Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day?

Today is Mother's Day. Some things are hard to celebrate on a mission. Since we are always together, gift giving is out of the question. It is even hard to buy a card (or even show her one if I had the time to find a good one). Some things are on hold until we return to a normal life. We got an e-mail from President Holt asking us to speak in sacrament meeting for Mother's Day. We wondered what we did wrong to deserve this curse. It ends up we were not his first choice. The first time he sent the e-mail he forgot to put the "21" in the e-mail address. He got a reply that said, "I don't know anyone named Elder, I don't have a sister, and Mother's Day was in March in England. I don't think I will be able to speak next week in Canada." At first President Holt was thinking we were just "pulling his leg", but then he noticed the err in the e-mail address and sent us the request. The result was that we both spoke in sacrament meeting today, Elder Wheeler gave the Sunday School lesson (in place of Brother Rowan who had heart surgery) , and Sister Wheeler taught a primary of 5 (in place of Sister Rowan who was caring for her husband) with an age range of 8 years old, 4 years old, two 3 year olds, and a two year old. We have a new family with children who just moved into the branch which added to the Holt's foster children to make a primary. We also had a family visiting.

This seemed to be a busy week, even though we aren't certain what we accomplished. We had several walks through Ferris Park this week . One morning it reminded us of the hymn "Oh How Lovely Was the Morning". The sun beamed radiantly above. Birds were singing; their music ringing through the grove. It was a shady woodland. Actually the Sacred Grove is not very far away (at least for a bird).

Path through the meadow
Stone Wall Wheeler
Sacred Grove
Creek crossing
Mud crossing
On Monday evening we had a Family Home Evening at the church. A tax specialist was invited to answer questions about Canadian taxes. They really do have a "tax and spend" system.

Our expert talking to Wayne
Jim and Ed discussing taxes
Sister Holt (H) and Sister Wheeler provide refreshments

 We went to Belleville on Tuesday for our regular district meeting. The problem was - no one showed up. We finally got hold of the sisters (the district leader didn't answer our call) and found out that they had changed the meeting to Wednesday without telling us; so we returned on Wednesday for the actual meeting.
Windmill on the way to Belleville

Before we returned to Belleville on Wednesday we stopped by Sister Rowan's bulk food store to help with a couple of emergencies. Normally her husband would be doing it, but he is still recovering from heart surgery. It sometimes helps to have a "second-string" when the first-string is not available.

How many missionaries does it take to change a lightbulb?
How many missionaries does it take to unplug a sink?
We finally had to use a wet vac and it sucked out a paper towel.
 Thursday we helped again at the Family History Center for Mary who had another doctor's appointment. With Canadian health care you wait for a call telling you the doctor is available then rearrange your schedule to match his.

We had our final choir practice on Thursday evening. This was followed by a concert on Friday evening and a Saturday matinée. This means we were at the St. John's United Church as often as we were at our own church. We have really enjoyed singing with the choir. Barb, the choir director, has a lot of energy and gets a lot of expression out of the choir. There were also many numbers by soloists. All of the pieces were from Broadway. We sang five medleys: "Rags to Ritz"(music of Irving Berlin), Rogers and Hammerstein, Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof, and Phantom of the Opera.

Getting ready to sing in concert
Several of the branch members mention Tweed, a village to the east of us. On Friday we decided to see Tweed for ourselves. It was a delightful town on a lake with a nice art gallery. We love driving through the countryside, especially now that it is spring.

We have now been to Tweed
A fountain in the lake
Watch out for wild drivers
Smallest jailhouse in North America
 Mother's Day stacked up to be uneventful (other than speaking in sacrament meeting and giving lessons). We were invited to join the Campbellford Holts for a Mother's Day barbeque. They have a beautiful yard, surrounded by woods. We even saw some orioles.

Tim Holt at the grill
Lunch in the yard
Baltimore oriole

 We decided to put a bird feeder on our balcony. At first it was attached to the railing, so the birds couldn't find it. We then got a long stand to hang the feeder on. The grackles could land with their feet on the little perch, flap their wings to "tread air" and get some sunflower seeds. The bluejays were not as smart. They landed on top of the feeder and tried to eat the seeds through the plastic feeder. We decided to lower the feeder so birds can perch on the railing while they get the seeds. Now the bluejays can discard several seeds until they find on just right one then hold the seed in their feet to take the husk off and eat the kernel. They are fun to watch. They do not like to share however so if one is at the feeder it will chase all the others away.

A bluejay trying to get food

 We are loving spring here and the birds which start singing at about 4:30 or 5 am. There are things that we will miss when it is time for us to return home.

1 comment:

AZ SMITHS said...

Looking at your pictures makes me want to move to the country! Beautiful. And it seems like life moves at a slower pace. I'd like my life to move slower instead of the racing train I feel I'm on. Enjoy some greenery for me! :)