Sometimes a Question is Not a Question

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“You all right?”

Every new person that Josie, my English neighbour,  introduced me to asked me that question. Some asked with kindness, some with curiosity, and some with sternness.

At the end of the week, Josie invited my two children (4 and 5 years old) and I to come over for tea. “You all right?” she asked after opening the door to us.

“Josie,” I blurted out, “Why does everyone keep asking me if I am okay? Is it that obvious I’m miserable?”

The surprised look on Josie’s face showed me that I either said something wrong or that she misunderstood me.

“Oh, no, lovey! ‘You all right?’ is just something we say when greeting people. It’s not an invitation to talk about your feelings.

“Oh.” I mumbled as my face turned red. Not only had I let on how miserable I was feeling, I also misunderstood everyone’s intent.

Clearly this question provoked a very different metal image  for me than it did for the people in the British village of Levington. The meaning I attached to it was strongly influenced by my experiences in America. I am so glad that I talked to Josie so that my misunderstanding was cleared up.

We moved to England December 1988. The nearly five years we lived there are highlights in my life. But the first months were hard ones. We moved there in the winter (SAD kicked in), right before Christmas, away from my family, into a village (where it takes time, sometimes years, to get to know your neighbours). And since I didn’t work outside the home, I didn’t have a built-in social network. Thankfully Josie and her family (Robbie is her son) soon became family to us.

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Entry filed under: Learning, Main. Tags: .

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57 Thing To Do During my 57th Year

The Big DayMarch 12th, 2016
8 months to go.

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57 Things I’ve Done by March 2016

1. Bought Personalized 2015 Photo Calendar
2. Bought Personalized Stamps
3. Wrote 2 Blackout Poems
4. Movie Marathon: The Good Witch Films (7 of them)
5. Family Special Time (Lennon, Kadie)

57 Books I’ve Read by March 2016

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
2. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
3. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK.
4. A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
5. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
6. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
7. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
8. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
9. I'm Glad I'm a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
10. The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
11. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
12. Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
13. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
14. Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
15. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
16. What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
17. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
18. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
19. The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
20. The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn
21. The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
22. Last Light, 23 Night Light 24. True Light by Terri Blackstock
25.. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Book of Braille Sculptures

By Elizabeth Symington

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