Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hooray for Weekends Away

     This week seemed a little lower key. I spent a couple of evenings at school keeping up with marking/organizing/preparing to write reports. I finished 2 books this week - one on Prohibition in the U.S. (which lasted from 1920-32) called 'Last Call' which was kind of interesting, and 'The Empire of Illusion' which seems pretty insightful and prophetic about where society is going (prophetic because it seems to do quite a good job predicting the kind of unrest we're seeing with the Occupy Wall Street protests). I've continued to try to listen through page 2 of my mp3 list - lots of Bob Dylan in there (I think 'Saved' is my favourite).
     This past weekend Beth and I went up to the Cranberry Resort in Collingwood on one of their promotional package deals. We got a call during the summer, offering us a cheap stay as long as we agreed to attend their 2 hour presentation on becoming a member of their time share group. It was a nice getaway and included $50 in coupons for their restaurants (and the food wasn't half bad) and 2 free movie passes (we went to see 'Footloose' on Saturday at the local theatre - it was at least mildly entertaining). The time share session wasn't too painful and only included about 10 minutes of pressuring us to sign up. They try to make it sound reasonable but $15 000 to sign up and maintenance fees of $50/month for 50 (yes 50!) years (= $30 000) for a total of $45 000 seemed like a lot of money to us.

     We got up early on Sunday morning (before 6:00) to drive down to Zurich for the Lutheran church's special 150th anniversary service. It felt different driving these roads (some familiar, some new to us) in the dark but it was a great sunrise, and it was very cool when we came across a major wind turbine area near Mount Forest - one turbine was right beside the road and the red lights on the masts flashed on and off as the propellors rotated. The trip ended up taking a lot less time than we anticipated so we took time to do a bit of a walking tour of Zurich. Beth was a great guide as so many of the houses hold special memories - "that's where Sharon and Elaine were both born," "that's where I went to Girl Guides," "that's where I worked on a school project with a friend," and as a car drove by: "and that was my grade 1 teacher at school" (no kidding!).
     The service was packed and we had the treat of sitting beside Beth's 94 year old amazing Aunt Alice (she still drives and is as sharp as a tack!). It was nice to be there and we enjoyed the meal afterwards as well, with a chance to visit with Gary & Cathy and Sharon & Ted. There was a neat display downstairs of a number of historical artifacts from the area. St. Peter's Lutheran Church has been a significant part of Beth's (and her family's) life (and I guess even mine too now as there have been important events I've attended there as well) and it was wonderful to celebrate with them and remember. We both found the line about 'the mystic sweet communion' we share 'with those whose rest is won' from 'The Church's One Foundation' quite moving, as we thought of loved ones who have gone on before us.
     Sunday evening was our fourth session in The Alpha Marriage Course at church. We're finding it to be a good stimulus to discussing important things in our relationship - this week's emphasis on forgiveness was especially helpful.

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