Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I returned from the missions conference on Sunday. It was a great experience in all ways - wonderful fellowship and times of worship, great meals (one night at a Jamaican restaurant!) and many other blessings. Since I've been attending this conference for a number of consecutive years, I've grown quite close to some of the church members and feel so much at home when I get there, and find it hard to leave.
Now I'm back staying with my dear friend who lost her mother last month. She is doing well, and I'm glad to be able to experience that first hand. We celebrated her birthday yesterday at a little "ladies' luncheon" - another friend had her birthday on Sunday so we had two "guests of honor." Afterwards, we went to Bible study.
Working on getting my newsletter out to 150-some people before I fly back to Germany on Thursday. If I mail them from here, it sure saves on postage. At the same time, I'm wanting to spend as much time as I can with my parents, aunt and cousins, and also get some issues resolved concerning elder care, wills, and such.
That's why I'm feeling whelmed - not overwhelmed, but close! I've been walking daily in the morning, with a few jogging intervals thrown in, too. I love those times in the AM to pray, focus, and just get a good start on the day! While my heart is torn about leaving here, but one thing I do look forward to is getting back to more regular Sparking next week when I'm back in Deutschland.
Friday, February 01, 2008
I had such a good workout at the gym today that I feel now like I could just hop into bed and sleep 10 hours! I may just do that, but I need to start packing for my trip. Actually, I haven't unpacked completely from the last one. And I won't be gone as long this time so theoretically I won't need to take as much stuff. I'm not very good at traveling light though. I'm more the traveling heavy type. I seem to need at least 7 pair of shoes no matter where I'm going. Maybe I can keep it down to 6 this time :)
I won't be logging on to Spark on a daily basis as I usually do, at least not for the first week. The buffet-style meals at the church missions conference will be a challenge, as will be getting in my daily exercise. If I stay with the df I've stayed with during past conferences, I'll be fine. She lives in a good walking neigborhood. Maybe I'll get her to take me to her gym one afternoon, too. Evenings will be busy with services. If all else fails, I'll just walk laps around the church building! I know that my God wants me to be healthy, so I'm trusting that he'll help me stay strong and keep moving!
I'm really looking forward to the times of worship and fellowship, and of course to seeing my parents again if only for a few days this time!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I'm slowly recovering from jet lag, having gotten two good nights' sleep with a little help from melantonin (is that how you spell it?) My back is hurting a bit, either from the odd sleeping positions I got into on the plane, or from lifting 50-pound suitcases, or racing across Charles de Gaulle airport dragging a laptop and a carryon loaded with books. Heat, stretching and rest seem to be helping.
Back on my own scale for the first time in a month, I was able to assess the damage - three pounds gained over the holidays. Although they were the hardest pounds to lose last time, I plan to banish them quickly. A week from tomorrow, I fly back to the States for a missions conference AKA eating fest, so I know I have to be ready to meet that challenge. No way you're gonna take away my size 2 jeans! I also have to get back to regular strength training because my tummy and upper arms really show the difference when I miss.
Although it seems strange to be hopping on a plane again so soon, I'm glad that I'll be able to check back with my parents next week, visit again with DF whose Mom died (the funeral is tomorrow afternoon) and attend the annual conference one the east coast of FL. I haven't finished unpacking yet and it's time to start packing again!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I arrived safely back in Germany this morning after Delta rerouted me through Cincinnati and Paris, lengthening my trip by a couple of hours. I almost missed my connection in Paris de Gaulle - it's a huge, complicated airport, the international terminal was literally miles from the gate where my plane to Stuttgart was to depart, and I had about 20 minutes to make the connection. If you count that mad dash as exercise, that was my cardio for the day. I was pleasantly surprised and very thankful that my luggage arrived with me. DF Wilma met me at the airport in my car. I drove home, taking the chance to get used to driving standard again after weeks of driving my parents' van.
I broke my exercise streak on Sunday after 310 days. It just didn't seem appropriate to hop on the elliptical for a workout after DF's dmom died that evening.
The dear lady had had such a hard week - round-the-clock morphine every hour. It was sad to see her go, but she went quietly in the end, with my df on one side, one of her granddaughterson the other and df's sister in the room as well. Other family members who live at a distance had all been there to say their goodbyes earlier in the week, and the local clan had just had a big dinner together at the house. I'm sad that I won't be there for the funeral on Saturday but my parents will attend.
I feel a little bit like I'm in a twilight zone now - tired from my trip, not quite "here" yet, thinking about all the things that I did and things that happened during my time in Florida. It was a very rich four weeks and I'll need more time to process all that went on. It will be good, though, to get back to some routines and see my friends and local church family again. I start back at the language school tomorrow as well. I hope I don't nod off during the afternoon lessons!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I just turned in my term paper, reading assignment log and two interview reports for my latest seminary course. It hasn't been easy getting these done while I'm here in Florida on vacation. So I could really get some focus going, I had my dmom drop me off at the local public library with my laptop the past two days. I was a "prisoner" there until I called to have her pick me up. That worked! I found a nice table in a quiet back room, plugged in the laptop and WORKED. I just emailed off the whole bundle - a day before the deadline - that's early for me! Yay!
Now I need to prepare a short teaching for a Bible study I'm doing tomorrow morning - then it will be time to start thinking about packing. I fly out on Monday, but I have a lot of things I want to do before then. Now the course assignments are crossed off the list.
Great Nordic walking tour on the beach yesterday. My camera batteries were dead so I still don't have "proof" for the folks back home or the NW team here on Spark. I may go Saturday morning, time permitting.
In the background of my otherwise happy stay, my dparents and I have been discussing aging and end-of-life issues and getting the appropriate paperwork in order. That's a big task but it's also a relief to have some things decided and in place. Also, the dfriend I'm staying with is taking care of her dmother fulltime and around the clock right now. Dmother doesn't have long to live according to the hospice nurses, so I'm trying to help in what ways I can and just be there for her and the family. Prayers are appreciated.
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