Unhealthy air quality here in Seattle

Yesterday Chet and I had a great day riding our bikes, having a picnic at Discovery park then going for a motorcycle ride. The air was fresh and healthy. The sunset was beautiful as you can see from the picture I took at 8pm. Around 9 pm, however things began to change. First we began to smell a faint camp like fire aroma, and thought out neighbors lit an evening fire, again. Quickly the smell became strong and choky (if that’s even a word), my throat got soar, and I felt nauseated. I quickly closed all the windows and thought it must be from all the fireworks I saw and heard going off in West Seattle/ Alki Beach area. But it seems that’s not entirely so. Upon researching this morning I found out that smoke from Eastern WA. wildfires blew into Puget Sound area amid rare windstorm. That makes sense. Yesterday there was a windstorm, and on our motorcycle ride we saw lots of fallen branches on the road through Discovery Park.

It’s going to be tricky for the next couple days as temperatures are suppose to be in the high 80’s around here and only a good air purifier will help. We have two, purchased on Amazon, Levoit brand, that work great. As soon as I step out of our bedroom (where we have one air purifier going now since last night) the air gets thick and smoky. We’ll have to move them around today to filter out the smoke. Keep safe out there, close your windows, purify the inside air, stay inside until this passes, which I pray it will be soon.

God Bless:)

P.S. On Facebook I will update you with more pictures taken throughout the day.

27th Wedding Anniversary

Say what?

27 years already? How did that time fly so fast? Yet, looking at my children, all taller than me, I realize that my squeeky joints are there for a reason- time has passed- and even if I’ve never gave it permission to do so, time does not answer to me, I answer to it.

Chet and I, had so many adventures already and we plan on more if God allows us the time to do so. Was it easy? Some of you may ask and I answer. At times, not really. Was it worth it? Absolutely:) A marriage goes through seasons too; some are harder, some are easier but every season presents unbelievably beautiful moments if you look for them. Advice? Patience. Lots of it. Forgiveness. Lots of that too. Communication. As clear as possible. And so much more… that last one wasn’t helpful was it:)

But I think often while secretly looking at Chet; he’s just a boy wanting to be good, wanting to be loved and I’m just a girl wanting exactly the same things. We’re broken together, we’re whole together, we’re brave together, we’re scared together, we’re happy together, we’re sad together etc. Together is the secret. And for us God is part of this together journey, without him there never would’ve been a Carmen and Chet, without him we may have fallen and we may have died in spirit, love or body.

Chet, looking forward to our future adventures:) Europe is still part of those adventures, God willing.

May you celebrate your lives often with a smile both on your faces and in your hearts for all the years to come. Amen.

Fratele Mărcoi

Când eram copil- și pentru că stăteam aproape- împreună cu frații mei Alin și Sergiu am început să fregventăm Biserica Baptistă Nr. 3 Biruința din Cheangăi unde fratele Mărcoi era pastor atunci.

Am plâns în ultimele zile cum nu am plâns de mult timp. Am plâns pentru că cineva drag a murit, sora Hada. Am plâns pentru că am văzut durerea de pe fața fratelui Hada, nașul nostru la nuntă. Am plâns pentru că am văzut durerea grea în ochii lui Dana, Ovidiu și Adi Hada, prietenii noștrii. Atât Chet cât și eu am plâns alături de familie și mii de prieteni la video în direct de la priveghi și serviciu de înmormântare. Am plâns pentru că un erou a murit și nu voi mai putea avea aportunitatea de a o vedea în viață. Am plâns. Atunci când iubești și pierzi simți durerea. Dar am zâmbit cu drag când l-am auzit pe păstorul Mărcoi vorbind la priveghi. Cu imaginea feței lui mii de memorii au invadat făptura mea.

Cum am menționat am început să fregventăm singuri biserica din Cheangăi pentru că Biserica Penticostală Numărul Unu unde părinții noștrii mergeau era prea departe. La început eram stingheri, ca oricine nou, dar ușor ne-am integrat în activitățile pentru copii și așa ne-am făcut prieteni sau dușmani. Imi aduc aminte cu drag de multe ore petrecute în plictiseală pe băncile bisericești ca și copil, legănându-mi piciorele până mi se trăgea atenția dar ori de câte ori fratele Mărcoi predica, deși multe nu înțelegeam, îmi plăcea stilul lui de predică. Eram fascinată cu părul lui cărunt care stătea tot timpul un pic ridicat și ascultam cât puteam deși într-un final amorțeam în gheara plictiselii. Ahh, dar după biserică…atunci era frumos când fiecare lua câteva momente la o gură de vorbă iar fratele Mărcoi tot timpul cu zâmbetul pe față dădea mâna cu noi mulțumindu-ne că am venit la biserică. Parcă trăiam pentru acele momente. Ca și copil asta ma mișcat adânc și am rămas absolut impresionată de acest om a lui Dumenzeu. Pe sora Mărcoi am avut prilejul să o cunosc mai bine recent, o femeie deosebită, si de treabă:) Am observat că orice păstor plin de success au anumite calități în comun: dragoste față de Dumnezeu, dragoste și respect față de soție și copii, și o soție puternică care-l sprijină.

La Ceangai cunoșteam numai pe Simona și Alin, verișorii noștrii. Cu ajutorul lor și inițiativă proprie am făcut cunostință cu alții, de care mi-aduc aminte cu drag. Acolo am avut primele simpatii care au fost ignorate complet:) Mi-am făcut prieteni dar și dușmani ca să fie totul balanțat.

Ca scriitoare plâng, râd și îmi aduc aminte printre litere. Numai așa, într-o zi tristă am putut să-mi aduc aminte și de clipe frumoase; de străzile prăfuite străbătute până acolo și înapoi din Micro 5 unde locuiam, vara de fructele care le mâncam din pomii aliniați dealungul gardurilor, de cântecele cântate de pe băncile bisericii, de poeziile recitate în fața amvonului și de emoțiile care îmi străbătea ființa tânără ori de câte ori trebuia să recit sau să cânt ceva. Dar aici, în spatele literelor și a ecranului am curaj. (Iara mă ia un val de plâns, iară mă gândesc la Dana, Ovi, Adi și fratel Hada, iară mi-e dor de ceea ce a fost odată, o copilarie și o adolescență cu bune și cu rele.)

Fratele Mărcoi împreună cu mulți frați și surori de la Biserica Penticostală din Ceangăi au fost pentru mine ca un val proaspăt de iubire într-o periodă neagră a vieții mele, și Dumenzeu prin ei mi-a ridical moralul și sufletul ori de câte ori mergeam la biserică.

De asta e important să fim exemplu de iubire pentru toți că niciodată nu știm cum afectăm pe cei din jur, mai ales sufletele fragede a unui copil.

Am început să fregventez Biserica Penticostală Numărul Unul ca o adolescentă plină de emoțiile și nesiguranța vârstei. M-am ascuns multe luni sus la balconul de femei undeva în spate. Fără să-mi dau seama de multe ori m-am așezat lângă sora Hada. Ea mi-a zâmbit cu calm și a spus “Pace”. Un cuvânt așa de simplu, dar așa de puternic pentru un adolescent pierdut în durere și nesiguranță care avea nevoie foarte mult de acea pace. Mi-au dat lacrimile de multe ori și zâmbu-i înapoi am repetand cuvântul. Pace.

27Vă las pacea* , vă dau pacea Mea. Nu v-o dau cum o dă lumea. Să** nu vi se tulbure inima, nici să nu se înspăimânte. Ioan 14:27

Sora Rotariu

Mama lui unchiu Marcel, a plecat la Domnul cu cateva zile dupa sarbatorirea zilei de nasterii de 87 de ani.

La un interval scurt, de numai cateva zile, doua surori deosebite si sotii de pastor au plecat la Domnul. Sora Rotariu, o femeie care a muncit din greu, si-a iubit familia si a slujit Domnului va primi rasplata in ceruri. La fel si sora Hada. Acum se pot odihni, unde durere nu mai exista, problemele pamantesti nu le mai tulbura, si suferinta nu le mai atinge sufletul. Amintirile ne vor coplesi, si le vom duce dorul pentru ca sunt iubite de cei ramasi in urma. Doamne iti multumim ca aceste femei deosebite au umblat o perioada printre noi, si ne-au invatat multe lucruri de pret.

Ne vom revedea intr-o zi dar pana atunci fiecare isi continua destinul lasat de la Dumnezeu aici pe pamant si ne vom aduce aminte cu mare drag de ele.

Multe condoleante familiei si prietenilor apropiati si din partea noastra.

Amin.

Sora Hada, o femeie extraordinara.


Printre miile de oameni care au cunoscut-o și au iubit-o pe sora Iosefina Hada, mă găsesc atât eu cât și Chet. Plecare la Domnul a acestui suflet deosebit este simțită profund de mulți acum iar memoriile acumulate delungul anilor vor rămâne pecetluite în inimile fiecăruia. Mâinile ei darnice au muncit din greu hrănind multe persoane dealungul anilor și personalitatea ei tăcută a ascuns un caracter puternic. Ne rugăm pentru întreaga familie care acum sunt îndurerați și trăim cu speranța că ne vom revedea din nou în ceruri. Amin.

Why did I march in BLM?

As Chet and I began marching along side thousands of silent protesters yesterday, Friday June 12th 2020, here in Seattle, I asked myself one very important questions: Why am I marching?

Fake news is not to be trusted and there’s nothing better than being present and see first hand what’s really happening, historically, in America today. The march was mostly attended by white people, it was peaceful if you exclude some of the hateful signs and the rainy-cold weather was something I could handle. (Due to sound sensitivity the silence was why I could be there and the weather was another plus.) I felt healthy and strong enough to be there, but the other reasons I was there are explained in the sentences below.

There’s two sides to every coin.

Back in 1993, when I stepped foot for the first time on American soil as a legal alien with no rights to vote and an American husband by my side I saw for the second time in my life black people in real life (it was my first time for Asians, Mexicans, Indians and Samoans) and I marveled thinking: I can’t believe how imaginative God can be in his masterful work. I never, not for one second considered myself superior. In fact it may have been the opposite- the communistic propaganda learned over the years does not drop off you just because you stepped across another country’s border- for you see I was tolled by the system, mostly in school, that I was an inferior human being for two reasons: I was a woman and I was a christian. But I digress.

Since that day in 1993 I’ve had many black friends, mostly women, and I loved hanging out with them, seeing nothing but a human being on the other side of my conversation and friendship. I like to give my mother full credit for that. She raised us, the Damean kids, to believe that every human being is God’s child, created equally and equally important. (You see, back during communism times when I was only nine years old or so, my parents hid in our small apartment an African missionary. If caught by the communist party they would’ve faced jail or worse- be put to death. All their christian friends were too afraid to take the poor man in but not my mother. Not my mother! Who I believe to be the strongest human being I’ve even met. She not only took this wonderful man in, fed him and sheltered him, but along the years took many street children in, if only for a day, bathed them, fed them, and clothed them. Her heart always had room for those in need and she saw everyone as God’s children, some marginalized by society.) Thus I grew up, along my siblings, eating at the same table with those rejected by society be that an African man or the poor or the rejected children living on the street. My mother thought us that all people were God’s children and we should take care of them, not harm them. So you see one of the reason for marching it has to do with my upbringing and seeing other people (not color), suffer. I marched because I understand suffering.

Now, time passed since 1993 and about five years ago I was startled by a black man. (It was not his fault. I was suffering the neurological consequences Lyme disease and its complications brought in my life at the time. The poor man apologized deeply even thought he was not in the wrong.) That’s when I also realized for the first time that a part of me was also scared of him, part of that fear was associated with Lyme disease the other part was associated …with what exactly? What changed in me since 1993? I took time and pondered on this, sorting time and memories to find the answer. It came down to two culprits: media and a close American relative who on numerous occasions showed fear and spoke that fear out loud while I was around, warning me of hidden dangers I never thought about.

Loving and recognizing that all of humanity are God’s children created no fear in my heart, but suspicion and prejudice did. I was not aware of the American history on race until I came here and learned it. But the media fueled what once used to be and no longer needed to be repeated. Communism used media to control people’s minds and separate them. By separating us it’s easy to conquer us. So I marched because I refuse to allow the lying media separate us.

Since my future son-in-law is part black this hits even closer to home for us. He’s an extraordinary young man and I see thought his silent eyes some of the struggles he’s had to endure. I also hear loud and clear the grace and forgiveness his heart constantly bestows on those who wronged him. I see God in him, I see Jesus’s example in action. It’s very healing and so human. I marched in the thunderous silence for those wonderful human beings who lost their lives while innocent, or less perfect, because of expressed hatred.

While marching I thought of all those suffering from lyme disease or other horrible illness which leave them disabled and stuck in their bed or behind closed doors too fatigue or ill to march alongside me. I thought of you and your desire to come along if only the frail body would allow it. I like to think I represented you in that march.

Here comes the other side of the coin, the conflicting part within myself.

I do not believe in the politicized version of Black Life Matter movement, you know that part which expresses anger and hate by destroying other people’s hard earned livelihood.

I do not believe in police defunding. Why? They follow orders from higher up; it’s the politicians who give the orders of how the society should be run. If I believe in defunding anyone, and I do, I believe in defunding the crooked politicians with hidden agendas and their megaphone puppets we know as “media”. They are the ones that made me aware of racism, not God. (Here I don’t add the misguided people who speak in the name of God spreading hate meanwhile seriously disconnected from Jesus’s message. For Jesus did’t die on the cross for white, rich people that believe only a certain denomination is “the right one” he died for all, including those who hated him and didn’t believe in him.)

In conclusion, I’m not sure if I helped anyone by writing this blog, or if I’ve simply added to the pile of opinions out there irrelevant in some manner, but I do stand for one thing: All people (be them nice or not) were made in the image of God and all are his children and if every single one of us really believed that we would not have marches of any kind because we’d be too busy living peacefully among ourselves.

God help us see that.

Amen.

From a frustrated mother

My eldest, who’s twenty-four, and my youngest, who’s seventeen, both work in a big grocery store. Since the coronavirus frenzy scare, they’ve been working overtime, loading trucks full of groceries until 4 am some days, only to come home exhausted and do it all over again, day after day, sometimes ten days in a row without break. They’re heroes in my eyes. While some employees refused to come to work for fear of contamination, my boys stepped up and shouldered the burdens of short staffing, high demand and panicked clients who many times are down right rude, entitled and ill behaved. White old women are the worst coming with entitled attitudes and utterly abusive behavior. I’m a tiger mama, and thank God I wasn’t present when they were abusing my children otherwise I would’ve wiped the floors with them.

If you go to groceries, be nice to the staff! They put their own lives and the lives of their families back home in danger every time they show up to work and sell you food or other products. Like all the medical staff, these guys are heroes helping you out! They’re both at risk for contamination and exhaustion. So be nice! If you don’t know how, learn! You old people should know better! Be better examples! (Not all are like that).

Anyway, I think my family had the coronavirus back in January. Chet got so sick I was worried for him and almost took him into emergency when delirium hit his mind. My daughter was also at a scary level of weakness and I had a full house of very ill people for for couple weeks but with God’s help, strong immune systems and lots of at home remedies they overcame. So we’re immune I believe, regardless, I’m asking the rude people who read these lines- be nice! That’s right. Be nice!

Have a good day and don’t forget the ones that serve your entitled selves for they put themselves at risk daily.

There. From a frustrated mother. Have a good one.

Your potential goes beyond your dents.

The rice cooker dish in my soapy hands is full of damaged bumps. As I wash it and plan on replacing it God flashed a piece of understanding to my heart and my eyes shifted their focus.

They no longer focused on the bumps and dents, but at its potential. This bowl has been successfully cooking all sorts of rice recipes for many years, not only that, it’s steamed so many vegetables and I remembered the amazing meals it helped me make, meals that nourished not only our bodies but our souls and spirits, for you see when a belly is full, many good things follow in any person’s life. I saw the future meals we’ll cook together and despite its bends and dents it became valuable to me.

Just because there’s dents and bruises in our lives it does not mean our potential is lost. We’re not the bends and dents, we are the potential around the dents, the potential despite the dents, we are the potential!

Now, the next step is to believe this revelatory information, beginning with myself.

Have a healthy day today and God Bless you and your family. Look up. You’ll be alright.

Coronavirus, We’re Stronger!

Coronavirus,

You’ll end soon and we’ll be nicer to each other as a result, we’ll care more for each other and love more, we’ll have more patience and mercy, we’ll also forgive often, we’ll smile more and giggle often, we’ll inspire others and be inspired by others. We’ll love our children and parents, our friends and strangers. You hear us?

You’ve come to kill and though we’ve lost some precious people they will remain alive through stories of their strength and uniqueness. We were privileged to have had them in our lives.

God did not bring you in this world. Man did. Despite that God walks along us whispering words of comfort to our broken hearts and reminding us we’re not alone during these harsh times. He tells us that we matter!

God’s not trying to teach us a lesson by allowing you on this earth! He never wanted you here! You snaked your evil head in our lives intent on killing yet, God walks ahead of you so his shadow will confuse you more than anything. He’s on our side not yours, washing away our fears, smiling when we rise up and help each other, when we come together in one voice praying. We pray because our humanity is under attack no matter what part of the world you live in.

To the whole world God whispers: You’re stronger than you think you are! You matter! This will pass.

So you see, coronavirus, you will not succeed, you can’t! Not with God on our side! So good by!

The people of the world.