Monday, June 30, 2014
For the first time in TWENTY THREE AND A HALF YEARS, we don't have any kids at home.
Come Friday afternoon? #4 will be home from camp.
So? Am I gonna do a blog post?
Ciao for now.
Monday, June 23, 2014
Those wise and priceless words are courtesy of a dear friend and fellow writer, Kathleen Y'Barbo Turner.
I asked her how to do something.
How do deal with my son leaving.
He got a call Thursday afternoon to report to "Depot" (deh-poh) in Regina, Saskatchewan, to begin six months of training to become one of Canada's finest. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer.
He began the very grueling application process18 months ago. Very few who apply are accepted. And for a twenty year old? Acceptance is a rarity.
But our son, Chris, is leaving in 2 hours, and by December, he will be a police officer.
He'll come home for Christmas, then be posted somewhere in Canada.
We had no definitive word that he was accepted, but we kind of knew he would be, since all his tests and interviews went so well.
But when I got home Thursday, there was a message on our answering machine for him to call the RCMP, and the woman sounding really happy. So he called them back, and BAM! He was IN!!!
Having 4 days notice sure made our lives a whirlwind, since my husband was in Colorado at a conference! I emailed him, and called his hotel and left a message.
And called my parents.
And called my brother.
Finally, at 12:35am, I got an email and immediately called him!
Yes, we're over the moon with pride. Yes, we're excited. Yes, he's thrilled.
This is a huge deal.
But...this whole "kid leaving the nest" thing?
It's for the birds.
Because birds can fly, and rise above this rare mix of pride and pain.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
John and Jennifer Major
June 17th, 1989
First Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC.
Today is our twenty fifth wedding anniversary.
I am here, at home, and John is somewhere in Colorado, at a forestry conference, prepping for a trip to Wyoming.
Such is life.
I can't complain. Last anniversary? I was on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.
I still kinda wish we could have gone back and hit all our favourite honeymoon spots. Like Disneyland!!
And, Needles, California, where I saw my first road runner!
Happy Anniversary, John E. Major.
I love you.
Friday, June 6, 2014
What to do, what to do....
Okay, LONG story short, I can't keep up with the weeds in my 5 different perennial beds. Even if we take into consideration that I need to get outside and enjoy summer, and not spend the blessedly short New Brunswick summer at a computer...
I simply cannot keep up.
I've had arthritis in my hands, wrists, and on a bad day I can feel it in my elbows, for years. Oh, and my lower back is shot, as well as my neck, but, whatever.
But I could always manage a schedule of weeding for a few hours, then resting my hands a few days, then weeding again, then resting, etc.
I went out 2 evenings ago and weeded for 45 minutes and my hands still hurt. Like, ACHE.
I think between aging (gag, cough, gasp) and the Great Wipe Out Of January, I did more damage than I thought. I've known I cracked my kneecaps, although they didn't x-ray those when they did the 35 other x-rays. One can tell these things. It's called 'pain'.
I spoke to my husband about things last night and he said just to keep trying. Huh. Okay, but umm, what about next year?
I think what I'm going to have to do is move all the plants from one smaller bed, to the bigger one, and consolidate the two, then seed over the empty bed. My neighbour suggested I dig up some of the healthy perennials and put them in pots and sell them. I'm not emotionally attached to the spireas, and so I may get rid of them, and fill up the space with azaleas and rhodos and put down some weed fabric and call it a shrub garden.
I like pretty flowers, but I also like being able to type. And open my fingers. And the laptop.
I'll keep you all posted....
But for now, here's a few shots of my garden.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
It's joint blog time! Last week, I asked my friend Kiersti Plog when she realized the story owned her? So here is my part on our blog duet...
People often ask this very white girl from Canada WHY I write about Navajo history, specifically The Long Walk.
(That's Ted Charles and I, at Canyon de Chelly)
I can't NOT tell this story.
Imagine that people who never set foot in your province or state showed up, day after day, and built homes where people already had homes. Or they stole your daughters or wives and you never saw them again. They shot your husbands and sons for simply being male.
Your leadership sent envoys to make peace and for a few years it worked, but only if you did what they said. But then you got sick and tired of their bullying.
Then one day, a whole bunch of them arrived, we'll call that an army, and said "This is ours."
That's called an invasion.
That scenario has happened all through time, to almost every people group on this planet.
But one story in particular hit me like a tonne of bricks.
In late 1863, the US Army began rounding up Navajo Indians, as well as 500 Mescalero Apaches, and marched them all across the Southwest, to a hell hole in New Mexico called Bosque Redondo. A total of 52 different marches brought 9500 Navajo Indians to this place the people named "Hweeldi", pronounced "wheel-tih".
And by "rounding up" I mean inviting them to surrender after all their crops were destroyed, their livestock were shot, their homes burned, you get the picture.
Many say 'Hweeldi' is a variation of the Spanish word "fuerte" (fware-tay).
For the Navajo, it basically means Hell on Earth. It is their Holocaust.
Hundreds died on the way there, and thousands more died once they got there.
In doing some internet research on New Mexico, I came upon an article and started reading it. I read the following phrase and that was it, I was done.
"...women in labor were shot because they slowed down the march."
I've been in labor 4 times. I know what agony is. I do not know what I would do if I was walking across a barren desert, in winter, while trying to hide the fact that I was about to give birth.
Navajo women were either pulled from their spot in the line and shot on the spot, or taken behind a rock or tree and shot.
Now, look at that photo of the landscape.
See any rocks big enough to hide an execution?
Now, imagine you're the husband of that woman, or one of her children.
Where was God in all this? Many, many, MANY Native Americans have zero, or less, respect for people who call themselves Christians.
And if you dare say something about how they were "savages" before white people found them and saved them I will personally discuss it with you. In person.
Go ahead and ask me why they loathe Christians, and I will flat out tell you that our history of violence and hatred toward people of colour is astonishing and utterly shameful.
There was a mindset among 19th Century believers that we must "kill the Indian to save the man".
Ummm, where, exactly, is that in the Bible?
So, we come back to a line of people, walking away from losing everything, and toward the complete unknown.
They were not greeted by the Salvation Army with hot food and blankets.
Or by Samaritan's Purse with a shelter and fresh water.
The Pecos River water was undrinkable, they had to dig holes in the ground for shelter and there was little to no food. The men who ran the camp tried to secure supplies, but when they did, it was never enough.
From 1864 to 1868, people died of starvation, disease, and most likely despair. The prison camp was closed in 1868, and the survivors were escorted home.
My first book is the story one a man who escapes the carnage and given sanctuary by an Anglo family. The second is about his brother, who ends up in Hweeldi. The third will be about how they reconcile what happened to them both, about the unfairness of it all.
Maybe, just maybe, if I tell the story well enough, I can go back change things. I know I can't, but I have to try.
And now? Go read Kiersti's story...
Monday, June 2, 2014
I met a lovely person named Kimberly Buckner at the ACFW conference last September. She had the Maya Angelou quote on her Facebook wall today.
I read it.
Then read it again.
And it was like, BAM!!
As if God was saying, patiently and yet again, "Stop trying to win this contest of your own making, because I know you aren't ready for the prize you think you want...and yet, you refuse to accept that you are a prize to Me."
Have you ever tried, and tried and TAH-RYE'D to get someone to notice you? Someone you think is cooler than ice in Iceland in January? Someone with whom you want a genuine friendship to form, and yet they're all "Ohhh, heyyy, I can fit you in...someday."
And you lap it up like a puppy? Because you really think this person is awesomesauce on a bowl of awesome?
I had a moment, or several, let's be honest, of this thought process last week. And it stung. It hurt. it was kinda embarrassing. But then I realized something....
If Person X doesn't think I'm awesome? WHY IN THE WORLD DO I KEEP PERFORMING THE LOOK-AT-ME DANCE???
So, Redheads, think of that one person who you'd love to go to Prom with and then say this to yourself, regarding that Person:
"So, you, yeah YOU...you lose, because well, I quit. I quit trying to impress you, and get your attention. You're nice, and all, but you clearly do NOT know awesome when you see it. Go get your eyes checked and I'll see you around."
And let's confess a little, shall we? We still wish Person X would clue in, don't we?
Hey, if they do? Great.
If not, get together with your tried and true friends and remember...they are the ones who'd give you the last piece of pie.
AND all the aweomesauce to go with it.
And just so you KNOW?
God made you the way you are. And you ARE awesome.