Monday, January 15, 2018
Friday, January 12, 2018
I am thankful that decades ago a young man from the Philippines became a veterinarian and was hired by the USDA to inspect meat in federal meat processing plants as part of the team that ensured the food supply in America was safe.
I am thankful that out of all the possible jobs from sea to shining sea, he was sent to a plant in a tiny town in Western Kansas.
I am thankful he met and married my sister, and became my brother.
I am thankful that another of my siblings came safely home from his service in the US Air Force
bringing with him my niece and his wife, a woman born in Korea.
I am thankful that both my brother-in-law and sister-in-law
joined my family while I was still a child...
That having family from foreign lands expanded my world view and gave me an appreciation for the gift of diversity.
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to witness my brother-in-law in a federal judge's chamber in Thomas County, Kansas as he competently answered questions on American history that the majority of natives would have struggled to answer correctly.
I am thankful that the judge after commenting on his impressive grasp of the history and Constitution of his adopted country, swore my brother-in-law in as a US citizen as my sister and I proudly looked on.
I am thankful that many years later a large group of my family were able to gather in a court room in Sedgwick County, Kansas as my sister-in-law, after successfully completing the requirements for naturalization, stood with a group of immigrants as they all took the Oath of Citizenship to become Americans.
I am thankful I live in a country that boasts a statue that was gifted to US by the country of France and placed in a harbor as a symbol of welcome to those who come to this land seeking a better life.
And I am thankful that as an American I have the right to free speech and the ability to say that anyone who disparages people who desire a better life or to be part of my native land does not speak for me.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Friday, January 5, 2018
There is sadness in our nest emptying when it has been such a joy to have it full and lively. There is certainly an emptiness in my life that was once filled by my parents. But life is rarely all black or white. As if to prove my point, rain is falling on the dry, parched earth outdoors. The sun is hiding behind a blanket of clouds. Today there is gray, and in the gray I find renewal. As the fallow earth drinks in the healing moisture falling from the heavens I understand that loss, though painful, also makes room for other things in our lives. Those other things can help us heal. I look forward to this time alone with my husband, prepared to drink in every moment. Prepared for renewal.
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Friday, December 29, 2017
Book Review Time
Several years ago, I developed insomnia. My sleep was disrupted to a level that caused me significant distress. Anyone who has dealt with insomnia can tell you that the more stress it causes, the less able to sleep you become. Fortunately, not long after the insomnia set in I discovered Goodreads' annual Reading Challenge. At the beginning of each new year, I set a goal number of books I will read. Now, rather than tossing and turning, I spend the time that I can't sleep reading instead.
I recently wrapped up 2017's challenge when I read A Man Called Ove which is a terrific book. Other favorite reads this year include Widow, The Sisters Chase, Those Who Save Us and It's Not Yet Dark.
I have heard some people suggest reading challenges are not a good idea because they discourage us from reading books of any significant length, but that has not been my experience. I still read a variety, choosing only what really interests me regardless of length. I tackled Bill Clinton's My Life this year, though it was not one of my favorites. However, the two books I loved most this year happen to be two of the shortest I read. Both can easily be read in a single sitting. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer: two gems with titles nearly as long as the books themselves were the very best books I read in 2017.
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