eleven questions this week by my wise and wonderful Aunty B. Here is my reply:
1. What is your cultural background?
I am a waspy blend of everything the British isles has to offer: scones, bagpipes, sheep. Lots and lots of sheep. But I call myself simply Canadian.
2. What are a few words that would describe your family of origin?
If by that we're referring to my parents and siblings: Affectionate. Communicative. Quick to laugh. Always striving, never resting. If by that we're referring to those who hail from the land of scones, bagpipes and lots and lots of sheep, well then I haven't a clue.
3. In a few words, what is your first memory?
I remember moving day when I was two. The big truck was crammed with all of our furniture, little room to spare. But my Uncle Danny wanted to squeeze in the back for the short 4-block trip. He knew I'd be thrilled be the novelty of riding in the back of a truck with all of the objects that were familiar to me crowded topsy-turvy all around me. So he reached down to scoop me up onto his lap. I can see his open arms. And I can see mine stretched up to him. I don't remember the ride. But I remember his reaching hands. (He died not long after that.)
4. What did you enjoy most about school?
I loved completing tasks, and receiving a grade. I was genuinely eager to find out what value was placed on my labours. That hasn't changed much. I love to see results. Unfortunately, the work of a mother isn't tidily quantified. No latter-grades with stickers pasted beside.
5. Where did you meet your spouse?
I married the man who moved into the house next door. And when I say next door, I mean that we shared the wall of a duplex. He could hear me belting out songs while I was at my parents computer.
6. How would you spend next Saturday if you had no responsibilities?
My favourite days are ones where my husband and I take all the kids out into the beautiful world and watch them run and holler and play. And we get to hold hands and seep in the richness of our blessings.The best way to end a day like that would be to welcome people into our home for a meal.
7. Which historical character would you most like to meet?
I think we all know what the average Christian would say. And I would be no different. But, for the sake of not stating the obvious, I'd say that my current studies in Esther have me deeply curious about her. I would love to ask her about the struggle to live for her God in the hotbed of secular culture. Oh, and I would like to ask Akenhaten if his 'One God,' was my one God. Oh, and I would have loved to hand Singer Sargent his brushes when he painted Carnation, Lili, Lily Rose. Oh, and I would also love to give Spurgeon a big hug and tell him thank you for speaking poetry every time he preached. Although, I'm not sure he was the hugging type.
8. Which historical character would you most like to delete?
Again, there are very obvious answers that seem instinctual: Hitler, Stalin, those guys in the Congo making soldiers out of tiny kids-- is Morgentaler still alive? That said, is far as I know, God's never hit delete on any of us. So, he must know something I don't.
9. Which fictional character would you most like to meet?
Impossible to choose who I'd like to meet most. But I did love my sojourn through the world of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And I would gladly hang out with those folk for awhile. And I would help Devin fight for Tigana-- until it got too scary. And I would sit for tea with Bilbo, but only if Gandalf was visiting. And I would be Jane Eyre-- but only before she finds out there is a crazy lady in the attack. And I would love to have tagged along with Oskar from Extremely Loud & Incredibly close when he visited all of those people. And I wish I could taste Vivienne's chocolates. And Margaret George's Cleopatra is probably not even remotely like the real woman, but I'd have liked her as a friend. . .
10. If you could choose any country to live in for a year, which would it be?
I think that it would be a healthy choice to go north to Alaska. Let me explain. Choosing to go South to a paradise like Seychelles, or to eat my way across Europe would appeal to my body, taste bud, specifically. But it would probably not feed my soul. At would actually distract and clutter, I think. But going north. . . Vast emptiness. Dancing streaks of light in a strange sky. Echoing cracks of icebergs that would make me feel so small. Time. I think I would see God's face there, more than anywhere else. And I would come home to the warmth and business of my life gladly. Stronger for having been somewhere where I could wait and listen.
11. If you could choose any century to live in for a year, which would it be?
I am far too comfortable right here and right now to imagine committing to a hundred years sometime else. Especially as a woman, and especially as someone who'd love to live past the age of 40.