Hwy 3a Kaleden to Keremeos closed due to mudslide
Archives for April 14, 2018
I am old, too old and unwilling to change to survive in this modern world.
What has made me feel this way??? I have coped well with many inventions and so called “improvements” during my lifetime but recent experiences have made me wonder if it is maybe time to admit defeat and not leave the comfort of Oliver any more.
A recent trip to Scotland was quite an eye opener as to how modern Britain works. I travelled via London which is quite a culture shock when you are used to life in the Okanagan. Wherever you look there are literally thousands of people flocking by you, about fifty percent of them are openly talking to themselves. It is quite disconcerting when a complete stranger looks you in the eye and talks to you. Several times I asked people to repeat the question, only to have them glare at me and ignore me. It took a while till I realized that all these people had a wire jammed in their ear and were carrying on a hands free phone conversation. I guess they need to focus their eyes on something and quite often, it was me.
The railway stations are amazing, everything is automated and, for the country bumpkin, rather terrifying. I had (well, Dave had) purchased my rail tickets on line, prior to travelling. However, the printed e tickets have to be exchanged for regular train tickets before you can travel. This means going to a wall of ticket machines, finding the right sort of machine for your transaction then following a list of instructions. Trouble is, if you do not follow the instructions fast enough, you get kicked off the machine. When I got the instruction to enter your “eight digit process number” it took me a while to find out where on the ticket was the correct number as there are lots of different numbers on it. Too late, the machine kicked me out. I tried this three times before I got it right.
The next instruction was to enter the credit card, on which the purchase had been made, into the slot. By the time I hauled the credit card from my wallet, I had been kicked out again and a couple of people behind me were shuffling about. I tried to not let them distract me as there were lots of other machines, so I once again inserted the eight digit number, with credit card ready to be put in the slot once the instruction came. However, I didn’t put it in right the first two times and started to get panicky. A good Samaritan from behind came to help, he could see I was an out of town simpleton and I fully agreed with his assessment.
When the machine finally spit out the correct tickets, there were three of them, one for travelling with, one was a receipt “not to be used for travel” and one that didn’t seem to have any purpose. I guess the fellow in charge of the operation of designing machines just didn’t like “being green”.
Having finally got the correct ticket in my hand, I advanced to the main part of the station. Euston station is enormous and specially designed for idiots to get lost in, there are several levels of platforms to accommodate all the trains that pass through. There is also a further layer that must be half way to the centre of the earth. This layer contains the underground or “tube” trains. All the levels are connected by very steep escalators and myriads of corridors. A perfect place for the unwary to lose their way.
The station looks more like a food court than a place of travel and many people take advantage of this and eat on the train. I approached a man in a Hi Viz vest and asked him for assistance. He directed me to a huge electronic board on which were printed absolutely hundreds of destinations. Standing in front of the board were several hundred travellers all looking for their train to be listed.
I found the correct train and discovered it was to arrive on time, however there are so many trains coming and going that the actual platform number is not decided on until a few minutes before the train is due. As each train platform flashes onto the screen there is a huge exodus of people running to get to the train on time.
Once my destination flashed on, I joined the throng of people going north and hurried along, dragging my luggage down two escalators and several corridors. The train leaves on time whether you get on or not, so no time to dawdle. The Virgin train doors close automatically forty seconds before the trains go, once they close you cannot open them again, so no jumping on late. Breathless and exhausted, I found my seat and collapsed into it. I have got so accustomed to the relaxing drive from one place to another that we know in Oliver that this crazy race for a train seemed so wrong.
The final straw came on the train from London to Scotland. It was a six hour journey and I needed a bathroom break. British trains are very up to date, train travel is a common occurrence and every convenience is on hand including Wifi, tables for your lap top or your lunch, phone chargers and so many things that make travel more pleasurable.
Anyway…I approached the washroom, which are roomy enough to accommodate wheelchairs and pressed the button to open the door. The door slid open, I entered and pushed the button to close the door. Immediately, a perky female voice welcomed me, told me to take a seat and get comfortable. Looking round in alarm, I realized that the toilet was talking to me. Feeling rather conspicuous I got on with the job in hand while I listened to the toilet telling me that “though you may not think it, it is a nice job being a toilet, most people are very nice but, if you would be kind enough to not try to flush anything other than t.p., her job would be so much easier”. The toilet then wished me a pleasant day and said goodbye.
What is the world coming to when the toilet holds conversations with it’s users? Is it just me or do other people think it is ridiculous to have inanimate objects being given personalities?
I am back in my home, surrounded by all that is familiar, there is nothing here that speaks to me. Well the coffee table and shelves are yelling out to be cleaned, but in their subtle way of just lying there displaying the dust. My toilet is thankfully silent, in fact my whole home is rather lacking in the Big Brother effect of world travel. My home may be boring but then, so am I, I love it and we understand one another, no conversations needed.
The process of Executive Coaching is such that I, the Coach, do not provide direct advice. The one receiving the Coaching wants something, a change, an improvement, more of something, less of something. The conversation centers upon self discovery for the one being Coached. Sometimes there is not much to work with, at least not much in the usual sense.
I once Coached a rather senior professional, George, who expressed desire to improve his fitness but did not have easy access to a gym. He did not have or want exercise equipment.
“I really need to do something to get more fit”, George told me.
“What are you doing presently?” I asked.
“Nothing, really,” he replied. “And I honestly don’t have time to fit anything extra in. My calendar is maxed out.”
“What do you do every day, or at least every work day, that involves exercise, maybe without even thinking about it?”
He frowned. “Hmmm….the only thing I can think of is maybe the walking I do when I get to and leave from, work. My parking spot is a few car lengths from the building entrance. Then I usually take the elevator to my 2nd floor office … though lately I’ve sometimes tried taking the stairs instead, but it wears me out and feels like it takes too long. It’s a high-ceilinged building so there are maybe 30 steps, or more.”
“I wonder, George, what is the time it takes you to complete the climb?”
He didn’t know, just said it took too long as far as he was concerned. But he seemed curious about the question, so I asked, “what might happen if you were to note the time, every time you climbed those stairs?”. We left it at that. Notice I gave him no direction, just left him with a question that seemed to intrigue him, at least a little bit.
Five weeks later, I was walking from my office to get a coffee, when who should I meet but George, walking energetically toward me with a grin on his face.
“Guess what? That noticing the time idea really worked! When you first posed the question I couldn’t see the point of it, but I felt like I needed to know so started to monitor the time. Funny thing is that I now always take the stairs every day, and I’m feeling so much better!” he exclaimed.
“Really? That’s great. What else is happening?”, I asked.
“As I arrive at the parking lot each morning, I find myself mentally getting ready as I approach the building, and by the time I get to the stairs I am actually eager to engage them, keeping an eye on my watch. I really feel energized,” explained George enthusiastically. “I’ve even starting monitoring the time from the entry door all the way to the office, and experimenting with starting the time right from the car. In fact, I’m even taking stairs other places and timing my walks up those stairs, too. Turns out I use less time on the stairs than I used to in the elevators! For anybody watching me, it probably looks like the only change I’ve made is glancing at my watch. Yet, it’s turning into a fun habit. And I’m getting more fit. I can climb the stairs faster, and I don’t get so out of breath!”
This little bit of entertainment became a habit. This man now gets energy from any stairway he encounters. He feels more fit and is proud of taking stairs whenever he can. There was no added time, no special equipment, no clothing to buy and actually no training regimen. Not even any accountability. He just noted the time it took, without going for the Olympic Gold, just noting the time. Indeed, George’s new ‘fitness regimen’ was created from nothing. His mental state and physical ability improved. Nice. George (not his real name) lives and works in the south Okanagan.
Not every Coaching conversation produces such tangible and vivid results but all increase self awareness, the entry point to any change. And, indeed, some Coaching conversations can produce even more than the one with George did.
Creating from nothing, by getting people to notice themselves. I help folks to notice themselves, and I love it. Noticing self is fundamental to growth. Self awareness is the foundation of better leadership and greater personal success on all levels.
Grandmothers for Africa Spring Bling 2018
Now is the time to gather your friends, have some fun while doing some good and head to Medici’s for Oliver’s Grandmothers for Africa 4th annual Spring Bling.
Its on Friday, April 27th from 10 am to 2 pm. You will find tables laden with fair trade jewellery, bling of every description, accessories, wine gift and carry bags, bowl buddies, lots of handicrafts made locally and also made by self help groups in Africa, and home and garden items. Spring is in the air!
Oliver’s Grandmothers for Africa are really fired up this year after hearing from a Kamloops Grannie just recently returned from Uganda and Tanzania. Mary Baker saw first hand the work we support through the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Grandmothers carrying the full weight of the HIV/AIDS pandemic feel truly supported in solidarity and shared purpose with the Grandmother to Grandmother movement pioneered by the Foundation.
Unlike many other charitable organizations where money is dished out to ‘those poor people’, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers model is much different.
African Grandmothers have a strong say in what is needed in their home communities and they plan together how to reach their goals. They feel equal and able whether it is in developing small loan groups, food security plans, or approaching their own governments to lobby for much needed health care services.
These women know how difficult it is for young girls to stay in school and not be married off in their early teens. They know what is needed to make a difference and the Stephen Lewis Foundation not only provides organizational expertise, it
listens and invests resources directly at a grass roots level. It sounds simple enough but it makes all the difference to African Grandmothers and they are very quick to voice appreciation. Increasingly we see them moving into leadership positions and hammering out an agenda for positive change.
Mary showed pictures when 200 Tanzanian grandmothers plus grandmothers like herself from Canada, Australia, the UK and the USA paraded and danced through the streets at Arusha to make history. They called on the international community to support them in advancing their cause. They called on their own government to protect them, listen to them, give them opportunities. They are demanding a seat at the table where decisions and policies are made that affect them and the multitude of children in their care.
Come to Medici’s on Friday, April 27th and be part of the solution. We need each other!
On the Troubled Side
The Humboldt crash has raised serious questions. If there is a God who is all-powerful, all-knowing and loving why did He let this happen? Couldn’t He have somehow held up the semi-trailer by just 2 seconds and the bus would have passed in front of the truck? Couldn’t He have caused a traffic delay for just a minute to hold the bus back? Why would so many innocent young men die because one driver didn’t notice, didn’t see or maybe ignored a stop sign? The overwhelming grief of so many families and friends plus the devastated future of the seriously injured would have been avoided. On top of that we can only imagine the horrible effect on the truck driver’s mind and life. We ache for him too.
But wait a minute? Do I know how often the Lord has stepped in to prevent a disaster in my life? Could it be that there are thousands of times every day in Canada when He has prevented serious accidents and we don’t even know it? All this in spite of not heeding warnings about drug overdoses, alcoholism, distracted driving, war due to power struggles, corruption that ruins lives and many more evils? The consequences often kill innocent as well as guilty people? Yet, how many warnings signs in life have I ignored and God has been gracious?
Why did this horrible accident happen? Is God doing anything about the mess on this planet? Yes, He did. On the cross Jesus cried out, “My God! My God, why have You forsaken me?” It wasn’t the physical torture and death that troubled Him. It was that “…He bore our sins in His own body on the cross…” 1 Peter 2:24 This means He took the rap for everybody who turns to Him, including what’s listed above. That’s a major act of forgiveness and grace.
We grieve along with many in the world for the Bronco community. I wish I had all the answers, but I will depend on those answers I can’t question instead of questions I can’t answer.
The Son is shining behind the dark clouds.