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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christine and I are investing 10 days in another Habitat for Humanity project beginning today. We will be involved with a team of 14 people. They cary in age from mid twenties to near fossils like me. We will work at a house construction site that has already begun. Foundation and perhaps flooring board is down. We have a chance to begin framing walls. That’s fun, specially if you can push them into place and see the walled hime take shape. The new owners will likely be there to talk with us. That’s a joy. These are families who otherwise may never own their own home. It’s not a free house. People pay a reasonable price but a fraction of the actual cost, and they contribute many hours to building someone else’s home. Only island residents are entitled to apply for a H4H home. Did you read the word 'island.’ Well of course, when we have December chills here, the optimum place to volunteer time is Hawaii. This time it is the island of Oahu. Why not?

This is my own scribble drawing. This is attractive Main House at the Baptist Conference Centre where we are bunking. And I do mean bunking because we don’t stay in this stately place but in bunk house on the property. On our work days we take off at 6:30am and travel to the work site and put in a day of work. I can hardly wait. It’s productive and it is helping someone.
We also have some leisure days scheduled where we see the island, sit at the beach, prowl beach stores.

On this particular trip Christine’s brother Robert Langlois has joined us. The three of us are going to have a wonderful time working and playing. We are even there for the surfing championships at the north shore where the notoriously tall waves break. Tell you more later perhaps. Another scribble drawing anticipates the surfing.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Workplace is Going to Change



Sexual harassment - the rush of offending men may soon require a hashtag similar to 'Me too' that went viral, becoming a movement of women announcing their experiences of physical & sexual assault or harassment by named men. Perhaps 'Him Too' will do. Now TSN sports analyst Greg Zaun is gone, gone, gone; fired by Rogers for 'inappropriate behaviour & comments.’  

Where once women at work or in social situations felt compelled to passively or silently accept male presumptions that it was okay to touch women, undress them, be undressed in their presence, speak to them with sexually explicit thoughts and suggestions, they no longer do. They won’t be silent. Thy won’t stand for it. Society is on alert. Men will change. They must. Their own reputations and careers depend upon a upgraded conscience and conduct. I say that with respect because it is right and good.





Friday, November 24, 2017

Poem: Appearance Doesn't Matter Any More

Appearance Doesn't Matter Any More

I knew I was good-looking
as a young boy blond and lean.
Combed my hair back to a duck tail
Stretched my height out as a teen.

Sex appeal was so important
As a college young adult.
Some outstanding wedding photos
Display the superb result.


Obligations soon took over
I gladly became a dad.
I learned children prefer play time
To good looks I thought I had.

Nonetheless employed by others
I made sure that I looked smart.
Yet mirrors gradually told me
Signs of ageing had a start.

Kids grew up and career moved on
Thinning hair, a few pounds more.
Arrest the pace, start the program
Trim the fat, strengthen the core.

I did all that for many years
Now experience lets me say
I'm genetically compromised
My dad had a part to play.

So here I lie beside my wife
And she sees someone other
Than the young man that she married
She likely sees my brother.

He too has realized the truth
Nature's laws will never bend.
Plastic surgery and workouts
Can't reverse this trend.

I have coffee with my friends now
Talk comes easily and free
Guards are down and we are honest
They all seem to look like me.
© Ron Unruh, November 2017

Alive at 75

I feel great. 75. But aware. Life expectancy? males 79 & females 84 in Canada. At birth in 1942 expectation was 68 yrs. I'm already ahead. Canada is good to me. In 1 wk I will help build a house for someone via Habitat for Humanity. Dad b.1915 died at 93. Wow. Can't afford that.

SOLITUDE IS ILLUSIVE UNLESS YOU PLAN FOR IT

(written Mar 27, 2013) "I think of my own changing life situation. My career was in service to people and privacy was something I carved out within a socially demanding calendar. I treasured solitude. My home and yard activities were a retreat from my office and appointments. Occasionally scheduled days at a lodge, away from routines replenished my personal supplies to re-enter my social commitments. Retired now for four years, and having sold my home to enter the downsized world of strata living, compels me to learn new ways, both to cope with a high density of neighbours and eager eyes and to generate solitude which my temperament and interests require.” (now, 9 yrs into retirement, good neighbouring, painting, writing, golf marshalling, volunteering.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

TODAY ... OHHH, TODAY. ZZZZ, UHHHNN

Well I’m awake & it’s 5:45am but that’s to be expected since it’s 8:45 am Eastern time & my body is still there. Flew the Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner, decidedly luxurious for high paying customers. Economy class (where we live) delivers more leg room and good ventilation & that’s it. You buy everything else on board. Flight was late in departing - grounds crew problems, 1.15 hr delay as we sat already boarded, but pilots made up time getting to Van. Should have been 10:15pm arrival but was 10:55pm which was 1:55am on our bodies … and Gina and Jeff and Kale picked us up. Kady was having a sleepover w/a friend. 2:30am before we slept. I have a feeling this will be a day with frequent naps. I manage those capably. Looking ahead to air travel in 2050, I will be 108 yrs old. Any way I look at it, I am, and I will be, happy to be Home.






YEP, YESTERDAY WAS THE LAST DAY

Final day of our 20 day Reunion Extravaganza. Flying home from Toronto tonight, C&me. Eleven of us (our BC family contingent) met in Hudson Que for the Langlois Family Reunion Days, then in St. Catharines for the Unruh Family Reunion Days, and yesterday the Willems Related Cousins Reunion, and liberally sprinkled between these, celebration of Christine's and my 50th Wedding Anniversary, nostalgic visits and pics, and fun visits, quaint Air B&Bs, overnights with friends and family, Peterborough Lift Locks, Hudson Yacht Club, Blue Jays Game, CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium, Wonderland, Niagara Falls, Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls, Avondale Dairy Ice Cream, tears of joy, etc. Nine of us (BCrs) flew home earlier & tonight we (C&me) sleep in our bed at home. What a grand celebration & memory.

Maple Leaf Lounge @ Pearson, all day until 8:15pm flight home

Langlois Family Reunion in Hudson Quebec

Here is the entire Langlois Family group that met in Hudson, Quebec. Here was a photo for the ages, or, at least for the youngest ones to look at later in time, and to be reminded of the generations that have preceded them. We lost Jim and May Langlois years ago. They were parents of Christine, Robert and David. All who are younger, are their offspring or their grandchildren. 
from the left:
Kadence, Gina, Kale and Jeff. Jeff is son of Christine and Ron
Kailyn, Tim, Ryan, Cari, Jayden. Cari is daughter of Christine and Ron. 
Christine in light blue with Ron in back row.

Jordie, Tara, Paul, and Justin all kneeling. Tara is daughter of David and Julie. David kneels on right beside seated Patti (in turquoise). Julie stand in pink in front of Robert.

Center is Graeme with Julie, with her children Nicholas and MaryLou.

Beside Julie is Rob married to Kathy (daughter of Robert and Gloria). Their daughter May stands beside Kathy back row.

In front of Rob and Kathy is Richard with his son Arthur on his shoulders. Richard is son of David and Julie Larkin (in pink on right).

Beside Richard is Angie (Angela). She is Patti’s daughter. Her son Allan was unable to attend.

At the rear on the right is Dave married to Beth who is Robert’s daughter. They have two children, their son, and their daughter      .

Beside Beth is her dad Robert Langlois. In front of him Julie Larkin. 

Beside Julie Larkin is Martin married to Jennifer who is David’s and Julie Larkin's daughter. Their children are little Jack with Jennifer, and standing is daughter

At this gathering then, were the original cousins relating to the three Langlois siblings, Christine, Robert and David, and those cousins are: CARI (Unruh-Locken), JEFF Unruh, GRAEME Langlois, KATHY Langlois/Jagodkin, RICHARD Langlois, BETH Langlois-Connabree, JENNIFER Langlois-Laperriere, TARA Langlois.





We celebrated Christine’s birthday on July 23rd. I will share a few postings that I placed on Facebook. This way those impressions will not be lost to me when I remove them from FB. Christine and I have been together for over 50 years. She is my love, still. What can I say other than I am a fortunate man.

The 23rd came on a Sunday. Christine didn’t want a celebration or a party. In the afternoon, Christine and I went to the Bard in the Valley matinee @ Douglas Park for ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ We came early, got front row seats, were joined buy some of our family, and later all eleven of them showed up at our place for supper and a nice evening on our decks. Happy Birthday Christine.



Friday, August 18, 2017

THE UNRUH FAMILY REUNION 2017

Here is the Unruh Family Reunion crew on Monday August 14th near St. Catharines Ontario, together for the first time in very many years. This group blessed Christine and me with observance of our 50th Wedding Anniversary, and a prayer of thanks for our parents, their sons and daughters in laws and their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A once in a lifetime event I think. So grateful for the hospitality shown to the eleven of us from B.C.


My parents’ gravestone tells us that they were sweethearts for 67 years. Importantly, the caption that my brother Murray and I agreed upon to summarize our family heritage is ‘A LEGACY OF FAITH - A FAMILY SERVING GOD’.

This gathering was special to us, an unrepeatable event. Many changes lie ahead during the next five years. I am glad for the legacy.


50th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY PICS - MONTEBELLO PARK



August 12
1967-2017

A Legacy Memory to share with the people we love so much.




In Montebello Park, St. Catharines ON, where our wedding photos were taken 50 years earlier, and now the children, spouses and grandchildren that bless our lives.





 Left to Right
Jayden (12), Tim, Cari, Ryan (15), Kailyn (17), Christine, Ron, Kale (12), Jeff, Kady (10), Gina.











clowning, can’t help it ... life is a blast when we have good company, and when it’s not easy, we have people who carry us through.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

FAMILY HERITAGE NURTURED BY OUR FAMILY REUNIONS

Christine and I are now the eldest in our respective families. Our parents left this scene some years ago. This Quebec/Ontario trip has been a means by which to reinforce to succeeding generations the value of heritage and much more.
     "We are pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road and those who've gone before us line the way, cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary, their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace. Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us run the race not only for the prize, but as those who've gone before us, let us leave to those behind us the heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives. After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone, and our children sift through all we've left behind, may the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover become the light that leads them to the road we each must find.
     Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful. May the fire of our devotion light their way. May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe and the lives we live inspire them to obey. Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful.”

Thank you to all of the 38 people who were able to attend the Langlois Family Reunion, and to the 29 who attended the Unruh Family Reunion.
(quotation from lyrics by Jon Mohr)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

GOLDEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARY



Golden - This was the day, August 12 50 yrs ago, Canada’s Centennial Year, that Christine Langlois and I were married in St. Catharines, where we are right now with our children and grandchildren, and will visit the church building and Montebello Park, where our photos were taken in the rose garden, then on to visit Niagara Falls, and be with our much loved extended family. 50 yrs is a long time & we have lived, loved and served together across the years in many places.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Just call me Marshall Ron. Marshalling is what I do on Monday afternoons @ Pagoda Ridge Golf Course. This canopied cart is my ride. This is new for me this summer thanks to Bob Dobson, who has marshalled for 5 yrs. He recommended me. Now he and I, buds since college days and partners during great work years, do this together on Mondays. And then I play during the week. I am looking forward one day soon to playing a game with Bob. Yesterday I played a round with my dear friend Allan Turner. I am not telling you our score. Jordan Spieth has nothing worry about. You must play this course, fantastic ground crew, immaculate greens, welcoming fairways, delicious food, courteous everybody.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

LIVING IN COMMUNITY MEANS BEING AVAILABLE


If we ever had a notion that retirement from formal pastoral ministry meant separation from the issues that trouble people around us, these past five years have cured us. I am nine years into retirement and five years ago we moved from our detached home on a third of an acre to a unit in a strata complex. At this moment (12:40pm Jul 19), Christine is sitting with a young wife who voluntarily came over in tears to talk about her marriage that has died. Thirty minutes earlier her husband spoke with both of us apologizing for the noise emitted from their unit when they fight, and through tears saying they are trying. On several occasions we have lifted a drunken, weed smoking woman from her toilet and her floor and her bathtub when she could not move but her cell phone was within reach. In the past I have been asked to officiate a funeral for a resident, and Christine has played the piano for that service for which the family requested one hymn of their choice. "Amazing Grace," sung at full volume by an auditorium of unregenerate people, enfolded by the gospel. We have spent time with a dying neighbour in palliative care and been able to ensure that we would know the Father's love for her. We have harvested first name relationships with many people, shared appies and meals. We have experienced our own health concerns and appreciated the interest and concern of our neighbours. We have discovered neighbours who are believers. We have found covert Christians disenchanted by their previous church histories. Church does not guarantee community, but interestingly community can be church.Sunset