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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quote of the Day

"There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there."
--Indira Gandhi

Monday, September 20, 2010


Yesterday I had quite the experience. I'd gone in to town with Shiloh, to do some quick shopping and stop for a smoothie at Jamba Juice since they were having their Buy One Get One special. (Only two more days left!) After coming out of Jamba Juice, full of Peanut Butter Moo'd, we got into my car, I reversed out of my parking space, shifted gears, and started to move forward. I didn't get very far before I heard a mighty "Crunch." Startled, I stopped, unsure as to what had just happened. I thought I had just driven over something in the road but Shiloh quickly realized that we had just made contact with the bumper of another vehicle. I turned back into my parking spot, we got out and exchanged information, and after the other party had left, I looked a little closer at my bumper.

Now I have a tiny little car, and the vehicle that hit me had a pretty strong steel bumper, so the damage left on my bumper was rather substantial. I felt sad that my car had to go through this, and tried to figure out how I could have prevented it from happening, but soon realized that there was no use trying to undo what had been done.

Amazingly enough, there are still small miracles in events such as this. Somehow, my brake lightbulb survived, even though everything around it got smashed. Thankfully the vehicle backed into my bumper instead of into my door, so I was kept safe. My car is old, and this isn't the first time I've had somebody smash a part of it, so it wasn't as difficult to handle as the first time somebody smashed a passenger door at night and didn't leave a note. So while I'm not happy it had to happen, at least nobody was hurt. And that is the most important thing of all.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chivalry is Not Dead

It's the little things, that make the difference. When you are constantly faced with the feeling that you are inferior because you are a woman, the smallest acts of kindness will not go unnoticed. Doors being held open; someone asking "How are you doing?" and you know they really care. Today it was an empty seat.

I came to vespers a few minutes late, and while normally that would mean there wouldn't be a seat left in the house because everyone else felt the need to arrive 15 minutes early and start singing, tonight a third of the usual crowd was gone for the weekend so I felt pretty confident I would be able to find a seat. I was wrong. I scanned the audience and quickly realized that unless I chose to stride to the front of the chapel or to perch on a stack of three-high chairs in the very back, I would be standing all evening. Every seat was taken or reserved.

It had been a long week and this evening I had actually been looking forward to the presentation. To realize that I could either stand for two hours on 3 1/2 inch heels or return home was rather disappointing. I decided to wait until the choir had shared their special music and then leave after that. I leaned against the wall, taking the weight off one foot, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. The preliminaries were stretching out to be rather lengthy and not only was I anxious for the music to begin, I was also tired of standing. As I stood there, several other latecomers came in and managed to find a spot to sit down.

One of my good friends was the evening's MC and part-way through, he called for people to make room for the growing number of us who were standing in the back. It was then that a well-dressed young man stood up in the back row, walked directly up to me, and motioned rather vigorously for me to take his seat. People were rushing forward to nab seats up front and I was distracted by all the movement and slightly confused as the stranger gestured towards the empty seat once more in an urgent manner. I finally realized he was offering it to me and with a grateful "thank you" I headed to the row and sat down.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~Aesop

Friday's Link

An amazing, though sad, story.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"I'm Already There"

Went to the Airshow today and saw some really neat routines. The one that really brought tears to my eyes was the Missing Man Memorial, though, with the three P-38's. They flew low and slow over the crowd, the thousands of people standing silent, remembering, as the formation, with a large gap between the first two planes and the last, memorialized those who gave their lives on September 11, 2001.

It's been 9 years and yet, each year, when the day comes around, I take a few moments to reflect, to feel sad for those who died and those families who lost someone very dear to them. This is not my country and yet human suffering bonds us in ways that overlook borders and boundaries.

I'm not sure why it is so important for me to remember. I do know that I was angry that no one remembered at church, that I had to go to a secular gathering for others to mourn with me and recognize the loss of precious life. Maybe I refuse to let the memory be forgotten because it is one of the few memories I still grieve.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Melancholy Dreamin'

Another Friday flew by, with again, not enough time to do everything that I wanted to. Will my whole life be like that, flying by so fast that one day I'll wake up and I'll be 70 and I won't have accomplished the things I wished I could?

What would I like to do? I'd like to make a difference, but not the kind I'm inundated with in the environment I live and work in. I want to make a difference that is more still and quiet, but when realized, small children's eyes will light up, women's eyes will be filled with hope again, and hands will reach out to say a soft thank you. But where to start, and how?

My heart aches for the many women and children around the world who are suffering, but I am overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. Maybe I can give some money and help out people here and there, but there is no tangible touch associated with cash gifts. I read stories of young women who make an amazing impact by doing great things, like starting orphanages and working with abused women, and each time I am inspired to follow in their footsteps. Then I face reality.

I live in a country that is not my own. I have had to learn how to adapt to the culture, but I still don't understand the average person on the street. The past twelve years have been spent struggling to survive, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, as I continue to live in limbo, waiting for the magic papers so I can have some sense of stability. I am not a person who networks or speaks glibly, able to direct with strong leadership. I grew up a sheltered homeschooled kid who wore knee-high socks and didn't own a laptop or cellphone till my late twenties.

My head is filled with ideas but I'm not sure I'm ready yet to commit to them. And yet, I wonder whether those ideas will ever become more than just dreams.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I did the dishes tonight. Some days, that is enough.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thinking about insensitivity and how angry it makes me. People who appear to listen, they are nodding their heads, and yet all the time they really don't care.

Vapours of nothingness and yet still, it tightens. Will there ever be release?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Just Too Busy

Ever had one of those days? When you take your car in to get new tires and it takes almost 3 hours because they're so busy. When vespers is at 7 and you've just put Sabbath's lunch on to cook at 6:40 pm. When you are rushing about, trying to iron something, wash your hair, do dishes and tidy, all in about 15 minutes. Knowing it is unrealistic, you have to content yourself by covering the week's pile of discarded clothes and miscellaneous items with a throw or two, stacking the dishes neatly and turning the light off in the kitchen so you don't see them, and hurriedly ironing a pair of dress slacks for church. You think to yourself, "next week, I promise I will do better," knowing full well that next week you will find yourself, once again, trying to do too much in too little time.

I remember being a young child on Friday afternoons. We would clean on Thursdays so we wouldn't be as rushed on Friday, and when the sun set, we would sit, clean and ready for worship as our mother would read Uncle Arthur's The Bible Story. Friday evening was a special sacred time as we looked forward to Sabbath and going to church, participating in the service, and seeing all our friends. Sabbath was one of my favourite days of the week (Thursday night socials was my other favourite day!) and I looked forward to its arrival each week.

Those were good days. But things have changed now. The anticipation of Sabbath has been replaced with a sigh of relief that I have an entire afternoon to catch up on much-needed sleep. Spending time with friends and those lazy hours of sitting about and just talking or singing along with a guitar is a thing of the past. Why is it different? Is it because we grew up? Somehow I don't think so, because I know that anticipation is still inside me, somewhere. Maybe I'm not involved enough? I don't think that's the answer either, because there was a time I was quite active, but it never felt the same.

I think somehow I will always be searching, waiting. Maybe one day I will find a church that truly is home, or maybe not. . .