Favorite Photos, Personal Ramblings

old ties, forever friends

In the mail yesterday was a bright yellow envelope from Kate Blom. The Bloms attend our home church in Maryland, one that we haven’t been able to rejoin since we moved to Nepal and then to Oregon. We haven’t lived in Maryland since 2000, but 10 years and more later, our Maryland church family still keep in touch.

In the envelope was a card saying they still miss us and thought of us even more so when they found an old church newsletter with this article in it.

Misc Stuff

the real yemen

When I hear anything about Yemen, I quickly word-associate it with Chandler. And just as quickly I laugh to myself while conjuring scenes of Chandler Bing perched on a dusty camel traversing the dry, wasted desert land towards his dung-plastered hut. Yeah, yeah, I know–There’s a lot more to Yemen than one episode  of Friends.

Personal Ramblings, Reading Life Between the Lines

farewells come too quickly

Journal entry from several years ago:

The message read: “Attention—Betty is retiring. Farewell lunch next week.”

I’ve known Betty for five years. She works two cubicles and a corridor from me. If there were a prize for motivation, Betty would win the gold. Velcro’ed on her cubicle wall is a saying every day. Today it’s a serious one, “Do not ask for tasks that equal your powers. Instead ask for powers that equal your tasks.” The other day it said “Life is too short—eat dessert first.”

The angry, the weary, the disheartened, and the temporarily insane—they all stop at Betty’s. One day, when I was both weary and insane, I stopped at Betty’s. “I need to get away from this crazy place. Maybe move to some place quiet. Quit my job. Live on less.” Betty, I’m sure, knew this was just craziness talking. But she did more than listen. The next day she brought me brochures and real estate magazines from tranquil West Virginia. She even brought train schedules and maps to show me how I could keep my job in Maryland and still move. All this she did knowing that a few rational weeks later I would come to my senses and the literature would end up in the trash.

What have I done for Betty in five years? There’s nothing I have that she needs—except perhaps my cooking. Betty loves Indian food. Neither fancy nor picky, she is delighted with a reused yogurt container filled with my leftovers. But I’m full of excuses—too late to pack the leftovers; forgot to bring it in the mad morning rush; the leftovers are just enough to stretch for dinner; too many things to carry today.

For as long as I’ve known Betty, I’ve taken her for granted. In a couple of weeks Betty will be gone. There’s little I can do to fix the past five years. But there’s plenty I can do about today and all the tomorrows.