I’m not quite sure where I want to take this blog. Writing is therapeutic and enjoyable for me, so I'm trying to get my feet wet in this whole blogging business. Some people blog about serious issues and perhaps that will happen here, but for now, I’m in summer mode. This is a space for random trains of thought to develop themselves, perhaps serious and worthwhile to read, but mostly random inklings that won’t change the world. The weeks are flying by, and I’m focused and busy and relaxed all at the same time. Commence random summer musings:
That’s My Dog: Do you know my dog? If you don’t, here are the basics:
Name: Mystic Miracle Hagen
Breed: Norwich Terrier
Weight: 14 lbs.
This description may seem generic, but let me tell you, Mystic packs a punch. She’s got enough sass, feist, and stubbornness in those 14 pounds to get herself into big trouble. She's a ferocious squirrel hunter, a passionate barker, and still has the hops to get up onto my bed while I'm asleep in the morning. She’s a sucker for games of tug-o-war and loves a good belly rub. What she doesn't love: people hugging (unless she’s in the middle of the hug supervising).
I take her on walks every morning, like any good dog owner, but lately we've run into some difficulty. We’d be walking along and we'd get to this one house - she’d sniff like the important doggy detective she is, and refuse to leave the premise. She's practically pulling out her yellow doggy caution tape and investigating the scene. I’d try to pull her, but she just wouldn’t budge. Finally I really pulled her along, but after a few houses I was sick of pulling a dog that should’ve been prancing merrily along on her morning walk; so, I turned around and we went home. Repeat said process. Now, here was an opportunity for me, the true test of my character: am I smarter than a 14-pound dog? The answer: I hope so.
The next day, I was determined. We walked down Carnelian Circle towards the park only, being the sly individual that I am, I had us walk on the other side of the road, away from the sleuthing house. And you know what Mystic did? She just pranced along, like walking on the other side of the road was the best idea in the entire world! Either she’d solved the crime between her doggy naps, or she just sashayed right along, oblivious to the fact that I had outsmarted her. Emily: 1 Mystic: 0.
It’s been a while, EDH: It had clearly been a long time since I’d been home because I forgot which way to turn the mail key. I hopped across the street, the too-hot cement sending fast little messages to my receptor cells that I should have put on shoes, but I hadn’t, and I never do. The noonday sun is never forgiving and I always take the challenge. I turned the key and a second later realized it wouldn’t budge. Mystified, I checked to make sure I had the right box and yes, I’d been getting mail from this mailbox for 17 years and yes, we were always #2. But that little key still wouldn’t budge. Then I realized the very simple mistake and equally simple solution: I was turning the key to the right (like Westmont MS boxes) instead of to the left. A quick turn to the left and voila! Mail in hand and it was smooth sailing, followed by a quick dance over the cement and a hop onto my driveway, blessed relief for my feet. This act, as insignificant as it may have been, made me stop for more than a second. While I still call this place home, it is a different home, and I am a different Emily. Supposedly, our bodies replace themselves every seven years. We’re not the same people we were 7 years ago - literally. Weird, huh? My favorite color changes daily (true story), and so do I. The science tells me that I’m always becoming physically, and I’ve found I’m always becoming mentally and emotionally, as well.
Money Money Money: I found some rather bizarre things while tearing apart my room in my big summer clean. One of the craziest? Currency from 12 different countries shoved in a tiny planting pot in the back of a drawer I hadn't cleaned out since middle school. Yep, that’s 12 different types of money, folks! How did a middle school girl get currency from 12 different countries, you may ask? The answer: I have no clue. None. Zip. Zero. All I know is that I’m $14.18 US dollars, $4.93 Canadian dollars, 57 pence, 22.71 Singapore dollars, 50 cents Chucky Cheese money, 1 Euro 88, 6.5 Belgian francs, 2 marks, 20 centime, un peso, 10 f. Polynesie-Francaise, and 50 Italian lira richer. If the European Union decides to stop using the euro, I’m set. Otherwise…well, at least it was plenty of money to buy my Dad and I frozen yogurt. Add a Harry Potter movie to the equation and we were set for a quiet Friday night in.
Grill Master: During the summer, we grill like nobody’s business. Salmon, tri-tip, basically anything we can put on the grill, we do. This summer, my title is The Official Asparagus Griller. Add a little EVOO and pepper to a foil boat filled with asparagus, slap that puppy on the grill for 6 to 8 minutes, and I'm my own Rachel Ray. Summertime, keep the good food a comin’.
Blank Walls: I’m still deciding how to decorate, but for now blank blue walls are feeling real good. Clean, simple lines, nothing crazy. It’s a good reminder that plain and simple are just fine by me.
Happy parade: If I told you that coming home wasn’t a transition, I would be lying to you. It’s a big, big change going from communal dorm life to private family life. I love breakfasts in my pajamas, soft water, and cooking in a real kitchen, but I miss all of my Westmont friends and chapel. I really, really miss chapel. And sometimes, my mind starts to spin in unnatural figure eights. My mind forgets that it’s okay to have a bit of a hard time, to feel just a bit out of place, to struggle. It’s normal and it’s healthy.
I tend to forget that all of life is a growing process. Lucky for me, I feel the stretch of growth quite often, reminding me of this fact. And after I announce to myself that yes, coming home is a transition and yes, transitions take time, and yes, transitions are tough, this huge weight is lifted off my shoulders. The simple act of speaking those words, announcing, even if just to myself, that all of life is a balancing act, I snap out of a fog and into my own happy parade. I taste God’s grace on the roof of my mouth. And let me tell you, it tastes really, really good.
Weave in faith, and God will find the thread. Fun Fact: I’m 764 blessings in! I’m on a journey to count 1,000 blessings in my life – inspired by Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. It's an intimidating challenge, but it has 100% changed my outlook on a day. More to come about that journey. Thanks for sticking with me this long.
Here’s to another week of opportunities, gifts, and grilled asparagus.