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Weekend Coffee Share: Sayonara, San Antonio!

If we were having coffee, I’d pass on the coffee and have some minty tea instead.

I’d explain that I spent the last several days in San Antonio, Texas for work, and that I drank at least twice as much coffee as usual to rouse myself after awakening so early each morning. There’s still so much surplus caffeine coursing through my veins that I need to back away from it today for any chance of decent sleep tonight.

I had this funny idea as I departed for Texas that I’d have tons of quiet time to soak in the tidiness and space of my hotel room. I’d get the kind of I’m-an-introvert dream break that I’ve been craving since I learned firsthand–almost two years ago–that finding a little breathing room is about a million times harder with two young kids than one.

I’d shake my head with a rueful grin. I could not have been further off! For starters, being away from my kids was more physically and emotionally exhausting than I’d realized it would be. After the stress of flight, the working hours were longish and heavily interactive. Then, after each workday was over, more discussion ensued over long dinners. I experienced approximately none of the introvert wind-down I’d envisioned as I packed dreamily early in the week. Read more…

I am with you

I write this post from 32,000 feet above the earth.

I’ve written before about my take-off anxiety. It was (unsurprisingly) especially bad today, so that my usual tools to defeat it were completely worthless.

My eyes blurred as I tried focusing on easy sudoku puzzles. I can usually cruise through the easy ones in a couple of minutes, but today I could only allot the easiest first numbers to their spaces. I jumped back and forth between four puzzles, willing the plane to start moving so the worst of my anxiety would dissipate.

My flight wasn’t full, so I moved from a window seat in the middle of the plane to an aisle seat nearer the front. Its neighboring seat was empty, so I knew I’d feel a little less claustrophobic.

What I didn’t expect was how I’d fill the space in that empty seat better than I could fill in any sudoku spaces.

I filled it with Abe Zelmanowitz.

I couldn’t even remember Abe’s name when I thought of him, but I will never forget what little else I know of him. Read more…

You are doing great.

Mark also, not shockingly, walked my youngest sister down the aisle on her wedding day.

Mark also, not shockingly, walked my youngest sister down the aisle on her wedding day.

A man named Mark formally taught my three younger siblings.

He was never formally my teacher, but I learned from him all the same.

He told my mom he’d never taught kids so compassionate as hers. It’s no fluke, he told her. It’s all of them! You are doing great, he said.

You are doing great.

Few people told my mom things like this, though they freely told her what they thought she was doing wrong.

But Mark? He went a step beyond seeing the good to saying it.

With his words, he was able to lift my mom.

I, witnessing her rising, understood better words’ power. Read more…

Joyously, chapstick: a sonder file

January 10, 2016 Comments off

There’s this guy named Matt.

He and my favorite dino, Rarasaur, knew each other well before I knew either of them.

But then, as fate or the heavens or God or happenstance (or all of them put together) would have it, I met Matt and Ra the same day.

That meeting, just a couple of hours for me, changed my life in ways I wouldn’t understand for more than a year, when this tenuous early connection would shine out not as a standalone but a beginning.

But then, why should I tell you more about that–and Matt–here, when you can read all about it over at Ra’s place today?

Please check it out. Read about Ra’s Sonder Files, of which my post is just one small note.

Check out Matt’s blog, if you haven’t already, and remember that,

as far as I am concerned, Ra’s husband Dave is with us

for now and evermore.

Where I Was Then

A perfect afternoon

My friend Ra is visiting this afternoon.

I’m an introvert. I start each visit with almost any friend attempting to entertain. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Entertain?

Quickly enough each time Ra visits, I realize she doesn’t need to be entertained. I can chat, read blogs, or do my laundry. All of it’s fine. She’ll keep herself entertained any which way.

Right now, she’s watching Shark Boy and Lava Girl with my six-year-old, Li’l D. They’re snuggled together on the couch and laughing.

auntie ra

My husband is talking to his computer while my toddler drags toy swords around the house.

It’s the perfect afternoon for this introvert: I’m surrounded by people I love, basking in the warmth of getting to be here with them … without my having to say a single word, except when necessitated by my offspring’s shenanigans!

Categories: Family, Friends Tags: , , ,

Merry Christmas, Mr. Jones!

The first post in my reader this morning sent me tumbling back in time.

I once lived and taught English in Japan, where I called three separate towns home.

In my first home, I had roommates in a smallish but bustling ocean town. A couple of cats would leap through open windows to visit me.

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In my third home, I lived in a small town-subsidized complex with many of my students. I loved working in a little garden out behind my apartment, and would open the apartment’s front and back doors so my students could run through during their playtime. The town was incredibly rural, but it felt anything but to me!

So, so many hours of work to clear the plot by hand!

So, so many hours of work clearing the plot

Read more…

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