Days 12 & 13

If you read all these posts you’ll notice that Wednesdays and Thursdays get a combined post. That’s because I have absolutely no time to write on Wednesdays, and I don’t want to kill myself trying.

This post is about foundations, literal ones and metaphorical ones. The main reason why we’re doing this renovation now (instead of waiting until we have more money) is because one corner of our kitchen was literally sinking into the ground. Yes, the kitchen was ugly with stained floors and rickety, second-hand cabinets, and yes, we get bathroom blocked constantly with 5 people and 1 toilet, but we were surviving just fine. We don’t feel entitled to nice things just because we’re…us. But every time Rosey would drop a pea at dinner and it would roll downhill across the entire kitchen I distinctly got Numbers 16:32 stuck in my head, and I didn’t feel like making headlines as the modern day people who got “swallowed up by the mouth of the earth with all their household and all their possessions.”

So now that our contractors have the place gutted they’ve spent the past couple days starting to bolster the part of the foundation that was broken. It’ll take some framing and some concrete and some hard work that doesn’t do a thing to help the ugliness of the place, but it’s integral work; there’s no art, no beauty, no mastery or completion without a solid, rudimentary foundation. And this goes for construction as well as the arts, sports, education, and even faith.

This past Sunday at church our musicians gave out apple slices to everyone as a nod to Rosh Hashanah and how Jews all over the world were celebrating their New Year by eating apples dipped in honey, quoting Psalm 34 saying, “taste and see that the Lord is good.” I gave my almost-5-year-old son his slice. He ate a small piece and then gave it back, saying that he didn’t like it. But he also said, “don’t worry, Mom, my little bite reminded me of God.”

My son’s a particular fellow. Much like his grandfather who orders plain hamburgers (meat and bread only) at all restaurants whether he’s in Philadelphia, Helsinki, or Tokyo, my son is going to have to deal with a lot of things in life that he doesn’t like. My hope is that his growing up days are laying a foundation of understanding and appreciation, even if he doesn’t like Rosh Hashanah apples, and even if it’s going to take a while before our kitchen is pretty.

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