Music, Doctors, and Sam’s Club

In the mornings lately, I have been practicing the piano.  I’m getting
pretty good at some of the finger exercises.  I wish I were as good at
the actual music.  Hopefully with time I will improve.  Usually in the
mornings these days, I have the windows open because the weather has
finally cooled off some and it is nice to get a change of air in the
house.  I have notice that if I am practicing when the street sweeper
comes by, she seems to slow down and spend a little more time on the
street in front of our house, so lately I have been trying somewhat to
play when she comes by.  I figure I may not be that great, but it may
be the only music she hears during the day.  If I can brighten a day,
even by playing badly, I might as well.  Street sweepers can’t afford
mp3 players and there is surprisingly little ambient music here in
China.  In the U.S. there is music everywhere you go.  I think maybe
that is part of the reason I am feeling so compelled to play the piano;
nature abhors a vacuum, even a music one. 

I have grown a new cherry hemangioma on my right pinkie finger.  It
is quite large and gets in the way and gets scraped and sore very
easily.  I was hoping to wait and have it taken care of in the U.S.
after Ty comes home, but I have come to realize that it won’t wait to
be taken care of.  I am very nervous about going to the doctor here to
have it taken care of.  Almost terrified might be a more accurate way
of putting it.  I am planning to go in on Wednesday with a friend who
speaks both English and Chinese.  I think I will ask for a blessing
before I go.  I feel like a wimp, but I would be reluctant to go even
in the U.S.  Here, I can’t really even choose my doctor, I just have to
trust.  Me trusting a doctor.  Now there’s a leap of faith.

Seminary has started here at last.  Really it’s more of a
home-study program and they check in for a class on Sunday morning.
The teachers have never been a part of the Seminary program so it’s all
new to them.  Their plan is that the students will study the scriptures
45 minutes a day and keep a study journal and then show it to the
teachers.  The teachers look forward to reading their thoughts and the
things they learn.  The problem with that is that Miss M. and Miss S. don’t
want their personal thoughts read.  If they know someone will read what
they wrote, they won’t write.  Miss S. is planning to talk to the teachers
about this next Sunday.  I think we need to have some conversations as
a family about what might work as a compromise so the teachers can feel
some fulfillment in their calling as well.  They are good-hearted
people, there must be a way to balance this out.

On the bus the other day, I saw a nicely dressed woman wearing a
skirt and white knit shirt with some pretty frills sewn on it.  On the
front of the shirt was silk-screened: “Please ask to be seated”.  I
find it mystifying the whole lets-put-English-on-a-shirt-

to-make-it-better
phenomenon here.  It doesn’t even matter what the English says, the
consensus is English makes it better.  I heard a new term for it the
other day that I thought was accurate: Chinglish.  That about says it
all. 

Sam’s Club opens near our community this week! Yea! Yea! Yea!!!!

Mr. Hot Stuff and Miss S. are better from their colds and my ear infection is gone,
though I still have some gunk still draining from my sinuses making me
cough occasionally, I’m doing well and getting better every day.  If we
didn’t have a nasty inversion happening right now I’d go running to
help clear it all out once and for all, but I think with the pollution
levels right now, I’d better not.  Just now the sunlight looks a hazy
orange-yellow shining through the trees, but if you look straight up,
the sky is clear blue.  From a distance, you can see the lower
pollution layer and the clear blue sky shining above it all.

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