Saturday, October 21, 2017

Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967

After responding to Alanna's blog comment I thought this song worthy of a post by itself.

Sometimes John Mayer plays in our home.  Not John Mayer (that would be cool), his songs.  A few months ago I tuned in and actually listened to the lyrics of the song Walt Grace's Submarine Test.  It made me cry.  It's one of the weirdest songs I've every heard but I embraced it because I felt a strange connection with Mr. Grace.  I can't relate to all of it (i.e. my wife is far kinder, wiser, and loving than his) but the image of paddling into the unknown with little more than a dream and a loose plan... it captured me.

There's something beautiful about saying goodbye to the things that offered stability (a church family, denominational network, neighbourhood, house, friends, job, etc.) and venturing into the waves with little more than a handmade submarine in hopes of reaching the other side of the world.  Most people never get the chance to take a faith risk.  I'm privileged to have done it more than once and I'm even more amazed this time.

So, our little submarine hasn't sunk yet but I've seen some amazing things.  Our kids have each found really great part-time jobs that they enjoy.  Our daughter just got back from an 11 day canoe trip in Killarney Provincial Park.  I've been affirmed in my PhD program and not only am I keeping up with the pace of reading, research, and writing, but I've also had a chance to narrow down my thesis topic through the excellent support of some world class faculty.  I am overwhelmed by God's provision.

I'm preaching tomorrow so it's time for bed.  I hope this post encourages you to take a submarine ride of your own before it's too late.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Good bye Hanover house... Hello new life in Clarksburg

Yesterday marked the conclusion of life on Mulock Road for our family.  And, since as of last week we still had things to move out of the house, it meant that our family spent Thanksgiving weekend packing and cleaning. 

Can you believe we lived in that house for more than 10 years?  I still remember the day we moved in, July 11th 2007.  It was an unusually cold July day.  Our daughter was turning 6 and our son was turning 3.  Them included, a lot changed over the years.  The road went from gravel to tar and chip, the house went from propane heat to natural gas, and homes changed hands all around us and got younger every time.

I loved that house.  But if I could give it up for what we've got now, I'd do it every time.  I love our new community, our house that's becoming home, my new school and accompanying friends, the wonderful folks that are part of our new church, and my new weekly routine.  

Maple and I still try to get out for walks.  It takes us close to seven minutes to get from our house to the Beaver River and that includes time for her to stop and eat some apples that have fallen on the path.  Life seems simpler these days even with doctoral studies in the mix.  I'm not looking forward to the winter drives to Toronto but I know it's only for a season and spring will be here soon!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hang in there, and try to write something everyday...

That's my takeaway quote from one of the the many readings I've been assigned since starting back to school in September.  Here's the rest of the quote from an article by John W. O'Malley,

"The moral of the story: hang in there, and try to write something every day no matter how banal or stupid you think it is going to sound.  When you come back the next day, you might be able to salvage a paragraph or two, and thus, agonizing paragraph by agonizing paragraph the book gets written." (O'Malley, The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 93, No. 3 (Jul. 2007), p. 586.)

Some days it feels like I've jumped into the deep end of the pool and I forgot my bathing suit.  It's terrifyingly vulnerable as a first year PhD student.  Other days it feels like I've stumbled through an open door into a Narnia like world, with endless possibilities that await in my tiny, grey, library cubical.

Aside from school, we're saying goodbye to our Hanover house next week.  It's bittersweet since our whole family loved that house: so many beautiful moments.  But its time to set it free to become a memory box for a new family with young children.  Besides, a new world with rich memories awaits us in the town of the Blue Mountains.  For example, today, a new friend from the Blue Mountain church and his friend helped load and move my tractor to our new community.  Unfortunately, we couldn't predict the weather so it happened in a downpour.  I'm grateful to be warm and dry now.  I'm also thankful for a couple of new friends willing to get wet with me to relocate a tractor.

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