A tumultuous month

On July 23rd I was asked to find another place to live; the homeowner wanted the apartment I was in for a family member.

This sense of homelessness sends me into feelings of panic though I have never actually been homeless. And so I did my best to calm myself and set about finding a new home. I’d been missing my old neighbourhood, the close proximity to my son and daughter-in-law as well as other family members, the streets to walk on, the park, but I started with little hope that I’d be able to afford anything in that neighbourhood.

My brother Jim suggested that we look for a place we could share — the two of us together could likely get something better than either of us alone.

One week into our search my lovely daughter-in-law volunteered to help; she loves to house-hunt! She sent me a link for a house to lease just two blocks from their place. I’d seen that ad, but had discounted is because it said, “No pets.” She encourage me to ask about it anyway. The next day Jim and I with Billie in tow looked at the place. The following day we met the landlord and signed the lease so we could start moving in the day after that!

It has felt to me like coming home. The floor plan of this place is almost identical to the house I owned on Ruskview Road for 13 years. Three bedrooms, finished basement, fenced back yard — we have never lived in a place with a fenced back yard in Billie’s lifetime!

A complication was that Trina and family arrived from California for a 2 week visit two days after our move-in day. That long weekend we’d booked a cottage on Lake Huron to spend time together as a family – first time ever since the kids left home. (We had a wonderful time; I’ll post some pictures eventually.) However, the move meant that the Gehieres could stay with me while they were in Kitchener, that would not have been possible had I been in Bloomingdale.

Yesterday was a beautiful late summer day, sunny and clear, not too hot. It felt to me like the first time in a month that I could really relax. Billie and I took a leisurely walk through Lakeside and Meinzinger parks.

Christmas Eve Dedication

In the Mennonite Church babies are not baptized, adults are. However, we do have a Parent/Child Dedication service. As part of the Christmas Eve service at Bloomingdale Mennonite Church (after the ice storm put an end to Sunday’s service) my little grandson, Volker William Burkard Gehiere was dedicated with his parents and the whole congregation.

Text written by Trina, read by Gary:

“I think when we name our children the names we chose are often really wishes we would like to bestow upon them. There is something that speaks to us in the name that we want to pass to our child, it may be frivolous or psychological but there is something.
In the case of our little boy it is more so the latter. The wishes are many and varied but most if not all go back to the name and the man he was named for, his grandfather, Volker Willi Walter Burkard. We wish him to be kind and compassionate with a great sense of humour, a maker, someone with a wonderful spiritual life, a beautiful loving person.
Today I hope we are helping him in some small way fulfill those wishes.”

Barb Smith-Morrison’s blessing as she carried Volker through the congregation:

Volker, God loves you. May you grow to love God and to serve humanity. May the gracious Spirit of Christ and the fellowship of God’s people bless your life this day and all days.

The congregation’s commitment:

Gary and Trina, we support your calling as parents and accept our calling to love, support and encourage you. We offer the gift of ourselves, our lives and example to nurture your family as you grow.
Volker and Mina, we pledge you our care and love. We promise to encourage you as you grow into all that God has created you to be. We welcome you.