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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Baby Spot Has Arrived

Congratulations David & Winnie!!

A new arrival came into the world.

"Audrey has a sister." Kie excitedly informed me just after 06:00 yesterday; both of us were surprised because we heard nothing from David or Winnie the evening before.

Baby Spot, as she was called prior to birth, came into the world at 04:27 on July 19, 2016. David and Winnie have since named her Louise.

Baby Louise's fast arrival could well have been scripted in a Hollywood... really!

Winnie holding Louise a couple of hours afterward

Winnie went into labour around 03:50 and of course as planned, David and Winnie immediately notified the midwife and Catherine (Winnie's Mom) to look after Audrey. The midwife could not be contacted so David called 911.

As the minutes passed, the situation soon became very apparent to the expectant parents that Louise was not going to wait for help to arrive.

Just like in the movies, David was on the phone with 911 receiving instructions as he delivered Louise into the world at home while Audrey looked on.

Catherine and two ambulances arrived at David's home at the same time but Louise had already arrived.

For those who are doing the calculations and wondering, the answer is yes, Winnie's labour was all of 35 minutes or so. Audrey arrived quickly when she was born therefore a short labour had been expected for Louise; but nothing this fast.

Louise - 7lbs 2 oz.

 "... for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed." (I Samuel 2:3b)

This next image came in from David, the best one of Louise that I have seen so far... I'm assuming more are to come. 

Louise - July 21, 2016

Audrey with her new baby sister Louise

Hello from Louise Winifred on July 22, 2016

In her Mom's exact words, "In 45 minutes, she turned her father into a midwife, our bathroom into a delivery ward and her sister into an apprentice."

 The Oddblock Station Agent

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Three Years Already and Still Going

Only a place named Square One would have its name spread out on a curved surface

Today, July 07, 2016, confirms that three years, 1096 days (I used calculator because I don't keep count) have passed since my life-changing brush with death and experience with cardiac arrest; life-changing because nothing is ever the same afterward.

Against my wishes and best efforts since, a haunting "What if" always lurks in the shadows my mind. From birth, the reality of a finite life span has always been this way, but living in that subconscious balm of automatic human denial of such a possibility of expiry had always made life easier. That's gone now. Again, surviving cardiac arrest is life-changing and no day is ever the same afterward.

Life is a precious gift and I truly cherish each new day that I awaken to see and live in; this daily awareness is far more acute. A genuine gratitude and sincere thanksgiving to God are always and unavoidably foremost; before they were only thought of when selfishly convenient to remember. Instead, I was given a firm reminder to humbly breathe in like air rather than only occasionally think about what I have always said I believed.

Except for very early mornings, this current heat-wave has precluded my going out to walk around the neighbourhood over my usual routes as I have been doing diligently for the last almost three years.

Anyway, this morning I did something different; really stepping out of character and out of my comfort zone. Upon my own initiative rather that following a suggestion, I drove over to Square One before store opening time because I wanted to do some walking. Yesterday I had to drive Kie to the Apple store there, so I did have a practice session yesterday.

Square One's spacious passageways were far from busy and being crowded but I did have constant company everywhere I went. 

"They're all old people." I thought first, and then realized I was no different at all from them.

Honestly, I felt like an old man wandering aimlessly around a huge shopping mall filled with stores, stores all catering to a world of young people who I am now decades separated from, who are living in this changing world that I no longer know or understand. Somehow those unsmiling but not necessarily unfriendly expressions on the faces of the seniors I encountered seemed to reflect this sombre realization I had been pondering.

I brisquely but not recklessly walked my one mile plus a bit more and then promptly departed for home where I'm now coolly sequestered inside.

This morning the iPhone confirms I have logged 1908 miles since installing the Nike+ Running App and commenced using it on November 22, 2013. Notwithstanding the app's name, I have never run; only walked.

Morning's rising heat aside, I'm truly glad to be here to see this quickly passing new day of life that God has again granted to Kie and me to live in.

Deo Gratias,

The Oddblock Station Agent


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

We Weren't the Only Two!

The following heart-warming story that made national headlines back in August 1982 and then again in March 2015. Since then I have been wanting to add my comments.

I recall first reading this story back in August 1982 because it many remarkable ways their story was very similar if not almost identical to our own. If anyone has read other posts in this blog, then the reasons are obvious.

Although our journey down that similar road had a two-year head start, Kie and I never made it into the news. That idea had never occurred to either of us.

Kie and I have never had any contact whatsoever with this famous MacDonald couple, however, if there is one anecdote I could add, then it is this: 

My family name is not MacDonald but my mother's certainly was. In exasperation with me at times, Mom would eventually comment, "The MacDonald's were known for being stubborn." 

To travel those unmapped roads back then, a certain amount of that MacDonald stubbornness didn't hurt.

Read on and enjoy their wonderful story...

Pineapple love:
How a note sent overseas in a juice crate led to a 30-year marriage Staff
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2015 8:12PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:20PM EDT 

Gordon MacDonald was stocking shelves at a grocery store in 1979 when he cracked opened a cardboard case. Inside, amongst the cans of pineapple juice, he found a note from a woman working in a Del Monte factory in the Philippines.

Three years later, MacDonald flew across the world to marry her.

Still happily married and now living in Fredericton, the juicy love affair began in an innocent fashion, MacDonald said.

Gordon MacDonald and Gilda Feliciano met through a letter carefully placed inside a box 

Gordon MacDonald and Gilda Feliciano today.

“I cut the case open… and I found this little piece of paper,” he said. “I opened it up and it had a note on it saying 'pen pal wanted,' and the date had been 11 months since the letter had been written.”

He decided to write the mysterious author back, just to let them know where their note ended up.

When Gilda Feliciano received the response to her letter nearly a year later, the next step, she said, was obvious.

“I put it in the garbage.”

Feliciano said she’d nearly forgotten about writing the message in the first place, but was eventually overcome with curiosity. She opened up her piece of Canadian mail and began what would develop into a two-and-a-half-year correspondence.

“I sent him a Christmas card just to tell him I got your note,” said Feliciano. The conversation began as casual talk about family and work, but soon picked up.

“And then the letters started to increase. Once a week, then it became every day,” MacDonald said.
Daily letters turned into phone call and audio tapes -- and finally a marriage proposal. The story made MacDonald a local celebrity.

“Before I knew it there were people coming into the store, lining up to meet me, greet me,” he said. “People I've never met before.”

Newspapers covered the affair the week MacDonald left to meet his future wife for the first time.
“MacDonald, 29, leaves for the Philippines this week to wed a woman he knows only from pictures, letters, tape recordings and a fateful encounter three years ago with a carton of juice cans,” reads a story from August 12, 1982.

The couple returned to Canada to begin a new chapter in their fairy tale. A year later, their daughter -- a “pineapple princess,” as they’d call her -- was born.

Now a music teacher in Calgary, Melissa Ashley still appreciates the unlikely story of how her parents met.

“I take a lot of pride in the story,” Ashley said. “Not many other people can say that their parents met in that unique way.”

With a report from CTV Atlantic

With our sincere, best wishes for your many more years together.

The Oddblock Station Agent