The Hellos, Too

The Hellos, Too

I lost my grandfather last week. He was a quiet man, gentle and calm. He worked with his hands, and he could fix just about anything, from a leaky radiator to a hole in the wall (like the one put in his basement paneling by yours truly 27 years ago). The last time I saw Grandpa, he was stooped low, the weight of years on his frail shoulders. Even with pain and age shadowing his face, he looked so much like my dad that it stole my breath. Just for a second, even as I was saying one last goodbye to my grandfather, my mind fast forwarded to a time in the future when my dad will be the one stooped and white. One goodbye hanging like a cloud over the other. That’s the thing about goodbyes. They never stand alone. They resurrect past farewells and herald the ones to...

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Where the Refrigerator Clucks and the Coffee Moos

Where the Refrigerator Clucks and the Coffee Moos

Within a few hours of moving into the house we’ve been renting, we discovered something unique about the refrigerator. It sounds like a chicken. It squawks and clucks and murmurs like a worried hen. The other morning I pushed the plunger down on my coffee press, and it moaned like a pitiful cow just as the refrigerator began another round of its fowl chorus. My teenager looked up from her breakfast and said, “I didn’t expect to live in a barnyard!” We heard it over and over before moving here – Papua New Guinea is the Land of the Unexpected. The thing is that life here is unexpected in ways that, well, I didn’t expect! I haven’t been surprised by the sickness and power outages and sudden changes of plans. What has caught me off guard are things more like this: I...

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Five Things Missionary Kids Need to Know About Their Feet

Five Things Missionary Kids Need to Know About Their Feet

Let’s face it, MK friends. Most of you have feet that wouldn’t win you any foot modeling jobs. (How do people get into that line of work anyway?) But your feet are my favorite kind in the world. And here is why… 1. They are dirty. Gloriously gross in the most grimy-toed, stained-soled, freedom-proclaiming way. Your bare feet are unafraid of mud and rocks and rain and dust, and you just GO, feeling the warmth and texture in every step. 2. They are knowledgeable. Your feet navigate airport security lines and busy city streets as easily as they carve a path between market stalls and run up the road to a friend’s house. They know the world really is a small place, because they’ve stood toe-to-toe with precious people from all over, people you couldn’t imagine your...

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