This weekend in the United States is Memorial Day Weekend. Practically speaking, in the U.S this means we have a 3-day weekend bringing some extra rest and fun. The weekend always brings about nostalgia for two reasons: When we moved to the United States from Cairo, we would celebrate this weekend with my cousins. Even if we hadn’t seen them all year Memorial Day would find us at a (usually) cloudy but delicious barbecue and playing killer croquet with my Great Aunt Lottie. Aunt Lottie died some time ago, and we moved, and my cousins and the Scuzzins (cousins kids) moved.
The second reason is that 26 years ago today we welcomed our second child, first-born son to the world on a hot day in Islamabad, Pakistan. You can read more about that in my post An Expat Lady and a Ramadan Baby. So nostalgia reigns today as I think of life as it was, breathe a sigh, and embrace life as it is.
On to the wrapping up the week.
On Memorial Day: A Life Overseas posted an excellent essay on Memorial Day. Called “God Bless the World“, it captured much of what many of us who have lived overseas feel about this event. Take a look and see what you think. One of the quotes that stood out to me was this:
A life led overseas often reveals the enmeshment between our faith and our nationalism. And we begin to ask questions that we may not have considered, questions that we might not like the answer to.
On Place: You can’t hang around Communicating Across Boundaries for long before there will be a conversation around identity or place. These things matter. Place matters. Place shapes us. Place is used in our lives, for good or for ill. I found a short op-ed in the NY Times particularly poignant this week. It’s not about third culture kids, or global nomads, or expats. But it is about Place. Because everyone can relate to Place. The quote that shouted out to me was this: “Place is not meant to be eulogized. I don’t want to think that my place may have to be.” And yet many people have had to eulogize Place. My husband’s childhood home was razed to the ground to build a parking lot for a zoo in Miami. Places where many of us vacationed in Pakistan have been droned, and a eulogy rises creating further conflict between two countries who don’t “get” each other. The specific place in this article is Seaside Park, NJ – severely affected by Hurricane Sandy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on place and eulogizing place. Here is the article called Seaside’s Last Summer?
On the blog: There was great conversation on prejudice and bigotry on CAB this week! One of my favorite comments was from Jenni:
“I grew up in urban Australia, under the influence of my father’s extreme prejudice against indigenous Australians. Before going to live in an Aboriginal community as an adult, I confessed my prejudice & asked my church family to pray that I would learn to love “Aboriginal people”. I didn’t. I learned to love June and Stephanie, Peterson and Wurrip, to be disgusted by the behaviour of others, (some of them friends), hurt by some, to ache for the children and love little Jethro (though not so much when he taught my son how to turn a frog inside out) – I learnt relationship”
Also – There’s a new look on the blog….take a look and see what you think!
On my bedside stand: A great new read called Americanah about a Nigerian immigrant who returns to Nigeria. It’s about identity, place, culture and so much more that I am not doing it justice. Stay tuned for more on this book.
What about you? What did you read, see, hear this week? Would love it if you shared through the comments.
And a Very Happy Birthday to my son Joel!
5 thoughts on “Wrapping up the Week – 5.25.13”
Oh, and I just opened a new page and there’s a new picture on top. Beautiful!
Great new look Marilyn! Clean and clear and easy to navigate – nice.
Me again – I love that you mentioned croquet with Aunt Lottie. Somewhere we have a picture of her waving her mallet in victory – she was in her 80s. Great memories, and that town, Winchendon, Mass. is the place of my roots, grandparents born there and buried in the cemetery. But it is exactly that, where my roots were first planted. It’s nice when we can, to go back and see the houses I grew up in, but we no longer have much reason to go. Life goes on there, and for us where the Lord has planted us for now.
I am in the process of reading William Hague’s (our present Foreign Secretary) biography of William Wilberforce, who battled for over 20 years to end the slave trade.
I don’t know whether William Hague is a believer, but he deals very well with Wiberforce’s strong Christian convictions and write in a wonderfully lucid style
I had a Hindu colleague in one school I worked in: his greatest hero was William Wilberforce.
We still have a few principled parliamentarians, but they are sure thin on the ground in high places..
Happy Birthday Joel from Grandma and Grandpa Brown! The card is in the (real) mail. And I like the new look. At first glance I thought I had arrived at the wrong blog, then said to myself, I like it!