Friday, October 30, 2009

in memory of friends

This has been a sad week. Two friends died, one on Monday and the other on Thursday. Both from long and difficult illnesses. For each it was a release from pain and suffering. For those of us left behind, it is a time of loss. The first friend was only a girl of about nineteen. The other was in her sixties. Both before their time.
I'll continue to light votive candles for them in church. I used to light them with prayers for their release from suffering. Those prayers have been answered in ways that we might not have chosen. Now the prayers will be for their eternal peace.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

day of rest

I'm taking the day off. I woke up this morning about 3 o'clock and made myself a cup of hot milk to get me back to sleep. Then I woke up again at 5, again at 6 and then the alarm went off at 6:30. The plan was to leave the house at 7:30 to go to matins and the early mass. Instead, I decided to roll over and go back to sleep. That didn't happen, but I did decide to take the day off even if I didn't sleep in. According to my Franciscan Rule, I'm supposed to attend Mass twice a week. Well, this week I went on Wednesday evening with the Franciscans to hear Brother Robert Hugh, then again on Thursday morning at St. James. So, although I usually try to make one of the two Masses a Sunday eucharist, it's not happening this week. Maybe today I can actually get a little bit of writing done. I spent all day yesterday at the Surrey Writers Conference, although not attending the conference. I just sat at the SCBWI table in the hall and chatted with friends while promoting the Society's work with children's literature. Gladys and I had a good visit, keeping one another company all day. And we chatted with several other people, especially Ken. It wasn't a "busy" day, but it was "out and about". Today, other than a visit this afternoon or evening to my friend in the hospice, I'm just going to do as I please. Oh, and I do have phone calls to make about the visitations, and I have a lesson to prepare for tomorrow. Not totally a day off after all.

Friday, October 23, 2009

a quick note

This month is as hectic as all the others, but it seems more so somehow. First, there's my tutoring schedule. It's only 8 hours a week, but it involves a lot of time on the road. An hour here, an hour there--or two hours. Then there's my volunteering, which isn't so much really. Just alternate Wednesday mornings at the UBC Farm, and one Sunday morning a month with the Sunday School. Kindergarten hasn't started for me yet, and I don't know if I'll be able to do much when it does, due to travel plans. (More on travel plans later.) But there's also the very sad duty of making daily visits to a friend who is in palliative care and not expected to live very long. We don't stay long with her, so we don't tire her out. Just pop in, massage her elbows and feet with lotion, maybe say a prayer with her if she wants us to, then she either dozes off or a meal comes or maybe another visitor. We leave then. Otherwise, besides a wonderful evening with Brother Robert, a First Order Friar from San Francisco the other night, it's been just everything as usual. No, I forgot! I'm also making daily phone calls and arranging visits for our parish visitations that must be completed this month. Oh yes, and there's writing, isn't there? And reading Harry Potter (the last book) and Anne of Green Gables (the first book). Gotta go now. Tutoring, etc.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

correspondence with TouchWood Editions

It's hard to wait for word from a publisher. On one hand, I kept telling myself that no news was good news. Still, I waited to learn about the manuscript that was "in the hands of a reader". The editor had told me this, and said that I could contact her if I had questions. Well, I didn't have any special questions other than, "Will you publish my book?" Rather than be a nuisance, I waited from sending the ms in April until after the summer was over, mid-September. But I got no answer, so I tried again a couple of weeks later. Still no answer. With businesses closing and the economy in an uproar, I was no longer sure that no news was good news. So, a few days ago, I tried again, this time also asking if the editor was indeed getting my email messages. Turns out she was. She responded within minutes, apologizing for being so slow, and saying that my ms was "in the hands of a reader." I responded right away, expressing relief at having had an answer, and saying that I could wait. Yes, I can wait. But it still isn't easy!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

visiting Franciscans

Today, we celebrated St. Francis Day at St. James Church. A little early, but that's okay. Like many churches, we had a blessing of the animals. Our cat had the third blessing of her life. She loves going to church! She also joins my husband and me when we say our morning and evening prayers. A real religious cat. The church was bouncing with dogs of all shapes and sizes. Cats were in cages, for the most part. (Some daring children carried their kittens in their arms.) And for the first time, hopefully not the last, our church invited the Vancouver Police Department to bring their horses and dogs for a blessing. They actually showed up! We had four horses and one representative of the dog squad lined up on the street outside the church, and the priests went down and blessed each of them. The congregation watched from the church steps. After the blessing, the children of the church were invited to go down and pet the horses and police dog.
That wasn't the end of St. Francis celebrations. Our fellowship group had two visitors from England, who wanted to renew their vows while they were in Vancouver. So, we had a special Mass in the Lady Chapel for them. After that we had our fellowship meeting in the Bishops' Room, and some tea and cookies to keep us going. My son accompanied us to the Animal Blessing so he could take the cat home for us. We couldn't expect the poor little puss to stay in her cage for the whole afternoon!

pretty note

I keep forgetting to mention a nice little corner of my almost-non-existent garden. My partner at the UBC Farm last year gave me some plants in April. One was a little clump "michaelmas daisies". I've been watching it, because I didn't know what to expect. One nice surprise was that it burst into bloom ON St. Michael's Day, September 29th. I know they're called Michaelmas daisies, but I was surprised that they actually chose that day to bloom. Pretty little blue daisies. I'll look forward to seeing them every year on that day.