Monday, April 20, 2009

I know I shouldn't be afraid

Last night I had a tornado dream. They have come often since at least early high school, when I started keeping track. But this was truly one of the worst, with a sudden bad ending in a building without a basement, the kind of ending that leaves me lying awake with my heart beating hard. The feelings of the dream followed me a way into the morning, as sometimes happens.

Now I hear the area's under a tornado watch 'til 10. And I know tornado watches aren't a big deal. And I know God is in control and meeting Him isn't something I should need to fear. But I still think about how my house doesn't have a basement, and neither does the church for Bible study.

So I guess I am praying for fearlessness. And I am remembering all of our jokes about how, since tornadoes only hit La Plata every 74 years or so, Joe and I should really be okay.

Does anyone have a cure for bad dreams? I have had three in the last week or so, on a variety of bothersome themes, though I probably have even less need to fear phantom killers in the mountains of Afghanistan than I do hypothetical tornadoes.

This one makes me laugh even now

Rainy days make me sleepy. I went to Mass with Joe this morning and then slept through most of it, oops.

On the way, I was feeling crummy and watching the rain come over the windshield and thinking about how I'll need to fight off the urge to nap while I finish my Bible study lesson today. 

"It'll be hard to study the Bible in this weather," I said. 

"You could just study inside," Joe said.

And if I'm the only one who laughs at that, that's okay.

Easter humor

On Saturday, we came back from church and Joe immediately went to check on the pizza dough he'd set to rise. 

"It is risen!" he said triumphantly. And a pause, and "It is risen indeed!" 

It was the best pizza dough.

I am glad because when I was reviewing the Easter story with the little kids at Latvian school yesterday and asked whether Jesus was a ghost or really alive, they answered surely, "really alive!" They could even tell me how they knew

Gosh, something's sunk in. It's wonderful. Other years they were so sure he was a ghost.

Our house has also seen the "broccoli of destruction," if you use Joe's translation, or "the broccoli of perdition" using mine.  If that doesn't make any sense, well, that is probably because you did not expect references to Christ's betrayal to come up while leftovers were being put away.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Maybe late, or maybe not

The Lord has indeed risen, Alleluia! Glory and kingship be His forever. 

It seems like everyone else has so many good things to say about Christ's resurrection this time of year, but I feel oddly incapable of joining in. Joe and I went to church Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and then for the Easter service Sunday morning, and even as I sang from the pews or the chairs in the Friendship Room, I was probably soaking up more than I was bursting forth.

Big in my thoughts lately has been the ways we are blessed beyond measure, even though my human pettiness sometimes seems bigger when I have colds and hard moments. But there is still this great sense of gifts undeserved, especially the one tapping me from time to time from inside my belly. 

And to have the goodness of this loving Lord reigning alive always, not only over this growing child, but over sinful me? Offering to wash us clean? To guide us in bright paths? To be with us beyond the end of the world and this life and everything? 

It was all so concrete back those centuries ago -- the Son who was whipped and mocked and lifted up to die, the folded burial cloths left once he rose to life again, the message of the Savior to his confused and frightened friends. And the bigness of what it all means becomes concrete here, too, though the scenes are not as dramatic. If only I knew how to see and share it better.

In the meantime, there is so much goodness to rest in. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Finding peace

Now my spinach is growing up and the sunny days make me want to find all the outdoor chores I can. Apparently Thomas Jefferson felt a bit of the same way: 

And here is a really interesting article on a man's repentance, also from the Post. What I wonder about the most is his wife and their marriage, which is so little discussed. What would it be like living with a man so full of hate? Why did she? What did she think of it all? 

Monday, April 6, 2009


Peter's commentary on our cherry trees blooming so much later than their neighbors: 

"The little girl trees haven't learned what their aunts are doing yet."

They are sweet cherries, by the way. In a year or two, once they are bearing a few fruits, one should have yellow cherries with pink cheeks, and the other should have deep, dark red cherries.

Cherry blossoms

After a few weeks of cherry blossoms all over La Plata, the little treelings in our backyard finally burst their first buds. 

I have meant to write about the cherry trees since Peter came over to help me plant them in the fall. They were wedding presents, and once we had them growing up among the grass in the backyard, the yard started to feel like a place worth being.

Fall is a good time to plant cherry trees, apparently, but was disconcerting to watch them lose their leaves right away. So I was really happy when their buds started swelling a little while ago, and I was really happy when I saw the first white blossoms this morning!

I was going to take pictures of the pioneer buds, but then we had a thunderstorm. By evening, the open blossoms were missing most of their petals. 

So no picture today! But maybe I will have one soon, once a few more of the buds open.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Light show

Oh yeah, did you hear about the somewhat-mysterious light and accompanying boom that terrified the residents of Norfolk? 

We could see it from our neighborhood! We were almost home from visiting Joe's family and I (the driver) was pretty startled to see what looked like a strange sort of orange firework, or perhaps a meteor, coming down above the trees.  Joe saw it, too, though he took it in better stride, and we talked about what it could be as we turned onto our street. We figured it was just a few miles away, though, and not across the Potomac River and 100 miles further on south! 

Anyway, it was probably a meteor, seems to be the latest conclusion. What a world.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Hey, it's my keyboard!

I believe that, while I worked at the Dispatch, I got more comments on this keyboard than I did on the actual quality of my work.

It had been used before me by a co-worker with wrist problems until she switched to a position that required less typing and more keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard sat unused until I asked if I could maybe use it, and everyone said yes, please, because it scared them. And no one ever borrowed my computer again.

It took me about a day's practice to type fluently on it, and soon I was back up to 90 words a minute or so. 

The side mirrors are mostly meant to help you with the numbers and the function keys, since all but the most adept touch-typers like to peek when they punch those. The text on the F and # keys is even inverted so it shows up right in the mirrors.

I got to take the pricey keyboard with me when I left the Dispatch, and no one was sad to see it go (except occasional kids who came through the newsroom on job-shadowing days, for whom it was definitely a highlight). The mirrors got broken off in the move, but it still works great. 

Now I use Joe's computer and keyboard more often than I use my own. I miss the lovely vertical, which is sitting quietly next to me.

With child

For April Fool's Day I tried to convince Joe I made him a Veggie Meat Experiment for dinner, but he didn't fall too hard for it before he saw his soup and turkey melt (like a tuna melt). I had just the soup, yum.

Then we were talking about times I've been fooled before, including the time Steffie had us all on LiveJournal thinking she was pregnant -- classic. Joe said I could tell people that we're having twins, which would have been genius had I actually remembered to do it before the day was up. 

Anyway, yesterday probably wasn't the best day to tell people that I'm pregnant since I actually am. (Wahoo!) And I know some people know already, but some don't, so! The baby is due August 29th or so, which is the day before our first wedding anniversary. That means I'm at the beginning of the fifth month of pregnancy, which means the baby is almost the size of a large mango and I'm getting nice and round in the belly. 

Joe and I are really excited. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is excited, especially people at church! When we told the people who go to daily mass at the monastery with us, they cheered, and they told us, "Your baby's going to have 150 godmothers and godfathers!" On our way out today, they told me to enjoy my dill pickles and my strawberries. Mmm... both sound good to me, but maybe not together. 

I have been sick at times, but I'm more often really hungry... much of the time I'd like to spend posting on here has instead gone into endless rounds of making snacks and eating them. And since I know someone will ask: yep, I've craved some things, mostly salty snacks like french fries and potato chips in the beginning, and also Indian food. I have now memorized the location of every McDonald's in the area, though I didn't visit any of them. There are no Indian restaurants nearby, alas.

I might have felt the baby move yesterday, but I'm not sure. And I should get to see it again today, since we're having our second sonogram! I'm hoping it goes well. We're planning to keep the gender a surprise, though I've had a bit of a premonition. I'll let you know if I was right! And Joe will probably let you know if I was wrong. :~)

I'm guessing I got most of any questions you have, but if you have any others, ask away!

Here is a picture from sonogram number one, taken a month and a half ago. You can see the head on the right, the belly to the left, and the teeny, tiny hands.

The baby