Wednesday, January 30, 2008

North Dakota

I flew towards Regina and the plane did a U turn and went back to Toronto. Regina had been shut down by a blizzard. The next day I tried again and arrived to bitter cold and a two hour drive through the prairie. Now I had expected it to be flat, what I had not expected was that I was blown away by its beauty. But as I was always being driven around, I could not take any photos. I have been brought here to see if I would accept a two year appointment with three churches on the border. I was able to take photos of a couple of the churches, so here it is a church in North Dakota. I took the photo because I never thought that I would consider a position in a church which had an American flag beside the communion table. Life can take some very strange turns.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I am off in the early hours of this morning, or in the middle of the night, for Saskatchewan and North Dakota to see about another assignment. I'll take pictures. This is new territory for me, so I'm quite excited, but the middle of winter is the middle of winter wherever it is: snow, snow and snow. This will be flat snow. I'll be back here in Northern Ontario by the end of the week.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

global warming

This is Timmins at its best. I'll leave you to figure it out. I snapped the photo this afternoon on my way to conduct a funeral. So this morning a study group, the breakfast book club at the local diner, then a funeral, and then the ecumenical pot luck supper for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and then I worked on the Ash Wednesday service because I am leaving for Saskatchewan at 4:30 on Monday morning. It's a religious treadmill.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The colder is gets, the brighter and sunnier it gets, so it can be quite deceiving.
I was lying in bed this morning with the temperature around -30, thinking of my little car with its block heater plugged in, listening to the radio, when I heard a report about cars which had been plugged in burning up and taking the garage and then the house with them. So then they had a fire chief warning that cars should only be plugged in for a couple of hours before you use them. I then remembered a friend saying that her daughter's car had burnt up. My stress level increased and I got up and went out into the cold and unplugged the car.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Christ enthroned

Is this the judgement seat? I am not sure that I buy into the concept of judgement, at least not in this fashion. This being the Week of Prayer for Chriustian Unity we have eight nights of services around the city. As of tonight, at the Anglican cathedral, it is three down and five to go. It seems that God, in his judgement, definitely a he, has determined that this happens each year on the coldest week of the year. This is another of the embroidered hangings in my church.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

church window

-32 Celsius this morning. I took this picture before the church in Timmins filled up this morning. I have twelve other churches wanting me to consider them and the first firm offer is on the table and tickets to fly out west to visit another church next week. I hate to say no and I really need an agent! Which is the right place - when I really just want to be back in Nova Scotia?

Saturday, January 19, 2008


It's is minus 30 Celsius. This ice came out of the car. It had frozen in a drink. Anyway - what to do on a cold day? We went swimming. The Sunday School rented the town swimming pool and forty of us played in the water and lounged in the hot pool - a pool party. Then the pizzas were brought out and we all tucked in. Now I'm feeling mellow and relaxed and will probably sleep very, very well.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I walked by the grocer's and this little pot of double Calendula was sitting there just waiting to entice me on a cold and blustery January day. I long for green in the dead of winter. I used to go and wander through greenhouses in the dead of winter to get my green fix. But there are no greenhouses here, so I shall just sit and enjoy my little pot.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

angel cat

I suppose in the end it is the little acts of kindness. One of my Nova Scotia organists gave me this angel cat that now sits in my Northern Ontario window. Her mother had made it. I save little tangible things that speak to me of past friendships. I shall be moving from here soon, and then there will be more friendships in my wake. This is particularly true of ministers who should not keep ties to places that they have left in order to give the new minister an open place to minister. Also, close friendships should not be made with members of the congregation. But we are human, and this is a lonely road.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Thomas Merton: Thoughts in Solitude

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean I am actually doing so. But I believe the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
This was sent to me in response to my earlier Catfish Moon post. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


The clergy have gone to Elk Lake for a couple of days. So here we are on snowshoes - the first time for both of us. I am in the rear. It was a beautiful afternoon. We circled through the magical snow forest and returned and warmed ourselves in front of a blazing fire. It was just wonderful fun.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Catfish Moon

The mug came from a pottery, Catfish Moon, in Annapolis Royal in Ova Scotia. It was a parting gift to remind me to return. Now I am reaching the end of my time here and there are feelers from Bermuda to Alberta. I know that Nova Scotia is my home, that I shall return there, but in the meantime I must work, but where? This is a time of descernment and I would ask for your prayers.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tuscan colours

The decision to buy High Hopes has given me new hope. Even though I may be working many provinces away, I shall have a place to return to. (Never end a sentence with a preposition.) The house is unfinished, but this time I shall do it as I want. It gives me a chance to dream in colour - Tuscan colours. So I walked by this napkin holder and it caught my eye. I don't have one, and although it is hard to see, it has a little Tuscan scene on it. So I bought it as a promise to me to make a home, a bright and beautiful home.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

snow morning

This was my bedroom window this morning. It had stopped by this evening, and I have some shovelling to do. It is still warm, but not warm enough for rain.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

St. Matthew

This is an embroidered hanging of Saint Matthew based on an illustration in the Lindesfarne Gospels. I expect that I am the only one in the church who knows from where the artist got her inspiration. She made hangings for every season, about twenty-five for each, and each carefully researched. This is one of ten on each of the side walls. She always came to church wearing the appropriate litugical colour. When she died, she had no family, and the church buried her. She had a grand funeral. It was three weeks after the church had celebrated her ninetieth birthday with a large purple (her favourite)party. She had lived for that party.

Monday, January 7, 2008


A sunrise with the fresh promise of a new day: I took this from the front door. I am always amazed at how many wires there actually are when I see them in a photograph. I suppose that I am always looking through them or beyond them at what I am really seeing.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Candles for Epiphany - the last day of Christmas: tomorrow all the decorations come down. So here we are in the season of increasing light and a January thaw has begun. The sky is grey and threatening to rain. If ever light was needed it is now.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I have been writing this log in an effort to get over a failed relationship. You never really know your partner until you have broken up. The short of it is that I was here in the north earning the money to support us and to pay off a couple of mortgages on my dream of a property that we were developing for tourism. The breakup meant that the property has to be sold. I love that little piece of Nova Scotia. I thought that all was lost, and the big property which I adore, certainly is, but I think that I can keep a house that is in the process of being renovated - very unfinished. The name of the house is "High Hopes".
The day that I made and began to impliment that decision, there was a Christmas service and party for the church ladies. Little boxes were randomly handed out, each with a different message inside. My rock said "hope". It sent a shiver up my spine. I also had a box filled with sponges and rocks from the beach near the Nova Scotia house. I had brought it with me, but its memories were scarred from the circumstances surrounding my receiving it. Today I threw the box out and put the beach rocks and the sponge in with the hope rock. This is a new day and a new time.

Friday, January 4, 2008

back to work

The Palmour today

I took some more pictures of the last standing venue of Timmin's Shania Twain. As you can see, it is about to come down. The wind was strong and blowing this way yesterday, and the smell is still lingering in the house. I guess that's my own personal souvenir.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


As I write this the house is filled with that acrid smell of a dirty old fire. I arrived at the airport mid afternoon, but the way home was blocked by fire trucks just finishing off at what remained of the Palmour Tavern at the bottom of a short block from my house. This had been one of Shania Twain's venues before she got a little fussy. Mining towns are filled with taverns and sooner or later they all seem to burn.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Day

It snowed all day. There seems to be well over a foot more. We played Blokus and Monopoly. This version is called "Timmins Onboard". Terry cooked up another great supper. I haven't cooked for over a week. It's simply wonderful.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

last day of the year

Happy New Year! On the last day of the year we went sledding: my son, Terry, my daughter-in-law, Nathalie and the two youngest: Tommy and Nico. I am in the green parka on the sled looking a little stiff, but I had remembered how to steer and and we didn't tumble even once when I was onboard. Last evening we were at an Italian family's New Years's party and I tumbled right onto my mattress when I returned early this morning.