Friday, September 28, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fine cup of coffee

I may no longer work at Uptown, but I can still make a damn fine cup of coffee! I'm sipping this and listening to Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" album and it takes me back to rainy Seattle and working so bleary eyed at 5 am.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Church and a Picnic

So Caleb and I headed off to church this morning at our usual Larsen time - ten minutes late to everything. It has been so long since we have been to a traditional, small church. Very different from what we are used to at Mars Hill. We were glad the pastor spent so much time in prayer and preached Jesus, but it was the worship that was a little hard to participate in. I forgot that the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" always makes me giggle because of how high it is and how painfully slow it is sung. The singing was led by a baby grand piano, a guitar, and a woman with an amazingly high vibrato voice. Caleb was trying to sing along with "Great is Thy Faithfulness" and his voice got so low that he sounded like a bass and I started shaking with laughter and then he lost it too and we were goners after that. Still with 3 more verses to sing. One of the hymns was over 300 years old. Beautiful, poetic words, but formal, stiff and a little tricky so sing along with. Oh, how many church services have I attended where I sat in the back stifling laughter as I struggled through some song that required the range of Mariah Carey! I'm sure that the sweet, regular church attendees thought I was just plain wicked, but it is my own inadequacy I am laughing at. Anyway, that all said, the Presbyterian church was a very nice church but we will keep looking.
Caleb's Digital Media classmates had a picnic down by the beach today. It was so nice. We had piles of Thai takeout and lots of beer and perfect weather. Tugboat ran wild and charmed everybody. We spent six hours just hanging out with his classmates, playing bocce ball, and looking for seashells. I came home with three new phone numbers and a cupful of seashells. After my last pathetic, sad post, you will all be happy to know that I have three people to call this week and also that Caleb and I are finally having dinner with our neighbors on Wed. night. Caleb actually suggested to me the other day that I Google how to make friends. I thought, wow, if I get that desperate I might have to. Thank God, today I think I made some friends!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

River on fire

Caleb and I watched a bunch of black cloaked men and women float around in dark boats and light piles of wood on fire on floating sconces last night. There were gondola rides and men in costumes tossing red carnations at the crowds. It was a carnival atmosphere and though a bit culturally confusing, fascinating nonetheless.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Caleb's first week of school

It has been a while since my last post and I don't know where to begin. It has been a really hard week for me and I think a pretty good week for Caleb. Let's start with him. His first day of school was Monday. I actually went to orientation with him and felt a little sneaky being there as I was the only non-student. His classmates all seem genuinely kind and interesting. It is quite an international group with several students from Korea, one from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Bulgaria, and all over the U.S. There are 18 in the program that are new this year and I think 15 second year students. Caleb is cautiously excited and anticipating being incredibly busy. He may end up having 100hr work weeks including his job for Smith Harmon. We will still maintain date night somehow, as a necessity to connect regularly. I went with him to some grad welcome parties and really was struck with how friendly everyone was.
I still feel a little out of place. When people ask me what I "do" it is such a loaded question. Right now I nanny, but that is not all of who I am and what I do. Unfortunately there is a part of me, probably pride, that wants to explain this and yet I am at a loss for words. I can say my degree, that I don't use, or the volunteer work that I have done, or the books that I've read or that I grew up in Hungary but it all sounds flat. It sounds flat in the company of a group of graduate students pursuing their careers and their dreams with intent and direction and intensity. I think I feel especially rootless right now as I think about being so nomadic and following Caleb and his calling. I know that his calling is our calling as we are married, but I just feel really alone right now.
My work is isolating as I am way out in the country and at the same house all day. The children are sweet but this week has been rough. Long days and I got puked on and pooped on and that's as much as you need to know. I think it will be different when I can come home at the end of the day and connect with friends and a community of some sort. Right now I come home to an empty house and wait for Caleb to get home and eat and go to bed and start the day again in a few hours.
I have been crying out to the Lord and am waiting on Him to reveal His plan for me here and provide a friend. I think the difficulty with a lot of this move is that the feelings of isolation and loneliness are all so familiar. I can't let the memory of previous moves and their clouds overshadow this one because that would mean that I am not growing, changing, learning. I am trying to be honest, open and welcome new people and new experiences. Sometimes I just feel tired and miss my family in Seattle so much . You all know you are family to me. I miss you so much. Please, please pray for Caleb and me. We will be checking out a new church on Sunday. Maybe it will mark a new path on the road.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Job and the Local Produce

The last several days Caleb and I have been pretty down. We found a place that does good chinese takeout so that has been a plus. We never did find good chinese food in Seattle. The first day of work was a little weird. I was in the burbs somewhere in small town Mass. in a "classy" culdesac with mansioney looking houses and I felt so foreign and way too friendly. I touched my employer on the arm on the way out and spent the next 15 minutes in the car fretting about it being too forward. East coat mannerisms are different than west coast ones. The last couple of days at work have been really encouraging though. Franklin the 21mo old said my name the first day. His folks were impressed as he had yet to say "mama". He has a huge vocabulary though. We spend all day pointing out colors, saying the abc's and reading books about trucks. The kid has such a truck obsession that going on walks is really slow but incredibly cute. He gets all starry eyed and stops and stares and just keeps saying "blue!, blue!" as a blue pickup passes. The tiny 3mo old Anna is cute as a button. I spend a lot of time feeding her and making sure she sleeps every other hour. Sometimes we just grin at each other.
Tugboat seems more adjusted to life here. She snoozing next to me curled around herself like a donut. Caleb got a new laptop for school and has met a few of his classmates. His spirits are up too, however some of it may have to do with his excitement about the new ipod just coming out. He's so crazy about fancy gadgets we can't afford. I told him our next big purchase is a graduate degree so he has to wait on the toys. His mom is in New York for the week so she's coming up here for the weekend. We are both looking forward to having someone else to talk to besides each other and to have someone we love visit. I have to say though, it really has been quite wonderful having Caleb to myself the past few weeks!
So, I checked out the local meat market and it is a cultural experience to say the least. I'm short so I fit in with all the hispanic people. There are at least 8 butchers that work behind huge glass cases filled to the brim with meat and parts and other delights I'm not familiar with. I'm not sure that anyone speaks english there. I'm definitely going back. I thought it was really cool.
We haven't really found a good grocery store, fish market, produce stand, etc. This is really geeky I know, but my Gourmet magazine this month is featuring cuban, puerto rican, el salvadorian and dominican food and I live in the perfect neighborhood to find all the specialty ingredients. Now if I can just find a store for all the regular stuff...
We might go to the ocean this weekend. I hope we do. I need to smell the salt in the air.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


After an exhausting 20 hour drive from Michigan, Caleb and I arrived in Providence in the dark. I was listening to Red Letter as we drove in and I think it was really important to begin this next phase of life with God's praise on my lips. Funny thing is, as I was singing along I watched Caleb and our huge truck nearly side swipe a car and then we both had to pull over on a tiny street to let a huge firetruck roar through. Minor distractions, but then there always seems to be something that tries to distract us from worship. Anyway, our first night here we drank gin and tonics in our back yard with our landlady and one of the tenants. Then we grabbed a few items from the truck, blew up the air mattress and crashed. The next morning was coffee and a bagel, then a mad dash to get everything out of the truck and into our apartment before noon, since the truck was due back. I forgot that I could sweat so heavily that I turned into a human salt lick. Nasty! I don't know how many times I climbed those stairs... I am so thankful that our neighbor Ryan, from across the hall helped with the really heavy stuff. We grabbed lunch at The Classic Cafe after dropping the truck off. Caleb looked across the table at me and told me I looked "great". Sweat-matted hair, hadn't showered in a few days, covered in dirt, scratches and new bruises - yeah, I was real pretty. He told me he was glad I wasn't self conscious and he was proud of me for working so hard. I had a huge burger and their homemade chips. I felt like a dude.
We worked steadily all day on the house and for dinner had crackers Kathleen gave us, spicy black bean dip I found in a box, beef jerkey, and a bottle of champagne from the Wilmorlees. Our home was properly toasted and we fell asleep on the couch full of sodium and bubbly.
Oh, how our bodies ached this morning! We are like to 85yr olds hobbling around. We drove to Ikea today for a few essentials and now we are really tired. That place is like the black hole of shopping. I always leave amaized that I spent all day there and that it got dark so quickly. Tomorrow I start my new job. I have to admit I'm a bit nervous. The first day of any job is that way. For those of you that don't know, I'm going to be nannying for two tiny people. 21 month old Franklin and 3 month old Anna. I'll let you know how it goes.
Tugboat is depressed. She just lays around all floppy and sad looking. I think she's homesick. I told her I know what that's like. I miss you guys!