Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, October 6, 2013

When will it stop?

Playing with my new camera on our walk this afternoon. My friend is an "expert" so I am learning from her.
I keep hoping that life will get easier, but it seems to be getting more packed with things to do.  
The week ahead has its far share of challenges.
On Tuesday afternoon I will be leading a funeral for my friend Don Gordon who died sadly last Thursday morning. I have been saddened by his death. I enjoyed his company even though we were quite different. At various times he claimed to be an atheist. I enjoyed his quirky sense of humour and the fact that "What you saw is what you got." I recall my first meeting with him. He prepared the weekly newsletter for the brewery and when I began chaplaincy there I was told that I should touch base with him each time I visited the brewery because he would have any news about people and events. This I did on my first day and when I fronted up to his office he quizzed me about who I was, asking me what denomination I was a minister in. When I told him that I was Associated Churches of Christ his response was, "My mother always said you were an uneducated lot." - which was not true. (May be different now) We had a relationship in which he loved to point out my failings. If I misused a word; if my grammar was incorrect; if I forgot something he had told me or some other error, he would love to point it out. We would argue in a good hearted way from time to time, but he had a mind for detail so you had to be good to win an argument.  It seemed like every time I visited he would have some new thing to show me. It may be some new historical fact he had found out in his research. It may be a bit of a quirky event he had learned about or photos he had taken. He often would dig in his bag and bring it out as soon as I arrived in his office. I did feel superior in one thing. He often was forced to ask me how to do things on the computer. I am not that computer literate but he was worse than me. Whenever I went to leave his office he would say, "Well we better weigh you." I would follow him up to the hops scales and be weighed and often told that I was "fat". That began because he organised the running team for business house "fun" runs and I was often part of the team. Over the last few days I have been thinking about him and heard myself saying out loud, "Poor old Don." He was more than a "client" in a chaplaincy, he had become a friend and I don't have too many of them so I will miss him deeply.  
Night Shelter Volunteer Night
On Tuesday evening I have to lead a night for people interested in being a volunteer for the Night Shelter. I can do that but there is a heap of preparation to do. Some of that involves consulting with other people and often just to connect and find time to talk is difficult. 
My Last Radio Church service
This week I have to record a Radio Church service for a local station. It will be my last one. Usually I have my daughter along to help bring a variety of voice, but she is working out of town. It requires a lot of preparation.
These three events plus my usual workload, increased because of the absence of my daughter, will make the week ahead extremely busy. 
Preparation... preparation.. and more preparation.
I have to do preparation for a number of events coming up. 
  •  next Sunday's service. 
  •  a wedding that will soon be upon me. 
  •  I speak to a group of people next Monday afternoon about our Church. 
  •  Next Monday evening I speak to another Rotary group about the Night Shelter. 
  •  I have to prepare stuff for my daughter who is standing in for me at an event next Tuesday evening. 
It feels like I have a great cloud of work hanging over my head. 

This afternoon I raced into a fire station. One of my fire fighters was donating a washing machine to give to my man who had recently moved housing units. I loaded up the machine, fitted in a walk with a friend, then rushed off to deliver the washing machine.  I wrapped my arms around the washer, picked it up out of the back of my van and lugged it up the path.   As I lowered it into the back shed of the house and wiped my brow, I said to myself, "This lifestyle has to end! It is all too rushed!" Not this week though. I won't get my day off this week. How did life get so busy?

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