Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pictures from Jordan

So this last weekend we heard from our daughter and son-in-law in Jordan.  I learned some interesting things about Jordan.

1.  They have good fruit much of which we don't commonly have here.

2.  They have cheap transportation.

3.  They conserve on water because they don't have enough for everyone.

4.  That means VERY short showers and irregular flushing of toilets.

5.  Speaking of toilets I learned you don't flush toilet paper etc. in their toilets.

6.  Women don't smile at men for fear of being misunderstood.

7.  They have good food.

8.  Self-respecting men must have at least a mustache.  Or rather a man seeking respect from others must have a mustache.  

All this I learned from those pictured in these pictures.  Recognize them? 

Happy married couple or claymation wannabe?
Practicing her smile.  Use it or lose it.
She grew a long nose hair and he Spock eyebrows right before our eyes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest Blog: Two Sides of the (Waterlogged) Coin

It has been very wet here lately.  First Irene paid us a violent visit.  Now roughly a month later, we have been experiencing heavy thunderstorms for several days running.  Tonight I made the 18-mile drive home through torrential rain, possibly the worst I've ever driven through.  (Not, however, the worst I've ever ridden through as a passenger!)  As the intensity of the storm increased and my limited visibility decreased, I turned off the radio so that I could pray and center my thoughts on something more restful than Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" (although that song title conveyed a message strangely relevant to my drive home through the downpour!).

I turned to singing my favorite peace-inducing song: "Gaelic Blessing" by John Rutter (also known as "Deep Peace" and profiled by Dallas earlier in his blog).  I often let this song run through my mind when I find it racing after I've retired for the night, spinning with thoughts of what I've done that day and what remains to be done the next day.  It helps slow me down and calm my thoughts and prepare myself for sleep.

Now I didn't want to fall asleep on the road tonight, but neither did I want to be anxious and clutching the steering wheel in the death grip. Well I obviously made it home safe and sound, and am very grateful for that blessing.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about water over the past few days.  I started thinking about it when we skyped with Megan and Josh on Saturday.  They are living in Amman, Jordan while he's on a semester abroad program required for his major.  They share a surprisingly spacious apartment with another young couple on the program.  We learned this weekend that the plumbing in Jordan is not exactly the same as in America.  In fact, there are large tanks on the roof of every building (including their apartment building) and these tanks are filled with water each week.  When the water is gone, there is no more showering or washing dishes or doing laundry until the next week when the truck comes back to fill up the tanks.  This means that they--and everyone else in their building--have to conserve water, and use it very sparingly for cleaning themselves, as well as their dishes and their clothes.

I was thinking about that again one morning this week while taking my  morning shower, using as much clean, hot water as I was inclined to. Water is such a blessing!  And I appreciated it more, thinking about those who did not have such easy access to it as I.

Of course it's a bit harder to feel a deep appreciation for water when you're driving down the interstate at 35 mph in a torrential downpour, eyes glued to the tail lights of the car in front of you.  But I guess that's the challenge: to be grateful for our blessings even when the timing doesn't suit us, or they are presented to us in the guise of challenges. 

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