Friday, August 31, 2012

island adventure 2 - settling in

Salt Spring Island is not huge. We soon find our way from the ferry to our 'home,' Room 109 at the Seabreeze Inne. There we even have our own little kitchenette so we don't have to eat all our meals out.

Seabreeze Inne - top right is the hot tub and gazebo
After getting unpacked we drive back into Ganges (Salt Spring's main settlement) for a look around. It's market day and there's not a parking spot to be had—not good when it's hot as blazes and you've skipped lunch. We do eventually find a spot near the visitor center where we drop in for ideas of things to do and maps.

We also find the Tuesday market, but everything is pretty pricey. So we head back to Thrifty's but by now we're so hungry we're muddle-headed so buy only a few things and head back to our room, stopping at the Embe Bakery for some amazing bran muffins. Time for coffee and a snack at 'home.'

Later we go back to town for dinner (Salt Spring Inn, recommended by one of the store clerks where we have a tasty meal of (him) pizza and (her) chicken quesadilla).

Salt Spring Hotel - has a great restaurant

 After we've eaten, and now in a much better mood, we explore Ganges Harbour. Talk about eye candy!

These murals on McPhillips Street make my little heart go pitter-patter.

On our way back to the car we find the Harlan's Bunch and treat ourselves to gelato (salty caramel—yum!!). Our holiday is off to a delicious start.

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Store sign in Cow Bay - Cowichan Bay, B.C.


Next week: WONDERFUL (Anything you think is or looks )

Violet Nesdoly / poems

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island adventure 1 - getting there

We're just back from the most fabulous two-week jaunt to two B.C. islands—Salt Spring and Vancouver Island. I'll be sharing some of our discoveries with you over the next couple of weeks. Today come with me on the ferry ride to our destination—Long Harbour on Salt Spring Island.

Tuesday morning August 14th is beautiful, sunny and warm (right in the middle of our summer's longest hot spell). We board the Queen of Nanaimo in Tsawwassen 10-ish looking forward to our three-plus hour island hop (this ferry services the Gulf Islands only).

Gulf Islands - British Columbia Canada
As we pass close to the islands we see all sorts of mansions, houses, and cottages. I daydream about what it would be like to live perched on the cliffs of an island, able to watch the sea moods from morning to night, tranquil to stormy, blue to black.

Cottage on Galiano Island

Our first stop is Sturdies Bay on Galiano.

Gulf Island - British Columbia

The sea traffic is relentless. We can always see something drifting, motoring, sailing or chugging by.

Gulf Islands ferries, BC

At our second stop—Village Bay, Mayne Island— we watch otters kibitzing in the water.

Village Bay, Mayne Island BC

Otter Bay on Pender Harbour has a lovely open waiting area. It's full as we approach, but, not surprisingly I guess, deserted when we pull away.

Otter Bay, Pender Island BC

The boat itself is large, well-appointed, and not at all crowded. It has a restaurant, coffee bar, gift shop, plus other stuff. We mostly roam the decks, startling at the ferry's horn blast almost every time, even though the captain announces a warning on the PA system.

Queen of Nanaimo - B.C. Ferries

At last we make our way down Long Harbour into the ferry slip. Back in the bowels of the ferry we wait for it to dock and our adventure to begin.

Long Harbour - Salt Spring Island BC

Violet Nesdoly / poems

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Do you wish you were here? (Ganges marina - Salt Spring Island, BC)


Next week: GROWING (Animals, Plants, Children, Enlarging, Maturing, Getting Taller,...) 

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Wednesday, August 08, 2012


Modern interpretation of an old theme


Next week: LEISURE (Vacation, Sports, Fun, Rest, Relaxation,...)

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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

a pastor to seniors tells it like it is

One of the things I've wanted to do from the time I started my focus on aging and seniors issues is to interview real seniors and the people who love them.  I was thrilled when the seniors pastor at my church, Arlene Trauter, agreed to do an interview right here on the blog. Her photo is only a glimpse of the vivacious personality and warm heart that so endear her to us.

Here are my questions and her answers:  

1. How long have you been a pastor to seniors?  
Pastor Arlene: 10 ½ years

2. What attracted you to the job & how did you get started? 
Pastor Arlene: I have had a great love and appreciation for senior citizens since I was a small child.  I was asked to give leadership to the CLA Seniors’ Ministry when Pastor Don Cantelon stepped down and directed his attention to the Visitation Pastoral role.  

3. What are the things you do as a pastor to seniors? 
Pastor Arlene: I plan, organize and facilitate weekly/ monthly events (including a dinner), trips and special events for seniors.  I am presently planning a 12 day trip to Israel for May/2013.  In overseeing this ministry, I contact guest speakers/musicians,   recruit volunteers, work with an executive, have a ministry to widows, call & make contact with seniors.

4. What’s your favorite thing about this job?  And what other things do you enjoy? Not enjoy?
Pastor Arlene: My favorite thing is to provide care and value to a group of people that are so often overlooked   I love seniors and I love to be around them.   
I love hearing their stories and gleaning from their lifetime of experience.  I love learning from them.   There will never be another generation like them!   
Not enjoy?  I find it hard when seniors pass away.   That is the hardest thing about my job.

5.    Has this job changed you?  If so, how? 
 Pastor Arlene: Yes it has. I have learned so much from this generation in terms of them being….. hard working, persevering, forgiving,  predictable, consistent, strong, faithful, trustworthy, content and having a ‘never giving up on life’ attitude.  They have experienced hard times and I love that pioneer spirit, survivor mentality, overcoming mindset and an unshakable faith and trust in God that so many embrace.  I believe that this job has challenged me to greater appreciate the wonderful life that I am so privileged to enjoy!

6.    What have you learned about your own aging as you’ve worked with seniors?  And how have these insights impacted your life?
Pastor Arlene: I have learned that how you view growing older has more to do with your mind than your body.   Staying positive and upbeat and seeing the glass half full, rather than half empty is the way to live.  
However, we do need to care for our body through proper nutrition and exercise and staying active.  We also need to be involved with things that we love to do and that bring us life.  
Keeping our mind sharp by reading, taking a class, playing games, doing puzzles, learning new aspects of the  computer world, travelling etc. is a bonus as we age and keeps us young at heart.   
Keeping a great sense of humor and not taking yourself so seriously has to be one of the best things we can do as we age.  Grumpiness is a downer and will keep people at bay.  
Community is also so important and having good friends and staying in close touch is vital as we age.  We were meant to do life together and not in isolation.   
On a spiritual note,  Psalms 10 states that God satisfies my years with good things, and that my youth is being renewed like the eagles.  I am not growing older, but better!  I desire to live with a cheerful heart and to nurture an attitude of gratitude.   I must keep looking to God, believing and trusting Him in all things
(Those insights have shown me) that life truly is a gift!  That I must not wait until everything is perfect in my life before I decide to enjoy this amazing journey!  I need to embrace and live life to my full potential now! 

7. What qualities are helpful for people working with seniors?  
Pastor Arlene: Patience…….. giving value to them, by being attentive and hearing what they have to say……….respecting and honoring them…………….embracing their life experience and asking them questions about their journey… quality time.

8. What advice would you give seniors about relating to their church and the pastors who shepherd them?  
Pastor Arlene: Seniors must guard their heart against criticism, because change is inevitable.  There is a book out entitled Change is Inevitable, but Misery is Optional.  Although this book isn’t about seniors, this book title is appropriate for aging seniors  because they will be confronted with the choice either to go forward with  change and embrace it, or stay ‘stuck’ in the past.  The church does not look like it did 60 years ago, although the message is the same.   And the music is not the same as it was even 20 years ago.   If seniors can embrace change in their church and pray for and encourage their leadership, this will be invaluable to them.
  (Emphasis added)

Thank you so much, Pastor Arlene! 

For readers in the 50+ age group, Langley, B.C. area,  we'd love to have you join us for the fall seniors program which begins in September. Check out the CLA Adult Ministries web page for information on how to contact Pastor Arlene and get details. 

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Monday, August 06, 2012

book review: Song of the Brokenhearted by Sheila Walsh & Cindy Coloma

A snippet from the Book Description:

Ava’s safe world becomes unanchored, and she is forced to face the childhood she’s run away from her entire life. Just as she’s trying to sift through the pieces, the doorbell rings and Ava is confronted with the surprise of her life.

Ava must set out on a journey that takes her back home—something Ava hasn’t done in twenty years. As she travels across the state of Texas, strangers offer her kindness and remind her of the meaning of hope and forgiveness.

My Review:
Ava has come a long way from her hurtful childhood in Sheila Walsh and Cindy Coloma’s latest book Song of the Brokenhearted. Now the perfect image of someone who has it all together, Ava runs the Broken Hearts Ministry out of her Dallas church with compassion and smooth efficiency.

But no sooner are we clued in to her student daughter Sienna’s impending wedding, her high school son Jason’s prowess at football, and husband Dane’s successful business when things begin to fall apart in an almost Job-like way.

By the end of the story Ava is at the point of herself needing help from Broken Hearts as she faces the broken pieces of her life and, worse, feels compelled to revisit her painful past even though she  has to do it in the old VW van and without a credit card in sight.

The setting and day-to-day activities of this middle-aged urbanite and her family felt believable and easy to relate to. I especially enjoyed the description of Ava’s impulsive road trip through Texas near the book’s end. Meeting her quirky family was a delight for me, even though it gave her no pleasure. 

The way Ava’s past came back to haunt her is a lesson to us all that we ignore a painful past at our peril. On the other hand, the story illustrates that there are treasures to be mined even from hurt and God, in His surprising way, can turn old torments into healings and a new start.

(I received this book as a gift from the publisher for the purpose of writing a review.)

Book Facts:

Title: Song of the Brokenhearted
Author: Sheila Walsh & Cindy Coloma
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, paperback & Kindle, August 21, 2012.
 ISBN-10: 1595546871 
ISBN-13: 978-1595546876

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Fence in a headlock

(Don't let wisteria's delicate blossoms fool you)


Next week: MODERN (New, Up-to-date, Stylish, Avant-garde, Cool,...)

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