Monday, January 30, 2012

The Day I Left My Camera at the House

I went for a walk today and saw so many things I wished that I had been able to capture and share and even remember. I felt like my meditative Eeyore feelings helped things pop out--like the red rust encrusted tricycle laying in overgrown grass. Ok, maybe they weren't all beautiful things exactly... but I enjoyed them.

I enjoyed the details of the patterns of silver paint and rust along the sides of the poles that line the street.

My lack of enthusiasm fit neatly into a loop of curling barbed wire that neatly framed the snowy mountains beyond.

The gang graphiti and painted on advertisements gave me a chance to practice my language and reading skills.

I passed the old white haired man who walked with the swinging gait of a severe limp. And two boys stared at my face trying to figure out where this pale, bundled and fully hatted person might be from.

A dark faced man from Africa, probably, was hosing down vast expanses of shiny black tile, threatening the lives of every person to walk into the grocery store for the next half hour.

The metal work shop was closed, the metal gate locked. And the pavement was spotted with grease stains where the cars from the nearby auto repair shop had been parked waiting their turns.

The stacks of cinder blocks about to be used for building projects create roadblocks of different sizes, and the long narrow hills of rusted rebar also speak to ongoing construction.

The candy wrappers, beer cans, the dust, the bits of broken glass, and the spiny bushes weave themselves in and out of the chain-link fence and across the red brick sidewalk.

This is life... this is a walk.

And my thanks... continuing.

520. Being able to get our propane heater to light
521. Watching TV shows with my room mate
522. S being happy with me turning in my tests and grades
523. Little boys running and screaming in the street (happily!)
524. T's jokes on the Skype call
525. Evening sunshine glory
526. J's return and his glowing at being back
527. New book to read and cozy up in for the day
528. Gematria
529. Polar Bear desktop
530. A clean hawsha
531. Strawberries in the market
532. New 75 watt lightbulbs in the kitchen
533. Lightning flashes and deep thunder
534. A whole day alone, quiet, getting work done
535. E's highlights and A's gray hairs
536. The smoothness of my kindle
537. The radiance that comes from young men set free in God
538. Worn and loved books returned

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Burger Fuel

      Last night I had a totally new experience for our city. It was a really good restaurant burger. See, a new chain, called Burger Fuel opened up from New Zealand. It's awesome! The beef tasted like actual beef (I guess it's all imported), not like sheep or something that has spent its whole life eating trash.  Hooray for Burger Fuel!

Image snagged from the Burger Fuel Website

I rarely go out to eat here, partly because cooking at home is cheaper, but mostly because of the food at restaurants out. It's usually not very healthy, not very good, and sometimes will even make you physically ill. But this place was in tip top form. Ok, so it's also not the healthiest food on the planet, but this chain is more careful than McDonalds about what it serves.
A very accurate advertisement from Burger Fuel!

The other really neat thing about our dining experience there was the service. Now, customer service is not a big thing here. Most waiters in restaurants sit around watching TV, smoking, and drinking tea. But these guys worked hard, literally ran to get the door when people entered or exited, and asked us if we wanted the heat turned up after we sat down. How cool is that?!

So, a group of us girls had a good night out and ate amazing food that we have missed while living here. Thanks to Burger Fuel for opening a new branch out here!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Elegy to the Tomato Plant

I finally pulled up all my dead plants yesterday and it reminded me of this photo from about a month ago. It's mid-January and one of the plants wasn't wholly dead. It was a three foot straggle of brown vine with two small branches near the end that were still green. No tomatoes were on it, but it was preparing to bloom again, six small buds ready to produce a couple more tomatoes the size of air-soft pellets. I pulled up the plant anyway. It was making a mess of our front porch. I did feel a little guilty; after all, it had hung on all this time. But practicality and the desire not to have feelings for something without a soul pushed me on and now it's well buried in the tall red trash can downstairs. It was a valiant little plant and it managed to produce these four dainty tomatoes before it's final demise. I'm not growing tomatoes again. The pain of their struggle against the elements is just too much.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


In the last month I've returned to America, returned to family, returned to the Middle East, returned to my students, and now I'm returning to my blog. It's an amazing concept: "returning". There are so many things in life that we go back to again and again. Sometimes it is like the dog returning to his vomit as we return to our sins. But I find that more often I go back again and again to the good things I love. I return to family because I love them and love spending time with them. I return to my students because of my love for them and God's love for them as well. How blessed I am to have people whom I love and who love me to see and enjoy no matter which way I turn.

I've not posted my thankful list in a long long time, so I'm posting some now...
499. A visit from Kay, Lisa, and Dave
500. Ericka Corban and her latest CD
501. Sleep when it is sorely needed
502. Power outage quietness
503. Daily front window sunset
504. Laptop computer warmth
505. Phantom prism rainbows
506. Wine delivery
507. Productive grading times
508. Giant gifted sunglasses
509. Not needing the heater because of my awesome blankets
510. A Christian Thanksgiving 
511. Having e-mailed in my first two sets of grades
512. Reading a book that is really good that I had read so long ago that I had forgotten about it
513. The gas truck song
514. The mullah's call to  prayer
515. My phone ringing
516. Early morning energy
517. Surging warm love for my  kids
518. Farkle games and laughter
519. My new brown sweater a spontaneous gift off my friend's back