Wednesday, May 31, 2006

no complaining

I tell myself over and over again at work that I will tolerate no complaining. That is, I will tolerate no complaining by ME. Really, it's only 8 hours and the customers are often pleasant and at least it's better than working out in a greenhouse in the blazing hot sun. However, the temperature in the storefront of my dear Tim Horton's hovered at 92 F from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon today, and that made running around serving customers slightly less enjoyable. Adding to the confusion and general unpleasantness was the fact that my manager chose TODAY of all days to train me on the drive thru. No, more accurately, to throw me into the bubbling pot of hot lava that is the drive thru and wish me luck. Ok, so it wasn't that bad. But it was stressful and harrowing at first. After the initial shock and confusion, it was just hot. Very hot. All day.

But overall I'm still enjoying work. People complain a lot at work, so I'm trying my best to keep from being a downer. Today was just frustrating because we were told that our managers didn't have the key to the thermostat and therefore it would continue to not be used during the hottest days on record for May. How is that a good thing? There are ovens and coffee makers and toasters and hot soups that all add to the heat and humidity of the outdoors entering from the frequently opened drive thru window--how is making sure the A/C is working not a priority??

So I basically vented a lot just now and disobeyed my own "no complaining" rule. Oh well. Isn't that what blogs are for?

In other news, I went to the Avondale Dairy Bar for ice cream last night with Esther and Alan Lensink and their cousin Craig who's living with them for the summer. The Avondale was (and remains!) a childhood favourite, and they make their own ice cream from the milk produced by dairy cows right on site--one can definately smell the truth of that claim when the wind is blowing in the wrong direction. The weather was beautiful at 9pm, and spending time with friends was a nice break from the ordinarily early bedtime.

I'm so very sorry if this was all a bunch of BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


I jump from blog to blog thinking, "Hey, she hasn't posted in a while...neither has, I wish they'd update me on their lives!"

And then I return to my blog and realize it's been a week since I myself have posted. Hypocrite.

But in my defense, I really don't have much to say. This week was my first full time work week at good ol' Tim Hortons, working 6am-2pm Monday through Friday. I'm enjoying the "different-ness" of the work--much different people than I'm usually surrounded by, a different set of attitudes and expectations about life, and when I'm done at 2, I'm done. No homework at night, no deadlines on the weekend. Even waking up at 4:55am isn't as bad as I thought it would be--I'm just a loser and go to bed by 9:30pm every night and I'm fine!

I'm very thankful for weekends. What a blessing it is that, by grace, most people don't need to slave away seven days a week to survive! We are certainly created with the need for a rhythm of rest and work.

On Friday night my parents and I ordered pizza and wings (we never do that!) and my mom and I relaxed and watched an old Hitchcock movie called Suspicion. I like old movies. This one was made in 1941. My mom has been really stressed out and fanatically busy this week with various school activities (she's a Christian grade school principal) and I had to force her to relax for a few hours. I like my parents.

Esther and Alan Lensink came over last night. We baked ginger cookies, drank liquid candy (in margarita glasses--since when do my parents have margarita glasses???) and watched The Sound of Music. It was great! Yes, I have an odd sense of what constitutes enjoyable entertainment, perhaps. But I am of the opinion that a great deal is determined by who I'm with--good people almost inevitably produce good times. And Esther and Alan are definately good people.

I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the events of last semester and wondering how they could have been different. Better, that is. Or worse, I suppose. Also on my mind lately is an internal debate about the difference between appropriate discernment and sinful judgmentalism. Very humbling.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


...for hanging out with friends!

I spent last night and this afternoon at the Lensink's house. Martin (Mr. Lensink) invited me out for dinner with the family last night after he called to see if my parents were available to come for Sunday lunch today. I spent the rest of the evening with three of the Lensink kids talking and listening to good music in the candle-lit living was wonderful and relaxing and stimulating all at once. Like good times at college (except for the candles). When they found out that my parents are gone this weekend, they also invited me over for coffee and lunch after church. Horray for hospitable people! Martin and Linda (parents) have four children within four years of each other: Anna (23), Neil (22), Esther (21), and Alan (20). I was friends with the youngest three in high school...I shouldn't say "was", because I still consider them good friends! Never a dull moment with the Lensinks. I had a fantastic time!

This weekend turned out to be much better than I expected it would be when I blogged about it twenty four hours ago. I love it when I'm suprised like that!

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I am enjoying my days at Tim Horton's more than I expected I would. I work with some fun, helpful people and I really like the interaction with customers. It's so fast-paced--we get slammed with busses and tourists all day--and I have to say, I thought it was a stereotype, but the American tourists are the most difficult to please.

I've also learned how important it is to tip generously for good service. And even for mediocre service. Especially when it's busy and frantic and your server is running around like a chicken with her head cut off. Be patient! Be friendly to the people who serve you. It makes their day.

In other news, I saw Ann again last night! Hooray for Ann. We watched the movie 'The Corporation'. It was excellent and thought-provoking. I highly recommend this documentary to you all.

It's Victoria Day weekend (May 2-4 to most Canadians) and I have nothing to do tonight. (Yes, I am pathetic.) I am wishing I was at Dordt and could just go over to Paz's or Laurel & Ethan's to hang out or invite people over for fresh-baked cookies and Tim Horton's coffee and Eddie Izzard...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

nostalgia. and fear.

Beacon Christian Secondary School. I graduated from that tiny Christian high school four years ago. I went back tonight, and my mom had to give me a guided tour because I didn't recognize where I was. They've done lots of renovations and there's lots of new faces. This year's spring musical--Seuss-ical the Musical--was wonderful, hilarious, surprisingly well done, especially for a high school of 90 students! I wanted to be up there on stage having a blast with them. I miss being in theatre productions, I miss hearing all about them from friends at Dordt, I miss going to every play and musical that I could at Dordt and hearing about the behind-the-scenes quirks.

I realized how "Americanized" I've become after living in the States for four years. I congratulated the lead in the musical (his name's Corey Van Huizen, I dated his older brother Dave for a year in high school [let's not talk about it]) afterwards, and I asked him if he was a senior. "Well, I'm in grade 12, if that's what you mean!" and he genuinely sounded confused. Oh dear.

Being at a school and seeing old friends made me miss my not-so-old friends.

I miss you guys.

Oh, in other news: I actually wore a uniform and trained in the storefront at Tim's today. Busy busy busy busy busy...

And I'm probably a carrier of the lung disease that my dad has. I'm either a carrier (1 chromosome) or I have the full-blown disease (both chromosomes--worse). Apparently Alpha-1 Antitripsin Deficiency (what Dad has) is the most undiagnosed genetic disease there is. 90-95% of people who have it aren't diagnosed. Well, my dad is diagnosed. He has both chromosomes so that means I at least have one. And he's happy that he'll be able to work for 5 or 10 more years until retirement. After one knows. Somehow, it drives me crazy that he's so ok with it.

I can find out for sure what my status is through a free annonymous test so that the results won't go on my medical records. (If I do have it and it was in my medical records I would either be uninsurable or my insurance premiums would skyrocket.) I don't know if I want to know. It would feel like a death sentence or something. My dad has it, so does his sister, and my oldest sister too. I'm kind of scared.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

working girl

Yesterday afternoon I had an interview at 1pm at Tim Horton's. I clicked with the store manager right away, and I think we both relaxed a lot when we discovered that one of my ex-boyfriend's older brothers is marrying my manager's sister! Small world, eh?

At the end of the ten minute interview, she offered me the job. Full time days, from 6am to 2pm Monday through Friday. I even get evenings and weekends off! Only minimum wage, but hey, I'm ok with that. I start training at 8am tomorrow! Go Tim's.

In other news, I saw my dearest Ann tonight! We saw a play together at her old high school. Strangely, they put on the play "Our Miss Brooks", which MY high school did when I was a senior--and I played the lead (Miss Brooks) in our version! So it was weird to see the play done differently, but also a lot of fun. They did a really great job--better than my high school did (but don't tell anyone).

On the way home tonight, I was flipping through radio stations trying to find something good. I realize this may be an oft-repeated complaint, but I want to reiterate it: why are most songs, of all genres, about love or broken hearts? And no, I was not listening only to country. I flipped through the country station, the "light favourites" station, the 80s flashback station, and even the hard rock station, and couldn't find anything that wasn't about new love or the end of a relationship. No wonder there are so many cynical singles out there.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Tim Horton's

I know many people who are more excited about Tim Horton's coffee than I. In fact, I don't like any kind of coffee. At all.

However, my mom just called to inform me that one of the parents at her school owns two Tim Horton's coffee shops and might be able to get me a full time (day) position at one of them. Paying minimum wage. I'm not quite sure what minimum wage is in Ontario at this point, but I think I'm going to seriously pursue this option. I think it's a close to waitressing as I'll be able to get without any experience! (For those of you who don't know, I have always wanted to be a waitress.)

"How would you like your coffee? Anything else today?"

Now that I'm publishing this, it will be really sad if I don't get the job!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I spent this afternoon trying to shepherd a group of eleven kids, grade one through grade seven, during the annual "Fellowship Fest" (an afternoon of team-building games) at my old elementary school. My mom (the principal at said school) asked me to fill in at the last minute for a teacher whose wife just had a baby.

So yesterday I met my energetic group to decide what our name and distinctives would be. After heated discussion, the majority decided that we would be the "Bow wow cows" and that we should all wear black and white, a hat, and sunglasses. I was also convinced that we needed some sort of face paint so that we would stand out, so I spent this morning running around St. Catharines looking for black and white face paint. (Which, apparently, is rarely available outside of the months surrounding halloween.)

I showed up this afternoon with black eyeshadow and a white lipstick, and the kids proceeded to put cow spots all over each other with the black powder. One particularly innovative youngster grabbed some black magic markers from her desk, so a few kids had 'bow wow cows' written all over their faces, arms, and legs.

Being back at my old elementary school, I was struck by how much things change. Children I used to babysit were in charge of the afternoon's games. I didn't recognize most of the teachers. The school is undergoing renovation and construction, and I hardly recognized the place where I spent 9 years of my childhood.

At the same time, so much was the same. I was second-guessed by a second grade teacher--three times. The band teacher complained that the high school musical was, as is customary, way behind schedule. (They haven't run through the entire musical from start to finish yet, and the show opens on Thursday. Ouch.) Some kids were competitive and mean, despite the fact that the whole point of FELLOWSHIP FEST is to encourage co-operation and commaradarie (sp?) among the various grade levels.

I don't know if I have a point to all this.

Spending all afternoon with children significantly younger than me made me feel old. Should that really surprise me? When I told my parents that seeing all the kids who had grown up so much since I babysat them made me feel old, my mom just said, "Get used to it, honey."

I suppose she's right. As Jonathan Horlings said on his blog recently, you can't stop time from marching on.


I finally figured out how to add links to other people's blogs to my side bar index.

I actually felt strangely powerful while typing in the script that would control what popped up on my and many others' screens.

Are there any that I'm missing? Please don't be offended. Just comment (with your link) and I'll add you!

Monday, May 08, 2006


So I made it home.

My parents and I left Dordt early Saturday morning, probably the last time any of us will be there for a long time, and drove across the Iowa countryside, meandering our way to Illinois via the northern route, avoiding the bore of I-80. (I hope DSchel doesn't see this entry, because I'm pretty sure that was an incredibly incorrect run-on sentence. I apologize to all of my English major friends who just cringed.)

Following my parents, driving alone in my packed car, I had a lot of time to reflect. Yes, the customary reflecting about my time at college and who meant the most to me, what events impacted me the most, what I'll miss the most, you know. I was struck by the impact certain professors have had on me.

I also realized that in the last few months, Dordt's promotional bragging about its "sense of community" became a reality for me. Although I always joined in the talk about the strong bonds among students at Dordt, that community became incredibly evident to me when everything came crashing down around me in March when Brian attempted suicide. Too many people to mention--students, faculty and staff alike (and people at Covenant CRC)--told me they were praying for me and opened their homes to me, telling me that if I ever needed anything at all or if I needed to talk, they were there for me. Although I didn't take every person up on their offer, knowing they were there to support and encourage me was more comforting than I first realized.

I'll miss that. I'll miss having 4 or 5 wonderful friends as roommates, there to giggle or discuss or cry with me.

I'm not idolizing the community at Dordt, nor do I want to dramatically claim that I'll never be a part of a community like that again. But there is something unique about living and learning together in a close college community. And I like it. A lot.

I'm sure I'll be adding posts frequently in the next few days...I'm still job searching, and will have lots of free time on my hands!