About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Red Seedless Grapes of Wrath

Now on special at Central Market.

I will try to remember to swing by there after work tonight. Maybe if I put the flyer on the front passenger seat?

I wanted to share this essay with you. Because, as our traditional Christian cousins say, it convicted me. After Katrina, I was sitting in the office at the penultimate apartment, waiting to discuss something or other with management. In walked a raft of refugees from New Orleans, and my heart went out to them. They were being settled in our complex, at least temporarily, until they could go back home or rebuild their lives here in Texas. It was very easy to welcome them in all sincerity and to pray for their happiness.

Those of you who were reading the blog back in its infancy, will remember how quickly that all went sour. There were men who looked at LittleBit as if she were dessert. There were the middle-of-the-night percussion sessions on kitchen counters and walls, in the apartment above us. There were F-bombs dropping over the railings at 2:00am and flying in through my bedroom window. There was marijuana. It was Mardi Gras, 24/7.

We were not amused. [Although we did joke that we seemed to have acquired a riffraff magnet. We moved to Arlington in 1993, and every blessed complex we moved into, until the last one, went rapidly and spectacularly downhill. Gated complexes with security on-premises were sold to indifferent landlords. There was gang activity. Drug dealing. At least one drive-by shooting. Plumbing/sewage issues. Multiple calls to Code Enforcement, 9-1-1, et al.]

Now you know why I love this quiet little neighborhood in which I now live, where nobody tromps around overhead. It is not quite as ethnically diverse as other places I have lived, but neither is it white-bread-boring. There is a nice young family across the way, though most of my neighbors are my age or older. If you wave at people or nod as you drive past, they nod and wave right back, and they use all five fingers.

I would be perfectly happy with a family of Haitian refugees in the other half of the duplex, because my friend and landlord is a stickler for checking references, and she would have made sure that they had no criminal proclivities. I don’t care what color my neighbors are, what language they speak, etc., as long as they are willing to behave in a civilized fashion.

I need to remind myself (often) that my uncivilized brothers and sisters are no less children of God than I am, and that He loves them every bit as much as He loves me, and that it is incumbent upon me to find a way to love them, too.

To close on a completely random note, I am trying to incorporate more whole grains into my life. Have been fairly successful with picking up tasty breads at the Mrs. Bairds’ outlet but have yet to develop the patience to cook brown rice. I operated for too many years on the theory that if it took longer to fix it than it took to eat it, something was wrong. I did pick up a steamer bag of brown rice at the store on Saturday night, came home and nuked it and almost forgot about it. So I put it in the fridge overnight and had half of it for a late dinner last night, with a blob of jarred cheese sauce on it. Not bad. Needs tweaking. Actually, needs a better cheese sauce; I will not be making that particular mistake again, and it is taking me just this side of forever to use up the jar, because that sauce is so bleagh. Alfredo sauce would be better, but it would also defeat the purpose of eating a healthier grain.

I will figure something out.

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