Friday, October 24, 2008

i'm baaack

Sorry I've been away so long! I've had a not-so-fun chest infection and have been at home all week (sadly without internet). I'm feeling much better, so back at work and back to blogging!

-Really thoughtful people helping me feel better: Jonee came home with a get well card and some hot chocolate, and the Blake's donated homemade soup, an extra-warm fleece blanket and Jo's favorite hoodie.

-Lunch with Roberta and Lois where we laughed a lot and enjoyed talking in fake accents (all prompted by my improper pronunciation of "croissant").

-Being back at work and enjoying sarcastic banter with my co-worker. I love (and sometimes tire of...but mostly love) Northern Irish sarcasm.

Friday, October 17, 2008

tumble, whistle, sneak

-Watching children clad in warm winter hats and gloves rolling awkwardly down a golden-leaf-covered hill. They looked like colorful skeins of yarn tumbling down with tiny hands and feet poking out.

-A man who literally whistled while he worked.

-Arriving at Common Grounds to while away my morning off by reading and drinking coffee and having the server ask me, "are you Whitney?" I said yes, and she explained that my drink had been paid for by an "anonymous" person who came in earlier. Knowing it was my good friend Maureen who lives across the street, I texted her and thanked her for her sneaky thoughtfulness. She wrote back one word: "enjoy."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

i got soul

-Walking outside my door to run to the grocery store and being blinded by the large, bright sun. Living here really makes you appreciate the sun. I just stopped and stared at it, basking in its warm glow for a minute.

-Watching a college student playfully shuffle through the golden autumn leaves on the ground.

-Having a local Belfast newspaper write a little article introducing me to the community. Well, really I just sent them my responses to some questions, but it's nice to be asked all the same. You can see the text of it here. It made me a little self-conscious, but also feel welcome. My favorite part was that they had asked me what music "always makes me dance" and I said the Killers, and then they quoted a Killers song (pretty much) in the headline: "She's got soul, but she's not a soldier."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

stopping to smell the roses (again)

-Meeting up with some American college students who are visiting Belfast for a week and taking them to Botanic Gardens to see the roses. It was such a lovely day. I really enjoyed walking among the roses and instantly being surrounded by their sweet smell. I also loved the light shining brilliantly through leaves and the autumn-colored trees.

-A deep, carefree laugh.

-The little clink-clink-clink of the radiator letting me know it's working to make me warm.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

a rose by any other name

-Picking a little rose in the park (I know, it's probably not allowed) and smelling its rainy, sweet fragrance. It instantly took me from the cold rain of Belfast to sunny afternoons at my Grandparents' ranch (the Ol' Magnolia) spent playing and smelling the roses outside when I was young.
-Working from Common Grounds and enjoying the busyness and crowd of people swirling all around me as I slowly sipped my tea and read my book (and argued with it in my mind and along the margins the whole time). Certain parts of it reminded me of friends far away and I thought of all of the theological discussion we would have over the author's use of scripture.

-Committing to only buying clothes at charity shops and starting off with great success: a silky, deep purple blouse with fun round buttons and a funky butter-yellow belt.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

warmth & quirks

-Adding a blanket on top of my duvet and feeling the extra warmth.

-Looking out of the upstairs window of the office while my copies were being made to see the church steeple and rooftops in front of it. Watching the rain softly dot the surface of the slate-tiled roofs was calming and relaxing.

-Entering into an unknown local bookstore and discovering the quirks of artsy flyers adorning the walls, bookmarks for sale surreptitiously hidden among the books and a well-loved chair accompanied by an empty coffee mug.

Monday, October 06, 2008

once upon a time...

-A really encouraging text from my co-worker.

-An unhurried walk through the park to work. Dandering along at a slow pace, I was able to notice the golden leaves falling from the trees, the gathering of old men chatting and catching up, the faithful enthusiasm of dogs running around their owners and the way a canopy of trees above me shielded me from the gentle rain.

-Being asked to give a talk to the 4 S Club (an older women's club at church: Soup, Sandwiches and Something Special) about my life and what has led me to this place. I think that it's only in being asked to tell our story to others that we become aware and thankful for it ourselves.