All in Simple Things

When Did You Become a Reader?

My friend asked me today when I became a reader. Truth is, reading has always been a love of mine. I can't remember the exact moment I became a reader, but it was sometime before high school and then again after I started working post-college. It might have been The Babysitter Club or Sweet Valley that sucked me in, but Amelia Bedelia was my friend way before that, right around the time that Curious George and I met. And then after I survived the mandatory readings in high school and college, it was Dan Brown and Keith Follett that brought my love back into my life. As I got older, I discovered non-fiction and what beauty it could bring into my life.

Thanksgiving in the US is usually the reminder that the holidays are here and the end of the year is just around the corner. It's this time of year that you usually wonder where the time went and also simultaneously wonder how you're going to get everything done by the end of the year. Before the panic begins, take a moment to pause and reflect on the things that you're grateful for. After all, when the turkey is done, and the family is back to their respective homes, all you have left is yourself and the thoughts that go through your head. Pay homage to them. 

For most people, the holiday season is a time to get together with your loved ones, eat great food, and be merry as you create new memories for the future. You may see the family who you haven't seen since last year, and can't wait to smoosh them up in a huge hug, but you might also see that one relative that you dread seeing because they always give you a hard time about your life choices or maybe they have opinions that fundamentally go against what you believe in. Whatever the case may be, it's a once-in-awhile type of get together so you bite your tongue, turn a blind eye, and keep the peace.

Maybe it's time to ruin Thanksgiving.

Support and Inspiration from the Sixth Grade

It has been just over a week since I left Lesvos to return back to the USA and I just got home on Monday. I took the longest route home, partially because it was cheapest and partially because I made a detour to see some friends on the east coast. Since getting back to Portland, it's been a whirlwind few days as I tried to get my bearings, as I pack for a move to the Bay on Saturday and as I try to say hi (and bye) to as many people as I can. One of the highest items on my to do list during my 5 days in Portland was to stop by my friend, Ms. Maynard's, sixth grade class.

The Tears That Did Not Fall

A month ago I was packing my bags for what I know was the biggest adventure I've had to date. A month later, I'm sitting at the Thessaloniki Airport, enjoying my last bit of genuine Greek food, waiting to take the second of seven flights to eventually get me back home to Portland, OR. Once I get back to Portland on Monday, I have 4.5 days to catch up on what I've missed, pack up what I need, and say my farewells as I leave for San Francisco on Saturday for 5.5 weeks of training. Yes, it's a crazy schedule. Yes, I chose to do it this way. No, I don't regret it (at least not yet).