28 September 2009

Home from Saskatoon

Mom's still in hospital but doing fine. We arrived home to several phone messages, none of which bore bad news.

I like being home! (Perhaps that's one of the reasons I travel: to come home.)

Oh, our friends in SK spoiled us ...

More soon, once I've caught up with myself. Alas, I was behind when we left! Deadlines await.

happy to unpack and raid my own fridge instead of my friend's :)

23 September 2009

Mom's back in hospital

Again, my family requests no phone calls, please. But alas, Mom is back in hospital today (Wed). She's dehydrated and not eating well. A drip seems to be the answer for now.

{Oh, Mommy, my heart aches for you all.}

I'll be away after class tomorrow. R and I are driving with our friend CS to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (tell me if you want to hear the only SK joke I know). We'll be back on Monday when I'll post an update again.

The other Leaches seem to be doing fine.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are. Here in Alberta we're enjoying record highs for September, considering we've passed the autumn equinox already. No complaints at all! Fall's my favourite season, no contest.

off to pack for the province to the east (turn right and keep going straight)

19 September 2009

Mom's home

Sorry for the late update. Mom came out of hospital earlier this week, hooray! Hopefully she'll be able to rest at home. Medication seems to be the preferred option for heart treatment at present; no surgery is planned for the foreseeable future.

We've had a special week of extended classes at seminary and I attended a ladies' retreat yesterday and today (which my hubby would have enjoyed, I'm sure).

R and I are off to photograph a country wedding later this afternoon, so my computer time has been limited.

Thanks for popping in to find out about my family. Do write and tell me about yours.

13 September 2009

Mom's in hospital

Beloved readers

In keeping with the Leach family’s month from hell (starting with Wallace’s Jeep accident in August, followed by Mari landing up in hospital with measles, then Mom’s laryngitis and more) ...

... I am writing to let you know my mom, Lynn, is in hospital. Again. She’s on oxygen, a drip, and a nebulizer, so we hope all the bases are covered!

Mom has an existing heart condition (complicated by several other factors), and is currently waiting for the results of various tests done last week: blood work, bone marrow, etc. Despite the fact that she’s very weak and tired, we’ve enjoyed frequent phone calls in the last little while and her sense of humour seems to have survived her immediate family’s recent avalanche of crises. (50% of our family members have been in hospital in the past five weeks!)

To state the obvious: this has not been a take-it-easy kind of month, and taking it easy is what her heart currently needs. Heart surgery is an option my family would prefer not to consider, but we’ll know more tomorrow. I believe she’s in good hands. I also believe in a Physician Who has the power to save, to heal and to comfort the broken-hearted. Please pray with me for my loved ones.

Please don’t call my dad this week; he does not have much of a voice at present. Thanks for understanding.

Thank you, too, for your continued prayer and care for my family. I know I said I wouldn’t be sending further Leach updates this soon, but I know my mom appreciates your support.

Hoping to have good news next time,
Elaine Mary

+1 403-932-3560

P.S. For weekly updates, please follow this blog.

12 September 2009

Glenbrook block party

Tonight (Sept 12) we blocked off our street and had a BBQ. R enjoyed a burger and spinach salad with strawberries and mandarin segments; my next-door neighbour sizzled my steak for me and I munched on fresh corn on the cob; lots of fun. More than 40 folk came!

We’ve lived on Glenbrook Bay for 5 years already, and today we met some of our neighbours for the very first time. Our next-door neighbours we know quite well and appreciate dearly. (See earlier blog posts.) Along our side and around the corner lives a diverse crowd: PhD profs, Hebrew and Greek lecturers, nurses, teachers, accountants, tattooed and body-pierced postmoderns, rednecks and philosophers (and that’s just on the sunny side of the street).

On the other side’s a widow, a drummer (Sunday afternoon naps have a new rhythm), a single mom with a special-needs toddler and two pre-teens, a grandma raising her adolescent daughter’s son, and a couple of party-lovers on the far corner.

Interesting stories, fascinating life journeys.

One learns of deep sadness and profound courage all around: for example, the single mom lost both her brother and her sister in a two-week period this summer. Oi!

One young couple just returned from a trip to Cambodia and Thailand. I had a splendid time listening to their travel tales! Four of us on the street had Nikons, and we spoke about all things artistic. One out-of-towner visiting his family showed me close-ups of bugs on flowers he’d captured on film (the dragonfly and bees were my favourite), along with pics of his boyfriend; he’s got a rare talent and a great eye for composition.

My beloved boss (seminary’s academic dean) and two colleagues live in the same neighbourhood, so it was interesting for us to see each other in this wild(er) setting.

H1N1-free hugs ’n’ kisses,
your neighbour (near or far)

Sept 12 Seminary picnic

Coming soon.

11 September 2009

08 September 2009

Sept 8: 53rd wedding anniversary

Robin and I both spoke to our beautiful moms today:

Mom Leach is in hospital for heart-observation. (As I requested in my previous post, please don't call my folks for a few days). {Get well soon, Mommy.}

Mom and Dad Phillips in East London have reached the milestone of their 53rd ANNIVERSARY. (Robin celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with them in 2006.)

We have much to learn from our parents about sacrificial love and patient endurance.

{We admire and appreciate you both, Mom and Dad. May God guide you in the days ahead.}

These have been interesting times for our family. May we never take for granted the privilege of being part of a family that cares and a community that shows kindness during times of stress. Thank you all for reaching out, for reading, for writing, for praying and caring.

counting my blessings every day this new month

07 September 2009

Sept 7: Labour Day and Leach update

I’m writing to ask you to keep praying for our extended family. But please don’t phone my parents, much as they’ve appreciated the calls they’ve received already.

A month ago (Aug 7) my brother Wallace had his Jeep accident, as you know from earlier blog posts. When he came out of hospital, my sister Mari got measles and was admitted. (She temporarily lost her eyesight and could not drive.) Then my mom, Lynn, woke up speechless with laryngitis, followed by Tyla (the baby) contracting measles. Enough already!

Today (Monday) my sister called to say my mom has been admitted to hospital for observation of her heart. Less than a year ago she experienced what appeared to be early symptoms of heart failure, and was told to take it easy. This has not been a take-it-easy kind of month! In addition to looking after my brother when he came out of hospital, and then recovering from laryngitis, she also moved house. (Again.) I’m not sure my folks really know how to take it easy during a move; they do what needs doing until it’s done. :)

Half of the Leaches—and I do mean 50%—have been in hospital in the last month. They’re all desperately tired, and my brother is understandably depressed that his injuries are still so serious, and that his healing may take longer than he expected.

To readers-who-pray, please do so, in particular for my mommy’s stressed heart. What a month it’s been! (Oh, did I mention my dad has flu?)

On the Phillips front, all’s well here. Robin and I enjoyed a leisurely Labour Day. How did you spend your Monday?

01 September 2009

Sept 1: Back to school

Last week was Orientation.

This week we're back to school.

Although I miss my quiet(er) working-from-home days in the midst of ringing bells and school assignments, I do love the college and seminary students in my class each year. They're the reason I teach. (Any teachers out there?)

And because they're at university by choice, it's not quite the same as trying to teach high school kids English grammar or literature.

For my South African teaching practicum the year I graduated from Rand Afrikaans University (fifteen years ago) I had the dubious privilege of teaching Matric [Grade 12] boys Romeo and Juliet. :) Imagine.

Now I get to teach students ranging in age from 18 to 70 English and History of Western Civilization, and I am thankful.

Back to school,