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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Abuelita

(This is a monologue in response to the 5 Word Monologue Challenge posted on Upsidedownbee.blogspot.com. The words for this challenge are: translator, mercy, guile, hibernation, updating)

It felt like I had been asleep for ages. A hibernation of sorts that in reality lasted merely one scant hour. I hadn't realized how tired I was.

It may have been the hours on the road or the impending ice storm that caused me, finally to pull to the side and close my eyes. I realized that the last 50 miles were traveled by God's mercy alone. I could not recall passing through the last small town just north of the border, or crossing over into the valley.

Three days with Abuelita had worn my nerves paper thin and heightened the cause to leave that afternoon. I hadn't slept and my bowels were twisted with the delicacies that frequented their dinner plates. The translator sent by the Embassy proved to be less than adequate for my needs. Abuelita's broken, foraged, and twisted version of French, Spanish, and German served her well in the melting pot of her little village propped vicariously on the side of a cliff overlooking the sea. The communal had their own language, some sanguine mixture.

There may have been some conspiracy in determining that I would be the one to travel by car, 800 miles, into the desolation in which the village rested, to the daunting task of updating Abuelita on the death of her son. It may have been the foreknowledge of her disposition and attitude with which I would be met. Or it could have been her history of spitting at distasteful news that prevented anyone else from volunteering to go to dear Abuelita in this time of sorrow.

Whatever the reason, I knew when sour smelling spittle dotted my face and shirt that this would be the only time I would make this trip. It would be the last time I ever saw Abuelita. With guile in my heart I tossed my bag into the front seat of my car, dusted the gravel and any remnants of my visit from my feet and drove away. I didn't say goodbye, I didn't look back.

Book Review: "The Noticer" by Andy Andrews



"Seeing the world through rose colored glasses" may be the parallel to this wonderful book by Andy Andrews. How you see your world, how you live your life, and the joy and satisfaction you get from it... how to change your life is all a matter of changing your perspective.

This wonderful story is told by Andy and chronicles the visits of an old man named Jones to a small town near the sea and the lives that he touches. With a strong base in Christianity The Noticer is not in-your-face, Bible-thumping preaching. A short, quick read that would be a wonderful gift for the believing and unbelieving friend. I see this as a wonderful missionary tool.

I don't usually like to mark my books, but while I was reading I found myself holding onto a pen. I have underlined quotes and noted thoughts in the margins. The book is very thought provoking and for me, I just wanted to be able to find those little jewels again quickly. My favorite: "What you focus on will increase." I've shared that quote with a friend and it opened an awesome conversation about how we need to focus on the positive things in our lives (perspective) and how we must focus on God in praise and prayer, making Him bigger than all of the annoyances of life.

And there's a bonus! At the end of the book there is a reader's guide. Lots of thought provoking questions, broken down by chapter. Perfect for personal use or for a book club, or even for homeschooling. I found that the questions helped me to get a little deeper. Some of the questions took me back to the thoughts and feelings I had while reading the book, causing me to reflect and really dig into my own understanding.

I very highly recommend this book. It will change your life. It will change your outlook.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Unintended

I was there by mistake
People not aware
Paperwork left un-managed
Put me where
I wasn't supposed to be

I stood around and waited
But they still could not find
The purpose for my visit
Someone else
Had completed the deed

I was not where I could have been
When he came around
Bustling, busy at task
Caught where he
Wasn't supposed to be

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I Know it's Supposed to Be Funny...but (Book review: Rick and Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage)


I know that "Rick and Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage" is supposed to be funny, but I didn't even chuckle. Maybe you have to be from the south, maybe you have to love hunting, or know a hunter, or like deer meat...I don't know. But this California, born and raised, "Valley Girl" didn't get it.

The "Guide" does not really offer any solid information or guidance except maybe to have a little sence of humor when it comes to marriage. They tell stories from their own lives and offer some interesting lists. For example, one of the lists is about the marriage vows, giving silly examples of the "for betters" and "for worses" (is that a word?). It may just be a demographic thing that I don't see the humor in a wife destroying her husband's fishing boat.

On the other hand, the book comes with a CD full of shorts from Rick and Bubba's radio show. That was funny! I enjoyed listening to them taking calls from listeners and a clip from one of the wives joking about an email that asked if she was older than her husband. In person, it seems, they are much more comical than in print. My kids and I listened to the CD over and over.

I'll just pass the book on to a friend.