?


River Falls Movie Theatre

Friday, May 15, 2015

So last night Lauralea and I went to see The Avengers, right downtown at the old town movie theatre.


We were met by two well dressed ladies our age, who took our payment, $4.00 each for adults. Then one took our order for two medium sodas, cherry coke I might add, and a big bag of candy, all totaled three dollars.

We were at the early show and the place was mostly full for that showing.

The pre-movie commercials were from local establishments announcing their wares or, dental workmanship.

Very cool.
I'm told it's the cheapest theatre in the USA. And for us the evening was $11.00.
We figured that if we lived here we'd go to a lot more movies.

It was fun.

It's a Slice

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
I am given a small slice of time.
And I am born, live, eat ice cream,
and, I will one day,
physically stop.

In a delightful way, the grandchildren bring home this truth to me.

Just as it went for my dad, it will go for me.

The foundations for the future are already being laid, by bright little minds, and beautiful little faces.

And I invest in the future of humanity, through my love and prayers for these little people
who will very soon take their full place in their slice of time.

It's all very humbling.
But I am enjoying my slice for now.

Wisconsin lilacs

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Day is Done

Monday, May 04, 2015

The day is done.

and I am all kinds of tired.
Physical tired, people tired, emotional tired,
vehicle tired, lousy eyesight tired,

so I'm off to bed
to shake off this tiredness.

And as you pray,
remember me?


Silence is not a negative, not an absence at all...

Saturday, May 02, 2015
Silence was one of those things that I never really understood as a younger person. I knew it was life giving to me, and that I desired it. But I thought it was a place empty of everything else rather than what I have come to understand now, that it is a condition of abundance, of life.

This post I am quoting below has meant more to me in my understanding of silence through the years. The place that used to host it changed, and it took me some time to rediscover it. Now that I've found it, like a treasure I don't want to lose it.

It's by Vianney Carriere, and presently it's hosted here.

Now there was a  great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake, a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. (Kings: 18: 11-13)
Silence is something like one’s good health. It is most prized when abruptly taken away, most cherished when suddenly recovered, when, as with the rush of light, we suddenly realize that we have been deprived of it for a long time. Then as it returns, a wealth of rediscovered feelings comes with it. Silence begins as something external and it becomes a state of being.
People who live in cities almost never experience silence. There is always something – traffic in the distance, the chatter of neighbours, a far-off siren, even the white noise of office buildings.
Yet it is a mistake to think of silence as the absence of noise. Silence is not a negative, not an absence at all, but an overwhelming presence, an awesome something that brings sustaining and resuscitating gifts all the more precious for their rarity. Silence is a wonder for all the faces that it has, all the garments that it wears, the nuances and qualities that come with it: the silence of a starlit night in a wilderness; the silence of a deserted church, empty yet holy, the engulfing silence of fresh snow, the silence that passes in a glance between a loving couple, running like electricity through a wire. All different. All magical.
That is why we whisper when we pray, why our “I love you’s” are spoken so softly – it is isn’t all reticence or a need for privacy. It is a tribute to the silence of special places and special moments, the mystery of special moods that we know are so fragile and so transitory that the merest sound can drive then away. We know in our very soul that we ought not to disturb these times. They are as skylarks, timid, every poised to swoosh away.
The very best kind of communication that can happen between people is silent. This is one of life’s mysteries – how we, as a species with the marvelous and unique gift of speech, make ourselves understood, share a moment, communicate our love and our passion with a look or a glance, so much more effectively than we do with words.
So much of what we say to people with whom we live and work or to people whom we meet is not important at all. It won’t be remembered or it will be misunderstood. The really crucial things are communicated wordlessly, punctuated, perhaps with a mere squeeze of the hand, with a smile, or with a look with which you suddenly find yourself gazing into the very depths of someone else’s silence.
The wordless way we have of communicating our really vital thoughts and emotions are as personal as fingerprints. No two people do this the same way. It requires awareness, fullness of soul, love, and silence. Silence, above all, cannot be dispensed with.
It is a way of communicating not unlike the way we are taught, as infants, to communicate with God, the way we are taught to pray. Prayer, even for those who find it difficult, is enabled by silence. Silence, stillness, is the route to holiness and to communion with God, much more so than the other props we’ve picked up, the icons of prayer, the formulaic words we learn as children, the beads of a rosary, the gestures.
There is a reason, surely, why Jesus and all the prophets sought out the wilderness in their quest for inspiration and to nurture their special sight. They were seeking holy silence – the consuming presence of an empty, quiet space, which is the surest conduit to God and the things of God that nature allows.
To seek silence is to seek God; to love silence, to learn the beauty of stillness, is to invite God to touch us and our lives. And in silence, in this private, internal wilderness that we create, God finds us, as he once found the prophets, and speaks to us in ways that can enlighten, inspire or confound. That is another mystery, another level of communication, another place. A silent place is a holy place if only we can learn to hear and love that mystical nothingness that is everything.
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