DIY: life in St Louis

I haven’t fallen in love with St. Louis yet (does anyone ever?)

But I’ll grant that I haven’t done much outside of compare prices of the local Shop ‘n’ Save vs. Aldi vs. Trader Joe’s. I did sign up for a library card, and I picked up my first two books this afternoon. (I’m halfway through Where’d You Go Bernadette, which I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as everyone else has, and while I’m slightly more amused that anticipated, my expectations are largely holding true.)

On the plus side:

There are fireflies! Not a lot, and I haven’t bothered to try to take a photo yet, but it’s an exiting thing for someone from the northwest, where I’m pretty sure nary a firefly exists.

Got our first tornado warning under our belts (wasn’t even windy here, so it was pretty much a non-event, other than determining that we can hear the sirens at our place)

The thunder is loud and pretty cool.

The World Cup! (I got into it in 2010 because the family in Panama was into it. It’s a strange sort of full-circle to be watching it again, four years having passed, and being in a new [as-good-as-foreign] place that sometimes reminds me of Panama)

H made a sweet closet rack to augment our dearth of closet space. I showed him this pipe coat rack DIY, and he came up with this:

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On the less-than-great side:

It’s rained a lot since we’ve been here (might as well have stayed in Seattle).

Yes, it’s humid (we went to a Farmer’s Market this morning – probably the first time wandering around outside in 80-90* weather + humidity in a while – and it took me half a day to get over feeling light-headed. Yes I’m drinking more water now.)

And because it’s humid, spending much time outside is little to no fun. And last Sunday when I tried to sit on the back porch for a bit to read, came away with some bug bites whose itchiness lasted waaaay too long (I think today was the first day I didn’t feel the need to scratch my elbow or ankle.)

 

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Hitting walls

I’m tired of moving boxes and of shuffling items from one box to another. I can rationally understand that it’s not reasonable to expect, one week and one day after moving in, that I’ll be at the point of hanging decorations and arranging knick-knacks.

But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

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It really doesn’t help the whole adjusting process, having my surroundings in even more flux than they were the month leading up to D-Day (Departure Day) in Seattle.

In the grand scheme of things we’ll be unpacked before you know it (and for that matter we’ll be moving again before you know it).

…but today we’re not unpacked. I need to move a bookshelf into a room, but the room is full of boxes that I can’t unpack until the bookshelf is there. And I can’t decide where to put the bookshelf until the boxes are out of the room so I can actually see the room and not just how much it can hold.

Progress is slower than I’d like, but it’s there nonetheless.

I ate half a pint of raspberries, a healthy salad for dinner and no ice cream. Looks like I’ve gotta take progress where I can find it.

Peace and strength always

I am bouncing off the walls in here (talking about my mind).

I am trying (and succeeding!) to enjoy the time of celebration and family in these last days leading up to the marriage (H’s sister is marrying H’s best friend). However, after the fellowship is over and we’re back at box-world (aka the apartment), all I can think about is things that need to happen in the next  e i g h t  d a y s  before the move. It’s overwhelming.

The eternal optimist in me (it’s a rare side, but still there) shrugs off the stress and says it will all get done. Which it will. Whether it gets done at the expense of sanity is another matter.

Life-long family friends of my in-laws are in town from Australia for the upcoming wedding. They gave me a beautiful wooden tea-light holder with a blessing that is much appreciated in the midst of the maelstrom.

May you know the nearness of His Presence with you and His love, joy, peace and strength always.

“The God of love and peace will be with you…” 2 Corinthians 13:11

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Thoughts on a lunchtime stroll downtown

If the fanny pack doesn’t give you away as a tourist, the map sticking out of your back pocket will.

The taste of diesel in the air takes me to Chiang Mai. Arriving from a week-long volunteer project outside Chiang Rai via three hour bus ride through the beautiful hills of northern Thailand, I took a songthaew to my lodging. Managing to be both crowded with people and open to fresh city air, the exhaust of truck-now-taxi/bus carried  not only the scent, but sight and sound.

There continues to be nothing new under the sun. Some public or governmental organization is widening the sidewalk on Third, and somehow it strikes me as the near-cousin of a street in Wellington. Are shopping districts the same everywhere?

I can always find something at Nordstrom Rack. Even a trip with the sole intent of purchasing a gift sees me walk away with a tank top. I’ve come to make generous use of the return policies of stores downtown in order to make purchases my way. Namely, buying what looks good on the rack and trying it on at home to decide if I want to keep it. Perhaps surprisingly, I return probably half of the originally selected items.

Style requires time, patience, and dedication to curate. I’m not sure which I don’t have, but it seems unlikely my wardrobe will ever resemble anything cohesive.

The road goes ever on

We haven’t left yet, but I miss this place.

This morning was the culmination of all things hosting-my-sister-in-law’s-bridal-shower. It went well, if I do say so myself.

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And tonight is our (albeit early) going away party. With wedding festivities (and packing) and such next month, it was the opportune moment. So as our bedroom is a mess (everything extraneous got dumped there) and the living room is still a little bare apart from decorations, I realize now comes the business of getting rid of bookshelves and packing everything

We’re moving in t-minus 4 weeks (wedding in 3 weeks, bachelorette in 2 weeks, H’s birthday in 1 week…holy moly).

It was hitting me the first week of the month (must have been particularly nice then), walking to and from the bus on work days, I am going to miss the mountains when we’re living in the Midwest.

And I knew while I was moving in, 11 months ago, that I would cry to leave this apartment.

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Seattle has been good to me (flooded apartment fiasco of 2012 aside). I trust St. Louis will be too; I’ll have my two best friends – God & H. I won’t have the mountains, but they’ll see me for holidays.

This is one of those stages in life I will later look back on with fondness and longing.
Or maybe not, who knows.

On the bright side, I have been poking my novel and the slumbering creature may rumble to life. Though I am a little frightened to note that it seems to be whispering of a not too distant relation to my (failed) NaNo 2010 attempt. A relation which had been entirely unknown to me.

I think I kind of want to stop blogging.
Which I didn’t realize or decide until I was looking for something to write in this paragraph.
I want to stop blogging because it’s not what it was when I was 15 and designing layouts in html (oh wow. Just realized it’s been 10 years since my first website. August 2 will be 10 years since my first blog).
Maybe I want to stop blogging because it’s something that I needed then that I don’t need (or don’t want to need) now.
Maybe I want to stop blogging officially because in practice I have stopped. I make no effort to maintain this page or add content.

What I have been learning

April might be a little early to reflect on the year, but from where I sit, any day is a great day to reflect on where you have been and are going.

At least as long as you remember to stop reflecting and get the mail, return your library books, and make dinner.

2012 (or rather, God, in the year of 2012) has conspired mightily with events to teach me to wait.  I have followed through as far as I am able, and then left to me is but to wait.

You (and I, as well) might argue the importance of continued action. And this is a good reminder, but it speaks only to the moment. And the moment is important, but even if I do get around to calling in to see if I qualify for unemployment today, there is nothing in that action to lessen the weight of uncertainty that sits on my chest.

So in waiting and seeking and waiting there must remain the prepositional phrase. On whom am I waiting? From whom am I expecting direction? If ever that answer is anyone but Jesus, impatience and anxiety are bound to follow.

But when I cling to the hope of my salvation, there is peace, even if it only starts out as knowledge. And the more heavily I lean into Christ, the less tightly I hold to the burdens I have chosen for myself.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5