Thursday, June 26, 2008

Women Are Strong

Do you know what it is like having experienced three births in a year? Well, not my own, but my own. And one more to come.
I can think of few things that measure up to this experience, the great miracle of this life cycle. How could she have been inside and now outside? How? Watching Katy early this morning was like watching a dance. She calmly knocks on our door at 2:30 am and said it was time, contractions coming 5 minutes apart. I panic and quickly get dressed and find her quietly sitting in the car waiting for Ryan and me. "Deja vu," I said to Ryan, thinking back on the rush to have Pearl born, me in the back seat, Ryan driving.

In the birthing center, Katy walked up and down the hall, letting gravity be her friend. Back and forth she went. I started walking with her. "You can go sit down, Mom." "Don't you want me to walk with you?" I knew before I asked I was intruding on her private journey. "You are making me nervous."

I retreat to the "family" area to watch the news with Claudette, Kurt and Ryan. But I am the mother and keep checking on her, asking how far apart the contractions are and how she is handling the pain. The midwife checks her and the water breaks. Good news! Now back to walking the halls.

Then I see her slip in the back room, water running for the underwater birth, four woman, quietly getting ready for a most amazing experience. Each woman knows their task and just join in the dance like it all had been rehearsed for months. I love the way they NEVER leave her side. It is all about Katy, all about her strength and ability to have a baby without anything but her body to tell her what to do. I found this quote: "We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong." (Laura Stavoe Harm) Women are strong. Katy is strong. Only 30 minutes from the time her water broke and she has this baby girl on her breast. The midwife doesn't announce the gender but gives the parents the privilege of this discovery. We all wait patiently. I go out in the hall and Claudette asks "So what is it?" "I don't know. They haven't looked." Ryan patiently waits for Katy as she first wants to just be, to just be there in the moment, to realize what just happened, to just be not pregnant anymore, to just be Katy.

Can you believe five girls? Five. Yes, five girls in a row, and what a row that will make! Five more strong women. Five more very strong women. Lucky world.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Glam in Florida

Well, life is glamorous in Jacksonville, Florida! But we need another little body around here to complete the glamour. Katy is patient, Grandpa is planting plants, I am trying to keep the troops entertained. We are excited to see what this new baby will be.

Monday, June 9, 2008


This is Kurt's new peony--a single Krinkled White.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Guess What They Have in Korea?

Leaving the Garden

So I am waxing nostalgic. But this time of year I forget the cold and snow. As we pack up I feel like Adam and Eve being cast out of the garden. I don't think Korea is the lone and dreary world but it is so beautiful right now in Happy Valley. It smells good, the crickets are happy, the deer are REALLY happy, and the days are still cool.
Kurts magic touch (hard work) is evident everywhere outside. But we won't multiply and replenish the earth with converts sitting and smelling the peonies!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


모든 인간은 태어날 때부터 자유로우며 그 존엄과 권리에 있어 동등하다. 인간은 천부적으로 이성과 양심을 부여받았으며 서로 형제애의 정신으로 행동하여야 한다.
OK. So, this is actually what we will read, as in scriptures, Preach My Gospel, signs in Seoul. We had our first lesson yesterday. We had no idea that we would actually learn the characters. Kurt even challenged our tutor that maybe this wasn't necessary. He was patient with us as he finally got it in our heads that none of the above mentioned stuff is romanized. Since I am a visual learner I found it wasn't as hard as I thought. The only problem is that when I finally figure out the word the characters are representing I have no idea what that word means. Oh well. It is a start. I now know how to say hello and water. So I think I will be all right. I can have friends and I won't be dehydrated.