Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bonnie's Good Bad Day

by Anita Mae Draper

My sister sent me an email the other day which had me laughing so hard I had to calm down before I read it to my husband. Then I started laughing again. Although the content isn't all that funny, when you read it the way she wrote it... like she was out of breath... you can picture what she's going through.

The thing is, my sister, Bonnie, is a tornado in disguise.

She's only 18 months older than me, but God gave her unboundless energy while He gave me the drive to write - a sitting on your butt job.

Bonnie is the chief cook of Living Word Ministries which includes a Bible College in Swan River, Manitoba, Canada

Bonnie Bremnes in the Living Word Ministries kitchen

But she's in charge of so much more than the kitchen that I'm astounded at what she handles on any given day. Basically, she's in charge of housekeeping. This means she needs to ensure all the dorm rooms are up to snuff including laundry when the College is in session and also when it hosts conventions, etc during the summer months. And since the school season is over for the year, Bonnie is getting ready for the next wave.

Her email is a good indication of her day which seems to run until late at night. When I asked Bonnie if I could use her email in a post, she said, "Ha ha ....go ahead and use any of it.....some grammar mistakes...cuz I was laughing so hard and typing so fast !!! :) thanx."

For an adventure like this, I believe the only way is to present it the way I received it. So please, ignore any grammatical, spelling, punctuation or any other errors - like using capitals and too many exclamation points - and read this in the spirit it was written.

Inkwell readers, I present my older sister, cook, housekeeper and pastor's wife...Bonnie Bremnes...

Bonnie Bremnes and her daughter, Sonya-Rose

here is a bed-time story....

this is kinda how my day went.....

I was putting away the 20 tablecloths that Marvelous Marcella and I
washed and ironed......

and making lists ......IN all of the girls rooms .....

of all of the supplies needed for the summer visitors.

so each room will have all the beds made up
Plus extra bedding and towels
[depending if they need a big bed or 2 single beds].

AND I delivered all the supplies to those rooms
because Marvelous Marcella will come tomorrow and
help me make up the rooms so they are ready :)

Mr. Bremnes and I will take all of the blankets to the laundromat
some nice day..and they can finish drying on the fence.
But  all of the girls sheet sets are laundered and ready.

Living Word Ministries boy's dorm and classrooms

THE BAD NEWS was when I went to the boys basement
around 6:15 pm there was water under the fridge.
THE BAD NEWS was that the water system behind the boys sinks in
the south bathroom......must have broke thru......and was soaking
into the hall carpet and running across the floor in the electrical room.

THE GOOD NEWS  was that there is a phone in Rev. Racz suite...
so I ran upstairs and  called Mr. Byron  and
THE GOOD NEWS was he was still in his office !!
So he came down and shut off the main water valve.
THE BAD  NEWS  was that no one would be available to work on it
because it was after 6pm.
THE GOOD NEWS was it was safe for the night and
Rick Windsor will come in the morning.

I sucked up the water .....with the shop vac ..... out of the carpet and
put the big fan on it to help dry out :)

So I went back to the main building.....and

THE GOOD NEWS was ...  when I was collecting lots of towels
to put into the girls rooms.....
I found the massive set of keys that I misplaced 6 months ago :)
They were tucked in between two clean towels :) in the back room.
now THAT WAS GOOD NEWS !!!!!!!

Then ....Mr Bremnes came to rescue me  ;)
So I decided to keep the keys  handy and put them into my kitchen cupboard.

We went to Dairy Queen and shared a yummy dessert.
A chocolate dipped waffle basket with a strawberry chocolate pecan
sundae inside.

Dairy Queen Strawberry Sundae in a Chocolate Dipped Waffle Basket

THE GOOD NEWS was...It was yummy and we had such  a cozy time.

We came home and
 he went to visit someone
and I went to get some laundry out of the boys dorm
AND decided to gather up the boys towels.
The first ones from the north  bathroom.......
straightened up the broom corner,  closing the door,
gathered the towels and with my arms full.....but
THE BAD NEWS was the door was locked !!!!!   gulp
And then I remembered  some guy was locked in there last year and
THE BAD NEWS  was some other guy was locked in there this year !!!!

THE GOOD NEWS  was that there is a window......
THE GOOD NEWS  was that the screen finally came off....
THE BAD NEWS was that the window was kinda high.....
but standing on the chair ....
I thot I could hoist myself high enough...
and thanks to Curves....I DID.

THE GOOD NEWS was that the small window was big enough and
thanks again to Curves....I was small enough
to catapult myself thru !!!!! I lay on the ground outside......
I thot.....
I would run to the door.....but
THE BAD NEWS was that  I now remembered I had locked behind me......
and my keys were ....
in the hallway..on the floor usual so I would see them and take them....
when I left.....
not planning that I would leave OUT the window !!!

THE BAD NEWS was that the other set of keys that I had found
was locked inside the college in the kitchen !!!!!!

THE GOOD NEWS  was that my house door was not locked. and
THE GOOD NEWS is that the power is on here at home
so I can send you this information.

Remember...never panic.


the moral of the story:   the good news outweighs the bad :)
14 to 8


In case you're wondering, Bonnie and her husband live on the Bible College premises so she doesn't have far to go to work, which is why she went home after her date and decided to fold the laundry from the boys' dorm. :)

Have you ever had a day like this no matter what your line of work, whether inside the home or out?


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at


  1. Funny. Thanks, Anita. That's usually true when we stop to think about it.

  2. What a hoot! And what a great lady with a great attitude. :D

  3. ROFL!!! Your sister and my daughter have a very similar sense of humor. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Dina and DeAnna - And you ladies can't even hear her laughing. Not that I could in her email, but I know her laugh because I've heard it so often and it was definitely there.

    Yes, she does have a great attitude. Tenacious, too. I can just picture her climbing through the little window determined to get out. :D

  5. You're welcome, Niki.

    Speaking of pastor's wives, I often think of you, Gina and Susie when I read about Bonnie's exploits and wonder if these things have happened to you.

    Actually, I think I should go add that question to the post...

  6. Actually, Anita Mae, I could hear her laughing as I read it. :-)

    I'm glad you printed it the way she wrote it. It was great fun, and YES! I've had many days like that, and YES! God does provide a way out. Thankfully. Lol. Otherwise, I don't know what I'd do when light fixtures fall on my head and windstorms blow my groceries away and the tire goes flat but the spare is flat, too!

    I think it's so refreshing when we can find God and the good instead of the bad in those situations, and your sister sure demonstrates seeing the good and knowing it outweighs the bad.

    Thanks for sharing your sister with us, Anita!

  7. You're welcome, Suzie.

    And Bonnie, if you're reading this sometime when you have a moment, Suzie is the lady I'm taking the train with in July when I go down to California. :)

    Suzie, you'll have to tell us about the light fixtures falling on your head, the groceries blowing away, and your tire and spare both flat at the same time. Or are you saving those for your stories?

  8. Oh yes, we've all had those days!

    The other night we had a big storm come through that woke me up about 3:00 am. I lay there listening to it for well over an hour, trying to will myself asleep. Around that time my dear hubby's Chinese dinner made itself known in the form of a pervasive fog that made the eyes water. At one point I started crying because I wanted to go back to sleep so bad. Two minutes later, I was laughing at how pitiful I was acting. Shortly thereafter I was able to fall asleep. You're so right about attitude making all the difference. And really, the good does outweigh the bad!

  9. Too funny, Lisa. Not the trying to get to sleep part, but the hubby part.

    And 2 mins is not long to wallow in a pity party.

    As a former missionary, I'm sure you have some amusing stories to tell about your travels. Well, in addition to the one you gave us already. Still laughing about it. :D

  10. Lisa, you're so funny.

    Anita, later this afternoon I'll tell you the tire story. The light fixture and blowing groceries happened on the same day. The tire story was a separate story but also had multi incidences. Not the least if which was me getting in huge trouble.

  11. I want to laugh but I had a feeling I'm just..about...due for 'one of those days'. good to laugh over when all is said and done.

    Maybe it's a good thing that the little trials come in clumps, because it does make for a better story. And Thank God our 'bad days' aren't usually so bad at all!

    Thanks for bringing Bonnie over to visit. Bonnie, your service to the Lord through these teens is wonderful!

  12. You're right, that is funny :) Your sister sounds like a lovely lady :)

  13. You're right, that is funny :) Your sister sounds like a lovely lady :)

  14. Suzie, that's the thing about days like this... they turn into stories to tell around a campfire. :)

  15. Deb, you've reminded me that I never gave a Bonnie bio - Ugh.

    If I did, it would have said that she was a student back in the 70's in that very school when it was called the Living Word Bible Institute. After 2 yrs of training, she moved to British Columbia and that's where she met her hubby. They've spent most of their marriage as missionaries to the First Nations in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. Although they've been at the school for the past dozen or so years where Magnar is an instructor during the week, he missions on the First Nation reservations on Sundays.

  16. Thanks, Faye. She is a very nice lady.

    I really am blessed to have her for my sister. Of course I didn't think that when I was little and she was bossing me around, but she always watched out for me.

    It's nice to see you here, Faye. One of these times we'll get you to tell us about one of your days, too. :)

  17. So, Anita, my flat tire story should be a warning to parents of teenage girls. I was a little too adventurous when I was a kid. I didn't smoke, drink or use drugs, and I wasn't "loose". But I had a strong spirit of adventure and wasn't afraid to get in trouble.

    I had a little Dodge Dart that was made in the 60s and had push buttons instead of a gear shift. It was cute, but I did such stupid things as driving without my glasses on because I didn't want my boyfriend to think I was a nerd. (I really was, but don't tell anyone.)

    My boyfriend lived about twelve miles from me, but I brought him home with me from school one afternoon so we could hang out. When it was time to take him home, I had this brilliant idea of going to Fort Casey instead. That's twelve miles in the opposite direction, and my mom had told me to be home by a certain time, and there certainly wasn't time to drive to Fort Casey and then to John's house and back to my house in an hour's time. But hey, I was only sixteen. What did I know about mileage and travel time?

    Somewhere along the way, I had the even more brilliant idea to teach John how to drive. Um, yeah, right.

    The sun was blinding because it was setting, and John drove my little car straight into a ditch. Hard. It took forever for us to get out of the ditch. It wasn't long after that when the tire went flat. Probably from the hard impact. Neither one of us knew how to change a tire, but it didn't matter because the spare was flat.

    This was eons before cell phones, and we were out on a country road. There wasn't any traffic because all the good farmers were home eating dinner.

    So we walked to the nearest farm and asked to use the phone. But did I call my parents? Oh, no. I knew I'd be in big trouble if my mom found out. (Of course by now my hour was way up and I was already facing trouble.)

    Instead I called my best friend's dad who, bless his heart, came and rescued us. Of course, I was thinking he's somehow fix the tire and John and I would be on our way. But, no. He put us in his car and drove us straight to my house where my parents were none to pleased. One of them had to fix a flat and retrieve a car and the other one had to take John home - who was also late getting home - so he was in trouble, too. He broke my heart not long after that.

    Did I learn my lesson? No. I did something very similar the next summer, but instead of getting a flat tire, I locked the keys in the car. This was also at Fort Casey. Um, how did we get the car unlocked? We didn't. I had the even more brilliant idea to, um, break a window with a rock. My boyfriend that summer was the man I married, so I guess he must have liked my brilliantly stupid ideas and adventurous ways since we've been married thirty years.

  18. i love this post Anita. it appears your family has quite the sense of humor as well as a heritage of service in God's kingdom as well. so cool!

    when the proverbial poo hits the fan some days, you have to view it as it spreading fertilizer to help something good grow. it's either that, or get royally peeved at the world - but then no one would want to be around you.

    i could definitely 'hear" the laughter of your sister. thanks so much for sharing.

  19. Love your attitude too, Deb. I'm glad you heard her laugh. You know, one of her most oft sayings is, "Too funny". :)

  20. Love your attitude too, Deb. I'm glad you heard her laugh. You know, one of her most oft sayings is, "Too funny". :)

  21. Love your attitude too, Deb. I'm glad you heard her laugh. You know, one of her most oft sayings is, "Too funny". :)


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