And the final tally is ...

Now that we finally, for the first time in our marriage, have everything we own in one place, we have made the startling discovery that some 80% of our possessions are either books or dishes. Which is not that surprising, really, given that reading and eating (and feeding people) are the things we most love and value, and are at the heart of our two professions. But still, unpacking the 29th Blue Willow dinner plate last night--even I started to feel like maybe it was too much (maybe? he says kindly, with a sidelong glance). 3 full sets of dishes (More than full. 29 plates counts as more than full, right?) here, with more coming in the shipment.

Which goes a long way towards explaining why we are not yet even close to settled, much less organized. When you have this many dishes, and lots of books and clothes besides (in short, lots of stuff) but not lots of places to put things, then you just have piles. Piles waiting for shelves and dressers to show up at garage sales, piles waiting for clothes hangers and baskets to arrive in the shipment. And little else makes me as crazy as piles.

Luckily I have these kiddos to keep me sane (who am I kidding?) smiling.


where we are right now

After a day spent playing "mover," carting empty boxes all around this house, piling them on the first on the futon, then on the floor, first driving a moving truck, then driving a ship, Finn and I had this poignant bedtime conversation:

Me: So what are you thankful for tonight, buddy?

Finn: I'm thankful for Ohio.

Me: Oh, me too. I'm thankful for Ohio too. Anything else?

Finn: I'm thankful for Hong Kong. Do you love Hong Kong, or not?

Me: Oh, I love Hong Kong.

Finn: But you love Ohio.

Me: You can love more than one place, Finn. You can love both Ohio and Hong Kong.

Finn: (pause) Ooooooooh, ok.

And that was that. He turned over and went to sleep. My heart aches a bit--and is proud at the same time--at how early he is learning that the heart can expand to love so many places, that the idea of home can be big and wide. And now, my dearest hope is for some stability to give him a deep rootedness as well. Deep and wide. Like that fountain of old, may the waters of our home be deep enough for love and joy to take a strong hold and wide enough for grace to pour through, welcoming others to come on in, and not afraid to look outward.


Summer wrap up

Clearly, summer, blogging and I don't mix. Somehow the travel, the change in schedule and the lack of routine just nix any desire to sit in front of a computer. Perhaps gorgeous summer weather plays a part as well?

It's certainly not due to a lack of beautiful images or simple pleasures. Our summer has been chock full of things like homemade fishing poles, one-man parades, playing in sprinklers, visiting farms, eating as much bbq and as many cherry limeades as possible, acclimating our girl to grass (not a Hong Kong baby anymore) and introducing her to all sorts of lip-smackingly good foods. And a wedding! Did I tell you there was a wedding? With a cake ... that I made. Nothing like getting back into the baking with a bang. Oh, and boxes. So many boxes. Boxes in Hong Kong (yet to arrive), boxes in both Minnesota and Kansas, all those boxes now in Ohio, more boxes coming.

It's not due to a lack of reflection, either. In fact, these summer visits home offer such contrast to our HK life that I am almost too full of thoughts, and at the same time, too full of gratitude for the simplicity of life here to want to dissect it very thoroughly. Add in the jetlag and the exhaustion from helping children sleep in unfamiliar beds and I guess I just don't have the energy to try to articulate it. So there you have it. A third straight summer of near blog silence.

But we're here now. Hudson, Ohio. We've arrived and unpacked (sort of). We have a car and OH licenses and we've even got a bit of a routine. Which means that my desire to share all these experiences is returning.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with this blog. I've got a few more HK Alphabet posts in the pipeline along with a few parenting things from the spring that I want to post, mainly for my own archival tendencies. But after that ... these clearly aren't "Notes from an escalator" any longer. Notes from a sidewalk, perhaps, given how much walking we can do in this little town of ours. Notes from a village? They refer to it as "the village." We'll see.