Saturday, September 16, 2017

How Did They Know?

True or False?

I'm a Christian and I'm not dead.  I am alive.

Today I'm going to share with you two discoveries.  To my surprise the computer knows a lot about me and a lot about you.

Discovery #1.  A Christian Promotional Company found out I'm a Christian and sent me an email about an upcoming Christian movie.

How did their computer know I was a Christian?  I got curious so I read to the end to find a contact.

I did find the contact person and sent an email to ask how they got my email address.  My inquiry went deeper than that.  I believe in ASK and you shall receive.

They sent my email to their department head because I went and checked out their website.

This company sends out books to churches.  SO I asked for some books too.

Guess what?  They sent 2 books to me for a special occasion we were having.  I was impressed.  I called to thank them for going out of their way to send those books and I also asked them to pray for the special occasion we were having.

Have you ever taken the time to take the extra steps to figure something out?  Something that intrigued you?  Something you don't normally do?

Well nothing is normal in my life since the cancer diagnosis.  It's like I'm living each day as if it were my last.  And I'm finding I'm doing some silly and some crazy things VERY spontaneously I might add.

Well the extra mile I went this time turned into a double blessing.  I got the free books and they're also looking for people to read books and write comments after they've been read.  I enjoy reading so I just might sign up.

The special occasion we were having was a CELEBRATION of courage. The family whose loved one we were honoring on her cancer journey took the books and the memories of a lovely evening home with them.

Discovery #2  The world wide web knows more about me and more about you - than we think!

The Christian company went online and found my email address from a speakers directory.  So I went online and looked me up.  This time I was shocked !!!  Google thinks I'm dead.  Why does Google think that?  You're wondering, right?  There are people who go around taking photo's at cemeteries.  

If your name is on a tomb stone guess what?  They think you're dead.  It's called Billion Graves.  The worlds largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data!!  Now ya know it too!

I'd say most people get a tomb stone after their loved one dies.  After my father passed away we chose to buy a plot and a tomb stone so our children would not have to do that.  It is extremely overwhelming burying a loved one.  We thought we'd simplify things a bit for them.  They're not interested right now, but when the time comes they will appreciate what we did.

Google I'd just like you to know that I am more alive NOW than when i was dead - yet walking!!!!
Thanks be to the man who walked on water.  You've heard of him, right? His name is Jesus, I call him My Big G.  You can discover hope and healing at

Much Love,
Mrs. Encouragement

Saturday, September 2, 2017

What Goes with Espresso? Italians!!

After reading these 3 stories, you’ll believe everything happens for a reason.  

I’ve been paying attention to detail since looking back on recent encounters.  Usually the first encounter means there is more to follow > >

I saw them while in the security line up at the airport. Italians!!  They’re everywhere. 

You could tell they were from Italy.  They dressed the part.  They spoke Italian.  They looked like professionals.  I saw them holding their Italian passports.  They saw my Napoli carry on bag.  My husband being Italian overheard them talking about my bag.  I saw them again at our gate.  I wasn’t surprised when I saw them sit down in the aisle across from us on our Air Canada flight from Calgary to Victoria BC.   

The plane was full.  A lady was trying to fit in her luggage on the overhead compartment with no success.  I nudged my husband to ask the Italians if he could move their two small back packs over one compartment so she could easily fit her suitcase in the next section. 
He hesitantly agreed and spoke to the couple in their language.  They agreed.  He got up and moved their bags over.  That was the ice breaker.  You could see their demeanor change.  Like they had found a friend.  Dot & Vini (our nicknames) were about to become their friends.  Turns out they speak a little English too.  The hour flight was non-stop talking.  That’s what Italians are all about.  Communication!! 

We took a taxi together.  The 3 Italians sat in the back seat.  The quiet Canadian?  That’s me!  I sat in the front seat with the quiet foreign taxi driver.  Politely I told him.  They.  Those 3 Italians in the back seat would be talking Italian on our drive.  When we reached our destination we  had an espresso together.  It was a delight!  It had been 13 days without an authentic espresso since visiting the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper.  Gabriella enjoyed the coffee and conversation.  Stefano not quite impressed by the coffee but by the conversation around food and travelling.  He was a travel agent in his younger years.  Now organizes tours in Italy.

They told us they wondered what the Italian connection was with me and my bag because my husband does not look like an authentic Italian.  According to Stefano.  The difference between Italians and Canadians in my opinion.  Italians think out loud, using their outside voice.  Canadians think and keep it all inside.  The Canadian might not be heard.  But the Italian.  Heard for sure.   
My husband has been here 43 years.  Stephano commented that Vini could pass as an Anglo Saxon.  Just like Stefano, not impressed with the espresso.  My husband was not impressed with the Anglo-Saxon comment!  He has blue eyes and fair skin compared to them but never considered himself Anglo-Saxon. 

We figured out how to add each other’s phone numbers to the ‘WhatsApp’ on our cell phones.  This is the test -  text message from Gabriella’s Italian cell phone. Ciao, grazie per il caffe.

The Italians were going to Ucuelet/Tofino for 3 days.  I encouraged them to stop at Coombs market on their drive for a good espresso.  That is exactly what they did!  On the way, there and on the way back.  They enjoyed their espresso and God’s creation.  They had hoped to see a bear but it didn’t happen on their trip to Canada.  Maybe next time. 
We had dinner together when they got back.  Stefano brought his own ground Italian coffee beans.  So, we made espresso for 4 with Caffe Vergnano.  A delicious coffee bean roasted in Torino.  From our guests, we learned about   When our coffee was finished we went to the car.  

Taking them on a tour of Victoria.  What impressed me the most about this Italian couple was their kindness towards each other.  When Gabriella was running out of energy on our tour of famous Butchart Gardens Stefano simply came to us and said “Gabriella is very tired.  IT would be best if we finished the garden tour within the hour.”  What a kind way of communicating the needs of his companion when travelling in a group.  

It was meant to happen.  Our encounter > > > >

At the last minute, they had cancelled a flight to Montreal.  Changed their destination to Victoria and explore the Island before heading back to Italy.  We accompanied them to the airport and said goodbye to our new Italian friends.  Guess what:  Gabriella & Stefano are going to be in Sorrento Italy the next time we are visiting there!  Ciao for now Italiani.  This is the text message when they left Victoria.  Not easy to find people so nice like you are!  Thanks again for everything and see you soon!  Ciao Stefano & Gabriella. 

Another story of encounter. 

My husband was wearing his Italian jacket on our way to have an espresso.  When we got to the coffee shop a lady stood up and said, “Bella Italia!”.  After she had reminded herself – OYM – open your mouth!!!!!  That gave her the courage to let go of her shy quiet demeanor.  That was all the Italian she knew.  She loves Italy.  We became besties, her and I since 2005.  Her name is Judi.  She is from Saskatchewan and lives in Victoria where we had planned on retiring. 

With 7 grandchildren in Calgary, we’ve chosen to run away to Victoria but always return home. 

Judi planned a 3-month holiday to Portugal and Italy to celebrate her 70th birthday this year.  I arranged for my brother in law and sister in law to pick her up in Sorrento.  They showed her around my husband’s home town and she got to meet the whole fam damily!  With our niece being the translator, she managed just fine.  They fed her well. 
It was meant to be that we met Judi in 2005 and Gabriella & Stefano in 2017.  The connection?  Italy and Espresso!  What makes you connect to others?

Now for the original encounter.  It wasn’t espresso that brought us together.  It was dancing!
In 1976 My Big G, God, knew I needed to learn how to ESPRESS myself.  I was sent to the dance floor at the Cabaret in Calgary where I met my future husband.  It’s a miracle that I found my voice within my being married to an Italian.  This Canadian girl, shy, quiet, polite, afraid to use her voice, girl. 

Boy have things changed around here!!  Not only did I find my voice, I know how to show up, stand up and ESPRESS myself where ever I go.  Using the language of Love.  Under the influence of CafĂ© LavAzza.

May memories of past encounters excite you to smile, say hello and invite a stranger into your home.  You just might be entertaining an Angel.

p.s. When my Mother-in-law came to Calgary for a visit in the middle of winter in 1984 she compared us to caged chickens.  White skin because we didn’t go outside.  It was TOO cold.  Those Italians must be free run chickens then.  What about chickens that used to be caged and now are called free run.  Do they leave their coops? 

p.p.s. In Victoria, the city of newly weds and nearly dead’s the traffic is crazy with all the free run chickens trying to get where ever they are going.  It’s too cold out east so the chickens are heading west for retirement.  Tired from shovelling the snow and being cooped up inside.  Ready to add a little color to their skin when the winter grey sky gives permission to the sunshine to occasionally show up. 

With Much Love
Mrs. Encouragement