Sunday, July 29, 2007

Basel Part II and Zurich.

Red cow of Basel:
Blue Cow of Zurich. I think they are cousins. Don't Jump Blue Cow.. you have too much to live for...

Contruction company with Daisy logos on all construction equipment. Back-hoe, trucks, bobcats. Never in the US.

Breakfast every morning. Not bad! Hot chocolate to die for. A sign on a table. I agree. It's no picnic.
Grace has a horrible rash that has taken over her body. I am helping her get relief. It's no picnic for sure.
Lake Zurich!!
Hotel Zic-Zac. Rock and roll theme, We stayed in the Rolling Stone room.
Grace and I taking a self-portrait. Frau Munster in the background. Zurich at Night.
Ferris Wheel. I haven't been on a Ferris wheel in ages. Amazing views of the city.

Stories need to accompany some of these pics, but I will elaborate later. It's' all I can do to get these on the web!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cordless Extension Cord.

Amongst the hoopla of packing last weekend, i realized when I got to Frankfurt that there was a good chance I had forgotten my computer power supply cord.  (Switched carry-ons at the last minute and the transfer did not happen).  So when I got to Basel, my compy was completely dead.  So I go to the the front desk to see if they would lend me something or if they had something Dell-ish for me to use. They had a plethora of cords, but to no avail.  So I inquired about a place to buy something.  Nothing in Basel is open on Sundays so Monday after work I took the bus down to the train station to get a new cord.  It was pouring down rain and I didn't have an umbrella.  Missed my first bus from work and had to wait for the next one in the rain for 15 minutes.  Must have been an omen.  I get to the "Media Markt" and wander it aimlessly, admittedly distracted by the aisles of 'stuff' it seemed bigger and more useful than a Best Buy.  So the "information guy" was swamped by tons of people and he was apparently the only dude there that could answer "computer" related questions.  (Very Swiss).  I decided I didn't need his help and found a universal cord on my own.  Checked my voltages and was good to go. Didn't find a price tag..but I didn't suppose it mattered, since it was my only option.  I get up to the cashier and notice I'm getting tight on time, I had told co-workers I would meet them at 8 for dinner and I was still across town, so I"m getting hungry and anxious and I'm still damp.  So.. of course.. I"m behind an old Swiss goat-herder who took, I SWEAR, like ten whole minutes to count his money out.  I'm daydreaming about my speedy check-out and how much this cashier is going to love me for my speediness, and how much I'm going to love eating food and getting dry.  So I step up after he leaves and it and she rings it up to 89.90 CHF.  GAW!  A) That is a bit of a chunk of change.  B) I don't have that much cash on my person.  Do they take Discover?  Of course not.  Do they take VISA?  NO! Only Master Card.. which I left stateside... cuz WHO TAKES ONLY MASTER CARD?? Anywho.
She says in broken German. "BANK?" and points across the street.
I run over in the rain, to see a set of glass doors enclosing the ATMs.  I was like a monkey trying to get a Cheeto out of the glass box.  How do I get in there?  Of course there are no English signs telling me how to get in, but my superior skills of deduction that I amassed playing MYST finally prevailed and I figured out that if you stick your ATM card in, the doors open!
I run in get my cash, dash back across the street.  "Sorry Ma'am we are closed.." "But, But, I.. I .. "  They then realized that I wanted to pay them and pay them fast. So they were more than happy to let me and my money back in the store.  After the purchase,  I was glad to have the plastic bag that it came in to use as an umbrella now.
Fast forward to taking the train back across town where I watched the number 2 pull away without me.  OK fine, 20 more minutes in the rain, being approached repeatedly by this young boy who only had one arm.  He was rough looking and had blood on his face he asked me in German for money and for a place to sleep.  I felt truly bad that I didn't give him my money, especially since I had to sit at the station for 20 more minutes and watch him ask other people.  Broke my heart.  Why didn't I just give him the money?  Why do I feel so strange in a foreign place about being merciful? 
But anyway... got back to dinner a half hour late and all was well.  
That is just day one.
Stay tuned.  The shower stall is too small for me to bend over in, and the power cord only maintains, does not charge...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The heroes are the ones who stay. --Veronica Mars.

I have a house group that is awesome.  Something is happening.  You take a group of strangers who all don't really know why they are there.  Who are all there for different reasons via different roads.  We fight different battles and know God in different ways or maybe even not at all...  You throw them in a room with some food and lock the door.  They are strange people, and the process of getting there was hard, but  As we take in calories and stories, I think the stories start to melt the prejudices that we started with of each other, and the bread we break together breaks down the walls.  And somehow, even though we haven't cracked a bible, we are drawing to God.  Because you see the glory in people sitting there.  You want to high five them when you see where they have won against odds, you want to cheer them up when you see them blue, you want to encourage them when you know they are on hard times... and what? What's this?  My problems?  Well I had forgotten all about those.. I was to busy thinking about YOU.  
I have been a tool.  In a good way. A tool for change in peoples lives, not the change, not the driving force, just the suface.  I didn't see it at the time and perhaps I'm not seeing what my purpose is right this very second.  And perhaps that is exactly the way that it is supposed to be.  It is nice to know that my life where it was at the very moment in time that it was, was not purposeless, that nothing was lost, that God used me for his purpose because I was bent the exact way that I needed to be to do the job he needed done.  And hopefully I can rest in the knowledge that even though I'm still a screwed up and a broken messy person with broken messy parts, that in HIS capable hands... I am the right fit to accomplish things.  Even mighty things.  Dare I dream?
I dropped to the slippery shower floor and worshipped because he lives.    Because his love is real and it does change people.  Because I have awesome friends who love me.  Because I have real live friends who have stayed by me even though they probably didn't have to. 
Because He breathes life into dry bones, and not only to they become alive.. but they dance.
9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you [d] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption,[ e] the forgiveness of sins.