Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"The future is something which reaches everyone at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is." C.S. Lewis

Well, back on January 1 of this year, I was hoping to contribute more to this blog. It is now August and that obviously hasn't happened. I must say though that my journalling has picked up speed and I am trying to stay consistent with that.
Summer began in May with the arrival of our two youngest back to the nest for their respective jobs. It was an adjustment for Andrew and I after being empty nesters for a bit, however we discovered that adult children can be fun to have around (sometimes). Our annual trek to Harvey Lake and 2 glorious sunny weeks proved to be a balm for our souls. The most revealing book I read this summer was 'Simply Tuesday' by Emily Freeman and would recommend it. There was lots of other reading done and some knitting projects started and finished which was satisfying. Andrew spent many hours in the kayak, just relaxing and taking a much deserved break from his work. We also had the chance to visit with some really sweet girls and renew our friendship and relationship with our granddaughters in Fredericton. We cherish this time together as we dream about the future and what that might look like for us.

 Securing the ropes so we don't lose the kayaks enroute.

 Happened upon a used bookstore in Amherst. Thousands of books piled everywhere in a large warehouse type building. We could have spent hours there.

 A beautiful sunrise on one of my many early morning walks. A verse from Lamentations came to mind on this new day - His compassions never fail, they are new every morning.

And finally, a blog on Harvey Lake would not be complete without a sunset picture. We were treated to many of these.

And now I will continue on with a post of our trip to Quebec City. It's catch up time!!

Je me souviens

It has been a whirlwind this past week, but thoroughly enjoyable and so thankful I could spend these days in Quebec City. Andrew was speaking at the 8th International Strawberry Symposium and I decided it was high time I visited this province. It would mean scouting around by myself which seems rather daunting in the beginning, but as I acquainted myself with the layout of the city and now have a well worn map, I enjoyed every minute. It was my first trip here and it has been a treat and an education. I so wish I had paid more attention in history and french class in high school. Back then, I had no interest and just managed to squeak through and get the necessary credits. However, I must say that as I ventured around this quaint and compact city, some of those french words translated into english pretty quick. I will try to capture and share with you some of the highlights.

View from our hotel window. These folks fly their flag(s) proudly.

This was my morning view as I strolled toward old Quebec, very picturesque with the Laurentian Mts. in the background.

The Quebecois are very supportive of the fine arts and encourage lots of sculpture. The logging industry was big business here at one point in their history.

Samuel de Champlain holds a prominent position in this city - very central and very large.

A view from the upper part of old Quebec looking towards the St. Lawrence. Cruise ships frequent this port but must come around Ile d'Orleans as this part of the river is too shallow.

And if you want your roof to stand out - paint it red!

A street view from lower Quebec with Chateau Frontenac on the upper level. Quebec is a compact city and very hilly - I have certainly had my exercise the last few days!

In the lower part of Quebec there are intricately painted trompe de l'oeil. Really stunning to look at and amusing to watch children try to continue up the path.

Another trompe de l'oeil. So beautiful.

There are many street musicians (buskers) in Quebec and a lot of them seem to be middle age. This guy was playing a harp and to my uneducated ears was very talented.

This gives you a sense of how steep the walls are here and the imaginative use of fire escape patios.

Another musician playing the kettle drums but it was all one piece and I'm not sure what the horn was but the music was really neat.

Pretty Quebec.

One of the 4 gates leading into old Quebec. 

This was an open window shop and the smell of popcorn coming out this large window was too enticing. We stopped and purchased an expensive bag of popcorn on our way to Crepuscule. We were both amazed at this outdoor, after dark performance and bonus, it was free!!

View of the Bassin Louise - many dollars tied up here!!

 I ventured out one day with the purpose of finding a staircase from lower Quebec up to the Plains of Abraham - kind of retracing General Wolfe's steps and after seeing how steep it was, questioned my sanity - it was a very hot day and had already walked 5 km but determination won out and up I went. 396 steep steps later, I was quite exhausted but satisfied I had accomplished it.

 The Plains of Abraham - the thought of over 1200 soldiers dying or injured here made me pause and and think about the pivotal role this battle played in Canada's history.

 Giant flower pots (think Alice in Wonderland) adorn a roundabout in Quebec City. New Minas???

 Our last night's stroll along the river with a very romantic full moon to guide our way.

Quebec hosts an international fireworks competition and we were treated to an amazing display over the St. Lawrence River on our last evening. Thank-you!!

If you ever have an opportunity to visit this beautiful, romantic, historical city, I would highly recommend it. Photos of Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, Montmorency Falls, Albert Gilles Copper Art Museum, chocolaterie de L'Ile d'Orleans, can be found through the links - all places I saw and loved. A very memorable trip, ranking in the top 5 trips I've taken in my life.

Friday, January 1, 2016

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

Mornings are a challenge for me. Waking too early and the darkness at this hour prevents me from venturing outside. Wanting to pursue more writing this year, I take the opportunity of the peace and stillness at this hour to do just this. Thoughts and prayers whirl in my head at this hour and sleep evades me. Beginning 2016, my heart goes to my beautiful family, so as I think about them, I also pray for them.

For Pamela ~ May you find peace and contentment in this new year that we have been given. As I watch your family grow and blossom, it gives me so much pleasure to see your gifts being used in your home and your love showered on Tim and the girls. My prayer for you is that you would continue to grow in your faith. Find time each day for you. I know this can be very difficult with a young family underfoot, but believe me, it is vital, not only for your health, but for your loved ones as well. Committing your time and energy wholeheartedly to your husband and girls is no easy task, but draw your strength from your heavenly Father - giver of all good gifts. 

For Kathryn ~ May you live life to the full, embracing all it has to offer. Visiting with you in October, gave me perspective on some of the challenges you face without close familial support. And yet, as you seek out fellow Christ followers, you have built that extended family around you. Seeing the church care for and love you so well, gives me hope for this world. To live and work in a such a beautiful country (with no snow!!) kind of makes me jealous of your keen sense of adventure and willingness to jump in with both feet!! I pray for God's protection and love to surround you all each day. He will never leave you or forsake you.

For Heather ~ May you always find joy in life, no matter what. Through some difficult life experiences, I have seen you reach deeper and lean into the prayers of your family. Always know that we support you and love you through it all. Be open to seeking wise counsel when needed and be confident in the hope that God gives to each of us. I see your genuine love extended to both guys in your life and your positivity and outlook inspire me. 

For Sarah ~ My prayer for you is that you would seek God first above all other relationships. He will never fail you and will always love you unconditionally. Know that truth. He can be your best friend, if you let Him. Never settle for less. As you find your place in this world as a nurse, remember your roots and the legacy you have been given. It is strong and good and sure. Praying that 2016 will bring you much joy and satisfaction in finishing up your course. The love you have for  nursing is evident in the care you give to those who need it. 

For Anna ~ My prayer for you is that you would grow strong and nurture your faith. Be open and willing to accept and grasp the goodness of our God who will never let you go. Claim and share the promises of the Bible. In the past 2 years, I have seen you step out of your comfort zone and experience life outside 'the Valley'. It is good to see your confidence grow as you become the woman God created you to be.

So, girls, as I sit here and ponder what 2016 will bring to us all, one thing I do know for sure is that my life and your lives are in God's hands.  Each of you have given me more joy than I could ever have imagined and God has given me the distinct privilege of loving you all more than words could ever say. I am so very thankful and proud to call you my daughters. May your new year be exciting and full of opportunities to serve others.