Sunday, September 23, 2012

When I am six and fifty. . . (a poem)


When I am six and fifty. . . 

1972
When I was six my family lived in the country 
near our church and a graveyard.  
Down the hill was a dairy farm -
cows and chickens and friends my age.  
Days were spent with my older sister, 
mostly swinging or riding my bike 
on the gravel driveway.  
I wrote my first poem then - “Piggy Piggy”

1982
When I was six and ten we lived in small-town Iowa: 
Population 1600.  
I was anxiously awaiting getting my driver’s license, 
hated my wait and worried about friends.
Still, Iloved acting in the plays and musicals, 
and wrote poetry about nature and love and boys.  

1992
When I was six and twenty, I lived in a Swiss-town in Wisconsin.  
Population 10,000.
I loved the thrill of teaching en francais and en englais. 
Best of all, I was deeply in love with the substitute teacher.  
I believed he was “the one” - 
and he was!

2002
When I was six and thirty, I lived in the Promised Land (according to our pastor).  
Population 100,000.
My life had been consumed with love and teaching and church and dogs 
until it became consumed with trying to “have a family.”  
Life was full and empty at the same time.

2012
Now I am six and forty and living near Seoul, Korea.  
Population 10 million plus.
My husband is graying, 
my daughter’s feet are nearly as big as mine.  
My son needs a haircut 
and they both dream of having a cat.  
I swim and bike and do yoga and zumba.
I teach English and learn Korean
and try to make a difference in the lives of N. Korean Refugees.   
I write poetry and teach it and wonder what life will be

When I am six and fifty.


September 23, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Korea in the Fall

The weather broke!  By that I mean the high humidity and temps of 80 - 90 degrees F are finally gone.  Now we've hit the mid-70's to mid-80's and the humidity is low.  Every now and then we get some rain, but for the most part, these are the perfect days for hikes and bike rides.

Yesterday we had a "playground crawl" for the Goodmorning Hill/Ramien apt. families (and anyone else interested in joining us).  There were maybe a dozen adults and more than a dozen kids.  We hung out at Goodmorning Hill for awhile.  The women chatted.  The men played frisbee.  The kids cruised on bikes and scooters.  Then we caravanned over to Ramien to a new-to-us playground there.  The boys found sticks.  The older girls doted on the littlest kids.  And in general, there was lots of running and climbing.

On our way back to GMH we stopped by the Bounce House so the newbies would know how to find it.  This is an awesome service in our neighborhood.  Just one guy mans the place.  It's a semi-indoor facility with 6 trampolines all bound together as if you are in an inflatable bounce castle.  The kids pay 1000 Won for 30 minutes and bounce until they're all sweat and laughter.  Sometimes they manage a bit of dodgeball with the bouncy balls in there.  Sometimes siblings get on each others' nerves.  But mostly, it's a great way to work off pent up energy - even in the winter time.  Now, however, with the weather so much more pleasant, the kids can bounce and the parents can enjoy  some adult time without sweating.

Anna and her new friend Gracie found a small aquatics pet shot across from the Bounce House.  This could be perfect for us.  If we decide we need a larger tank for our turtle or a real UVA/UVB tank bulb, I'm fairly certain the guy will be able to hook us up.  He had some interesting fish and turtles in there.

Today we took advantage of the good weather again.  We headed off to the skate park near Daeduk (or Shinsigae + Emart).  It's a 15 minute bike ride along the river.  I love the smell of the river!  There weren't many kids there when we arrived so the kids got some good time in on the ramps with their bikes.  Then we headed to Daeduk and ended up at a French sort of place called Plate 904 or some such thing.  Two of the outer walls are all collapsable windows, so in essence you are both inside and outside at the same time.  I love it!  Aside from the pesky bee who didn't realize he was "in" the restaurant.  But the fresh air was perfect and my cream-shrimp-pasta was tasty.  Most all of the restaurants in this area are pricey, but it's nice to splurge from time to time.

So, I'm digging the fall temps and the outdoor activities.