Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Change

Friday morning I was lying in bed, dreading getting up, packing my suitcases, saying my good byes and starting the long drive north. July is a long time away and I had had such a good time with family that I didn't really want to leave. Finally I dragged myself out of bed and was stumbling to the shower when my father started talking to me. In my groggy state, what he said didn't really make any sense. Then I clued in - my grandfather had passed away that morning.

We knew this was coming-kind of. About three weeks ago we found out that he had lung cancer and the doctors gave him 3-6 months to live. Mom went out over Easter break to see him and was there on Friday. God I guess had a change in plans for him.

So there has also been a change in plans for me. I am not back in Trout Lake yet. Instead I will be flying to Ottawa tomorrow for his funeral and to see my mom's side of the family. My whole Lethbridge family is going - 8 of us- and we all got seat sale prices on West Jet. I think that that is pretty amazing.

I wish that I could spend this blog reflecting on my Grandfather's life but I never really knew the man. All I remember is him going out for coffee and bringing back doughnuts. He was a Tim Horton's fan before it was cool - before Western Canada even knew that the hockey player had opened a coffee shop. He was a gentle man, quietly laughing at the antics around him, especially the Alberta obsession with trucks. When he would come and visit, he would sit at the window and count how many pick ups would drive by. I can hear him say "Oh Barbara" to my grandmother. Best of all, I am sure that he did end up becoming a believer in Christ Jesus and that today he is spending sometime in worship. I can only imagine.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I know it's not Sunday

Yep I know that it is not Sunday but I didn't have time to update on easter Sunday with all the eating and knocking kids heads on banisters and making them bleed. Yeah I was the cause of a minor accident that will probably cause some type of permanant scar (and hopefully not emotionally). I am enjoying my Easter break. Actually I am not sure if enjoying is the word. I am tolerating it because I am once again sick during a school break. I am grateful that I don't get sick during school, because I hate making sub plans in the land of no subs. But must I get sck every holiday?

Anyways, despite the stuffed head, I am enjoying spending time with my family and the best nieces and nephews in the world. I am so grateful for a family that keeps in the forefront of their hearts and minds so that I can fit right back in again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Played and played out

I had a tough week this week. My lent plan to get up with the sound of my alarm and not hit the snooze button was thwarted by the time change. It was all of a sudden darker and earlier in the morning. I made other sacrifices though so that I could still spend a few minutes in the "son" before heading to work. Good thing to because I needed it. There is much that I can right on here but have deleted most of it because of confidentiality issues. Even though I wouldn't put in names, I still felt odd putting something so personal on-line. I will just leave it vague by saying I had to get authorities involved in a student's life and afterwards felt like I had been played so that the student could get their own way and not have to follow rules at home. So now I am a bit fearful of the fall out. So PLEASE pray for me and wisdom in the days ahead as I may have to do some confronting or be confronted.

I need Easter. I need to get away from Trout. I need to see my family. I need to chill with friends. I need to sit in church and declare that Christ is Risen and that that is where my hope lies. I need Easter now and in a week and a week after that. For truly with out Easter, there is no hope.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sound Familiar Kids?

Last week, I watched a documentary with my students called "Environmental Refugees of the Blue Planet". It is about people who have been forced to move because of environmental (read human caused) disasters. It looked at three different areas of the world - Alberta, the Maldives and Brazil. The Brazil story really had an affect on me. It talked about how these people were living off the land in the jungle and were approached by some people with money who wanted to buy their land. They had no concept of money, or the value of land, so they sold their land to this company for a very low price and moved to the city, where they are now living in favellas (read Brazillian slums). Some people refused to sell their land and are living in the middle of a huge eculyptus monoculture. The company is using the eculyptus for paper pulp for our toilet paper etc.

Anyways, as with any monoculture, the company uses pesticides, so all of the termites have attacked the gardens of the people who stayed. Essentially it was so difficult to live there, that the people who stayed were forced to sell their land at an even cheaper price and become charcoal makers. Their self sufficient life has been forced to be inefficient and disease prone because of this huge corporation (which of course is very good friends with government officials.

This story made me very angry and I was trying to summarize it for my students. "So imagine, guys, what it would feel like to have people come and tell you that you had to sell your land because the government needed it. And then realizing that you got a poor price for it and essentially being forced to live in an area with extreme poverty while everyone else gets rich off the land that you used to own." Then I stopped myself and looked around at the very native faces around me. "Does this sound familiar to you guys?" They looked at me with blank faces. Later I continued discussing it with one of my brighter students (Who I hope will turn into a social activist someday) and made the parallels of that story to his own ancestors history. I don't know if he actually got it as their brains turn off at recess but it sure gave me something to think about.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Spring is just around the corner. I can feel it in the air. I can see it in the sky. It doesn't get dark until about 6:00 now and it is light when I wake up. When the sun is shining, it has a warmth that can warm the body and soul.

Slowly my mind is getting out of hibernation mode - maybe I should go through those papers on the floor. Maybe I should start some fun projects. Maybe I should go flirt with a boy. My heart and soul quickens. Spring is coming.

But this year, my doldrums seem to continue. Nothing new is happening. As you can probably tell by this most boring of entries. I have no new plans, no new thoughts, no new activities. Same old, same old. Plus I don't want to think spring to early. March can be a pretty brutal month. April can bring us snow. Heck, we are always suprised by snow in May but it almost always comes.

Hopefully with the new birth of spring, with the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, my own soul will have a new birth and a resurrection. No doubt some of it will occur around March 21st when I am home for Easter. There is something about kisses from nieces and laughter with children and babies that makes the soul glow.