Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Back in Toontown

I’m home. I arrived on Saturday. (Crazy thing – on the second leg of my flight, from Edmonton to Saskatoon, I was seated right beside my best friend Jane from elementary and high school. No, Saskatoon is NOT that small.) My family was reunited for a whole weekend, since my sister Sarah was also home for a few days. I love my family and I hope I never take any of them for granted. We put up the traditional tree-with-an-overabundance-of-ornaments. It also has strings of popcorn and cranberries on it – does anyone else have this tradition?

I’m feeling the same way I felt the last time I switched cities. The four hours in a plane cross me over from one stream of life to another. When I’m in Vancouver, my home in Saskatoon seems like a faraway dreamland, a place I actively remember and think of fondly, where I long to be. Almost as soon as I arrive, this dreamland feeling switches into a fee
ling of intense normality, like I’ve never been gone. Everything is familiar, and I slip right back in again and don’t even realize it. This isn’t a bad thing – it’s good to feel like I fit in. But I don’t want to take advantage of the time; I want to appreciate every moment and live in the knowledge that these days are the ones I’ve longed for. The same thing will happen, I’m sure, when I return to Vancouver. It will be too normal.

My exams went well, I think. I’m pretty sure that after many French lit classes and a year and a half of grad school, I’ve figured out a nearly foolproof method of writing essays on final exams. Basically, you read through your notes and try to find themes that run through the whole course, and examples of where they appear. Chances are, you’ll be able to twist your ideas into at least one of the essay options. You also memorize a few key details (specific dates, names, etc.) and make every effort to include them, so that the prof knows you’ve been paying attention. And then you write it out in an organized and time-efficient way. That’s it. It’s worked for me. I’ve also figured out how to write a mean Hebrew translation test, but since far fewer (note the word choice, Chris!) people will benefit from this information, I will refrain from providing it. This was my last Hebrew class, sadly. I hope I don’t forget it all…

So, with the exception of an unfortunate Exegesis paper that I have to write over the holidays, my Master’s degree is half finished. My degree is half finished, and my savings are almost all finished! My landlords called me up the day before I left to tell me that one of my cheques bounced (due to my own stupidity, not a lack of money), but this got me to checking my budget and income/expenditure ratio, at which time I discovered that I’ll be short of money next semester. I was mostly frustrated at myself for miscalculating, but there was also a bit of worry and fear that crept up into me. This is the first time in my life I’ve been so tight with money,
and it’s going to be a learning experience. But on the same day, I had a cool reminder about God providing for me… for several months now, I’ve been looking for some rubber boots to protect me against the elements – the last missing chink in my rain armor. I had checked with friends and looked in a few stores, but I hadn’t found anything I liked or could afford. Finally, at Jacob’s Well, my friend told me there were some rubber boots on the free table. (The free table is where members of the community – both volunteers and residents - can bring things they no longer need and take things they do need). They were beautiful yellow and they fit me perfectly! So I waited, and God brought me free boots in his own way. Please pray as I learn to trust him for bigger things…

I am glad to be back in the predictable cold and snow. The recent cataclysmic weather conditions in Vancouver were starting to take their toll on me. First it was the constant rain and flooding and undrinkable water, then it was massive snowfall, and then before I left, there was a hurricane-force windstorm that uprooted enormous trees in Stanley Park. Plus everyone keeps talking about “the Big One” which is the long overdue massive earthquake that’s supposed to hit Vancouver. We’re supposed to have emergency supplies ready in case this happens. Good old Saskatoon. Yep, it’s cold and it’s snowy, but the chances of a massive, life-threatening earthquake here are slim to none.

Since I arrived home, I’ve had a sleepover with my sisters, I’ve seen my brother sing in a recital (his voice seriously blew me away), I’ve been in a near-traffic-accident due to the ice, I’ve played a great new board game Chris gave my family (Apples to Apples), I’ve caroled at the hospital, I’ve had breakfast with Jordan, I’ve attended a party at Rochelle’s house, and I’ve almost bought all of my Christmas presents. I plan to spend a lot more time with family, with Chris, with other friends, with my pillow, and with books. I’ll try to let you know how this plan works out… pictures to come...


Anonymous said...

wow, i ran into jane in the ottawa byward market last summer!

that gal is workin' the country!

merry christmas beth!


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Beth!! Hope you're having a good holiday. Weather conditions are still a little crazy in The Couv. Christmas Eve the skies opened and it poured for the entire day. It cleared up a little for Christmas Day and the sun even peeked out for awhile! Enjoy the rest of your break and I'll see you back at home!