Last week, I went to a favorite restaurant on a non-dining mission. My husband and I have eaten at this place for years. I greeted the owner in Korean for the first time, and told her that I was trying to learn the language. She was so happy and encouraging. I asked her a few quick questions about the formal and polite forms. She pointed to herself and me back and forth quickly in an inclusive gesture, and said:
That means friend.
Sunday, I made my way down my church’s awesome stairs and back up again without either of my knees dislocating. Both knees still hurt all the time, but their staying aligned is a noteworthy improvement. I hope this is a sign that the hyaluronic acid injections are working. I have been cycling a minimum of a half hour a day on a stationary bike under the orthopedic theory that this will smooth the cartilage — which is apparently rough even if it is worn to almost nothing — and maintain muscle tone to support alignment. Walking, even on my treadmill, remains too painful to be reinstated as a form of meaningful exercise. But for now, I’m into chalking up triumphs, not outstanding deficits.
As I’ve noted before, the advent of my undertaking Korean comes with a new milestone: I now have terrible handwriting in four alphabets. This is about to change. I have been blessed with a 1st grade Korean handwriting primer, complete with grids, in which to practice forming and aligning my letters correctly. It took me nearly an hour to translate enough of the title on the book’s cover to discover exactly what my classmate brought me from Korea. He also brought me another book that appears to be a 1st grade reading primer about the Bible. It looks like it will take me at least six years to get through it, but six, after all, is how old a 1st grader is.
Next to my husband’s homecomings each evening, the class I am taking at Western Reformed Seminary is the joy of my week. I have three amazing and absolutely wonderful classmates, all Korean; and an exuberant professor who brings European history leading to the Reformation to vibrant life. The once-awesome seminary stairs did not thwart my knees, and I am able to perceive them as the gateway to blessing.
And… my Cat’s glucose levels have been suspiciously regular lately. It’s taken him three years to catch on to the fact that insulin is supposed to do this. But then, he’s had to live with someone who doesn’t always catch on to things very quickly, either.