“Brothers and sisters: Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Phillipians 4:6-7
It is natural for us to think about giving thanks during this time of year, and as we were reflecting on this past week this scripture reading that we read recently(at Mass), at the beginning of the month, came to mind.
Late in the morning, on Thanksgiving day, we were greeted by our friendly oil delivery guy, Curly. He had come to fill our oil tank for our small heater in the basement. To date it has heated the house quite well, and even though the outside temperature has remained mainly between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius, dipping down to -3 degrees occasionally, we have not had to heat up the wood furnace yet. The mountains around here are starting to show the snow line coming down but we’re hoping we still have a little time yet before the snow flies here.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at our neighbor’s place, Constable Kyle and his wife, Kristen, and their kids, Carter(3 years old) and Brooke(1.5 years old), along with the other constable, Evan. It was really great that, even though we do not have family here, we were able to celebrate with friends.
Pictures in front of the old Catholic church(in old town – Telegraph Creek)
Starting Tuesday, Denise continued her work in the school kitchen, for the morning, cleaning and organizing. Commiting to work two hours every morning, during the school week, has worked out quite well with our routine at home. It has been a neat way to connect to the community and Denise has had some faith chats with people in the cafeteria several times now. In the afternoon we took a drive down to the old part of town to take our family Christmas card pictures. Taking some in front of the old Catholic church and others down by the river, on the sand. It was a beautiful afternoon, and despite losing the charge on our camera battery rather quickly we managed to get at least three good family pictures out of forty☺ Arriving back home we celebrated Isaiah’s baptism anniversary with the chocolatiest chocolate mud cake(and ice cream) ever(cake homemade by Denise and ice cream homemade by Josh)!
Pictures down at the beach, on the banks of the Stikine River(in old town – Telegraph Creek)
We had our first rosary prayer meeting last week and hadn’t booked another one, but somehow one of the community members thought it was now a weekly thing and came over on Wednesday night, much to our surprise. But it was a lovely and blessed time; one of those moments where you really feel the Spirit guiding and directing your ways. This lady who did come is now one of our closer friends and is one of the kids’ adopted grandmothers. So we will now be praying the rosary every Wednesday evening.
On Thursday Denise took the secretary’s place in the office, as she was away for a couple of days, and took a break from the kitchen. We were remembering back to when we first arrived in the community, wondering what we were going to do, and now it seems like there are so many opportunities. The school also needs substitute teachers and the post office a back-up replacement. We will definitely need to discern what we take on as we want really be present to our family and to the needs of the church community.
Josh has been occupied with the kids, when Denise hasn’t been around (and been doing an amazing job! I (Denise) think Josh makes better bread, hands down!), and planning for our All Saints/All Souls Vigil which we will be holding on the evening of November 1st.
On Friday we joined in the celebrations for the Tahltan Declaration/Treaty Day. The Tahltan Declaration is when in 1910 the Tahltan people refused to sign Treaty 8 which would have meant partial loss of control of their lands and made a 5 point declaration of their land rights to the government. Josh, Gianna, Isaiah, and Aliz went over to the Rec. Centre for lunch. We also had the opportunity to look at some historical pictures of the different families along with the Tahltan Declaration/Treaty. It was interesting trying to juggle the kids around and get them lunch, but one of the ladies (actually one of Gianna’s teachers) offered to hold Aliz and so was able to manage. There were no other children there, which was surprising but more than likely due to the fact that it was a school day. We realized how different it is when you’re not really totally a part of the community. People are friendly enough, but there’s a whole new level to get to. We had a lunch of fried and baked bannock, vegetables, boiled/baked salmon with boiled potatoes, vegetable noodle soup and beef(it may have been moose) barley soup, and lots of goodies. Needless to say the kids were a lot more interested in the goodies.
Denise worked at the school Friday making her first lunch for the kids. The produce truck broke down on the way to Telegraph Creek on Thursday so the school and store were not able to get fresh produce and other groceries. So it was an improvised lunch of canned salmon sandwiches and Campbell’s soup. Let’s just say the majority of the kids were not too thrilled about the lunch and most don’t like salmon of any sort. They were all still polite but one student asked, “Umm.. do you know how to make pizza or burritos?” It was actually quite comical. Meanwhile, Kateri sat at her table and ate every bite. She brought her dishes up to me and said thanks Mom for lunch the soup was great!” Awh, thanks Kateri! My highlight of working at the school has been knowing I am close to Kateri and getting to be more involved in her day and school life. Halloween is huge here so it is nice to be able to see what Kateri is learning and bring in some teachable moments about what we believe as Catholics. Kateri’s teacher came up to me and let me know that Kateri is fitting in really well! Yes, Kateri says everyone is her friend! It’s so nice to be only 5 mins away so I can come home to feed Aliz and not miss out on too much around the house with Josh and Gianna and Isaiah.
Our Sunday celebration with the community was amazing today, and one of the ladies even stayed for a while to play cards. We really look forward to seeing our church family each week. We are especially excited for Mass here next weekend, with Fr.Kieran!
In Summary, our time here is a continual conversation in growing and giving of ourselves and we are reminded of our own inadequacies quite often by the circumstances or situations we find ourselves in. However, in touching on the scripture quote that we began this post with, we feel that we have been so blessed with our time here in Telegraph Creek. We continue to find peace, in giving our lives to God so that he may use us as He wills and create a masterpiece out of our littleness. It is truly a treasure!