Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: flatlands

The blog formerly known as Antiquarian Anabaptist

After six years and 1,127 posts it is perhaps time to refurbish this site, and Canada Day, July 1, seems a good time to do it.

The first thing I have done is drop the Antiquarian Anabaptist title. It seemed like a good idea six years ago but has begun to sound kitschy to my ears. Besides, didn’t it seem bizarre to enter the flatlanderfaith.com URL and have it open up a blog with a different title? Now the URL and the blog title are the same, and I have added a header photo to illustrate what this flatland province looks like.

I have also changed the background colour and the typefaces also. I might change them again in the coming days as I tweak the appearance of the blog. The “Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective” slogan will remain. That defines the purpose of this blog.

Maybe I can improve the quality of my writing, too. When I read something I wrote 25 or 30 years ago my first reaction is: “Wow! That is good. Did I really write that?”

Then another little voice in my head says: “Of course it sounds good to you, your style of writing follows the familiar path of your style of thinking. But what makes you think that anybody else would want to read it?”

It’s not that I think everything I have ever written should go in the garbage can. Sometimes I have written things, on this blog and elsewhere, that readers connected with. My resolution is to learn how to do that consistently.

I would love to hear from you. Please take a little time to tell me what you like or don’t like about the things I write. If you don’t want your comment to appear publicly, use the email address under Contact Me above.

The sound of not so distant thunder

We are into the gloriously long days of a Saskatchewan summer, where the sun rises before 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t set until 9:30 p.m. Since we live on the flat, open prairie we have an extra three quarters of an hour of full daylight before sunrise and the same after sunset, giving us 18 hours of daylight. All living things thrive in a Saskatchewan summer – providing we get enough rain.

There has been sufficient rainfall this year, but not an abundance. It was time that a good shower would be refreshing, and the forecast has been promising rain for today. Earlier in the week there was mention of 30 – 45 mm. As the week went on that number diminished to 10 – 15. That would still have kept everything growthie and green, but we would have been hoping there would soon be another shower.

There were dark clouds rolling in this morning, with faint rumbles of distant thunder. At 9:00 the skies opened up and down came heavy rain, accompanied at first by pea-size hail. That first shower didn’t last long, but brought over 10 mm of rain. Some of my wife’s flowers look a little bedraggled from the hail, but no major damage was done and I expect they will look fine in a day or two.

The thunder and rain continued off and on for the remainder of the day. At one point, I was sitting here by the computer and I heard the snap of an electrical arc in the office, followed immediately by thunder outside. My wife was in the kitchen and heard the same sound in the living room, accompanied by a flash of light. Everything appears to be all right, but that is the closest we have been to a lightning strike for many years. We have had 23 mm so far and there may be a little yet to come.

Here on the flatlands we take the rain as it comes. God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. Sometimes we all have too much, sometimes not enough. People from elsewhere, and we have lived in many other places, may think this a harsh and barren land. Yet it is bursting with life, plant life, bird life, wildlife and human life.

On a different note, my wife and I began hearing the distant thunder of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia a few years ago. As time passed it became louder and louder. Chris began taking chemotherapy treatments a few months ago and two days ago the oncologist told us that she is now basically cancer free. The drugs have beaten the disease into remission.

Nevertheless, they want to continue the chemotherapy for three more rounds. The doctor explained it to us this way. If one in ten thousand of her white cells is a leukemia cell she will be well for a year or so. If they continue the treatments and knock that down to one cancer cell in a million she should have five or more years of good health.

Chris still has those remaining treatments to face, but she is feeling more energetic already and the threatening thunder of CLL has faded into the distance. You can read her side of the story here:  The ups and downs of life

What cats are good for

Here on the flatlands the days are getting longer, the temperatures milder, and our three cats are showing signs of spring fever.  Even bulky old Panda.  None of our cats are purebreds, but a predominant breed is evident in each by their size, shape, coat and temperament.  Panda is an all black Maine Coon cat.  We consider her to be the same age as our oldest grandchild, meaning that both Nathan and Panda will be 11 in July.  Young boy, old cat.

Panda is accustomed to the slow pace of a home occupied by seniors, but she has been around when all four of our grandchildren were tots and has grown accustomed to their antics, too.  The seniors in this household have occasional and unpredictable bursts of energy, often leading to shrieks and/or bellows and hurried footsteps.  Panda has seen it all and doesn’t blink an eye.  She has lived with us in three different houses and thoroughly explored every nook and cranny of each house and yard.

Angus came along two and a half years ago, an all black kitten with definite Siamese characteristics.  He has grown to a hefty size.  Last fall a half starved creamy white kitten showed up on our doorstep and asked to be allowed in.  We think his mother was a stray that was occasionally seen by the children on the farm yard next door.  They left food for that cat, but could never get close to it.  What gave this kitten the courage to so boldly walk into our lives?

At first the kitten would go back to that farm yard for the day, but always came back at night.  In the almost dark house, we would see this little white shape moving silently from place to place and called him Spooky.  That didn’t seem quite right, so now he is Pookie.  As he grows, his colouring becomes more defined and he is a flame point siamese.  He and Angus will get into the most vicious squabbles, then a few minutes later will be curled up together in a chair.  Panda has made both of the newcomers understand that she wants no part of their antics.

I am older than the last time I wrote.  Seriously.  As of yesterday I am 71 years old.  I feel I am on a fast moving conveyor to my final destination, with no option to step off for a rest or to slow it down.  I don’t feel much trepidation about arriving at the end of the line, but there are so many things I want to do before I get there.  One of them is to put into writing some of the things that I have learned along the way that might be helpful to others on this journey through life.

This blog is a warmup exercise for the more extensive writing projects I have in mind.  I am thankful to have gone to school when they still taught grammar.  But I am realizing more and more that writing a coherent sentence is not always the same as effective communication.

I am also a bookkeeper, so between that and my writing I spend a large part of my time in front of a computer.  Both can become quite stressful at times.  Then a cat comes along and rubs against my legs.  Or Panda will just come and sit on the floor near me, waiting for me to notice.  It is a great stress reliever to then get up and spend a few minutes combing Panda or providing whatever attention one of the cats feels in need of.  Now that spring is getting closer, it seems that they mostly need to be let out or let in.  It seems that a cat is always on the wrong side of a door.

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