Little Story #003: Rainbow Road

Little Story #003: Rainbow Road

On March 6th, 2019, Elaine witnessed her first rainbow. We were driving down to San Marcos on a rainy day to celebrate my father-in-law’s 60th birthday. It had been raining all week, all winter, and rainbows were nothing new. But Elaine had been in school, at home, at church, indoors mostly because of the rain, and she never had the chance to see the magical colors paint the sky at the right moment in the right place, when the rain stops and sunlight seeps through the clouds causing light to refract and reflect to form a rainbow.

We pointed to the faint rainbow almost camouflaged by the colorful hills, and she yelled, “A rainbow! A real rainbow! I’ve never seen a real rainbow!” Then the rainbow disappeared because we were driving away, because light works in funny ways, and she was sad to learn that they didn’t last.

A few minutes later, we witnessed another rainbow along the road and I exclaimed, “Another one! Look!” and pointed to the left of our path. “God wanted to show Elaine another rainbow,” I thought, and surprisingly another rainbow appeared, and another, and another. I think we witnessed at least five on our drive down, and the very last one was painted over the poppy fields. Patches of orange against green hills, and a giant rainbow gracing itself across the green, down to our road, exactly on our path,

and we drove along the rainbow road,

with a pot of gold on the other side shining with golden poppies.

My Marathon

Some run a 100 meter dash, many others run a marathon. Maybe I was meant to run the 100 meter dash — living life fully for a short amount of time. But maybe I don’t want to run the 100 meters; I want to run the marathon with everyone else.

My 100 meters are up and I stumbled from starting too fast. My hands and knees are scraped, I twisted my ankle. I didn’t wear sunblock so my skin is burning. I didn’t eat enough so I’m already without energy. My nose is running constantly. I wasn’t in shape to run the marathon in the first place and I didn’t train for it either. But that doesn’t matter. I still want to run the marathon.

I’m running with my injuries and disabilities. Everyone is fit, or at least not injured, and running with obstacles that come with the journey: uphills and downhills, curves and uneven pavement. Of course, some trip and fall, some give up or walk, and some seem to prance along in their fancy shoes. But in the end, don’t we all struggle to catch our breath as we near the finish line?

I’m 1/3 of the way, I hope. I’m limping and bleeding, coughing and wheezing, my nose is running, my skin is burning, muscles aching; but I’m running alongside others because I want to finish the 26 miles. When those around me look to see how I’m doing, I smile reassuringly. My family has been my crutches, my daughter pushes me along, my friends have provided water, food, towels, and have cheered me on. And I am so thankful.

I wonder though. Can I make it or will I end up with the ones picked up by the truck for those who couldn’t finish or will I end up with the emergency response team?

For now, by God’s grace, I’m still running.


little story #002: treasures in the wild

There is a piece of land in the middle of nowhere that my father calls home. The land is covered with shrubs and weeds, so much so you that cannot see the dirt underneath. Trees that bear various fruits line a narrow path that weaves through the terrain into a forest. The land has been left alone for more than twenty years, resting, flourishing, and the trees that have grown tall and wild sway with the wind trickling sunlight onto the ground below. Sunbeams play games and reveal only what they want you to see, and you wonder what are hidden in its shadows.

Wilderness is not the kind of beauty that a modern eye appreciates. It is chaos. Disorder. Nature. But the fruit that grows within the chaos becomes a fruit that bears the most nutrients: a super-fruit. It has withstood all its enemies, i.e., harsh weather, weeds, insects, birds, etc., and was still able to blossom and grow. Those are the kinds of fruits that my father’s land hides. They are hidden between the weeds and shrubs, under the ground, behind the rocks, and up on the trees. Treasure is everywhere if one is willing to search and the Lord provides the best in abundance.

This is 34.

The night before my 34th birthday, I felt a bit haggard and gray.  I felt too lazy to go through the cream face mask routine that requires washing in 20 minutes, so I smothered my face with a sample cream from La Mer. The next day, my face was aglow like Christmas morning (haha!). It felt bouncy, firm, and hydrated. I didn’t even know my face was droopy until it felt bouncy. The truth is, my dry skin cannot be compared to other mortals; it is something of death itself. Every year I shed tons of dead skin off my face (and body) during winter months and have been searching for a product that would deliver its hydration promises. I have tried many creams from different brands (within $100), but none have delivered. That is, until this past year when I learned about oils. I’ve then layered my face with serums, creams, and oils every night. It has helped with the flakiness but not so much with helping me look less like a zombie. Chemo has made my zombie-ness significantly worse, draining every living color out of my hands, feet, and face, making them literally grey-brown. I came back to life the evening of the 3rd of January, the night I discovered crème de la Mer moisturizing cream, the miracle cream. I woke up looking less grey and convinced of the power of pricey skin care. How can I go back? Sigh. Alas, I am not rich. So. I will cherish every drop of that sample and continue with my old routine. And that’s okay. At least for my birthday, I felt/looked alive. This post is not sponsored. I know; I can be ridiculous.

This is thirty-four.

Some highlights: breakfast at Bottega Louie (one of my favorites), free birthday Starbucks drink, Santa Monica pier and the thrilling Ferris wheel (that is, watching my sister cling to the pole because of her fear of heights), free birthday Pink Berry frozen yogurt (went into the store at my daughter’s request and later surprised by the free offer), hanging out at the Hammer Museum to kill time before dinner (free entry, small but valuable collection, ping pong tables and discovering my mom’s table tennis talent), quaint Italian dinner at a random spot in Westwood (great parking spot on a busy street),  and delicious triple layer berry cake from Sweet Lady Jane.

Photos in random order:

 

 

(Poor husband was working all day until late at night so he missed out on the fun. But we’ll have fun this coming Saturday at Cicada. Woohoo! Might as well celebrate my birthday all month! hehe)

little story #001: Sun Hat

(Written in Sept. 2015 when I worked and Elaine was in daycare)

When the weather promises to be less than 90 degrees, the kiddos at the nursery are set free to run around the outdoor play area in the afternoon. Sometimes I catch them outside when I pick up my baby. She’s the funny one in the hat which is awkwardly placed on her head because the caretakers do not realize it has to be fitted down with a little nudge. She’s the funny one in the hat because I requested that she always wear a hat outdoors, because white people don’t have Asian people’s fear of the sun and all the other kids do not wear hats. She’s the funny one in the hat who sees me at the door and walks at her quickest speed to be held in my arms. She’s my baby, the funny one in the hat.