flotsam, there is something wrong with me

Mental block: Spanish

In seventh grade, we had the option to take a language: French or German.

Spanish, which would have been more useful, was not offered until 8th grade. Opportunity missed.

What teen girl, given the choice, wants to learn German when French is an option? (Actually some did, but cmon.) plus we lived in New England where the proximity to Canada made it almost sort of seem potentially useful. 

I don’t live in New England any more. My first job was at a company that was owned by Cuban exiles and more than half the company, by the time we were acquired by the larger firm, spoke Spanish.

By that time, I had picked up a little Spanish… mostly greetings and food.

I wanted to learn Spanish. By that time, there was the boy and though his English was fantastic it seemed problematic that I couldn’t say anything of substance to him in his native language, his heart language.

I tried Rocket Spanish. (Puedo sacar su foto?) 

I tried Rosetta Stone (it was very precise about getting the accent right, so much so that the boy, sitting next to me, would tell me, “You’re saying that perfectly,” while RS would insist I had it wrong and make me repeat it. Again. And again. Ad nauseum.)

But always I would get just so far and hit a wall. I have some kind of mental block, it seems.

Now, Duolingo doesn’t care how bad my accent is. And 26 days into it, I’m mostly enjoying it and occasionally amused and/or troubled by the sentences it tries to teach me.  Continue reading “Mental block: Spanish”


So begins a Monday

Sleepy on Sunday but restless and intermittently wakeful through the night, and genuinely confused by the alarm Monday morning. What is that sound, it’s my phone, why is my phone making sounds in the middle of the night, isn’t it the middle of the night, oh, wait, could that be my alarm really?

It was, of course. 

Forcing myself up against my screamingly tired body, start the coffee first, carefully down the stairs to go press the button that makes caffeine happen, thank You Lord for this day and all You have planned for it, thank You that You are sufficient to all my needs, thank You that You will be my rest if rest is what I need. 

Coffee begins to brew as I go up to prepare for the day, keeping to schedule, 5:20ish when I return to put coffee into travel cup, water and yogurt into lunch bag, jacket on, shoes on, out the door, Waze programmed and I am out and on the road before 5:30 as planned. 

Not raining today but my first impression is of gray skies. Not accurate, it’s just a solid and nondescript blue at first. Nuances and patches of clear sky will be apparent only as I start North. 

In the breaks when I can see beyond the tree line, I get glimpses of pink, thankful for the reminder to be thankful, and then sunlight streaming through clouds like a benediction, like a sunshower pouring into and dispelling darkness. 

Tunes on the radio to brighten, to waken, and then – if they make me maudlin – snapped off that I might not dwell on what does not serve.  What is it in a heart that wants to savor heartbreak, to long for what is lost to the past rather than appreciate what is good in the present, or the might have been over the currently is?

We fall short. 

Relatively smooth travels North, where the office and the work awaits. 

So begins a Monday. 



Thursday-feels-like-Tuesday. Gray morning. Colorless, no light. Just gray, drizzly, sleepy. 

Maybe it’s just me that’s sleepy. 4:55am comes early, and it’s a shock to the system after so many horizontal days. 

I’m back to the office after 2 weeks working at home. Two and a half, now that I think of it. I came back from Wilmington the day after Father’s Day, through a torrent, with a faint hoarseness already turning into Yuck. And that was that. 

Now it’s just the residual cough, my voice still not quite whole, miscellaneous aches. But better, better enough to work, to exist unmedicated, to drive. Even in a fresh torrent today. 

Safely to the office in the gray of the morning. Prayers for safety. Not my own, but still He watches over me. I ask and I trust, He’s watching over my sweet girls. They’ll be in His perfect care today. Theyvalways are, because He’s always perfect. He’ll be guiding those who are guiding them and the other kids. Do not worry. 

I am prone to worry, I must confess, even though He shows Himself faithful over and over and over. 

My prayer list is long this morning. Friends in struggles I am helpless to resolve. My heart goes out, my prayers go up. My day begins. 


Behind my house

Behind my house, above the splash of the fountain and the soft glow of solar lights, the sky is turning to indigo and mauve shades in the fading light of day. A soft beauty, punctuated periodically by resounding thuds that foretell a flash of light and color in the sky. I watch the fireworks from my window. Happy Birthday, America. God bless you.