Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fishing Groupie

       Do you ever surprise yourself by doing or saying things you'd never have guessed you'd do or say? It astounds me at how much life changes us. The Lord brings intriguing people across our paths, new opportunities that challenge us, and lovely surprises that take us to places we'd never have imagined.
       About five years ago when I fell in love with teasing bass and walleye with soft, plastic fishing lures, it would not have occurred to me that I would turn into one of those people who are delighted to get up early on Saturday morning and watch fishing shows on television. Before we cut the satellite service, we even subscribed to WFN, the World Fishing Network. Watching, I identified with all those Canadian fishers who stood solidly in bow riders and fished the weed beds. I became a certifiable fan of Fish N' Canada, the best fishing show on the network. And this is why....the hosts genuinely like each other and laugh together. They are passionate and informed about the sport and will give directions to their favourite fishing grounds. Many shows mention lakes or streams at the beginning of their episodes, but sometimes it is unclear as to whether the body of water is Canadian, American or even farther a field. Not so with Fish N' Canada. They give the precise route they took to get to their site. They even supply the GPS coordinates, should you choose to use them. And best of all, they sometimes feature lakes I've fished myself. On dark, winter days, this takes me right back to breezy, sun-kissed days.
       Once when my husband and I were spending hard earned cash at Bass Pro, we ran into one of the hosts of Fish N' Canada - Pete Bowman. We introduced ourselves and said we were fans. He was gracious and friendly. Last weekend, we attended the "Spring Fishing Show" at the International Center in Toronto and the highlight for me was spending an uninterrupted 30 minutes with Angelo Viola, another one of the hosts of the show, who gave us instruction as to why we should be using bait casting reels instead of spinning reels. All news to me. Made me want to try one. I learned something.
       All this to say that life is good. I'm grateful for new experiences, the opportunity to get up off the couch and outside. And here, in the middle of February, I can close my eyes and hear the water lap on the sides of the rental boat as we drift and cast. Won't be long now till we start planning some northern excursions!

The reason I fish....
Ten pound walleye caught
on the Pickerel River, May, 2009

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Prayer Power

James 5:16b - The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (NIV)
Colossians 4:2 - Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (NIV)
       My family lives about two hours from our city, and I take the back roads through small towns when I go to visit them. The scenery is beautiful, and this route keeps me off the six-lane freeways.
       One night, however, I was distracted. The roads were much busier than usual, and I'd pulled over for more than one ambulance racing along. I felt a strong urge to pray. I prayed fervently for protection of all on the roads and particularly those who already needed an ambulance. I prayed that no one would die without knowing the Lord. I prayed that the Lord's comfort and healing would be evident to anyone in need. Passionately, I continued for about ten minutes, then went on my way into town.
As I was sitting at a stop light, a car came full speed through the intersection right for me. It was blindingly fast and with no time to think, I covered my face with my hands and screamed, "Jesus! Help!!!" I braced for impact, but none came. The car was on the other side of me as if it had gone right through me. I was stunned. The driver looked back at me confused, and we both drove slowly away.
       All I could think of was that the Lord loves me. He warned me by urging me to pray about ten minutes prior. He loves me. And I wondered what the man in the other car was thinking. Did he know that he had just witnessed the power of God? Did he thank the One who saved him? Certainly this miracle was as much for this stranger as it was for me.
       With new resolve, I decided that day to listen to the Holy Spirit's urging when it comes to prayer, and to be more obedient to His call. He loves us so much.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You are so gracious to us. You care so much for us. Thank You for Your daily protection and guidance. Help us to heed Your calls to prayer, to draw closer to You, and to know Your heart for us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
(first published on today, Feb.16, 2011)

Monday, February 7, 2011


      My first attempt to write a complete book has come to fruition. It is a children's book, barely a thousand words, but the setting of the story is so near and dear to me that it seemed to flow. After writing the wee manuscript, I passed it along to a trusted colleague who, as a primary teacher for a number of years, would have the range of experience needed to judge whether there's any hope. She was most encouraging. Red pen in hand, she gave great advice, and after many rewrites, (with more to come, I'm sure), it's as good as it's going to get for today. I then proceeded to dig out the watercolours and paint thirteen paged-sized works and six page enhancers. A good bit of work for me. So there it is.
       Now....what do I do with it? Anyone know how to get it into a publisher's hands? I guess I'm off to the internet to figure some things out!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


In writing my little book about a starfish on Roberts Creek beach, I've been flooded with memories and the deep desire to return there for a visit. Last night I emailed a number of friends to see if they were available in March break for me to land on their doorstep. I long for my old home. This piece I wrote a while back.....

         In the mid 1990's, in looking for a safer place for our son to enter high school, God provided a most beautiful place for us to live. We decided to move to the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. A close friend had been living in a heritage house in Roberts Creek, and wanted to know if we wanted to live there as he was moving on to Seattle. We jumped at the chance.

        We had first visited the house in the dark of winter and were delighted to see upon waking that the house was mere metres from the ocean. The locals know the house as “The Castle”. Built by the community’s original settler, Harry Roberts, in 1917, it remains a large, red log structure with a “lookout room” on the second floor. When Harry originally built it for his bride Effie, he put turrets on the roof of the lookout room, thus forever having it stand out as “the castle.” The smell of the salt air and seasoned cedar permeated this building. The surf was less than 100 metres from the front room, and there wasn’t a room in the house that didn’t have an ocean view. We saw BC Ferries cross in front of our house many times a day. Seals, and at times sea lions, played in the surf and we spent hours upon hours beachcombing, always looking for bigger and more colorful shells and beach glass. We had quite a collection in our garden where we displayed our finds. The sea was ever-changing as it reflected the sky’s expressions of light and colour. No two days were the same on that coast. One thing for sure, the sea was rarely still and the tides were dramatic.

         One weekend something astonishing happened there. My family was not with me, but three girlfriends came on the ferry from the city to visit. It was a blustery March weekend. We took turns wowing each other with fancy foods and were faithful in our assigned hours to keep the woodstove burning. We went for a number of long walks on the beach and my city friends fell in love with the place. In front of our house, the beach was a maze of old, loose logs that had escaped the log booms during storms. The beachcombers would come for the best logs as soon as storms were over, but many logs were left, whitened over the years with sea salt. So there was a bit of a climb from our yard to the flat, sandy part of the beach.

         As we were exploring that weekend, I noticed that my friend’s gold necklace was open and hanging down. She gasped as she realized she had lost her most treasured jewelry, a pink gold cross with a ruby in it that had been her grandmother’s and a little gold star of David that had a diamond in the centre. As long as I had known Annette, she had worn this necklace. My heart sunk. Immediately the search was on. But a beach covered with logs and wood chips, rocks and sand? How tiny these pieces of jewelry seemed! After looking for over an hour, we decided to go back up to the house and see if we could hire someone with a metal detector. We did not succeed.

Imagine trying to find jewelry in this!

         As heartbroken as Annette was, she kept saying, “Really, I don’t want this to be the weekend we remember as the one when I lost my necklace. Let’s just let it go.” We gave up the search. But I prayed. Out loud and silently. “Lord,” I implored, “you know how important this is to my friend, your beloved. I know you can see this thing, please lead us to it.” And we let it go.

Roberts Creek beach at low tide.

         A couple of hours later, after a great dinner, just before sunset, the rain stopped and the sun came out briefly. We were looking out the window and saw a seal playing close to shore. We threw on our shoes and headed outdoors for a closer look. We just came through our gate and started out onto the logs when something shiny caught my eye. Right at my feet…there on the log, as if carefully placed, were Annette’s cross and star of David. We all did the happy dance and praised God together. We even joked that maybe that seal was an angel, sent to draw us out to the beach! And I stood there and realized once again, that our God is a Father who cares about what we care about. Nothing is too small for Him. He loves to surprise his children. He is so good.

"The Castle"

Off On a Rabbit Trail

         I've decided to take a wee break from blogging for a few weeks. If anyone has been reading this, you will notice the entries are waning. I've been off on a rabbit trail! Our writers' group has an assigned genre each month we meet. In February, we are to write a children's story.

         So, I've done it....a story about a starfish that lived in front of our house in Robert's Creek in British Columbia. It's a silly little story, but one you can learn from too. And the weirdest thing in all of this, is that I've started to paint again.

         Confidence in watercolour has not been mine these last years. One gets out of practice as the paints dry up. But my artist friend, Evelyn taught me something about colour and I purchased three tubes of paint - Aurelian yellow, Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Rose and started mixing. I've had a breakthrough. Creativity is surging. Oh, and I've decided that I can only paint like me. I can't immitate anyone else's style. I can only do what I can do and hopefully gain skill to add to whatever talent is there. So on I go....

         With that said, until my little book is finished and all paintings completed, my focus will be there. If anyone is reading this blog, please don't give up on me. I'll return! God bless you all!

Roberts Creek, October