Trains, Planes and…Bicycles

As I dart through traffic, running errands and being able to return home faster because of my two wheeled bicycle, I can’t help admiring the Wright brothers. Their work benefits my life on a daily basis today. Being able to ride out with Dan this summer to see beautiful countryside and fill my soul with the sights and sounds of creation is an absolutely incredible gift.

Having Dad & Mom here for the last month has been such a treat for all five of us. (Well, six if you count Faithful, who undoubtedly remembers them!) I know the world is a better place for the work Orville, Wilbur and others have done to bring airplanes into our lives. Their work makes it so that even though we live across the ocean from our families we can still visit them (or excitedly have them visit us!) on a regular basis. And Airplanes have made it so that we have family members from three different continents.

The world is a better place for the ambulances that transport people to life saving medical care. It’s a better place for the cars and boats that allow people to move their family somewhere safe. I try often to forget the October when we waited in agony, hoping the medicav plane would arrive in time to save a friend’s life.

But today I’m selfish and I’m tired of planes, trains and automobiles. Tired of them all. They take people away from me. More often than it brings people to me it seems. Which can’t actually be possible I know.

Honestly, I hope heaven won’t have any transportation.

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Summer

It feels a bit surreal to live in such a large city and yet be able to bike for 30 minutes and be in this…

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Daily life

Just a trip to the market. Got to interact with five different sellers to bring this home.

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Transport

Life as we know and love it.

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Happy Birthday America

“What’s your favorite activity?” “What is something you’ve eaten you never want to eat again?” These are some of the questions I ask my kids on their birthdays each year. Most are silly questions and answers and it’s a fun way to laugh together and see a bit of where we’ve been and even some of their hopes for the future.

As America has her birthday I think of how she has answered some questions this year. “What is something you’ve done you hope you never do again?” “How do you show your valuing of a human life?” Many of America’s answers to her birthday questions this year bother me too much to share my feelings in this format. Most of the men and women who have sacrificed more than most of the rest of us can comprehend though, have done so because America has answered lovingly and beautifully to other questions. Today I will celebrate one of those. Living several years in another culture makes it so that when I’m in America for a bit I get easily overwhelmed with the beauty in the culture there.  It’s unbelievable, actually, some of the amazing things that the country stands for and provides for its people.

When we were in America last summer, my kids played on grass nearly every day.

Grass.

Green, clean, grass. Especially kept and protected grass. Kept and protected for people to play on, to have picnics on, to just . . .sit on. Who knew? Seriously, I cried when I saw it. Children playing on grass. Backyard grass, front yard grass, grass between the parking lot and the drive-through where we sat to eat our chicken nuggets. Every place we traveled while in America had grass for people to walk on at any time.

Scratchy grass, mowed grass, dead summer grass, green lawn grass, tall wild grass. Seriously, unbelievably beautiful.
Those who have served and those who are serving in our armed forces are people I admire greatly. Thank you to those who have sacrificed by saying goodbye so your family members can serve. Thank you to those who have said goodbye until heaven to your loved ones so America can provide life to many. Thank you to those who have given their lives to provide life…and grass. I am more grateful than you can ever know in this life.

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Dragon Boat Festival

“Are you home?” A neighbor texted the other night wanting to drop by. He and his wife brought over a large bag of traditional food people here eat during the Dragon Boat Festival. We unloaded the bag and even got detailed instructions on how to prepare and eat it.

You can buy these leaves this time of year at just about any market. You use them as wraps for sticky rice and various fillings before tying them shut with string in preparation for boiling and eating 🙂

Our current Chinese Sign Language teacher invited us to her home to share the Dragon Boat Day spread her mother prepared.

Monday found us there with plate after plate of food being set in front of us. They were all cold dishes and most were delicious even to a western mouth! As our teacher used sign language with us, texted in Chinese with her brother who sat next to her and her mother spoke in the local dialect to her brother (which we don’t understand) it was quite a multilingual meal!

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Salad!?!

A teacher who has been especially good to us over the years took us to lunch yesterday. I’ve never seen any kind of western salad served here, but as we waited for our jiaozi (steamed potstickers) to arrive, a bowl of salad was brought out!

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