The Reason for the Season

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Some may think it is too early to start talking about Christmas. This past weekend those of us in High River were treated to the true spirit of Christmas.

The devastating June floods destroyed many a basement. It was in the basement where most of us stored our holiday decorations. For some, they lost everything. For others they lost a bit. Then there were the few lucky people whose possessions were spared.

A wonderful couple in town decided to put together what they called Project Christmas Hope. They started collecting Christmas decorations for those who lost theirs in the flood. Little did they think their house would soon be overtaken by donations. These donations came from across the country, as well as from our friends south of the border.

My family lost a few decorations, so we headed down to the church to pick out a couple of things. My husband found this sign “Remember the reason for the season.”

It is an excellent reminder for everyone. Christmas is not just about the presents, trees, ornaments and wreaths. The true meaning goes much deeper. It is a time to share a cup of good cheer with our friends and family. It is a time to start new traditions with our young family. It is a time to celebrate life.

Please remember what the reason for the season is.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Is this a test???

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Is High River ready for an exodus? It may seem like it after the catastrophic flooding of June a month ago, now followed by a hail storm of up to golf ball sized! What’s next, the locusts? It has been a true testing of faith. Like Exodus 7-11, are we being forewarned to leave this area so many have called home, or is it simply a cruel Mother Nature seeking some revenge.

The freak thunderstorm once again flooded some streets as the storm drains have not fully recovered. Hail littered lawns like a fresh fallen snow. Leaves were everywhere, struck down by wind and hail. Insurance companies are not going to like us High Riverittes soon. First flood, now hail.

We should move on further down the Bible to Job 1:21 …”Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and The Lord has taken away, may the name of The Lord be praised.”

I often also find solace in Matthew 7:7-8.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be open.

During times of hardship it is important to be grateful for what you have. It can be tough, and like Job’s wife, we may want to foresake The Lord. Yet we can persevere, we can rise again from the ashes. Let’s keep on mucking!

Thanks be to God!

A new kind of normal!

It has been almost 4 weeks since the waters of the Highwood spilled their banks. The quaint town of High River was devastated by this disaster. Home after home has had at least the basement gutted, with people’s lives heaped in a giant pile on the front lawn. Driving through the streets it is the same. Heaps and more heaps. Lost souls wandering through the town trying to figure out where to start. Each person mourning over their losses only to step outside to see the rest of the neighbourhood, the rest of the town in shambles.

Tensions are high. Residents want to start rebuilding their lives. There are many unanswered questions.

Driving through Section 1 as it’s now called, life is starting to look like normal. Lawns are manicured and recovering; the heaps have been removed. My in-laws house looks almost like nothing ever happened. Look in the basements however, and lives have been gutted.

Some families have no house to return to. Even if still structurally sound, the houses have been attacked by mould. Some people will never return, broken by this flood. Others will persevere and carry on. Slowly picking up the pieces. All we ask for are answers. Answers on what measures need to be taken to protect properties from future floods. Answers on where do people relocate should they abandon their homes.

It will be a slow process. We will rise again.