Friday, June 27, 2008


My girls and I went to see "Wall*E" tonight. It's nearly two in the morning and I am still mulling it over.

What was it about this simple, little film that touched me this way? This was no adrenaline filled movie with endless car chases and scene after scene of things being blown-up. There was no long-haired, sweaty hero that sweeps the heroine off her feet. The hero in this movie is, in fact, a garbage collector and is quite broken down and rusty. He doesn't talk, there isn't anyone to talk to anyway (except his pet cockroach), and in between collecting garbage, he finds treasures that he adds to his growing collection. A plastic fork, an old copy of "Hello Dolly" on VHS and a Rubiks cube are all special to Wall*E.

We were about 10 minutes into the story when I noticed that my mouth was hanging open and my handful of popcorn was still only halfway to my mouth. I couldn't believe that the scenes I was seeing were not artist's mind was mesmerized. It was about 30 minutes into the movie when I realized that there hadn't yet been one word of dialouge. It didn't matter in the least.

Wall*E is a delightful, artistic masterpiece full of love, humour & hope. But it is also a story of mankind's excessiveness, society's bent to overindulge and the consequences of those decisions. Wally*E and his friend are the unlikely heros that show them all what is important and that it's time to return to what they have lost.

The more I mulled it over the more I found to learn from this wonderful little movie.
Oh, and just in case you're wondering... I'm pretty sure kids will love it too.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Eye on the Prize

"Whose dumb idea was this anyway?" I asked.
"Pretty sure it was yours," says my friend Carol, "Don't you remember?"
"Yah, well it seemed like a good idea at the time."

That was the conversation we had on Sunday afternoon while perched on the mountainside 3 kilometres above the little town of Yale in the Fraser Canyon. My legs were screaming, my lungs were gasping for oxygen but I was determined to get to the end of this trail. Why? Because there was a stupid piece of tupperware hidden in a cave, just waiting for me to find it!

I know, I know... I'm obsessed with geo-caching. Yes, I can say it out loud and yes, Terry, I know that makes me a geek. But we all need something we're passionate about right? This is my thing. I love the challenge of finding something that's been hidden in the middle of acres & acres of forest... testing my observation skills and getting me to places I would have never considered before. And when I am soaked from the rain, splattered in mud and covered in a stinging nettle rash I keep my eye on the prize. It is what keeps me going when it seems too hard and I want to give up.

"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Sometimes the life lessons are just so obvious. I love it when God does that.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Lesson from Grandma & Her Lilacs

I have always loved lilacs. I don't know too many women who don't. They smell heavenly and they are so delicate. Even the word "lilac" sounds pretty.

These past few weeks I have been enjoying my lilac bush beside my front patio. If the breeze is blowing just right the fragrance from it wafts in the front door. mmmmm.....

Of course, being the sentimental person that I am, it got me to thinking about my grandma and her wedding day. I had heard the story of Grandma and Grandpa's courtship & wedding day quite a few times during my childhood. I loved how they "met" through their letters and shared photographs. How he travelled to another province to meet her for the first time and how, the day of their wedding, she went out into the garden and made herself a huge bouquet of lilacs.

But it wasn't until I was writing our family's history a few years ago that she told me about something that happened years after their wedding.

Grandpa Klassen decided to surprise Grandma by having their black & white wedding portrait colour tinted and then give it to her as a gift for her birthday. Now apparently Grandpa wasn't much into surprises and definitely not the most sentimental man so Grandma was extremely touched by his gesture. As she opened her present and saw the portrait her heart sank... the colours were wrong! I guess since it was years later and, being a man, (sorry, but it's true) he didn't remember the details of the day all that well. On that day Grandma's dress was blue and the lilacs were white. Grandpa told the artist her dress was white and the lilacs were blue.

You know that Grandma never told him that he got it wrong. I can imagine her, putting on a wonderful performance... thanking him for his thoughtful gift and then proudly hanging the photo back on the wall.

There's such a valuable lesson in that, don't you think? We allow little things to become so major when we could just let them slide. We let one little thing pile on top of the next until it becomes a mountain when not one of them is really important. What is more important? The person we love or the fact that he never puts his dishes in the dishwasher or he missed the fact that you just got your hair done?

Thanks, Grandma, for all the wonderful stories you told me and lessons you taught me. Miss you.