Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A far off memory from childhood

While at work today, I ran across a DVD of an old cartoon I hadn't seen in a very long time- Darkwing Duck. As a matter of fact, the very last time I saw the show was when I was living in Iceland as a child! It brought back memories.

Television in Iceland was very odd. I was on a military base, so the military arranged television programming for us. We had initially 3 channels, and of those 3, 1 was a roll around of local information like important dates and the currency exchange rate. We received popular television shows from the states (as we liked to call the US) months after they had been shown there. I was quite surprised when I moved back to the states to see that Michelle on Full House was not an adorable baby but a bratty preteen- our shows were that far behind!

The available television programming available to us in Iceland was so bad, that some foreign officials took pity on us and granted us access to their stations. So to our 3 channels, 2 more were added. One was from England- the legendary Sky TV- and one was from Iceland itself. Those channels were immensely interesting to me. The British channel showed the strangest shows, and featured people with wonderful accents to my young ears. The Icelandic channel was a channel of sheer wonder, because for the most part shows were done in Icelandic!

One of those shows that I watched in Icelandic was the above mentioned Darkwing Duck. Cartoons were such a rarity on television, that even cartoon in a language I didn't fully understand was immensely entertaining. Often times, I would make up my own plot for the show, because I had no idea what the characters were saying! Although I was never much of a television watcher as a child, I loved those times watching cartoons in Icelandic, because it opened a doorway to dreams and imagination of such depths that I am still envious of that feeling to this day.

Seeing that DVD of that old show brought all these memories and feelings of nostalgia rushing back to me. I briefly considered checking out the DVD, but somehow I think watching the show now, in English, just wouldn't be the same.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The New Adventure of Witty!

Hello, my dear Readers!

After a long silence, I have returned to write again!

This time, I have a new adventure on my plate: Home ownership! Yes, the long months of silence were because I was embroiled in the affairs of home ownership- from placing a bid and anxiously awaiting acceptance, to the ordeals of paperwork, then packing, packing, and more packing, followed by unpacking, unpacking, and unpacking! My time has not been my own of late- it's been my house's!

But it is a thrilling sort of busy, as for the first time in my life I can enjoy the pleasure of living in some place that is utterly and completely my own. There is no landlord to obey, no one living above me, below me, or to either side. I can paint my walls, write on them even, change even the smallest thing like a light switch cover without permission of another. I can play my music loud and sing at the top of my lungs without disturbing anyone. I can pull into my driveway after a long day of work and feel the sweet satisfaction that this house is mine.

So, my dear Readers, I thank you for your patience after my long months of silence. I look forward to writing and reading with you all again!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Blessing of a Break

Two weeks ago, on a cold and chilly night when the snow was falling, covering the icy ground with a powdered-sugar coat, I left work to head home. My mind was off in the clouds, and I was in a world of my own, not really paying attention to where I was going or the path I was walking on. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone but me that I took a nasty tumble to the ground, my feet finding a nice slick patch of ice hiding under that deceptively beautiful snow.

Whoosh! Down I went and my fall not only knocked me out of the clouds, but also managed to break my right wrist. Ouch.

Now, in all my years, I have never broken a single bone- not even when I lived in Iceland where treacherous conditions abounded! No, it took just a simple absentminded step to crack my wrist and land me in a pretty blue cast for five weeks, with the use of my right hand- my dominant hand- completely gone.

At first, I was very frustrated with myself- how could I fall on the ice? This was simply unacceptable! Surely, I am not that clumsy! Then, as I began to realize all the things I couldn't’t do because I am naturally right handed, I began to be despondent. I was helpless. I couldn't’t get dressed by myself, I couldn't’t manage buttons. I couldn't’t write. Every time I turned around there was one more thing I couldn't’t do. It was depressing.

Yet, I had five weeks to endure like this, and I did not want to spend them depressed. So I went to bed that first night crying and woke up determined. There would be a bright side to this break and I would find it!

The very first bright thing I realized was that I have a really wonderful husband. I have always known how sweet and kind Andrew is, yet this broken wrist of mine once more reminded me of just how caring he is. He anticipates what I need before I am even aware of it. He's made dinner every night, brings me fresh ice packs when my wrist starts to throb, sees that before I go to sleep at night I have a protective "fence" of pillows to ensure my arm stays propped and I can't roll over on it. He helps me with every single task that I can't manage with just one hand. Everything he does, he does with a smile. Truly, I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband.

The second thing I became aware of was myself. It seems that I am more resilient than I thought was. Sure, I'm right handed, but I discovered that I can do a fair amount of things with my left hand. I can type pretty well and using a computer mouse left handed is a breeze. After two days in the cast, I could eat with utensils in a manner that did not require a bib! I've discovered new and strange ways to do simple tasks like opening jars, buckling seat-belts, and closing doors. Best of all, a right handed cast is the perfect excuse to try left handed writing. I've always admired ambidextrous people, and perhaps now I can be one, too! The opportunity to learn new things is always a wonderful treat.

Yet another bright thing was the fact that I was given a new perspective of the wonderful people I am surrounded by. Family, friends and co-workers have all gone out of their way to help me, and all with a smile. From helping me in and out of cars, offering sympathy, advice and understanding, carrying items for me, holding me steady on the ice so I don't fall again, and even going so far as to help me zip up my coat (impossible to do one-handed!), people have helped me out so generously. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people! There is simply no way I can feel sorry for my broken self when I am surrounded by so many kind and caring people.

And, having this broken wrist has shown me one more thing: the world is a much kinder place than people think. Too often we hear on the news how the world is erupting in pain, violence and despair, and yet my experiences have shown me how kind the world really is. I have had many sympathetic looks from strangers, kind helping hands, interesting and commiserating conversations, and simple acts of kindness since I have had a broken wrist. It makes me think that perhaps the world is simply shy and is only looking for an excuse- like a stranger with a broken arm- to show a friendly smile.

As I've realized all this, as I've counted the many ways in which I am blessed, the pain in my wrist fades away and is replaced with a warm glowing feeling of happiness. There is a bright side to a break, it is not all pain and aggravation. Yes, even a break can be a blessing.

Thank you everyone.