Tag Archives: memory

Great memories

The wonderful thing about photographs is that they freeze, at it were, moments in time. Last night I found a few photos that really sparked a memory for me. In particular is this photo. Wendy, Leanne, and Jason are sitting outside a cottage that Leanne had rented for a holiday. We all met there to spend some time together.

Wendy and I with the boys lived in Calgary after many years living near family in southern Ontario. Now we were far away and so with tent trailer in tow we had driven across the country to have time together. The summer was warm and sunny and we were really enjoying our vacation.


Our time at the cottage though was unsettling. First, of all Dad had been found to have a small tumor in his lungs and he was clearly troubled. While we were alone he talked about what might be coming and how facing a harder struggle or preparing to die might be necessary. I countered that optimism and faith were preferred. How foolish on my part.

The other unsettling part, at least to me, was that it was clear he wasn’t quite himself. He had always been a big fan of boats and water yet when given the opportunity to head out in the water he preferred to remain as the picture has him, sitting on the deck.

This was the last time we were all together as in September a tumor in the brain was found and by late October, days before his 72nd birthday, he went to be with the Lord.


What does Google know about you

“It’s an unfortunate reality that if you use Google services, Google has more information on you than you think. That means Gmail, Google+, Google Contacts, Google Docs, Google Calendar and other Google applications, along with Android.

The good news is that you can find out how much of your information has been logged with Google so you can take steps to get rid of it. The better news is that you can download all that information to your computer for your personal records so you don’t list it in the cleanup.
Google Takeout is a service from Google that tells you how much information Google has about you. It’s a quick way to see your “Google footprint” across 15 Google services, with more on the way. Your footprint can be composed of your browsing history, contact information, emails and any other information that is being stored on Google’s servers. That could add up to a lot of info. Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything while it’s collecting. Just be patient and the service will let you know when it’s done. Once the information arrives, you can download it.

Services like Google Takeout don’t just shed a little light on what’s going on behind the scenes of Google’s user tracking, they also teach us about exactly how much of our personal info is being tracked.

Download Instructions Go to the Google Takeout page using the link below and click “Create an Archive” to get started. It may take a while. If you’re really active on the web, it can take up to several hours.

You’ll be notified by Google through text or email when your information is ready to download. Click the “My Archives” link to download the zip file to your computer. Your information will be divided into folders, so you can find your contacts, your mail, your pictures and everything else that Google has through your profiles.

“How much information does Google have on you? Find out,” 03/29/2015, “

From the IT newsletter – THQ

Make sure you go to the very bottom of the page when it appears and choose the Windows or Mac file that is appropriate – don’t get caught by the pop up ads!

Things I remember from my Nanny’s house

Because my parents were Salvation Army Officers we moved about the country.  The upside of that is life was something of an adventure – a new home every three years (most often) and numerous schools.  That means many friends in many places in case you wondered what comes from ten schools in thirteen years.

The downside of moving around like that is there’s no homestead.  I didn’t really realize that many families had a homestead until I was much older – in fact it was while we were sitting as pastors in someone’s home watching a family gather that it struck me how precious having a homestead is.

Wendy’s family broke up in her late teens so her homestead was lost as well…yes we are orphans! Well not quite but at times it feels like it when you think about “where home is”.

Since then I’ve thought about my Mom’s Mom – I called her Nanny, a very British term, and my Nanny was a unique woman.  She wasn’t very big but she loved her garden and I always loved going to her home – it was in fact our homestead.

In the early years Nanny’s house was the last on the block – in fact next door was a wheat field and it was always fascinating to see the combine harvesting the wheat while we stood in the driveway. Speaking of the driveway, there was the 55 Cadillac which Nanny drove and always a very cool Chev driven by my aunt Bubs…(her real name is Eileen).  I remember she had two convertible Impalas in a row – one was red with a white leather interior and the next one was white with a red leather interior. The men in the family seemed to have convertible sports cars…but that’s another story.

Inside the house was usually a bowl of peaches, grapes, cherries – the food was always a memory. The house was a ranch style and I remember the living room – playing cars on the carpet – the kitchen table was also the dining room table and I remember sitting there and watching out the window into the backyard.

The backyard was huge – very wide and deep and the garden was big.  I remember eating raw carrots or yellow or green beans.  The warm weather of the Niagara area was always welcoming. I remember drinking from the hose and laughing with my uncle – I haven’t talked about him – he is just a bit older than me so we were, in those days, more like a brother.

All my memories and there are too many to put here are warm, loving, fun (Nanny loved to take us places like the Maid of the Mist or the Toronto Exhibition) and I always loved going to visit the homestead.

I tried to see if I could find a picture of the homestead – not yet – but here’s my Nanny Eastland . She’s in the middle of the photo in yellow and my uncle Jim is standing beside me with my Mom’s hand on his shoulder.