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Somewhere and sometime along the way on this journey of mine on this particular circuitous path that I tread called my life, I let go of the hope of finding my first mother, my omma.  In the beginning as a child, I barely dared even think of her even when I was sleeping ~ dreaming about this most precious woman in the whole wide world.  And then in adulthood, I defied all that I had been taught and brainwashed to believe by my adoptive mother, and took the lid off the hole in my heart where this yearning for my birth mother lived.  This hope was faint but thrumming with the rhythm of my heartbeat and sprang fully alive with urgings from my thoughts, dreams and fantasies of this mystery woman’s face, touch and fragrance. 

So today the realization that the hope is reduced, once again, to barely a flutter now and again, is startling. 

Hope and hunger, however, are two separate states of being.  For I still long for this woman, my creator.  Longing that aches to my very soul.  Even with my dim hope that I will ever find her on this planet, in the form of my first omma, the yearning is still present.  She is somewhere.  Perhaps over the proverbial rainbow.  Maybe existing on another plane in a different form.  But, somewhere there exists is at least a remnant of this one whom I have gone without for ever so long. 

Happy Mother’s Day Omma from your daughter aka Korean adoptee, junemoon.

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I do believe my region of the planet has taken its snowy place in the weather history books as the snowiest winter on record.  Fantabulous for winter enthusiasts I suppose.  But even those rosy cheeked ones must be getting just a teeny weeny tiny bit tired of the endless dumps gifts of snow. 

As for me, there’s the matter of roof leaks in my kitchen and limited vision from my windows as the snow deepens, rising up past the window casings.  There’s the growing craving for natural greenery.  There’s the daily shuffling and changing of outerwear to inside attire ~ the continual on-and-off of the boots, the hat, the scarf, the gloves and coat. 

Fatiguing of mind, body, heart and spirit for this particular Earth dweller. 

Ready for spring.  Ready for summer. 

Meanwhile, I suppose I’ll go help chisel the icy news of our snowy achievement into our frozen history books.

Napping is good.  Whether the nap is taken sitting upright or lying down, either way, it’s all good.  I opted for such goodness yesterday afternoon and was rewarded with rich and varied dreams.  The extra interesting dreams may have been somewhat influenced by my lunch.  The lunch that was slightly, meaning well off, my current low sodium plan.  Can you say a foodie’s salty heaven?  Not to worry, I do not intend to continue veering off the diet forever.  Sometimes though, a triple decker turkey club sammie on lightly toasted whole wheat bread is worth this high risk behavior. 

Yes.  Either way.  Horizontally or vertically.  Napping is a good thing.  All snuggled up in one’s down duvet with loads of fluffy and firm pillows for added comfort. 

Did I mention yesterday was an overcast cold winter’s day?  It was and I did.  Nap. 

All good.  Way good.

It appears that a simple function termed threading of film onto a projector eludes me.  Baffles me even after some time and effort spent cleaning the very old equipment and online searching for helpful how-to instructions.  Not surprising I suppose ~ this road block of sorts.  After all, this is no ordinary antique projector.  This is my adoptive parent’s projector and the 8mm and super 8mm film reels housed in their bright yellow Kodak cardboard boxes hold family history  family secrets  family surprises.  This film plays silently with only the loud thrum of the machinery accompanying the grainy color images. 

At least that is how I remember the viewings as a child and young adult when after much pleading, my mother would finally acquiesce, giving my father permission to haul out the projector and the film.  As adopted daughters, my sister and I, yearned even more than the average kid to see again and again the evidence of our belonging, of our history.  A history that only went back to when we arrived in America, bought by these White American parents.  I was a Korean adoptee and so was my sister, arriving from different backgrounds and first families to form our very own little tribe of two in a land where no one looked like us ~ to a land where for all of our childhoods we were known as The Adopted Korean Girls. 

Fast forward many years and here you will find me.  Finally pushing through my myriad of fears, resistance and ambivalence to allow myself to figure out another piece of my foundation.  Sounds heavy for such a simple task of figuring out an old projector and watching a few canisters of film.  Simple or not, these actions have been many years in the making. 

It seems that the gathering of our lives lived through memories, yearnings, wishes and dreams is a life long journey.  A journey which offers experiences of joy, sadness, grief, longing, laughter, anger, tears, breath taking ah-ha’s, rage and acceptance.  I figure that I am somewhere a little past mid-way of this journey of this life time and it is looking more possible than naught that there will be future viewings of these little films.  Where those particular pieces of the puzzle will fit is not quite clear, yet.  Thankfully there is a focusing mechanism on this antiquated projector. 

 

Yes, let there be light.  And I don’t mean light-ly falling snow, although the snow continues to fall in this Land of the Good Winter Faeries and Sometimes Bad Winter Elves.  The light I make reference to is the returning daylight minutes, which the majority (meaning all but 1 or 2 chronic complaining types) welcome with great anticipation and appreciation.  Because here in this Land of Perpetual Winter Except for When It’s Not Winter, the darkness swoops in, takes over and is loathe to leave.  But leave us it must as the daylight minutes add up 5+ at a time with each passing day. 

My daughter’s parents-in-law visited from much sunnier and warmer climes this past Christmas and the father-in-law expressed not really understanding the big deal about Winter Solstice since he thought it would be much darker.  The implication was that we Northern Dwellers were just a bunch of whining Whinertons.  I might add that the in-laws arrived the day prior to our precious Solstice holiday with their psyches and souls all lit up from their much longer daylight days.  Daylight days that I might add that were mostly filled to the brim with sunshine and warmth with only the occasional falling rain drops.  The essence of this little vignette is that they knew not of which they spoke.  They spoke from a not knowing or some might say a place of sunlit ignorance.  Good people.  Just wrongly informed of the pervasive ill effects of daylight deprivation. 

But folks, we’re well on the other side of Winter Solstice and the minutes have quickly added up to hours and we are close to 9 hours of daylight, possible sunlight per day!  Oh happy day ~ oh happy day.  Sing it with me now ~ Oh happy day, oh sunny day ~

Consider my spirit considerably lightened ~ lit up from within, due to a large degree to the returning natural light.  Oh blessed be.

I almost lost my mind
I almost went crazy
Buck Crazy,
almost went I, when I instinctively went to roll over on my left side while I was almost sleeping last night. Oh my oh my!

I caught my mind in mid-roll, or turn, since it is difficult to roll in an upright position. Yes, I was able to abort my craziness most likely saving myself from a severe visit from my Bastard Buddy Vertigo (BBV).

Sleep disturbances due to this BBV or more aptly put, trying to avoid visits from my unwelcome BBV, has left me a wee bit cranky and exhausted this week. Smushing my work week into four days in order to relish my three day weekends is well worth the long hours during those four work days. In fact this kind of flexible schedule helps greatly in keeping me an employee at this juncture in my career. But like all things, great and not so great, there’s always the accompanying perks and detractors. The downside of the deal is that I am often done in and used up by the time I unlock my front door and walk into my sweet abode at the end of the day.

Long hours, tired brain, sleep disruption, upgrading my smart phone and figuring out all of the new technology, changes and uncertainty in the workplace, sleeping upright for almost 13 months and uber cold and still too dark days have taken their toll this week.

But you know what?
I am ever so grateful that I stopped my body from following the crazy not good for me impulse`to roll over. Cuz I know from past experience that nothing good was going to come of that and that the quality of my life could have taken a nose dive (no pun intended but apropos). I’ll take a little grumpy and a mediocre exhaustion over longlasting vertigo attacks any day or night.

That, and the fact that winter is passing and we are gaining 5 minutes of daylight back daily, have me almost feeling good to go. Good thing that I have a little while to sip my hot comforting tea from my favorita pottery mug before I have to go about my day outside of my warm home.

My recent medical diagnoses has required me to change my eating habits. Drastically. As long as I can remember, salt has occupied its very own food group at the base of my food pyramid. Other foods were mere vehicles for my favored and craved after salt. I now take in less than 1000 milligrams of sodium daily. So as one might imagine, this shift in diet has not been without some grief and overall loss of appetite.

The change in diet and my faithful following of the doctor’s orders has rested solely on fear. Fear of being permanently plagued with the unbearable vertigo and the loss of what has been up until recently, very keen hearing. My desire to not lose my ability to hear and having endured severe bouts of vertigo for months on end have been the impetus and motivation, which in turn has fueled my robust adherence to this new eating lifestyle.

Changes take some time to grow accustomed to. That, along with the immediate revocation of my loved longed for and lusted after salty goodiness, basically stopped me dead in my tracks when it came to cooking anything tasty for myself or wanting to cook for myself. When cooking for others, I continue to cook with salt and have not required my friends or families to adhere to my strict new diet needs. But when it has come to my cooking to sustain myself that is exactly what I have been reduced to ~ cooking and eating to live and to survive; forget the thriving and enjoyment.

Up until this weekend that is. Today I am cooking a pot of white bean soup that is much lower in sodium than I would have formerly prepared but still has more sodium laden ingredients than I have been allowing myself. I think this is okay. I didn’t go hog wild ~ just enough to make the soup tasty enough to make me want to dip my spoon in more than once or twice.

The delicious savoriness is enveloping my little abode while the soup perks away in my slow cooker. Chunks of bright orange carrots, carmalized yellow onion bits, diced fresh shiny green jalapenos, a bit of browned salt pork, two dusty green bay leaves and a healthy dose of deep red cayenne pepper mingle with the white beans, all bathed in a splash or so of beef broth. I tossed in a dash of ground nutmeg just for kicks. So far, smells delisio.

Comfort.
A reclaiming of my kitchen.

If you were here, I would ladle you up a hot bowl of white bean soup.
Comfort.
Comfort with a spicy kick.
Oh yeah, baby, time to get back in the kitchen.

I have tunes playing in my head. Tunes like ~

I got sunshine on a frosty day, when it’s a cold outside I’ve got the month of May

And sunshine on with wintry day after days of grey and snow filled skies, is sublime. Gets me hearing another tune, that goes something like this ~

Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy. Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry. Sunshine on the water looks so lovely. Sunshine almost always makes me high.

Plus, even though it is the height of winter in this Land of Almost Only One Season, the sun’s rays have that rich golden hue versus the stark white light that often comes around this time of year.

More snow forecasted tonight and tomorrow and the day after and yet, for now, I’m singing along to some mighty happy sunny tunes.

Winter solstice is closing in on us here in the Land of Growing Darker by the Minute Winter Wonder North Land. We are losing only a little over one minute of daylight per day at this point and before the big day arrives, the loss will be under a minute.

Those seconds and minutes add up. Fast.
Actually they subtract. Fast.
From the daylight.

We are so close to the Winter Solstice that my psyche has already begun its celebration and welcoming back of the light.

So close ~
the countdown is under way ~

You know that old adage ~ when life hands you lemons, make lemonade? Well in my current case that saying could be applied with one caveat ~ when life hands you lemons, make lemonade and make sure it is sodium free.

Say it ain’t true.
Please oh please.

But yet it is.
True.

My favorita food group ~ salt ~ has been all but eliminated from my eating plan.

All in hope of making my body such an inhospitable guest home that my Bastard Buddy Vertigo will move on. As in stop mooching a free and dizzy ride. As in flee his not so happy home.

But hey Buddy V before you go, have a glass of sodium free lemonade. On the house. After all, you did supply the lemons.

(Disclaimer: Yes, I realize that lemonade is not typically made with salt ~ that is unless one is mixing up a batch of lemonade margaritas.)

So I took a little poetic license ~ sue me. Why don’t you take a load off and have a sip or two of my salt free lemonade. Supplies are limited.

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