Please remember as you travel this continent with me, that I did not promise you all the grandeur of the highlighted tourist spots – but the things that were most memorable to me. Soooo -
Ex 8:21 “Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses…”
What on earth can that verse have to do with the NWT you may think. This is a quote from the Old Testament times when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go into the wilderness. Well, my father led us into the wilderness of the Northwest Territories as far as Hay River and Fort Providence. We arrived on a weekend, and with some uncanny instinct, my pastor father found a church family in the midst of getting supplies and we were invited to their home and their Sunday service. When we arrived at their home, I whispered to my mom, “Isn’t that weird? Why do they have fly swatters hanging beside their outside door?” The woman overheard and laughed. “You’ll find out when dusk arrives.”
Time passed and the sun finally started sinking (which takes a long time in June!) At the same time we started to hear a humming. What is that? I thought. I looked out her window and saw a black cloud moving in. But then I realized the black cloud was making that noise. I glanced at our hostess and she smiled kindly. “Now is the reason for the flyswatters. We literally get swarms of mosquitos.” Within moments their entire door had turned black as the swarms clung to the screens trying to get into the lit room. To be able to go in and out of the door, we had to grab a flyswatter, wildly thrash it back and forth and slip through the screen door as fast as possible. But oodles of them still slid in. With my issues with mosquitos I was in torment. I thought MB was bad for mosquitos – they are toddlers compared to those lean green fighting machines up in NWT!
The church was having a baptism which Dad was excited to attend. I dreaded it as it was an evening service. I was bitten so badly by the horde of mosquitos by then I looked like one of those bumpity lopsided squashes. However, when we got out of the van at the river there was a strong breeze blowing. After standing a few minutes I turned to my sister. “Wow, we aren’t being bitten! How nice.” She shivered and scowled. “Nope, just freezing instead.”
Having been invited to park in these friendly people’s yard for the night, we returned there. Our van, as we quickly discovered was NOT mosquito proof. After an hour of misery, Dad started up the van and we returned to park by the river and the breeze blew them away. Of course, the breeze also blew in 7 degree C temps, which my warmth-loving sister despised. I sneezed. “Stop!” she yelled. “What’s wrong?” I inquired. “Your snot spray is going to freeze in the air, then it’ll fall all over me if it ever warms up.” (Like I said, momentous moments, not glamorous!)
As we left to continue our travels, Dad asked what we’d learned from our time there. I thought a moment, “If God had sent mosquitos instead of flies to Pharaoh back in the book of Exodus, I think he might have capitulated even faster.”
February 26, 2021
What a week! As a teacher on a Hutterite colony for grade 5-12, life is non-stop from 9:00-3:30. This coming Friday is the end of quarter, so report cards will be due. So that always makes one extra busy.
But I had 2 highlights in this week.
The first: I came home and stumbled over something on my step. When I picked it up and entered, I found out I was holding MY copy of my book! I felt like a mother receiving her first child. The awe and wonder of holding something I'd created and labored over for - yes, about nine months- well, that is quite the feeling.
The second: Last night the doorbell rang. I answered and a man stood there with a floral arrangement. I was sure he'd come to the wrong house, but he had the right name. Imagine my amazement when I saw that friends from the States had arranged these lovely roses to be delivered to celebrate this milestone in my life. In today's Covid restrictions, such a thoughtful, kind gesture means SO much! I never get flowers, so I'm still just smiling over it.