Saturday, May 29, 2010

Camp Diary -- May 26th - 28th

John and Mr. Banga

Lydia and Hannah

May 26th, 2010

Happy birthday to Jesse! Hard to believe he's 16 already. How time flies! (That last thought seems to have become my motto lately!)

We left at 7:10 (give or take) this morning. Ellie had a chiropractor appointment at 8:15 and we wanted to be at Kenosee by 2 pm so she could be home in time for milking.

Yorkton seems huge. Surprise, surprise. Superstore was duly explored and goggled by yours truly; as was the majority of Wal-mart... which has become a monster in my absence. Whether or not it's a friendly is still being decided. On one hand, I love the variety of things now available. But what a city feel. 'Old' Yorkton, for all of it's faults, still felt like Saskatchewan. Compared to Endeavour, 'New' Yorkton reminds me of the states.

Anyway, we got to Kenosee at the time hoped and of all surprises, Michele A. had “happened” to stop in! Hehe! I love that gal. :-) So we shared dinner with her and Fr. Banga and enjoyed much glorious conversation. One thing I love about Michele is her ability to make everyone like she is speaking to directly to them. I wish I could emulate that.

But my adventures have not left me and, although I remembered everything else, I forgot my skirts and dresses. Yes, they are still hanging in my closet at home in that dandy handy clothing bag. And yes again, I nearly freaked out and almost as nearly threw up my entire stomach content. Lol! But several things happened that helped the situation. 1: I had prayed specifically that God would help me to NOT forget, and furthermore, to not let me leave anything I needed behind. So, He must have answered no and allowed this to happen for some very good reason. Perhaps to remind me some other (more important?) time to remember my dresses. ;-) Or maybe for some other mysterious circumstance that I'll never know. 2: Just as I was thinking this, we walked into our quarters (Kome “N” See) and there, at my eye level on the wall, was this plaque bearing the words, “Relax – God's in Charge”. With my mind being in the state it was (that would actually be 'province' wouldn't it? :-P), it seemed like I was receiving a command directly from God.

Amazingly, my stomach immediately calmed down and the situation... the comments from my dear family, both joking and non,... feeling ridiculous... didn't matter anymore. I vas a duck in de rain. :-)

After getting partially settled in our prospective rooms at Kome “N” See, we said goodbye to the folks and changed into work clothes (Hannah kindly lent me a skirt). The rest of the afternoon and early evening were spent working in the Mess Hall. Lydia is painting the cooler while Hannah and I wash dishes and clean cabinets. It's pretty filthy in there. They had to repair 10 feet of wall that was rotten... so the floor is covered in sawdust and all sorts of equipment/hand tools/etc. We begin painting tomorrow. Hannah and I would really like to finish the kitchen but I am kinda thinking it will be impossible to really finish until the dust and tools are rounded up and out.

I am tired and a little chilled... but I feel like I accomplished a lot and I enjoy working with my sisters. Plus the food is really good (Fr. Banga is quite the chef)... the sun is shining... Lydia is serenading us with guitar music... the power came on earlier than they predicted (SaskPower had to cut down a tree that was slowly uprooting itself over the power line... quite a nasty job)... thus, supper dishes are done... I can take a quick shower and use my brand-new, gorgeous smelling body wash... read my Bible and Victorian Poetry (yes, K, it's here with me. Slipped it in with my pillows. ;-)) before heading to bed.

I can't wait to mop the Mess Room floor. Lol!
Someone want to come help me?

Last conversation with Ellie:
The forgotten music books (see slight cardiac arrest update) were brought up and I said I thought forgetting my clothes was a worse blooper than my memory lapse with the books. Ellie disagreed. She said the books were definitely worse. Lydia said nope, the clothes were worse. Her reasoning? “You can play music from memory but you can't get away with wearing your clothes from memory.” Ellie had to concede.

May 27th, 2010

What a day. :-) Again, I feel like we accomplished a lot. But this time, it's more noticeable. :-) Our chef told us breakfast was served at 7:45 am but when we arrived on the dot in the Mother Teresa Centre, he was already seated at the table, waiting patiently for us. When we expressed our apologies, he said that we were going to get fired on our first day. Lol! After eating a good meal complete with lots of brown sugar, we set to work once again...

[Hm. My hands smell like bleach. I guess it's better than chicken innards.]

Lydia finished with the primer in the cooler, while Hannah cleaned two of their heavy duty stoves in the kitchen. Since the Mother Teresa Centre is being rented out to a family, we can't eat in that kitchen any longer... at least not until they leave. So Fr. Banga had me clean a range that was sitting in the Mess Hall. I have never cleaned a stove that needed it so badly. Lol! It was filthy. My water was like mud twice before I was finished.

And when I had completed that task, I was told to clean the floor. It was pretty mud corroded and had all sorts of garbage on it. I tried to vacuum but managed to suck up a piece of cardboard and had to get someone (namely, Fr. Banga) to do repair work. He told me that I should probably just forget about the vacuum... sweeping was safer. :-P :-D Anyways, the kitchen floor is linoleum and it cleaned beautifully. I couldn't believe how nice it looked even before I was finished. Very rewarding for the Clean-ess. :-)

We ate our last meal at the MTC at dinner and cleaned out all of Fr. Banga's cooking utensils, food, pans, etc. He parked his car (think 5'4 man, huge 70's car... so hilarious because it really does fit his personality) with a small trailer outside so we didn't have to carry it far. I loaded almost everything ...and had another interesting situation. The skirt I'm wearing of Hannah's doesn't have a button at the top of the zipper, so it has to be pinned with a safety pin. When I bent down and picked up a particularly heavy container, the strain popped open the pin! Lol! It was a little shocking. No blood, thank goodness. :-)

And in the afternoon... we did dishes (still have a few more to go) and painted. The Mess Hall has ¾ painted walls! It went fast with all of us girls working. Hannah and Lydia running the rollers; me working around the windows and doors. I have never painted before (that I can remember) so this is a very new experience. At first I was nervous because I want to do it perfectly and I couldn't control where the paint went to the extent I wished to. ;-) Thankfully, even though he insists he doesn't do any of that 'fancy stuff', Fr. Banga did buy masking tape so all of the edges of the screens and the window handles are not a solid gray. Lol.

I didn't feel tired, hungry or cold until we decided to stop for supper. When I set down my brush, I was suddenly all three and shaking all over. But we had hot tomato soup, sandwiches on sourdough and lots of chocolate cookies (I think I ate too many!!)... Hannah also started a fire in the stove. Afterwards, I took a very hot shower and washed the paint right out of my hair... and cleaned my braces... thus, shaking eliminated. ;-)

So it was a good day. I must say I enjoyed myself. :-) It's really funny watching Fr. Banga laugh. He's somewhat deaf (wears a hearing aid) so he gets into a world of his own quite often. But sometimes I look up and catch him watching us with an amused grin on his face and his shoulders jiggling. We particularly take delight in making him laugh at meal times. At home we have a little custom of looking at the #s on the bottom of our cups/glasses: the single or double number is your 'age' for the meal. Anyways, Lydia and Hannah decided to carry on the practice away from home and every time they do it, Fr. Banga completely loses it. Hehe! It's quite amusing. “What are you, fortune tellers?” “I'm five?! .... I wish.”

I must say I keep getting surprised at how much he accomplishes. When you look at him, you don't think much; he's short, round, in his upper 60's at least. I didn't realize how mechanically minded he is. I'll bet he can fix anything. He also lifted a range and moved a refrigerator by himself today. I am amazed at his strength. During dinner, he mentioned that he met Mother Teresa several times before her death. I am always curious about people who are spiritually renown, so I asked a lot of questions. He said he would bring over some books about her. I wish I could have met her because I wish to discerne for myself whether she was merely religious or a lover of Truth. At any rate, she's dead and unless she was the latter, meeting her is out of the question. But the conversation lent itself as food for thought so I am happy about that. :-)

Am I happy with the rest of life? Oh yes. I feel useful and blessed. :-) I am glad for the opportunity. Once again, my prayer is that God will shine through me and bless everyone I am around. Sometimes it seems rather impossible. Lol. I mean, look at me: I trip over my own toes. :-) But those blessed promises of God... all things are possible through Him. I am so thankful.

May 28th, 2010

Today we basically finished painting the Mess Hall. Fr. Banga said that he was completely amazed with the progress we'd made in two days. He also said he had been having nightmares about not getting all that needed to be accomplished before camp started... but I think he thinks we'll make it now.

Last night I woke up twice after sweating big time. It happens when something 'breaks' in my system. When I woke up in the morning, I wasn't feeling the greatest and was dreading putting in another day like yesterday. So I was praying for the strength to do what I needed to do as I was waking up, getting dressed and going out the door to breakfast. God's answer met me at the Mess Hall door... Lydia and Hannah were coming out as I stepped in the doorway. “Fr. Banga says it's too cold to work this morning. We're to have a break until 11.” I was pretty thankful. :-)

So over the course of the morning, I ate and rested and read... our host arrived around 10 bearing the books he'd promised me and explained some details about content. At 11 we went to work and didn't stop for lunch until an hour or so later. By that time, I was hungry!!! Hehe. :-) Soup with lots of barley and cabbage went down very well... as did the ham sandwiches.

The conversations keep getting better. This time, Fr. Banga 'warned' us about his friend John who was coming to help out. They have known each other for 28 years and Fr. Banga said that although a very good man, John can “drive you bananas!” (Fr. Banga is 67. John is about that age.) When the man walked through the door, I understood. His first words? “Oh. Sorry I'm late. I got lost.” Fr. Banga asks, “Where did you wind up, John?” “At the fishing hole!” He has a voice I thought only existed on animated movies. His energy and attention span remind me of my brother Zeke (whom we refer to as “Tigger”), he looks like no one you've ever seen and his heart is pure gold. In other words, he is bigger than life.

Anyways, these two guys carried on almost ceaselessly and the entire conversation was banter, sarcasm and camaraderie that only comes when you know someone better than yourself. After we all worked for several hours, Fr. Banga called a snack-time and we gathered around to break bread (which he had just baked this morning... it smelled soooo good. I was painting to the aroma. Honestly.) and John grumped that he didn't have his teeth in. Apparently they were out in his truck and he didn't want to walk that far to get them (which is ridiculous because he had only made 10 other trips out there to get various tools). But when he heard Fr. Banga tell Hannah to put the butter, jam and peanut butter on the table, he yelped, “You bought peanut butter?!” Fr. Banga looked at him (you have to know Fr. Banga to understand what I mean by 'looked') and said, “My girls are peanut butter freaks.” John was already at the door. “Well, if there's peanut butter I'm going for my teeth.”

Supper was leftovers again (“we don't waste food” is Fr. Banga's motto) and for dessert there was ice-cream (with chocolate! I had to have a little taste) (well, slightly more than a taste) and cake with orange frosting (which I refrained from). After supper, we girls congregated to our 'house' and relaxed. Lydia wrote, I read from one of Fr. Banga's books (which, btw, has some wonderful nuggets of truth. I'll have to share...) and Hannah read some Reader's Digest.

But just as I was thinking about heading to the shower, who should arrive but Fr. Banga with a deck of cards and a snack? We didn't understand the game at first but it started coming, thanks to his coaching, and pretty soon, we were playing just like pros (or Fr. Banga, in other words). Lol. And I, who never win on games, won by a long shot. I think it might have been an accident.... But we shall see. ;-) Afterwards, we drank (cranberry juice mixed with ginger ale) to myself and played and sang and made plans for the morrow. ;-)

Which, hopefully... maybe... will include a visit to the library and an internet connection. Whether or not it worked out as planned you will know when you're reading this. :-)

So, my eyes are beginning to close on me and it's 10:30. Tomorrow is no work, a trip to town and maybe more rain. Sunday it's supposed to snow. As Lydia says, “What else is June about besides snow?”


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear from you. Wow, you wrote a lot! How fast can you type? ;)

Walmart is huge; esp the Superstore ones and if you don't go in a while, it seems even bigger!

Sorry to hear that you left ALL your skirts and dresses at home! I would have panicked a bit too!
I once left something at home for a sleepover and at first, I was really upset but then I realized I could live after all without it ;)
Who knows what God is planning for you? :)

Oh no and the music books too! Poor girls!

Fr. Banga and John sound like quite the pair of guys =P Hilarious stuff there!

What else is June about besides snow? =P I hope it doesn't snow here in June but I wouldn't rule it out entirely. This Spring has been CRAZY!!

Sounds like you all are having so much fun! Painting is fun too; at least I think so.

We had cran juice with ginger ale the other day too ;)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like camp so far has been quite the adventure...I hope and pray you will make it through all right without your skirts and dresses though. That must have been really disappointing to find out you forgot them.