Tuesday, June 23, 2009

California Dreamin': Baby steps

And visit with the babes...

Natanael, running,
Aiden, learning to walk,


video

Tatum, eating cheerios,

and Vayda.  Sleeping in my sweatshirt,

chewing on Uncle Cereal's ear,
playing with Oma and mama, 
and helping me blog.

California Dreamin': In between celebrations

I got to...


see Sam off to prom (so pretty),




See the Padres play the Diamondbacks,

in the dugout,

with cake... (good thing it wasn't the 17 inning game that followed a few nights later),


Visit Glen Ivy (no photos please),

See Patches, again (always a treat),


Play, Rock Band, Scrabble, Bowling, wii Bowling...


video



and

Spend time with my sweet family.





California Dreamin': Celebrating Milestones

Eddie turned 17, 
Samantha graduated high school,



Elliot graduated high school,


and

Oma turned 90!





Congratulations!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Book Review: Unaccustomed Earth



Jhumpa Lahiri is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.  This is the second book of short stories I’ve read by her and I am equally moved by them.  Unlike Interpreter of Maladies, the stories in this book describe a smaller range of experiences focusing almost entirely on Indian-Americans living in New England.  


At first I was a little disappointed by the everyday, commonplace nature of the stories but I soon realized that together the stories paint a picture.  She describes a series of people living their lives, the impact of their third culture experience only one factor influencing the way they interact with their surroundings.  


There is something about the way she is able to capture the story of each of her characters that gives me an intense, emotional connection to them.  I feel as though she is describing me in so many ways.  The impulses I have felt to fit in and to disconnect simultaneously.  The way I long to live a normal life just like everyone else, realizing that not one lives this life.  


The title of her book comes from this quote printed at the beginning.  

Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn-out soil.  My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far as their fortunes my be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.  

Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Custom-House"  


Jhumpa Lahiri seems to be a quiet woman with an ability to observe the world around her and capture it in words.  She makes me feel both inspired to write and too intimidated to try. 


For some of the few TV interviews she has done, see Charlie Rose

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Weekend with Caretaker(s)


(Photos courtesy of Rachel)
Dear Rachel and Katie


Thank you both so much for the wonderful trip to Caretaker Farm.  The name of the farm is truly fitting, for that is exactly how I left feeling.  

Rachel, the drive up and back was so refreshing.  Having time together for intense conversations and comfortable silences and yes, singing at the top of our lungs, was so refreshing.   I can’t help but be reminded of our final trip to Mombassa the week before my family left Kenya.  The way it felt knowing that we would soon be apart but choosing to ignore it and live fully.  At the same time, now that we are adults and have experienced the separation, knowing that our friendship survived and will continue to, the impending change is a just a little let frightening.



Katie, visiting you at the farm let me see you in your element.  You seem so right at home living outdoors, nurturing plants and animals, absorbing all there is to learn about feeding others.  I am so thankful to have visited you there.  


So much of the trip filled my soul with joy, getting to experience so many things I have only ever dreamed about, picking ramps, doing yoga outdoors, cooking in a farmhouse kitchen, buying maple syrup from the maker’s kitchen.  And, it reminded me to do more of some things I’ve forgotten how to do: rest and wander.  



I returned back from the trip to two whirlwind weeks at work, self imposed crafty deadlines, and other demands I set on myself.  All of this makes me  appreciate the trip so much more now than I did when I got back.  Thank you both so much for such a great weekend, but even more for both of your friendships.