Saturday, December 30, 2006

To Catch A Chicken

I made my way through the front room of our house to the kitchen when suddenly I heard a rustling outside the room window.
Wind? I wondered. It has been a very windy and rainy month, but through today it was calm.
I glanced to the window and looked at what could have been causing that racket.
"Bang! Bang! Bang! Screeeeech!"
A bird! It was huge. I saw a blur of it fall below the window sill.
As I looked for a flashlight, Glory made her way to the window, as did our kids.
"It's a chicken!" she said loudly.
A chicken? What in the world..?
Our neighborhood is known for the presence of eagles or hawks, not chickens. This was something I had to see.
I went outside, and sure enough, the reddish-brown chicken was flapping away, tangled in our rhododendron bush by our window. Gently, I reached down for the poor bird, talking in soothing tones as I did. It fluttered away from me, going deeper into the bush.
Glory came out with a flashlight and gloves.
Glory grew up on a farm where she was in charge of the chicken chores. Surely she'd know what to do, I thought. I asked her for her expert opinion.
"Do I grab him by the legs or what?"
"Yeah, you can, but you have to be careful," she replied.
Glory handed me the gloves so as to not get my hands scratched. She manned the flashlight. Cautiously, I pulled away the branches and revealed the quiet cluck, probably scared to death.
As I grabbed it around its body, the chicken seemed to wail or scream, calling for help from anything within a mile...or two.
I pulled the frightened beast close to me and stroked its little head, telling him/her it was going to be OK. The chicken calmed down.
Then we promptly took him inside.
We were hungry.
No, no, we looked around and figured it was one of our neighbor's chickens we have seen in their yard. Glory and I took the bird to the neighbor and knocked on the door. After the customary greeting, I got down to business.
"Is this your chicken?" I asked.
He seemed befuddled, dumbfounded or something. He stammered out a yes, and asked where we found him. We told Jarod the harrowing story. We all had a little chuckle. Gingerly, Jarod took his chicken to the garage. We shook hands and bid each other goodnight.
Glory and I congratulated ourselves for saving the bird, and we thanked God that we could help that chicken.
For some reason, I felt like crying.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Reflecting and waiting

It will be a quiet Christmas at the Haven.

That's fine by us.

There will be the kids with their gifts. Holiday treats will abound. We'll watch a few movies, probably over and over and over again.

And we'll likely think about this year that has passed. And what a year it has been, filled with sadness, excitement and adventure: my grandfather died in January; our brother-in-law passed away in the winter; Glory, our little boy and I too a trip to Texas in April; and we enjoyed an eventful excursion to the wind-swept canola fields of Saskatchewan that ended in the Cascades spectacularly 60 miles from home when our van lost its transmission. Yes, we've had our share of memories.

Now we're in a hold pattern.

It seems that the watchword for the fall has been "wait." And wait we have: waiting for our house to sell, now going on three months; waiting too see if I still had a job while the powers that be crunched the numbers to determine if it could afford me; waiting for changes in our church family.

And now waiting for our littlest addition to arrive in the spring.

We've been given closure on some issues but we're still waiting for answers on others. I still have my job, which is good for everyone. Our church is holding service in a hotel conference room, but that's been good for many reasons. Our house hasn't sold despite being shown nearly two dozen times, but that, too, has been good because it forces us to keep the house clean and appreciate that we even have a place to call home. And when the baby comes, he will have a warm place to nestle with his mother.

With waiting comes expectations, and we're expecting great things to come in 2007. We have our plans and dreams, but, powerless at this point to bring them to pass, we're just waiting and praying, wanting to be on the same page with the One who ultimately determines whether we can indeed have them.

"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.'"
-- James 4:15.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mr. Trash's Christmas

From the day that we moved into our house our little girl has been intrigued by the Waste Management trucks. She loves to stand by our window or sit on the front step waiting to see how they collect our garbage and take it away. Week after week she would do this. She had her second birthday, then her third, but almost without fail she would watch this scene unfold every Tuesday.

The guy who picks it all up has pretty much been the same guy. He noticed our shy little waif, usually still clad in pyjammas, and started waving at her. She would run away from the window or just stand there with her fingertips tucked between her lips. It would be a bold step, then, when one day she raised her little hand up just slightly and attempted a wave back. This brought a beaming smile from "Mr. Trash" as he had come to be called. Not long after, she would smile back as she waved a little more confidently each time.

She knew the sound of the trucks, she knew when a substitute driver was there, and she would be upset if she missed it altogether from sleeping in or just not being near enough to the window.

So, today, she had a very special job that she knew was hers alone to do. Bill had picked up a gift card from Starbucks, and I tucked some candy canes and chocolates into a little sack, then attached a card and a bow. Our little elf got dressed and stood with her hand ready to open the door at any time. She heard the truck, she walked up to Mr. Trash as bravely as I've ever seen her, and handed him his little gift. He said something sweet to her, then he was gone.

And this mommy has never been prouder.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Birthday

It has come to my attention that there is a birthday girl in our midst.

I have been priviledged to know Trinka since August 2003. We have been at MeetChristians longer than we have been blogging, which is a long time.

This fine lady is a woman of excellence in all areas of her life. Reading her blog is challenging and motivating every time. I love her insight and wisdom and hope to know her for a long time to come.

Have a fabulous birthday, Trinka, and God's blessings for another year!


Friday, December 01, 2006

Names -- Where the behinds are

Our precocious three-year-old wanted to play Barbies and stuffies with me yesterday. With the weather here of late, I have had more time than usual on my hands to get into our children's world. That's been fun. And Educational.

She was playing with her large plastic white stallion. I had the pink "My Little Pony" pony. As the little pony, I asked the stallion's name.

"He doesn't have a name," our girl said.

"How come," I asked.

"Because he doesn't have a name on his bum," she replied.

I paused.


"He doesn't have a name on his bum," she said again, matter of factly.

She showed me. True enough, there are characters printed right on the underside of each toy. Barbie has a name. So does the My Little Pony. A little, ugly lizard we found on the street last year has a name, too.

But not the stallion.

If only identifying real-life people and animals were that simple.

Then again, I'm glad it's not.