Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wet and Dreary Morning

It was  cold and dreary this morning. As if that was not enough, rain was driving hard against my windshield.  I was trying to make out a road ahead of me in the midst of blackness while wipers are dashing back and forth .  I relied on my GPS  to turn onto a small road rather than by sight. At times unseen puddles would blanket the sides of the car.

I was asked  if I would  open the pharmacy in Plymouth. The resident pharmacist had come down with a bad case of flu.  As I was driving I was fully aware that driving in this dark and wet road did not disturb my peace.  I was serene. I had changed.

There was a time when I would have been upset... that I would have wanted to sleep more, that I should have a job closer to home, that there should be some stability to my schedule. Yet here I much at peace and even enjoying my peaceful drive in the dark. I have learned in my life journey that always pursuing "what should be" often left me tired and exhausted after initial euphoria wore off if I had gotten my way or all energy sapped out of me in my trying, if I did not get my way.

In my struggles with "wants" and "should be"s I learned it is OK just to be. My desire to pursue God in Jesus has brought me to this place and I was bubbling with love for God with whom I so often struggled with.

Soon after I opened the pharmacy, Sheryl walked in and gave me a big hug. "It's been soooo long since you worked here!"  Soon Melissa walked in. Her face was beaming. "Look who's here!!!" and she gave me welcoming hug. I had told my supervisor that I would work till noon only. I would not cancel my other engagements for the day to put in a full day of work. At noon Diana walked in to replace me. "When I heard it was JaeHi, I had to come." She said it was an hour and forty five minutes from her home to this pharmacy... I was so overjoyed to see her.

Yes I float and work in many towns and work with many people. In this floating job with schedules that can change at moments notice with unpredictable shifts, yet I am experiencing such variety of human relationships in so many different ways.

As I was driving home I thought, it was a good day....

Friday, July 27, 2012

I am recalling the faces of people who look at me with expression, "oh poor JaeHi" when I comment about my job. Some times I can work a full shift with out any breaks or time to eat, I mean like eight or more hours straight. Often I will bring back home my lunch sack, never touched.

My work schedule is erratic. Sometimes I leave for work before six am. Other times I can leave at other times and I have come home as late as almost midnight. Also there is no pattern in my work days. The daily distance to work varies from fifteen minutes to almost two hours. I may also express to my friends about some of very challenging experiences I encounter with my patients/customers who can yell at me in anger in spite of my best efforts to help them. Some times serving becomes downright scary when I refuse to fill prescriptions that are too early for refills (usually for addictive drugs). I have learned to have alligator skin.

Yet there is something that is so wonderful about my job. All in all I love it. I feel so sorry for those who are so frustrated with their health and medical treatments. I feel for the frustration they feel when their insurance will not pay. I have learned to take their treatment of my staff with grain of salt. When I come home, all that is behind me. There are always people who are reasonable and rational who are actually grateful for any help I can provide for them. And there are such lonely people who call for medication counseling yet I know that this person is so lonely. They want to hang on to this phone conversation as long as they can.

Yesterday I worked with two technicians who can't wait until they quit. One is a school teacher. This is her second job and her debt is almost gone so she will quit the first chance. She cannot handle all the demeaning attitudes of people treating her as if she is inferior. She says she may need long therapy. I love working with her, laughing with her, and letting her know it will be so sad when she leaves.

When did my attitude change? It must have been over many years. I remember the first time I worked as a pharmacist. My thought was, "Is this all there is to it?" I wanted to be important, looked up, like a doctor. This job made me feel more like a servant. Also I battled with 'what should be' in life. Over the years 'what should be' has been chipped away bit by bit and each little bit brought in freedom. This went for my job, my marriage, and life in general. Hanging on to 'what should be' has brought much frustration and anguish.

I am considering to stop my traveling pharmacist role. Next June (2013) I told my boss that I will take a store and be a stationary person, one location, one group of technicians, and one group of clientele. That means I will have to be a full time pharmacist. There is job security with full time.  Again so many of my friends will feel sorry for me. At my age (ripe old age of 57) lot of ladies are busy in their leisure. Yet this will be another bend in the road for me. Another exciting phase.  I will miss all the different technicians I work with in different stores, all of the relationships I have developed and loved, all the different socio-economic environment I have experienced as I go from one store to another store.

I have one more year of being a traveling pharmacist and I will enjoy my time to the fullest no matter where I float to.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Our planning

My cousin and I were planning how we would get to our young cousin’s wedding when so many factors are seeming to interfere...and this is her reply...a gem.

Yes, when I think of all we have lived thru, OF COURSE, it will all work out ! :) 

Really, at this stage in my life, I marvel at all the things that have already worked out and then I realize that most of them did not really work out as I had so beautifully planned them, and yet, it's funny, I feel that they still worked out....I tell my kids never to worry if Plan A falls thru, they just have to be nimble and embrace Plan B, and if that falls thru, Plan C isn't so bad either...and at the end of it all, they will find that Plan Z will be the one they find themselves living and that will have been the best plan of is trite, but so true, that it is not the hand that life deals us that will define our life, but rather, our attitude toward that hand and how we choose to play it. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

To Have Life

I often hear term "....have life."  It is meaningful things happening and it usually happens outside of work. It is fun and meaningful. Last couple of years I was thinking, my work is part of having life. I am not thinking of work itself. It's the people that I work with.

As I go to different location every day I work with different staff. They come from different walks of life. Some are from middle class with middle class value. Others are from hand to mouth life earning just enough for that day or that week. Some from life of abuse to life of leisure, all have some how found themselves here with me. Of course I go from one town to another daily. Each day as I work and talk with them I try to enter their lives, to understand as they do. I have learned to love so many of the technicians that I work with. Their age and back ground is as diverse as east is to west.

Yesterday I was at a store. Emily came in to store to be with me. It was her day off. She said it was more meaningful to spend time with me, helping me at my work than to stay at home (her husband has passed away). Often I encounter different techs watching out for me or taking care of me and I know that is coming from their love for me.

As I was driving home, I was thinking, I hope to work a long time. Maybe into my seventies and eighties. If I was at home doing what other women in their fifties do, I probably would not be as satisfied. I have life and this life includes my job which includes learning to love others and accepting their love for me.

Monday, May 7, 2012


This morning Tom collapsed as he was getting dressed. It was surreal. One minute he was going through every day morning routine and next minute he collapsed like a lifeless puppet. Once he was settled back in bed I reluctantly went to work.

This would be almost two hour drive to Peru Indiana. I thought of how short a human life is. Tom can get back to full health yet there is no denying that signs of aging is catching up with us. We both groan as we get up just like my parents and their generation did and we were too young to realize that one day we too would cross that passage of time. Sadness welled up in me. There was almost a pleading within me. I want to live a full life with my husband whom I have so much taken for granted in our younger years.

I never fully appreciated his work because it was not tied to income and we have battled many long years over that. Because Tom spent so many hours working while sitting at his computer, I felt his work is robbing his health from him. He tried hard to listen to all my stories of events and happenings at the various pharmacies I work and yet I always knew his thoughts were not in my stories. Neither of us could really fully appreciate each other's work.

When Lizy left in August, we found ourselves empty-nesters. We had sold our Chicago house to Henna and Aki and we finally could start working on our Goshen house. To me that meant being together with Tom, a time we can bond together and be in total enjoyment of each other...time I so treasure.

I thought of various projects we would do; The garden to be created, the walls to be painted, the color selections, so many things to me meant...a time with Tom, Tom and I. Soon after Lizy left Tom's hip began to cripple him. That was in August and he experienced deep pain. In March I bought him an ultra-sound gadget and he recovered quickly.

Now we are back to square one...  So I let go ...learn to accept life as is. After all God is writing a beautiful story no matter where we are in that story...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thank You

This morning Tom said "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you..." He was thanking me for the ultrasound set I bought to treat his hip and back condition.

One month ago Tom was crippled in pain. He could barely stand up and his posture was bent at left hip and on his back. He was not able to sleep. He could attempt to sleep only in one specific position. It was a sad sight for anyone to see him. At age 58 he had already become an old old old disabled man.

He had seen a chiropractor for at least two months, going regularly three times a week. He stopped going when his condition did not improve. His doctor MD was going to send him to a specialist if his NSAID(non steroidal anti inflammatory drug) did not work. Well it did not work and we both saw a long journey of powerful drugs and/or surgery which we were not willing (Both Tom and I).

I spent all day, from the early morning to bed time, to research on internet what I could do to avoid traditional medical treatment. I found Mend Me Shop.

I followed their regimen and today Tom is pain free and he can stand up straight. He actually noticed improvement the second day of treatment. I am also so thankful. I am thankful that I did not spend years to find a regimen that would work. Thank You Lord!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wings to Fly


Wings to Fly - 6.5

High School Years (1970 to 1974) - Continued

I let go of my new found Jesus. From Sophomore year to Senior year I only knew one thing. I must do well in academics. My parents and grandfather had high hopes for me and I must not let them down. I wanted to alleviate some of their life pains through my success and more than that I wanted them to full fill their dreams through me.

As a person, I was not significant nor exceptional in anything. Yet I tried. In academics I studied hard and attempted high grades. Each summer I kept myself busy with any type of program that would stretch me. My Junior summer was special. I am not sure if I was selected because of my artistic ability or if I volunteered and they liked my art work. We formed a tight group and painted murals. This project was headed up by an art professor from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and his assistant graduate art student. I was one of the three students from different high schools. So five of us met daily and planned, sketched, and painted. I thoroughly enjoyed that summer (1973) activity. I had no idea that it would bring me recognition beyond my expectation.

After our mural(s) were done, Chicago Tribune magazine did a story on us and our work. It had many photos in a several page story. All of the sudden I became a notoriety. Teachers I did not even know seeked me out and shook my hand. Kids who never knew I existed let me know that they read about me and our group and our mural(s). In a high school of four thousand students I was noticed and commended. It was such a contrast from what I was, a shy and quiet student about as noticeable as painting on a wall.

Then I was notified that we would be receiving a special award from Mayor Daley of Chicago; something along the line of Beautifying the City of Chicago Award. I should be basking in my glory yet what I saw of that time was a glimpse of my future. If I was to continue in my pursuit of success and fame I may experience something similar in a larger scale. I could not understand what I was experiencing within me. I experienced void and emptiness. One day after a full day of congratulations by friends, peers, and teachers, I came home and wept for a long time. "Dear God, Is this all there is to a success? A sense of void?"

Then I remembered just two summers ago, the complete sense of joy and satisfaction that came with accepting the Lord into my heart. I remembered the two weeks of bliss while I was doing nothing but reading the bible in total envelopment of God's love. I thought, Oh to experience that joy, that peace...once again. I prayed, "Dear Lord, if You are real, please bring me back to experience you the way I experienced You the first time." That was a Wednesday in April of 1974.

I believe two days later I ran into several young people who invited me to a young people's gathering. They said they loved Jesus.... This would change my life in ways never dreamt...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mount Olive Church...Then and Now

Two days ago Tom, I, Lizy and Mateo (seven months old) went to Mount Olive Church located at Byron and Tripp at Old Irving Park neighborhood. We were ten minutes early. Already there were many there greeting each other, hugging, hand shaking, and talking. They were happy to see each other.

Lizy had discovered this church about a month ago. She was looking for a church to go. She was baby sitting for Rachel's little Andrew. Rachel is Henna's friend and they belong to same age baby community. In their conversation Lizy mentioned that she is seeking for a church and Rachel invited Lizy to come to her place. The little family, Rachel, Alan her husband, and little Andrew picked up Lizy for the first visit to Mount Olive church.

As I watched the large congregation area filled with people I remembered a long time ago, way back in 1970. I was fourteen years old. I had just received the Lord via an eighteen years old college Freshman (Western Illinois University) who just recently received the Lord herself. She urged me to look for a church. I also observed people then. They were seated along the edge and back like a big shape U. The pastor had huge area of empty seat in front of him. When it was over, I was trying to be noticed and many were looking somewhere else as they exited. One man noticed me. He shook my hand. "You are new! See you next week."

Comparing from my memory to now ... singing time I noticed how much every one was involved. The meeting area was packed, especially towards the front, in fact there were no empty seats. When thanks prayer were lifted, some of those who were thanking the Lord were in tears. Sound bible teaching was found here along with those who actually had relationship with each other and with God. Yes I am glad my daughter found a place to meet.

Rachel and Alan came to greet us after service. They did not know us other than that we are Henna and Lizy's parents. Linda came to greet us. A woman from my past, in grammar school, later on as Lizy's pre-school teacher. We talked for a long time. If we had stayed longer we would have met more people.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My cousin and I

Today I spent a wonderful catch up time with my cousin. We are both nearing sixty in age.

We grew up together as children until she was five and I was three and half. That is when her family left to go to US. I remember nothing of those years. I remember the first day I saw her. I was eleven and she was almost thirteen, the first day my family immigrated to US. I remember her telling me of Cinderella musical she loved. She knew all the songs, In my own little Corner and many more. We spent hours being totally in love with being with each other...that is how it seemed to me. She knew no Korean and I knew no English.

We spent portions of every summer together. I looked forward to those times. I could unload all the secrets of my heart; my frustrations, my outlook on life, my aspirations, my fears, and my dreams. I watched her with admiration. English became her native tongue and she fully understood American culture as I was forever trying to catch up in both. We found deep camaraderie in the fact we were caught in Korean parent(s) wishes and hopes according to Korean culture and our desire to be who we are. We compared notes about our parents. We talked about so many things about life. Then college years came and went. We got married and became very busy with our separate lives and we did not see much of each other... few of weddings, my father's funeral, and a family gathering two years ago.

We are both empty-nesters now. We decided that we will meet again and regularly...not too ambitious so it is do-able.

We are the same persons who loved to be with each other. We still communicated as we always did. Yet we changed. We have learned to accept life. Life has a way of twisting and turning and often we cannot see the bend coming up. Accept and flow with it then life can the best it can be.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kimchi Family

Today Tom and I finished watching all twenty-four episodes of Kimchi Family on Hulu.

A couple of weeks ago, Tom found this series for us to watch. I was so moved. He does not like watching foreign films much because he has to read subtitles, and that is too much for his taste. This foreign film is Korean.

We fell in love with not just the story but with each of the characters. We cried with them, we laughed and shouted Hooray with them, and shook with fear (well me) and sighed when things became okay.

It was not until about the twelfth episode that I realized that this is very much a picture of the healing Inn that the good Samaritan in the Bible brought a man beaten by robbers. In the midst of the beautiful scenery of mountains and rivers, there is an old traditional restaurant that has been in the family for several generations. The restaurant is called Chun Ji In (Chun – heaven or heavenly; Ji – Earth or Earthly; In – man). So the name of the restaurant is Heavenly Earthly Man or Heaven Earth Man. In the drama's subtitles it is called Earth and Man, which I did not notice until about episode twelve since I was not reading subtitles. I realized that the subtitle interpretation for the restaurant name did not do justice to the story.

This restaurant drew emotionally wounded people whether they are from wealth, success, gangs, or poverty. So many wounded came...abandoned by someone, leaving someone, unable to forgive oneself, unable to forgive others, hating of self, unable to love others, hating of others, deeply longing to be loved...each person with his own unique wound.

They were drawn to Chun Ji In restaurant where their healing began often without their realization.

I considered myself. A person with seemingly no wound yet when the Lord started to heal me, I realized that I was filled with wounds.

This is story of redemption, forgiveness, restoration, and healing. Each episode drew us into the story to the point we were unable to be released from watching the next episode.

Today, the day after we finished the story, I miss the characters and I miss the special time that Tom and I had while watching this story. We have watched so many things together, yet this was so special.

I wonder if the author is a Christian.
God heals our inner souls. We are all wounded one way or another, and He restores us.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul (Psalm 23:1–3)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Traveling Pharmacist

I am a traveling pharmacist, more specifically, I am called "Floater." I float within eighty miles of my home each day and I encounter life so interesting that I don't know if I want to find a job which is in one location with same people.

In the technicians (support staff) I encounter the vastness of human difference, in socio-economic limitations or boundaries. I grieve at today's youth and their freedom which ends up into a trap; bearing of children out of wedlock. Even in that situation I am happy when the couple is committed and working towards their marriage and healthy future.

Then there are technicians who are students. They are full of ambition, how and when they will finish school and what they will do with life.

Sometimes there is mix of both.

Yesterday I met K, a nice young man. During quiet moments we have conversations. He has worked at this store for several years and working at pharmacy has caused a desire in him to go into health care field... maybe a male nurse. He is a father of eleven month old child and the child has his last name. Both his girlfriend and he wanted it that way.

He told me that his baby was quarter Korean. My attention span went up ten fold. His girlfriend T has Korean mom and dad is German descent. Here is a couple who could be my own children. Yet as he continues his stories I am held in disbelief. T has suffered or rather tortured by her mom during her years at home. During the pregnancy with T, the mom intended to abort the child. T's dad begged his wife to give him his baby. So T was born. Her mother had older daughter and T. It was T that was picked on and beat up all her childhood. Often dad would scoop up two little girls from the anguish of the mom and he would get bruised.

T found K when she was 18 (now she is 22). Last year T had a baby and now she is graduating from college with straight A average. Her plan is to be a neonatal nurse.

T's mom and dad are divorced now. Dad is in depth of depression. K tries to encourage him to let him know that both of his girls are making something of themselves and now he has a grandchild and he needs to look to the future. K tries to awaken T's mom's conscience that she needs to see what wounds she has embedded in her girls. T has forgiven her mom and for the last eleven months, T's mom has been cordial around her grandchild.

I invited K and his girlfriend T over for dinner... with the baby of course.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Men Talk and Women Talk

Yesterday I told Tom that when I am with women, they get carried away with women talk. Sometimes I think I must be a man. I just don't fit in with these women talks. Oh the husbands, they are so sloppy, pick up after them...their cleaning is not thorough... style, balance, coordination...missing...oh husbands. Then time factor. Most of my lady friends stay home. They are so busy. As I listen, I just have a pasted smile on my face and have nothing to say.

My husband is perfectionist in every detail. If he is cleaning, he is so thorough that I feel like my cleaning brain has never developed. His eye for style and balance is much superior. He is one for detail and I lose detail in everything. So I smile and listen.

So when men get together they must have more loftier things to talk about. Not really says Tom. Men are into sports, home repair, and politics. I(Tom) follow all of them but not really interested in delving into them. I miss Everett. We were really able to discuss deep topics of biblical matters. That is what I love to talk about.

Life is interesting. Now Tom is physically out of commission and is not able to clean our home, I try to pick up yet I know I miss fine & detailed cleaning. So I will hire a cleaning friend and together we will do detail cleaning. I have a good excuse. I work outside of home.

My friends and I must occupy very different stratosphere of our world.

Sunny Day

Oh what a beautiful sunny day outside! It is Saturday. I told Tom, it would be so wonderful to take a walk in the woods. The crisp winter air and the beautiful sun ray enveloping us as we stroll along would be so pleasant. I looked at him. He is still in pain and bent side way and forward. Oh we are just too young to be crippled. To wait for that day when he is normal and healthy....Come soon!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I have exercised daily since November, December, January. Now it is February. In Tom's memory he has never seen me so healthy during winter time like I am experiencing this winter. It is wonderful. I always knew exercise was good for a person. Yet I never even considered it during winter time because I was way too weak and sickly. I would exercise as energy returned which coincided with more sunlight and warmer weather.

When I started to exercise I already had my winter health. I was battling sickly feeling that is so familiar. In November I discovered that my sugar level was high even though I ate well. I need to try exercising and see if my sugar level would go down. Sure enough within two weeks I started to see my level go down to normal. But the surplus of energy was not anticipated. I eagerly embraced my health and I looked forward to my daily thirty minute exercise.

Super Bowl

Last night(Saturday) I came home exhausted. I left home to go to Huntington at 7am and I would work there all day. I came home at 10:30pm. I ate dinner and wanted to go to bed and collapse. Tom said Henna really wanted us to come up to Chicago for Super Bowl the next day. Our schedule would be; go to church and pick up Sammy (our little Bichon Frise) and go to Chicago, visit, watch Super Bowl, and go back home to arrive home by 1 am Monday. All This sounded too much since few hours later I would drive 2 hours to go to work at Peru.

So here we are in Chicago for Super Bowl. Every one is cheering or grunting in the living room based on what their team is doing. I am unwinding. I exercised for thirty minutes, caught up on e-mail reading, requested some time off so I could get together with Tita my cousin. And best of all I get to write.

This is a visit well worth my time. Mateo is growing up so fast and Henna is eager for us to capture his moments. I joined the family during intermission to watch Madonna. She is one talented woman exuding youth, beauty, talent, and energy and she is my age. Amazing!

I work the next three days and on Wednesday I will host a bible study at our home. It is so wonderful to be so busy with activities and have energy for them.

Time Escapes Me

It's been twelve days since I last posted. My plan was to write something daily no matter how small or how insignificant. Yet I would let go of writing to spend a little more time with Tom.

Last week I took a week off so I could man my friend's pharmacy in Topeka. It was a wonderful experience. I loved working in a small drug store where every one coming in was a friend to the pharmacist owner. I loved the fact their little deli would make me a delicious sandwich and brought it to me and I did not go hungry like I so often do at my regular job because I am too busy to eat or drink anything. Pharmacists do not have break or lunch time; we eat only if there is time between serving customers.

Last week I had lunch with Deb Garcia. It really is fulfilling to be able to keep connection with friends. Often life gets so busy relationships are put in back bunner. She loves and looks forward to a lunch at my home. Our lunchs are brief since she has to go back to work in time.

Just this past Thursday I had lunch with five friends from Goshen Painter's Guild. They came over for a simple chili and corn bread. It really is easier to invite friends now that I have such a wonderful kitchen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Heavy Heart

My heart is so heavy. My dear friend Tari and her family may move on to another church or move to Bloomington with possibility of helping develop a Christian high school. Either way I will miss them so dearly. When I was crying within for a prayer partner who would regularly pray with me about everything in my heart, God brought Tari to me. We became fast friends whom we could unload all of our deep inner struggles. We were transparent to each other. Weekly we took a walk and prayed about everything and anything. So many of our prayers were answered and our hearts were comforted.

Then Tim and Tari felt that meeting once weekly at our church was not enough. My heart jumped. Yes, let's create a home meeting, a bible study, during the week. How long have I waited for this? Now this meeting included Tom, Gifford, myself and Tim and Tari. I loved the extra meeting. This was so special.

Dear Tim and Tari, your family was a special gift to me, and to us. I am so thankful that you have come into our lives. I hope we continue to be best friends and prayer partner as time moves on. Should you move on to Bloomington, may the Lord bless you in all your endeavors in building a high school to help the young people stand up for Jesus Christ in which ever profession they may end up in. I will miss you dearly for I cannot imagine another person filling your shoes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sleep and Age

Now that I am in my mid fifties I have a problem sleeping through the night. As a youth and young woman I fell asleep as my head hit the pillow. Now I am waking up at 2am, 3am, or just any odd time and often I am not able to fall back asleep. I tried Benedryl, Melatonin, and Valarian Root. Non seem to help. And I will not go into prescription drugs. I have seen too many of my customers rely on them to sleep.

None of these are as bad as when I have to get up early to go to work the next morning. This is psychological. I have had many nights when I did not get a wink of sleep. So I get up not having gotten any sleep. I am not quite sure how to resolve this. I think of hypnosis therapy but never looked into it. Tomorrow morning I need to leave home at seven in the morning. Just to be able to sleep a few hours of deep sleep would be wonderful. I don't even know when I first could not sleep....

What is happiness?

How often I have felt the pang of pain as I have considered where I needed to be or where I should be in life. Yet strangely now I don't have that now. I do have to say I experience a twinge once in a while but that is a far cry from the deep and palpable pain.

So what is the difference? I have accepted life as is and this is the best it can be. When I watch Tom so immobilized and in physical pain, I am still in love with him as he limps. Yet here is a person who loved me through out life no matter what! I tell him I only love him if he loves me. He always told me he loves me no matter what!

My pain was always involved with Tom's choice in forgoing a wonderful secular job to serve God full time. I have to say it was decades of on and off deep pain for me. All my dreams of having a wonderful nest egg for old age and life of leisure and travel has evaporated.

Now I watch my who is so happy she can go shopping all day while her husband is at a medical meeting, one who will go away to a beautiful place for several days to rest and refocus on life, a couple who will go away to Florida for a month,...list goes on. This week I am staffing a pharmacy while my friend and her husband is gone to Virgin Islands. And I am so happy to experience working at an Amish community.

I feel so full filled. So content. I have a new kitchen that I love. Tom and I were supposed to start renovating our old home one room at a time. Well, with Tom's back and hip pains that plan is in the back burner. Tom works so many hours in his bent posture on editing yet we must rely on my part time income. For that I am so thankful.

I also remember those early years when I could not let go of what I wanted and needed in life. (Wings to memoir of those years). I was so unhappy and so often hated Tom.

Yesterday I came home from long day at work. At 7:30pm I was looking forward to a hot soup Tom was going to prepare. When I came home, things were chopped up but not cooked. I voiced my disappointment. He said the pain was too great and could not continue. So I finished up and we ate dinner after 9 pm. And I loved him and we totally enjoyed our dinner.

As I look at him helping me clean up, in his bent posture, forward like an old man and side way to avert the pain, I thought... Tom I am sorry that I never appreciated you all during the time when you were so handsome in stature and helped me so much in everything.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Drive to work

Earlier this week I was driving to a store long way from home. Many thoughts passed my mind.

November and December of 2011 was when I thought I was being pushed out of work at Kroger due to too many floating pharmacists. I applied for two jobs and was rejected. And down went my heart. Then I would get last minute calls from Kroger asking me to go and work because someone was sick. I was thankful that I was needed. At this time I realized that job is a gift.

As I was driving I thanked the Lord for this wonderful gift he gave me. All the sudden the long drive did not phase me. I loved all the personnel I worked with. I thanked the Lord for my improving health that I am experiencing this winter.

Now days I face the crippling pain that Tom experiences. I often think that we are too young for one of us to be like this. Then I remembered that Tom is a gift to me and I thanked the Lord for Tom. I remembered many years ago, I was invalid in bed with my chronic fatigue syndrome with four young children. It was seven long years. I often wished I would die because to me I would be sick forever. Who would have known that I would recover from that illness. I think Tom always knew that I would recover.

I look forward to the day when Tom is full of life and energy!

Snow Shoveling

Yesterday morning I shoveled front walkway, side walk, back walkway, and the alley by our garage. It is quite amazing that I should have energy to do all these before going to work. Tom is not capable of shoveling due to his back and hip pain. I was thanking the Lord that during time like this I should be doing so well in my health.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Friday evening we had Thiery family and Gifford over to help us enjoy Boeuf Bourguignon that I made earlier. I wanted more than just Tom and I enjoying this dinner. Dinner was elegant. I think all the adults really loved it. The boys did not care for fine French stew. Probably due to the unfamiliar wine taste in meat. Next time I have teenagers for dinner like this I should warn them before the dinner begins, and maybe have something else that is spaghetti.

Yesterday morning Tom said, I typically do not consider the dinner from yesterday. But Boeuf Bourguignon was so good! Now this is a real compliment! Tom is not man of many words regarding food.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tapioca Pudding

Last time I made tapioca pudding, it turned out perfect. Of course I had all the ingredients to start with. And I was focused in only one thing.

This time I let it soak 30 minute too long and then 30 more minutes while I went to the store to get milk and other things. I was busy exercising the first 30 minutes. Totally did not turn out. Neglecting initial process ruined it even if the rest were followed to the tee. I wonder how this relates to life itself. How often do I try to do two things at once and totally ruin one of the two projects.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Foreign to Familiar

This is a book written by Sarah Lanier. The book was refered to me by Jennifer Herron. She said this explained why and how she behaves the way she does.

To explain briefly Tom and I come from opposing cultures which are as different as North is to south. Koreans have hot climate culture (a country can have hot or cold climate culture without matching weather condition). Connecticut where Tom is from, is cold climate culture. Tom was always bothered by my going around the bushes to answer a simple question when yes or no would do. Tom on other hand is precise with his answers & would leave me feeling that he does not care for how I feel.

One year we have offended my parents deeply because of my lack of understanding Korean culture. Life can be confusing when I am ingrained in one culture and at the same time not know deeper aspect of my culture. When Mary Neill was getting married to Paul Stevens, I mentioned to my parents if they would like to come to her wedding, we would ask her. I knew that in US, bride and groom typically did not invite parents of sister-in-law where as in Korea, that invitation is a must especially if they know each other. My parents said it would be better if they did not get invited for some reasons. That was that. Later I would learn that I have deeply wounded my parents. It is Korean culture that it is polite to deny whatever was offered. It is the duty of the other party of invite, provide, or give until they accept or take. I learned it is very much like that in many parts of the world.... the hot-climate culture countries.

The book covers many aspects where I see myself whether I am feeling left out or ignored or twinge of hurt because of cultural differences. Jennifer said the book explained why she responds to situation that way when she read the book. Yes Jennifer is Korean who came here as a very young child.

The author said even in US, South has more of hot climate culture where as northerner has more of cold climate culture. There are many different aspects of Hot and Cold Climate Cultures. It explained who I am and it also explained who Tom is. Very interesting book. .

Boeuf Bourguignon

Week 1: Boeuf Bourguignon

For my recipe I decided on Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguinon. Two more hours of baking the stew then finishing it off by 10:00pm and we can have a dinner. Tom does not like wine, mushrooms, nor onion. I wanted to make it because it is something very contrary to my typical cooking. I may not even like it. Who knows. Maybe we both will love it.

Now at 10:52pm we finished our dinner. What do you know. We loved it! :)

Well exercise wise this has been seventh week. Maybe for ease of tracking I will call this week 1 and my goal is to continue for 1 year.

Today I also spent some time working on my painting. I have long ways to go.

I am not sure how all of this will come together. But it is energyzing.

I ordered 2012 Planner Pad so that I can continue on all my other endeavors for the following year.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My little Mateo

As I was resting in bed this afternoon, Tom and I were visiting Henna, Mateo, and Lizy. How is it possible that I can have such a cute little grandchild. I love you little Mateo. I pray that God's love will fill your life.


It seems I have a lot of loose ends that needs to be finished up. Here are the list of things;

Finish off paintings as I continue to paint new things
Work on a new painting for an art show
Start cooking 1 significant recipe each week. Rest of the week continues as before.
Continue to study profession related medical subjects
Continue to study/read the bible daily
Continue to exercise at least 30 minutes to an hour daily
Start to take a bite size of area and clean the house regularly.
Finish off the blog I started on our Goshen kitchen remodeling
Plan our 33rd anniversary. I/we semi planned it for the last many years and never consummated into anything. Plan, research, and carry it out.
Invite guests once a month whether it is dinner or social gathering.

All of those before or after work. So what should be priority and how should I attack this? It is so important that I give myself enough free time to relax, and treasure together time with Tom. None of these are possible with bad health. In that situation I need to place priority on exercise and eating well. All the others fall in secondary category. Let me brew on this until something gels within me.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Julie and Julia

I think that was the title of the movie Tom and I watched last night. It is story about Julia Child and Julie Powell. A story about a young woman who felt her life was at dead end and decides to cook all of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" recipes in one year. And each day she would log her accomplishments. Cooking and writing every single day. Through all the trials and challenges of this project she found meaning and fulfillment eventually leading up to a book publication and a movie.

This movie was thought provoking for me. I thought about cooking. Cooking always had a sense of dissatisfaction for me. I cooked many meals for guests and large crowds and received many compliments... but those times Tom was very much involved in helping me. If he did not actually help with cooking , he was busy cleaning as I was cooking. As long as we were working together I was happy.

It's when I am left to my own, to cook for my family which I have done all of these years, often unwillingly and without joy. I tried to accumulate simple recipes that took least amount of time. Cooking is to nourish the body and nothing more. I am haunted by words ringing in my ears...of long time ago, when I was a little girl as long as I could remember... My mother would say, you keep studying. One day you will have some one else to cook for you. Cooking is for servant girls. Cleaning is for servant girls. My mother cooked, and cleaned. She worked all day everyday at a factory, and one day her daughters would have a different life,... life like she had before she got married.

So I never developed any love for cooking. Would it be possible to turn that around? (Yet I loved cooking when Tom is cooking with me or he is just with me as I am cooking...)

Another thought that came to me was I want to write, even a little bit every day. Then I thought of all the paintings I started at painter's guild, and I need to finish that, all of them. That is another project. So I am going to brew on these things and come up with a one year project.

I have a tendency to overdo until my health is ruined from over working on whatever project I am doing and forgetting to cook and eat. So if cooking is one of my projects, at least the eating department should be OK. So dear Lord, keep me balanced.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Lately I started to exercise. To my amazement I started to get healthier. My yearly SAD (Seasonal Affecting Disorder) that I experience every winter dissipated within weeks. I am taking less supplements and I am feeling stronger. I am the definition of "weakling" who has no energy and strength. Could it be at ripe age of fifty six I am finding out I can be healthy?

Yet I am watching Tom with his crippling pain of back and hip. He has spent about two months under chiropractic care yet it seemed to me that he ended up worse than when he started. He also went to see an MD who gave him some prescription pills. I look at him. He is physically older, weaker, limping and bent as he walks... and that limits our world. When we take our luggage to our car to visit our kids, I have to be the one mindful of carrying our luggage. Where is my strong husband taking care of forever weak wife.

I want my strong Tom back.