Category Archives: family

Palm Desert

Our good friend Karen let us use her condo in Palm Desert for a late January vacation.  We had intended to be there in early February but based on the availability of her place we moved our vacation schedule up a week.  Boy, are we glad we did that!  Just as winter decided to really ramp up the cold and snow we had arrived in the southern California desert.  While it was minus 30 or so at home we were enjoying day time highs of about 80 for the most part.

We visited The Living Desert – a display of animals and desert plants that takes you along a 1.4-mile stroll.  The trees canopied the walkway and various oasis was set as you walked along you to sit and rest if you needed.  The foliage from the desert was fascinating and we enjoyed the animals too.

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If you’ve ever watched the television program MASH you’ll know the kind of topography – dry dusty hills – mountains as a matter of fact – but with the desert foliage and lack of rain they are very brown but take on a lovely shade of purple as the sun sets.



Towards the end of the walkthrough, The Living Desert is a remarkably large train display.  I was really taken with the work that had gone into making this look like a town in which the train flowed through and serviced the area.  They had set up canyons with long trestle bridges and running water as well as farms with all the sound effects of the animals being in the barnyard.

 It was a great place to visit and we would recommend it if you were visiting in the area.


It’s just one of those pictures

cofI was at our conference centre this week to discuss some matters and we decided, as it was quiet there, to sit by the fire for our meeting. I had to take a picture.

I have always hoped, though the likelihood of this is slim, to have a fireplace in our retirement home.  I can’t think of anything I like better in a home. We’ve not had many in our years of moving about but when we did I greatly appreciated both the warmth and the light of a fireplace.

So on this day, while the meeting was productive, the fire was ssoooooo delightful!

And just like that, it’s 2019

Another year has arrived – another birthday passed for me, another Christmas come and gone! We didn’t travel this year to the surprise of many of our friends.  Instead, we were home and were delighted to have Cath, Terry, Noah, Laura, and Mom with us for Christmas dinner. We haven’t been home for Christmas in many years – perhaps ten…not sure but it’s been a while.

It is really wonderful to be able to have family around and to share in such a meaningful and important meal! When do most families get together – it’s usually on high holidays and it’s usually around a table.  Wendy did a spectacular job of having everything perfect! The food, the table, the decorations – what a great setting!

We did have Jason with us for a few days as he prepares to start his internship in Ottawa.  That too was wonderful and cause for much celebration.


But now it’s the new year and the return to routine is before us.

I was telling someone recently of the Sunday in Ottawa when during the morning meeting I heard the Lord – yes I really did – tell me to ask the congregation if there was someone with “a word for us”.  This was not a normal practice for me or for the corps people so I didn’t act on it.  After the service a man, visiting from out of town approached me looking for some company for lunch – long story short – at lunch with him He told me that he had awoken that morning in his hotel room, and though he had never been to a Salvation Army corps, the Lord told him to go to give us a message.

I was floored as I suddenly understood what God had been trying to do in our presence. We had just finished three very hard years of dealing with a horrible internal issue and we were looking for healing. On that Sunday he told me that we were to continue in our faithful ways and “a time of refreshing would be coming”.

I had no idea what that would look like, but indeed some months later a time of refreshing began through the most unlikely of people in the corps who shared her story of hurt and what she called “demons”.

I remember it vividly.

So now I am praying, that 2019 will be a time of refreshing – not for the corps or for The Army though that is needed, but for our family.

I found this video recently, not the best production but the lady has a wonderful voice and is singing a song, though old, is one of my favourites and I have been humming it for some time.  Enjoy.