Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer Nights

... Around here, you know that summer is winding down when the PNE comes to town.

Traditionally, that's when you can count on it to rain, as well.

But it didn't rain last night.
It did not.

So we went.

And sang along to every song.
Oh. Those Beach Boys.

Singin' and dancin' all night long.

SO fun.

And then we walked the midway and went on the Ferris Wheel. Because that's a tradition with us.

View from the top.
At 11 pm.

Fairgrounds are mostly empty.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Happy evenings.
2. Bouncy music.
3. Traditions.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Coloring, Etc.

My TV isn't hooked up. I predicted, way back in June, when I was in Colorado (and heard that my TV room had been taken apart due to a burst pipe/flood) that it would be three months before it would be use-able again.

It's now been three months.
Still waiting.

In case you've been keeping track of these things, in the 25 months that I've lived here, I've had a working TV/Cable/DVD system for 5 of those months.

Yes, that's a whole lotta time to figure out how to spend an evening at home NOT in front of a television.

This month?
I've been listening to TED Talks and coloring.

Which, admittedly, has been kinda OK.


I had a 'thing' this morning.
Involving a tiny camera.
And some internal organs.

It might contain Too Much Information.
Feel free to skip to the Three Things I'm Thankful For section, if you just don't want to know.

To prepare for that 'thing', I was to fast for 24 hours (I fasted for 32, because I wanted an 'A' in fasting.), drink 5 litres of water, and chug this:

(Which liquidizes everything in your system.
Your system? Is not a fan of this product. It will react. Violently.)

I did this fasting, and drinking, and erhhhm, at the lake on Sunday.
(Yes. Another lovely summer weekend, somewhat sabotaged by something medical and NOT FUN.)

I didn't realize Clint was going to be there.
With his business partners,
preparing for a Monday morning shoot in Chilliwack.

So many black blinking things being charged.

So many cases of lens and equipment.

So many people in the cabin when I thought it'd be empty.

So much discomfort.


The hour-long drive home took 60 minutes, as per usual. Only this time, I was very aware of each minute.

ANYWAY, I had very clean innards for this morning's appointment.

If they had been inclined to hand out gold stars for excellence in crapping - I would've received two.

Have you had one of these ehrrmm, procedures done?

It's fascinating. If you're into this sort of thing.
Am decidedly not.

The specialist was not impressed with my attitude.

(You're still reading? You can opt out now, if you want. Just skip this next part.)


I'm on my side, head on a pillow, eyes closed, breathing deeply and having a very concentrated conversation with God.

The specialist is encouraging me to look at the big flatscreen/monitor, conveniently located for my (and his) viewing pleasure directly in front of me.

"Are you OK?" he asks.
"Uh huh," I grunt.
"Are you watching?"
"Should I?"
"What's the matter with you?"
"I'm fine."
"Look at the screen."

I open my eyes.
There I am. Larger than life. I look pink and moist inside.

I shut them again.
"See this?"
I look up.
"This tiny black spec? That's the culprit. Lesssee if I can find more."

I close my eyes and try not to freak out.
The are filling me up with air and it is wildly uncomfortable, Not painful. Just not a great sensation.

"Hello? Are you OK or what?" he asks again, sounding a little agitated with me.
"Uh huh. Fine."
"Why are you not watching?"
"You've seen one inch of bowel you've seen it all..."
"Look again, please."

I open my eyes. Bowels on The Big Screen. I don't think it'll ever be a blockbuster.
Saw another few inches of my insides.

I can check that off my bucket list. Oh wait. That would have never made ANY LIST, ever, of mine.

Eventually, (after 2 - 3 hours minutes) he backed that camera out, and said, "Well. That was kind of boring. Not much going on in there."


I was so euphoric, I went straight to the lab and had them draw blood. And I did not faint.

But I did go home and have a nap. Because, trauma.

I was at work by noon, though, just in time to introduce the new designers to our project management file sharing system.

I am submitting a formal request, in triplicate, that summer be extended by two months.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Smart people.
2. New technology
3. The internet
4. Creative people
5. Colouring books.
6. Crayola Felt Pens
7. New babies
8. Friends.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Summer Saturday

Today was Brenda's Celebration of Life service.

From the moment I saw Faye playing the piano when I arrived, til we heard the Irish Blessing at the end, tears flowed freely from my eyes, down my cheeks before waterfalling onto my chest. Oy. Such a soggy mess.

So many feels today. All good.
Thank you, Brenda, for living your life well, for loving big, and for letting Him use you to grow His kingdom.

If you weren't there, here is the video of it:

Brenda Pue Celebration of Life from Kristin Pue on Vimeo.

It's 90 minutes long. So settle in.

Now, hours later, I have a few reflections:

1. I love the verses that Brenda's girls read. The Psalm ones were so perfect. But my very favorite was the Phillipians verse. I know it was meant especially for me because at Northview a few hours later, that exact same verse was part of the sermon...

Psalm 73: 25 - 26, 28

Psalm 139: 1 - 18

Psalm 90: 12 - 14

Phil 4: 6 - 8

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

2. Can you imagine if everyone was part of a group of 6 people who prayed regularly for each other's families? What would that look like? How would our families be impacted? What would our lives look like if we prayed urgently for 5 other families.

So many of us get all caught up in praying for our own families. And mostly only our own families. I was with a friend recently, and she said, "by the time I get through praying for my kids and grandkids, I don't have time to pray for any one else..."

Isn't that a little bit tragic?

3. Karalee talked about an email she received from Brenda awhile ago in response to a situation that was sad for her and her husband. This is what wisdom Brenda shared:

"In the midst of heart ache, God is forming something deep inside of us, that is far more valuable to us than anything we can imagine. It has to do with character, faith, trust, understanding God and His timing, (which is so often not our own). So I sense that God is doing something bigger here, but I'm still disappointed on your behalf. Rest and it will all come together in his perfect timing. Enjoy today. Hold hands. And take the long way home."

I love everything about this message but especially the last line (probably because I am a fan of hand-holding...) Enjoy today, hold hands and take the long way home. 

4. My favorite part of the service was when Brenda's 3 boys shared their memories. At the 58:00 mark, the story Jeremy tells is about my Max. Who was sitting right beside me during the service. And whose face was glowing red with embarrassment. (He was alone in the Pue's den with his girlfriend- the rest of the family had gone to bed.  They used this opportunity to make out, when unexpectedly, Brenda came downstairs. She chose to sit with them on the couch and have a conversation with them in that awkward moment, because she is Brenda. And she cared about my boy.)

It takes a village. I am thankful that she loved Max.

(Also, all things considered, if an OBoy story was going to be shared, we got off easy with this one. It could have been far worse, as my kids provided alot of material to work with.)

5. I LOVE THIS SONG: The Love of God
  1. The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.
    • Refrain:
      Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
      How measureless and strong!
      It shall forevermore endure—
      The saints’ and angels’ song.
  2. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

The imagery in that last verse gets me every time.

Here's a version. Mercy Me is singing it:

6. Loved the verse Brian Buhler chose to speak on:
Gen 49:22

 "(Joseph) Brenda is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall."

On a whim, I googled that verse then hit the image button. This came up:

A fence isn't exactly a wall, but it's close enough.


After the service, I went to church.
Because it just felt like the right place to be.

It was.

From there, I drove out to Sardis to have a late supper with Val on the patio at the Garrison Bistro under a cloud of firesmoke and a burning red sun:

We talked until late. And just as we were leaving she gave me the following parting gifts:

Flowers from her garden and chocolates from her store.

I? Have lucked out in the cousinfriend department. Love her, and any time I get to spend with her.

From there? I drove up to the lake.
Where Clint already was.

For the first time ever, I arrived with no groceries. NOT ONE THING, well, other than that box of chocolates.

(I have to fast all day Sunday because of a medical thing on Monday. So. No food.)

He and I listened to a pod cast about the future job market/labour force considering automation and robotic drones. Interesting. And a lovely way to end an emotional day.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Lives well lived. And how inspiring they are.
2. Cousins/children/parents - And what a good idea 'families' are.
3. This place. Which feels like home.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fifty Six.

Aug 22, 1959
Twas the day my dad and mom got married.
Today would've been their 56th wedding anniversary.

They were stupidly crazy about each other. She was 19 and he was 23.
Just kids really.

What did they know about love and marriage and commitment and forever?

And yet, somehow they managed to keep it together through 5 decades of marriage.

They loved each other right til the end. Not a day passed without him telling her that he loved her, she was beautiful, and that marrying her was the best thing he'd ever done.

The last words he spoke were kind, loving, affirming and for my mom, "You are a good woman."

Thanks, dad and mom. For showing us how it's done.

Love you.

Friday, August 21, 2015

This n That

On Tuesday I was on my way home from work, planning on spending the evening at home, opening mail and sorting through the crap that I've been dumping on my desk when my phone buzzed.

Incoming text: You busy tonight? Want to see a movie.
My reply: YES. Would love to. No plans.

We saw the new Meryl movie: Ricki and The Flash

... then went out for a bite to eat and talk about life.
She's 58 years old, newly single and dating.

And life is just as confusing now as it was when we were 16. 

Wednesday was our annual Staff Fun Day at work. 
This year we played mini golf:

I got a hole-in-one.
And then I stroked out with 6's on most other holes.

I was the loser on our team. 

Ask me if I care.

Dan got a hole-in-one as well:

So did Alex:

Well, you get the idea.

We had fun.

It was hot.

There were alot of trees and shrubs on the course.

While we waited for lunch (which we ate in the parking lot), some of us coloured. Because colouring is coool.

I was first in line, because I'm a bit of a pig.
No I'm not.
I needed to take photos of food trays before they were emptied.
Yes, I absolutely needed to.

Also because I had to leave right away as there was a funeral I wanted to attend. 

As per my timing lately when it comes to Events in Churches, I arrived just as the bride, or in this case, the family, were on the verge of walking down the centre aisle. 

Carolyn's sister-in-law saw me sneak in and whispered, "Did you bring your camera? Are you going to take photos?" Then she nodded, like it was something she'd welcome.

Yes. My camera was in my purse. When is it not?
Funeral pics?
Tricky business, that. 

I'd been asked to do it once before and I totally couldn't. 
I totally and completely couldn't capture grieving. It's so raw. And personal.
My finger just wouldn't press the shutter. 


Also? A shudder is booming loud in a quiet church. 

But because she asked, I took a few pics from my spot at the far end of a padded pew. 

If you've never been, do try to make it to a Mennonite funeral at least once.
The music is always perfect.
Nothing like being in church, singing How Great Thou Art, with a bunch of seniors in the congregation. The richness. The harmony. The depth. 

When is the last time I held a hymnal? 
30 years ago?

It was a beautiful service. Full of hope and respect and love. 
An amazing legacy of faith.

From there, I met up with Danica for dinner, then a movie:

and then a coffee. To catch up. 
I just love that girl.


On Thursday we had a bridal shower at work during our lunch break for my favorite gal from France...

And then, a few hours later, during our afternoon coffee break, we celebrated V's 30th birthday:

Because both 'girls' live in Vancouver and take public transit and I could not imagine them carrying all that stuff .... I drove them home. Which was why I was at the corner of Broadway and Commercial at 7pm calling Clint.

Me: Hi. I'm in Vancouver. Are you busy? Can I buy you dinner?
Him: I'm in a restaurant. Just ordered sushi.
Me: Are you by yourself?
Him: Yeah. D'ya want to join me?
Me: Where in Vancouver are you?
Him: Broadway and Commercial.
Me: Haha, WHAT? I'm at Broadway and Commercial!

(He was right across the street. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES that of all the intersection in all of Vancouver we'd be at the same one at the same time?)

Divine appointment, probably.

Anyway, while we ate sushi he gave me a crash course in Social Media management and SEO's. (But because I didn't take notes, I've forgotten it all already.  I suck.)

Such a full week. I hardly noticed my tongue.
I'll have to get that sorted eventually.

Three things I am thankful for:

1. Relationships
2. Summer
3. Washing machines