Preparing to Live in China (1986)

Teaching English listening and speaking skills in China circa 1986

I was 23 and selling everything I had.

About this time, 31 years ago, I was preparing to live and teach in China. I really didn’t know exactly where, yet, just somewhere in the Mainland.

But, I almost didn’t go.

I got scared.

Midway into the interviewing process, I found out I would be teaching adults.

Most likely it would be professors at a university. Say whaaaaa?!!!

Yeah, I started re-thinking this E N T I R E thing.

A lot of unique things happened up to this point, and I really felt I was to go to China, but then I heard this little tidbit. 🙂

Not only was I going to a third world country, didn’t know a bit of Chinese, nor any Asians, at all, but now felt this was really stretching it for me.

I had just graduated with an elementary education degree and knew nothing of teaching adults. Much less professors…YIKES!

But, I believed God had called me to do this.

That’s part of the fascinating, unfolding story I will probably share later.

So, I had to trust that He knew what he was doing.

I had always believed the saying, “Where He calls, He will equip.”

And now was my time to step out into the deep and

“DO IT AFRAID”.

Let faith be bigger than your fear vignette.

TO BE CONTINUED…
PS Oh, and I might add, my boyfriend at the time had just proposed to me…
but I would be gone for a YEAR!

Read about our long distance courtship here:

 https://thentherestwo.com/2016/10/23/29-years-ago-i-married/

Do it afraid poster

Tornado Season

We’ve had some stormy weather here lately with a mix of cold and warm air. And you know what that means, tornado season is upon us. 🌪😮 

As scary as that is, I have always loved a good storm. The power of the wind coming through the trees, the sounds from the rustling leaves, and the colors in the sky make for a beautiful atmosphere. 💗

Pretty sunset in Midwest.

Storm clouds.
Storms in Indiana
Storm in Indiana
A stormy day and Indiana.

My Parents Married 55 Years Ago

The Wrong Place at the Right Time

My Dad entered the Marine Corps as a young kid from a small town in Indiana.

dad at bootcamp

Boot camp was in California.

He was one of three brothers who went into the Marine Corps.

Hoffmans

On leave, one weekend, he and some other Marines went looking for a church service and ended up in the wrong church.

Wrong, because he was looking for The Church of God based out of Anderson, Indiana, and the church he visited that day was a totally different denomination, The Church of God out of Cleveland.

Now, you may not think that is a big deal, but those two denominations are WORLDS APART and you would quickly know upon entering the doors.

A person might even be a little overwhelmed by it all; especially, back in the 1960s.

dad

But, Dad saw a cute girl singing in the choir and ended up coming back. 😉

My Grandma then felt sorry for the young Marines (so far from home) and invited them over for lunch after church.

And, the story unfolds….

mom and dad 1960 revisedmom and dad revised

Two Kids Got Married

They were married April 13, on a Friday.

They’ve always joked about it being Friday the 13th….the reference being bad luck. (for all my overseas friends/blog followers. 🙂 )

Mom wasn’t even finished with high school yet.

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Mom’s brother Donnie was the best man and her sister Mary, the Maid of honor.

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Mom’s colors were turquoise with yellow accents. And dad wore a sharp, white tux he had made, to perfect proportions, in Okinawa. (Interestingly, where my brother is now deployed as a Colonel with the Marine Corps.)

Dad said he had been paneling the reception area the day before the wedding. 🙂

parent's wdding5

parent's wdding3parent's wdding4

And another little tidbit Mom has always shared…her organ player got upset about being put behind some drapes and ruined the music on this day. HA

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Then they headed back to Indiana where my Mom met her in-laws. She would always relay the story of how she was so nervous; a timid, young girl meeting an entire family at the airport for the first time, and on her honeymoon none the less!

parent's wddingc

parent's wddingd

parent's wddinge

Life Moves On

Dad was still in the Corps and Mom was now pregnant with me, the first child. She was carrying me while Dad was on board ship during the Cuban Crisis. Mom said she was so worried as she watched the news and heard talk of America possibly going to war with Russia. It was a very serious threat at the time.

Later, Dad returned to do some construction work and then became a policeman. He attended college, at night, majoring in political science to earn an AA degree.

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Mom would go back to finish her GED and then become a stay at home mom. Later on, she attended night classes for secretarial work where she worked for a temporary agency from time to time. (I remember her taking notes, in shorthand, during church. Does anyone remember that? I always thought it looked so cool!)

Later, in 1966, my little brother would be born (the Col) and we would move back to Indiana in 1974 where dad had been raised. (He being the outdoorsman from a small town…yeah, he was SO OVER California by then.)

me w parents young

me with parents youngus kids with dad young

4mom and dad recent

There’s so much more to the story….

To be continued..

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to MOM AND DAD!

The Newness of Spring


Spring is my FAVORITE time of year.

New.

Everything is new!

After experiencing cold, bleak days with no sunshine nor sign of color.

There’s now visible life!

Spring signals Easter is around the corner…bright colors, cute rabbits, and chicks.

Bringing a resurrection story detailing the ultimate sacrifice for a dark world.

It, too, brings change.

phlox flowers springing up in April

Newness.
HOPE.


Warmth is on its way!

I love how it feels on my face.

Oh, I don’t usually go out to enjoy spring as my allergies and asthma have kept me indoors, since childhood, but I still enjoy it from inside unless I get a rare day where the pollen count drops drastically. (That’s usually if a storm has rolled through like today.)

Thunderstorm in April in Indiana

Some years, I miss catching the bluebells in the woods, but here they are!

Bluebells growing in the woods in Indiana.

Bluebell flowers in the woods of Indiana

And I just got an early birthday present from my sweet hubby.  A larger iPhone…the 7! (I think he was surprised at how poorly I saw things, too…like his messages to me. 😉 )

So, I just had to test it out!

Physically it’s been a really rough couple of weeks, so I bolted out the door like a puppy that had been cooped up all day!
Enjoy the pictures.

Look! Even the weeds look pretty.

 

15clover and wild violets in Indiana

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4buds on a plum treebluebells of Indiana

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Little White Chapel (Tie Dyed)

I thought it appropriate to add a little tie dye to this cute chapel in Nashville, Indiana, being that this is right in the heart of a small town where local artisans live and create.

They sculpt, paint, sew, weave, bake, brew, work leather…you name it.

People come from all over the world to visit all the shops and take in the local beauty. (I hope to write more about it and share some photos.)

Meanwhile, enjoy your Sunday!An 1800 church in Nashville, Indiana.

Nature Photography: Lone Pinecone

This is Indiana’s weather pattern right now:

Freezing weather, overcast days, turning sunny and finally seeing clear days, but too cold to go outside at length because it’s in the thirties, then warm and in the sixties but overcast, rainy or super windy.

Indiana weather=never predictable

purple tulips in spring

Recently we had several trees bud and flowers pop up only for it to turn cold again.

Not sure all the flowers survived. We shall see. I personally don’t plant ANYTHING till after Mother’s Day to be safe.

Last week it was in the 30s and SO COLD and WINDY, that we bundled up under three layers of clothing just to take a walk. I haven’t been able to walk or bike much the entire year due to some horrible, 24/7, back pain, but I got a little relief recently (may write a blog about my theory as to why), so we immediately headed outdoors… frigid temps and hurricane-like winds, or not!

We quickly noticed we were the only ones walking the trail as we pushed against the wind. We looked like bears coming out of hibernation that desperately NEEDED a walk, with all those layers of clothing!

As for shooting pictures along our walks, it’s now too painful to carry much gear with me, so I’ve been shooting more with my iPhone, a 5 at that! I know, I know, you DSLR owners are shrieking right now. But, it is what it is.

A single pine cone along a walking path this spring in the park.

Along one of the paths, I came upon some pines and captured this lone pinecone. I noticed hundreds of tiny pinecones littering the ground and quickly began to stuff my pockets with them. They were so cute. My husband was patient with me as I  discussed how great it’d be to make another poster with them.

When I first got my DSLR as a gift from my parents, I shot my first ever poster with acorns I gathered from another trip where I tagged along with my hubby as he had business up in northern Indiana. But, not too long after enjoying my new camera, my tripod fell over and my lens jammed. So, now I only have a telephoto (kit lens) and I have to back up to Timbuktu to capture most shots.

nut poster

So here’s to consistently warm days (with low pollen counts for me) AND talking my husband into buying me a larger, iPhone 7.

OKAY, I’ll settle for a 6+ 😉

since I also can’t see very well….

do I sound very convincing yet?

I mean, my birthday is coming up, after all! 😀

Tell me below what you like to shoot with and what are your favorite things to try and capture?