I think it all started with my friend Java Mama. I knew Java Mama from church in the 1980's. Well, actually I didn't know her. I knew she was a nurse. Period. One Sunday I tapped her on the shoulder and asked if she would like to go to Haiti.
The rest is history.
We bonded over canned food and coffee cooked on sterno and cute Haitian babies. We guarded the outhouse for one another in Babylon and dove under a church pew together when the witch doctor decided to kill us one evening by stoning us.
We climbed a mountain together to get to a remote village. A tiny little girl kept trying to get Java Mama's suitcase away from her and Java Mama kept shooing her away. "No, honey it's too heavy for you!!"
Thirty minutes later after huffing and puffing 3,000 miles uphill she tossed the kid the suitcase. "Take it!" The kid took off like a mountain goat leaving us in her dust.
Java Mama woke every morning to the donkey's braying and the roosters crowing and the voodoo drums and put on her makeup. Foundation. Mascara. Lipstick.
I'm not sure if I even combed my hair the entire time we were there. I did try to clean my face one morning with a Stridex pad only to discover that I had wiped it with a five day deodorant pad instead. Who needs Botox? My face didn't move for a week.
Technically, Java Mama has always been more advanced on the computer than I have. I tried to duplicate some of the things she did years ago and always failed. She started sending me links for interesting blogs over a year ago and I found myself being reeled in while reading them. I think it was the technical challenge that eventually hooked me because I've never been a journaler.
What has surprised me most about blogging and what keeps me motivated is the many interesting and inspirational people I've met since I've begun this journey. Interesting people like the family who on October 1st of this year stopped purchasing food from supermarkets and restaurants. Or the blog of a PHD candidate who left it all behind to become a farmer. I am inspired daily by the poets, photographers, painters, and craftsmen. Encouraged by the re-cyclers. Comforted by the struggles and the triumphs of industrious moms and dad of special needs children.
I've made some wonderful friends.
And just when I think I've seen and enjoyed it all there is a knock on my door Sunday night.
In the middle of a sewing binge (yes, I did get my new machine!) I haven't changed my clothes or combed my hair all day. The Boy flings the door open and yes I've given him the don't ever open the door without mommy speech about 1,00 times to no avail.
Standing in front of me with a huge bag of gifts for the entire Pepper Family (yes, for The Dog and The Cat, too!) is the author of From A Heavenly Land.
Hello! Fortunately, I was too pleasantly stunned to be totally embarrassed by my hideous appearance.
Mrs. Heavenly Land is a brilliant glass artist and The Secret Pepper Person's present feels suspiciously like one of the glass creations I've seen on her blog and is marked FRAGILE. No, I have not peeked and I won't peek. I don't get many surprises at my age!
Woo hoo! I can't wait for Christmas morning. Guess what I'm opening FIRST?
Thank you From A Heavenly Land for such an unexpected surprise.
And thank you Java Mama for starting it all. How about another trip to