Thursday, June 30, 2005

Got lost

Lost myself in a book this evening.  One of my few pleasures.  One that i enjoy more than most other 'down-time' things.  When i was a child, my mother read to my sister and me every night before bed.  Usually it was a chapter book and she'd allow a few chapters a night until we were finished - sometimes leaving us hanging on to some wonderful adventure that had to be continued the next night.  We would protest and groan and beg for more - and sometimes she would give in - but more than not, we had to wait.  i remember the words coming alive to me in pictures - like a movie - that would float through my head and allow me to get lost in the story. 

i was told by my aunt, not long ago, that no one taught me to read.  She said, and my Mother confirmed, that i was read to so often that i sorta memorized the words to a particular story and then learned to recognize the words....or something like that.  This revelation came to me when i mentioned that i never remember anyone teaching me how to sound out words until i was an early teen and took a phonics course.  Never taught to read???  Although, the joyous end for me is that i can read, and do it often, i can't imagine not being able to read - to 'get away' for a while in a good story or learn some incredible facts. 

i'm sure you've seen the signs that say "if you can read this thank a teacher"...but in my case i guess i'd have to say "since i can read, i have to thank my Mother, who took the time to read aloud to me over and over again."

Thank You Mom.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

C'est toi

When i lived in France, i had the privilege of meeting Grandma and Grandpa, LeeAnne’s parents.  They moved to France when they were newly married and lived there as missionaries for many years.  It’s so wonderful to be with Americans who have knowledge and understanding of a culture and language so well that they are honored amoung the local people as Grandma and Grandpa were – not to mention an absolutely flawless Parisian accent.


One time when they were visiting us, Grandpa went out to pick up some baguettes, cheese, wine and olives that would compliment the meal i was preparing for us all.  When he returned, he rang the bell and Grandma answered it with the customary, “Oui?”.  His reply to her was lost in the din of our conversation but i will never forget what she replied back to him.  “C’est toi!!!”  (It’s you!!)  She said that with such delight and gladness that he had returned safely (he was only gone a short time and a few blocks away) that i’ve never forgotten it.  “C’est toi” said “i’ve missed you, i’m glad you’re here, i love the sound of your voice, i’ve been waiting eagerly for you to return, i love you.”   Very simple words, yet so profound.


And i wonder….if they can go through decades of marriage, learning a new language and culture, raising children,lifelong sickness and pain, misunderstandings from folks back in the States, and all the junk that life sometimes throws at us, and still, after all of that be delighted to be in each other’s presence, why is our generation so inept at staying married?  True, Grandma and Grandpa have a deep faith in God and true, they did (and still do) take their marriage vows very seriously – but maybe it’s also a choice.  A determination to enjoy each other, to welcome each other home like they were gone for days, to have respect and love for each other.  i am honored to have known them and glad for the life long lesson taught to me by two simple words:


“C’est toi!!!!”


Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Next week i'll be embarking on a trip to Hungary. It's a business trip of sorts - paid for by my place of employment - but also a good will trip as i'm helping to co-lead a group of college students.  Our goal is to teach them some volleyball skills at a camp.  i love to travel.  i've not been to Europe in two yrs and have the 'itch' to do so. 

When i was young, my Father had a record (remember those?) of the sound track of "Paint Your Wagon" and on that record was a song "I was born under a wanderin' star."  My Father would sing that to me and tell me that the Irish side of our family (His side) had that wanderlust problem.  i think back then, i realized the urge to travel, to see new things, to meet new people....always wanting and loving home, but always in search of somewhere new and exciting.  Part of that could be the Irish in me - i've heard it said that American Irish aren't content and don't lose the wanderlust until they go back to Ireland - and part of it could be that i grew up in a little town, on the side of a mountain, close to the river.  Great place to raise children and room enough to allow developing minds to dream of what was over the next mountain. (by the way, in our case, it was another mountain!)

So, i'm excited to be going overseas for two weeks. The Hungarian people are wonderful, friendly and hospitable.  You can hear wonderful gypsy music in the subways.  You can still see the marks of years of communism but also the granduer of Budapest - imagining what it once was long ago. 

Look up at the sky you see that wandering star?  i think it has my name on it...maybe yours too. 

Monday, June 27, 2005

Inner child

It rained today.  Light, warm summer rain.  The kind that makes you want to forget that you are an adult and inspires - calls you even - to take off your shoes and jump in the puddles.