Sunday, July 11, 2010

Road Trip

So I knew we were off to a good start to our road trip when we stopped at Houston (BC) at a huge fundraising flea market. I think it is at this point that I will freely admit to something that my wife has known all along. I like to collect books… I may even read them eventually. Combine the finding of a good used book with a ridiculously low price and I am happy. So I found 3 books: “Boundaries”, “Vine’s Expository Dictionary – OT & NT Words” and “Unger’s Bible Handbook”; the price….25 cents each!

The rest of the books were purchased at a couple of other spots along the way. While we were in Rosthern, Sask. We went into a second-hand store called “The Clothes Basket” where I bought 3 more: “The Dead Sea Scrolls” - $5.00, “The Great Evangelical Disaster” by Francis Schaeffer – 50 cents and “The Mennonite Hymnary” – 25 cents. The final book I bought was at the PG Value Village: “This Momentary Marriage” by John Piper (2009) for $4.00. To me, this is akin to my friend Adam B. posting his latest catch on the banks of the Skeena. Insert euphoric adjectives here.
Returning to the road trip part of this post, I want to mention 2 big parts of the trip, first the family reunion for Joleen’s family was held near a small town in Saskatchewan called Landis at the sight of a 1-room school house.

The school was named after the family and was located 1 mile from the 100-year old family farm. Having 12 kids born to the family gave the school a good source of students and made for a large family reunion, 44 years after the youngest Porter was born (Joleen’s aunt). The highlight for me was finding the connection to Christ.

The school had also been used as a church so a request had been given for me to lead in some singing while another member connected to the family preached. This was, to say the least, an unusual event. We were warmly received and prayed much that the word and the songs would be used in some way to reach those who were new to the gospel.

The trip to my parent’s farm is always one of wonderful nostalgia yet in some ways, holds with it, a touch of sadness. Time keeps turning the pages and we are along for the ride. The great comfort for me is that eternity beckons with incredible hope and wonder. My parents and siblings know this same hope. Yet, making the trip to the farm is like being partially suspended in time, a time of innocence that can only be grasped in memories triggered by familiar sights, smells and sounds.
One day we pulled up to the Duck Lake town hall while Mom went in to talk to someone. Meanwhile, I’m noticing someone about my age cutting the grass in front of us with a large ride-on lawnmower and wearing a huge smile. Mom told me it was C., someone I had known in grade 1. My vivid memory of him was the very first day of school and him crying and crying because he did not want to be there. That was almost 42 years ago. Another sight we saw while in Duck Lake was our high school.

That day they were in the process of demolishing the main wing that housed the classrooms for my grades from 7-12. Ouch that hurt. I know that I would have been thrilled back then to see it go but it was kind of hard to see it happen now. Later, Joleen and I drove around the farming area with my Dad. We drove a circuit that went about 8 miles away from the farm and then looped back. Dad was bringing me up to speed on all the people living in the area, many old, but some, new. There never seems to be any shortage of wildlife in the area either. As we were driving we saw a black bear in one hay field, then as if prompted by the director the “The Truman Show”, 2 white tail dear popped their heads up in the next field and bounded behind a poplar bluff in perfect unison. As we drew closer to home, a partridge stared us down and then bobbed and weaved in front of us before finally hopping of the side of the road.

The one frustration I had was that while we were in Saskatchewan, it rained almost every day which prevented us from making any hay. The storm in the picture happened to dump 1.1 inches of rain in a span of approx. 25 minutes (we had a rain gauge and a watch).

The final shot I want to leave you with is one that Joleen shot - a drive-by shooting actually. I loved the composition of this shot, the sunshine, the velvet on the antlers of the elk and of course, the picture takers who have carefully placed their child within 5 feet of him.