Wednesday, November 29, 2006

joyeux noel and a view on normalcy

"you will only be able to see your husband for one evening. is that really worth it?"
"it is much longer than one evening, sir."
"how is that?"
"our minutes are longer than yours."

so said a movie jon and i watched last night (which i highly recommend, by the way). the movie is called joyeux noel (merry christmas) (you'll need to click "english version"), which is about the famous christmas eve fraternizations that took place in 1914 on the battlefields of WWI. in this movie, which was a compilation of many testimonies from the actual event, soldiers from france, scotland, and germany all declared a truce on christmas eve for the purpose of gathering together to celebrate the holiday. the whole thing started because a chaplain from scotland pulled out his bagpipes to lift the spirits of his men. the sound carried to the other camps, and soon, everyone was singing along. it gave me an even greater appreciation for the work of my husband.

back to the introductory line...

it is so true. jon and i have often talked about the differing definition of normalcy held by military families. moving every three years is normal. having to stop at the guarded gate upon entering your "city" is normal. spending time apart is normal. cherishing every moment together more than other couples could probably imagine is normal.

it might be different, but it's not bad. yeah, normal looks different to us... but that's ok. i'm not saying there aren't down-sides - there definitely are (ie- the aforementioned time apart)- but you know what? our minutes are longer. our time together is precious.

and i wouldn't trade that for anything.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Where's the Gravy?

This was written by my dad...

Where's the Gravy!?!

As I was pondering the great issues of life while sweeping up the crumbs from last night's youth meeting, I was overwhelmed by a sense of laughter and joy by the memories of my family at Thanksgiving. And the world instantly became a better place. You would have to know my family. My grandparents were immigrants. Granted, it was just from the mountains of Tennessee to the factories of the Midwest, but immigrants just the same. As with most depression era families in Appalachia, times were hard for my grandparents. They, like untold numbers of other families, lived off the land and squeezed every drop they could squeeze from anything that could be squeezed. And what comes out when you squeeze is called gravy. Yes, the very nectar of heaven, itself. Sauce to be savored. Syrup to be saved. Juice to be enjoyed. The foundational and single most important element of any and every good and descent meal - animal squeezings mixed with flour. Gravy. Just the sound of the word makes me hungry. I was an adult before I learned you could actually eat mashed potatoes without it. Who knew?

Our family Thanksgivings always included football, plenty of gossip, a good nap or two, usually an argument, and a celebration of God's goodness around a table filled with food. And the centerpiece was never a turkey, for most of my family doesn't even like turkey. But we always had a turkey, because we needed something out of which to squeeze gravy… usually in various colors, viscosities, and flavors. However, my favorite Thanksgiving- and Thanksgiving story- was different. As we sat around the festive table at my aunt's house; and after whoever was considered the most spiritual that particular year offered thanks to God; and after the mashed potatoes had made the rounds and were neatly piled on everyone's plate with the traditional divot-for-the-gravy expertly carved on top; and after several people asked for the gravy to be passed; and after someone impatiently asked "Who has the gravy?"; and after my aunt nervously, and with fear and inquisition in her tone, said, "Who made the gravy?"; and when eye met eye and neck hairs bristled; then and only then did we realize the world, as we knew it, had ended. And the gravy gods cried. There… was… no… gravy!

To this day, my dad won't admit that it happened. Says he doesn't remember it that way. Apparently, it's too painful. The animal drippings were wasted that year, and the cycle of life was broken. There weren't very many family Thanksgivings after that. Many of the cousins moved away. The grandparents - who loved us with all their hearts, by the way - were soon to pass into eternity. The younger generation began to marry and gravitate to their own family traditions. But we went out with a bang! Isn't that the way we are? We live in the most affluent society the world has ever seen. God has granted to those who believe an eternity with His Dear Son in Heaven. And yet, we seem to desire more. But what could be 'more' than God's gifts of blessing? Everything else is but gravy… the worthless juice of an animal whose goose is cooked.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Remember to be thankful for the gift of God's Son. And don't worry about the gravy.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

troilus and cressida

we went to a shakespeare play friday night. it was a showing of troilus and cressida- a controversial and little-known play. the first act was quite dull, but the second one picked up quite a bit.

it is a comedic retelling of the trojan war. a son, troilus, of the trojan king falls in love with a girl named cressida- whose father has defected to the greek camp. the greeks capture a trojan commander, and give him back only upon the return of cressida to her family.

it is not a tragedy, though it definitely has some rather tragic themes to it.

we went with rocky and carolyn, to the shakespeare tavern in downtown atlanta. because they show mainly shakespeare, the auditorium is permanantly constructed in that setting.

if you live around here and have never been, i would highly recommend it!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

another year older...

my birthday was saturday, and it was lovely. oddly enough, i woke up bright and early. don't really know what happened there...


jon made me breakfast, then we enjoyed a morning of watching movies and hanging out. it was marvelous and relaxing. he was going to make lasagna for dinner, but we ended up going out for indian food instead. it's only the second time i've been to an indian restaurant, and the first time was a buffet- definitely the way to go with food you're unfamiliar with. fortunately, we both loved what we ordered- he had lamb curry, and i had chicken in a soupy spinach sauce. it was absolutely fantastic! we came home and had cappuccino pie, which my mom has made for my birthday every year since high school. she had sent jon the recipe so i could enjoy my tradition!

i have to say, though, the best part of the day was my gift from jon. earlier in the week we had borrowed a friend's gun to go to the range, and i fell in love with it. it was a .22 mini-revolver that folds up into a cute little concealable package. we had talked about me getting one, but i wasn't expecting it for my birthday! he had wrapped two packages; the first one was a small gun case. i didn't even open the case, because i wasn't expecting the gun. the next gift was rounds, which clued me in that maybe i should actually unlock the case... and it held my new gun! it is exactly the same as this picture- a .22 magnum revolver. i am so excited.

we ended up having the lasagna yesterday... and today... and tomorrow... and possibly wednesday...

come to think of it, i mispoke earlier. the gun was not the best part of the day. the best part was the fact that jonathan was home for it. i did miss being with my family, but having my husband here was priceless.