Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Perceive, Perception, Perceiver-

to become aware of, know, or identify by means of the senses. Ah the senses, glad to have them and yet all together tired of the steering caused by them.

My perception, led astray, the cautioned adventurer (can those two words sit together?) in me waited several months before exploring "the path." Covered with graffiti, separated from my vision, tall fencing skewed where it led, parental advice echoed "danger, danger" aaahhh, but I must know. Must give it opportunity to lead me to new territory. Ipod in hand, runners fastened securely, out the door-left, pass the pool, to congestion-left, to the fence-left, beyond the graffiti-right, down to the road and a world opens............why didn't I attempt this sooner.

I know, I know, sounds like I just walked into a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and if you're me, this is a pot of gold. A quaint old neighborhood that has been hiding from me behind a tall fence that separates our parking area and "the path." I finally took a walk there a while back and found a neighborhood! Something that reminded me of my neighborhood in the 'Couv, mismatched mailboxes, yards with lots of trees, trees hanging over the road offering shade, aunt Sally out pulling weeds and watering her flowers, mom and dad playing outside with the tots, waving to the new neighbor! I'm sure they think I've moved in down the street because I am taking advantage of their winding streets. Which leads me back to perception!

I perceived nothing like this existed within walking distance. They perceive I'm the new neighbor, maybe sometime I'll thank them for letting me borrow their paths.

Perception is a funny thing!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pics from Anita and Damien's Visit

You can find me there doing one of two things, sitting with a book and pen or chatting over coffee. Starbucks, we love it and loathe it. It isn't always the best cup of coffee, but we love to go there and meet people. It is the well of our day, the watering hole, the place you wanna go where everybody knows your name. (And they give you free drinks if you haven't been in for a while!) The loathsome piece, $$$ and they generally keep the place at near freezing temperatures!

(So, I enjoy the outdoors.)

Anita and I enjoyed the Starbucks out my front door! In Bern Switzerland they have only one and she said it is very expensive. I think she made a daily trip, some without me! The simple things, a cup of coffee, can make your day.

We had a great time putt-putt golfing. I even made a hole in one! Pure skill...ok ok I mean luck!

Sushi in Celebration.

Downtown Orlando around Lake Eola.

I have this great breakfast place to take you to when you visit...you make your own pancakes and they are delicious. Damien's morning special, Blueberry cakes.

Lounging on the best couch in the world before heading out to music and bbq...we must have been waiting on Damien. :) (seriously...I know I said STUFF doesn't matter, but this couch is a GOOD couch:) )

Had a great visit with those two. Fun to catch up and connect again. Crazy to think we only spent a few weeks together in Costa Rica, but those first two weeks were the scariest and I was so happy to have met Anita the first day of classes and Damien soon there after. Anita was here almost a week before Damien joined us. During that week we spent so much time simply visiting. I was looking through her Florida travel book and came across a picture of myself she had taken in our little classroom. I just laughed and pointed to the picture! Her response, "I didn't know if I'd recognize you so I brought a picture." I really am looking forward to a vacation to Switzerland in the near future......The world continues to grow smaller!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stuff...one faint thought

This past month, I've been thinking about stuff. My stuff. My belongings. My collection of goods. I find myself looking around thinking, "This stuff really doesn't mean anything." It carries no lasting value. I'm sure at some point I'll want to trade in this stuff, which will become old stuff, and get some new stuff, but it ultimately never changes my life. So, I have some meaningful stuff, but am not a collector of stuff.

Recently, I came across an unfortunate piece of information. The bottom line of that information...a woman was describing how upset she was that some of her stuff had been thrown out in order to help more people. I hope you can follow. I speak loosely because this incident comes in so many different shades and shapes that it entangles each of our lifes. Holding on to Stuff. A few nights back, I went to pick up leftovers from Panara Bread Co. for one of our GraceRiver events. I met a man there who was waiting for leftovers as well. An engineer whose wife and kids up and left him a year ago so now he spends his nights picking up leftovers from several of the Paneras and delivering to Salvation Army, other food shelters, and homeless women and kids in one of the homeless hubs of Orlando. This guy has taken lemons and made lemonade. I admire that. He's on to something. People, they are important, but do we value them enough to inconvenience our lives and forget about our "stuff" if it helps someone else? Just a thought.

P.S. It's spring! You know what that means...get rid of some of your stuff! It might help someone else! I speak of both physical stuff and emotional stuff here. If you're holding on to emotional stuff...takes a few steps beyond that and love the people in your life.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mother's Day-Exposing you to Honor you!

As I sit here writing the thoughts my heart pushes through my hand and ultimately the black ink on this white card, I realize how meaningless sometimes it feels to send card after card, year after year saying ultimately the same thing. Though I mean every bit of it every year, should the receiver of those affections become numb to my words and sentiments, I'm afraid it would lose the impact. So to honor you, MOM, I will tell what I think of you on here!

I'm so proud of you for the way you live your life so sacrificially when it comes to not only your family, but your community. The way you cared for Grandpa over the past few years, the way you continue to mother not only your own children, but those of your nieces and nephews...and yes I say nieces (plural) because you've taken them in as family from the beginning. The way you care for all those little kids who have passed through your arms because they tripped on the playground and needed a bandaid or wanted a hug because they don't get that attention at home...you are loving and tender, but treat them with respect and expect them to act accordingly. Oh how I know this... I think I remember lying to you once in my life (I don't remember any others;)!Really! I just knew you expected better behavior of me! And then of course there was Dad's 6'2" frame lingering over us. Without even speaking, it said, "You better listen to your mother." Even the big kids in Powers, all those elderly people...the way you respond to a phone call by going and checking on them. You are a busy woman and I've always given you a hard time for all the activities you commit yourself to. "Mom, you need to take more time for yourself," I've always pushed. But, it's because you are truly a mother that you couldn't/can't give up being that which is wired in you. The way you cheer us on...you've been a great cheerleader. Sometimes it has taken you longer to climb aboard for all my crazy ideas and plans. Never the less, you cheer me on. One of my sweetest memories is picturing you up at the top of the bleachers wearing your proud-parent-of-a-Cruiser face and I knew you were pulling for me. I think you have a little bit of Grandpa Jack in you! And at his funeral when Jim announced how Jack and Alvena had raised up three fine children, I was so proud of you and my uncles. You see, I've always know this about you, but when others celebrate it too, I smile inside. And your hugs, the way you hugged me in my youth when you knew my feelings had been hurt or now later in life when you know so many times life just requires a silent hug. I love you for all of it!

You are a mother to so many, but your my mom and I'm so proud of that and love you so much!

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Costa Rica Redone

Well, sort of. Only Florida style! Do you remember my friends from the school in Heredia? I have kept in touch with a few of them over the past year and Anita (from Switzerland) and Damien (from California) are visiting. Anita arived Sunday for 2 weeks and Damien will join us Friday. I'm so excited to have them visit and talk about our travels in Costa Rica and life post paradise! Not sure what the plan will be as they will leave from Miami later next week. Anita and I have already started planning my trip to Italy, Switzerland, and France!;) (And Spain and England and...Anita said I will need 6 months......)

Sipping cafe con leche at Gran Hotel Costa Rica in San Jose with Damien and Anita.

Life has been good here and I'm curious when some of you will be down to visit...first time and return guests are always welcome. The revolving door at my little "guest house" is truly a gift.

Weekend before last, a group of us went out and made dinners at a great little place, Dinner Afare. Some pictures from our evening. What a fun time! It was the perfect timing too having just returned from Oregon. My head was floating with questions most of the plane ride back down here, even so I believe in a God who can handle my often times troubled understanding of life. Why Florida...ah, but the relationships I continue to be loved through and the understanding that not understanding is ok...I continually put on my "sense of adventure" and hold on.

Shelly and Jeff are some new faces. It's been really fun getting to know them and embracing new friendships so that Orlando becomes more of a community. (Shelly-I really like our coffee talks!)

Wes and Mayra-Phil and Janann
Wes and Mayra are from Puerto Rico and were a great source of info for the April trip. We even connected with Wes' brother for Tapas while in Old San Juan. The world continues to get smaller! And Phil and Janann, well they feel like old friends now since they've been here from the time of my arrival.