Friday, February 24, 2006
Oh, how the smells provoke memories

I'm going through this stage where I really want to be an excellent and healthy cook. Before you stop reading, this blog is not about cooking, all I will say is I'm using this new cookbook "Looney Spoons" that is useful and delicious.
Anyway, this recipe for salmon called for the herb dill. As I tore open the package and took in the recognizable scent I was immediately transferred to the Ukraine. It was really weird like Star Trek or something. I was literally sitting at the table facing the windows with simple white curtains looking down at the blue-patterned table cloth. I was staring at a bowl of cabbage soup with an unidentified piece of meat that looked like a short and fat hot dog, approximately 2 inches in diameter. Next to the soup were sliced cucumbers (that I can no longer eat) sprinkled with dill. In the middle of the table was a basket with semi-stale bread and I quickly scooped the last of the honey roasted peanut butter which was a precious treasure. Austin Henley was yelling at me for not being apart of the "clean plate club" and I responded with a disgusted face that said, "this food sucks," as I unwillingly took a small sip of flaming hot tea, perfect for a fiery day. And then my memory was over. All of this because of a smell...amazing.
Just like when I smell moth balls and think of 5th grade, or Sunflower perfume that transfers me to 7th grade, or this tree that grows purple flowers and smells like grapes and suddenly I'm walking outside of Westwood High School, or the combonation of wet dog and cigarettes that reminds me of driving the periwinkle mini van. The sense of smell is an amazing thing that supports the theory that life is really about noticing and appreciating details.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Back in the U.S., back in the U.S., back in the
First, an ode to the arguably cutest kids on this earth.

I sit on my warm bed, all my comforts in close proximity. I walk into a grocery store and I'm surrounded by every food item I could ever want or need. I can understand ever conversation around me. I drive a car. I pay for gas. I eat fastfood. I make my bed. I earn more than $19 a day. I fix my hair. I hug my parents. I eat with my mom and she pays. I talk with kids without a communication barrier. I see all of a sunset. I watch TV with Jen. I go to church. I'm given opportunities. I'm shown grace. I do a Max Lucado Bible study. I miss people big and small. I'm excited about life. I'm sad about separation. I go to a birthday party. I unpack my bags. I sit on my bed, type, and I keep going.

"Pour out your hearts to Him, O people. For GOD is our refuge."