The Pig

Jun 26, 2021 by Iris Munchinsky
They say you can't take the farm out of the boy and it's true--at least for my husband who'd grown up on a farm in western Canada and was now attempting to apply the same principles in eastern Kentucky where we were involved in home missions work. It might also be noted that as a city girl myself, I had no knowledge of (or interest in) farm animals.

Enter the pig. It seemed reasonable enough. Karel had put together a pen on the hill behind our house, which was located at the rear of the church. When the pig reached a certain size, voila, we'd be eating bacon and pork chops for months to come. All went well until Karel was called away to some kind of conference and the pig was in my hands--literally.

That morning I received a phone call from a lady down the road who informed me that my hog was rooting up my neighbor's yard. Dashing to the window, I witnessed what could only be termed as a well-executed rotor-tilling job. Two neat rows were already furrowed into my neighbor's front lawn and the industrious pig was beginning the third.


It's Almost Here!

Dec 13, 2022 by Iris Munchinsky
So excited to announce my new novel, Shadow of the Masters, is currently at press and should be in before Christmas!!
As a sequel to Bridge of Shadows, it again features protagonist Sela and her quasi-boyfriend, Jimmy, as well as other quirky and mysterious characters who will have you guessing what they're up to from page one.
Full of intrigue and suspense, this novel will not let you down.
More information to follow!

Unexpected Outcomes

Apr 14, 2022 by Iris Munchinsky
For those of us who love to read mystery or suspense novels, we've come to expect certain unexpected outcomes; for instance, when we read that the lights suddenly blink off, we expect someone close by to be hit over the head with a blunt instrument, or when a hidden door is opened, something unpleasant to jump out and scare the liver out of us, sending us into near cardiac arrest.

This also applies to real life where sudden, unforeseen situations lead naturally into unpleasant outcomes, such as letting go of ladder rungs and landing unceremoniously on the ground. What is truly unexpected, however, is when a gratuitous, selfless action leads to a totally disagreeable outcome. 

The Party

Nov 27, 2021 by Iris Munchinsky
Looking back on life's little decisions--i.e., disasters--one sometimes wonders how much brain activity was actually taking place at the time. Case in point: Not long ago I had a great idea for our Bible study group. Since one of the girls was about to leave for an extended vacation and another was about to have a birthday, why not throw a surprise party while the first was still around to enjoy it.
I contacted the ladies, and even a family member to make sure the date was correct. In my hurried state, it looked right. That morning I picked up the cake from the bakery, complete with name and colorful flowers and headed to the church, where I hid it from view. My next stop was the pastor's study, where I invited him to join us in a few minutes for the celebration. I couldn't wait to see the surprise on my friend's face, especially since she didn't generally broadcast the date.


The Flash

Sep 07, 2021 by Iris Munchinsky
I believe I've heard it said that life's little embarrassments are meant to keep us humble, but what about the big ones? Are they an incentive to change our address?

The incident I'm referring to occurred just the other night--3:30 am to be exact. As is my custom, I woke up at around three and turned over, hoping to slip back into the nether land of slumber. Suddenly, however, all thoughts of sleep were in the rear-view mirror as laser-like lights began flashing before my eyes. What was going on? Checking my phone for any irregularities, I realized it wasn't the guilty party and slipped out of bed to check the rest of the house. Nothing

My thoughts turned to several years back when I'd had a close call with a detached retina and the doctor had cautioned me to get immediate medical attention if it ever happened again. I sat down at the computer and punched in "retina detachment symptoms." One of the first to appear was "photopsia"--bright flashing lights in the eye. Aha!

Not wanting to jump the gun, I returned to bed to see if it would go away, but within seconds, there it was again. I woke up my husband and informed him he'd have to take me to the hospital as I may be going blind. He didn't say much, perhaps considering the number of times he'd driven me to a different hospital with our first child when he'd turned out to be healthy as a horse. Anyway, we pulled up at the hospital and I jumped out.

After an hour of paperwork, the nurse took me to the treatment room and examined my eyes. Having read the articles, I knew it took special equipment to determine if a retina is detached, but I patiently waited. She left, but returned in a few minutes to inform me the doctor would be arriving soon. By this time, it was approximately 5 am. The doctor came, looking remarkably awake for the early hour and put me through a few more tests, after which he called the ophthalmologist in Winnipeg. Shortly after, the nurse informed me that the ophthalmologist's office would be calling me the next day, but gave me their number just in case. I knew these things were time-sensitive--that I could be blind within minutes--but I went home and waited.

We got back into bed and suddenly, there it was again--the bright flashing light. "It's back!" I shouted, and that's when I heard the sweetest words I've ever heard. 

"I saw it, too."

"You saw it?" I asked in amazement.

"Yes," my husband answered. "And there it is again." A bright light flashed brazenly throughout the room. I didn't care where it came from--a drone, a UFO, combustion of some sort, whatever. I wasn't going blind. Relief coursed through me like a flash flood, followed by a monster surge of embarrassment. The nurse, the doctor--the ophthalmologist. There was no way out--I'd have to move.

Turns out, there's a stand-up light in our room that must've been shorting out or something. In any case, it chose to flash every once in a while, and in this  case, in the middle of the night.

I actually have a reason for embarassing myself further by telling this story. When my children were younger, I wanted them to understand the way in which Christ will return and that there will be false Christs who will attempt to entice people to follow them, so I would often read them this verse:

"For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:27) In other words, Christ's coming will be shockingly quick with no time left to prepare. One flash and whoever is going will be gone. Unlike the incident from the other night, that's one flash I definitely don't want to miss. I hope you won't, either.

Post Script: The ophthalmologist office never did call back and there's no way in this world I'm calling them.

The Fall

Aug 10, 2021 by Iris Munchinsky
About this time last year, I knew I'd taken one too many trips up the ladder. The south-facing front of the house had begun peeling like an onion in the hot sun and with the approach of our son's birthday, I wanted to doll it up somewhat before his brothers arrived. With just one blob to go, I ascended the ladder, pail in one hand and brush in the other. I'm not entirely sure what happened next. I don't remember the fall, but I most definitely recall the landing.

It wasn't as if the previous month had been completely brilliant either, with me on the losing end of another fall during an--ahem--wrestling match with my nine-year-old grandson, culminating in bruised ribs and a month of sleeping on the couch.

Back to the ladder episode, I knew I was in trouble when I was unable to get off my back. Since my husband was out for coffee and the dog was no help at all, I began yelling and was rewarded when two young ladies from the neighbourhood rushed over and called the ambulance. The paramedics arrived and were more than helpful--thankfully, omitting any lectures about older ladies on ladders or statistics on falls.

As I lay still while they attempted to get the board under my back, I happened to notice an extra set of eyes looking on and turned my attention to the new man on the scene. Appearing somewhat uncomfortable, he paused before finally blurting out, "I know this is a bad time, but can I read your water meter?"

Apart from the excruciating pain, his inopportune question provided some necessary levity and the paramedics and I had a good laugh about it on the way to the hospital. I'm not sure when the poor man read the meter but it definitely wasn't that day.

I say all this not simply to recount an unfortunate event leading to a ten-day hospital stay and eight weeks of discomfort in a back brace, but rather, to garner some necessary life lessons. First off as a rather unfamous woman once said, "Whew! It could've been a lot worse." She's definitely right. On my return home from the hospital, I stood for a moment, considering the close proximity of the ladder to the stone steps and knew that indeed, it could've been a lot worse. Psalm 91:11-12 says, "He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone." I'm not sure why the Lord allowed me to fall in the first place that day, but I know He kept me from a debilitating injury or even death and I'm eternally grateful.

Secondly, I'm also reminded of the passage in Proverbs that states, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." (Proverbs 25:11) Though the meter-man's words more closely resembled apples of clay in a broken plastic dish, they nonetheless served as a reminder that as Christians, our words should be timely and well-spoken if they're to reflect the wisdom of God. We see this all the time when reading or writing novels about fictional characters. My protagonist Sela, for instance, (not unlike her creator) often blurts out the wrong thing and finds herself backtracking beyond the speed limit. So let's be sure to check with our spirit before opening our mouth, and while we're at it, let's thank God for His mercy and protection, even when we're not totally aware of His presence.


The Gift

Jun 05, 2021 by Iris Munchinsky
About this time last year, I began hunting for a Father's Day gift for my husband at the local hardware store. I was looking for something fun or at least useful when I spotted the perfect thing--a pop-up greenhouse. The packaging assured that it would pop up in minutes and withstand strong winds. Not only that, it was selling at a great discount. As I said, perfect. No longer would the picnic table be cluttered with seedlings blowing off onto the ground at the slightest breeze. Now the fledgling plants could sit in neat rows, sans wind, and be planted in record time. I couldn't wait for the big reveal.

My first mistake was to misinterpret the term "pop-up." Apparently, it didn't actually mean pop-up, but rather, the grand finale after a rather complicated construction. When the day arrived, I could tell by the expression on my husband's face that he understood the concept very well--especially since he'd been suffering from health issues and wasn't pleased about playing a game of Twister with a ton of plastic and metal poles when we were supposed to be out the door in less than an hour. With a bit of persuasion, however, the two of us got to it. After several minutes, however, we agreed to wait till the boys 

Creation and creativity

Apr 24, 2021 by Iris Munchinsky
The power to speak something into being from absolutely nothing is reserved for God alone. He has, however, liberally sprinkled His creation with the awesome gift of creativity, whether with words, paintbrush, music, or any other assortment of building blocks. What a thrill to discover, as those made in His image, the gifts He has imbedded into our DNA, and then use them for His glory and honor.