Sunday, February 24, 2008

There goes that plan

Sitting next to my house is an empty house. Lately, I have been comtemplating packing up my stuff and moving in. It's not that I don't like the person living in the basement, it's more that I don't like someon living in the basement. I want to wash dishes and take a bath without someone knowing. I want to break out into song and rock out on my guitar without hurting the ears of someone else. It seems extravagent to move over. I really don't need the extra spce, extra bathroom or extra kitchen. I don't want it. I just want more privacy.

Well this week, I was actin principal. The MD phoned me. "The water plant can not keep up. We keep on emptying. Is there water running at the school?" You see the school is one of the only places that draws directly from the water treatment plant. The rest of the community trucks it to their resevoirs. I checked around the school but had a sneaking suspicion that it might be the empty house. So I hunted down a key and treked over to the house.

As soon as I put my ear to the door, I could hear the rush of water. I opened the door to see water lapping at the basement stairs. I threw my keys on the stairs towards the upstairs (that house keys and my house keys - do you see where this is going?). I went downstairs, waded through 6 inches of water, saw th hole that the water pressure had bore through the wall. Went through the waterfall into the laundry room looking for a shut off valve. Saw nothing. At this point I started to panic. I went upstairs to go to the school and phone the maintenance people. I shut the door behind me. I locked the door behind me. (Do you see where this is going yet?)

As I was walking to the school, I came to the awful realization that I only had the school keys on me. I did not have my house keys or the keys to our new basement swimming pool. So I started looking for help from the few teachers that were in town that week. I went to the office, gathered up all the keys I could to try to find another set to get me in the house. No luck. So I went to phone our principal to see if she had a set of keys at her house. No answer. A litany of how stupid I was was now running through my head. My and keys, it is a saga of problems and stupidity.

That is when we used the crowbar - the biggest monster crowbar I have ever seen. This is the second time in my Trout existence that I have had to take a crowbar to a door. By the time we got into the basement again, the water was about 8 inches deep. Finally we turned off the water and electricity.

So I want be moving into that house for awhile. The basement wall has a hole in it. The pipes have possible multiple holes in them. There will probably be mildew problems and then there is the compromised door frame.

So this morning, I was alone and took some time to squack on my flute and rock out on my acoustic guitar. It felt good to sing and raise my voice. I need to find the time to do it more often.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What did I want to write about again?

I spent almost all of last week in Edmonton for teachers convention. It was nice to get away and to experience life. I forgot that in the city, people go out after dark, even if it is snowing and don't just hole up in thier houses like I do. I had a life in Edmonton and it felt great.

The first night I went out for dinner with fellow teachers and then went to see a very late showing of Juno. Loved the movie and loved the fact that we had the whole stinking theater to ourselves so we could talk and comment through out. Apparently not everyone has a life in Edmonton (not after ten anyways).

The next evening I went out for dinner with friends of mine and then went to hang out at their brand new house. It was so nice to see their pictures of Hawaii and to see them happy with their house etc. I normally stay with these friends, but since they were in the middle of moving I stayed out of their way instead.

The next evening, I had a Valentine's date - with my dad. Don't get too excited there. He was in town for a Christian schools conference so we had dinner and then hung out at the mall. You know, the only mall in Edmonton. Yes it is rather funny - my dad and I at the mall together. My dad who hardly ever graces the mall's presence.

Then on Friday, I had a coffee date with Jer and Christine and my sweet nephew. They were on their way through Edmonton so we were able to meet up. It was so nice to see them - them, not just my sweet nephew Zachary. He is cute and all but can not hold a conversation yet.

Then I was off to Wetaskwin to visit another friend for the weekend where I helped her paint her new house. We also watched Ratatoiulle, which is an OK movie but maybe not as good as everyone says it is.

I am so thankful for all of my friends and relatives that keep me grounded and allow me to breeze in and out of their lives as the winds of time blow me here and there. If I didn't have that support around me and far away from, I could not do what I do. So for all of you that read this - you are part of my grounding and so I thank you.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The deep freeze

Last weekend I spent a great weekend at Breakforth. It was spiritually refreshing to once again visit with my mother, brother and other people from church, as well as sit under the teaching of some Christian leaders. Once again, I enjoyed the ministry of Kay Arthur. I can't really comment on much else because I spent a lot of my option time in Kay's sessions, madly flipping through my tattered Bible learning about discipleship "deny yourslef, take up your cross and follow me", keeping the mind pure "as a man thinks in his heart, so he is" and taking care of the sheep. I also took in a session on self-injury. It was encouraging to see that some Christians were starting to recognize this epidemic but discouraging to once again see how little help was offered in my corner of the world. The weekend culminated for me in a great emergent worship service where I was able to struggle with the demands of discipleship. I am continuing to struggle with it by ignoring the struggle and pretending that all is fine. Am I really willing to die for the call? Am I ready to die literally? figuratively? If I ignore the questions then I don't have to search for the difficult answers.

The end of the conference was rather symbolic as we all stepped out from the warmth of worship into the bitter, bitter windy cold storm front that had been brewing outside the Shaw Conference center. I swear that I got frostbit finger tips loading my car with canteen items and I was grateful that I already had plans to spend the evening in Edmonton instead of having to brave the storm and head into the dark north.

The rest of the week, we have been in a bit of a deep freeze. I hardly had any students all week and did paper work. I never realized how much I depended on my students to keep me sane and even keeled. By the end of the week, I felt drained because I felt like I hadn't even made a dent in all the paperwork that we needed to do and because the computer is not great company. With the deep freeze (-48 one morning) had come the doldrums that I always experiences after a spiritual convention. So now, I have to try to find away to dig myself out. Thankfully the sun is rising before school starts in the morning and is shining through out the day, bringing promise that spring will come, both spiritually and physically.

Lent starts this week. Maybe by giving up a comfort, it will force me to see and feel the son. I have decided to give up my snooze button. We shall see how that works.