It’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting quietly at home thinking about all of has happened last week. This week, on the how-alive-was-I scale I give myself a solid 95/100. On the how-much-joy scale I give myself a 70/100. There were some amazing and interesting things that happened. That’s a very linear way to look at something that is fluid and feeling-based. Here are a few joys from the week.
Last Sunday Terry and I had discovered the power of the Bissell floor steam cleaner. How nerdy is that? Let me say though this this thing is the best cleaning tool we’ve ever owned for floors. No chemicals, no soap, it’s light weight, and it gets floors much cleaner that anything we’ve used before — yes mom it’s even better than hands, knees and a scrub brush. I’m such a convert. The floors are sparkling again. So sold on the ease of use, we bought one for the store with the high hopes that it would be easier to keep the store clean. I’m happy to report that the Sunworkers took to it and the floors look almost like new again. To add to the quirkiness of this entry, here is a review link for the steam mop. May your future hold one of these gadgets in it soon.
Monday was marked by a great board meeting of the Red Deer and District Community Foundation Board. In my last year as chair of the Foundation I’m continually impressed and proud of the work of the individuals associated with the organization, from the board, to the committees, to the staff and CEO. Well done to all of them for their tireless and passionate efforts to make Red Deer an even better place to live. Fund development efforts are increasing with the goal to increase our permanent endowments funds by six million over the next couple of years. The Red Deer and District Community Foundation continues to be a leader in the nation for its creativity, clear thinking, and policy. The organization took a loss in its funds during the 2008 year with the onslaught of the recession, but the decrease was only 8% compared to many other organizations across this country that lost much more, some even as much as 40%.
As 2009 ended the funds had fully recovered and gained ground; we achieved at 13.5% return in 2009 and 2010 looks strong in the first quarter. The organization will once again be running a full grants program in 2010. The Board of Directors and the Finance Committee did extremely well in thinking through the dark times which enabled us to come out so quickly and well. This organization continues to have strong, knowledgeable, and thoughtful leadership at the board table and in the office. It’s such a joy to be part of an organization that does great things.
For information about making donations or about grants please don’t hesitate to contact the office, or call me and I’ll put you in touch with the right person. Red Deer and District Community Foundation – all for community.
Tuesday morning I had measurements done at the gym. When I compared last year this time to this year, I discover that I’ve grown in muscle mass and size, and reduced in body fat. Last year I even got 1 inch taller, as strange at that may sound. I may be thinking of myself as a big man, finally.
Thursday felt like I crammed three days into one. It was a race from here to there to here again all day but each activity was so worthwhile. I started the day with the great workout. Then had lunch with three great community builders, Janice, Brian & Lynn. It’s always nice to spend time with people who are passionate and do great things.
After lunch, I drove to Lacombe for some mentoring from the men with Idea Market. On the way I was stopped for several minutes at a train crossing and I thought about my grandfather who was an engineer.
At Idea Market, for two hours I soaked up new things and made connections between things I knew, and clarified things that I thought I knew. I was so pleased with the time I spent with Graeme and Carson. I’ll put what I’ve learned to good use before I visit next Thursday. I guess I should think of it as homework. I’m a bit competitive in a learning situation and in this case as I learn with the help of a mentor I will need to meet my high standard of an A and decide whether I deserve it. Intense student, demanding grader.
Back in Red Deer I met my friend Dale, who read my tarot cards. This was a first. I found it interesting and fun, and love playing and thinking about the symbols. I was bit alarmed and curious to see the first card appear with an image of a man lying face-down with seven or so swords in his back. We had a great philosophical discussion about life and change. It reminded me never to become stuck by thinking that one way is right and another is wrong, which is really not my default position anyway, but as things continue to go well I shouldn’t assume that I have it figured out. I’ve grown to appreciate uncertainty and paradox.
On Friday, I experienced great joy in my work during the morning as I meet with Town Council and Administrators in Innisfail. I trust myself in this work, as I’ve been encouraged to by another great man in my life. Lunch together afterward was wonderful as we shared stories and food. It is so much fun to be Canadians together and talk about all that is happening at the Olympics. Although my trip back on the highway was tiring it was joyful to watch the winter being pushed back by the strong sun. I reflected on how great it is to be having fun doing work that I really enjoy. Innisfail is an amazing community of people.
At the store we finished once again rearranging to accommodate new products and to create a wall for fine art. By the end of the day we were all very thrilled with the results. Next week the painting begins again. The store keeps getting better and better. Also, next week we will have an oven installed and will be finishing the long over due kitchen on the main floor. Then I’m hopeful that Terry or others will do mini cooking demonstrations. I myself am looking forward to taking breaks occasionally to mix up a batch of cookies for our customers. Don’t think I’ll be anything like Vince from Slapchop… but then again I’ve never done demos before. Should be fun.
Saturday was calm and quiet as I worked at my desk, visited with friends, and helped customers. Occasionally I saw the Bissell go by, the quiet hum of grim being removed, and I smile. I’ve got no doubt that they store will continue to grow in a healthy and creative way… and now in a clean way. Such a difference from when we were battling construction dust and chaos constantly. Making pizza with friends in the evening and laughing are faces off made the end of the week absolutely complete.
In the evenings last week Terry and I watched the Olympics and felt great pride with Canada’s athletes, and yes we even watched hockey — and took great ribbing for it. The Canadian values of being polite, grateful, kind and happy people are alive and well. That brings me the greatest joy this week.