Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Year

I don't know why we don't celebrate New Year's Day at this time of year instead of in cold and dark January. Today was the first day of school for me (and the other staff); the kids start back on Tuesday. Tuesday was my first day of piano lessons with my new piano teacher. Everything seems to start new again in the fall.

About piano lessons: she's going to work me hard. She gave me a Grade 1 theory exam to try and see where I am in my theory. (She e-mailed me today that I got 90% - which makes me feel good because I essentially did it without studying). She emphasized the importance of sight reading, and reaffirmed that I have to practice it everyday (sigh, I know. It's just that it's not as much fun as some of the other stuff). Then she gave me a piece to learn for next week! (OK, it's not at grade level, but still!) etc. I'm really going to enjoy this, but I'm also going to have to work really hard.

Ruth and I went to an auction last night. I was thinking that I hadn't been to an auction for over 20 years (as long as I've lived in the north), but Bram reminded me that we regularly go to the Rotary Bike Auction in the spring. However, that's not the same because all they're selling is bikes. This was a real auction, with an incredible assortment of junk that you wonder why on earth people are bidding on, together with real treasures that only you recognize. I got some things from both categories (as did Ruth). I'm not going to itemize because some of them are going to end up being presents. Spent too much money, had a lot of fun, as did Ruth.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I now have internet! Life is good. (Previous to this I was borrowing; my own computer is now working, internet and all.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Letters

When I was 15 years old, I went away to Western Christian College for Grade 11 and started writing a weekly Sunday letter home to my family. I've kept up the habit fairly faithfully since, but in recent years I've switched to blogging - to let those who want to know what's up in my life just check my blog.

This morning during service I realized that I really need to start doing a Sunday letter again - this time to my kids, while I'm at Western and they're away in Yellowknife. I nearly lost it right then; what's old is new again. My mom's been hinting (quite strongly) for some time that a blog isn't the same as a Sunday letter, so I guess it wouldn't hurt to keep them updated as well. Finally, my in-laws don't use any electronic medium and I know they really love the mail, so I guess that's a minimum of three Sunday letters. If you're not on the short list - too bad; you can still check my blog. It just gets too unwieldy to do a letter to everyone.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Further update

I now have everything moved out that doesn't belong to me and the mattress and boxspring in my bedroom. I have essentially everything set up except the spare room which includes my sewing stuff and my computer to the internet. Looking good!

Continuing to Settle In

I have my living room and kitchen completely set up (but am still waiting to have the carpets cleaned in the living room before I move my cedar chest in there). I have my clothes put away in the bedroom but am still sleeping on an air mattress until I can get someone to help me pull the mattress and box spring out of the storage room and up to my bedroom. The spare room (looks like it will truly be a spare room as both my kids will be staying in YK) still needs to have some furniture moved out from the previous tenant before I can set it up. I have my computer set up but haven't worked out the mysteries of connecting it to the internet yet.

I have to give credit where credit is due. First of all, my sister Ruth was a tremendous help taking me around so I could buy used furniture and helping me to unpack. Secondly, the surprise shower given by my family and friends here to help me get set up with the things I need was such an unexpected blessing that I'm still teary-eyed whenever I think about it. Thank you so much. Finally, the continued prayers that are offered on my behalf are, I'm sure, the only thing that's kept me going and sane through this difficult time. Thanks to all of you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Contact Info

If you'd like my phone number and address, e-mail me and I'll send it to you. I'm not posting it to my blog.

The Trip South

Twenty years ago this month I drove up to Yellowknife by myself with all of my worldly possessions in the back of my pickup, hoping to find work. I think that that's the last time I drove that road completely solo. Since then, I've either had my husband, my kids, a friend, or a combination thereof with me on the road. However, on Thursday, August 7, at 6:30 pm I left Yellowknife, pulling a U-Haul trailer with my personal belongings, alone again.

I cried nearly the entire way to Behchoko (100 km away). I was leaving my kids behind, my marriage in tatters and not a lot of hope for the future. However, by the time I got to the ferry at Fort Providence (300 km from Yellowknife) I was in much better control of myself. I had also seen close to 50 bison (2 smaller herds, and for about 25 km a lone male every km), a fox, countless ravens and two pairs of sandhill cranes. I had to wait at the ferry for about 45 min; first for the ferry to arrive from the other side, and then for the ferry workers to grade the landing a bit. Usually when we drive out with our van, we have enough gas to get us to Manning, AB (about 900 km away), but because I wanted to be sure that I had enough gas to get to High Level (about 700 km away) while pulling the trailer, I put in $20 worth of gas just before the ferry.

About 85 km short of High Level, my low gas warning light came on. Now, Lloyd has told me that when it comes on, I usually can go another 80 km - but that's not pulling a trailer! So, if I hadn't been praying before, I commenced to pray without ceasing. I also reset the cruise from the 100 kmh I had been going at to between 60 and 70 kmh. There is no other place to buy gas at night before High Level. When I finally pulled into the Shell station there, I was able to put 98 litres of gas into my 90 litre tank. Thank you, Lord - I wasn't driving on fumes by that time, it was solely by the power of prayer and the grace of God.

After High Level I was really tired, so pulled into a lay-by just before Manning and was able to sleep for about 1.5 hours. That's all the sleep I'd been getting any night for the past while (did I mention I've been under a bit of stress lately?) - so then I got up and continued driving. I drove straight through, arriving in Saskatoon at my parents house Friday evening at 7:20 pm. My odometer told me that I was just 4 km short of 2,000 km - in just over 24 hours! (Don't try this on a regular basis folks, it's not worth it!)

It just so happened that Friday, August 8 was my parents 55th anniversary, and they had a small, impromptu family gathering - inviting just the immediate family who were around. Seeing as "small" is a relative term - especially with our relatives, we had about 45 people there. It was good to see everyone.

The next day I drove to Regina. I've been staying at my sister Ruth's house this past week, until I can get into my apartment tomorrow. Sunday I was privileged to be at Carole Straker's funeral in Regina - but that'll be another blog entry for another day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where am I now?

God continues to bless me through these hard times. I have a permanent position teaching at Western Christian High School in Regina and I have moved down to Regina. I have an apartment that I will begin to rent starting Friday, August 15 across the street from the school.

I know that the move to Regina is an answer to prayer. I could not continue to live in Yellowknife, a community of only 20,000, where "the other woman" lives and works in the same building as Lloyd, where one of her children is in the same class as one of mine and where I had no work. It would be impossible for our marriage to survive in such a climate. Lloyd and I are currently separated but I continue to pray that he will see that a move was essential for me, that I wasn't running away from our marriage, and that it would be possible for him to move also.

I am also praying that my children (who are still with their dad in Yellowknife) will decide to come to Regina for school this fall. When our marriage is going through such turmoil, I know that the extra strength and support that they would get through attending a Christian school would be a blessing to them. (And it doesn't hurt that because I'm a staff member their tuition would be half price!)