Sunday, May 7, 2017

Some weekends one must stay close to home for excitement!

Blog for May 7, 2017

Some weekends one must stay close to home for excitement……..

Early fire action
Last night we had arrived at home and were just sitting down for a rest when the fire alarm sounds. Kathy and I look at each other like, “Is this for real or is it a test of the system?” I go to the apartment door and sniff the hallway. “I don’t smell anything suspicious.” Kathy asks, “So what are we supposed to do?” Me, “I think we are supposed to muster outside.” I grab my keys and my wallet and Kathy grabs her purse and we head for the stairs. As we descend (remember we are on the 12th floor), we are joined by others who are also questioning whether the alarm is for real. Once outside there is a hint of smoke. We join a gathering group of residents and begin to look for indications of fire, and then, there it is; a small but growing fire on the balcony of an apartment a few floors below our own on the same side of the building. From our rather limited vantage point, it appears to be a burning BBQ grill.

In the distance we can hear the approaching fire trucks. The fire grows as we watch. Soon we hear an explosion and a ball of flame comes shooting out of the balcony space. This is followed by a loud squealing noise and a steady jet of flame can be seen shooting out from the balcony.

 As you see in the picture, our view of the fire is somewhat limited and we have to look up at an oblique angle so we really can’t see into the balcony space very well. The explosion, we assume, happened when the fire burned through the hose connecting the BBQ to the balcony gas line.

The fire continued and after a half hour or so we began to wonder what is being done to put the fire out. We are greatly concerned as it is directly under our own apartment some four floors below and we don’t want the fire to spread upward and involve our own balcony. What is delaying putting the fire out? Do they need to shut off the gas for the whole building first? Are they going from apartment to apartment getting everyone out? Are they not on the right floor? Inquiring minds want to know!

Then all of a sudden the fire was out. The smoke continued from the balcony space but the fire itself was out. Now the question became, when will we be allowed back inside? Will our apartment and our things reek of smoke? Where can we get some information? None of the security people seemed to know anything, only that the residents were being encouraged to move to the street level well away from the buildings where city busses were standing by so people could at least sit inside out of the chilly breeze that had started to blow. It appeared as though it would be quite sometime until anyone would be allowed inside.

I turned to Kathy and said, “I think I would rather sit inside of our own car rather than in a city bus.” She agreed so we decided to try to get inside the parking structure (called a parkade here Canada). We walked to another building that shares the parkade space and successfully made our way to the third level where our car was parked. We sat there for a while and soon realized, finding a bathroom was becoming our most pressing need. While sitting in the car, Kathy was exchanging texts with Sis. Miles, and she suggested that we go to the mission home and spend the night. She and President Miles were away in Lethbridge so no one would be home but, since we knew how to get in through the garage, we decided to take them up on the offer. First we found a fireman at the entrance to our building and gave him our names, our apartment number, and our phone number and asked that we be called when they began letting people return inside.

 We got to bed a little after 11:30 p.m. and it was about midnight when we got a call stating that residents were being allowed back inside, but we were safe and warm in a comfortable bed so we stayed the night. Thank you President and Sister Miles!

After the fire

Closer up
Earlier in the week we had the opportunity to attend the temple with a group of our missionaries.


Elder and Sister Gardiner - senior couple out in the Banff Branch

Elder and Sister Wong - work with the Mandarin Branch
Half of the northern mission went to a temple session in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. In between the two sessions, the missionaries gathered together for lunch at the nearby church building. Lunch was provided by the Relief Society of the Calgary West Stake. The following day, all of the missionaries in the south zones met together for a temple session and lunch. We didn’t go to Cardston for this gathering but certainly enjoyed the time spent with the missionaries here in the north. Our time with them in the temple was an especially nice spiritual experience.
Friday evenings are our usual temple nights but, having just been, we decided to attend a baptism in Okotoks for two young men who only recently came from the Phillipines. The baptism and what followed was wonderful. The mom had come to Canada several years ago and was able to finally help her sons immigrate to Canada as well. Both are in their 20s and expressed an interest in learning of the Church their mother had joined. They were both so impressive and bore wonderfully powerful testimonies after their confirmation. There was a large group of young people from the YSA ward where they have been attending and many Filipino friends came as well. After the baptism and confirmation we were all invited to move into the cultural hall where there were several tables filled with Filipino food. We had a great time eating and talking and the food was wonderful.

Nelver and Javenel Quiambao enjoy food with friends after their baptism

Elders Hawkins and Fellows

Yesterday we hiked the trail around the west end of the Glenmore Reservoir where we had not yet been. The trail goes right down into the Weaselhead, which is where the Elbow River enters the reservoir. It is now a protected wetlands area and has a popular hiking and biking trail that goes for miles. The trail crosses the river itself via a bridge  (see picture below). The weather was nice and we enjoyed the hike even including making way for a number of runners participating in a half-marathon race around the reservoir.  

Elbow River flowing into Glenmore Reservoir - old bridge in the distance

New Glenmore Reservoir trail bridge 

 Finally, we have to share a somewhat exciting experience, at least it was to us. What are the odds of having the outside temperature (66 degrees) come up as the speedometer is about to reach 66,666 miles? Well, we were watching the sixes about to come up and noticed the outside temperature was 66. We decided when this happened we would pull over and get a picture; however, as we pulled over and into a shopping center, suddenly the temperature went up to 67 degrees. Having nothing else better to do, we sat and waited for about 40 minutes for the temperature to drop back down to 66 degrees and then got the picture. 

Not your everyday occurrence
Yes, perhaps it was a waste of time but not your everyday experience so we have to share.

Have a wonderful week.  

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