Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monday morning, August 19, 2013 at 08:03

Today is Ted's 58th birthday and I am wondering if he knows what day of the week it is. Does he remember that today is his birthday?

I find it strange that a person can forget their birthday - Mom is an exception because of her dementia - but a few years ago when I called Ted on his birthday, he seemed to have no idea what day it was or that it was his birthday.

I have not written for a few days because I have had little to write about. I would say this is good because I am doing okay healthwise - I hope. Yesterday marked the 6th week since my heart attack and the first six weeks of recovery seem to be the most critical to get through. The next marker to pass will be 3 months - 7 weeks away.

Grateful to God to be on top of the hill instead of under it.
Every evening Kie and I have been walking over to Ellengale Park, watching trains and taking pictures of the trains. I have actually been doing some writing about that - on the blogs and posting up some of those new photos. I have also been updating some of the older posts with relevant older photos I have found - no one reads my stuff anyway. The blogs function more as a record keeper and maybe as a type of back-up for my older files. Perhaps one could call blogging an electronic form of being a packrat.

I feel that I have recovered well from my heart attack and I am now wondering what I should resume doing in my life - within reason and safe to do. Kie is always very nervous that something will happen to me again. At times I think she worries about that more than I do. Life may not be exactly the same as it was before, but I am  looking forward to see what God has planned and what he will do.

"A man's steps are ordered by the Lord; hown then can a man understand his way?"
(Proverbs 20:24)

Maybe this question is one of the reasons why I do not understand life, and why I struggle at times to understand purpose. Anyway, today I understand far better how short life can be and how quickly and unexpectedly the end can and will come at some date; and at a time not of our choosing.

Time here is a gift and I think it is better to do something rather than nothing, in whatever form that may take.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Tuesday morning, August 20, 2013 at 08:07

Broken-down engine - no longer the little engine that could... at least for now.

Yesterday was Ted's birthday but I made the mistake of putting off until later trying to call him... and then I forgot to call him. Not the first time I have done something like this.

Last evening Kie and I went for a walk to the park and we decided to take a longer route home. That turned out to be too much for me and I was tired out. I had to stop and rest and then I really struggled to get home. The one good thing is that I did not have any chest pain. I was just tired out from too much exertion at one time. 

Harsh reality now is that my body cannot keep up with what I thought I can do... because I could before.

This morning I am supposed to go to have INR bloodwork done - a week already. A shall be going in a few minutes and hopefully before the medical center becomes too busy. I hate taking this warfarin - but it is a better choice than the risks of not taking it.

The Oddblock Station Agent.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday morning, June 28, 2013 at 08:42

Today as I start to write I am wondering if this will be my final entry in this volume. I don't usually write anything on the weekends and my plan is to end this book at the end of June.

This morning as I write, I am again reminded that I am noticing more problems with my short-term memory. What I observe does bother me, especially because I have witnessed what happened with my mother. Her problems started with her short-term memory - at least when I first noticed that things were not the same.

I do not think that spending all my time alone and cooped-up at home every day is healthy, but that is what I have been doing. The longer I do this, the more comfortable it becomes and the harder it is to make changes.

Today is raining and in some way I feel a sense of relief - I have an excuse not to go out and tackle a problem.

Yesterday I had a minor incident with the table saw, an incident that was dangerous and could have caused injury. I was using a stick to move short cut-offs away from the blade and I must have touched the blade with that stick. The stick was yanked out of my hand and bounced off the shed wall even before I knew what happened. Had I been hit, I would have been hurt - maybe even blinded - and it all occurred too fast to react to.

Afterward when I came inside to take a break the telephone rang. Kathy called me to let me know that my father fell and scraped his arm. Alan decided to take Dad to the hospital to have him looked at. He was not at the hospital long and he was sent home a few hours later. 

I don't know what else to say or think about concerning this entire situation with my father's failing health - it is hopeless and I don't want to think about it. Having said this, I cannot stop thinking about the situation and I have no peace. This is the heavy weight of worry that I bear but do not want to bear. This is the way it is.

"As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for a man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
(Psalm 103:13-16)

Such is life and such is the truth of the Bible that truly speaks to us about the harsh reality of our life and existence.

We once sang part of these verses in the choir under Fred's direction. That work was titled, "Like As A Father" and we sang that on two occasions.

When we are gone, the place that we leave behind remembers us no more. So it has been when my grandparents left Milan. So it was when we moved out of Roxboro to Etobicoke. So it was after Mom left home about five years ago.

Jesus said, "Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish"
(Luke 13:4-5)

I believe what Jesus is saying is that tragedies do not happen to others because they are worse sinners than others. Jesus is telling us, warning us that we are all lost and dead to our sins, equally dead and equally lost, unless we repent - yet from birth we are all doomed to death.

"For they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection."
(Luke 20:36)

Again, Jesus speaks about a new life after death.

I do not have any plans for today but I may go in the shed to do a bit of fiddling to push small things to completion - a new box to hold round turnings - and a holder for Kie's glass vanilla tubes - so they do not fall and break.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Monday, April 7, 2014

What About Next Year?

30 came fast and twice 30 even faster
On December 26, 1993, we visited Susanna's home for dinner. During the conversations aftward, Susanna asked each of us about our thoughts and hopes for 1994. 

All I could say at the moment was that I would like to make it through to 1995. Since last night though, I have had a few more moments to reflect and really think about 1994.

Today will not be another wistful look back at the past. Instead I shall gaze ahead to what may possibly be in store. 

Perhaps 1994 is my time to forget about big long-range plans and major projects. I am beginning to believe that big plans, large projects, good great intentions, high hopes lofty thoughts and dreams of desire all belong to youth. Nothing is wrong with any or all of these but I now believe that I am beyond this stage of my life. 

These days it seems to me that youth belongs to anyone under the age of 30.

What follows are my thoughts and aspirations for the onset of middle age.

I would like nothing more than to be able to complete the small and very small matters which still remain incomplete, and if any other different types of opportunities come this way, then I would like to be able to pursue them further.


"Come now you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain"; whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."
(James 4:13-14)

December 27, 1993
The Oddblock Station Agent

A Need for Spiritual Direction

But it sure felt like it at the time

In a few days I expect to be marking my 38th birthday, however, I still have no clearer idea today what my purpose in life is than I had twenty years ago when I first began to think about these things. Some people I know have always seemed to know exactly what they want out of life and then they have set out to do it. To this day I have no idea about what I should strive to accomplish with my life. My Lord, I wish I could define just one meaningful goal. 

Rarely am I certain where I stand and rarely do I know in which direction I am going. Upon pausing, I can only look back and see where I have come from. Too often I wish I had not left there. Life is contstanly changing. Looking back and seeing what has been lost over the years makes me want to weep.  My sorrow is having known those people, places and events I can never return to. 

My deepest desire is that I could learn to live with today instead of trying to recapture what was yesterday. It gnaws at me that tomorrow I may weep for the loss of today.

Too often I see those things which my neighbours possess: a large house, a new car, a beautiful cottage in the countryside, a desirable education, working in their dream careers, and may more. The Lord God has commanded that I shall not covet. In spite of knowing this, it is so very difficult to keep this in mind while constantly being confronted and surrounded by material things which I do not have yet wish I did.  

My longing is that I can maintain a clarity of mind and vision to yearn and strive for the gifts of God which money cannot possibly ever purchase.

I plead to the God of Israel to grant me the clarity of vision to desire:

a happy marriage and to maintain a lifelong loving relationship with my wonderful wife. I do not covet my neighbour’s family broken by divorce.

spiritual peace in a difficult world. I do not covet my neighbour’s ‘eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’ approach to life.

the wisdom to discern good from evil and the strength to flee from that which is evil. I do not covet my neighbour’s inability or lack of desire to know good from evil.

freedom from worries about money. I do not covet my neighbour’s problems with personal finances and large debts.

God’s deliverance, for me and my entire family, from evil.

God’s grace to give His salvation to my children and to give them the clarity of vision to strive and yearn for spiritual gifts which can only be given by God.

the ability to feel compassion toward others and to act upon it. I despise my hardness of heart.

humility; to always keep in mind that I am my neighbour’s neighbor and I am no less a sinner before God

Where am I heading? What is the route? 

What am I hoping to accomplish in life?

I really have no idea... but I know of some places where I do not wish to tread or pass through.

Written May 03, 1992
The Oddblock Station Agent