Home is Where your Heart IS!
Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
150Trip End May 16, 2008
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I've been home for a couple of days and I have mixed emotions. I spent some time with Alexis and Katrine came home from her curling last night. I haven't had time to chat with her yet. But first a few things to clear up.
My final day of driving to get home.
The sun was shining when I left Great Falls. The forecast for Calgary was snow. The roads were nice and dry and the sun kept on poking out of the clouds that had appeared all the way to the border. I get to the border and there are about 20 cars in front of me and only 1 lane open. It's 10h30 on a Saturday morning. Shouldn't they have more lanes open? After a ½ hour they open a second lane. I had added up all my purchases in the USA including my truck repairs. I expected to have to pay some taxes on the items over my exemption.
I'm directed to pull off to the side and see someone inside the Border office. This guy wants to see the receipts. I go get the receipts and try finding the larger purchase ones that he's asking for, plus all the truck repair ones. There are special rules where they may exempt "emergency" repairs. Most of my purchases were CDs and DVDs, plus the Rock Shop purchases and the creams and lotions purchased in Vegas. The guy questioned the amount of the purchases in Vegas. I told him the girl was cute. He didn't find that amusing. The woman sitting next to him did. This guy was quite young and probably spends more money on beer in 6 months than I spent on this stuff. We all have our priorities. Besides, if I would have been a woman in my 40's he wouldn't have questioned that. Double standards. I pay what I owe. He didn't give me an exemption on the truck repairs though I know from my research that I qualified (GST is what I've worked with for over 15 years). I didn't feel like arguing for $100 in taxes.
Back on the road and I'm in Canada. I started feeling anxious, a feeling I haven't had for a while. I wasn't even anxious when I was driving on ice. The closer I got to Calgary, the more anxious I got. I was coming home, wasn't I? The snow that had been predicted had come and gone and the highways were dry all the way for my drive.
I parked my trailer on Louise's driveway, which was easier when I was tired, then trying to squeeze it between my garage and the property line and neighbours garage. The trailer is filthy and I need to wash it as soon as the snow melts. It snowed my first night back. It also got a lot colder than it's been lately. Someone is trying to piss me off. Test my faith actually.
I decide to go to church on Sunday morning at Westside Kings Church. I get up and get ready then realize that there's really no food in the house for breakfast. I'll stop at Second Cup for a coffee and muffin. Then I look outside and see all the snow on the truck and all the ice beneath the snow. I have no jacket. I wore a hoody and vest last night. My jackets are still in the trailer. My gloves are also in the trailer. I could wear my parka which is in Katrine's closet, but it's not that cold. I find something to wear. I go find my snowbrush in the garage. My hands are frozen from scraping the ice off the windows. Too late now to go to Second Cup. That's Ok, they have a coffee bar at the church.
I get to the church and a sign says there is no water to the building. That means no coffee. Oh well! That makes me sound like a coffee addict. I'm still very tired.
The pastor at today's mass is Jeremy. He use to be the youth pastor until some changes a while ago. He is an amazing public speaker even though he is quite young. I enjoy his sermons the best, though there is a new pastor there now that I haven't heard. Jeremy knows how to use humour to get his message across. They are starting this new series called "7 Conversations - An Unexpected God". Last week the other pastor, Chris, did the introduction. Jeremy's sermon seemed to be what I needed to get some of you to, maybe, understand where I've been coming from. I've attached a link to the posted sermon and you can also get it if you have iTunes and want to download their podcasts @ http://www.wkc.org/community/celebrations.asp . The actual Sermon link is: http://www.wkc.org/weekends/podcast/7conversations_part2.mp3
This is their summary: "We understand we're all on a life-long journey of discovering who God is and a more accurate perception of ourselves. We realize that God has in his imagination an idea of who we can become that is not possible without His grace that accepts us as we are and, at the very same time, calls us forward to live like Jesus did. It means we've taken our hands off the religious panic button, and abandoned quick answers and worn out rhetoric, and dare to engage in an open dialogue about faith and the things of lifeknowing that participating in God's activity wherever and however is what is truly relevant."
One of the many parts of the sermon that I've been trying to explain is that I had an "experience" during my Journey that cannot be understood by the brain, but was felt by the heart. Since none of you experienced what I did you really can't understand me. I wrote some pretty outlandish things but "I" am slowly understanding their purposes. The only people who would really understand are those who have had their own "experience". I'm hoping you can all access this sermon with the technology that you possess and do spend the 40 minutes or so listening. Listen to it over and over, like I have, if you have to. I dozed off partially through it once. I'm that exhausted.
After that I went to Louise's as she had invited me for lunch. She was gone to bring a friend to the airport and Alexis was still sleeping after babysitting quite late. I check on my trailer and the furnace hasn't run for a while. Some water pipes are frozen. The power plugs outside Louise's house have been flipping the breaker. I don't know how long the power has been out. It's -13 out and it's not suppose to warm up above freezing. I bang on the house door and wake Alexis up. I check the breaker and it won't stay on. I get the extension cord and plug it inside the house. The house door stays open a little. I should be in California, where I had planned to be, where it's above freezing and where there's no snow. Worse nightmare come true, Part II.
I go to the store and find a new breaker and replace the one that has gotten weak over the years. I did not electrocute myself. I do know what I was doing even though I was half asleep. I have done some electrical wiring in numerous houses over the years. A little bit of knowledge tucked away in the corners of my mind. The furnace running again I determine the pipes that froze are by the pump that is near where the power cord enters the trailer. The water in the bathroom still trickled out. When Louise got back from the airport she says the power was still on after 1 am as I had left an outside light on the trailer as a signal and it was still on when Alexis got back from babysitting. I'm being tested again. I have to go see if the pump leaks now.
I spent some time with Alexis then went and did my laundry. Then heard from Katrine who indicated they lost their semi-final game. Oh well! No China for Captain Canada. They got an earlier flight home (10 PM instead of 11h30) and we picked her up at the airport. They were all very tired from the week of competition. On the way back home we stopped at a traffic light and a homeless person was just walking between the cars with his hat in his hands. Not really begging. Just making his presence known. I had to give him a couple of dollars. I am changed and don't think I will not give if I have any money with me.
This morning I started on this entry and then Kat came to get some things as she'll be staying at Louise's until the roommates leave, or I leave again. The house looks like a disaster zone. These two girls don't seem to understand the concept of cleaning up after yourself. I peeked into my room and it looks like a war zone. The girls don't seem impressed that I'm here. Especially the one who is parking next to the garage and I told her she would have to park on the street when I bring the trailer here.
They haven't lived up to their part of the bargain. The kitchen is shared space and they should treat it as such. The sinks are overflowing with dishes and there is no counter space with all the stuff lying around. If they want to live like pigs in their own rooms then that is their decision. Though there is still a limit to that considering it isn't their property. Respect is lacking. When I left on my Journey seeing my house like this would have bothered me. It doesn't anymore.
After Katrine grabbed her stuff we went out for lunch and chatted. She, like probably everybody else who knew me before my Journey, do not know who I am now. I am unrecognizable from the Paul of 6 months ago. Is this the real me and I put on a pretty good show for 45 years being someone else? Or is this person writing this now no longer Paul?
That is the question I am fighting with in my mind these days. That is probably the reason I am more exhausted than I have been in a long time. That is why this is taking a long time to write. It's not that I don't know what to write, it's that I have too much to write. The guy who never said much for over 40 years can't shut up now.
I have a few more entries to write here before switching over to my website blog. I'm not sure how long that will take as I don't feel like doing much. Mentally and physically exhausted. The thing is, I know the reason I feel this way. It's part of the experience. Buddha felt it. Muhammad did also. Numerous Saints did too. You are so exhausted from the enormity of the experience that there is a total release to What? Is! or God to those who want to call him that.
I know in my heart what I must do. Will my head let me do it.
Think It! Feel It! Live It!
PS. I was advised that the business cards I have been passing out to a lot of people I've met since Christmas has an email address that looks incorrect. The "i" in firstname.lastname@example.org looks like an "L". So hopefully not too many people out there have been trying to email me. I now have both versions set up as email addresses. For anybody out there who wants to comment directly to me can send me an email instead of posting it to the blog. I promise not to quote anyone in my blog if they don't want to.