2994 Hawaiian Avenue.

I’m not sure what triggered it, but the other day I had this intense longing to go to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  The arrival into their driveway, the few steps you take up to the doorway, then after a good, loud knock (Grandpa definitely has some hearing problems), Grandma would greet us at the door with a huge smile across her face and wide open arms to hug each of us.  One, two, three, four girls… then Mom and Dad.

No doubt on this visit, like all the others, Grandma would have her apron on, covered in flour after just finishing the pie crust for chocolate pudding pie, my personal favorite.

The smell of Grandma and Grandpa’s house isn’t one you can replicate in a tiny candle called “Grandpa and Grandma’s house”, but if they did make a candle that smelled like their house, I most surely would have it.

The smells of dinner in the oven, pies baking, dusty books in the library, a collection of old coats from the 80’s in the closet, leather cowboy boots, laundry detergent, the dog and of course Grandpa’s aftershave and Grandma’s “Moonlit Path” lotion from Bath and Body Works.  All those smells together just make your troubles melt away as you step in the door.

Of course like any other visit, my sisters and I would either be fighting over who would use the computer, who would first play the keyboard or who would swing on the swing set built by my Grandpa outside.

Before too long, Mom gave us a look that so clearly communicated: “Remember to ask Grandma if she needs any help… OR ELSE!” and of course as the oldest, and most responsible, I was the only one to actually help.  But, whatever, I never minded because it usually meant I could sneak a little sample of dessert while no one was looking.

Dinners were memorable, and of course better than any weeknight meal we might have at home.  Grandpa always piled his food so high, and we could bet he would ask someone to “toss a roll” at some point during dinner.  So of course, we did.  Literally.

Peace.  Their home with all the smells, sounds, sights and memories makes me feel at peace, it still does.  Even today, seven years since my Grandfather’s death and almost almost three years since my Grandma’s death.

I can think of that home and be instantly transported to those treasured moments.

I miss them.  A lot.

Now, the home is unoccupied, owned by the bank.  I think.

One day I hope it will be filled with the laughter that so filled our family dinners, the tears that often streamed down my face when I sat in Grandpa’s empty chair needing advice from my Grandma and joy that will impact a new generation.

Nothing is meaningless.

Nothing is lost.

Hope remains.

I can’t wait to see Grandpa and Grandma again one day.  This time, in our TRUE home.

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What lies ahead

As the dance between summer and fall becomes slower, summer gives way to fall, and a million memories rush.  Memories of what seems like a past life.  Football, high school, happy times, sad times, thankfulness, and everything else I love and hate at the same time.  The rain is a familiar friend, but not always a welcomed friend here in Oregon, but, right now it doesn’t matter much.  It’s just nice to see a little change in the weather for now.

This fall will be different.  I struggle to find the words to say sometimes, but on November 15 I will leave to enter into what often feels like dream land for me, Thailand.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remember, oh yeah, that was real, I used to live in Thailand!  I will be grateful to give up a little fall, to return back to summer, and to a time that feels so long ago, yet at the same time seems like just yesterday.  The sights, smells, feeling, I can close my eyes and see it all now.

It is a bittersweet time too.  Remembering what was, not only Thailand, but other memories.  This is a new chapter, so part of this trip will be addressing and understanding that I may not be called back to SE Asia at all, or not anytime soon, or sooner than I expect.  I don’t worry about this, I know what will be, will be.

Either way, it will be an amazing time.

But for now, I will enjoy the cool, crisp mornings, and be super thankful for non-polluted air, and beautiful falls in Oregon.

the blinker. part 2.

silence.  in between the sound
the pounding sound
of the blinker
takes me back to that place

daydreaming again what i did before
again.  6 months later
still wishing
a warm touch of the hand

thought i had found what i was looking for
in the depth of your blue eyes
straining to look deeply
to see if you see what i see

but you don’t
you didn’t
but i was the fool to believe
you could see what i tried to see

i put on my rose colored glasses
lenses made of “love” and “lust”
seeing a picture perfect life
just in the beginning, just during the lies

the memories can’t be erased
though somedays i wish they could
i wish the pain was easy to forget
to you it seems to be easy to forget
but when you are always next to an empty bottle
i guess it becomes an easy escape

to escape the pain you have caused too many
too many who were trusting of you
trusting of your strong arm
“protection” we thought we needed

the sound of the blinker brings me back
all the memories flashing in front of me
but once again, the car turns
and the silence returns

the empty space is still silent
but filled with continued memories of you
even on my best days, they are still marked with thoughts of you
but i’d never go back.  i’d never go back

no reason to return to lies
no reason to enter the facade of a “life” you’ve made for yourself
no reason to live in your world
no reason to trust any word you ever spoke
no reason to believe i am who you are

the blinker

i don’t believe the weather man anymore

No seriously, I don’t.  It’s like the weather here in Oregon has become just like the weather in Thailand, it has a mind of it’s own, which actually I don’t mind much at all since we’ve had some beautiful sunny days with the weather getting up to 60 degrees some days.  That’s a good winter to me, seriously.

I’m eating some frozen Thai chicken thing for lunch, and wishing I was down at Sombat’s eating REAL Thai food, I guess this will have to do for now.

I haven’t blogged much about returning home to the States after a year overseas… well I haven’t really blogged much about anything at all in the past year.  Crazy to think that on April 2, 2009 I returned back to the States, almost a year ago.  Time flies, seriously.

The images and feelings are burned deeply in my mind, even still today.  I was sitting, freezing cold in the Portland airport, watching all the unhappy, fat, and dressed in black (I really don’t know if it’s all that slimming as they say) Americans pass me by, on to their next appointment, flight, whatever.  Busy busy busy.  I just sat in shock, staring at their cold, white faces, and wondering what the rush was.  I was used to the warm, tanned and glowing faces of the Thai people, who smiled all the time, even if they were in a bad mood, or if they were having the worst day of their lives.  It was certainly a shock to be back in the States.   I was ready for Spring, and warm weather, but apparently Oregon hadn’t gotten the memo I was coming back.

That day is still crystal clear in my mind, even today.  Once I arrived in Medford, it was cloudy and cold, but I was warmly welcomed by my family, whom I hadn’t seen in 1o months.  On that day, I also remembered the day I had left, the feeling in my stomach of excitement, with no fear at all.  Yet upon my return, I remember feeling very afraid.  Afriad I would forget Thailand, or that I was making the wrong decision to return, or that in this economy I wouldn’t be able to find a job… a job that was where my heart really was… worship ministry.

Thinking back, it’s easy to see I should have trusted, I should have had faith.. more faith than at the time.  Those are all moments I will never forget, mostly because it was a time when I was most vulnerable, most fearful, yet exciting at the same time.

I miss Thailand, a lot, but I know my life here is still an adventure, even though I’m extremely jealous of my dear friends who get to enjoy Koh Samet any weekend they want.  🙂

Blessings to all who still read.. hope you are well.