I can’t think about my tree without thinking about my bike as well.  My bike was a light purple, Pee Wee Herman style.  I loved it.  After living downtown where a bike was impractical and dangerous, I was thrilled to get my bike once we moved to the ‘burbs.  Riding during the afternoon was out of the question.  It was way.too.hot.  I would have been seen as the neighborhood nut, and frankly I didn’t need to appear any more conspicuous.  When we first moved in, we were the only Caucasians in the neighborhood.  We weren’t viewed suspiciously, but more as a curiosity.  I waited until evening to ride, which was when all the neighbors were out and about anyway.  We usually had an early dinner, and then went for an evening walk to meet and greet our neighbors.  This was a highlight of the day.  I, for the most part, spent the day indoors with the kids.  Like I mentioned, you didn’t play outside during the day.  By evening, I really needed to be out.  After being with the community for a while, I would hand the kids over to Jack and go get my bike.  We had a fairly large subdivision with many side streets, which were perfect for riding my bike.   The air was still sultry, but the sun had started to go.  There was a brief window of time between the sun setting and the mosquitos coming out in full force.  That is when I rode.  I rode up and down the streets looking at the neighbor’s gardens and homes…often admiring the hard labor put into the upkeep.   During those rides, I felt refreshed and it was a great time to be alone with my thoughts.  People were heading back inside as the mosquitos started coming out, construction vehicles were leaving (our subdivision was still being built), and nighttime noises were making themselves heard.  Frogs began to croak, soft breezes rustled the trees, blowing sweet scents into the air, and small private fountains gurgled relaxing sounds.   The cicadas might begin their nightly serenade, and the bird that we never could identify would make his sing-song whistle call that to the untrained ear might sound like monkeys in the tree tops.  It was really cool.  Once the mosquitos began dive-bombing me, it was time to make for home.  As much as I wanted to continue riding, I equally, did not want to be covered in itchy welts.  Tomorrow would bring a fresh opportunity! 

As much as I want to remember all the really incredible experiences, I do not want my readers to think we were without difficulties.  We had them aplenty.  Living overseas is challenging, but for all the challenges, God seemed to give us unexpected blessings.   The people were always a blessing.  But, even for all the little annoying things, there seemed to be an antidote.   There was beauty in simplicity and an awareness of God’s goodness.



  1. i miss your bike too! It was so much fun. =) Oh the memories…
    I made panang curry yesterday along with some satay…nothing like Thai food to make you homesick!

  2. Tim & Rhianna says:

    These reminiscences are sweet.

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