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Showing posts from September, 2012

Sudden Showers

By Belinda

I haven't finished my "Summer Past" series of posts. I have a feeling that there will be several more installments and I don't want to rush them. This is just a brief moment of diversion.

It was the end of the morning service and I made my way to the back of the church to say hello to Paul's mum. After several health issues she has lost a lot of weight since the photo above. She was always petite in height; about 5 ft.(maybe not quite) to my 5 ft. 8 in.; but at 86, she stands tall on the inside, even when gripping the handlebars of her walker.

I asked her how she was, and told her that I heard she'd been digging her garden. She laughed and said, yes, she'd planted some bulbs. I told her how she amazes me with what she accomplishes. "I'm determined," she said, with a smile, raised eyebrows and a look in her blue eyes that left no doubt. Paul comes by his focus and drive honestly.

I was overcome by my love for this woman, and leaned in …

Summer Past, Part 3

By Belinda


I had settled into a spot next to Shan in a pew near the front of the church. Dave and other friends were behind us, in the wheelchair accessible seating. 

Next to me, as I sat down, I noticed a lavender umbrella, and on the floor a matching purse. A few minutes later, their owner, a slightly built, older woman, with short white hair, arrived, carrying cushions to soften the unyielding wood of the well polished pews.

Seeing the crowd of us that had arrived with Dave and Joe, she began to gather her belongings, "To make more space for the people," she said.

I insisted that she stay, pointing out, "You are one of the people!" And she yielded, sitting down beside me after all, and turning out to be a lively and entertaining pew mate, who provided a running commentary throughout the service.

The church was celebrating its 39th anniversary that week, and giving out medals too, to members who were celebrating 10, 20, 25 or 30 years of attendance (of which there wer…

Summer Past, Part 2

By Belinda

To continue with the story of our visit to MCC...

Brenda was home alone that Sunday in mid July, so I invited her to come too, with Susan and I, to the ceremony during which our friends Dave and Joe would be honoured. 

We all set out early for the 11 o'clock service on Simpson Avenue in downtown Toronto; prepared for traffic and leaving time to find a parking space. It turned out that the traffic was surprisingly light, and we drove without a pause, to the church. 

I saw Dave and Joe making their way to the church, and Joe waving us to drive around the streets to find a parking spot, since there is none at the church. But almost immediately we found a spot, right outside the church. Susan got out to check for "no parking signs," and finding none, we considered the spot ours!

The old tree lined street was full of people making their way to the church on foot and I noticed how many of them were men. 

Dave was surrounded by an entourage that included a striking, dark h…

Summer Past

By Belinda

September is almost over but I have thoughts of summer sitting on the shelf of memory like jars of brightly coloured jam; and before more time goes by I want to share.

It was back in July when my dear friends Dave and Joe invited Susan and I to join them with other friends, for the presentation of an award they were to receive. The award was for service to the community in the area of abuse prevention. It was being presented by the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto.

I would not have missed this opportunity to witness the honouring of friends, but I was also curious and interested to visit the church, which defines itself as "A house of prayer for all people," and particularly welcomes people of all sexual orientations.

But for this special event, I probably would never have had an opportunity or reason to attend the church, and I felt as though I was embarking on an adventure; a visit to a "new country."

I was also looking forward to seeing Dave and Jo…

Three Gifts

By Belinda

I have been beset by busyness lately, with no apparent let up in the very near future! This is part of the reason that I have been very quiet here.

Tonight as I prepared to leave the office for a stretch of four days, I packed up my luggage to take home. Well, really it is only two briefcases, but it feels like luggage, because of the quantity of stuff I "lug" in it.:) 

I also had a list of supplies to bring home for our work fall barbecue on Saturday, so I made a pile in the hallway outside my office door, of a big storage box full of plastic cutlery, topped by paper plates, cups and napkins. I began mentally preparing for the transporting of said pile and "luggage" to my vehicle in the parking lot across the road.

At 6.00 I was almost ready to leave when my eye spied a hand written note that had been slipped under my door earlier that day. It told me that one of the people we support would like me to please call because he had something to tell me.

I picked…

Sigh of relief

Intro by Belinda
I'm smiling at the unexpected blessings God is sending my way since I decided to "wait;" like this guest post from author and speaker, Brenda J. Wood, of Heartfelt Devotionals, in the green in this photo. She is a member of our writers group, the Writers Nest, which met yesterday evening at my place, and this was Brenda's contribution to our topic, "The Empty Nest." Her quirky humour always makes me laugh out loud! Photos by yours truly, with those snapped of me being captured by Vena's fascinating story; taken by Susan Stewart! :)
By Brenda J. Wood

“Finally,” I moaned to myself with a slight speck of delight, “It’s over. They’ve left. I’m free.
I poured every bit of energy I had into tonight’s family reunion. I am as empty as the house now, but I can finally put my feet up and relax, at least until next time.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy their company, because I do, but it is so much work. I’ve spent hours over the years trying to train…

The Journey

Intro by Belinda: I wrote about "waiting" a couple of days ago. Little did I know that God would send something beautiful to Whatever He Says, but not through my keyboard! I love how he delights in sending surprises. And by the way, when you read the story below, in case there is any doubt, I loved every single moment of this particular "journey." I hesitated for the briefest moment to share what Ang wrote, because it involved me and my camera, but her writing is just to good, and the story too. Enjoy.
By Angela Catrambone
She didn’t just take some pictures that day…point a lens and click away amidst the giggles and distractions.
No, she wove a tale and walked me through a journey.
Zia had been visiting from Rome and was hoping for photos of the family. We had a portrait from years ago and some from school, but wanted fresh ones to give, so he asked Belinda, her of the large lens and heart to match.
She said sure and we made a date, drove over that evening in the fading…

Hearts Across the Water

By Belinda

My friend Dave asked me on Saturday, "So how is your brother?"

"Well, we haven't talked for a while," I said.

It sounded and felt strange to say that. Our weekly Saturday morning phone calls have been sacrosanct for some nine years after all. 


But I wrote here in early August about how the the loss of someone sometimes means other losses,  or at least the need to redefine other relationships. And that is what we have been doing, my brother and I; finding a new way to be with, and to, one another.

I called him a few weeks ago and panicked when I couldn't reach him. So silly! I sent a frantic message through Face Book, to my nephew and his girlfriend, seeking reassurance that he was okay. He surfaced safely, a little bemused at my worry, having been with an old neighbour, keeping her company, out on a bench in "the close!"

We decided that we didn't have to stick to 10 o'clock on Saturdays anymore, that had been "Mum's routine.&…

By Way of Explanation

By Belinda

Dear blog friends, I thought I should explain why I haven't written much over the past week, but I'm not sure that I can--explain it, that is! 

It has been busy in my corner of the universe, but it's more than that. I love to write, but I want to write at God's prompting, and usually that's just how it goes.  

Recently I've felt quietened; stilled. Not in a bad way, but sort of in a "waiting way." It's like I really am waiting for what he wants me to say, and when he wants me to say it. Whether it's a funny story about one of the many quirky things that happen in my life, or a reflective post, he prompts them all and I would never want it any other way.

I'm not going away; just waiting.  I hope you'll wait with me!

On the Brink

By Belinda

It is the weekend of new beginnings, whether a new grade, a new school, or university. Susan spent part of the past two weeks kitting out and setting up an apartment in New Brunswick for her son Joel who will be there for the next four years studying surveying. On Sunday his dad took him to the airport. We are all going to miss him, but none so much as Susan and Ron.

On Sunday we stood at the back of the church after service, chatting; Jake, Summer, Heather and I; about their plans going into the fall. Jake has a full time job and plans to work and save so that he can pursue his dream of working in film production; Summer just graduated grade 12 but is going back to upgrade a few courses and Heather is just starting grade 12. All of them so full of promise I get a buzz just from listening to their dreams; catching the excitement; praying while I listen, blessing their lives.


Kiki, Rebecca and Tippy went north with Paul in August to a First Nation 2000 kilometers and a world aw…

Moving Day

By Belinda

Their home had a stork on the lawn, announcing the birth of their first daughter, when they moved in, 14 years ago. Two brothers and a sister came along since then, to fill the little house with love, laughter and memories.

In those14 years the house has been spruced up, painted many times, re-roofed, had energy efficiency upgraded and a deck built, but without expanding the walls, it was just too small, and yesterday, the time came to move.

Paul and I were part of the moving crew, and of course, my camera came along for the ride. 

Pete closed the door on 9 Purdue Court for the last time. Both he and Sue had walked the empty rooms one last time and said their goodbyes.

The house had been scrubbed clean, and now all we had to wait for was a call from the lawyer, to say that the key to the new house could be picked up, but it was 33 degrees and we had all worked up a sweat. The only place to wait was the deliciously cool Dairy Queen!

We didn't have long to wait. The last ves…