Three Christmas Miracles

This has been my Christmas of miracles. Three happenings that make me feel so warm and loved!With a quiet house I was able to clean up, do some laundry and play with my camera.

Setting the stage:
At the beginning of this month I got a letter from the property management company of my condo corporation stating that the Board of Directors has hired a night-time security person for the building and the additional cost to me would be $58/mo beginning January 1/16. This is on top of the $17/mo increase we had on November 1/15. For me, an extra $75/mo in living expenses is very significant! How could I ever pay that and still save money for my twice yearly trips to California? And I would really like to get my sewing machine fixed. And I’d hoped to sometime save enough money to buy a new camera. I deliberately chose to work about 25/wk for pay. I try very hard to live within my means. I am extremely careful about making purchases. But how could I manage this?

Miracle #1
Wednesday morning at work, Nancy (pastor) and Kathy (treasurer) informed me that the Leadership Team at FMC had decided to increase both my and Tracy’s (custodian) salary to $20/hr because we are worth it! For me a more than 10% increase. Thank you, First Mennonite Church!

Miracle #2
I prefer to give my daughter money for Christmas, to buy a membership at the Children’s Discovery Museum instead of giving my grandchildren more toys. But this year, with the Canadian dollar so devalued against the American dollar, my $150 would barely break $100 USD.
On Christmas Eve, at our Burkard family gathering, my brother-in-law, Peter, handed me five twenty dollar US bills! He had been going some of through Vati’s papers (my father-in-law died ten years ago) and found $300 USD. He kept one hundred, gave his brother and me each $100. So I was able to give Trina $100 USD and $50 CAD for the kids’ Christmas gift.

Miracle #3
Back in July, when I spent a weekend with friends in Southampton, while walking on the beach I put a rock into my camera bag, carefully covered it with the microfibre cloth I carry to clean the lens. My intent was to crochet a cover for it. All would have been well if I’d removed the stone when I returned from my walk. I didn’t. The next morning, again walking on the beach, taking photos, I continually put my camera, lens first into the camera bag without the lens cover. By the time I’d covered two kilometers the lens had a couple of terrific scratches. Depending on how the light hit the lens it could totally ruin the picture. But unable to buy a new camera I continued to use my Fuji.
On Christmas morning my children surprised me with a new Canon EOS Rebel 5T, with two lenses – 18-55mm and 75-300 mm, and a camera bag big enough to keep the stones separate from the lenses! Thank you, Simon and Christine, Trina and Gary! You are the best kids a mother could have!

I am deeply grateful to God for this season of miracles!

Gingerich Gathering 2015

Once again we gathered at Queen Street Commons for food and fellowship (5 pictures taken by Martha):

Ripley’s Aquarium

Yesterday my daughter-in-law, Christine, and I headed to Toronto to go to Ripley’s Aquarium with Trina, Gary, Mina and Volker. We had a good time!