Sunday, September 21, 2014

Church Twice Today

It happens to me sometimes- an insistent thought that pesters me into mobility. Even in the quiet, coffee fuelled space of a sacred Sunday morning.

I haven't gone to church with my parents for about twenty-five years or more.

But this morning, I got that urge. So I made my way to the Kehlers to find mom's Sunday shoes waiting by the door. Dad had on his grey wool suit and asked mom twice if he had written a cheque to the church yet this month? He told me that his legs weren't working this morning, and when he wasn't looking, mom told me he refused to use his walker and that he wouldn't stop eating tomatoes.

I didn't mean to, but a few tears rolled down my cheeks when mom asked- why do you come to Steinbach for church when you have a church in your own town? And I told her- I thought it was "A God Thing". Which is what I say when I get the weird urges to do these things. But I was crying too for dead babies, and old dads who get tottery and forgetful, and the impossibility of it all.

Then dad asked mom- "Where'd I put the cheque book?" and I thought about my dignified dad whose worst fear was becoming a burden, losing his mind, and losing his body.

We were early for church, which we drove two blocks down the street to and parked in handicap zone right in front of the door to wait for the church to empty from German service. Dad asked- where did we regularly attend church? I paused and said- we're not so regular, dad. And I sighed but no more tears leaked down.

The message was about the sign of the beast and fire breathing dragons and there was some mention of Robin Williams dying because even though he had it all, there was some unbearable emptiness left in him that couldn't be filled.

I suddenly felt terribly, terribly tired.

In the afternoon, I went to church again.

There were songs and words and a lot of tears.

And there wasn't a single word that could really fill that unbearable emptiness.

Outside, the sun shone impossibly warm and the trees dropped lively orange onto the green grasses. Two babies tottered across the parking lot crying "Mo? Mo?" and eating their mama's offerings like baby birds.

While my old dad looked around for his cane, and his tomatoes, and his chequebook.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Harvest Moon Festival

I love choosing a mountain of wooly sock and sweater goodness in anticipation of the Harvest Moon Festival.

We will be chasing the chill all weekend in our long underwear.

In perfectly toasty footwear.

I love setting up in the Southwind. Brian and I get the mirror room in the back, but the drive down is always spent snuggled up in Hank and Marie's nest behind the drivers seat.

I love tucking all my chins into my friend's shoulder for the celebratory road trip up to Clearwater. It'll be the last time in a while that we will see any of our skin bare.

Our bed is spread with munchie snacks and tastey sips. Occasionally we make the "honk, honk!" semi truck arm salute to the men miles ahead of us behind the steering wheel.

It's always wise to pack the spare key.

We are headed towards spontaneous dance parties.

and toasty campfires.

High end 6 Star sleeping accomodations.

My precious daughters are there, cuddled up under quilts and toques, waiting for Royal Canoe, enjoying the sights and sounds, and piling up like kittens in their tents at night to try and stay warm.
Sometimes bands gather up around us, and we are swept up in song.

The water drum and costco granola drums never sounded so good.

Even the dogs are compelled to sing.

People think we're telling big, bold lies when we talk about how much fun we had camping in four degrees. But we weren't defying premature winter so much as we were celebrating life, all bundled in socks, and moccs and curling into one another.

On this harvest moon.