After last week’s long “Happy Camper” Post
this week’s report unfortunately is of a much gloomier nature, but I’ll try to
keep it short(ish)!

      The week began with the arrival of my
Boarder, Jillian, who will be living with me for 2-4 months prior to her
January wedding. Jillian has been billeted here several times as a Day Camps
Team Member and Leader so her arrival was a smooth transition as she already
knows the many idiosyncrasies of this old house!
      Tuesday there was a forecast of rain so I
hurried through morning work as the sky darkened and took Wil for an early
afternoon walk. Just after we got home the heavens opened and day turned to
night as the winds increased. Soon it was evident that this was more than the
usual thunderstorm, it was a “Microburst”, not a term I had heard before but certainly
now one that I will never forget!!!
NDG district of Montreal is known for its
huge old trees (mostly Norway Maples) and those trees have withstood over 100
years of blizzards, freezing rain (including the iconic “Ice Storm of 1998) and
many thunderstorms but they could not withstand a microburst whose path cut a
swath from Northwest to Southeast through our neighbourhood wreaking havoc.
It only lasted about 15 minutes but seemed
an eternity. Across the street a transformer caught fire, causing a nearby tree
to  be set alight and soon my immediate neighbours were fleeing their homes
as we all knew to would eventually blow. I took my animals to the basement
and soon heard the big “boom” but thankfully my windows stayed intact.
Not so my wicker furniture, some of which flew over the deck railing into
the herb garden. A HUGE branch from the tree across the street ploughed a swath
through another flowerbed and another was left dangling by a thread
from one of my three old maple trees.
All in all we were very fortunate as the house only lost power for one day compared to neighbours in the next block
who are still without electricity and phone lines after 5 days.
    The Isaiah 40 building was not damaged
but the garden is badly torn up and several huge maples crashed onto parked
cars taking out the steel fencing as they fell.


     At home I have now worked close to 12 hours
clearing the property and yesterday the city workers cut off the dangerous
branch so slowly things are returning to normal but it has been a week that
will be remembered in this neighbourhood right up there with the “Ice Storm”.
Suffice it to say that not a lot of regular
office work has happened and of course it was impossible during the times when
we had no electricity or WiFi. Hopefully as of Monday morning I can get back to
my huge “to-do”list  that comes at the close of a busy Day Camps summer.

Meanwhile every moment this weekend is being spent “Changing the Decorations” to Harvest/Pentecost since Jillian has headed home to her family and I am thus able to make a clean sweep of the whole house 😊

    Wednesday evening Steven joined us for a
last dinner visit before he leaves Montreal 
(and his Ministry with IVCF) for an extended journey to Europe and
Asia. He will certainly be much missed and I am not so secretly praying that
the Lord leads him back to Montreal after his travels!
   For dinner that evening we enjoyed a “riff”
on the classic Caprese Salad so I thought I would share the recipe.
      Late Summer Caprese

1 lb. boneless chicken thighs
4 cups mixed salad greens
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4oz. shredded mozzarella
1 cup raspberries
½ a small watermelon
½ cup toasted almonds
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. dried basil
1 garlic scape, minced
Heat a cast iron skillet, add a little of
the olive oil and cook the chicken for 5-10 minutes on each side until browned
and no longer pink in the centre. Set aside to cool and then cut into thin
strips. On four large serving plates or shallow bowls, layer first the greens
then the tomatoes, cheese, fruits and chicken, sprinkle with the almonds. In a
measuring cup whisk together the oil, vinegar, basil and garlic with salt and
pepper to taste. Divide the dressing evenly over the salads just before
serving.

Serve with focaccia or a baguette. Easily
multiplied or divided.