As mentioned in the May update our daughter, Deborah, and son-in-law, Ernest, bought an old farm house a few years ago and in the past year have built a large house right next to it and this year have knocked down the the old farmhouse and are in the process of building a kitchen-dining room on the old foundations.
Ernie had the week of May 30th off. Juanita went to Edmonton for that week to help while Ezekial went into the hospital for another chemo treatment. I stayed in Meadow Lake to help with the construction. Two of Ernie's brothers showed up to help lift walls one day. One of them came back to help place trusses and gables the next day.
A lot got done between Monday and Friday. Grandson, Kohen, was in a ball tournament on Saturday so Ernie spent the day with that. A time for everything. The addition came out of the weekend with sheathing and tar paper on one side of the roof. The following week I puttered around during the day filling in blanks on ground level by adding sheathing and Ernie finished the roof during the evenings. He came home an hour early one day to put a tarp on the roof to ward off the thundershowers, but by the following Friday had shingled both sides of the roof and on Saturday finished installing the vented ridge cap.
June 1st, while Juanita was in Edmonton I got to go to the last gymnastics session of the season where Sonja, Sasha and Kohen showed off their accomplishments for the assembled parents, grandparents and friends. Not being here all winter it is easy for me to see how much their efforts had paid off in obvious improvement since the last time I had seen them perform. There was a relay that I managed to avoid joining in although some parents (much younger than me) were roped into demonstrating their level of physical ineptitude.
A pleasant evening made interesting by seeing the improvement of not just our family members, but other kids that have been the program for a number of years. Most are no Olympics threat, but all have gained in poise, posture and bearing since I first watched them. Certainly they have benefited more from this program than my tubby junior self did when my parents sent me for a winter or two of tumbling and tap dancing.
The Week in Edmonton and a Night @ the Zoo
Tuesday, Juanita headed for Edmonton to help out with things while Ezekial went in to the hospital for another round of chemotherapy. She spent a night in Ezekial's room and minded Eliana when Rebekah was at the hospital.
Ezekial processed the chemicals out of his body better this time and was released from the hospital on Friday, June 3 so he and his siblings, parents and Juanita were able to go to the special Dream Night at the Edmonton Valley Zoo event for sick children and their families held on Friday night. There were all sorts of goodies and special opportunities for fun at no cost to the attendees. The baby, Ansel was not impressed by the large furry animal-costumed person that met them, but other than that everyone had fun and rushed around until exhaustion set in.
There's no accounting for taste or, as Alexander Pope more or less said, "Man is not a rational being. He is a being capable of reasoning." In other words, I really like small town parades. Meadow Lake calls itself a city after massaging the population numbers over five thousand, but despite the peculiar legal definitions of Saskatchewan it is a small town.
The pictures above are of this year's rodeo parade.
Granddaughter, Sonja, passed by on the high school band float. If you know where to look you can just make out part of her head playing her saxophone. Daughter, Deborah, walked in the parade as a volunteer for a group providing encouragement to cancer survivors. Ypu can see her in her orange tee shirt touching hands with her son, Kohen.
The rest of us stood there and watched. What's a parade without observers?
Visiting Meadow Lake
Normally, our daughters and their kids manage to attend kids' birthday parties back and forth between Meadow Lake and Edmonton. Ezekial's ability to travel has been severely restricted this year with his leukemia treatments. Rebekah managed to fit in a visit to the cousins between treatments for a few days this month.
Off to Edmonton Again
Another round of chemo to assist with.
End of Baseball Season
This was Kohen's second season in baseball. His enthusiasm picked up a bit toward the end when he accomplished a base hit. We attended a few games, as dutiful grandparents when we were in town. It brought back memories of my athetically challenged youth. There was a reason the other kids always chose me last for baseball ("we had him last time! It's your turn.")
In 2014, after a life of being home schooled, Sonja elected to start attending public school for grade 10 and beyond. She is now in grade 11 and just finished her second year as an a honour student. We attended the award ceremonies at the local high school and had ample time to reflect on our own high school experiences (fifty years ago and counting).
As Stephen Covey observed there are natural systems and social systems. A farm is a natural system. If you don't give the necessary inputs you can't make up for it at the last minute by cramming for harvest. A school, however is a social system. It can be gamed. Marks and other external results are independent of actual learning of the subject material. It was interesing listening to the comments of the people handing out awards. Things that seemed to matter: showing up; being cheerful, cooperative and participating in class; handing in assignments on time; participation in the school and greater communities. Sounds like work/life in general.