grace in small things: uae version

Schmutzie writes a blog over there in the upper-left quadrant of North America, in Saskatchewan (a word that is worth saying out loud); she writes well and wisely about everything from photography to toe socks, design to cats.  One of the many projects you’ll find on the masthead of her blog is “Grace in Small Things,” which is a “daily reminder to take notice of the positive things we tend to overlook. You are hereby challenged to find the joy in small things, because life is short and love is large.”

Not bad advice, right?

On the 12th of October we will have been in Abu Dhabi for two months. Somedays it feels like we’ve been here forever in a good way and sometimes it feels like we’ve been here forever in a bad way. I’m afraid that lately my emails home to friends have sounded whiny: living here is haaaarrrd, I’m lonnnnnely, I miss my friennnnds…  Like that.

So I think it would behoove me (behoove, that’s another good word, isn’t it?) to start looking around this new world where I live and finding myself some grace notes, dammit. It might not make the whining stop…but then again, it might (another good anti-whining device? Click over to the GIST website and listen to the ukelele version of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I dare you not to smile.)

The gauntlet Schmutzie throws down is five things: find five grace notes in your day, your week, your whatever.  Here goes.

1.What I see when I walk out of my office:

It reminds me that I live in a very new city in a very ancient part of the world.

2. This billboard, which I also see every morning. The question sort of reverberates around in my head: where is my moon? where is my moon? where is my moon? where is my moon?

3. The smiley-face and question mark (it’s not a photo reversal, that’s how the question mark is drawn in Arabic) decorating the hood of this Porsche:

4. My younger son’s feet: perfect, smooth, curved, elegant:

5. The fact that I can get camel milk at the grocery store and drink it in the coffee I get from the Lebanese coffee roasting place. Camel milk. Me! A nice girl from the Midwest, land o’cows, drinking camel’s milk. Funny, the journeys we take:


Where have you found grace these last few months?

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14 Responses to grace in small things: uae version

  1. Suzie October 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Thanks for the bohemian rhapsody on the ukulele. Sublime. The whole family went to Guitar Center on 14th Street, to get us out of the house on Saturday, and I really liked the ukuleles. Actually thought about getting one, for all my spare time. Maybe I still will. It’s good to look for grace, wherever you are.

  2. Jamie October 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    For a bit I did this daily in a journal…fairy sure I heard it on Oprah when I had time to watch Oprah, and when she was still on of course. But anyway, the challenge was to write down three things you were grateful that day, every day. It gave me such a great perspective and forced me to seek out the good instead of focus on the bad. Good for you!

  3. Stasha October 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    I like this! I also like the things you chose. It really is in the little things 🙂

  4. Tracy October 11, 2011 at 4:19 am #

    Good coffee! The Lebanese Roaster makes me happy, rosewater, Beirut chocolates, soap made by someone’s mom (also available at the Lebanese roaster), anything with dingoballs (there is an abundance here), those fancy painted Pakistani trucks cranking the tunes, making dinner for labourers for Eid al Adha. I play the uke and one can never be unhappy strumming the uke. I went to the Leb Flower with my daughter yesterday to pick up a few falafel balls for lunchboxes. For AED 2 we left with 8 piping hot falafel balls, a drinking box of juice, a tinfoil tulip sculpture full of French fries, a cup of hot pickles and 2 cups of laban. Everyone was so friendly “Come back again soon!”. And the Film Festival. Get in on the best deal in town! The giant photo booth at Manarat Sadiyat. And this blog makes me happy. thank you.

    • Deborah Quinn October 12, 2011 at 4:36 am #

      Okay, dingoballs? Is that like the squidballs I see at Spinneys? Inquiring minds want to know. Have my tix for ADFF, thanks; maybe we’ll end up sitting next to each other in the dark one night…I promise to share my jujyfruits with you!

  5. Ado October 11, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    What on earth does CAMEL milk taste like? Now that’s exotic.
    Your son does have perfect feet.
    I love the backwards question mark on the Porsche! Everything exotic.
    I hope you get to come home for a visit now and then?

    • Deborah Quinn October 12, 2011 at 4:38 am #

      We get back to the States at winter holidays and my kids are planning the grand pizza-eating tour of NYC. Pizza and Mexican food thus far are neck-and-neck for what we’re missing. Somehow pizza toppings spread on Arabic bread just ain’t cutting it for them.

  6. Lady Jennie October 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    But camel milk is so gross. So … salty. So undrinkable. In your COFFEE???????

    • Deborah Quinn October 12, 2011 at 4:39 am #

      Well…I don’t much like any kind of milk, but camel-in-coffee was okay. They don’t always have it at the store and my kids actually really like it. They’re sort of salt fiends so maybe that’s why…and where were you, Lady in France, that you drank the milk of the camel? And don’t you agree that it’s incredibly WHITE?

  7. Tonya October 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Wow! I haven’t been here in awhile and then you up and move on me…all the way across the world!
    Camel milk is supposed to be very good for you.

    • Deborah Quinn October 12, 2011 at 4:39 am #

      Oh, I’m just a jet-setting gal, that’s me. You went to Mensa, I came out here to so-hot-it-melts-your-head land. Am loving your new blog-thanks for stopping by!

  8. Erica M October 12, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    This is the first post I’ve read this morning after proof-reading my own. It is so soothing. Thanks for sharing. Do you not tweet the links to new posts? I use Twitter as my feed reader. Oops, was that a whine?

  9. Tracy October 12, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Mexican Food is easy, your problem is solved, check out your email for an abaya wearing Mexican married to a local who makes the real deal. With a bit of preplanning and logistics you’ll be enjoying the best halal Mexican food you have ever tasted anywhere.
    You can thank me at the ADFF!
    Stay strong it gets better and better!

  10. Andrew January 13, 2016 at 6:56 am #

    A friend just returned from a visit with his family in UAE. He brought me some of that Lebanese coffee. Nicely spiced with Cardamom. Stands up to my espresso, any day!

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