Friday, August 22, 2008

Books, signing, and pansies

Today as I was driving down a main road I saw a pansy growing out of the crack between the curb and the sidewalk. It was so bright and unexpected there in a place that normally is empty or holds only weeds, and it got me to thinking. It’s like many of us Christians, placed in a work or school environment, or even difficult health… or any challenge, where we are surrounded by hardness and weeds. We must have the bravery to bloom for our Creator, and give the world a glimpse of Him through our bright faces.

Okay, mini devo over, back to our regularly scheduled broadcast. ;-)

Yesterday Shari and Chrissy went along to my language tutor with me. They chatted to my Deaf tutor, James, and I interpreted for everyone. It was a lot of fun and great practice for me! Mostly I was able to keep up pretty well, but there were a few funny goofs. One time we couldn’t understand one particular word through Chrissy’s accent. Even James was trying to help out by lip-reading, but he guessed the word wrong, too! He found some of the names of Australian towns (like Wagga Wagga) to be amusing and kept asking if that was really the real name, haha. Then of course, there was the time I mixed up a couple of similar signs and said, “it’s naked to talk with your mouth full.”

After tutoring, we headed over to Powel’s City of Books. It’s called that for a reason. Powel’s is one of the largest used and new bookstores in the world. It’s three stories of a full city block--completely filled with books! We meandered through, drooling over cool titles, and feeling inspired just by being in the presence of so many written words. The place oozes with creativity.

I picked up Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (stories like “How the Leopard Got His Spots”, so that’s all right best beloved, do you see?) and a collection of short stories by James Thurber. Thurber writes the most amusing stories. My favorite, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” is about a rather hen-pecked husband who has the most exciting adventures in his imagination, only to be jerked back to reality at the most exciting points.

Of course, as wonderful as Powel’s was, it’s also in downtown Portland--a town that’s on the maps for being eclectic and, well, weird. Last time I was at Powel’s a scary man followed me around, watching me. So I warned Chrissy and Shari that we needed to stick together--no wandering off alone to check another isle or getting left behind in an exciting browse. Sure enough, some guy seemed to pop up everywhere we went. We figured the three of us could take him on with a few hard-backed books as ammo, no problem. LOL

As we left the store several hours later and headed back to the parking garage, I was concentrating on ducking around a group of men smoking--hurrying past before I had an allergic reaction. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw a man walk straight up to me, acting really strange. It scared me. I jerked back in alarm, only to see that it was my tutor James, laughing at me. Ha.

Today the weather finally cleared so we can see the mountains. We walked down our quarter of a mile driveway so we could see Mt. St. Helens clearly. She’s not as pretty as usual this time of year because she’s short enough that most of the snow was melted, but it’s still nice. Our neighbor’s horses were excited to see us and get some pats, too. Tonight whoever is feeling up to it is going to Portland City Fest. Luis Palau will be speaking and several popular Christian bands will be there. I'm hoping I can sit where I can see the sign language interpreters.

[edit--added after festival] Well, scratch the above sentence. Luis was a pretty good speaker, but there were so many people there it wasn't until after Luis Palau spoke that I even found the Deaf section, and there weren't any chairs. That means I had to stand for three hours. Well, I had brought a blanket, so I did sit for a few minutes, but my back and legs don't hook together right, so I can't sit on the ground very effectively and that's as painful as standing.

I'm really, really wishing I hadn't gone. I'm not sure why I didn't leave... I guess because the band I most wanted to see, Chris Tomlin, was the last event. I can be too stubborn for my own good. I'm already in a lot of pain and typically I don't feel the worst of it until the day after. Tomorrow I have to drive a bunch (another pain trigger) and sit through two weddings. Please pray the pain isn't too bad. [end addition]

Tomorrow another FaithWriter, Tammy, will be flying in to visit us. She was missing out on all the fun and decided spontaneously to come join us. We're so thrilled! She is CRAZY fun.


1 comment:

Joanne Sher said...

Like your little devo there, dear Amy. Sounds like a fun day - other than that Palau thing. Praying you don't pay for your stubbornness, my dear.