Lost Luggage

You will forgive me if you are a traveler and have have experienced this story a hundred times; but I am not, and so I share it from the perspective of a newbie, strained in the dilemma of being a “first timer” and all the fresh perspectives it brings.

I recently traveled from my home province to beautiful Nova Scotia for a short stay in wonderful “Wolfville Valley” as I participated in a conference at Acadia University. Although we are pretty experienced travelers, and I have no fear of flying, this was my first solo trip. The event took on a kind of snowball trajectory and I was not super prepared for it. The hubby booked the tickets for me without my consultations, we were unsure about the small details, and the return trip was still not nailed down until the day before I was to leave. This does not bode well for a slightly neurotic rule follower who likes to plan and have all her ducks in a row before undertaking any new task. These facts notwithstanding, I was looking forward to the conference and some alone time with my thoughts.

I strategically packed only carry on luggage to avoid extra costs, and despite his assurances that everything was fine, I made the hubby print out my boarding pass ahead of time. Old school. My emotions were high (see last weeks mid life crisis post) as I said my goodbyes and plodded on through the security lines. I watched as many scanned their electronic boarding passes via their smartphones with all the confidence of world class, techno savvy travelers. Perhaps I will survive my return flight without a solid piece of paper in hand.

The walk to our departure gate was seemingly endless and I struggled to juggle carry on suitcase, bag and old fashion paper work and itineraries, without losing anything on the moving sidewalks (anyone else have a fear of getting something sucked into the end of those things?!) After a marathon trek to the final boarding gate, I plunked down beside two young moms travelling alone with small children and blessed them both, silently, for taking on that challenge!

The staff eventually called that our flight was quite full and that if anyone would like to check your carry on luggage, they would be happy to pop it on the plane at no extra cost. I knew this might happen, and readily took advantage of the call. The moms also packed off their stroller and small child suitcases. I was sure to ask where exactly should we place them? “Just at the door of the plane — next to the stroller.” Okay. Done.

The short flight was uneventful and the slightly smaller airport made baggage collection easy to find. Colourful boxes and bags poured out and around the carousel, until the only ones left were those of us who had checked our bags at the gate! The young mom got her stroller…but no carry on sized luggage had arrived! Great. No big deal though… make a claim, lots of flights in from the big city today… should have your stuff by this evening… they will deliver to front desk, call when it arrives… okay, okay… I can do this. Happens all the time, I have a number to call, a printed receipt even…

The day goes by. No luggage. The evening goes by. No luggage. I call the toll free number. Not yet. I begin to slightly panic. I will have to sit through lectures with no deodorant! I will not have brushed my teeth. I will have to sleep naked! Oh, The horror!

Anxiety: Being consumed by the uncertainties of the Future. But God says: Let Tomorrow worry about itself!

Eventually my small suitcase arrived in a very reasonable time frame, all things considered. And despite my panic and fear of overwhelming body odor, no one seemed to bat an eye, or flinch a nostril. Life goes on. I survived.

As I sat on the flight home (with my carry on safely stowed above my head in the compartment above!) I marveled and mused about the whole idea of anxiety. Those who fear flying, those who struggle with phobias, those who are crippled by the very definition of the word anxiety: being consumed by the uncertainties of the future. I get it. I often feel it. I easily get overwhelmed with the unknowns, the what ifs, the lack of control.

Realistically, this is the big make up of our anxiety isn’t it? That lack of control. If we can’t fix it and be in charge, then who will? As a Jesus follower, I am squarely confronted with the fact that He is in control. God almighty is the only one who knows the future. Every other world view puts our destinies in our own hands. The end of Matthew 6 reminds us that the future will contain trouble, but it’s not my job to worry about it. Tomorrow will worry about itself. The lilies sleep naked all the time — and are all the more beautiful for it. I’m learning -slowly- to not fret at my lack of control. To try and move on and learn and grow. I even scanned my phone generated boarding pass on the way home! Small steps, my friends, small steps.

15 Great Canadian Facts

Happy Canada Day!! For this week’s blog post, I thought we would take a look at our great country and my list of 15 fun facts about Canada! Since mittonmusings.com is the “Canadian, lifestyle blog with an inspirational twist”, it seems appropriate! Enjoy!

1. Canada is the second largest country in the world, covered by a total area of 9.98 square kilometers from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans.

2. We have 10 provinces and 3 territories.

(I remember when we only had two territories…but the next generation would have Nunavut)*groan*

3. Canada has 6 time zones!

I guess this is why it is so expensive to fly from one part of Canada to the other!

4. We have the forth lowest population density in the world. Only 3 people per square kilometer.

Most of our land is covered with forest (or snow). A lot of us live in the cities too. Maybe this is why so many Canadians are introverts like me!

5. Canadians are among the most highly educated people in the world.

We rank first in the number of adults with a tertiary education. Over 51% have attained at least an undergrad from university or college. So smart, ya’ll are…especially since reading my blog! 🙂

6. We have 9% of the world’s renewable water supply at our fingertips!

7. Each Canadian generates approximately 640 kg of waste per year.

Which makes me think….if we spent our Canada day holiday at the beach, did you clean up your picnic or use re-usable dishes? Do your part, people! It’s so hard to be “green” and convienient isn’t it?!

8. The average Canadian consumption of eggs is up from our declining trend — to an average of 190 eggs per year!

See! My teenagers, alone, have contributed to the increase… need those chickens, my friends!!

9. We are one of the most ethically diverse nations, with a large scale immigration program.

10. The most common Canadian last name is “Li”.

Literally, our mission field is arriving to our doorsteps!

11. “eh” is officially listed in the Canadian Oxford dictionary as a valid word.

12. It is against Canadian law to have comics that depict criminal acts.

(Sorry Marvel and DC… I guess no more movies for you, eh?!)

13. There is no official church of Canada, and religion is considered a private matter.

The government allows freedom of religion in Canada as a constitutionally protected right. A fact that I am grateful for! It means I can share my views openly!

14. 65% of Canadians surveyed in 2016 say they believe in God.

It is interesting to note that this belief in God has been steadily been decreasing since 2005, where 81% answered yes to the same question. Currently, Islam is the fastest growing religion in Canada. And it seems like our vast immigration has influenced our religious affiliations. 49% of Canadians say that their religious beliefs are important to them… the question is why? A thought to ponder.

15. Only 8% of all Canadians view evangelism as positive.

We are a spiritual nation, but no longer a Jesus following one. We think that our religious beliefs should be that of a private matter…. not to be shared. Not to influence others. No Bible should dictate the laws and rules of our great nation. I’m sad to see the decline, and continue to muse of how I can do my part to raise awareness about the One who influences my daily life. Oh Canada! May God truly keep us strong and free!

all facts were gathered from the great world wide web… and are non of my own!

Happy Canada Day, my beloveds!

A Thankful visit to Transvaal Farm

Hello again, my friends! We just got back from a wonderful, long Victoria Day weekend. We opened up our tiny trailer and got our first real taste of summer — despite the fact that it was still quite chilly. Oh my, we are so ready for some warmer weather over here!

Which got me thinking about all things vacation. Therefore, I wanted to throwback to a few weeks ago, when I took a lovely, little “mini-vacation” with a couple of good friends. We had an awesome time together — simply enjoying each other’s company, with no set agendas, just doing whatever tickled our fancy (which was a whole lot of shopping!) We journeyed to little town called St. Marys, near Stratford, Ontario (Canada!) and spend a few days in a wonderful little place called Transvaal Farm.

The guest house, situated on 50 acres of rural farmland, was quaint — and perfect for the girls’ getaway. The home features two bedrooms, a lovely sitting area, and a country kitchenette, allowing us to save some money by cooking our evening meals in-house (all the more cash for shopping!) Our host, Cindy, and her working partners, were eager to show us around, and we reveled in the delights of the goats… and you guessed it… CHICKENS! (I don’t know what it is with me and chickens, right now….but I am lovin’ them!)

Although not a true bed and breakfast, our hosts delighted us with a stocked fridge full of fresh goat cheese, delectable, baked artisan bread and treats… and, of course, farm fresh eggs! We even got to gather our own eggs, direct from the coop, one day! We visited during off season, so many of the garden’s goodness’s were not yet available, but I’ve been told that the property boasts a lovely variety of fresh veggies all summer long. I did see quite a few rhubarb patches, too! I understand that Cindy hosts some wonderful classes on all things good and yummy, as well. I encourage you to check it out!

Our felted owls
Our crazy little felted owls!

The girlfriends and I spent our days touring around the surrounding cities, thrifting (I was on the hunt for glass bottles!!) enjoying cafe lunches, and quaint little gift shops. We found boundless treasures and laughed and chatted for hours. We even tried our hand at some felted owls one night. Which led to a deluge of giggles at our own inadequacies! But, the fireplace was warm, and the company was even warmer. It was such a refreshing time for me!

I am so blessed. Indeed, I must remember to be thankful. To take time to reflect and thank God for the bountiful blessings He provides — warm beds, nourishing food, a bountiful earth full of good things, and lasting relationships with friends who bring such value to my life. I must remember to be thankful that I am blessed enough, financially, to take time away from working, to be a bit frivolous with my time. I must remember to be thankful for a family that is home waiting for me to share my joys upon my return (and to hear me talk about chickens… again!)

Have you made your blessings list? Have you taken the time to indulge in a few days with no agenda, to laugh with friends and collect fresh chicken eggs? To pet the barn cats and enjoy lattes at a quaint, small town cafe? To find treasures hidden away in a thrift shoppe? Oh, may you enjoy coming home again to the faces of your beloveds, because your absence has made your heart grow fonder. Be blessed, my friend — and be thankful.