Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Strokes and steps

Monday, February 15, 16
In the afternoon, Rosie and I head to the art store for a demonstration on sketching. We watch the artist and then copy a few photographs in the last half hour.

None of it is worth saving but I snap two pictures before throwing away my sketches. Drawing a few lines with a ballpoint pen, I'm reminded of my excellent instructor when we lived in England: he could make a pencil sing a song or tapdance on paper.

I get some time with our youngest son: the food is good but the company is excellent.

The kids come downstairs to say hi. Only Omas let them go outside barefoot (these two are warm-blooded! and insist they are not cold). They explore what stones feel like underfoot. Sharp-eyed Miss K points out a woodpecker on a 30 meter (90') maple. Her brother is intrigued.

"My dad hates woodpeckers," she confides to me. No wonder. Many of the tallest trees have died off behind the house: several birds drill for insects in the forest.

I'm in the mood for creative cooking. I fry Chinese sausage with shallots and the remaining kale from a Costco salad bag. I mix in huckleberries and peanut butter while the noodles boil. Finally, I sprinkle cranberries and pistachios on top (more salad fixings). It's surprisingly delicious when nose, eyes, and hands work together on food preparation. It may not be the kind of meal you plan or replicate ... but it hits the spot!

The grandkids' parents go for a quick date night after putting the kids to bed. When they leave, Levi wants a back massage before he settles in. I have plenty to read on my IPad. I tuck my feet under me as I sit on the sofa in the dark living room. 

Little Isaac wakes up just before T&M come down the driveway. His round eyes glow in the moonlight shining through a skylight. 

He's completely relaxed but I get the giggles, watching his cute face. He perks right back up. So his mom gets to settle him back to sleep. Sorry, Melissa. Bad Oma.

I print out some pages of recent writing (blogs and a book idea) before I leave. It's just after 8am when I stuff the paper into my shoulder bag to walk down the hill. I'm late for the writer's group at Lake Forest Park Mall (3.5 miles). It takes under an hour in the fresh cool air. I miss my Bandung walking group and the hills of Bandung.

A creepy guy dressed in black cruises by on his bicycle. He has an open pail on his luggage rack but I can't see inside. He first passes me in the park where I short-cut a corner off the block and then rides by twice more on the Burke-Gillman bike trail. He stops and examines the cement plant across the street from the trail.
What luxury! books, books, and more books in my language ...
I report him as a suspicious person when I walk past city hall, but the women sitting and chatting behind the information desk refuse to pass the message to the police. I'm already late so don't have time to go to the police station. On their lazy heads be it if he's a psycho.

Time with the writer's group flies by. I get good help and tips before looking for my ride home. 

Melissa and her kiddos are at a library storytime. I can't see them from the library entrance. Maybe they're gone? I call Melissa but there's no answer so I hang around for ten minutes before I decide to start walking. 

She calls when I'm on the trail furthest from the street: she gets no reception in the library and missed my call but they're on the way home. I climb from the trail up the steep hill to the main road - oops, they've driven by already. Down again at the next crossroad. Feels like hiking back home: I love it.

It's a short 5 miles total, on happy feet: my tracker says I've been lazy this week with so much driving. It feels so good to be walking outside.

Today, I participate in a call from the women's caucus on the same continent as most of the rest of the gals: usually we're on FaceTime at 4am, Indonesian time. This time I'm not in PJs but dressed and in my right mind. 

I spend the rest of the afternoon reading and writing (13 book reviews). A few books stand out in my reading: some are comedies, some are informative, and some are inspirational. I guess I just love books. I feel greedy, gulping words I understand like a starving student. I won't run out: there are 53 more books waiting on my IPad Kindle.
One of my favorite reads today
I find a wonderful verse for today's Lenten blog (Day 7). I memorized this passage years ago; it reminds me of God's faithfulness through the decades.

Yes Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you. 
Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. Isaiah 26:8

May it be so. Amen.

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