Day 49: Saturday October 28

Tada! She did it!

Six years ago today, we became grandparents for the first time. Apart from feeling completely too young for such a sage-season to be beginning, we were delighted to meet Mya Alexandra, and to see the transformation  of our firstborn into a Daddy. The width of the country separates our two households, so it amazes me that despite distance and infrequent visits, Mya knows in her bones we are her people, and she is ours.  FaceTime cannot make up for tactile proximity, for the inability to help out at the drop of a hat, but it seems that love can cross those miles and time zones, no problem. Amazing, that, isn’t it? Love knows no bounds. Happy Birthday, Mya!

Day 48: Friday October 27

The door remains shut, the writing is still ‘grim business’, but there’s a bit more on the done pile today, so all is good.  The reward for a good day’s work will be “Saturday” – a rare treat in a preacher’s life to have a “Saturday” like other people do.  Can’t wait.

Day 47: Thursday October 26

Following a lead from Martha (and inspired by Alyson Huntly’s worship), my gratitude today is for the complete delight that the smile of a 10 week old baby invariably provokes.  Little Noah is one chill little dude, happy to coo (I don’t think any of my children cooed) at whoever will listen to him.  Grateful that he lives close enough to visit – although the “improvements” to Hwy 20 make the journey an adventure nonetheless.

Let me also add that I am grateful for the comfort of my home study – that has NO green plastic chairs, but a window with a view of a tree resplendent in autumnal orange and red, and a steady supply of hot tea, good music, while I plug away at the necessities of academic writing (to quote  Paul Silvia, Ph.D., “Writing is grim business, much like repairing a sewer.” Not so encouraging, huh?)

Day 46: Wednesday October 25

And today, the advice for this writer is from Stephen King,  The only thing a writer’s room needs is “a door you are willing to shut.”

Day 45: Tuesday October 24 

McLennan Library, McGill.

Well, today, I’m on the 6th floor of the McGill University McLennan Library, blowing the dust off their Midrash Rabbah, and  Mishnah, (I think I was the last person to pull them off the shelf a few months ago),  noise cancelling headphones doing their best to shut out the noise of rain on the roof, and intelligent young students (boy I feel old!) mixing social media updates and study (just like me!).  Normally I LOVE being in a library, but after 13 years of periodic forays into this particular one, I have yet to fall in love with  it. Dobush, Stuart and Bourke were the designers,  such solid sounding names for a very solid, heavy, building that admits light  and air only reluctantly. I’d be much happier in any other space, but perhaps its oppressive ugliness- and the brutal discomfort of the neon green plastic chair I’m sitting on can serve as motivation to get this piece of research finished for good!

Day 44: Monday October 23

Well, that was a bit of a bust! A jet-lag day that began way too early, and ended up with  lofty goals lying undone, but one less- than- momentous goal achieved: I caught up on Grey’s Anatomy and some episodes of  This is Us. Sometimes that’s what happens, I guess. The gift of sabbatical time is that no-one else is adversely affected by my doing of ‘absolutely nothing.’  I seriously thought about not sharing this post, but heh, human I am, and it’s time I remembered the advice of one of my professors in my undergrad days that went something like this, ” Sometimes the best reading you can do for your term paper is not “one more book  or article,” but a guiltless browse through your favourite magazine.”  Thanks, Dr. Gordon Leff.

Day 42 and 43: Saturday and Sunday October 21 and 22

Travel days. First to Marseille, then Paris for a long layover (I hope they have ample power outlets, and a good place to work and people watch),  then London overnight, then Sunday, direct to Montreal, and a chance to see how much our youngest grandchild, Noah has grown in the past three weeks.  Expect entries next week.  Thanks for reading!