Her name was Joy

This morning while Monaca and I were talking, I told a story about my Mom. Right now, I can't remember which story it was, but it got me thinking about her. She's been on my mind all day. I miss her. She died 15 years ago, and although the grief has mostly gone, there are still moments when I miss her more than ever.

Joy Posted by Picasa

Some of the great things about Mom:

~ Her sense of humor; she totally lived up to her name.
~ Every morning she was up at 6 to make coffee, have her devotions in the living room without fail and make us a hot cooked breakfast.
~ If she couldn't think of a person's name, she referred to them as George (male or female)
~ She taught her children the importance of always telling the truth.
~ She modeled hospitality and taught me how to be a gracious hostess.
~ Even though she was even-keeled, she had passion about many things.
~ Her love for the Ecuadorian people she and my Dad went to serve when I was less than a year old.
~ Her love for Christ.

I could fill pages, but these are some of the things that came to mind today. I miss you Mom!


One more questionnaire

I have been pretty productive today (took a walk and did ab exercises with Mon, organized the garage, took a bunch of stuff to the recycling center, had the car washed, cleaned out my email...and found this questionnaire my sister-in-law sent me) so I don't feel too bad skimping a bit on the amount of work I am putting into this entry!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:40

2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

3. What was the last film that you saw at the cinema? Revenge of the Sith

4. What is your favorite TV show? ER & Joan of Arcadia

5. What did you have for breakfast? Special K with "red fruit"

6. What foods do you dislike? peas

7. What is your favorite cuisine? sushi

8. What are your favorite potato chips? sour cream & cheddar

9. What is your favorite c.d. at the moment? the cd of new worship songs we're going to be singing at staff conference this year

10. Favorite sandwich? turkey, stuffing, cranberries

11. What characteristics do you despise? hostility

12. Favorite items of clothing? sleeveless embroidered top

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?

some warm sandy island

14. What color is your bathroom? blue

15. Favorite brand of clothing? cheap

16. Favorite time of day? bedtime (mine!)

17. What was your most memorable birthday?
35th, my friend Lucy came to visit

18. Where were you born? Toronto
19. Favorite sport to watch? ice skating

22. What fabric detergent do you use? Grocery store brand

23. Coke or Pepsi? ! COKE (Oh how I miss Cherry Coke!)

24. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Neither, how about lunch time?

25. Do you have any pets? Lexi the beagle

26. Any new and exciting news that you'd like to share with family and friends? My brother and his wife are having a baby at the end of September and I get to go to Ecuador!

27. What did you want to be when you were little? a missionary

28. What are you meant to be doing today?
Relaxing now, the day's work is done.

29. What did you get done yesterday? Not much! Went to the spa, cooked breakfast for dinner, wrote a bit, watched a movie.

30. Favorite quote: I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.”



Today my friend Sarah and I went to the spa to celebrate summer and reward ourselves for our many sacrifices we make as moms. She kept saying she didn't deserve it. I kept telling her that was nuts.

It was wonderful. We were the only customers in the place and since I had been there before, (I am trying to get all my friends addicted.) they let us go down without an attendant to boss us around and force us to plunge in the icy cold pool. (Although Sarah actually liked plunging in it, go figure.) For an hour we soaked in the hot pool, walked in the rain room, and enjoyed the big pool with all the different jets. My favorite is the two that cascade water onto your neck and shoulders with such force you are practically knocked off your feet. It beats the stress right out of you. There is also '' the volcano," where huge bursts of water shoot up from the bottom and throw you around. It's guaranteed to jiggle out all the kinks.

At the end, we staggered to the heated tile chaise lounges that are contoured to cradle weary bodies deliciously. (Obviously this is not us, but you get the idea!) We managed to stay awake.

The charming lady at reception gave me a plastic bag for my wet suit and treated us like we were royalty, which makes going there even more worth it, not to mention the icy cold fruit juice you are served while sitting in comfy chairs.

I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight!



Every summer, swallows nest high on the front of our house. I love to watch them wheel and dive. Unfortunately, they tend to make a big mess on the front stairs, railing, driveway and garage door. Even though it happens every year and I always complain about cleaning up the mess, I don't have the heart to knock the nests down.

It's usually very obvious, especially in the warmer months, that we are not Spanish. We don't keep the same schedules, we have people over a lot; It's harder to hide that in summer when the whole neighborhood is outdoors. This (and pretty much everything about us)Learns us the scorn and disgust of our neighbor. He has come to complain about guitar playing, carpet- cleaning during his daughter's nap, the dog barking, and people parking in front of his house. A couple of weeks ago he told a couple of people off (who had just come out of our house) for sitting on the grass in front of our house. Apparently that grass is only for looking at! Who knows if that is really a rule or simply his law.

Anyway, both these stories have a point. This morning I was being a good "Maruja" (what Spaniards call a good housewife,) mopping our front stairs to get the bird mess off. (I still need to do the driveway and the garage door). An older woman came by with her small bag of groceries. When she saw me mopping, she stopped and bestowed me with a beaming smile. With heart-felt pleasure, she said "Que gusto! La juventud..." (What a pleasure. Youth...) I am not sure if she meant the pleasure was mine or hers. Either way. My mop earned me a rare moment of feeling completely at home and welcome in the Spanish culture. That is a feeling I don't feel too often. I will be savoring it as long as I can.

And maybe I will mop my stairs about the time my neighbor is due home!