Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: seniors

The COVID conundrum


Image by Sumanley xulx from Pixabay

Saskatchewan doesn’t have a huge population, perhaps we’re an anomaly in the big picture. The COVID infection rate is edging up to 0.05%, the death rate is 1 for every 200,000 people in the province.

The seasonal flu has infected far more people, the death rate is much higher — even if half of us got the flu shot. Nobody pays any attention to those numbers. I guess the seasonal flu is the devil we know.

Stores that have been closed will reopen on Tuesday. Monday is a holiday and it looks like a glorious long weekend coming up. Golf courses are open, fishing spots and parks are open, but not for barbecues and camping. Churches are still limited to 10 people.

Some businesses are doing well, such as the manufacturers of Plexiglas. The vet clinic where I go to do bookkeeping once a week is busier than it ever has been, even if they keep the door locked and let in only one client at a time.

Meanwhile the government keeps shoveling out money, a little more to seniors like my wife and I. And we keep on spending it — that’s the idea isn’t it, keep the wheels of the economy turning. I really do need new glasses and new orthotics.

What’s your guess on how things will look a year from now? Will we still think all this upheaval was necessary?  A friend today suggested that the government will raise the GST to 10%. Something like that will be necessary to fill the hole they have dug in the budget. To make it politically palatable I think they would call it an emergency measure and promise to reduce it by 1% per year until it is back down to 5%.

For folks outside of Canada, the GST is a Canada-wide value added tax on goods and services purchased by the consumer.

What will be the long-term damage to the health of people whose surgeries and other medical treatments have been cancelled during the crisis? What will be the emotional and spiritual consequences? Will children being home schooled for the first time do better or worse than they would have in a classroom?

The pandemic has given a tremendous boost to online shopping, I think that will be a permanent change in our shopping habits. A lot of people who have switched to working from home will never return to their office cubicle. We need to become more focused and effective in online missions.

What things will surprise us when we look back a year from now?

Robins and skunks on O’Malley Road


The songbirds are back: robins, meadowlarks and others – spring has come to Saskatchewan. Sometimes we can even tell it by the weather. Last Saturday was a beautiful sunny day with a high of 22° Celsius. That would be 72° in Americanese. This morning the ground was white again for several hours and the high for the day was 2°.

This is also tax season. The personal income tax deadline is April 30, but that falls on a Saturday which makes Monday May 2 the actual deadline. I am busy getting last years books in order for my business bookkeeping clients to take to their tax accountants. I only do a few personal tax returns, mostly for seniors. Last week that led to meeting two delightful ladies, both of them 90 years old and still going strong.

Saturday I attended a Christian writers’ “wordshop” in Saskatoon. This is an opportunity to get together with other writers for mutual encouragement and to hear talks that hopefully inform and inspire us to persevere, write and publish. It is also an opportunity to buy books from our fellow writers – I came home with five.


For years we have been having problems with creatures resembling the cute little guy above getting under our mobile home. Most of the time they are quiet, inoffensive neighbours. There have been a couple of times when some other creature troubled them and we had to leave home for a few hours to let the resulting aroma dissipate.

I think we are dealing with one persistent pair. We have tried various means to let them know they are not welcome and/or to evict them. We try to limit ourselves to methods that will not cause unpleasant olfactory results for ourselves. Saturday we set up an ultrasonic sound generator that is supposed to drive them bonkers and make them want to escape.

Today one of them ventured out of the hole under the skirting of the trailer and into  the awaiting cage trap. They are not supposed to be able to spray when confined in this small cage, but our son-in-law had to step lively to avoid a direct hit when he came to take our guest away. One down, one more to go. At least I hope that is all there is.


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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