Saturday, June 07, 2014

Connecting With An Old Friend

We first met when we were about nine years old.  We quickly became friends - best friends.  We were in the same class, but I think she had started coming to my school when we were in grade four (I seem to recall her being in my brother's class), but I don't know if we had become friends then.  I do remember that we were in the same class in grade five, and that's where our friendship developed.

I don't remember specifics about playing together, outside of school, but I do remember going to her house or her coming to mine.  I also somewhat remember her little brother (who was probably a year or two younger than us) playing with us sometimes.  It's been over 30 years since we last saw each other.

At the end of grade five, my family moved to New Brunswick and I was quite upset about losing my best friend.  Somewhere along the line, I had acquired a decoration for my bed.  It was a red octopus made from yarn.  It's tentacles were thickly braided, and the round head had been tied off (giving it a head shape).  I put that octopus on the centre of my bed, tentacles spread out, and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.  Before we moved, I gave it to V.

For a few years, V and I would exchange letters via snail mail (this was before the internet, before email, texting, and Facebook), but as we grew older we gradually lost touch.  Over the years I've thought about her, wondered what she was doing and where she might be living.  When Facebook came out, every so often I would try to search for her with no luck.  I tried to Google her name, hoping something would come up, but I had no luck with that either.  I figured she had married and without her new last name (providing, of course, that she took her husband's name) I wouldn't be able to find her.  I never really gave up trying to find her again.

Last night, we reconnected!

You see, back in October, I was searching Facebook for her again.  I remember she had two brothers, though I couldn't recall her older brother's name.  I was fairly certain of her younger brother's name.  I tried searching for his name on Facebook.  I came across a man with his name, but since I also hadn't seen him in over 30 years, I had no idea if it was B.  I decided to try my luck.  I sent a message with details of where V and I had lived (very close together) and mentioned about being in the same class, etc.  I mentioned that I have been trying to connect with her for so long, and if he were indeed her brother, B, I wondered if he could put me in contact with her.

I waited a few days for a response, and after not receiving one, I sent a message to a woman on his friend's list with the same first name has V.  Again, I gave details that might spark a couple of memories.  I never heard anything back.  I assumed I had the wrong people and felt a little disappointed.

About three weeks ago, I received a reply from the man I had messaged.  He had only come across my message (and several others he didn't know he had).  This was indeed V's brother, B!  He said I should contact her (and yes, that was V in his friend's list) directly.  Well, I became busy with work and was sick for a little while, so I hadn't been able to send another message to V.

Last night, V contacted me!  My message had gone to her spam folder so she hadn't seen it.  She'd been talking with B that day and he had mentioned me contacting him and said she should check her spam folder to see if I had sent her a message.  She did, and then she replied.

We messaged back and forth for a little while, doing a little catching up, but soon she had to go as she had some work to do.  We promised to chat again today, and we did.  I'm not sure how long we messaged back and forth, but we recalled memories and people from the past.  She had also wondered about me over the years and had hoped we could reconnect one day again.

I'm so thrilled that V and I have been able to renew our friendship again and start catching up on life over the years.  I hope that now with modern communication being a lot easier than it was in our youth, V and I will be able to stay in touch now.  I can't explain just how happy this makes me feel. I've reconnected (over Facebook) with a few others from my childhood, but I've not felt as happy as I am with this.

I'm so thankful God has brought V back into my life!

Monday, March 24, 2014


I got back from Edmonton on Friday around supper time.  It was an enjoyable trip, even with the long car ride.  I brought knitting, though, and that helped to pass the time. I also worked on it at the hotel in the evenings after we had long, tiring days of shopping and browsing.

We are still on Spring Break here (we have two weeks), and I have no plans - except one day this week K, Little K, J, and I will be hanging out with the two Ks for an afternoon/evening of playing the Wii, watching a movie, and enjoying a meal.  I don't know what day that will be, but I am looking forward to it.  Other than that, I will be relaxing and enjoying my time off.

I'm working on some knitting, which I'll discuss in my knitting blog rather than here, and catching up on my devotions and Bible reading.  Today I read a few chapters in Proverbs, something I haven't done in awhile (aside from reading a few highlighted ones now and then as I flip through to find something else to read).

I thought about how Solomon wrote these to his sons, or maybe even men in general, and wondered why women weren't included.  I stopped to think, and figure it is probably due to the culture.  Men were the ones educated. Men were the ones "in charge".  It was a patriarchal society, and women had a submissive role - they cooked, cleaned, took care of the house, raised the babies, that kind of thing.

Now, however, women play a different role in society, and these proverbs apply to both men AND women (and really, I'm sure they applied to women back then too).  Just because it says for a son to obey his father and listen to his mother, doesn't mean that a daughter shouldn't do those things.

The advice given in Proverbs - and the Bible in general - apply to all of us. Not just men; not just women; not just Jews; not just Gentiles.  Every single one of us.

The Proverbs are filled with good advice - advice we should follow.  Advice I should follow.  I need to delve into this book of the Bible more often.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Just Popping By

I've been busy at work, but for the next two weeks I am on Spring Break.  I'm looking forward to the relaxing that will happen!  On Tuesday, I'll be heading to Edmonton with K, Little K, and J. We'll be there until Friday morning when we head home.  We're also hoping to meet up with an old co-worker who moved there last summer.

I've been feeling rather stressed at work lately. I have a few "high maintenance" kids in my class and they've been really stressing me out.  I've actually been ready for a break for some time now - at least a month, if not longer.  In a lot of ways, I feel like I'm a brand new teacher again and I'm unsure about myself and my career.  I've been doing a lot of praying and seeking God in all of this, but I end up second-guessing things and doubting myself.  I'll get through it, but only on His strength and guidance.

I don't have a whole lot of news at the moment, but wanted to post a little update.  Our weather has been really good this past week and we've had temperatures above zero Celsius (including today) and melting snow.  We still have a lot left though, and in actuality, we could still get more snow and cold temperatures.  After all, we are only in the middle of March.  I hope this isn't the case though.  I've had a taste of spring-like weather and I like it!

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and do a quick update to let you know I'm still around.  I hope you have a blessed day!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

A New Look, A New Bible Study, and Possibly A New Self-Discovery

I thought it was time for a new look on my blog, and this is the (free) design I decided to go with.  What do you think?  I like the colours, the brightness, and it makes me think of summer back home.

In my last post, I mentioned about being sick with the flu. Well, I also ended up with a cold and it lasted a couple of weeks.  Although I had a little bit of the cough left, it wasn't bad and it was pretty much gone.  Well, last Saturday (about two weeks after I had been sick with the flu) I woke up to a congested cough and have had it for the last week.  I've had a bit of sneezing and runny/stuffy nose with it, but it's mostly been the cough that doesn't seem to want to go away.  And, Wednesday I ended up with my right eye being a little itchy and by the end of the day it was red and watery as well.  No, I didn't (and don't) have pink eye.  The redness has pretty much disappeared (except if I've been on the computer too long), but it's still watery and the itchiness only lasted a little bit at work - though I guess from time to time there is a little bit of an itch, but it's not bad and it doesn't last.  I really can't wait until I'm all better again.  I hate being sick.

I decided to take this weekend to rest and hopefully get myself better.  I've been catching up on some knitting (started a new fair isle hat), a little reading, and I've been working on the Bible study for the one we recently started for this session at my Monday night Bible study.  Tomorrow is a holiday  here (Family Day), and I keep forgetting and thinking I have to go to work, but I don't.  I hope to do some more knitting and maybe some art journalling.

In my Bible study, the first chapter is dealing with the verse that talks about not worrying about tomorrow (well, there is more, but this is the part I want to focus on).  I'm a worrier. I think I get that from my mother.  Part of the study includes journalling our prayers.  I've written down prayers in a journal before, but just specifics like "praying for my cold to go away" and then drawing a line to write the date when it gets answered, as well as the date I record it.  This one, however, is requiring much more than that.  We have to write down the actual prayer we would pray, the situation, etc.  So, while I was doing that, I made a discovery (it probably came from the Holy Spirit) that my worry seems to be rooted in fear and lack of trust.  I won't go into specific details, but that is what I am concluding so far.

I hope through this Bible study I will grow in my faith and walk - and in other areas of my life as well.

Well, I'm off now to watch some more of the Olympics and cheer for the Canadians!

Go Canada!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pushing Through Sickness

My BFF gets annoyed when people mistakenly indicate they have the flu, but actually they have a stomach bug.  When you are vomiting and have diarrhea, you have a stomach bug.  When you have a fever, cough, cant breathe very well and ache all over, that is the flu.

I have the flu.

The night before last, I had a bit of a raw feeling in my throat. It didnt hurt, but I knew Id be getting a sore throat within a day or so, unless I was lucky and it didnt turn into anything worse.  By the next afternoon my throat hurt a little more, but it still wasnt bad.  I went to coffee with K, little K, and J after work, and I mentioned it to them.  We had a discussion about the flu and how its making its way around Alberta.  Thereve also been several cases of H1N1 in Alberta (as well as one case of H5N1 – the bird flu, and sadly, the lady who had that died).  K asked me if Id heard that and was now thinking I had that (H1N1). I said no, but another friend and I had talked about it in the morning as well and hoped I was only getting a cold.

Well, this morning I woke up with a cough (I sound like a smoker at times, but I dont smoke, and neither do any of my friends), a headache, and the chills.  I was up for about 45 minutes, did my Bible reading and devotions, and decided to go back to sleep. I feel exhausted even though Id had enough sleep.

When I woke up from that nap, I was sweating and hotter than I dont know what.  I think that might have been from having a warm housecoat and two blankets over me while I slept, and I had put the heat up to try and get warm.  I checked my temperature, and found that it was getting higher and higher.  So far today, the highest its been was 38.7C (which is 101.66F).  It seems to be going down now, though as I have taken some Buckleys Cough, Cold, and Flu pills.  Ive taken these twice now today, and will take more again in about an hour.  Hopefully these will help me feel better by tomorrow.

The last two days at work, Ive been alone in the class, and my one E.A. (the second one has been off work since before Christmas) was out both those days.  I wonder if this is what she had (I was never told the reason for her being out).

I talked to K about half an hour ago, and she said she now has a cough and fever as well. So, it sounds like she has what I have.  I would imagine we both got it from work (we both teach at the same school).  Hopefully, well both be over this before we have to go back to work on Monday!

I had hoped to get a lot of writing done today, but since Ive been sick and sleeping most of the day, that didnt happen.  I debated not doing anything for the My 500 Word Challenge, but since Im feeling a little better now, I thought Id see if I could get anything done up.  And this post is it!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Feeling Homesick

Lately Ive been feeling like Id like to move back home, and often feel the homesickness erupt when I get this way.  In fact, Im kind of feeling that way tonight.  I wonder how long it takes for homesickness to go away after you move elsewhere.

Its only been nearly two and a half years since I moved out here to British Columbia, but I often find myself desiring to go back home because I feel homesick.  That could be for a number of reasons – anything from not having a car, or access to a car, and not being able to get around and come and go as I please (I have to depend on others if I want to go somewhere else, like shopping or visiting someone who doesnt live near my location. The bus system here also isnt the best, and while I might be able to get places in the evening – providing I leave after supper – the buses stop around six or seven oclock, so I wouldnt be able to get home), to feeling alone – and lonely.

In 2007, I moved to South Korea to teach, and lived there for a year.  There were times when I felt homesick, particularly after finding out my father had cancer – and especially when I found out he was getting worse.  I also find that when I end up in a situation where I feel sad, upset, angry, etc. I often feel like I want to be back home – not that doing that would solve any problems, or that I wouldnt have any bad times there, because I would.

I think part of my homesickness came from the fact that I was so far away from my home and my family, and I couldnt just hop a bus or take a taxi, or even rent a car to go and visit them.  It also could have been caused by being in a different culture and not having access to foods/brands, English TV shows, etc., that I am used to from living in North America.

In 2009, I went to Australia for two months (doing my teaching practicum) and I really enjoyed it there. Actually, I loved it there and I didnt feel homesick, but that might have been just because I knew Id only be there for two months and then be heading home again.  When I did come home, I found that I felt homesick for Melbourne and could picture myself actually living there.  Even now, five years later, I find there are times when I feel homesick for that area.  It seems weird that I would feel that way for a place I only visited for two months, but Melbourne must have had a hold on me or something.  Someday Id like to get back there again.

I really dont like feeling homesick, but then does anybody?  I find it difficult, when I feel this way, to get out of the slump it puts me in.  Ive had nights where I would wake up and while Im still half asleep and my eyes are closed, have such a strong feeling that I was back home in my bed there.  It even seemed that when Id open my eyes, Id see my room the way it is set up back home. 

When Id open my eyes and see that I wasnt there, but I was in my room here, Id give my head a shake and feel a little stupid, but it seemed so real.  And then Id want to go back home again.  Ive mostly had that feeling after being home during the summer.  At any rate, Id start to feel little bits of homesickness creep up at those times.  Thankfully, though, the homesickness doesnt usually last for more than a day or two at a time.

Have you ever moved away, across the country or to a different country or continent, and felt homesick? How did/do you deal with it?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The 9th Day

So today marks the 9th day of the My 500 Words challenge.  So far it hasnt been too bad, and Ive been able to get over 500 words each day.  Today it seems a little more difficult.  Part of it is not knowing what to write (though I suppose I could look at some of the prompts and ideas Ive written down), and part of it is that Im finding it difficult to write when I get up in the morning (after Ive gotten ready for work), and when I get home from work Im tired.  So, I end up putting it off until later in the evening (much like Im doing now) and feel like I have to push myself to write something.

On the positive side, this little challenge is helping to develop discipline in writing.  I havent been focusing so much on the novel or any story, but Ive been writing on my blogs.  And even though it might not be quality stuff, I am writing.
 Mostly my posts have been written on the fly, without much thought as to what Id write.  I think that is because Im quite tired by that time and Im just doing the assignment to get it completed.  I hope that when I have more time (like on the weekends), I can sit down and write a better quality post, or add to my novel or short stories.

Maybe what I could do this coming weekend, is take the writing prompts Ive got and outline what I could say about each topic (or take a couple of them at a time and do this), or jot a few ideas downs to remind myself of what I could include.  Then I might have some direction, and could write a better quality post, rather than rambling on.

I think right now with this challenge, Im just trying to focus on the discipline and getting in the habit of writing each day.  Once this habit forms (or after the challenge, even weaning it down to once every other day until I have more time to be able to write each day – like on holidays and vacations from teaching), then I could focus on doing more research for topics, more editing, or more significant passages.

I just hope its this is not a case of Im doing this because Ive been issued a challenge and I dont want to fail at it, and then give up for whatever reason and not write for large chunks of time.  Otherwise, Ill never get anything written – well, except for some blog posts.

Well, it looks like Im going to finish todays quota, thought it certainly wont be nearly as long as any of the previous posts (or at least the majority of them).  Ive only got another couple of sentences to write and then I can call it a night.  Hopefully, since tomorrow is Friday, and providing I take a little nap in the early evening to take the edge off, I can get more writing done (or at least create a few blog posts that I can schedule for later dates).

For the first week back to work after Christmas vacation, its seemed long and tiring. Im looking forward to hopefully sleeping in on the weekend, but for now, I need to get to bed so I can try and get rested for tomorrow, otherwise Ill need an IV of coffee!