Archive for November, 2007


on giving thanks

I’d better write this, lest I procrastinate any longer…it’s already been a week since Thanksgiving!

A few things I’m thankful for today:

  • Sunshine! (Okay, not today…but there has been a remarkable string of nice days lately.)
  • The fact that our home has a working heater keeping us at a balmy 68 degrees! (Of this one I am acutely aware, since our thermostat batteries died last night and the heater didn’t run.)
  • This one probably deserves a post of its own, but if you haven’t heard yet, I’m simply delighted (and still just a little awed) to announce that this beautiful, amazing young lady is now my girlfriend!

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(Sorry about the poor-quality photo…there was an Amishman running the camera and he forgot to turn on the auto-focus.)

  • Today was the 20th birthday of the awesomest little sister ever. Happy birthday, Beth! (Aww, blast, I guess I can’t do anything with the “I am a cow” poster this year…) I’m glad you’re along for the ride that is this life.
  • My wonderful parents, who are faithful correspondents, good people, and always supportive.
  • So many friends in the Goshen College diaspora…I miss you!
  • My MVS housemates, who are good cooks, good listeners, and pretty much fun.
  • The chance I have to work at ONE/Northwest, doing something I enjoy for a cause I care about while working with people who have lots to teach me but also are interested in my own opinions.
  • The church communities I’ve been a part of — Assembly Mennonite and Seattle Mennonite — and the energy they give me for working for peace and justice in a world that has too little of both.

And for those of you looking for an update, here is a brief visual synopsis of my Thanksgiving weekend…

Thursday: dinner and general laziness at Sean and Aaron’s
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Friday: I met Katie downtown after detouring around the big parade…
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…and we headed up to visit her aunt and uncle on Camano island. It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend of Christmas decorating, playing Ti Chu, dozing by the fire, baking shortbread cookies, and generally pampering ourselves.
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Life is good!



on Knowing the Answer

I remember the first time I didn’t know the answer to a question in school — in first grade. We used to have a game where we would be counting by tens, say, and each person would have to go in turn. Well, one time it got to me and the previous number had been 990. The only thing I could think of that could come next was “ten hundred,” but I knew that wasn’t right. So what could I do? I burst into tears.

Of course, I much prefer the times when I have the answer, however unlikely. Today, this happened twice. The first was this morning when a colleague asked about an obscure bug that, coincidentally, I spent all of yesterday afternoon tracking down. I was able to tell him not only where the problem was occurring, but why and how to work around it. And then this evening a friend from church was telling me about an old electronic tuner he used to have which would register just above an A three octaves below middle C, even when his instrument was silent, and even when used in multiple places. Without trying, I had the sudden insight that this would correspond exactly to the 60 Hz of electricity used in this country and emitted by things like fluorescent lighting. Voila — mystery solved.

Since first grade, I think I’ve become a little better at dealing with all the questions that simply have no clear answers…of which there are many (and most of them more troublesome than counting, believe it or not). Mystery and ambiguity are rich and meaningful things. But all the same, there’s definitely something extremely satisfying about having someone ask me something and knowing exactly what the answer is, and knowing that I’m right.



Tisn’t the Season

Today as I walked home I passed several establishments decked out with lights and greenery, as well as an ensemble singing “Christmastime in the City.” WHAT THE HECK?! We have all this technological gadgetry, and we can’t even celebrate our holidays in the right month???

Actually, I also notice that our primary election dates have been creeping forward as well. So maybe society knows something that our calendars don’t. Perhaps we should institute a leap month or two to put the calendar back in sync with what we’re actually doing. Forget the sun; it only shows its face while I’m at work anyway, these days.



on Halloween

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jack-o-lanterns at the MVS house

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getting in touch with my heritage