I have a friend who lives near Seattle. She told me that one of the things she had to get used to when she moved from California is talking about the weather. Apparently, no one talks about the weather in California–probably because every day the weather is pretty much the same?
In Michigan, we always talk about the weather because it changes from day to day and sometimes moment by moment. I remember when we were first married, it was 90 degrees and humid when we parked our car in parking lot, and by the time we walked to our destination a couple blocks away, the temperature had plunged to the 30s. That was a historical temperature drop, but it did happen, and Michigan weather does change, and we talk about it a lot.
We have been waking up to temperatures in the upper 30s. I have been wearing sweatshirts and hoodies. Once when I walked my dog, Danny, I put the hood up on my hoodie. I still like it better than the hot temperatures that melt me and take away my will to live. I love walking Danny. I use the walking time to think, or pray, and enjoy nature. The other day, I saw hummingbirds sipping from a neighbor’s flowers. And the day before that, Danny drew my attention to an unusual caterpillar. Usually he ignores caterpillars, but this one was bigger than any I had ever seen–almost as big as my thumb–and it was very active. When Danny nosed it, it reared up and writhed. I pulled him away and continued our walk, but after we had gone a short distance, I went back to it and took a picture of it with my cell phone. The picture of the bug is at right. Anyone know what it is?
Here is a picture of my Danny. I got him several years ago when JJ and I went into a Soldan’s to look at the animals while my husband went to a nearby store that didn’t interest us. Soldans mostly sells pet supplies, but they have a few animals for sell as well. I bent down to look at the ferrets when a little black dog thrust his head into my lap. I wasn’t aware that the Animal shelter sometimes brought in cats and dogs for an “Adoption Day.” They let people hold cats, and volunteers walked dogs through the store, hoping people would fall in love with them and adopt them. While I was in the store, Danny kept finding me and pulling his volunteer over to me. So, of course, EJ got him for me, since Danny had so obviously chosen me. For awhile, Danny was very jealous of our other animals and wouldn’t let them near me, but eventually he accepted them. He still is very bonded to me, and is usually at my feet.
JJ left for his Boy Scout Order of the Arrow Ordeal last night. He was not thrilled that the temperatures were supposed to drop into the 30s last night since he is camping out, but he was excited about the adventure.
I spent my evening without EJ (who was working) or JJ practicing Hebrew with a friend in Texas. We connected via Google+, which allows us to video-chat. This means we can talk to AND see each other. It truly felt as if we were studying TOGETHER. It’s pretty cool. We spent 2 1/2 hours working through chapter 3 of The First Hebrew Primer, trying to sound out unfamiliar Hebrew words. I think Zola’s Introduction to Hebrew is better for learning Hebrew. The First Hebrew Primer goes too fast and introduces too many letters and concepts in each chapter. I think I would have been overwhelmed and given up if I had tried to learn Hebrew from the Primer. However, it has a lot of reading to practice with, and that is good if you already know the letters and vowels.
I think that the thing that excites both JJ and me about Hebrew is going from non-understanding to understanding. At first the letters were just incomprehensible characters to us. Like this:
Then we were able to understand the sounds that each letter makes, and to pronounce words. The above line in Hebrew sounds like this:
Bereishit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz.
And then we began to learn what words meant. We can look at the above and read and understand, in Hebrew, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
It is so exciting to actually be able to read and to understand what we are reading, to go from incomprehensible to comprehensible. JJ gets excited when we see or hear Hebrew in a movie, and we understand what it says.
By the way, if you want to hear Genesis 1 in Hebrew, click here. The first verse quoted above begins at about the 12th second until the 17th second. Before that, the reader is saying that he is reading the Torah, the book of Genesis (Bereishit), Genesis 1:1.