Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Pass

I can't remember the last time I sat as a
"regular customer," as Oliver put it,
being served my Cream Early Grey and
drinking from a cup Bronwyn gave me!
Don't get me wrong: it's not that I don't love all you people in my TH family.

But when someone who loves me said to me, "K, I'm coming down to work for you on November 12 and 13 so that you can hang out with Dad and the boys," I admit that I felt a bit like someone who has been given an unexpected weekend pass from a minimum security facility ...

The last few weeks have seen me stretched to my breaking point, what with Carswell, TH events, and - just in case I didn't have enough on my plate already - the first academic course I have taken in 27 years (which is the first online course I have ever taken) ...

Debs, observer of human nature that she is, saw I was starting to become a bit of an automaton and somehow sensed when the balance would tip out of my favour, and she made me this offer for this weekend, on one condition: I could hang out at the TH, but I was not allowed to work - I had simply to enjoy it.

Here's how my weekend gift was spent:

Friday night to Saturday, I slept for ten hours - TEN!!

I went into Airdrie with Don and Norma for lunch ...
Seriously, Norma? Do you REALLY
need all that stuff?!

and then Don dropped Norma and me off at HomeSense to get a couple of things for the TH while he dealt with window coverings at Lowe's...

As we approached the mall, I commented in shock that I had never seen the place so busy or the parking lot so full. Norma laughed out loud and said, "When's the last time you went shopping on a Saturday, Karyn?!"

We drove back to Three Hills and decided to drop in at the TH for dessert. There we found Dad, BA and the boys just pulling up.

Debs waited on us, and I can tell you that I need to smarten up if I don't want to find myself out of a job!

Deborah serving me scones
with special strawberry jam ...

Later that evening, I hung around the TH, visiting with Vernon and Sharon; then after closing time, I got to chat with Deb, who was cooking, and BA, who wrote the board for Sunday's offerings.

After a nine-hour sleep (to think that 19 hours is about what I've been getting for a whole week lately!) I charged down the stairs to go to Sunday School. Deb had already been working, and I was greeted by a cup of hot coffee and a chauffeured ride.

After Sunday School we went back to the TH with Elliot and Oliver, who did homework and worked on a project for their parents, and BA helped put up lights while Deb kept working away in the kitchen. A great moment was an unexpected visit from Luke and Craig. We made lattes and got a little bit caught up with them. It was lovely to see my big boys in the TH and I only wished that my Matt had been here too - that would have made the moment perfect ...

Then it was off to lunch at Dad's home. Usually when I actually get to eat Sunday lunch with my family, it's more a matter of inhaling my food and rushing back to the kitchen to continue preparing. This Sunday I had no such anxiety - Deb was in charge in the kitchen, God was in His heaven and all was right with the world!

Then it came 3 o'clock - and to my delight, who should walk in but Brent, who was meeting Coach for coffee. I got to sit and drink coffee with him for a few minutes ... and then suddenly the dining room was full. People were at every single table. Curt tore around getting orders, I made drinks and BA delivered them, while Deb kept up with all the dessert and food orders.

But by 3:45 all was calm and I grabbed my coffee cup and sat for a few minutes with Ed. Our conversation started with talking about his vacation but grew progressively darker. Sorry, Ed! Next time we'll stick with Hawaii!

At 5:45, my father walked through the door and I got to do something I haven't been able to do for a few years now - go to evening church and sit with my Dad! My Aunt Ev was playing the piano, and Cyril, the substitute pastor, asked a question that has stayed with me: Are you a thermometer or a thermostat? A thermometer is reactive - it can't do anything except show the temperature of the space it is occupying. A thermostat can change the temperature in a room - but it has to be plugged into a power source in order to do so. Do I reflect change or effect it? Am I connected to my power source at all times? 

Curt serving "Pastor Ironside"
After church, we had the Ironside standing reservation at the TH for 7:15 and five of us sat down to dinner at Quiet Corner. Curt was serving us, so it was far from quiet - that child is a stand-up comedian, if only he knew it!

Oswaldo had expertly concocted a delicious broccoli and cheddar soup; Deb had created an almond cup filled with lemon mousse, light as air and creamily delicious; and Tiffany with her magic touch brought the desserts to life ...
Lemon almond cup

Banana crepe

Meet Cinderella ...
After dinner I chatted with a few people, including the magical Rebecca who brought me the tiny pink flying pachyderm complete with little glass slippers, showing me that even elephants can have their Cinderella moment!

Alas, just like in all good fairy tales, the clock struck midnight and I had to return to my kitchen. But I went to bed that night feeling cared for and woke this morning wonderfully refreshed. 

I kept thinking of the verse, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." I realize that Debs didn't have to lay down her life for me; but I had felt pretty close to being ready to drop from exhaustion and pressures within and without. Deb saw it and laid down her weekend for me. Her WHOLE weekend.

A pretty enormous amount of love, wouldn't you say? 

Thank you Deborah Joy.


  1. A beautiful reminder of those we dearly love sharing their gifts of love & care when we have little strength left to ask.. I felt honored to have had a few more lovely glimpses of Deb & her joy serving in the TH. Soo good to hear about this harvest that which has come from your much needed rest.

  2. I'm always encouraged by your blogs!

  3. That sounds like a wonderful weekend:). It's amazing how a couple normal night's sleep can change one's perspective on life too. I've had 2 good nights and feel so much better.

  4. Good all around -- or "It's all good" an expression I cannot use without seeing Deb's cheery face. Though isn't it a bit cheesy to draw an audience to your blog by loading up with pictures of beautiful women!

  5. It might be cheesecakey, but not cheesy!

  6. Well needed rest! Karen first time, in how many years I see your face :) and you remind me so much of Aunty. Way to go sweet Deb! Enjoyed seeing all of you. Please let BA know I still remember the bicycle ride..haha. Getting long. Love Sarah

  7. Ohh...I love the 'thermometer/thermostat' thought....


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