That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse…

So, an up-date is pretty much over-due, and there have been a lot of things to update, but daily life takes over a lot. I’ve had some firsts lately. My friend took us out on Sunday for dinner, and we ate in a Korean restaurant. Everything we ate was so good! I had no idea I liked Korean food. In fact, the smell of Kimchea makes me nauseous so I have actually, actively avoided it. I will add this to the list of my new favorite things.

And then on Monday (which is “mommy free-time day” twice a month) I found Marks & Spencer. A couple hundred RMB later, I walked out with socks, underwear, shoes, and pajamas for the girls, two tops for me, a bag full of specialty food items, and a belly full of tomato parmesan soup. It was a good day. Shopping to me, has always been a chore. I hate it. I will put it off until I can’t anymore, but this was fun. However, when I walked out, I didn’t realize that I was surrounded by H&M, American Eagle, The Gap, Old Navy, and other places like that. Guess I will have to go back. Raine has outgrown the leopard outfit that she practically wore out for over a year. I found her a pink zebra one about a size too big, and she is in seventh heaven.

Speaking of Raine, I had her tested yesterday, and she is severally dyslexic. I will be talking to a specialist over Skype today. I’ve been implementing a completely new teaching system with her which seems to be working very well. It makes Rumi a little jealous though, because she wants to “play” too.

Next weekend, I think I am finally going to get Rumi’s x-rays. I’m noticing one leg seems tighter than the other and her back may be slightly curved. She swears she is never in any pain, and she runs, climbs trees, roller blades, dances and all kinds of things (and that was all yesterday!) So there doesn’t seem to be a hindrance in activity.

It seems interesting to me that no matter where you live, there’s a trade-off. Living here, we have the best apartment we have ever had. I have the highest paying job I have ever had. We have affordable daycare, and I get to home school. We eat the best food every day, but negotiating the health-care system is so difficult! And the girls aren’t covered. Technically, neither am I. I get reimbursed 80% if I use the regular hospital and wait for hours and take a Chinese person with me to translate. If I pay out of pocket, I can go to the international hospital, not wait, have excellent doctors, and be spoken to in English. The first starts at $2, the second starts at $50. The choice is obvious, and even for Rumi, if it’s double or whatever, it’s ok, it’s just that I have no idea where the hospital is, how to find it –I heard it’s over 2 hours away. Well, anyway, it will be our adventure next week.

We have had several people come out from downtown to spend the day with us recently. Talk about “feeling the love.” The girls are making a lot of new friends since school is out. Rumi learned to ride a two-wheeler. They both want bikes so bad. I’m not sure where we can store them or where they will ride them, but it’s got to happen eventually.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much death has been on my mind lately. My sister-in-law died about a week ago. She was my age, she had a 12 year-old son and a 20 year-old daughter, and a 2 week-old granddaughter. People my age die, of course, though rarely. And people Robin William’s age die, but it’s the surprise of it all. The sudden silence that reminds you that there is a dark, empty spot where something illuminant existed once. I don’t know if anyone can ever know or understand the tremendous impact they can have on others –even strangers. I am sure Dead Poet’s Society greatly influenced my path in life in so many ways. And to a lesser degree so have Good Will Hunting and What Dreams May Come. There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said, but I feel a little more quiet, vulnerable, and mortal.

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