Things are really starting to move along with moving now. Packing is almost finished - we are a home in transition. Our current landlords have returned from the south and the new tenant is anticipating meeting them next week. We have friends with trucks (and our landlords) lined up to move the heavier items on Thursday. Our current landlords will get to meet our new ones - what a neat feeling. We've changed our mailing address (remind me to give it to you if I've forgotten) and made an appointment to have the carpets cleaned in our old place so its spanky for the new tenant. I'll be priming the walls for her to paint soon too. We will be sleeping here AND there over the next couple of weeks. It should be interesting. I am very, very excited! Thanks to all for your support and encouragement!
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
I was chatting with a friend a few days ago who said "you would not have wanted to see how I packed - it made my mother-in-law shudder" - well, I'm sure mine would too! I'm not such an organized person as I would like to be. I think I've done pretty good considering it's been a long, long time since I've done it... and they say things get easier with practice.... I am way out of practice! I've at least got boxes sorted into 'rooms'... that should help a lot. The conversation with my friend caused me to think about my parents.
My dad was a miner. His work took him all over the province - several times over. We were a BIG family growing up, and after my tiny move here, I have total appreciation for what my folks must have gone through moving all us eight kids all over the place, several times over! At times we moved from remote communities in northern British Columbia, all the way into the South Interior. Now I wish I could strain back to catch all the details that have worn away from my memory... and I wish my parents were alive to thank them for all the hard work they must have had through these times.
In particular, one memory stands out above the rest. It was when we did one of these BIG moves. Being we were going from a weensy place way up north on the coast I imagine (cuz I can't quite remember) that the cars must have had to be shipped ahead of us on a BIG boat ahead of time because the place we came from had to be sailed into or flown into. So the cars went ahead and then we followed via airplane. It must have taken some figuring out to get together with the cars again... in Vancouver... the big city.
What sticks out in my mind is that when we were in Vancouver we spent a night sleeping in Stanley Park - you certainly could not do this today! I remember being squished up with my brothers. I remember how uncomfortable it was - as a child I certainly did not think about much except the BIG adventure it was and my discomforts. If I was this uncomfortable - what must my parents have been going through?
Oh, and another thought - my Mom was a pretty timid driver and she had to follow Dad on the freeways and I can remember how nervous this made her. Somehow they always got us safely to our next home... clothes on our back, food in our bellies, though I know these were financially tough times. Funny how I wish they were here now... how I would share this with them...
I have been trying to keep Easter in focus as well. Our Pastor made a good point in this last Sunday's message about not considering it just pretty Easter eggs and gifts and such... how this can lure us away from the REAL message of celebration and sacrifice... and he's perfectly correct. I'm hoping you will bear with me as I still have to mature to the place where I would not enjoy doing the eggs and bunnies etc... but I'm just not there yet. To me, it in no way lessens my belief about the real message behind Easter. I still love to make Easter elements - and I like to think of them as reminders of traditions which for people in the past tied to their beliefs... their way of reminding them in ways which was filled with symbolism for something deeper. For Miles and I its about the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and its about family time when we enjoy getting together with our Mom and Dad and Sister.
I decided I better look into WHY Easter eggs even came about - I figured there might be some reason they were begun. So, this is what I found out - borrowing from the CHRISTMAS IDEAS BLOG
Gifts have long been considered part of the holiday we know as Easter. In ancient times Pagan rituals had a lot to do with renewal of the earth, the new greenery sprouting from the earth, and the idea of birth and rebirth. The egg is a symbol of all of these ideas, and was adopted by and still is used in Christian Easter celebrations.
In the beginning eggs were decorated and painted and used as presents. They were given as a romantic gift to admirers, as well as to servants and children. People of Eastern Orthodox faiths made this tradition their own by dying their eggs red to symbolize Christ's blood, and on Easter day they would crack the eggs, to represent Christ breaking out of the tomb. As technology improved, there were hollow eggs crafted from cardboard that were filled with smaller gifts, typically food items. Hollow eggs were also formed from sugar, and were decorated with sugar royal icings. Perhaps the ultimate gift egg was the Fabergé egg, which was studded with real jewels and was given originally as a gift for the Czar of Russia. Around this time chocolate easter eggs were created, and soon became a favorite holiday tradition. As an extension of the egg, the chick was also associated with Easter, and today children will often find marshmallow chicks as a gift that was linked to the original prominence of the egg in the Easter celebration.
Another type of gift you will likely find in modern Easter baskets are rabbits, usually in the form of a toy stuffed rabbit or rabbit-shaped candies and chocolates. This tradition also traces back to early Pagan traditions. Rabbits are known for their ability to reproduce, and this idea of birth, especially in early spring when rabbits tend to give birth to their young, helped to tie them as yet another symbol of this holiday season.
Because of the association with a new growth cycle, gifts from the garden are also connected to Easter. Easter lilies are often given as gifts because they bloom around the time Easter is celebrated.
I've run across equally wonderful articles of creating new traditions with your family which clearly illustrate our Christian take on Easter and following is one I was sent in an email from Crosswalk.com in a newsletter. You can always visit their site to sign up for the newsletter, or I can forward mine to you too, if you leave me a comment with your email. You can visit crosswalk HERE. The newsletter tells how you can build an "Easter Mountain" with your kids and walk them through the Holy Week beforehand... the kids take an active part in the story. The newsletter includes a recipe to make the play dough for the mountain. I would HIGHLY recommend spending some time at Crosswalk to 'fill yourself up' with meaningful, insightful and helpful spiritual content...
Today in History:
- 1860 - Pony Express begins service - from St. Joseph - Missouri.
- 1870 - Golden Gate Park established by City Order #800.
BARB'S HANDY TIP#238
The Perfect Cupcake and more...
Who can resist biting into a tiny, perfect cake – especially one that's piled high with rich buttercream frosting? Helen Shroyer, owner of Toronto-based Marmalade Cake Company, shows you how to ice like a pro in this how-to video.
and the more? well, our clearly Canadain magazine is chock full of interesting articles and helpful information and I highly suggest you spend some time here and perhaps you might even sign up for the newsletter! (just use the links at the perfect cupcake video!)