What an adolescent I was! 
Still had pimples, mood swings, even crushes. 
Envied Nancy's carefree dating life and kindergarten teaching;
envied Aunt Ruth's Oxford life and college teaching;
searched want ads for better paying work for Ted or me;
didn't savor the joys of conversation with children.
Today, reading Etty's diary of her 28th year, I realize
writing was what I was missing, especially writing to You
which I do now in her words:
I now realise, God, how much You have given me. 
So much that was beautiful and so much that was hard to bear.
Yet whenever I showed myself ready to bear it, 
the hard was directly transformed into the beautiful.
And the beautiful was sometimes much harder to bear,
so overpowering did it seem. 
To think that one small human heart can experience so much,
oh God, so much suffering and so much love, 
I am so grateful to You, God, for having chosen my heart,
in these times, to experience all the things it has experienced.


Who was I then?
Part-time art teacher at Barrie Day School,
Duffy's carpool driver to Washington Christian School,
Rhonda's co-op parent at Luther Rice Nursery School;
church member, mother, wife, sister, daughter;
dabbler in wallpapering and gardening;
decoupager of glass bottles and jars;
big fan of Big Bird.


It was the perfect part-time job for me that year:
driving throughout the D.C. metropolitan area
finding households I'd been assigned to interview; 
treating each person with respect, gaining confidence, 
building rapport, asking questions, checking boxes, 
all by hand, face to face, no computers.
We were on a roll New Year's Day in mild weather
biking around the national mall with our kids
in yellow plastic seats behind us.
There were hard times like when I sold my high school 
and college rings to supplement grocery money.
But we were carefree every Sunday, appreciating and being 
appreciated by our growing and diverse church family.
Grateful for Ted's teaching job at Barrie Day School,
we bought a big old Hyattsville house.
Duffy started kindergarten at Washington Christian School
with my sister Nancy as his teacher.