Friday Fave Five #111

Why do I begin this September post with such a wintery picture? We’ve barely crossed the portal from summer into fall and, dear friends, this weekend in central Alberta the thermometer has crawled to just above zero C. While snow is not forecast for our particular area, many places in southern and western Alberta are bracing for an early heavy blast of snow. Alas, my hopes for a prolonged Indian summer have been dashed!

1. Peaceful photography This past week my dear husband drove me around to capture rural autumn photos. Sometimes on these jaunts we grab a beverage before we head out and sometimes it’s just the two of us and my camera. He helps me look for beautiful or unusual scenes or objects in nature to photograph while we spend time together. Sometimes we chat and other times we quietly reflect on the beautiful area we live in.

2. Eye can still see! One thing I have learned to appreciate in a new way is the ability to see. A vision concern that cropped up as I dealt with many health issues after my surgery was the possibility that my retina was detaching. I was experiencing ongoing bright flashes and large, dark floaters in my eyes. My opthamologist was out of town and her office sent me to the ER for evaluation. Thankfully the retina did not detach and I was simply experiencing one of the inevitable symptoms of aging. I have had eye related issues all of my life. I was diagnosed with amblyopia (lazy eye) and severe astigmatism at age 5 so in one way my eyes have never been that great, but this new condition has me straining to see clearly at times. These floaters are interesting to get used to as there is always “stuff” swimming around in my field of vision. It reminds me of the water in a fish bowl. If you feed your fish too much or do not clean the bowl as often as you should, the water became clouded with little bits of debris. Looking through the debris field while driving at night or in a storm requires extra caution and concentration. Thankfully our bodies adjust and I am very, very grateful that I can still see and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.

3. Community choir As my health improves I am working to be less wearied by social interaction. Joining the community choir run by my oldest daughter has been a step toward that. Saturday we joined her children’s choirs for a short performance in our small town. It’s been fun and challenging and I continue to learn much about music.

4. Of shorts and flip flops We Albertans are a hearty lot, and this time of year I am amused by how many folks wear shorts and sandals or flip flops as temperatures drop and snow threatens to fly. These past few days have been cold and rainy. Stalwart pedestrians I drove past were bent over, hoodies shielding their faces, but still wearing shorts and flip flops. I must admit that I do try and wear my sandals until slush and snow make it too uncomfortable to continue, but no shorts for me!

5. Farewell to gardening…until spring This week I harvested my herbs and picked the remaining green beans from our raised garden beds. I dry the herbs and use them in my cooking over the winter so that, in a sense, my garden stays with me throughout the winter. Yes, I know I can grow herbs indoors over the winter, and perhaps someday I will try and do so, but I still seem to kill off most indoor plants so I’m not really inspired to try growing indoor herbs yet.


Friday’s Fave Five #54

FFF daisies

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I’m heading off to a ladies’ retreat is a little while but wanted to post some very special blessings of the week.

Some of you know that we live near Edmonton, Alberta. We are five hours south of Fort McMurray, where horrendous wildfires have damaged or destroyed much of the city and surrounding area.

A young couple from Fort Mac were looking forward to their wedding this month. They, like almost 90,000 other people, evacuated their homes to wait out the fire in the Edmonton area. Then they learned that they (and thousands of other people) had lost everything to the raging inferno. Everything except the Lord, each other, and a promised future together. They didn’t want to wait any longer and decided to get married right away.

The couple were married by their own pastor last night in a simple backyard ceremony The community joined together to provide many of the things the couple would need to marry. Here’s the story:

So today I am grateful for joy in the midst of sadness.

I am also proud to be an Albertan. People all across the province are reaching out to those in need, housing strangers, driving gas and water to those stranded while fleeing the fire, donating to the Red Cross, providing food, clothing and temporary shelter to many who have lost their earthly goods.

I am also grateful for the many firefighters and other officials who are working tirelessly to try and preserve as much of Fort Mac and other surrounding communities as possible in the face of an ever-growing fire. I am grateful for firefighters and other workers who have come from other provinces (and maybe even other countries) to lend a hand.

I am grateful today for my family. One of my daughters had surgery yesterday and had a good sleep last night. The rest of the family, and many friends have helped, encouraged, and supported her.

I am grateful for the earthly goods God has entrusted to me. In light of the unexpected loss so many have endured, I pray I will be more focused on a godly stewardship of all my ‘things.’

I am grateful for the one thing which never can be taken away, burned up, stolen or changed, my salvation from sin through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

Last week not much of this was on my horizon. Certainly not the terrible fire. We don’t know what a day will bring forth. Find the blessings in your life and be thankful for them.