The important things in life

After Peanut’s intake evaluation in the morning, “we” decided to head down to the tourist district of Boulder. It’s really cute.  We checked out the walking streets and several of the shops in the glorious sun.

While checking out a shop called ‘Peppercorn’, I started to feel fear. Heart palpitations and sweaty palms kind-of-fear.

You see, this darling store was filled with beautiful, pretty, shiny things.  And I love pretty, shiny things.  I really do.

While Dreamboat is perfectly happy traveling with a small backpack filled with of all his worldly possessions, and owning nothing else (well, except for a mansion-sized storage unit FULL of books), I’m happiest at the Four Seasons. I don’t pretend anymore that any of my dreams involve camping. They don’t.

I truly love fresh, running water. Especially when it’s the exact temperature I want it to be. A cup of tea sipped from fine china is my idea of recharging.  A walk through a fancy furniture store, with shiny, modern chairs, stunning arrangements, and spectacular art, feeds my soul. Having friends over for dinner with three sets of crystal glasses, as much silverware as I can fit on the table, and four differently-shaped but coordinating plates laid out on a linen cloth, with fresh flowers arranged in silver pots, makes my inner-little-girl giggle with happiness.  And the outer, forty-something me, giggle too.

And, I’m getting rid of all the pretty, shiny things I’ve collected over the years.

And, I’m willingly headed to Guinea.  That’s in West Africa.

I’ve been to West Africa before.  It’s dusty. It’s dirty. It’s impoverished. Much of it, to western sensibilities, is very sad.

And I know so many people desperately need all the help and services Mercy Ships has to offer. And that’s part of why Dreamboat and I are taking our family there.  We want to teach our kids the truly important things in life. (At least I can admit what my priorities should be.)

And so, while I know I will long for beautiful place settings, and air conditioning set to the exact degree I wish, I will find treasures MORE BEAUTIFUL than I’ve witnessed before.

I’m not just saying that. I really believe it.

I will see my children begin to comprehend that other children are truly happy playing with only grass and twigs.  I will see how education and health are key to transforming an individual and a nation’s future.  I will witness how many people walk for miles to get water, not remotely fresh or cool.

And, I will experience the beauty of many sunrises offering new hope to a country ravaged by poverty.

And joining villagers as they drink pure water from a new well, drilled in their own ‘town square’, will taste better than any glass of champagne I’ve sipped from my wedding crystal.

And, the beauty of the patients’ faces, after their lives are transformed by a free surgery that removes the stigma that had made them outcasts their whole lives, will be more beautiful than any shiny baubles I could find here in Colorado. Or anywhere.

And, I may take along some ripped-out magazine pages, of pretty, shiny things.  Just to glance at occasionally…



Filed under Aug 2012

8 Responses to The important things in life

  1. Missy Mareau Garcia via Facebook

    This was my favorite so far. Gorgeous. Just like you.

  2. Beth Krupp Bachran via Facebook

    I’m SO loving this… I know, from afar, vicariously, without any risk at all… but, know that I’m so proud of you and so excited of all that this will be and will yield for so many years to come… thank you!

  3. Coby Hallas via Facebook

    Ok I’m loving your blog, I love this post (and of course others) I love your honesty, and I love what your doing – you amaze me!

  4. What? You are going to the ship? Crazy.

    We’ll be neighbors. I hope to visit at some point in the next few months. It would be great to see you there.

    Do make sure you get off the ship…the ‘new’ ship is much more luxurious than our home (but not as pretty) and I think it’s easy to enjoy the western style life onboard…you’ll have your starbucks, AC etc. Get off and see what Guinea’s like. It’ll be a great experience.

    Can’t wait to read the stories. Hope to see you there!


  5. Hey Heidi,
    My mum (Evey Heckman) told me I had to follow your blog because “she is just like you” she said! I’m loving your site and reflections on life!
    I just love your honesty about loving the finer things in life too.
    It might sound more glamorous (to other people) to leave Colorado for Guinea but it will no doubt stretch you and the whole family. Having said that, you will never regret this decision. On hindsight that is!
    I left a great job in Western Europe to live in China with my husband and though it was challenging (understatement of the year), it changed our outlook on life and on the world forever. Today, we have a son we are inviting into one of the most exciting adventures in life: learning to love the world around him – right here in the States, where we are based at the moment.
    Way to go! Can’t wait to follow your journey!

  6. Love this post Heidi. I’m excited for your family to be a part of what you experienced as a child…it is a true gift you are giving them and an incredible family adventure they will have for their lifetime.
    Very inspiring!

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