Archive for January 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ad Matrem Meam

         Note the title. This is not to be confused with the class of rhetorical fallacies including ad populum, which is to base an argument on the grounds that the population is in agreement. In this sense, Ad matrem meam would be "appealing to my mother" (e.g. "Your honor. I did not steal the vehicle; my mother always said to share.") Instead, Ad matrem meam is an address… to my mother.

Yesterday Pastor Wilson gave a lecture on the art of debate. The actual debate occurs when the opponent shows us the evidence for his argument. The object is to refute his evidence and maintain your own. Once you have done this, you win. Sounds easy, but f you are going to win you need to employ a strategy. Your strategy will be to find a proof that is both necessary for the opponents argument and a proof that you have the ability to topple. In Wilson's words your attack must be decisive and feasible. Kind of boring, I know. I will admit that I closed my eyes more than to blink during the lecture.

Strategy is not just an abstract concept to be discussed in a classroom, it also has practical applications. Have you ever wondered why there is such a large church community with a christian high school and a liberal arts college in the small town of Moscow, Idaho? The principle of strategy is the very reason. Jim Wison, Pastor Wilson's father, wanted to find a strategic point on the map for evangelism. That point is Moscow. Moscow is decisive because there are two large universities within eight miles of each other. The young college kids are the perfect evangelizing opportunity. As for feasibility, well, I'm here in the community right now, so we can check that off the list. 

There is a reason I'm telling you all this and it has to do with the fact that you are in China for the second time in two weeks. Some might call that a bit crazy, but the proper term would be, 'necessary'. Twenty years ago, perhaps without even realizing, you and Dad came up with a strategy. Your strategy was decisive. It would witness to hundreds of employees and thousands of customers in Costco's across the nation. Your strategy was feasible because dutch blood makes plants grow. It is necessary for you to be in China right now because you do not do anything half-ass, and no Christian ever should.

Your work right now is very stressful- I know this because we used to live in the same house. As long as the business does not get in the way of your worship, the stress is no reason for you to question your strategy and back out. Remember that the seemingly uncontrollable growth of the greenhouse is not the business spiralling into chaos to meet the market's demands, it is God's providence. You have been given ten talents; don't ever think about burying them.

Praying for you and Dad from across the globe.
Your fair-haired son, Reuben

You are no longer subject to any time zone. 
Travelling to China twice in two weeks has placed you in limbo.


Friday, January 11, 2013

On The Road Again

I have been reviewing my digital photo diary lately and I can hardly believe how many miles we have travelled this year.   Actually, I think it is really quite outrageous.  According to my estimates, the Big Guy and I have gone around the globe this year......literally.  Our itinerary has included Las Vegas, Los Cabos, Los Angeles, London, Beijing, Tokyo, Saigon, Huatulco.......

all of which I really need to blog about before I forget the details. 

Now, we have reached our destinations in many and varied ways in the last 12 months.  Plane, trains and automobiles were the most common form of transportation.  But there has always been one SPECIAL mode of transportation which the Big Guy and I wanted to give a whirl and that was a trip in an 18 wheeler, equipped with sleeper and all.  This was our year.  We finally bit the bullet and hit the road.

Early in 2012 we set off in the semi truck.......

 and drove half way across Canada, visiting all of our customers from here to Winnipeg in less than 14 days.

By the time we made it to Edmonton, I was singing country songs and chatting up truckers on the CB like I'd been driving a big rig all my life.  It was fun. It was temporary.  I would be home soon.

Then we got the call.

"You guys gotta haul down to Calgary as quick as you can and switch tractors, pronto.  We got a load that needs to be in Winnipeg as fast as possible and you're the only ones available.  We're counting on you!"

This is about the time that I began to wonder if we would ever make it back.

Canada is an awfully big country, people, and there is NOT a whole lot going on in Saskatchewan and Manitoba besides a few grain elevetators and the occasional road side stand selling milk shakes for the weary traveller who manages to stumble through town.

Things are pretty rough out there on the road.  The facilities can be quite basic at times. Fortunately for me, the Parks Board is kind enough to ensure there is always a roll of toilet paper when you need one.

Then of course, there is also the amazing Canadian wildlife you will see when driving across country.  When travelling through the Rocky Mountains, we often see Bears and Moose.  However, Saskatchewan and Manitoba treated us to something we had never, ever seen before......


It was late one night in the middle of nowhere.  We had the pedal to the metal and we were cruisin' East in a long convoy of 18 wheelers* when all of a sudden, we were swarmed by so many bugs that visibility dropped to zero.  It was like driving in a blinding blizzard, except it was all BLACK instead of WHITE!  The windshield wipers were useless.  Every swish of the blades just smudged the blood and guts across the glass like a scene out of a horror movie.  We finally pulled over and tried to clear a small spot on the drivers window using a Tim Horton's take-out bag and some hand sanitizer but it was no use.   The splattered corpses were too numerous to eradicate.

*I may be taking some liberties with fact at this juncture in my tale.  We were not actually in a convoy.  As a matter of fact, we were very much alone at the time.  I thought it sounded more romantic to be driving in a pack.  Real truckers always drive in convoys, right?

Even stranger, they stank like FISH!

We had to endure the stench of rotted flesh for the next few days, no matter how hard we tried to scrub it away.

We did finally manage to make it home from what will most likely be my first and last road trip in a Big Rig.  I was so glad to see my bed again, I could have cried.

Tomorrow I find myself headed out to the airport yet again.  You would think that a person would start getting used to travelling long distances once they have to do it on a more regular basis.  So why do I dread the fact that I am leaving yet again for another jaunt to the Orient, you wonder?  I mean, how many people get to hop on planes, fly around the world and live the jet setter lifestyle?!




I just miss my PEEPS so much when I'm gone!

I'll be back soon.  I promise.  Keep the coffee on.



Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Year in Review

I find myself quite overwhelmed with feelings of shame and regret these days.  The sensation grips me every time I see a new blog post from my big sister Rosa.  She is my hero and always has been.  She keeps me abreast of all things hip and happening outside of this ever expanding greenhouse in Milner BC.  She taught me about Martha, heirloom seeds, propagating in a back yard greenhouse, Pinterest and........


Just the mention of it and I can feel my blood pressure rising.  Oh why did I transgress in such a heinous fashion?  How could I have been so callous in letting thing slide the way I have?  How on earth am I supposed to remember all the wonderful adventures I have had in 2012 if I didn't blog about them in detail?  Seriously, people, my memory is like a sieve.  I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning much less what I was busy with 6 months ago.  Blogging was my only hope of retaining any cognitive remnant of my life and all it's ups and downs.  How could I have been so foolish??!!

But wait......

There is still hope!

A few days ago I was lamenting my imprudent half year lapse of judgement when I suddenly realized I have a few photos on my cel phone which I can consult.  It seems there are 3500 images which I shot over the last months.  Surely they can be of some use in extracting tidbits of memory from my speedily fading grey matter.....

I see from my digital photo files that we have been partying quite a bit!

It would appear that earlier this summer, we hosted a big fundraiser for the Food Bank where we served tons of fantastic food....

whipped the crowds up into a giving frenzy......

and just basically had a wonderful time of fellowship and fun with over 200 ladies from the community!

We should really do that again next year!  Maybe I will remember to blog about it the second time around.

My cel phone photo library also indicates we raised some funds for Cardus, a Christian Political "think tank" which does some great work on providing substantive information to our government which helps them in making more informed decisions in Ottawa.

I mostly threw the party because I really like Ray and Mike, the founders. They are probably the most brainiac people I know so we decided to decorate the greenhouse with a bit of a library theme.  You know, so they would feel all comfortable in such familiar surroundings.

And of course, there were lots of beautiful flowers and savoury morsels alongside the books because life just isn't the same without olfactory and visual stimulation balanced out by mental stimulation.

The Big Guy and I tried to say a few words but somehow, speaking to a crowd of 200 intelectuals is just a tad bit intimidating for a couple of farmers who have only a rudimentary grasp of English grammar and even less of public speaking etiquette.  Surprisingly, our "knock knock" jokes didn't go over as well as we had hoped.

 Everyone had a really wonderful time I think.  However, I did notice in one of the photos that my good friend Carl appears to be yawning quite without restraint so perhaps next time we will need to provide him with some stronger coffee to help him keep his wits about him.

Thanks for showing up, Carl.  We know how much Ray appreciates his Uncle's attendance at all his BC functions!

Now, just in case you have the mistaken notion that I personally organized this whole big shindig, let me show you the real brains behind the party:

These two beautiful gals are the real magicians!  They worked out all the details while the Big Guy and I were on business in Europe and Asia.  Everything was practically all finished by the time we got back.  The minutest detail was not left out by this party planning duo.  I am so blessed to have such a dynamo design team!

As I mentioned, the party was all planned out while I was out of the country.  Upon gazing through my thousands of cel phone pictures, I was kind of shocked at how much travelling we did this year.  Seriously, we actually circumnavigated the globe in the month of August, I kid you not.  But that is a WHOLE OTHER blog post!

To be continued.......