Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Some of you smiled when you read the title. You are my soul mates. Shoes are good. Buying new ones, unbelievable.

We've been in the States for 4 1/2 weeks. I have purchased 11 pairs of shoes.

My husband thinks I may be insane. Honestly, that could go either way, depending on the day and at least I'm happy. A happy insane person is manageable. :-)

And speaking of manageable--I'm not sure how to stop. I enter Target, I head for the shoes. K-Mart--shoes. Outlet malls, department stores, you guessed it...

In order to assuage a mild guilt complex I took back two pairs of shoes this week. Returned. Got the money back. Reported in to my husband. :-)

But he knows me well. And he understands.

I'm not turning back.

I'm only making room for the shoes I'll buy in Texas.


(PS I hear they let you where those cute plastic Croc shoes in mental institutions...)

Shall We Dance?

For the first time since I entered this blog land I don't know what to say.

Its not for lack of thoughts. There are plenty of musings, considerations,  exasperations, confusions, and humorous antecdotes muddling through my mind.

But how to say it? I am at a loss.

I think it is officially called Culture Stress. And it occurs both when entering a new culture and when re-entering your home culture.

Culture stress for me looks a little bit like handing a ballerina a pair of army boots and telling her to dance. What was once delicate, graceful and coordinated becomes clunky, messy and kinda funny to watch.

I've never been an actual ballerina, but when it comes to coping, living life and functioning in society I used to feel coordinated. (:-)) Now, I cognitively know the steps, but can't manage the dead weight tripping up my feet. The heavy, burdensome "shoes" which are protective and important in one environment are frustrating my moment right now.

I've danced this dance before. And the outcome is always unique.

I probably won't ever be the "ballerina" I once was. I have to learn to dance a new dance. Learn how to manage the new shoes.

The key is really the music. And there is one Song that never fails to inspire.

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

Can you see me dancing now?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Safeway Card

I've forgotten the rules.

And I need rules. Guidelines. Directions.

I want to know where I am going before I disembark. I want to clearly understand all expectations for my behaviour. I want to know what the right way is. And I don't want to hurt anyone in the process.

(Please, graciously allow me to forgo a discussion/confession of my obvious "people pleasing" issues...:-) ...and say...

I really have forgotten the rules. All cultures, families, communities, churches...have rules. And while there are a few guidelines that carry over from family to family....community to community...
MANY rules are unwritten...unspoken...just KNOWN and uniquely different from any other set of rules. Which is the rub.

Landing in my American Homeland immediately enforces a new set of rules. Interacting daily with family, American community and church involves understanding, accepting and acting in accordance with The Rules. Most of The Rules aren't even acknowledged by the community..until...they are broken. Then people get upset.

And that is hard. But it is a part of this vagabond life. And truly, learning and understanding The Rules of different places...enriches and blesses my life.

Its just the initial moments that are hard for me.

Which is why I love Safeway.

We went to the coast with Jeff's family this week. And Jeff and I were in charge of lunches.
So we went to Safeway.

I was proud of us because we made it in and out of Safeway in less than 45 minutes. We bought what was on our list and didn't stray much...though the amazing array of junk food available does tempt us to indulge!!! (Little Debbie's---Yummy!)

I feel lost in American groceries. So many choices. So many options. I have no clue what to pick. So I flounder through. Manage. Gather. Discard. And finally...the golden moment...


My Safeway Club Card. I swipe it through the machine trepidly (am I doing this right?) and the sweet lady at the register says..."How are you Mrs. Cash?" (she knows my name!)

"Did you find everything okay?" Um. yes.

"Thank you for shopping with us Mrs. Cash."

That kind woman thought I was a member. A Safeway shopper.

She didn't know that I didn't know the rules. She didn't know I live on another continent. She wasn't aware of the mind boggling flustered thoughts tumbling in my brain...

With one swipe of a red Safeway card....I belonged. I was well within the Safeway rules. I did it right.

It was moment for me. And at this point...I'll take those moments where they come!

So, for now, I'll keep floundering through...rediscovering rules and expectations. Learning and growing....

But, when it gets to be too much...you can find me at Safeway. I'll be eating Little Debbie's Banana Twins and swiping my card!