Monday, February 13, 2012

My Simple Valentine's Wish

Ahhh... Valentine's Day is upon us once again.

Christmas is barely over these days when the retail industry starts reminding us that the next big gift/card giving holiday is right around the corner.  Even I'm a wee bit guilty of this myself when it comes to designing, but that's mostly because it's just plain fun to create cute & sweet designs.

Every year at this time I have such fond memories of what this day meant to me as a child in grade school.  Your memories may be along the same track as my own.

The night before Valentine's Day you'd be at the kitchen table with the list of student's names your teacher had sent home, and your box of cards that your mom meticulously selected just for you (that oddly enough looked almost identical to all the other cards available).  One by one you'd address your cutesie-poo little cards (even to the boys, UGH!) and then stuff them into their tiny little envelope.  You always saved the "teacher" card for last, and in your very very very best handwriting would address it and sign it.

Off you'd go to school the next day all excited about the party in the class.  The whole class had made construction paper heart shaped envelopes and taped them to the front of their desks, so when it was time to deliver the cards it was as simple as dropping them into the hearts.  Some of the mothers of the students sent along cookies, cupcakes and fruit punch and inevitably those nasty little candy hearts with "love u" and "be mine" would always show up.  I'm pretty sure no one really brought them, it's just a paranormal event that happens on February 14th where they just... appear.  In any event, the party was always a hit, with snacks and drinks and a chance to skip math or social studies, talk with your friends and go through the cutesie-poo little cards in your heart shaped envelope.  This is what Valentine's Day means to a kid.  Fun, sweets and socializing with friends.

And then... you grow up.  Suddenly it doesn't mean that anymore.  Suddenly it means having a date, going to dinner, giving or receiving sparkly things, chocolates in heart shaped boxes and flowers with an I Love You card from the most awesome person ever.  Or, if you're single, it doesn't mean any of those things and somehow you think you're missing out.  Or, if you're married but not to Most Romantic Person Ever it definitely doesn't mean those things.  Or, if you simply hate the idea of forced romance, you ignore the stupid day as much as you can.  It seems when you're a kid it's just a simple, fun thing to do and it pretty much means the same to every kid, but then when you're an adult it becomes all complicated and emotional.  It's really too bad we can't keep the simple things simple, isn't it?

Well, I'm definitely not married to The Most Romantic Person Ever (although to his credit, he does try) and I don't even think I'd want to be.  I'm too much of a smarty pants and I'd just end up laughing at him sooner or later and hurt his feelings and all that.  I'm also not one of those women who thinks if her husband doesn't bring home flowers and chocolates he's forgotten her or doesn't care.  He totally cares, it's why he goes to work every day and doesn't buy all the things he wants to buy come pay day.  Truth be told, at the beginning of every day my only prayer is that God keep him safe and bring him home safely.  So all I really want, all that really matters to me is that he comes home every night. Sure, a box of chocolates are always yummy, and fresh flowers are always pretty and smell nice, but those things are just things.  Things I can buy for myself if I want to. Things I don't actually need, to know he loves me and cares for me.

I just wish (as I sit around wishing for things - we all do that, don't we?) that we could somehow transplant some of those simple, uncomplicated things from childhood into our adult thinking.  That would sure be nice, wouldn't it?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Bald Apologist, A Prog Rocker and a Canadian Calvinist

The internet is really a strange and wonderful place. Every day around the world, people communicate, argue, flirt, share pics, tell jokes, request prayers and all sorts of other things. Podcasts and webcasts, chat rooms and blogs, twitter, FB, foursquare, pinterest and so many other ways people share things it's really become (in many ways) like a giant living room where we all hang out and get to visit with each other. Okay sure, there's all kinds of wicked junk going on too but we'll just leave that out, since the focus of this story is to display how cool the net can really be. It's a fun story, you'll see.

 People who know me, know that I've had this blog for many years. This June it will be 8 years in fact and it's been a fantastic outlet. My hubby Kevin is also known to those who read this blog since he's featured in much of what I write about. Kevin started his own blog a few years ago but his work schedule didn't allow him to keep it up so he shut that down and just enjoyed reading other people's blogs when he had the time. Well, a couple of years ago Kevin decided he really wanted to build up a collection of music of his favorite genre which is called progressive rock (prog). For those of you that don't know what that is, think of Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd. So Kev would buy a couple of cds every pay day (when the budget allowed it) and then last year the prog scene just exploded with such amazing new releases (by bands I'm sure you've never heard of) that it was hard for him to keep up. He began to keep a list of new releases he wanted, and the best of what he'd heard so far. There was so much great stuff that even I began to listen more, and really really enjoy the music he was listening to as well (yep, I'm a classic rock snob so he did convert me).

 By the end of the year he decided he wanted somewhere to post his own "top 10" list prog releases for 2011 so he started a new blog just for that. Mainly to thank the bands, and hopefully to expose others to this great music. On December 30, 2011 he spent nearly all day composing (and still learning all the new blogger tools) this post called Top 10 Releases of 2011. Simple enough, right?  He linked to it via twitter and FB and a few people read it and thanked him.  We both figured that was that and it was nice.

Well, that wasn't that and it all sort of happened so fast Kev and I are both still saying "wow, how cool is this!?" to each other.

I'm not 100% sure about the sequence of events but I'll try my best to get it down straight:

• Sometime yesterday or the day before, Derek Barber (vocals, keyboards and guitar) of the band called Greylevel (reformed Christian prog artists, who made it to #7 on Kev's top 10 list) found his blog article and left a comment thanking him.  Kev was thrilled enough about that but there's lots more.

• After Kev responded to thank him, Derek responded again with this comment:

"I just made the connection that your wife does the "Team Apologian" stuff for Dr. James White. That's very cool! I'm a big Dividing Line addict. :)"

Kev and I thought that was kind of funny, because had I never responded to Kev's original post, Derek would have never made that connection. (No, all Canadians don't know all Canadians, popular to contrary myth - if there's a guy named Bob in Calgary, we almost certainly do not know him).  Anyway, we both got a kick out of Derek telling us he's a big fan of the DL, so I sent off an email to James to tell him about it.  Then James was kind enough to leave this comment on Kev's blog:

"Hey Kevin, Carla, and Derek...I guess I need to pick up this album, huh? Great to hear you enjoy the DL, Derek. I remain utterly amazed at where that little webcast goes, and the broad spectrum of folks who find it useful. Call in sometime! BTW, love the name of the album. How often have you had to explain it to folks though? :-)" 

 And with that, a dialog between Derek and James began, which led to James asking about some clips of Greylevel for the DL & youtube vids (James had already bought the album, listened and really liked it - he's fast, lol)!  You can read the exchange in full at Kev's blog.

Well, that was just yesterday and since then they've been in correspondence with each other and already on tonight's Dividing Line (if you were listening) you would have heard some Greylevel!!

It's pretty amazing how God orchestrates things, isn't it?  Kev's main goal in posting that article was to support the groups, and encourage others to give them a listen.  Not only did that happen for Greylevel, but it's happened in a really awesome way.

Okay, group hug!!! (Just kidding Doc, now stop scowling at me) :o)