Friday, June 18, 2010

potato peelers and christmas carols

I was preparing potatoes for dinner with the hemisphere's most useless excuse for a peeler when I suddenly thought of my wonderful Good Grips peeler back home and was filled with desperate regret that I had not had the foresight to bring it to New Zealand. As I dwelt for a few more moments on the longed-for peeler, my yearning broadened to include not just my cooking gadgets but my kitchen, and then, not just my kitchen, but my house. My tiny, peaceful, wonderful little house.  MY house. As in, the house wherein only I would be horrified if Bernadette (hypothetically) spilled cold coffee all over a (hypothetical) white couch. Meaning I would not have to worry about the reaction of my boss-landlord-pastor-best friend-aforementioned couch's owner. If this hypothetical event were to happen.
"Richie," I called into the other room. "What do you miss most about home?"  I was about to clarify that I meant "other than people" but I didn't get the chance. "My X-box". Pressing him for more was fruitless. He said that living right next to the beach made up for everything else he could possibly miss about life in the States. Even when I tried baiting him with the things that seem to bother him most here - like the fact that only our living room is heated, not the bedrooms or bathroom. No, even then, he stood firm. And I realized that it actually doesn't even bother me that much now either - in fact, it sort of seems very sensible. Admittedly, I have had to retrain myself not get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, but it's now a matter of course.

Maria came charging through the kitchen so I asked her what she misses most about Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania represents the entire United States of America in conversation with Maria - it alone is bigger than she can wrap her 3 year old mind around.  "I don't miss anything." I didn't believe her. I asked her to think really hard. I may even have thrown out some suggestions. No. She missed none of it. Finally, "I miss my Christmas songs."  She was referring to a homemade CD of Christmas carols that we have been listening to in the car year-round since the Christmas before her second birthday. These, unfortunately, were "forgotten" when we got rid of our car.
How can it be that no one but me has these moments of sheer longing for the simple daily accoutrements of our old life? Things like child car seats that might actually protect a child in a crash. or clothes dryers. or soap that makes you feel clean.
And then at last, my Richard remembered that there was something that he missed wildly from the States. Something he missed so much, that he was going to write it down and ask his parents to send a care package. And that something was.... Pop Tarts.


  1. Thanks for the laugh with this post!

  2. Kelly,
    i have never met you (i know rich from penn state) but your writing is amazing! i love all your stories.

    we are praying for your whole family as you adjust to life without pop tarts and potato peelers (interestingly the last 4 months i have managed to lose 2 potato peelers and currently have 0).

    Collene Carney

  3. Love this write so beautifully, Kel. And clearly sharing & maintaining your sense of humor in your new life in NZ makes all the difference! Pray for us that we can do the same as we adjust to first-time parenthood:)

    p.s. I think I would have said I'd miss "Wheel of Fortune" or "America's Funniest Home Videos"...those simple mindless joys...I guess I understand Pop Tarts & peelers afterall!

    Love, Erin