Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whoops, Did I Say That?

I have a friend who is in the rehabilitation centre down at Chedoke Hospital. Catherine had her leg amputated at the knee and is relearning how to get around. It's a world of wheelchairs, walkers and artificial legs. A bunch of us from church were planning to go to her apartment to de-clutter and organize to make the new way of life easier--wheelchair accessible. Bill was planning to make blocks to put under the legs of the bed to keep the bed from rolling around and to raise it to a height level with the seat of the wheelchair so that a transfer from bed to chair and chair to bed could be done as effortlessly as possible.

Catherine thought her bed was about 18 inches high. I told Bill that since I would be at the apartment the next day, I would measure the height of the bed to give him an exact measurement.

"Who knows," I said, "she could be out by a foot."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Endorsements for Blooming

The publisher is putting out a media package for my book, so I sent out a few electronic copies, hoping for usable comments. I am so pleased with what came back.

Marian’s descriptive real-life stories, written with a delightful twist of wit, captivated me immediately. The author, as it were, welcomed me to be part of her family’s experiences, whether glad or sad, and I became a guest reluctant to ever leave. She invited me to walk with her on her personal pilgrimage. As I watched the children grow, I saw Marian grow from a woman who valiantly strove to “keep the rules,” to someone who gained a deeper understanding of what it means to be embraced by Grace and led by the Spirit. Her stories readily found a place in my heart, and their inherent lessons will continue to bless and challenge me for a long time to come. (How can I ever forget the ladder in the tulips, Mrs. Z, or the wedding dress?)
Angelina Fast-Vlaar. Author of Seven Angels for Seven Days and The Valley of Cancer.

Marian communicates her progress as a pilgrim with a realistic down-to-earth look into her own heart as she shares real-life experiences we can all relate to. She employs a unique technique: just be yourself. Her honesty and authenticity are sure to help others on their spiritual journeys.
Rev. Diane Elms, Gospel Crusade of Canada

This book is a delightful smorgasbord for anyone who wants to reflect spiritually on the ordinary miracles of grace between God and humanity that serendipitously occur on a daily basis. Marian celebrates the agony and the ecstasy of being human with humor and honesty, while leaving the reader begging for more!
Christina Belcher, MWS, MEd, PhD (Cand)Associate Professor of Education
Redeemer University College

If you like finding hidden treasure, this book is a must-read. It is full of precious, colourful gems. Blooming will make you laugh, fill you with an abundance of joy, and possibly cause you to shed a tear or two.
Linda Fisher, friend

Endorsement from John Arnott

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Proof Copy is On the Way

Last week, the publishing company notified me, they have shipped out a proof copy of "Blooming" for my approval. Can you tell, I'm excited? I'm posting an excerpt in celebration.

This bit is called, "The Gift that Wasn't"

The phone rang. It was Marnie. “Marian, I’m embarrassed to tell you this, but I bought you a present.”
“For me? You did?”
“For your family.”
“What’s the occasion?”
“Oh, just because you’re nice and Marty and Allison had a birthday.”
“So why are you embarrassed?”
“Well, because the present is so nice.”
“That’s embarrassing?”
“Yes, because I’m keeping it. I bought it for you on Friday, fell in love with it over the weekend, and I can’t bear to part with it.”
“Thanks, I guess.” Marnie and I, good friends since high school, over 20 years ago, don’t often buy each other presents, so I was sort of grateful for the thought. “What in the world is it?”
“It’s a bird.”
“You bought us a bird. Oh, Marnie thank you.” Now I really was grateful. How many friends do you have who would buy you a bird and keep it for you?
You see, our four children had been bothering Marty and me for a pet and again this year we had promised to look into it. The truth is I don’t like pets. I don’t mind admiring someone else’s pets, but I don’t like to take care of a pet. If a pet came to me toilet-trained (that’s flush toilet), I might reconsider.
It isn’t that we haven’t tried to meet our children’s desire for animal friends. We took them to the zoo once and we’ve lived next to people with rabbits and dogs. We’ve even owned goldfish, but they died. Our gerbils died too. So did the puppy we had for three days: the one that slept under the car.
“I knew you were looking for a pet and as soon as I saw her I thought of you,” continued Marnie. “She’s got a big cage and she talks.”
“She talks?”
“It’s a parrot.”
“A parrot? You bought us a parrot? Expensive, I bet.”
“Yeah, but that’s okay. You’re worth it.”
That evening I told Marty and the kids, “Aunt Marnie bought us a pet.”
“She did? What is it?” the kids chorused.
“It’s a bird, a parrot, but we’re not getting it because she fell in love with it.”
“Aww.” The disappointment was showing.
“But,” I added, “we can go look at it and maybe think about getting one like it.” Notice how I didn’t commit myself.
Several evenings later we were introduced to Zack. (She was named before they figured out her sex.) She is a pretty green bird with a yellow patch on her head, orange eyes and several red and blue tail feathers.
“Hello,” she said. “Tickle, tickle. Want a peanut? Thank you. Bye.” She whistled, she barked and she meowed. The kids loved her.
“There’s probably not another bird like her,” Marnie said. “Nobody is allowed to say bad words in front of her: she learns words so fast.”
I actually liked the bird. I liked her all the more because Marnie wasn’t about to part with her, although she did promise we could baby-sit Zack sometime, maybe even for a few weeks when she molts, because all those feathers would make Marnie’s family sneeze.
Our children came home raving about Zack. Angela took to reading the want ads every evening. So far she’s only come across one parrot, but by the time we phoned it was gone.
Maybe I could talk the kids into settling for a bird-feeding station in the backyard.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:9.

My sentiment toward pets mirrored my attitude toward the Holy Spirit. It is okay for my sister-in-law to speak in tongues, but I am not interested in receiving that gift as she calls it. Prophetic words, miracles, signs and wonders are all evidences of the Holy Spirit which I enjoy reading about in the Bible, but I am not expecting to experience those things personally. Little do I know that in the not too distant future, even as Zack will come to live at our house, the Holy Spirit will captivate me.