SOLSC #9: Intruders

The word intruder comes from the Latin word “trudere” meaning to thrust or push. Living in Malaysia has introduced me to a new variety of intruders that thrust and push their way into my home on occasion.

My favorite spot in my house is my living room couch that faces onto a wall of sliding glass doors that reveal the lush tropical environment that fills my back garden.

Sitting on the couch one afternoon, toggling between work and enjoying my view of bougainvilleas in full bloom and golden orioles flitting in and out of the red bamboo, I heard a scuffling sound to my left.

Irritated, I jumped up thinking my beagle had managed to get into the garbage yet again, when suddenly, I found myself face to face with a large, male macaque calmly perched on top of a cabinet eating the banana he had stolen from the fruit bowl in the kitchen.

Now, you may think monkeys are adorable, but I can assure you they are not when they bare their teeth and thrust their aggression at you.

They are also not adorable when they thrust their way into your kitchen gathering all they can hold and push their way back out, sitting just out of reach but within viewing distance. Taunting me as they consume their smorgasbord of pilfered vittles.

This is one intruder I prefer would KEEP OUT.

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SOLSC #7: Home

Someone recently asked me where I am from, and I found myself grappling with the answer. I am fortunate to come from more than one place, both places share equal space in my heart as home.

Over 14 years ago, my husband and I sold our much loved home in South Minneapolis, Minnesota, packed up our belongings, bundled up our children, said goodbye to our families, and headed off to Malaysia to teach at the International School of Kuala Lumpur. We are still here.

Although the early chapters of my life were written in Minnesota, Malaysia presented me with fresh pages in which to record new memories. When in Malaysia, home is Minnesota. When in Minnesota, home is Malaysia.

Home is neither here nor there; it is simply yonder.

Inspired by poet George Ella Lyon’s poem, “Where I’m From” , I present Minnesota,

From Marshmallows to Mosquitos

I’m from hot, humid summers and long daylight hours.

From drives “up north”, 

With conifer lined roads, crisp, blue skies,

the wind racing through open windows,

as the city falls behind.

I’m from cabins nestled up to chilly, spring fed lakes, from fishing, horseflies, mosquitos and sunburn.

I’m from bonfires, fireflies, roasted marshmallows and the Northern Lights.

I’m from forever, cold winters and fleeting daylight hours.

Plummeting temperatures of −60 °F that freeze your eyelashes,

as soon as the wind touches them.

From heaps of snow that beckon snow sculptures,

and snow forts complete with snow furniture.

I’m from shoveling snow, sledding and cross country skiing.

From layers of warm clothing,

to hot chocolate that warms you from the inside out.

I’m from patience and anticipation,

that green will once again grace the canvas I call home.

My home of Malaysia to follow in a future slice.