Sunday, November 21, 2010

Update From The Great White North

Hello my friends…..I would say I am back but I really haven’t been gone. I have been busy with life. I spent 4 days in the mountains with 3 very good friends. We went from home to Jasper on to Banff then to Calgary and it was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. We had snow or snow flurries every day and it was a true winter wonderland.

Last week I had to prepare for a speech which I presented yesterday before 300 people, I didn't mind as I am use to public speaking. For several years I have sat on two Boards, these were appointments made by the Provincial Government and for the most part I have enjoyed my position even though at times I have found the responsibilities to be a burden. You see I don’t like judging people, not good at it don’t want to be good at it. The only reason I continued is I know I am fair and able to see hopefully each side of the story. Yesterday was my last speech, it was a good day but today I feel relieved and satisfied that I have finished and someone new has been appointed in my place. I have never spoken about this part of my life, for a couple of reasons, first it was a political appointment and secondly we dealt with confidential material. Oh it wasn’t life or death situations but the decisions we made - made a difference to those involved. You see our Board heard appeals when residents felt they were treated poorly or unfairly. It could have been someone appealing their house taxes or someone wanting their medical supplies included in their monthly supplements or just more money for snow suits for their children. We heard and seen many sad stories, in fact not one hearing was a happy case really but I had accepted the appointment so I like to think we did a thorough and fair account for everyone who came before our Board. There were 3 of us on the Board; we all finished as of yesterday after several years together. Each Board consisted of 2 professionals and a lay person. Our Board had a lawyer, social worker and I was the lay person. One has just recently gone from lawyer to judge, something he has worked at and wanted for a long time now, the other is slowly losing her battle with cancer and I am so proud of her. Not once did she let her illness sway her opinion or keep her from completing her appointment, and even though we all had empathy for everyone we made our decisions on facts and circumstances. I learned so much sitting on these Appeal Boards, the first being that the world is not black and white; there are many, many grey areas. Too many are so quick to criticize others without walking in their shoes. I thank God for each lesson I learned but not for the unfortunate circumstances which taught me. We had a provincial coordinator who would inform each client of our decision within 10 days of their hearing. Our addresses and phone numbers were kept confidential for safety precautions and if we had a client whose file was red flagged we had security sitting just outside the hearing room. There were times we had to travel but we always went together. Hearing rooms were booked at the convenience of the client. I will miss my time with my co-workers and also the people I met holding this position but it is time for someone else to do this. Our lives are meant to change even though most of us dislike change……now it is time to get back to some serious volunteer work although the per Diem's and mileage checks will be missed I'm

We have had a real Artic freeze this past week, and everything is covered in snow, but that’s okay after all it is November in Alberta and it is suppose to cold and snowy. Right now it is -23 with light snow falling.

We are watching the semi finals of the CFL today, sitting beside a warm fire. I have a ham baking in the oven and I am so happy to begin a new chapter in my life……..Life is good people!

Have a great week, sending big hugs to all of you........:-)


Diana said...

When you say "we" are sitting by the fire, does that mean you and a gentleman caller? I wouldn't be surprised as you would be quite the catch!!
So you have ended a chapter in your life Bernie. I am excited to here what the new chapter will bring your way!
Your weather sounds beautiful. Jake would never want me to say this nut I am looking forward to the snow! He on the other hand hates it, while he's driving of coarse!
I'm happy to hear you in good spirits my friend! I am feeling euphoric about seeing Ginny on Tuesday! Take care and keep warm,
Love Di ♥

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

Good for you, good and faithful servant. I had to do the same thing when I changed positions in my agency and when from being the upfront RN on the road to the upfront RN on the phone. I served on a couple of boards having to do with community decisions and I loved it but our lives must change to accommodate the years and life cycle we are in. It takes a real love of justice and an understand of the deep down needs of folks to serve on these boards and guidelines to make decisions on. Bless you dear friend. You have earned your peaceful days. Not as cold here yet.

Mary333 said...

I'm sure you will be missed by the Boards, Bernie. You have an innate sense of fairness and you are very compassionate. I smiled when I read this because it seems like you are always on the go - unless sports are on tv of course (lol)! The trip to the mountains sounded wonderful! I am ready for a bit of snow but we haven't had any yet. Unless you count a 2 minute snow flurry! God bless you, Bernie :)

Gail said...


your days in the mountains in a Wnter Wonderland with dear friends must have been so lovely, magical and life-giving.

I am quite impressed by your position on the Board that decided outcomes for folks, I know that you were fair and honest and a compassionate part of this Board and they were lucky to have you. ;-)

Love to you

Rebecca said...

Wow, Bernie! You have been operating under a "load" that you carried with quiet grace! I KNOW you would have exercised a great combination of kindness, fairness, and wisdom.

While your description of the great WHITE north sounds beautiful, I am not anxious for the "WHITE" part to descend on N.E. Indiana! I'm just not a winter person.

So good to have your post! Blessings on your present and future adventures.

Twain12 said...

enjoy your new found time...I'm convinced you did a good and fair job, but it does sound like a lot of resolvability too.
Not as cold here as in your neck of the woods (-6C) but winter has finally set in. We have a layer of white on the ground and the crisp cold air that comes with winter...i love it. Have a good week ♥

Barb said...

Hello Bernie,
I've been wondering what has been happening with you, and I'm relieved that you are feeling well. I'm sure that your service was fair, Bernie, and that you learned much in this position. Now you can go on to the next good thing! Keep warm and cozy - stay by that fire. We also have a great deal of snow in Breckenridge.

Eileen said...

I can't say I'm surprised at hearing of your past experiences serving on such a needed committee, for you have a servant's heart, and that position sounds right up your alley, and I'm sure you were fair and compassionate.

I was just thinking about all of us and how it's most likely just a small portion of our lives that we share. I wonder how many of us have hidden areas of our lives that we don't share for whatever reason. I would imagine a great many of us.
I know a great many heartaches have been shared, but I'm sure there are just as many that can't be shared. And maybe even a few 'joys' that must remain 'secret'.

Well, it was nice to stop by here and learn a little more about you, Bernie! Enjoy this new phase of your life!
Love and Prayers,

Brian Miller said...

nice...your time on the board sounds intriguing...have sat on several panels and had a lot of fun doing it...i wish we had some snow...

Maggie May said...

I am feeling chilly but so far there isn't snow.
I hope we don't get any.

I think you are very brave for speaking in front of 300 people. But you say you don't mind so maybe it isn't braveness but just sheer enjoyment.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Loren said...

Friends. Mountains. Snow!!! Sounds heavenly :)

I know how burdensome things like that can become but I can only imagine how vital you are on those boards! Your honesty and wisdom would prove to be so important and I know the LORD placed you and uses you wonderfully Bernie!

We spent the day outside sweating as we stacked firewood and kindling for the freezing temps that will be here at the end of the week! Funny how one day we can be in shorts and sweating and just a few days later we are frozen to the core LOL That is soooo Oklahoma for you!

Love you Bernie

VisionWise said...

Sending love right back at you Bernie ! :) - Lauren

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Bernie Sweetie...
I am so happy for you. Sounds as though you had a wonderful time. Sitting by a fireplace with snow flurries, oh how fun is that? I hope you will share some photos of the trip. I would love to see the scenery.

I am so tickled for you, that you have served your time, you have done well, and now you can do things that you want to do. Appointed positions are so hard to step down from. I am thrilled that you now have your life back and can do some things you want to.

Have a beautiful Thanksgiving sweet friend. You are in my thoughts and prayers for this holiday season.

Many hugs and so much love, Sherry

Donna said...

I caught the word "we" too sitting by the fire! We were in the 70's here today and you had snow :)
I know you will miss your position but I know you will have adventures to share with us. You have such a warm and caring heart. I have missed you in the past week.

Sheila said...

Thanks Bernie for your faithful service to the people of Northern Alberta. I know you would listen fairly and make wise decisions. You are a dedicated citizen and a supportive friend to so many. I hope that you will enjoy this new phase of your life and I know those you come across when you volunteer will be happy you have crossed their paths in life. glad to hear that you had such a nice vacation in Jasper!

Silver said...

Now, isn't that wonderful!
I am happy to hear that and every Board needs a Bernie..!


Daria said...

Hi Bernie, I'm finally well enough to visit some blogs. I want to thank you for all your amazing support for the last few months. You are a true angel.

A trip to the mountains ... how wonderful for you. Hope you had a great time.

Bernie said...

How interesting to hear about your work on the Appeals Board. You should be very proud to serve others in such a way and also I am sure happy that your tenure is over.

It does not surprise me one bit that you served in this capacity. How lucky they were to have had you working there. I think you would be a very good person to be objective and committed to doing
the best that you could.

Congratulations on a job well done.

Anvilcloud said...

You've been hiding your VIP-edness really well. Enjoy your retirement from this task.

Teacher's Pet said...

Oh Bernie...what a treat that must go to the mountains in Canada in the winter...sigh.
And....speaking in front of 300 people! I am afraid that I wouldn't be able to do that....but I imagine that you are simply wonderful at it.
Am I reading your temperature correctly? -23 degrees? Oh my goodness!!! I hope that you continue to stay warm by the fire....take the BEST care of you, and know that I send you a smile always....always, my friend.

Wanda..... said...

Here I thought you were caught up in sports, Bernie and you were serving your fellow citizens. I'm sure that was a heavy responsibility at times...but it must have given you a great deal of satisfaction too.
Talk to you more in an e-mail.

Karin said...

Glad that you had such a delightful time in Jasper, but are back home safe and sound. It may be fun being at home by the fire when it is snowing outside, but it can certainly be hazardous to drive in the mountains.

It doesn't surprise me that you served on an appeals board. Your compassion and kindness just fills your blog! Trust that those to whom you passed the torch will carry on in the same vein.


wendyytb said...

Bernie... You are such an interesting lady. I hope that the next chapter of your life is as fulfilling as the one that just ended.

All the best.


Victor S E Moubarak said...

Hi Bernie,

A kind priest told me years ago that God wants Christians to work to the best of their abilities and to reach positions in authority - in Government, in Business or whatever. The priest said that only by having Christians in such positions, living and acting as Jesus would want them to, could we improve this world.

Thank you Bernie for serving on that Board and for bringing Christ's love and compassion in the lives of those you met.

God bless.

Tranquility Speaks said...

Hi Bernie! I've missed you and missed you all on Blogger. I wish I could give you a hug this moment. I am sure your judgement were fair, and despite the heartache, people won't hold a grudge against the jury.

I am feeling extremely stressed out these days and don't feel like doing anything once I'm home. Hopefully I'll get around to writing again.

How are you doing healthwise Bernie? Keep warm and take extra good care of yourself. Loads of love to you :)

Cinner said...

Bernie, you never cease to amaze me, what an honor to sit on that board, you inspire me so much. If I can be one tenth the person you are I will be happy my friend. today I awoke with renewed energy best day in a week. have a great day, I am excited to see what is in store for you next.hugs.

Choices said...

Hi Bernie,
Sounds like you have a wonderful trip. Stay warm by the fire.
Take care and smiles to you!

Valerie said...

What an interesting post, Bernie.

'Too many are so quick to criticize others without walking in their shoes.'

You are so right. Criticise and condemn seems to be veru popular these days.

Heavens above, -23 degrees? I'm complaining about a promised -10.

Have a brilliant week. Hugs

Nora said...

That was an important job you had, Bernie. It must have been hard making those decisions. I would not have liked being in your shoes.I admire you for doing it.

I can't believe how much winter you've got already and that ham baking in the oven sounds delicious. I can just taste it now. Enjoy it very much!


aims said...

For some reason I am not surprised Bernie. Reading your comments around the blogs has always given balance to many things.

We are looking at -32C overnight. I think everyone should take tomorrow off! (you know New Orleans is going to be around 25C for a lot of the time we are there. The thought of packing shorts seems unreal at the moment!)

Anne H said...

I LOVE the Great White North - and have always wanted to go there..... maybe one day....

Anonymous said...

Phew, making a speech to three hundred people? Bernie, my knees are knocking just thinking about it.

Snowbrush said...

Bernie, I enjoyed getting a bit caught up on your news. I wish I shared your comfort with public speaking, and I'll just point out that I would like to have you on such a board if I were your fellow citizens.

anupama said...

Dear Bernie,
Good Evening!
I envy you,dear for spending four days on mountains in this winter.
When we turn the pages of life,move to the next with great enthusiasm.
Happy Thanks Giving Day!
I always enjoyed reading your posts.
Wishing you a pleasant life,

aims said...

Hey Bernie -
No news yet on Luisa. All I've heard is that she is conscious which is an improvement.

I've left a query over at 'When the Dogs Bite' but have not heard anything at all.

She is constantly in my thoughts.

Vicki Lane said...

I'll bet you did an excellent job -- and I can understand why you would be ready to step down. Such an intense obligation. Well done!

glenda said...

Hi Bernie girl, I never knew you did all this. I expect your wise comments will be missed. But maybe ,like you say, you can explore some new areas of your life. As this year draws to a close...I'm wondering about next year and what it will bring. I'm so sorry about your friend who is losing her battle with cancer. It's so awful...
I hope you are having a blessed holiday, while I realize your holidays are different. There are a lot of Canadian Bloggers on here, and I love to hear about the different customs you have.
always good to hear from you,
hugs and best wishes,

Jen said...

I wish it was cold enough here to use the fireplace. Sounds nice.

Sounds like a big responsibility. I don't know how I would feel about having to decide those things. I would want to give everyone all the money they need, but I know there is probably not enough to go around.

The Retired One said...

You were probably the fairest person EVER in that position, Bernie.
I have been on many Boards too...and when I retired I dropped all but one...and I know of the relief you speak of. When on Boards such as this, you have to give 1000% if you are a good Board member, so you are accountable always. It is a freeing feeling when you end them because of this.
Your trip sounds wonderful! I would have been taking photos like crazy. ha
We have snow here too now..although tomorrow it is supposed to go up to 40 degrees with sun!
We have our Xmas lights outside up and it is joyful to see them lit up at night.
Take care and I think of you so often!!

Mary Christine said...

Thank you so much for your visit to my blog and kind comment.

Reading this reminded me of the short time I lived in Alberta and how much I loved it - I especially loved Banff!

MOLLYE said...

Hi Bernie, Yet another reason you garner my respect and admiration. What an awesome responsibility and I also know that staying busy for the glory of the Lord and to champion the rights of others has helped you ease through the grief transition as you have. I am finding that the more I stay in the word and get involved with others I can find joy rather than gloom inspite losing my son. Love you Bernie. Oh yes and your package should arrive this week!

Madeleine said...

Gosh it sounds cold. I was born in Calgary but came to the UK when I was 2 yrs old and suffering from Raynaud's my dad teased me I'd never survive in Calgary (He was born in Saskachewan). Bless him he now has Alzheimer's and now can't hold a conversation.
I hope you don't mind I borrowed your prayer candle for my blog for my prayers for healing too, for him. Warm hugs to you. :O)

Teacher's Pet said...

I'm popping back in to see if you are warm and healthy. I do hope so, my friend!!!

Cheryl said...

I so admire you for serving as you have. What an experience! I have been under the weather for a few weeks and am getting back to my blogs. I am delighted to find you are doing well and had a wonderful trip. Take good care.

Tamarind~ said...

Hmm.. message from the mountains!

Mmm said...

that must be so beautiful up there.

congrats on your speech going well, btw. sounds like you had a good run there on that board. And yes, life is certainly not so black and white--quite messy in fact, but in that we find compassion and grace too--or at least are afforded that opportunity.

Jinksy said...

I think the North of Scotland hit -21 yesterday! UK is getting colder by the minute! Good job there are warm hearts around like yours to make up for it! XX

Sniffles and Smiles said...

You are so humble, Bernie!! Here you are such an important person, and you haven't mentioned it!!! I'm so impressed!!! Just been thinking about my dear friends...and of course, you came to mind...and so I thought I'd stop by to say "hello," and to send you love and smiles!! ~Janine XO

Anita said...

Thank you for sharing another part of your life. As I was reading, I felt more of your personality, which lets me know you better.
God bless you for giving and caring, and best wishes on your future projects.
Keep having fun with vacations and socializing and sitting by the fire. :)

the wild raspberry said...

Bernie Dear~
(that is the way my grandma started every letter, your name and then dear, and you are such a kindred spirit, I felt compelled to do the same)It's no secret that I am not a great blogger. I do enjoy posting, and even more I enjoy visiting others blogs, but I just don't use my time right to do it. Life has been a bit busy lately, but I don't mean to make excuses. I know I will get better, and I will. Once I put something on my to-do list, it eventually gets done no matter what. Eventually. :) Bernie, I have come to value your friendship so much and your kind, compassionate and always encouraging comments. Thank you for extending your friendship to me and to our family. Please forgive me for not visiting often, yet. I just read your last three posts and felt like I had gotten to sit by your fire with you and sip a cup of hot tea...though I have to tell you, your two televisions going at once was a bit unnerving. :)Love to you dear friend. Welcome to this new phase of your life.


Hello Bernie !!!,
Visited your blog after a long time. As always,learnt so many things from your recent posts, I could read.
So much to learn from senior and genius people like you around us !.
My best and sincere wishes for you in the times ahead.!!

Lots of Regards,
dr. s.s.yadav

chasity said...

love you bernie~


Joey said...

Bernie, I'm so glad you have snow!

I'm also glad that your term is over. It would be a very difficult task for me to do, and I congratulate you. I know how loving and caring your heart is.

Stay warm... it isn't long until Christmas. Are you ready?


Crystal Mary said...

Hello Bernie, I can see you have a very humble heart and I bet you speak very well.
The hardest part is when you first stand before everyone and they are looking at you...
But I know, you would be very calm and eloquent.
You have it freezing there and we are boiling here...its a funny old world..really amazing. God Bless friend. Crystal Mary

Snowbrush said...

Gosh, Bernie, you haven't posted for awhile as I realized when I started reading this. I know you're still kicking though, and for that I am glad.


Linda Higgins said...

Bernie! I am so thrilled for you and your new chapter of life! YES life is good isn't it! Ahh I could smell that ham backing in the oven and wish I could be visiting with you next to your fireplace! That was so interesting to hear about your work. My goodness it is fun to see and learn about my blogger friends thing that I have never shared with anyone...(this is gross)during the mink season on a farm just a mile from my home, I stretched mink skins onto boards to dry. It was a smelly job and only did it for 2 weeks....the mink farmer just paid a bunch of us ladies in the neighborhood so much per pelt. Interesting...and I would NEVER do it again lol. hugs and smiles..

Deborah said...

Hi Bernie,
Just stopping by to say HI and hoping you are enjoying your holiday season!
I hope all is going well for you my friend. Thanks for dropping by today~