Thankfulness amidst the storm. Day 252 away from home

Well it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. It would be impossible to keep a record of all that’s happened in life, both good and bad, but this thanksgiving weekend in particular I wanted to focus on my gratitude/thankfulness. It would be easy to focus just on the deficits of life, but man I have so much to be thankful for.
Here’s just a few of those things;
-I was able to participate in the annual ride for refuge with Erinn and Cate last weekend. We walked the 5 km along the boardwalk near Lake Ontario. It was a beautiful sunny day, I thoroughly enjoyed being with my girls, and at the end of it all Erinn was able to raise her $15,000 goal to go towards the ministry of The Dale.
-I was able to attend most of our church retreat weekend which was about listening for the voice of God as to our future. For me one of the most beautiful things was just how many people gave up their entire Saturday to come and dream about the future of this church. There are so many people in this community that love each other and our church. I’m so thankful to be a part of that.
-my sister Joy has been promising our daughter Cate for about 10 years now that for her 16th birthday she would take her to New York City. Well, that time is here and they are currently in New York having what appears to be a blast. I’m so thankful for my daughter and my sister and my entire family.
-while they are in New York, Erinn and I went out last night for dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. Today we’re heading to a movie which we’ve been looking forward to for a while. I’m so thankful for Erinn, her support of me through all of this, and that we enjoy hanging out together.
-I’ve been stressed about money. There’s no real reason to. I just stress about it. We’re spending a ton of it on the house. And I’ve had to pay rent here at the transitional apartment while the house gets done. Well yesterday, unbeknownst to me, I got a cheque from the people at the building I live at. I had no idea why, but when I opened it, it was because they had gotten a pile of funding and decided that those of us getting community supports here should be considered part of the healthcare system. As a result, I got all of my rent money for the past 4 months back and no longer have to pay rent for the last few months here. What a major boost out of nowhere to go towards the house! And on top of that, some dear friends gave us a sizeable cheque towards the renovations as well. I could never express my gratitude for all of that, and it came at a perfect time.
-on the topic of gifts, I have received two in the last few days which bring me joy. One is that a dear friend of mine, who will remain unnamed:), came over and shared with me the last 2 shots of a 21 year old bottle of Balvenie scotch. Another dear friend, who will also remain unnamed, brought me a beautiful cigar back from Cuba. These bring me great pleasure and gratitude.
-I wrote a chapter for a book. It’s about homelessness and what shelters can do in response to the problem. This book is now finally published! I’m quite proud of it. If you would like a copy of it here is the link.
-I’m 48 years old and retired due to my health but this week my former work family invited me to come and share some of my thoughts on mission with close to 20 new staff. I loved being invited and involved. I’m so very thankful to still be connected with the work that I love deeply. And to top that off, just before I entered the shelter to do the teaching, a guy who lives in shelters who knows me well called out my name and we spent some time chatting and catching up. I guess I’m grateful to still be remembered on the streets.
-finally, my home renovations. They are progressing quite nicely. We have all of the underpinning done, all of the in floor heating is installed, and the concrete slab has been poured over the top of that.

This foundation work has taken lots of time but will be worth it. Like life I guess, foundations take the most time. I should be home by Christmas, that is my drop-dead date whether it’s ready or not. I’m not spending Christmas anywhere else! My only concern now is that once I get into the warm and dry and bright basement with my TV and stereo, I may never want to leave:)

All that to say, I am as grateful and blessed as a man could be.
Have a Joy and gratitude filled Thanksgiving weekend.

1 thought on “Thankfulness amidst the storm. Day 252 away from home”

  1. HI Dion; Well said. Good to be with you. Sorry, I didn’t ask more about the house. Good pix. More please. Too bad the scotch and cigar didn’t come as a package. Near heaven that stuff..

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