On Wednesday we headed up to North Bay to my Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Don's where they arranged and hosted a great supper with my cousins Grant (and his wife Cathy) and Mary (and her husband Peter). Later in the evening a number of us (including Grant and Cathy's children Graham and Courtnery [and her husband Cody]) went over to the Northgate Mall to help Uncle Gordie Love take down his sauna display - that was a 3 hour job!
Friday we went exercising at the Y with Don & Marilyn, enjoyed a pizza lunch and then drove back down to Huntsville to hang out with our friends Steve and Rachel at the Harp Lake cottage. Steve cooked chicken over the fire and we played some rousing games of Wizard and Dutch Blitz in the evening.
On Saturday we headed over to the nearby cottage of my cousin Pattisu (and David) for a visit with them, which included a couple of saunas and swims (well, the guys did that, not Beth). Then we picked up Swiss Chalet for a quick supper with Aunt Shirley and Uncle Gordie before driving to the MBC camp for a concert by Michael Card. I've been listening to his music for decades now and have seen him perform a number of times. He's really a bible scholar who uses music to teach in a very creative, deep manner. Michael has a wonderful stage presence but he plays a right-handed guitar left-handed (meaning the guitar is upside down!) making it nearly impossible to emulate his playing (though I have learned a few of his songs [right side up!] over the years).
Sunday we went to church with Gordie and Shirley and then had lunch at the Wendy's in Huntsville before travelling 30 minutes up the road to Camp Kahquah, near Magnetawan. We'd been encouraged to check out this church camp run by our denomination (BIC = Brethren in Christ) by some folks in our Friday night small group who have come up to the family camp time for many years. And we're glad we took their advice because we had a wonderful time! We decided to keep it simple by staying in a room in the lodge for 3 nights and getting the meal plan provided by the camp kitchen. It was a great opportunity to get to spend more time getting to know families from our church (there were actually 4 Westheights families there, but we spent more time with the Cobers and Wiens from our small group). We even got invited out for supper a couple of times! We contributed fresh baked pies from the nearby Cornball General Store. One day Karl rented the pontoon boat which we took to a small island for a swim and into Magnetawan for ice cream cones. Another day Kevin took us around the lake in his powerful fishing boat and Beth even went water skiing behind it! I enjoyed leading some songs around the campfire each night, we had quite a few fun games of Wizard, and we got to connect with a number of other campers, especially at meal times. Kitchener MP Harold Albrecht is a regular camper at Kahquah and he baptized his niece in the lake one morning. We introduced ourselves to him, as Mom & Dad are big supporters of his work and we had a really nice conversation with him (he's lost his wife suddenly this year so we ended up sharing about excellent books on grief). We also got to know and appreciate the worship leader, Andrew Thompson and his family who were from the Welland area. I recorded a couple of the sessions on my computer so I can learn a few of the excellent songs he introduced. He also showed me how he uses his iPad as a song stand, which is pretty cool. A young lifeguard at the camp played an electric cello during the music and it was an awesome addition (probably my favourite instrument).
I finally finished the huge science fiction book Anathem, which took me almost 2 weeks to complete. The sad part is that it really wasn't that enjoyable! Way too much philosophical discussion and invented vocabulary to try to keep track of, and the story actually moved so slowly that it didn't get really interesting until about page 750.
Lots of travelling music as we drove around this week: Jars of Clay, Lamb III, Mark Heard - Eye of the Storm, Victims of the Age, Dry Bones Dance, Second Hand; Michael Card - Present Reality, Hymns; Switchfoot - The Beautiful Letdown, Undercover - God Rules, Boys and Girls; Supertramp - Crime of the Century, Moulin Rouge soundtrack.