Sunday, March 11, 2007


Yesterday, I titled my post "Flowers and Sweat," but never mentioned flowers.

Spring has hit New Mexico. Just outside the door of the RV stands a 5-foot tree covered in white and pink blossoms, and vibrating with bee-song. It's obviously a grafted specimen with several fruits possible at the same time. I'm told it's quite a few years old and would grow much faster if watered, but that that's a bad idea since the bigger it is, the more water it would need and it would literally grow itself to death. Things are different here in the desert.

Around town, the mock crabapples are in full bloom. Sparse grass is sprouting in shady areas, under our RV, for instance. I told my adult Sunday School class this morning that I've noticed a few differences between NM and Saskatchewan. One is that the coming of spring is not nearly as dramatic here since the only differences observable are that temperatures are about 10-15 degrees warmer than they were in January and February, and trees are slowly greening and a few are blooming.

Another difference between the two places has to do with dusk and dawn. The sun goes down at 6:05 (sorry, 7:05; we changed to daylight saving time last night) and by 6:30 (7:30), it's dark! The lighting of the day also happens much more quickly here than in SK. Nights are very dark in Carlsbad and the stars and moon are clearer and brighter than I remember them back home. A part of this may have to do with the fact that Carlsbad - at 3,400 ft. elevation - is over half a mile higher than Rosthern and therefore has a thinner atmosphere.

The Sunday School lesson this morning was based on 1 John 3: 11-24. Every Christian should read this regularly. John emphasizes here that Christians' test of authenticity is in the love they share for each other, and that love is not communicated through talk, but through action. Starting a discussion here in Carlsbad Mennonite is not hard. All you have to do as discussion leader is to hesitate; someone is bound to leap into the silence. It's great.

Tomorrow, a few of us SOOPers are driving the 40 minutes north to Artesia to clean up a backyard for an old man who can't do it for himself. Apparently we'll be picking up pecans at the same time; they'll have been lying there since late last fall, I imagine. On Tuesday and Thursday, we'll be doing some more renovation work and Friday, I'm working at the Bargain Store. Agnes will spend her time at the Bargain Store, the library and the hospice, I expect.

Next week, we'll have to start getting ready to head home. The owner of the RV we borrowed died just a few days after he and I brought it over here and his widow would like it brought back to her place for cleaning; she doesn't know yet what she wants to do with it. Our car was packed on the way down and we've gradually been picking up other "stuff," so I'm curious to see what our back seat will look like on the way home. We may have to donate most of our clothes to the thrift store!

We hear from Rosthern and Edmonton that temperatures are warmer and that it's beginning to feel like spring. Agnes said to the Sunday School group that we were going to enjoy a bonus this year, namely two springs. I imagine that we could live with an absence of snow when we get back h0me, but I very much doubt that that's going to happen.

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