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Ruth Marlene Friesen - author and site owner of Ruthe's Secret Roses - Welcome!
Ruth Marlene Friesen: Welcome!

This site is like Ruthe, the heroine of my novel, Ruthe's Secret Roses

Ruthe is . . .
intimate with God,
prays a lot,
a bleeding heart for the hurting,
a big sister,
rescues friends,
has creative ideas,
likes to give surprise gifts,
loyal to friends,
dreams of love and marriage,
dreams of writing a book
goes the extra mile

So this site offers;
good books to read!
help to become Friends with Jesus,
The One Ideal Real Friend
a cure for loneliness
An Older Sister's Coping Secret
how to pray Panic Prayers,
& regularly/daily
how to grow in faith
Christian mentoring,
how to share your faith

Psst! I've got FREE taste treats of the novel ready for YOU! DOWNLOAD the first 3 chapters as an eBOOK in beautiful colours, or read the first 8 chapters on this site, if you have time to stay a while. Start READING HERE!
OR, you can subscribe to a daily series of installments by email until you have read the 8 Chapter Sampler:

Wish you could have a heart-to-heart talk with God?

Ruthe does. All the time, where ever she goes, she's having a running conversation with the one she calls Lord, or my Best Friend. You've got to meet Ruthe! AND her Secret Roses.

a dewy, pink-mauve rose

You don't really have time to read on the couch, but if you're like me, you do read snatches on the run, and somehow make time to read a GOOD book completely.

So how can you be sure this Ruthe in the book is not some kook? Read the six sample chapters.

a rather formal red rosebud

You've heard of power naps at work, right? You rise refreshed, bright and alert. Take a break to refresh your spirit with a good inspirational story.


Do you eat novels like chocolates? Here's one with both weight and excellent flavour! For a satisfying treat, read Ruthe's Secret Roses

A Tribute to Dad on his 90th Birthday

He grew up on a prairie homesteading and didn't get much of an education. He attended a one-room country schoolhouse nearly 8 years, and learned to read and write, and to do a rather stumbling math. His education was mostly in riding as a cowboy, and in fixing machinery in his father's little workshop shed on the farm.

So no, my Dad is not used to sending valentines, or giving gifts, and expressing his affection. But that doesn't bother me any more like it used to in my teens and as a young adult.

He does sometimes make something useful and give it away, but in an incidental style. Dad just doesn't understand the etiquette of relationships.

That doesn't mean, I've discovered, that Dad has no inclination to give or be kind. He simple doesn't know how to do it in conventional ways. But he is very interested in people, and especially things he can make with his hands. I used to be ashamed of my father's limitations, lowly jobs, and ignorance about worldly things, I have come to appreciate and even love him for who he is since I came home to care for my parents in September of 1983.

After Mom died in 1997, I stayed here to look after Dad's practical needs. Sure, it has been humbling in some ways. Enough time has passed though, so that I can see some benefits.

Dad's a storyteller in his old age, much as his father was, and though he sometimes mixes up the details when he retells them, his storytelling shows what is really important, and going on in his heart and mind.

A couple of bearded old men once came to talk of old times with Dad. I don't recall what set him off, but he began to lecture them about something from his grasp of theology, and he sounded like a preacher. This amused me a bit, because I know Dad couldn't really pull off a sermon, but as I thought about it, I recognized that his thoughts are often on spiritual things.

With age he is losing his grasp on non-concrete concepts, but that evening it was clear that he's committed to believing and honouring God; and his heart is on guarded against evil and lies - the best Dad knows how.

He actually has quite a creative, engineering mind, as becomes obvious when he putters away in his workshop. When I first moved home to the the live-in caregiver, there was one time when Dad was fixing somebody's tall white boot with a soft vinyl upper part like a long sock. He sat and studied for for a while, and then he found a way to fix it. I remarked, "Boy, Dad, you really are creative!"

"Are you swearing at me?" he asked defensively.

I quickly explained what "being creative" meant.

Over his years of work, Dad has sheared sheep (the story he tells most often these days), herded cattle as a cowboy, worked as a farm hand, a service station mechanic fixing farm machinery most often, but also delivering new and used combines to farmers. He owned and operated a Dray business in Hague and Rosthern for some years. It still had that name because deliveries from the train station to the stores and homes were first done by horses with a big flat wagon. By the time he got into it, horses were no longer involved. Instead he used a small tractor with a flatbed wagon, and a rickety old truck. The job included the pick up of garbage once a week, and the unloading of a train car full of lumber and delivering it to the lumberyard with a deadline of 48 hours. (I remember having to help hand out the sappy boards and 2x4s, and then riding on top of the load to the lumberyard to hand them down).

My sister Elsie remembers having to go along for the gathering of garbage, and how Dad sorted the recycle-ables from the waste on the truck box. He was into recycling long before it became popular in it's present form.

Dad's last job before retirement was seven years spent in a tire shop, changing tires of all sizes. It was hard physical work, but it provided a regular pay-check, something that self-employment could not guarantee.

When he retired, my brother Ernie brought him a shoe repair sewing machine and a metal last on a stand, and other odds and ends. Word got around and for the last 25 years or so, Dad has done various shoe and leather repair jobs - when people bring them to the door and ask. He doesn't know how to do any bookkeeping, nor charges enough, but it gives Dad a sense that he's still got work to do.

He'd always been interested in puttering with small motors, talking them apart, and re-building them, and in gardening, and in working with raw wool. So between the repair jobs, and the odd wool-carding job for others, when he'd had his afternoon nap, Dad has usually found something to do.

There are times I've seen him problem-solving in action, creating something that solved it, but didn't exist before. Inventing. Sometimes I wonder what he could have done if he'd had a chance at an education beyond grade eight.

For many years he's gone on long morning walks and collected discarded bottles and pop cans as he went. A couple of times a year, he'd hint that he needed to go to the brewery to sell his empties. He would load up the trunk of the car and the back seat, and I'd take him there. Usually he cleared from $30 to $50.

However, over the last few years he's begun to ease gradually into less walks and work and more naps, morning, afternoon, and evening as necessary Partly that's because his knees feel weak and unreliable. Partly because he has a sleep apia which means he wakes himself often at night from his snoring. He simply needs to make up his sleep hours with some in the daytime too.

In recent weeks he's had some teeth pulled in stages to prepare for dentures. This means he's only eating soft foods, and the dietary changes are chasing his blood sugars up, so we are more aware of his diabetes at the present.

However, Dad is not ready to lie down and be old yet. Between his naps he likes to get up and do things. Last year he started making cross necklaces out of horseshoe nails, and he really enjoys that. I have to order supplies for him, and take him around to stores to see if they will carry them on consignment, but he accepts that.

He loves to go shopping or to meet people. So long as I'm nearby to make sure he finds his way out again. He does get lost easily.

Which brings me to the acceptance of him that I've had to learn. In fact, I made up my mind to learn this way back when I first moved home, and though I've had to remind myself of it occasionally, the fact is, I had to resolve not to be ashamed of Dad in public like I was as a teen. Sure he says and does embarrassing things at times, but what is that in the light of eternity?

In return the Lord has given Dad liberty towards me so I can run my online business ventures right here from the living room, while I keep him company. I'm very grateful that he allows me the freedom to spend my days on the computer looking after a business he cannot understand to reap rewards he cannot see. Nor does he complain when the house only gets cleaned on Saturdays, and the meals are quickly slapped together. We are really quite compatible with one another. This is divinely coordinated, for sure!

For his 90th birthday I granted his simple wish to go visit an alpaca ranch south of Saskatoon. We got chilled hands and feet standing in the pens, but the owner was very gracious to us, and explained many things, and then gave Dad a big bag of fibre as a birthday present.This thrilled him to piecess. He has big plans to spin and knit up that material.

There are long-livers in Dad's family tree. His parents both reached over 90 when they died, and they were sickly. He is not. His uncle John got to be 104 in a nursing home. Dad's not ready for a nursing home yet! So if the Lord tarries, he may easily be here another 10 or more years.

Age 90 is a special milestone and I'm paying Dad a special tribute with this profile of him.

(For photo story pages with Dad in them, see the index at My Patio) Dad, I love you and thank God for you!

Ruthe's Secret Roses - by Ruth Marlene Friesen - now available in print at!

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