Well, spring has definitely sprung in El Paso. Actually, I think we're already on our way to summer, but at least it's warm out! Since we have no yard, I've tried my hand at potted plants. I planted some pansies, herbs, and geraniums. Kate, my old college minister's wife, had these gorgeous bright red geraniums that grew in a basket and I loved them! Mine are hot-salmon pink...love it :) Speaking of which, they're probably thirsty... We had a "10% chance of rain" today in El Paso. That's the first time I've heard the words "rain" and "El Paso" included in the same sentence since we moved here. Which is quite different than home, which I've heard has been getting slammed with water. And tornadoes. Don't miss those! But I can't say our dust storms are all that enjoyable. I think I'd take a thunderstorm over a sandstorm any day!
In getting into the "spring" of things, I read The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Yes, it's the same secret garden you remember from the movies when you were a kid; girl lives in India, parents die in fire (sorry if you've never seen it/read it....but it happens in the first 20 pages, soooo, don't get attached.), and she moves to England to live with her guardian. Although, the book is different: cholera takes the parentals. Makes sense. Anyway, I highly suggest you read this book! I literally felt like I was in the garden; it is so descriptive and pretty uplifting. I dreamt of spring and a picnic blanket with a book every night after I put it down :) It will take you back to your childhood imagination and utter fascination with the world and all the things in it. It also makes you want to be in a secret garden, but that's a no-brainer. So head over to the kid's section of the library and check yourself out a copy. Dana said the other book she wrote called The Little Princess, is also a good read. I'm not sure how I didn't read this as a child; this was totally up my alley! Perhaps that was before I knew lots of movies were actually based on books!
In addition to this child delight, I just finished a book Dana gave me called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey. Oh. My. Gosh. If you're not intrigued by my garden read, then you must read this book. Dr. Brand is a leprosy doctor who grew up in India. He goes through the book mirroring the Body of Christ with the actual physical body. It is incredible. It takes the phrase "divine design" to another dimension. And it makes Louie Giglio's "Indescribable" talk look like Jr. High. (but it's still good!) Literally, he starts at the amoeba phase and builds up to the bone structure, muscles, the brain, and more. And while it's scientific, it's written in a way that non-doctors can understand, appreciate, and grow from it. As a plus, you learn about leprosy, which I knew nothing about! I was so engrossed in this book. It is beautifully and thoughtfully written and I promise you will learn a lot from it! Such as this fact: the only leprosarium (spelling?) is in Louisiana! And that leprosy is the deadening of nerves in certain areas or all of the body--who knew?
So really--head to the library, or Barnes and Noble, and find these two books. You will not be disappointed. Are you like me, and like to own your own books? I think it's because since I "experience" the story with the book, I have special sentiments attached to the actual book. Brian and I dream of having a library one day, complete with a ladder. Although, when I said this to my favorite professor from MSU, she said, "Oh Rebecca, I have that...you don't want that! It's so hard to move them all!" Haha! Seriously, I think while Brian's deployed I'm going to attempt to build another bookshelf. We have a huge one my Dad built, and it's overflowing. Because you see, as much as I love books, sometimes I think Brian loves them more. :) But that's ok with me. Hopefully our kids will like books, because I love books written for people my age, but oh how I love kids books! Seriously-they're magical. I think most of our adventures and games we played as children were based on the books we read. For example, my favorite game was called "Olden Times" (Creative, huh?). That inspiration came from two sources: the Oregon Trail, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, my childhood idol. I actually wished I could be her and live in the 1800's. (am I crazy? No dishwasher. Or washing machine!)
Ok, so now you're reading list is set. In other news, Brian is doing well, headed into the field next week after being "in garrison" (AKA, he comes home at night!) for the last 3 weeks!! Which has been awesome. I've been subbing more, as well as doing FRG-related things. I'm actually off to FRG training tonight-should be interesting! I also applied for the ESL teaching job. Fingers crossed :)
Annnnd two weeks from today, I am on a plane, headed HOME! I'm so excited!