Friday, August 30, 2013


Two sticks of butter are sitting on the island in the kitchen. I must make sure they are not voted off by the press-pot and the coffee stir spoon before my roommate gets home to make cookies. They are safe there for now. The ant army hasn't made it that far yet and my assault on them this morning has been a considerable setback in their advances. There is still no sign of them returning through the front door so the only stronghold left appears to be around the kitchen sink. Any and all possible food supply has been cut off and a wintergreen scented foam was launched against them; we will gain victory in the end.

Final victory was accomplished one one front. It was against a large red wasp that had been  unwittingly caught behind enemy lines. The large purple fly execution device proved only partly effective. The insect managed to fall into the AC vent while in the throes of death so I am afraid that it's demise was rather more prolonged than I would wish, even for such an enemy as a large red wasp. I wonder if the AC is strong enough to regurgitate its carcass onto the carpet. I hope not.

With such  successful morning as a soldier of the realm of the house, I wonder if perhaps, just maybe a period of R and R may be allowed. But no! The butter must remain and so must I.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I wake up and...

I'm on a train. The blur of greenish scenery catches in my peripheral vision. We're going fast, faster than I thought it would be. Is this an Express? I didn't mean to get on an express. No. These people seem nice. I like the train. I did get on this train, didn't I?

Back in college I was asked to teach two high school classes as a small non-traditional school. I hate speaking in front of groups. I planned to tell them no as politely as I could when I went in to meet them. I left the building with a stack of books and not remembering ever having said yes. Classes began in a month. Thus began my adventure into teaching. I love teaching.

This train though, it's nice. It makes my heart race and I smile. The rumble through the floor is familiar somehow and the jerking jostle constantly keeps you steadying yourself every other step. Where is this train going anyway? The blur is only getting blurrier. My eyes water. I blink.

There was less than a year between when I first heard about the teaching job in Iraq and when I was standing on the over 100 degree heat at 6am in the Middle East. I was interviewing teachers and prospective students within days of my arrival. My "expert" teacher's opinion was required for decision after decision. I remember praying asking God, "I don't know whether A or B is the best choice, but I'm being asked to choose right now. God, I'm going to choose at random as far as I can tell because I really have no idea. Please make the choice the right one."

The people on this train are nice. They seem to know where we are going so quickly. I like trains. I like adventure. But this, this is terrifying. I've been on fast trains. I can't tell how fast this one is going. The train is familiar, but the scenery has shifted and I don't know where I am. Is this ok? Should I pull the break cord? When is the next stop? Should I get off? Is this an overnight train for me?

This morning I walked up to a group of strangers, without my common contact. I was stretched. I walked with strangers. I chatted in the home of some super sweet Kurds. Struggling through my wrong Kurdish dialect, I was hugged and kissed by an old raisin of a woman and it made me want to cry with joy. I had to speak aloud to all the strangers, then sing in front of the strangers. Commitments are made. Appointments stack up. One week left of my "real job" and I see how my days could fill out into the future.

Will I stay on this train? I'm not sure. Part of me wants to. It's thrilling. Part of me is uncertain. Is this where God wants me? Part of me is scared. This is so moving dang fast.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's All About the Shoes

I read some question on an online survey today. I'm not sure what the questions were for, it was connected to a company I was researching. One of the questions was "How satisfied are you with your life?" Numbers one to five. Then right after "How much would you change about your life if you could?" Hmm... Wow. I am so happy. I am quite satisfied. I feel like I might actually fit into the idyllic clouds outside that look too much like a painting.

My teenage self would cringe at me now. Some of my hair is blue. I live in Nashville (with no aspirations of being a country music star!). I have lived in Iraq. I like wearing fake tattoos. One ear has a second piercing. I'm actually more like a picture of something much less traditional. But I'm ok with that.

But I may have gone a step too far the other day. I was at target and a pair of orange and grey and blue and black striped flats caught my eye. They were cute and I wear a lot of orange. I tried them on as well as I could, taking mini steps, crippled by the three inches of  stretchy elastic and the large tags. Those are my best excuses for what happened next. I bought them. They were comfortable and cute... I thought.

The next day at work I wore them into the office. About half-way through the day I rolled out my chair and stood, stretching out the kinks of too long at a computer. Sitting down I looked at my feet, admiring my the shine of the orange on my new shoes. Turning my foot to the side, I saw them. A whole row of them. Little grey skulls and crossbones grinned back at me, mocking me. I laughed out loud. Then I texted my sister. This sort of hilarity cannot be suffered alone.

Today I wore the shoes again. Ah. Why not?!