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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

2nd Week of Wheeler Advent Calendar

The second week of the Wheeler Advent Calendar continues even if my house is sparse of Christmas décor save a beautiful door wreath which someone made for me and a glass nativity scene that I was forced to get out because there were candles in it when the power went out. I also put out my names of Jesus advent cards which help ground me to the season. People who are counting on cards from me will have to keep waiting probably until next year.

Oh, my goodness we had many, many volunteers come out last week and help us to trench in the sewer (3 days), build and put skirting in place, build doors for the water shed. Tuesday through to Saturday people were here helping. It blessed our hearts hugely to know we are so loved that people would come and help us do these huge, big ugly jobs in the chilly cold. (not as cold as this week it’s currently minus 24 this morning).

Trenching in the sewer pipe was interesting, you had to be in a 6-10’ deep trench looking up. I think the only reason I could have done it was the fact that the walls were sheer clay, and solid. The pipe required hand filling 6-10” inches of dirt on top of them before the hoe could drop a bucket load on top to prevent the pipe from breaking. Lots of shovelling happened last week.

I was so excited that we had a functioning sewer but unfortunately, we have had to stop and revert back to…. You guessed it, the bucket. The reason being that there is no water in the lagoon yet and we are nervous that the pipes might freeze with liquid and they may crack; we do NOT want to repeat the trenching process! This week’s project is to try to find water (unfrozen, could be difficult since we are dipping into the minus 20’s and possibly 30’s this week). Probably a prayer request attached to this one.

Friday’s box was multi leveled. Ray and Victoria brought out our couch and love seat – I was finally able to lay down, stretch out on a couch – wow that felt great! Then I attended a ladies Christmas tea – even with masks on, it was a reminder of how things used to be and it was delightful.

By Sunday we got the skirting finished! Woohoo. Before we put the final section in we had to lay plastic down under the trailer as a vapour barrier. We had this huge roll of plastic and Brian and I crawled under the trailer to put it in place. The trailer is set on pilings 20” off the ground, so not a lot of room. I found that using your elbows and staying on the plastic you could pull yourself along fairly easily. I kind of felt like army boot camp and see how fast I could get going on my elbows. At one point I took to rolling down one whole side of the trailer, not the most graceful woman, I was glad it was dark, and no one could see me probably looking more like a flopping fish than anything.

Monday’s advent box was the bedroom! I tackled the pile of boxes sitting there and we can now walk across the room unhindered!

Tuesday was my Bible study day and the ladies spoiled us as leaders with beautiful gifts. Then off to the Thrift Store to sing Christmas carols for the shoppers in the afternoon.

One of the days this week the Advent box was especially different – it was special and sad because one of my dear friends passed away. It was special because she was suffering in her body and she needed to be released and she is now free but sad for us left behind.

Cary was a person who attracted you, she was kindness, love and acceptance all the way through. She loved to pretend she was cranky, but it was always done in love and often with humour. I loved it when she told the story of hiding mini marshmallows behind the pulpit and heaven forbid you fell asleep in her sermons, she would nail you with one of those!

She was profound and the thing about Cary is that “she got me”. She understood Jane and sometimes more than Jane understood Jane, she was part of my “tribe”, my little group of friends who always have your back. I’d be having a problem and call her up to ask what her take was on something. She was almost always right and being a Pastor, she had a God angle on everything. I loved it.

I am the woman of a 1,000 questions and she was the woman of barely any. She would laugh at all my questions, but totally expected them.

Our last conversation she said some profound things that I think need passing on:

1) When God shows up in our lives, the questions really do not matter anymore. His presence answers everything.

2) She was clarifying the difference between the journey and the destination. Basically what she said was, if we are always wanting to reach the destination, then we have missed the point. Because the journey IS the destination. God wants us to live each moment in the season we are in here and now, not wishing and hopping ahead to the future. The journey is the destination.

Cary lived the journey. She was an emphatic God lover and people lover. She carried herself on the journey with exceptional grace and poise. She touched so many peoples lives in a way that made them better. You were better off for having met her. Cary once told me she wanted to finish well and she was not sure if she knew how. I can testify that she met and exceeded the goal of “finishing well”. Even in the hospital she was ministering to people, dr’s, nurses, family, friends and strangers while her body was failing, her spirit was alive and well and encouraging others along the way. She told me that her room used a box or two of Kleenex a day because someone would end up crying, maybe about her but often because talking with Cary was like talking to a therapist – and she could hit the spot with clarity and love, which of course would undo you into a Kleenex box. My friend Cary will be very missed here on earth but she will be happily organizing heaven and making friends new and old until we get to meet up with her again.

Cary taught me that we need to hold the people we love closely, check in with them often, and never be afraid to reach out and tell someone you love them. Sometimes we simply need the reminder to do that.

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