take a chance on me

the wind blows fiercely. it's too soon to tell whether this is a common occurrence or merely early winter weather. i hope the fire on the power lines and the ensuing explosion is not a weekly show.

our apartment is lovely. we are really enjoying it, although i'm eager to have bookshelves put up so we can flatten all our book boxes and make some room in our office. from my perch on the couch, i can see three square windows, one set of patio doors, and a gorgeous half-moon window that lets in the light perfectly when the sun chooses to shine. we have 3 windows in other rooms, in addition to another set of patio doors in the master bedroom. someone pinch me! pictures will make their way here at some point.

subbing has been slow this week. the district i sub in is having parent-teacher conferences this week and next, resulting in early-release days and exhausted teachers who can't afford to take a day off. i expect a plethora of jobs the week after thanksgiving. until then, i'm enjoying the apartment. probably a little too much...i should get outside and go for a rainy-day walk. i've been cooped up doing dishes, rearranging, playing freecell, knitting, and listening to abba. they really are a delightful group.

bellingham is the largest city i've lived in. 75,000 diverse people walk the damp streets of the city. the lighthouse mission, an outreach to the homeless, is two blocks from our apartment. i love that living here is stretching my mind and making me see parts of humanity from which i've been somewhat sheltered. i'm also nervous walking around by myself, in the way that i was nervous when al & i took walks at night in her chicago neighborhood. maybe not quite that nervous...bellingham is a friendly city; a cultured city; full of sights and sounds and natural beauty and apparently, fierce windstorms. i'm glad i don't have to take it all in this week. i've lived in the area for over two years and i learn new things about bellingham weekly.

i feel pensive. and i smell delicious whole-wheat bread baking in the oven.


the mitten

today i lost a mitten.

this morning when i didn't get a sub job, i prepared for my morning walk. it was rainy and windy out, so i bundled up. long johns, sweatshirt, jacket, hat, and mittens. my mitten are the cool kind that are fingerless gloves with a mitten top with beautiful brightly colored stripes. i usually don't wear mittens on my walks because i get warmed up pretty quickly, but i remembered that the last few walks i'd taken resulted in me pulling my sleeves over my chilly fingers. so i pulled on my festive mittens. satisfied with my state of warmth, i headed out the door.

well, it was quite blustery. i almost ran into a stop sign because the wind gusted at just the right (wrong?) time. i pulled my sweatshirt hood over my hat and my jacket hood over that. the rain was spattering my face, but i didn't mind. my head was warm, so the cool wetness on my cheeks felt refreshing.

some days i alternate running with walking, and today i felt the need to get my heart rate up (a good start for a monday morning!) i began jogging right after my stop sign incident. i jogged down south park street, counting my steps and saying bible verses in my head. incidentally, my favorite verses to exercise to are from psalm 23. this is how much i love running...i compare it to the valley of the shadow of death. but i know it's good for me, so i do it and say verses to myself. or pray really hard that i can make it to the place i'm planning to stop.

i jogged across depot and started on the bike trail through the city park. i love crossing the bridge and spitting into the water, smelling the evergreens and watching kids heading to school. at this point i was getting rather warm, so i took out my mittens and stuffed them into my pockets. soon my head was too warm, so i removed my hat and stuffed it into my other pocket, moving both mittens into the same pocket.

i left the bike trail, wound around the school and past the thrift shop, back to depot and down south park, enduring several heart-pumping running spurts. as i punched in the security code and waited for the garage door to open, i reached for my mittens and hat to throw in the closet. i found my hat, the cell phone, and a mitten. but only one mitten.

i dug deeper into the pocket. nothing. i checked the other pocket. empty. i looked inside my hat, my sweatshirt hood, and my jacket hood, just in case. nothing.

i tried to tell myself it was just a mitten. which is true. it's a material object and i shouldn't store up these treasures on earth, yada yada yada. but i knew it was within my power to at least look for my mitten.

i dashed upstairs, grabbed the car keys, waved goodbye to a befuddled Ophy, and jumped in the car. i drove slowly back over the route i had taken, carefully checking the side of the street i had been walking on. i looked over the whole route. except the bike path, where obviously i couldn't drive.

i pulled up next to the path and parked the car. i wasn't too sure i was allowed to park where i did, so i hoped no one would be by. i cut across the lawn and then followed the path, over the bridge, through the scented evergreens, and past the school. each time i turned a corner, i scanned from side to side and then squinted ahead for any sight of a brightly colored mitten. i passed plastic bags stuck to the fence, discarded candy wrappers and coffee cups (honestly, peopel!) i reached the point where i remembered removing my mittens and placing them in my pocket.

and then i saw something at the end of the path, as far as i could see. i knew it was something other than leaves and brush, but it could just be another monument to the dump. i told myself not to get too excited. i guess i could have started running, but i wasn't that desperate yet. i sped up my walking pace, keeping my eyes on the object off to the side of the path.

as i got closer, i could see colored stripes emerging. pink and teal, purple and gray, orange and cream. it was my mitten! it lay in the brush and leaves, lighting up the dreary path, spread out as if trying to be seen by its owner.

i picked up the damp mitten and held it to my cheek, grinning.


the pictures never post the way i want them to

ophy explores
girlyman concert!
philip's in the music
abby's model pose
my impression of monet (ha, ha!)
we all be hitched!
al & greg's wedding

Also, we're moving to Bellingham in 1 1/2 weeks! Stellar!