Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Church Things

Last night the Husband and I went to a church thing. Most of the time, I like church things. Not everything and not all the time though. The music last night was great. The drummer, phenomenal!

We go to a Bible thumping, miracle believing, hands in the air kind of church. It's as pentecostal on a Tuesday night as anything you've ever seen. One service a month everyone just lets loose. Sundays are much more structured.

I come from a conservative Mennonite background. Self control is key. Clap during a song that you find particularly inspiring and looks get sent your way as if to say "you are SO worldly." Other worldly faults include: praying out loud when someone else is praying, dancing, drinking wine, and generally having too much fun. I hear this church has relaxed somewhat since I left many years ago and even *gasp* has drums in their Sunday services!

I think I fit somewhere in the middle. I have a quiet faith that's personal to me. It's not the same as everyone else's, it's an individual fit. I'm not uptight about rules and I don't like judging people or their actions. I don't like to sell what I believe to others any more than I enjoy an Amway person trying to get me in on their pyramid. And trust me, I'm more afraid of these kinds of schemes than I am of the end of the world. Actually, it's more of a hatred. I'd rather sit naked in the middle of a field in a thunderstorm than have an Amway rep hit me up. But that's a different post. I do like to live what I believe, not sell it.

I like that our church lets realizes that not everyone shares all parts of their faiths. I like that we can have variety and diversity. I love the small group we've found a home in. I love the fact that I can attend a church without ever hearing any gossip or church politics. I HATE church politics. The main speaker is funny and talks about things that are relevant to my life. It's great that they have a service on Saturday as well as Sunday for us shift working types. It means we can actually participate. I like walking in sometimes and having no one recognize me. I also like being recognized sometimes.

But sometimes. Sometimes I don't want to go to the front to ask for healing. My spine may be twisted, and trust me, I've asked for a miracle. I also believe I received one and that my emotional healing is a bigger gift than physical ever would be. I can't pray out loud when everyone else is praying out loud. I can't "speak in tongues". I'm not even sure what that's all about. When a pastor asks us to turn and touch the person on our left and pray for them, all I can think of is "someone I don't know is touching me". When the crowd is told to come to the front for whatever reason, I just might excuse myself and go to the bathroom or wander the halls for a while. When a song is played over and over and over again and people get louder and louder, I stand uncomfortably in my quiet waiting for it to be over, wondering if there was a pill I was forgetting to take before entering the sanctuary that would give such ecstasy.

I don't know that any "institution" as such would fit me perfectly. And I'm okay with that. As long as we agree on the important things that bring us together, I feel ok about not fitting in entirely. I like being my own person. It reminds me that I'm not a carbon copy, that I have my own brain. I think worship is personal and there is no right or wrong way. I believe quiet is as effective as loud. And sometimes, if I need to walk out of a service for a while, that's okay too.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


It's official - it's spring! How do I know, you may ask? Bridge Drive In (BDI) is open for the season!


Heavy fog at night is magical. Catapulted from earth, you enter the heavens. Temporarily your car loses it's wheels, instead growing wings. Street lamps cast a dim orange glow that barely reaches it's intended destination. Your spaceship glides through the clouds, fueled by sweet music instead of fossil fuels. The contrast between city and country disappears as lights from nearby towns become distant galaxies. The occasional penetration of your personal sphere by oncoming spaceships seems friendly, their lights casting a halo. You fully believe that should you choose to stop connecting the white dashes that appear two at a time before you, that you would float into infinite softness.

Landing is the hard part. Gliding into a brightly lit box, you turn the key to the "off" position. WHAM! Back on earth.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Body Wars

The first time I recall being aware of my body shape was when I was 12 or 13. Mum had bought (or sewed?) a new dress for me and I was fitting it on. The hem didn't fall straight. We adjusted it back and forth before mum realized that the dress was straight... it was the girl who was crooked.

Ever since I was diagnosed with scoliosis, I've been somewhat body conscious. In high school I wore hoodies to hide my uneven shoulders. In my early adulthood I waged an all out war on my body. I misused my body in more ways than I care to recall. I saw the body as separate from the mind. I wanted to be stronger than my body's needs and desires, seeing it as an enemy to be defeated. I thought if I could live above the demands of my human form I would somehow reach a higher level spiritually. I wanted my body to be a slave to my mind.

In Guelph I started tackling this issue, but never really identified it. I learned to be gentle with myself when I was angry. To eat when I was hungry, relax when I was tired. Shortly after, I met The Husband who taught me that it was ok to wear clothes that fit, encouraging me to wear clothes that made me feel good about myself.

I just realized and recognized what I've been doing, over the last week. After a yoga session, the instructor told us to lay down, recognize the hard work our bodies had just done for us, and thank it by resting before scurrying off. I'd never thought of my body as a strong and capable vessel before. I'd only eve wanted to dominate it. How much stronger and healthier would I be if I could integrate the two? This is my new goal. It won't be overnight, but just recognizing it feels like a pretty good start to me.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I miss my sister. I realized that yesterday while sweating it out in a hot yoga class with a friend who had 2 sisters with her. I only have one. She's far away in England exploring the world and doing all kinds of fun things.

We shared a bedroom for the better part of our growing up years. We were so different, her and I. Then, and even now, I often think we have nothing in common. She was quiet. I was loud. She liked solitary. I hated it. She wanted me to play Barbies with her. That made me gag. I'd push her buttons until she'd become angry. We did horse 4H together and enjoyed that. Sometimes we'd saddle up and ride together. But even that, we mostly did on our own.

We see each other on holidays and vacations now and we always get along. In between times we don't keep in touch as well as we should. We start emailing and then one of us always ends up falling off the wagon and it's months before we communicate again.

It may sound like our relationship is awkward. It really isn't. We're pretty good at just being together. We can pick up our relationship where it left off any time and it's comfortable. We were each other's maids of honor at our weddings. We love each other deeply.

And days like yesterday, I just wanted to call her up and invite her. To try doing yoga together. Or to join me for a cup of java and one of mum's cinnamon buns. I just wanted her around. To remind me of my family. To remind me of who I am, and why I am.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

If I Were Dog

In contrast to my last blog..

If I were Dog I wouldn't change a thing. If I were Dog the most precious gift you could give me would be a stick. A simple walk in the park would make me cry. Ultimate contentment could be found with an invitation on the bed to snuggle with my people. If I were Dog I would recognize who my Master was and obey. Usually. If I were Dog others would clean up after me. Humans would ensure that I could never reproduce and my infertility would never upset me. If I were Dog I could touch people's hearts by putting my head on their laps and never saying a thing.

I could learn a lot from Dog.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

If I Were God

If I were God, I would do things differently around here. I think I'd try to make things more fair. I would realize when people have had enough. Enough of pain and enough of tragedy. I would see when people were about to break, and I would send them good things instead of bad. I would carry fragile hearts and protect them.

My perspective may be very small.

But if I were God, I would do things differently.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Donuts with Daddy

I drove past a special place last night. The Robin's Donuts on Lagimodiere and Bishop Grandin...

When I was a kid, Robin's was a special treat.

Sometimes Dad would have to take a load of pigs in to the market in the evening. And sometimes he would invite me along. We'd climb into the rusty old ford and hit the road. The box of the truck was extended higher by pieces of plywood Dad had cut to fit, and the pigs were on board. Trucks on the farm were never meant to be toys. No, they were for work. And real work meant eating sunflower seeds. Being in the truck meant we were working, so it was ok to spit the shells directly onto the floor of the cab. Sometimes we'd listen to AM radio. Sometimes we'd just get caught up.

Once at the market, Dad would unload the hogs while I waited in the cab. I would bounce around the cab while the large animals fought and squealed to stay on the truck, seemingly knowing their fate. I'd help by... eating sunflower seeds. (To this day I believe the stock prod is a fabulous invention which could be utilized as a valuable rehabilitation tool for certain patients)

Dad would climb back into the cab and we'd drive around to the back of the building where he would sweep out the dirty straw before heading back on the road.

I always wished for a donut at Robin's on the way home. I may even have hinted in this regard. Subtly, I'm sure. Usually I got it. If we sat inside to eat instead of taking it "to go", it was extra special. And we'd sit there, Dad and I. And for a few minutes, all was right with the world because my Dad was with me, and there was no problem too big for my Daddy.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thank God

As it turns out, had I gone to work the day that I didn't... I might not be here right now. There was a fatal accident on the perimeter highway yesterday morning at 0830hrs that would have been EXACTLY where I would be driving if I had left work on time on any given day. A northbound truck lost control and went over the median into an oncoming car. The woman in the car died on scene.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Snow Day

I'm on my stretch of 3 12hr night shifts in a row. This evening I checked the highway conditions. "Slippery sections" on the #1, it reported.

I didn't even start out early. I've driven in worse than "slippery" before. I merrily made my way on to the perimeter highway. Started out fine going west. Of course, there the highway is sheltered by a not-so-beautiful garbage dump. I wondered to myself why everyone coming towards me was going so slow. I soon found out.

10 minutes into my drive I had seen 5 vehicles in the ditch, including a semi trailor that had slipped off a clover leaf. I called work - about an hour away. "What are the roads like closer to you?" I questioned. Freezing rain, was the report. I said I would continue to drive and see how it went. No, I was told, turn around and go home. No job is worth your life or limb. It's funny how I need someone to tell me that.

And so I am home. I don't get paid for storm days. But I am going to enjoy this one. No, tonight I won't be doing a love clean in the house for the husband. Tonight I am going to have a hot bath, burn a new candle, wear fuzzy pj's. I am going to eat icecream and curl up on the couch with a warm puppy and watch movies. I will stay up till 4 AM so that I am prepped for night shift tomorrow. I will do whatever my little heart desires.

I leave you with a picture of undignified and
enthusiastic love for snow, storms, and wintery

Monday, March 5, 2007


My mum's side of the family is large and spread out. I'm close to my mum's sister and get along with everyone else. But this weekend I realized that I'm missing out on knowing a lot of my cousins. Most of them don't live in the city. However, there are a few here that I hardly know. So this weekend I tried something new. I went out with my 2 cousins who are 14 and 17. I couldn't even believe how much fun we had together. We talked about anything and everything. No topic was off limits, really. I want to hang out with them on a regular basis now. Hopefully they do too. Besides, they make me feel like a teenager again, and that's really fun. Next time, movies, pool, and good food. Or maybe some pampering at a spa?

Makes me wonder what other relationships I'm missing out on.